A random girl's random gymnastics ramblings.

Monday, October 31, 2011

allow me to ladle you a piping hot bowl of this is how it is.

The 2011 World Gymnastics Championships All Around Finals, or How I Learned to Stop Loving Gymnastics and Start Hating Everyone.

It's time like these I wonder what it would have been like had there been internet after the 1992 AA finals.

It's been about two weeks since Wieber beat out Komova by a mere .033, and for the most part, things have settled down.  So why do I even need to write this blog?  My intention, two weeks ago when I capped these pictures, was to do a SCAM-like comparison in order to shut all of the nay-sayers up.  However, since then, the majority of people really have come around, so this seems kind of pointless.  But whatever, I'm bored.  Deal with it.

We'll start with vault.  This event was a treat to watch.  Although Jordyn underperformed her Amanar, for her, she still had her typical beautiful form and tight rotation.  A sub-par vault from Jordyn is equivalent to an awesome vault by most other people.  The landing was a little "clunky," was Tim Dagget would say, which resulted in a sizable step.

I love that I can watch Jordyn do Amanars all day long, and never fear for her life.  I can't say the same for everybody.  Viktoria followed with a lovely DTY.  Her form is very un-Russian, in that it in no way resembles an octopus spinning through the air.  Legs pasted together, no crossing, pretty toes.  She didn't get a ton of distance from the table, but still managed to land relatively upright.  Despite a decent chest position, she still took a noticeable step/slide backwards. 

Vika had a smaller landing error than Jordyn, but since the COP values the Amanar as being one billion points harder than the DTY, Jordyn comes out with the edge on this event.  Despite this being fairly obvious, I have still read the random criticism blasting how "unfair" it is because Jordyn's start value is so much harder.  I know, right?  You can't make this shit up.  Where were these people last year when Russia racked up the points using multiple Amanars (debatable, but that's another rant for another time.)  I thought that was the whole point of this stupid new COP: let's see who can do the most hard shit.  Whatever.  

Click to enlarge, if need be.

Bars.  Not Jordyn's greatest outing.  That said, it wasn't nearly the trainwreck that everyone made it out to be.  She went WAAAAY over on her clear hip 1/1, which caused her to barrel into her bail, which was just a huge mess.  That said, she managed to keep it down to a form break, and most certainly did not fall.  Let me repeat that: Jordyn Wieber did not fall on bars.  No fall.  So the next person who says "She shouldn't have won because she FELL!" gets a punch to the crotch. 

Following that, she got her routine back on track.  She more or less hit the rest of her handstands, and held on to her ridiculously low tkatchev.  That skill needs to go like, yesterday.  She reminds me of when my cat scoots her butt across the carpet.  However, she saved the best for last, and absolutely nailed the shit out of her double layout dismount.  I don't know what's up with the downgrade, but I'll take a beautiful, stuck DLO over just about any other dismount any day.  That's just me though. 

What is important is that despite having a major error, Jordyn came back and blasted through the rest of her routine.  Fuck up in the interior of the routine, and you simply cannot afford to step on the dismount.  Which she did not.  And that's why she's the world champion.

Naturally, Jordyn was to be followed by Viktoria, with her perfect uneven bars body and delightful swing.  Yeah, she goes a little overboard with the inbar stalders (I think I counted five?) but whatever, they're all pretty.  She knows how to hit handstands like a motherfucker.  However, there are exceptions...

She was as late on her inbar stalder full as Jordyn was on her clear hip.  Yeah, the hip angles are different, but those are each .5 deductions.  I love how everyone and their mother, including Tim Dagget's mother, ranted about Jordyn's late handstand, but largely ignored Vika's.  

No one seems to know why in the world she does that messed up 1/2 turn before her dismount.  I don't know why it's there.  It just gives her two chances to not hit handstands.  It makes no sense.  Then, a little step on the dismount.  I know it's just a little step, but I'm betting she wishes she could take back just one of these little fuckers.  One less teeny step, and she'd be the one giving up her NCAA eligibility right now.  You know, if they had that in Russia.  

Could you IMAGINE if the NCAA recruited Russians?  I would die.  Viktoria would go to UCLA, while Nabieva would head straight to Bama, obvs.  Musty to Florida...  I digress. 

So after two events, things seem pretty self explanatory.  Jordyn threw down on vault, while Viktoria was all "Come at me, bro!" on uneven bars.  1-1. 

Up first on beam was Komova.  She opened up with a lovely punch front, followed by her signature pass of LOSO-LOSO. 

Side rant: it depresses me that this pass is like the height of beam passes in 2011.  Don't get me wrong, Vika's performance of said pass is DIVINE.  There is no denying that.  What gets me is that bitches have been doing this pass since, what, the eighties??  Three LOSOs in a row was the norm fifteen years ago.  FIFTEEN MOTHERFUCKING YEARS AGO.  But that was all shot to hell when it was decided that skills shouldn't be repeated, and then further tossed down the drain when dynamic connections were more or less eliminated from the code.  I mean, yeah, I guess you could do LOSOx3, and while it would give you four hundred bonus Spanny-points, it wouldn't get you jack shit in real life.  So what's the point?  Might as well do a front aerial- pause pause pause- arm swing- BHS- LOSO.  Because that's a connection. 

Anyway, right, Vika's beam.  Gorgeous LOSOx2.  Fluffy dance, fluffy dance, and then the arabian.  She manages to land it so upright, it's unreal most times.  Other times, like today, it's a little off, and she bends at the waist to save it.  This is where it all goes downhill for Vika.  It seems as though once she has a bobble, they just keep coming until the very end.  And this routine was no exception.  She fared well on her leap pass of split leap (which I'm not going to cap.  There is no point, we all know she has gorgeous leaps,)- wolf jump.  Wolf jumps are, by nature, very fugly skills, but she manages to make them look pretty and delicate.  

Her L turn was decent, keeping her leg up long enough to rotate the spin, but dropped it before she could connect to her front aerial.  The aerial itself came with a balance check, which she had to upright before she could do her sheep jump, which had, what else, its own wobble.  Lots of bobbles, zero connections.  

Side somi was fine.  Back on track, she went for the double turn, which only got about 1.63 times around.  But since the code only counts halves, she was scored as having done a 1.5 turn.  She eagerly dismounted with a BHS-BHS- high double tuck, which was landed with a low chest and a sizable step backwards.  

