an awesome way to watch TV

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Nude Erections

Oh, fine. I'll see you in the fall, Glee. Have a great summer touring. :( Seriously, those kids are worked hella hard, I'd like to see what their paycheck is. I'm pretty sure it's disproportionate to the amount of money the show brings in, especially now that they're polluting the world with these fucking terrible original songs. But we'll get to that in a minute. Overall, the finale was much like the season – partly awful and partly great, but the great parts were pretty wonderful.

The Gershwin opening was lovely, as were the Gershwin themes that ran through other parts of the show. Rachel's coat (well, everyone's clothes, really) was fanfuckingtastic. And it was fun to watch them galavanting about New York, even if the song left something to be desired. I enjoyed parts of the Finchel storyline - it was certainly the most captivating part of the show. But, like always, there was a whole lot of fluff in between that I still feel obligated to mention.

Let's see. Mr. Schue is a terrible teacher, obviously, and so he abandons his class and says, hey teenagers! You have to write two amazing, prize-winning songs, and you have one single day. See ya! Maybe if you're good, I'll bring you pizza in 17 hours. Mr. Schue, this is not Project Runway, and you are not Tim Gunn. You don't just get to leave the set and go off and be fabulous somewhere because you feel like it. Also, you may just be the opposite of Tim Gunn. Ugh, I really hate Matthew Morrison and his vests and his gargoyle face. I wish he was just one big set of abs. ANYway, he goes and sings an awful song (really, does he sing any other kind?) and then some guy wanders by and is all, You're gonna be a staaaaar, m'boy! *old-timey jazz hands*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anything But Li'l

I know it's a little ridiculous in the fast-paced internet world we live in to post recaps five days after the episode airs, but (A) I sadly do not work for the A.V. Club or anywhere else whose writers get screeners so they can post their recaps as soon as it airs and (B) these last episodes of The Office and Parks & Recreation were so good that I wanted to draw out our goodbyes for as long as possible. And now, the time has come.

The Office
Firstly, how awesome is that picture? Hooray for ensemble casts! After the abhorrent mistake that was Deangelo Vickers, it was nice to see that The Office can handle itself without Michael Scott or any other misguided celebrity vanity projects (seriously, there was an NPR piece and Will Ferrell was all, yeah, I called them up to see if I could be on the show! And so they wrote this whole character for me! NOBODY CARES, Farrell. Stick with movies, please.). I mean, there are so many amazing characters, I don't think it should be that hard to manage. The first (and best) answer? Creed.

Now, Creed has been my favorite Office character for awhile (from the season 3 Christmas episode deleted scenes: "I don't care which party I go to. Once you've danced naked at a hash bonfire with the spirits of the dead, all parties seem pretty much the same."), and I thought giving him a leading role was a brilliant move. The scenes between him and Pam were some of the most fun I've had all season. Creed is great because he's a loose cannon; he can say or do anything and maintain character plausibility because his character is NUTS. So right off the bat we were off to a good start.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"See You Next Fall"

I'm so sorry it's been a whole week since my last post. But this is my third job, and the only one I don't get paid for, and it just so happens that my other two jobs are also culminating in these last two weeks of May, meaning that I barely had time to watch all the season finales this week, much less write about them. So - here's another big-ass Sunday morning post, just for you.

How I Met Your Mother

Not a bad episode, overall. Kind of a nothing plot leading up to the so-called cliffhanger, but that's 6th season HIMYM for you. Even Chi McBride and Dave Foley, two of my favorites, couldn't really do anything to help the episode beyond just being in it because the writing wasn't there. I did really like Barney and Robin coming together to keep Ted from getting back together with FJM, but the above picture may be the best thing to come out of the whole episode. I thought the pregnancy reveal was illogical and un-clever - just because you're a television character doesn't mean you would continually return to a restaurant that makes you sick (and Marshall & Ted's favorite pizza joint doesn't count - they were in COLLEGE). If that were true it would make humans dumber than the animals that don't eat monarch butterflies because they look like other, poisonous butterflies. So.