Wieber came out and pulled a "Jordyn," and by that I mean she came back after a dismal bar routine and annihilated beam. As she tends to do.  She nailed her "pass" of front aerial-arm swing-one armed BHS-LOSO.  She did it as well as it can be done.  Because let's accept it, this is not a connecting pass, and never has been.  But the code doesn't give a shit about a little thing we like to call DYNAMIC CONNECTIONS.  Suck it, code.  All the same, nary a wobble on the pass. 

I love how everyone likes to bitch about Jordyn not hitting 180 on her splits.  "Lack of split!" they claim.  Well, assholes can suck it, because bitch hits her splits.  Accept that.

The first wobble is on her side somi, and even then it's just a slight arm wave.  Her L turn was amazing, so much so that even Elfi, who is like minutes away from getting Vika's name tattooed on her ass, starts to audibly pant over it.  The next visible error came during her PIVOT TURN.  It was just a super slight waiver, but even still, it's a pivot turn.  I have no idea what is going on there, because she made the exact same error during event finals.  I mean, whatever, I shouldn't judge, but it's a pivot turn.  A pivot turn. 

In a change from her routine from nationals, Jordyn left out the extra half, and stuck with a comparatively easy switch side leap.  She also left out the extra turn she had been adding after the L turn.  Hmmm.  I'd assume those will go back in before London.  Lovely side aerial, then it's time to prep for the full-BHS.

People need to shut up about this full-BHS.  Crediting non-connections has been en vouge for like ten years now.  You think that the world AA final is going to be the first time that the judges are all "Wait a minute, that wasn't connected!"  No.  Unless you stop moving entirely, the judges seem to consider it a connection.  She has a minor balance check after the full, but she never loses momentum.  Those arms keep moving, her body keeps moving.  Do I agree that it is a connection?  No.  Does the code think it's a connection?  Yes.  Thus, she was credited with the connection. (I'm assuming that it was credited.  Who knows what the judges really did.)

It really reminds me of those horrid leaps everyone keeps adding to their passes on floor.  Like, one out of ten are actually rebounded leaps.  The rest are landed, swing arms to set, then a leap.  And those all count.  So until the code figures that out what connections are, people are going to get credited.  Including Jordyn.

Moving on, Jordyn dismounted with her lovely, clean 2.5, with a step on the landing.  Three very minor bobbles aside, Wieber absolutely destroyed her routine.  Komova, while without falls, still had a number of large errors.  Plus, she lost a shitton of connection, so that sucks.  Pretty simple, Jordyn takes beam.  2-1.

Time for the final event: floor.

Being that she qualified in second, Jordyn had to go first.  I love this floor routine so much.  To any asshole who tries to pull the "But that Jordyn Wieber routine should get artistry deductions!  It's not very creative..." card, I only have this to say to you: do less crack.  Jordyn has arguably the most creative and well performed routine in existence today.  It has lots and lots of different movement that utilizes the entire floor.  She uses all sorts of levels.  Some girls do their obligatory "must get my hips near the ground" pose, but Jordyn has multiple moments where she's up high, down low, to the side.  You get it.  She is remarkably expressive with the music.  But above all else, it is entertaining.  She obviously enjoys it.  And when the performer enjoys themselves, it's hard for the audience to avoid having a good time too.

Artistry is such a subjective term.  Too many people assume that ballet = artistry.  It does not.  There are so many different styles of movement that can convey emotion; ballet is but one of them.  So artistry trolls, STFU.

Onward.  Jordyn opened with the Silivas, and aside from a small slide back, it was beautiful.  Her legs, her toes, everything is always where it needs to be.  Her chest was close to being considered too low, but I don't know that it was low enough to garner a deduction.  She followed with her 1.5 through to triple, with which she gave up the same slight slide backwards.  That stick rule is such a bitch.  It is easily the most hated aspect of the current code for me.  Easily.  What was wrong with lunging?  Now most landings resemble little kids trying to march through mud.

Jordyn nailed her triple pirouette, and hit her leap passes.  Her 180 DEGREE leap passes.  Back in August, I watched Jordyn warm up these leaps over and over, working really hard to stick them.  What good is a great leap if you stumble out of it?  The hard work seemed to pay off, because she nearly stuck them cold in Tokyo.  Every little tenth, you know?  No skill ever seems like a throwaway to her. 

Next, Wieber went into her 2.5-punch layout pass, which has given her problems all summer.  This was no exception, and it resulted in a step out of bounds.  As in, she landed in bounds, and took a step out of bounds.  In bounds, then out of bounds.  Some people seemed to think that she landed ass-first out of bounds, and should have just ended the routine there and hit the showers.  In real life, it was just your run-of-the-mill step out of bounds.  Not the end of the world.  Jordyn, being Jordyn, didn't let that phase her, and instead stuck her double pike cold.  I know it's cliched, but it's true: leaving a good impression on the judges makes a difference.  She ended that routine, and her entire night, on the best note possible.  That's why she's the world champion.

The final routine of the night belonged to Viktoria Komova.  She knew the score she needed to win, and it was easily within her reach.  These are the moments that make or break competitors.  Some girls live off of this shit, and others... don't.

Vika opened up with her 1.5 through to double arabian.  And while it was landed much, much better than in team finals, there was still a minor hop.  I know it seems like I'm harping on her little hops and such, but seriously, one of these bitches cost her the title.  She followed with a double tuck.  Is that a place holder for something else?  Why is she doing a double back?  Despite the relative ease of the skill, she still took a huge bounce backwards on the landing.  If you're going to do a plain old double tuck, you'd better stick the hell out of it.  She makes a point of it to then take another step to get into the correct position, like where she would have landed had she not had the huge bounce.  I've never understood that.  She's not the only gymnast to do it, but I just figure, if you've already taken the step, either cover it up or move on.  Each additional step taken is another reminder to the judges that you're not where you're supposed to be. 

I know other people don't like the 80s breakdown of her Swan Lake music, but I live for it.  There just such a delicious Romania-in-the-80s flavor to it.  The bangs, the bitchface, the unflexed wrists.  WIN WIN WIN!  After her sassy little breakdown, Vika stepped into her double L turn, which wasn't great.  It was fully rotated, but the free leg kind of flies up and down throughout the turn.  This was followed by the prescribed leaps and jumps, which Vika again did not stick.  You gots to stick your jumps.  She came THISCLOSE to sticking her triple full, but there was still just the most miniscule of hops.  She almost seems like she lands fine, but then moves her feet as she stands up.  Maybe once she gets some meat on her bones, she'll be able to absorb those landings.  Or maybe it was just the super bouncy floor in Japan, who knows.  All the same, a step is a step is a step.

The next semi-major error in the routine was Vika's Memmel turn.  Side note: it slays me that Memmel, Strug and Gogean each have major dance elements named after them.  Back on topic, Komova both under-rotated and fell out of her turn.  She reminds me of Shawn Johnson, in the sense that she stops to finish every. single. skill.  And while it's not a bad thing, it further exaggerates her mistakes at times.  In this case, she fell out of the turn, lunged, stepped back into her finish position, and did the signature "I'm finished" head bob, which is really just a Russian salute.  Or as the preschoolers call them, a "ta-da!"  I'm being very nitpicky, but it just makes her mistakes seem a bit more obvious.  Khorkina would have improvised some slinky dance move out of that turn, and the judges would have been blown away and added seven Khorkina-points for pizazz.

She ended her routine with the same final skill as Jordyn, with an extremely different result.  While Jordyn's double pike was high and stuck, Vika landed with a very low chest (Yang Yilin-low) and stumbled forward.  And again, instead of moving quickly to correct her error, she stood up very slowly, and then kind of crumpled into her finishing pose. 

Look familiar?

That slow reaction gives the judges all sorts of time to realize and focus on her mistake.  Jordyn left the judges with a stunning final impression, while Viktoria did not.  And that's why she's not the world champion.

While both athletes had their mistakes, Jordyn performed better than Vika on FX.  Landings and sureness of performance both belonged to Jordyn.  3-1.

Jordyn out-performed Viktoria on three of the four events.  While she had a major error on bars, it wasn't enough for Vika to take over with two sub-par efforts.  And really, that's what they were.  Everyone knows that Komova is capable of much better than what she offered on the night of finals, especially on beam and floor.  While Jordyn's routines weren't executed as well as they could be, she was closer to her ultimate potential than Vika was.  Ultimately, that won her the meet. 

Of course, we'd all prefer that every competitor was perfect, and in a race of perfection we'd wait to see who was more perfect on that perfect night.  But the reality is, especially with the code we currently have in place, there are going to be mistakes.  And because gymnastics is not a single-elimination event, even those who make errors are allowed to keep competing.  It's not dodgeball, you don't have to go sit by the wall once you've been hit.  Or in this case, arch your back on a bail.  The great competitors will take that error, and use it as motivation to be even better for the rest of the meet.  Jordyn sure did.  And that is why she is the current world champion.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

i've put plastic on your chair, so feel free to wet yourself with excitement.

Ugh.  Worlds and Pan Ams are finished.  There is always a post-Worlds lull, and usually we just bide our time until Scam.  Not this year.  Oh no.  THIS year, we've got a little thing called THE RETURN OF MAKE IT OR BREAK IT to look forward to!  Although I have no clue when that is actually happening.  Whatever.  Until then, we continue with our first season recaps.  For those following along, we are about to embark on what was the second episode of the first season.  Ready?  OK.

We start inside of the Kmetko household, where the lovely and divine Bitchface Chloe is frantically tearing up the apartment, in search of her resumes.  Emily, long before her demonic transformation, is all chill and tells her mother to relax, because she's totally going to find a job soon.

On the car ride to the Rock, Bitchface Chloe apologizes to Emily for being kind of a spaz, but Emily reassures her and is all "It's coo, yo.  By the way, I may not have a scholarship, which is like all of our income right now."  Understandably, Bitchface is all like "WTF??" but Emily is still super calm and collected and nice to her mother.  These were the good days. 

Workout is in full swing at the Rock.  Some girls are swinging giants, that one pot-bellied girl is doing the L5 beam routine in the background, and we even see a Bross-stand.

Despite a few hard workers, for the most part, everyone is just dicking around in what appears to be one huge open gym.  Ugh, those terrify me.  You'd go to Open Gym with like 400 kids, and they'd be sprinting all around, not unlike the kids at the Rock.  It was too dangerous to tumble or vault, because sure as shit, as soon as you took off, some ten year old chunker would come running in front of you and totally ruin everything.

Kaylie and Creepy Carter are on opposite ends of the gym texting each other, while one of the SAG coaches stupidly asks for a spotter.  Two things: 1. Why can't you spot?  And 2. Silly man, there are no spotters at the Rock!  I think Payson spots the team throughout most of the second season.

More random extras comment on what a shit-show the gym has become in the one day since Marty left to go coach Lauren and the other hoes over in Denver.  Kaylie's dad and her mother, the Cryptkeeper, are in the office trying to sort things out.  Why is that guy in charge?  And how is his head so shiny?  It's like he put his melon in the Shine-O-Ball-O from the Simpsons.  Anyway, the Cryptkeeper and Shiny wonder who the hell they're going to get to coach all of these misfits.

On beam, poor Payson is being coached by some random guy, who sounds like he's been reading the International Gymnast message board.  All he can manage to do is bark at her about squaring her hips.

Oh, and Payson's parents are totally just chilling, having a discussion while rambling around the gym, only stopping directly in front of the beam.  On the mats.  In their shoes.  And no one cares.  They stand there IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GYM to talk about how they're finally being invited to board meetings.  Meanwhile, after Payson wobbles after a side somi, IGF coach says "You did it again!" but never says what IT is.  After she botches a tuck jump, he again yells "SQUARE YOUR HIPS!" and then Payson flips her shit at him.  She freaks out that IGF coach isn't Marty, and then runs out of the gym.  Kaylie follows her, so we are left with some girl in a floral leotard that is seriously too high cut.  

No bueno.  The girls run outside, and lament over the current state of the gym.  Payson is distraught, being left by a coach she had been with for two years (doesn't she say later in the season that she moved to Rock when she was 12?  Is she supposed to be 14 here?  The fudge?)  The girls brainstorm, and decide to go to Denver themselves to figure out what the hell Marty is doing with that scag Lauren.

Back in the gym, we're treated to a quick little montage of happenings around the gym, which I'm guess was spliced together using shots from the pilot episode, because I see Lauren just sitting around (isn't that bitch supposed to be in Denver??)

And Emily putting on her robe before retreating to her trailer. 

What would this show do without me?  Sigh.  Next, we see Kaylie's older brother Leo strut into the rock.   A gaggle of underaged girls come to swarm him.

What happened to the Leo from the first episode?