Robin and Barney are going to get together eventually, like I predicted. The problem with this is that it was already a cliffhanger two seasons ago - but then the writers freaked out and had NO IDEA how to handle their relationship and concocted the dumbest breakup story ever. I'm pretty sure that episode was the shark-jumper for me. Oh, sure, there have been great moments since then, but the overall quality of the show has been in decline ever since. The truth is that I can't really get completely behind any CBS show these days - and the new fall lineup doesn't show any improvement (except that new show with Ben Linus! That I will watch). It's just such milquetoast, hypocritical programming - they're afraid to do anything edgy in their comedies, but have gotten progressively more disgusting and disturbing with their crime procedurals. I love Bill Irwin and all (my mom went to clown school with him) but his SEASONS-LONG storyline on CSI has sucked almost all of the fun out of it - though most of the blame should be laid at Laurence Fishbourne's feet. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I miss Numb3rs, and I miss the days when HIMYM felt like it was getting away with something. Now it just feels like a show that comes on before Two And A Half Men reruns that doesn't give NPH nearly enough to do.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Your Summer Watching List

It's summertime, y'all! Maybe not officially, but it's sunny and warm here more days than most and the kids I work with are starting to go ca-razzy (thanks, Tom Haverford), so that means that summer is upon us. Ron Swanson gets what I'm talking about. And you know what they say, April showers bring May season finales, so as all of the great and terrible shows from this year start to end my mind looks ahead to the wasteland of nights with nothing new to watch. Oh, sure, you could do something silly like go outside in the summer, but once you're tired of that or the fog starts rolling in or if you live in a place where it actually gets too hot to go outside, well...that's what this list is for. It's a reminder of shows you may have forgotten about or put off watching until you had the time, and of the shows that will be airing new episodes this summer that are worth checking out. And, IMO, summer is a time for shows that are silly, lighthearted, and not too thinky (unless you're Mad Men, but there's no new Mad Men until NEXT YEAR. *SOB* Blame the effing bureaucrats.). That's why you'll find Wipeout on the list, but not Breaking Bad (which is too dark, depressing, and gruesome for me any time of year, thankyouverymuch), along with some of my favorite shows that I haven't gotten a chance to talk about on here yet.

Away we go!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"First off, pop pop!"

It is difficult for me to express how much I love Community. Last night as I was falling asleep, I had a hypnogogic vision that I was dying in a hospital bed. “Bring me Community dvds please,” I said, and in that moment I regained enough consciousness to note how deep my devotion to this show goes. It is literally the show I want brightening my last moments on this earth.
I'm not going to go into a whole plot recap – it was too fabulous for that, and besides, you should go watch it yourself. But I will talk about the noteworthy moments.

For as great as “A Fistful Of Paintballs” was, there's no doubt that “For A Few Paintballs More” took that momentum and ran with it. Josh Holloway was a little underutilized in his role as the Black Rider, serving mostly to provoke Jeff's insecurities. The western theme was fun, gave Annie some great (and sexy) work to do, tied nicely into the “Pierce being kicked out of the group” plot, and made us want more. But there was no way it was going to beat a Star Wars homage. Abed as Han Solo, Jeff and Troy duking it out for the leadership role, Shirley kicking ass just so she can go home, Darth Vader in an ice cream cone, Britta's unlikely partnership with Leonard – all gold.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Love For Fringe... like a red, red, rose? Or perhaps it's more like an aquamarine rose that only exists in an alternate universe.

Fringe is a tough show to write about. Yes, part of that is because of the mystery aspect of the show, and my reticence to not give anything away to those who may not have discovered its greatness yet. But it's also because, the way the show is structured, events don't unfold the way they did with, say, Lost. And as the show has matured (and improved), the structure itself has changed.

Fringe started off a little weak. Most of the first season is basically just a paranormal crime procedural, with each episode centering around a different "fringe" event that may or may not have anything to do with the larger story of the season. I know it lost some people around the middle there, but the end of season 1 is definitely worth watching, if only to see the superb Jared Harris (Lane Pryce on Mad Men) being superbly creepy. So, if you're new to Fringe and don't feel like slogging through some of the weaker episodes, my advice is this: watch the first two and the last two episodes of the season. That's all you really need. I do think any show is better if you watch all of it, but here, it's not completely necessary.

The second season of Fringe took the awesomeness of the end of season 1 and ran with it. The strength of the show really lies with the characters at the heart of it and the myriad relationships between Olivia, Peter, and Walter. Given material with more depth and an expectation of growth, Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, and John Noble consistently deliver performances that are strong, endearing, realistic, and often funny. Humor was another concept that season 2 embraced whole-heartedly, going as far as naming an episode "Brown Betty" after a particularly potent strain of Walter's marijuana. I really love the embracing of weed and hallucinogenics as part of the mythology of Fringe; it's awesome to be able to say, "We're going to pump this character - and ourselves - full of acid and then take a journey through her brain", and have that be a normal day on Fringe.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Never Forget

This is what happens when you are too young to remember the 80s:

This is from Nylon's Young Hollywood Issue Celebration Whatever event last night. This person's name is JoJo (yes, two capitals, no last name) and I think it's safe to say that she was a mere thought of a fetus at the time when the rest of our moms were dressing us in jeans and shorts and jackets and dresses made from this most abhorrent of denim. Nancy Reagan taught us all to JUST SAY NO to stonewashing, remember? Or are you too young for that reference, too?