I don't even... whatever.  What matters is that Leo is back at the Rock, and the gaggle of girls shows us that he is desired and attractive.  Just so we know.  Emily marches into the office, wondering WTF is up with her scholarship now that Marty bailed.  Shiny is a dick to her, and simply cannot be bothered with the problems of poor people.  He jets out of the office, right as Leo walks in.  He and Emily have a moment, as all boys in Boulder are inexplicably drawn to that girl. 

Over in Denver, Lauren and the hoes are working out at a real gym.  Like, with a pit and everything.

TWO sets of bars?  And chalk?  Get real.  Lauren is on beam, while all of the real Denver gymnasts marvel about how FABULOUS she is.

Of course, this means they're also intimidated by her, and choose to ignore her, not unlike what she did to Emily.  Because if there's one thing we know, it's that all girls are huge bitches, and cannot ever be nice to or support one another.

Daddy Tanner and Sister Mary Summer have some lame discussion about going public with their relationship.  As if anyone other than Lauren cares.  We don't.

At the Cruz's gigantic compound, Kaylie receives a cell phone call from inside her own house.  My mom used to do that all of the time.  In Kaylie's case, it's Creepy Carter being a huge stalker, and calling her from inside the laundry room. 

Isn't this how the movie Scream started?  So fucking creepy.  He convinces her to come down to the laundry room so he can molest her.

While Kaylie and the Rock girls are at home, the Denver Elite hoes are still at practice, which explains why they're better.  Tarah Paige Chellevold hides in the background, as if we're not going to see her, while Lauren continues to be ignored by the other hoes.

Lauren stomps off to look for Daddy, who she finds in a steamy embrace with Sister Mary Summer.  GASP!

Lauren calls Sister Mary out for being a slut and a gold-digger, and walks out.  Simple as that.

Ugh, now we have to see Kaylie and Creepy Carter make out all over the laundry room.  Fucking disgusting.  Like, I don't think it's cute.  I do not find it flattering or romantic when guys become obsessed with girls, which Creepy Carter is, let's be realistic.  He stalks her at her house, and gets mad when she explains to him that right now, her family and her sport come first.  The girl is in high school, leave her the fuck ALONE.  He then continues his abuse by turning it around on her, and accusing her of making excuses not to be with him.  PSYCHO.  And she reacts as such, so good for her.  But then they take turns grabbing each others heads, so I guess everything is all better now.  Gross.  Thank goodness Shiny comes home, and demands to know where his daughter is.  This girl must have so many daddy-creepy stalker boyfriend issues, it's not even funny.

Creepy Carter hides from Shiny in the laundry room, only to be discovered by Leo.  Leo doesn't seem weirded out at all that his friend is stalking his little sister. 

Over at the Pizza Shack, Emily is having some meaningless conversation with that weasel Razor.  Something about super powers, I don't even know.  Lucky for us, Bitchface Chloe comes racing into the Shack, and pulls Emily out of work so she can attend the last minute, super important Rock meeting being held at the Cruz's. 

The Keelor's also thought to bring the children to the meeting, which pisses off the Cryptkeeper.  Payson and her awesome sister Becca from Bridesmaids go up to visit Kaylie in her room.  Kaylie is paging through some old gymnastics magazine, and lands upon the most horribly photoshopped picture of all time.

*****Thanks to Senor Nico, we know the source of this little Photoshop horror!*****

Speaking of Marty, the girls remember their plan to go ambush him down in Denver.  Downstairs, Shiny is busy reliving his glory days of being some baseball player.  He stops only to ask the Keelors if they know any rich people to be on the Rock board.  Naturally, the Keelors are butthurt, because they assumed that they were going to be invited to the board.  Not so.  They're too poor, and poor people can't make decisions at the gym.

Speaking of poor, the Kmetkos show up to the Cruz's.  The Cryptkeeper is again all pissed because Emily is there, and there just simply is not enough shrimp dip for all of these CHILDREN.  When Kaylie and Payson come downstairs to say that they're going to head out to Moose Juice, the Cryptkeeper makes sure that they take awesome Becca from Bridesmaids and Emily with them. 

But this doesn't fly with Kaylie and Payson.  Once they get outside, they explain that it's nothing personal, but Emily and awesome Becca from Bridesmaids should just wait in the cars outside for the next few hours, which Emily happily does.

I want Payson's jacket.  And what is happening to that wall in the background??  Anyway, Becca from Bridesmaids is not as content as Emily to be left out, so the other girls explain to her that they need to go see Marty.  Emily hears this, and is all "Oh hail no, not without me!" because she needs him to sign her scholarship papers.  So all four of them end up in the car on the way to Denver.

I love how they make it seem like Denver is a million miles away, and that this is some grand road trip.  Isn't it like a half hour drive?

It does seem a lot longer, because they won't stop jabbering about loser guys they'd want to kiss.  Meanwhile, back at the Rock meeting, Bitchface Chloe is snooping through the house, and lands on one of the Cryptkeeper's platinum records hanging on the walls.  Oh yeah, she was a recording artist back in the 70s, I guess.  Bitchface gets super excited, and then the two of them make some joke about being born in the 70s, which I didn't get at all.  Moving on, the Keelors are still butthurt about being blown off for the Rock board.  They trash Shiny and the Cryptkeeper, but since they're such good parents, they decide to keep mum about other gyms trying to recruit Payson.

Shiny stands up, and informs the crowd that since he is the only adult there with experience as a professional athlete, this somehow makes him qualified to replace not only Daddy Tanner, but Marty as well.  Who actually owns this gym?  Shiny is under the impression that no one knows about Marty's defection, but guess what, motherfucking HOUSTON knows, and they're trying to recruit Payson, per Payson's mom.  The Cruzs are alternately shocked and freaked out because their daughter isn't getting phone calls yet.  Payson's mom uses this as a chance to assert her position in the Rock.  Perhaps, as the parents of the #1 girl at the gym, they know a little something about how things should be handled.  As if any of this shit matters.

Back in Denver, Lauren is swinging bars, and oh yeah, she's brunette now.

She looks like Aly up in there.  She's back the blonde by the dismount though, just in time to see Payson and Co. walk in.  Payson marches directly up to Marty, and has a word with him.  If you hadn't watched the first episode, one would think that it was a lover's quarrel.  Payson's beef with him is disturbingly personal.

Ugh, I like the Denver Elite warmups too!  If someone in props should send me one, I would love you forever and ever.

Payson's meltdown causes the entire gym to stop what they're doing, which is unacceptable, so Marty drags her into the office.  Lauren takes this opportunity to call out Kaylie for her romance with that nasty Creepy Carter.  When Kaylie doesn't give her the response she wants, she then turns on Emily, and blames her for everything that is wrong in her life.  But Emily doesn't bite either, and just reminds Lauren that she beat her.