Suffice to say no one should ever wear this dress, ever. And no one ever would if they'd just do a little research before getting dressed for a press event.

History is important, kids. Stay in school. Don't do acid-wash.

Image via TLo

"That's very Wool."

It's May, which means it's season finale time! Now, I'm not going to be going through EVERY season finale (Parenthood and Archer have already finished - one, disappointingly; the other, marvelously), but for those that truly warrant it, you can bet I'll be there to talk about it. And in case you're wondering why my posting is sporadic or why I haven't said anything about HIMYM's lark "The Perfect Cocktail" or "A Fistful Of Paintballs", these are the reasons why:

- For two-part finales, I'm not going to go into it (even though "A Fistful Of Paintballs" was SO AWESOME so far) until the second one has aired. Redundancy annoys me.

-I am currently working on two spectacularly helpful lists for the summer, including shows you should use the summer hiatus to check out or catch up on, and what shows have new episodes airing this summer that are worth watching (Burn Notice? Not on the list. Wipeout? Made the cut.). So check back over the next few weeks and there should be plenty television talk to go around.

In the meantime, I'll just say that the 30 Rock finale was everything I've come to expect of 30 Rock this season - mostly disappointing with a few great jokes and guest stars making most of them. Will Forte bothers me in almost everything else he does, but his role here has been a hilarious highlight since it began. Victor Garber can put me in a wool sweater anytime he likes...but only if he promises to take it off me afterwards.

Not really, that's gross, I've been admiring Victor Garber since I was a wee child watching The First Wives' Club and he had grey hair THEN which must make him very old NOW. But still, there's no denying his greatness.

Anyway, stay tuned and don't miss all the great finales! And if you haven't seen "A Fistful Of Paintballs, Part 1", yet, what in the name of Sawyer are you waiting for??? Watch it here or here.

Image via

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Suspicious Faces

So there's a new season of L&O: Criminal Intent that premiered on Sunday. I actually think they made a smart decision by moving the show to USA; if it hadn't moved, it for-sure would be dead by now. And I love me some Vincent D'Onofrio, so it would be a shame if there was nowhere to get my fix.

Now this week's episode wasn't particularly noteworthy (other than the casting of the reprehensible Jay Mohr in what I quickly realized to be the "ripped from the headlines" Charlie Sheen role, which, if you're trying to find someone to play a guy who all of America wants to punch in the face, Mohr is definitely your guy), but what immediately stood out to me was the new captain. I had forgotten that they killed off Eric Bogosian last season, but this new not new at all!

Regular (AKA nerdy) L&O viewers like myself will know that the series often recycles actors. SVU's Casey Novak first had a role as an auto-erotic asphyxiation aficionado a season or two before magically becoming an ADA. Alana De La Garza transitioned pretty seamlessly from OG Law & Order to L&O: LA. And any number of actors have returned as victims or killers or witnesses in different episodes. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that this guy, whose name I can't remember and don't really care about, is all of a sudden a police captain. Except it does! This guy has been a villain on the show two, maybe even three times before. His face is recognizable - as the face of EVIL. I can still picture him on the ground, digging for the tooth he thought he lost from the body he had stored in his garage. But now he's the captain, jollily handing out assignments. And I just don't buy it.

I'm glad you like to give your friends work, Dick Wolf. But this is one decision I can't get behind. Look at his face! Creeptastic.

On a related note, does anyone else think it's weird that the lady who played Ana Lucia's police chief mom in Lost is also a Los Angeles police chief in L&O: LA? It just seems a little racist to me. Not to mention that it would have been nice to have a female detective for once, instead of having to watch Alfred Molina's face making bad career decisions. Seriously, that show is awful. If you're thinking of watching it, don't. Go watch reruns of Numb3rs instead. Hot, smart Jew boys always brighten MY day.

Image via TVLine

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Rocky Mountain Oysters"

And thus Michael Scott departed from The Office.

It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't The Worst, either. There were a few moments that I genuinely loved, and then there were some that I hated, or didn't understand, or that felt disappointing. Let's start with what was great:

- The cold open. A fun scene that maintained character continuity while hearkening back to some of the best cold opens with Michael and Dwight (mmm, peanut butter head).

- The look Michael had on his face as Deangelo was explaining how he was gonna drill holes in his favorite truck.