Back in the office, Payson starts talking like William Shatner, and keeps.... pausing while she... wonders why Marty left.... her.  In order to protect her feelings, and to motivate the shit out of her, Marty lies and says he left to coach the Denver hoes because, frankly, they're better gymnasts than Payson is.  His plan works like a charm, and Payson immediately gets off of his back and vows to be the best gymnast EVER just to prove him wrong.  She doesn't need to see him... EVER again.  Problem solved.

Because Payson's all ballsy now, she grabs Emily's scholarship paperwork and brings it to Marty to be signed.  Again, problem solved.

After the girls leave, Lauren is stopped by Sister Mary Summer on her way to the car.  Summer kindly asks Lauren to grow up and stop spazzing about her relationship with Daddy Tanner.  Lauren gives us, almost verbatim, the exact same speech that she gives Bitchface Chloe later on in the series.  You're just gold-digging, my dad goes through hoes like crazy, etc and so forth.  And Sister Mary Summer responds with the exact same line that Bitchface Chloe uses: "Don't underestimate me."

The girls are on their way home, and stop at the gas station to get gas.  Naturally, they pick the shadiest gas station ever, the Zippystop.

And of course, where there is a shady gas station, there is a gang of ruffians.

Extremely cliched ruffians.  Baggy pants: check.  Booze in a paper bag: check.  Backwards hat: check.  They all start cat calling the girls, and being generally creepy.  Not as creepy as Creepy Carter, but still threatening.  Payson isn't about to put up with this bullshit, so she does what any girl would do when she's about to get raped: a bunch of layout stepouts!

This was the moment that I knew I would love this show forever.

The ruffians are terrified by such ninja action.  The girls turn their backs to the gang of thugs, and strut away.  They get in the car, and everyone has a good chuckle.  They arrive home like 40 hours later, despite Denver being like 20 miles away, and Shiny is pissed.  Leo offers to drive the girls home, probably because he wants to bang Emily.  He and Emily chat in the car about not using grips, even though I'm pretty sure Emily actually uses grips.  Afterwards, Emily walks inside, and Bitchface Chloe is so excited about how the Rock meeting went that she decides to go pick up some ice cream to celebrate.  Emily and her sometimes-there brother discuss how long it will take for their mother to get lost.  Answer: not very long.

Meanwhile, the Cryptkeeper is on a mission of her own.  She rolls up to Marty's place, and tells him that they can no longer bone.  SCANDAL!  She apologizes for their affair ruining his life, and lets him know that should the information go public, that she'll be fine.  Aww, such a nice Cryptkeeper.  Then they start to bang. 

Bitchface Chloe, lost as all hell, of course rolls up at this exact moment.

Next, we see a montage of the four girls, each in their various beds.  First is Payson, who sits up, and begins to do what one would assume is her beam routine.

She is obviously OCD and needs help from a therapist, STAT.  Emily just lays there and plays with her callouses, while Kaylie texts with Creepy Carter.  Being an overbearing stalker, he wants to know where she was all night.  Lauren is on her laptop, looking through old pictures.  Most are of her and the girls, back when they were all BFFs.  However, she lingers on a picture of her and Creepy Carter.  For fuck's sake.  What do people see in this guy?!  Disgusting.

Daddy Tanner is awoken in bed by a phone call from Marty.  Marty tells Daddy to go to hell, and that he's done being pushed around.  Daddy tries to blackmail him, but it doesn't work.  Dun dun DUNNN.  Whatever will Daddy and Lauren do now?  Find out next week/whenever I do the next recap.

Until then, my friends, maybe your scores be unbiased, and your gas stations be ruffian-free!

Friday, October 28, 2011

i just ended our toilet paper shortage with this enormous check. wipe away!

Jordyn Wieber announced today that she will be going pro.  Cue the insanity.

I don't really see what there is so get insane about, but, you know, it's the internet gymnastics community, so of course people will be losing their minds.

First of all, most people seem to be making this about John Geddert, because he was quoted saying that NCAA does "watered down" gymnastics in comparison to the elite level skills Jordyn is currently does


But seriously, NCAA does watered down gymnastics in comparison to the elite level skills Jordyn currently does.  Like, this is an indisputable fact, is it not?  Jordyn would not be throwing Amanars at the Super Six.  She would not be performing double doubles in the SEC.  Her Weiler kips might have stayed, but that's it.

Despite this fact, people are acting as if what Geddert really said was "NCAA sucks, they're all fat, I'm the King of Zamunda, so go get me a sandwich."  

Here's the actual quote:

"We still need to keep our eye on the prize," Geddert said of the London Games. "I'm supportive of the idea in that Jordyn isn't cut out for college gymnastics. I don't think the 14 weekends in a row doing watered-down gymnastics, that's not what she's all about. When you compete with the best in the world, I don't see her sinking her teeth into that type of situation."

What is so offensive about that?  God forbid that he's right, in that maybe Jordyn wouldn't be super fulfilled doing NCAA gymnastics.  Don't get me wrong, I love NCAA.  I get my subscription to CBS every year, I dutifully cheer on the best team on the planet (UCLA, obvs,) and I eagerly anticipate seeing the girls blossom and thrive in a supportive team setting.

But it's not for everyone.  I get that.  I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been hoping Jordyn would join UCLA and wow us with some divine Miss Val choreography, but I still appreciate that maybe collegiate level gymnastics is not for her.

But, yeah, what kind of monster is Geddert for supporting such a horrifying idea?  The key word here being SUPPORTING.  I have no idea why people are assuming that he made this decision for her.  It's not as if Jordyn is some orphan cyborg.  She has her own mind, and two parents who I would assume want what's best for their child.  Jordyn's not even like, the first in line as far as Wieber children go.  With a sister in med school, and a kind of hot (don't judge me) older brother who is some sort of high school football star, I don't think her parents are sitting around brainstorming different ways to exploit their child.  If this is what she wants, and what her parents want, then what is the problem?

Oh wait, the problem is Geddert acknowledging any of that publicly.  The nerve.  For someone who has produced like a jillion scholarship kids, I doubt that he has some sort of disdain for NCAA.

And let's get one thing straight.  John Geddert is 100% most certainly NOT a modern day Steve Nunno.

As someone who grew up during the Steve Nunno era, I feel very qualified in my opinion that he was batshit crazy.  I wrongly disliked Shannon Miller for years, because I simply could not enjoy anyone who willingly put herself into this man's clutches every day.  What was just an observer's opinion of him became totally validated when Claudia Miller's book came out, essentially confirming what I already knew to be true: Steve Nunno was a nutjob.

When Geddert starts demanding agent's fees from the Wiebers, maybe then I'll compare the two.

For now, I just see him as a coach who is very proud of his gymnast, but also of his own work as a coach.  Again, heaven forbid a man ever toot his own horn and say to himself "You know what, I coached this girl to a world title.  I must be doing something right."  Yeah, what an asshole thing to say.  As a coach, I don't think it's so horrible to take pride in your work.  I don't know a thing about him as a person, but as a coach, I think he's doing alright.

I think Jordyn will be fine.  I think it will be hard, in a market already loaded with Shawns and Alicias and fame-hungry Nastias. However, Jordyn is a gorgeous girl who is at the top of her sport, so I'm sure she'll be able to fight for her share of endorsements. 

In parting, a quote from Young Buck:

Its all about money
Gettin major paid
Stack your cheese in all different ways
Tote your strap and keep your khakis creased
Yeah friend (edited for taste), you a thug like me?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

you sing like diana ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory.

I understand that it has been like, two weeks since the fact, but that doesn't matter because I am still seriously butthurt by Nastia Thunderstealer Liukin.  All summer long, she was all "Please, don't ask me about my comeback.  I want all of the attention to go to the real, competing gymnasts."  As it should be. What a welcome surprise that was, after the last 2+ years of her trying to play coy.  Here's my comeback FX routine, complete with 3 backhandsprings in a row!  Johnny R. stole my phone, and "leaked" videos of me doing bars!  Here's a picture of a rip on my hand!  What does this mean???

My response has always been, "Less talky, more el-grippy." 

My annoyed ambivalence turned into annoyed rage in the moments following Team USA's amazing prelims competition.  I was literally and figuratively high at 3 o'clock in the morning, due to a combination of painkillers and the stellar 100% hit ratio of the team.  No pill will ever make me happier than knowing that Miss Gabrielle Douglas was the 5th best gymnast in the world on that day.  My fingers were cramping from having to reload like ten different pages for quickhits every five seconds, but I still managed to update Twitter maniacally.  When from upon my Twitter stream should I see waning reports of the historical team competition, and increasing frenzy over something else...  whatever was it??

Fucking Nastia. 

That bitch managed to play coy, keep mum, drag everyone along, whatever you want to call it, for nearly THREE YEARS.  And chooses this moment, this ONE MOMENT that had nothing to do with her, and decides to make it all about her.  Forget Dougie rocking her meet, or Jordyn qualifying in 2nd (and making UB finals say whaaaa) or Vega overcoming insaneo nerves to nail her shit.  It was all about NASTIA.

I mean, I guess Team USA did alright without her.  But really, is a team without Nastia really a team?  Do results without her name at the top really even count?  Probably not. 

AND ANOTHER THING!  Did she really say that the reason the team did so well was because she gave them a pep talk right beforehand?  It was the result of her motivational speech that gave the kids a "light in their eyes."  That wasn't a light, that was the reflection of your salmon colored parachute blouse.  Stop trying to take credit for shit that you had nothing to do with! 

She could have chosen any other moment to make her grand announcement.  She could have waited until worlds was over.  She could have waited until the day after prelims.  She could have waited an HOUR after prelims, but chose not to.  Why?  Because Nastia (or her agent) needs all of the attention always.

I know I'm being harsh.  I actually like Gymnast Nastia.  Should she miraculously regain and upgrade her skills, then yay for her.  The team would be lucky to have her.  THAT SAID, I'll believe when I see it, and until then, STFU. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

enjoy your enormous bowl of disgusting creamy pasta.

Let's start from the very beginning.  

We begin our magnificent journey at the Rock.  The gym's main bitches roll up, and we know this because they each pull in to their assigned parking spaces.  This is the first and only time we see that Daddy Tanner has a whole hummer dedicated to the cause of pimping out his daughter.  

Team Tanner my ass.  More like Team Bang All of the Ladies in the Gym.  Next, Kaylie shows up decked out in head to toe pink.  Again, this is a trend that didn't last long.  I'm assuming Nastia put the kabosh on that.  They are followed by the Keelers, in their ratty old wagon.  This must mean they're poor.  The three main bitches are just showing up, but workout is already in full swing for the lowly minions.  

This is our first introduction to the various levels of background talent.  Some girls can do flyaways.  Others stand around like Santa.  This girl sports a Ponor-esque super mega high cut leotard monstrosity.  This must have been way before the GK sponsorship. 

That leo just screams 1997 Reese's Cup.  Gross, our first taste of Creepy Carter.  With his ragamuffin haircut and butt chin.  He stalks Kaylie from across the gym.  

In an homage to LGIPB, and all Lifetime movies, the other moms in the viewing room get up to let the Cryptkeeper (who isn't nearly as cryptkeeperish in the beginning) and Payson's mom sit in the front row.  Urban legend has it that only the mothers of the HBICs (read: Kristie Phillips) were allowed to sit in the front row at the gym.  So move over, second string bitches.  

We see Lauren stretching out with the rest of the beginners, proving to us that she is able to sit in a seal stretch.  Way to go, sweetheart!

The girl on the right looks just as thrilled as I am.  Do they always use underage extras?  I feel like we don't see as many little ones as the season goes on.  Some of the SAG kids walk over and ask Payson for an autograph.  She's just too "focused" to hear them, but Lauren gives her a mighty pimp slap, and she wakes up long enough to oblige the kids.  

Lauren, Payson, and Kaylie make some small talk about Boston, which is where Nationals are held this year.  This is where things get a little murky.  Lauren refers to the meet as their "last Nationals," and then they all blather on about the Olympics.  However, we all know that these little nuggets still haven't gone to the Olympics, so who knows when/if that will actually ever happen.  

The three yack on as if they had just met, and never discussed gymnastics before.  They hit all of the tradition gymnastics stereotypes, restricted eating, and their entire lives riding on one moment.  All that crap.  

Meanwhile, smarmy Daddy Tanner is having a chat with Marty Walsh, current Rock head coach.  They discuss how awesome their gym is, and how awesome their girls are, while Daddy tells Lauren to point her toes while she's on beam.  Because she's on beam now.  But only for a half second, because now Marty is lining the girls up, and explaining to them how they will compete to make the roster for Boston.  Say what now?  

I guess their thing is to compete in flights (???) so the girls want to be in the top three, or the first flight.  I honest to God have no idea why that would matter at all, but apparently it does.  

Oh sweet heavens, there she is, our first glimpse of the Miss Chloe Kmetko, aka Bitchface Chloe.  She rolls up in an even shittier jalopy than the Keelers, which must mean she's REALLY poor.  A skinny, sloppy ponytailed girl jumps out of the car, and heads into the gym.  Great.  Welcome, Emily Kmetko.  

Inside the gym, Lauren is explaining how the top three always consists of Payson, Kaylie, and herself, so why worry?  At that moment, Emily comes cruising by, tumbling some whip backs into a back tuck.  Lauren immediately becomes pissy.  Probably because she sees THIS.  

This leads us to the opening credits.  I still remember watching these for the first time, and how hard it made me snort.  I'm serious, I snorted so hard, my brain hurt.  We open with shots of Emily and Lauren chugging down the vault runway.  

We see a quick montage of the girls tumbling and vaulting, which includes Emily Kmetko obviously just doing a belly flop onto a stack of mats.  The last shot is Kaylie smacking the bars with her grips before falling, creating a plume of chalk into the air that spells Make It or Break It.  Snort-a-riffic. 

Back in the gym, we see Emily flick her wrists, and take off for her pass of 2.5-front tuck, while Daddy Tanner trails her like a super creep.  He runs over to Marty, and asks him who the hell the new girl is.  Marty explains that she's the new scholarship kid.  You know, the one they FOUND ON A PLAYGROUND.  Sure.  Lauren immediately starts biting on Emily's leotard, and how it makes her look so very poor. 

From across the gym, Creepy Carter and another unnamed boy check out the girls.

Payson is cool, and the first to talk to Emily.  Kaylie is also nice enough, but Lauren has a meltdown as soon as she learns that the new girl is going to be training with them.  

In order to really show that girl who's boss, Lauren takes to the beam in order to intimidate her new teammate.  Ooh, scary.  We are immediately blessed with the beam stylings of Ashley Postell, who does her entire routine on a normal sized beam.  

After beam, the girls are in the bathroom, where we see our only reference ever to Lauren barfing all of the time.  We couldn't have a gymnastics show without the obligatory eating disorder, now could we?  

AHAHAHAHA Kaylie does get a good line though.  "Great.  I look like a butterball.  I am turning into Mary fricking Lou."  Hilarious.   

Back inside, Lauren and Kaylie each drape a leg over the pommel horse while they watch Emily set up for vault.  Lauren realizes that Em is afraid of vaulting.  Despite this discovery, Lauren still wants to perform as much sabotage as possible.  Anything to keep her in this "top flight" crap.  

Emily, apparently the only one working out today, is over on bars.  After dismounting, Marty explains to her that in order to be a successful gymnast, her mother will have to be present for all workouts and team gatherings.  Because that is a super important part of things.  Parents are not allowed to be employed or have other children at the Rock.  This is also our first glimpse of the "NO DATING!!" rule at the gym.  Hmmm, foreshadowing.... 

After workout, we meet Sister Mary Summer for the first time.  She shows up, and tries to be all buddy-buddy with Lauren.  As far as she knows, Sister Mary is nothing more than her dad's secretary.  Despite mentioning her "boyfriend," Lauren totally blows it off with a classic "I thought Jesus was your boyfriend."  Take THAT, conservative undertones of ABC Family! 

During the Keeler car ride home, Payson's mom tries to compliment her daughter on her FX, but Payson's kind of a bitch and tells her mom to shut it, because she "needs to focus."  Yes, focus on the car ride home.  

Because they're so humble and grounded, Payson's mom informs Pay that she's allowed to be a brat on the way home, but it's time for dinner and chores once they get home.  Then, because they're so kind and poor, they pull over when they see a cold, lonely Emily Kmetko standing all alone, waiting for her ride.  Payson's mom offers Emily a ride, which she politely declines.  She's just sure her mother will be there momentarily.  
Obviously, she was wrong, because we see her hoofing it all the way home.  On her trek home, she happens to pass by two nasty teenagers going at it in the back of a jeep.  


Emily skitters by unseen, and finishes her journey home.  After she arrives, Bitchface Chloe is immediately remorseful, and while Emily does give her a little sass, it's nothing near the insane bitchiness we see later in the series.  So, Emily isn't entirely hateable.  Yet.  Bitchface Chloe, Emily, and sometimes-there brother Brian sit around the table and worry about money, as obviously poor families with generic leotards are apt to do. 

Emily reassures everyone, because as of that afternoon, she has secured herself a position at The Pizza Shack, a franchise of some sort that she seems to have some experience with back in wherever she's from.  

Emily seems so cool, and relaxed.  WHAT HAPPENED???  

Next, we see the two nasty jeep makeout lovebirds pull into the gigantic mansion that we learns belongs to the Cruz family.  Creepy Carter pressures Kaylie to mess up her life, and go public with their relationship.  Kaylie reminds him that if her dad finds out about them, he will kill him.  No joke kill him.  And I get it.  I would kill him too.  

They haven't got too long to chat though, because Lauren rolls up in her convertible while what appears to be licking the visor. 

Get a little closer.  Because their relationship is so hush-hush, Kaylie and Creepy scramble around, trying to play as if he was just giving her a ride.  Lauren isn't stupid, so she mentions something about kool-aid, and then brags about her new Olympic Rings necklace that Daddy gave her.  But necklaces and illicit romances aside, Lauren lets her know about what is really important: getting rid of that scag Emily.  

While everyone else is going home to relax, Emily is hard at work at the Pizza Shack.  She is gainfully employed by this awesome, methed out girl who I know I've seen in other stuff, but I can't figure out where.  Anyway, I love her.  

She is just thrilled that Emily can step in right away, since she already has all of this experience.  She begins with serving one Miss Lauren Zizes, who happens to be stoned and wants a pizzone.  

She obviously knocks this scene out of the park.  We'd expect no less.  Emily has to deal with bozos like these all night long, past midnight.  This includes her coworker, some wormy kid named Razor.  I knew he was wormy the minute he bragged that "singing emo" was his thing.  

They have a few more creepy moments, and then part ways. 

The following morning, we are treated to an early morning conversation between Payson's mom and dad.  They have the totally cliched "did we do the right thing, making this our whole lives?" discussion seemingly in the middle of a windstorm.  

Payson and her awesome sister Becca from Bridesmaids come out to the car.  Becca is all chill and cool, while Payson continues to be a little bitch to her family.  

This trend continues when Emily oversleeps, and then freaks out at her mother for not waking her up.  So she can train elite gymnastics, work a job, and take care of her brother, but she is unable to set her own alarm clock.  Gotcha.  They all race to the gym.

The crew warms up before the "Rock National Team Trials," whatever the fuck those are.  Lauren hopes that Emily just flakes out, but too bad, because she shows up.  After their 20 second warm up, Kaylie is up on bars.  Her routine consists of kip, cast handstand, immediate double back.  That will surely be enough to keep her in the top flight!

She is followed by Payson, who does two giants before a piked double back.  She's obviously the "good one" on the team.  Lauren shows us even less, pretty much just a blind change into a double front dismount.  

With Emily, we're treated to some real camera tricks.  The camera pretty much just spins around with her as she does giants, until she flings her double back. 

All the snotty Rock girls cheer for and hug one another, but totally ignore Emily.  Dumb snots.  On floor, we see a montage of the girls doing shitty hurdles, and some random fulls and stepouts.  

Kaylie shows that she's the "cute" one, and finishes the routine smiling at the judges.  This gets her father extraordinarily excited.  Next, on beam, is Lauren Tanner.  

As only she can do, she wobbles on a layout stepout, and instead of stepping off the beam, she absolutely splats on all fours. 

Emily follows with some forgettable garbage, aside from a GLORIOUS TUCKED FULL dismount.  Lauren is PISSED.  So she stomps into the office to discuss her options for sabotage with Daddy Tanner.  She cries and complains to Daddy, who tells her to suck it up, and nail the shit out of her vault.  

While setting up for vault, we get to see some of the highly talented extras work their magic in the background.  

We see Payson lining up for vault, and hear the announcer (??) blather on about how she will be performing the most difficult vault of the day.  In fact, it has never been landed before in competition.  Whatever will it be??  

What do you call a yurchenko vault without the salto?  That's what it was.  

While we were being treated to that gem, Lauren was eyeballing the sheet with the board settings on it.  She uses the distraction of Payson's world class vault as an opportunity to change Emily's board numbers.  Then, before anyone can guess what's going on, Lauren races up to vault.  She upstages Payson by actually doing a real tucked yurchenko.  

Emily gets set to vault, completely unaware that her board settings have been moved by six inches.  This is where things start to get a bit Make-It-or-Break-It-y.  Like, in the real world, having such a massively mis-set board would be a recipe for death.  But not at the Rock.  Here, it's just some teenage shenanigans.  What fun!

I know it's for a campy TV show, but I don't find neck injuries entertaining.  Ever.  

But that's Lauren!  Breaking girls necks, but never getting punished.  But she's troubled, so it's ok.  Anything to get what she wants!  She's just being Miley/Lauren.

While Emily is carted off to the office instead of the hospital, Kaylie wows us with a Nabieva-style vault. 

Lauren is thrilled that top three remain intact, but little does she know, Emily is in the office pushing away EMTs and demanding a second vault.  Sitting with her is Bitchface Chloe, who is giving what is only the first of many Oscar-worthy performances.  

In the middle of this touching little speech, we hear that mysterious announcer chime in that Lauren is just now taking her second vault, I suppose after everyone else has gone.  So not only do they make up their own rotations (UB, FX, BB, VT) but they also just vault willy nilly.  After hearing that, Emily makes up her mind to risk further injury and take her second vault.  Some random coach tries to stop her, but Bitchface Chloe gives him enough bitchface to crack ice, so he lets them both go.  

In the two seconds after Lauren's second vault, awards and flowers have already been handed out, with Kaylie, Payson and Lauren in the top three.  

Emily struts on the floor, and demands that second vault.  Lauren freaks out a bit, and Emily insists on setting her own board this time.  Smart.  Some jazzy tune plays while everyone mulls and gossips over this last minute addition.   

Emily slowly trots up the vault runway, and takes off of the board with form that will surely give her a top score.  

She nails her tucked tsuk, another world class vault, and the crowd goes wild.  Payson and Kaylie suddenly decide that Emily is worth their time. 

Lauren obviously starts to have a meltdown about not being in the top three, and in response, sells out Kaylie for a contract violation of wanting to bone Creepy Carter, hoping it will get her booted from the top.  

Bitch.  After being put on the spot regarding her and that nasty Creepy Carter's whereabouts the previous afternoon, Emily jumps in and says that Kaylie was with her, helping her study her Spring Creek Student homeschooling nonsense.  Coach Marty buys it, and admonishes Lauren for being such a conniving little bitch.  Lauren sprints off to Daddy, and throws another fit.  

The rest of the crew happily leaves the Rock.  Not Daddy Tanner though.  We see him storm into Marty's office, and inform him that he has been busy hiring a private investigator to get some dirt on Emily and the Kmetkos.  The PI didn't give a crap about the Kmetkos, however, but instead seemed pretty interested in Marty.  Daddy does the old "slide over some pictures" move, and despite its cheesiness, it seems to get Marty rather ruffled.  Daddy goes on to explain his demands: he wants Marty to jump ship, along with Lauren and the bottom half of the Rock team, and move over to the Denver team.  That'll teach anyone to ever beat Lauren ever.  He sounds like the Russian Federation of Gymnastics.  

The following day, the remaining Rock kids show up to an empty, dark gym.  Upon hearing that Marty bailed, Payson starts spazzing out.  Despite doing "everything RIGHT," shit didn't work out her way.  That's life, honey.  Deal with it. 

Lauren makes her final appearance, and blames everything on Kaylie and Emily.  More Russian nonsense.  She sashays off, while everyone else just stands there, dumbfounded.  

And thus, we end our very first episode of our very favorite ABC Family masterpiece.  A few things stood out to me:

1.  Emily wasn't such an insufferable bitch.
2.  Payson was kind of an insufferable bitch.  
3.  Daddy Tanner was a lawyer.  Who knew?
4.  There was some good bit part casting, what with Becca, Lauren Zizes and Meth Boss.

My apologies for this being roughly five months late.  I was so busy with work, uninspired, but then I had these past few weeks off due to a timely hip surgery.  And while I am a ways into recovery, I still have way too much time to sit around and do absolutely nothing.  So why not dive into these pics and finish an entry I started back in June?  

Until next time, may your leos be high-cut, and your boards be set correctly.