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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

At Last! The Triumphant Return Of Mad Men

Mad Men! So incredibly great to have Mad Men back.  And such a fun episode!  I can't wait to see where the season goes from here.  We'll leave the heavy-handed textual analysis for others; here are my notes and quotes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Hot. Hot hot hot."

I know it seems like this has become a Community blog, but I promise that isn't the case.  I'm watching just as much television as ever, and will be talking about HIMYM, Up All Night, and Awake in the coming week.  I wasn't planning on recapping "Contemporary Impressionists", but then I watched it and holy hell!  What an amazing half-hour of television!  Like, comedically, of course, but also artistically...they just blew me away.

So the group is back from a very long winter break, and we learn that Abed has been hiring celebrity impersonators for fun.  We also learn that Jeff has a new shrink who has put him on anti-anxiety meds, which our budding psychologist Britta believes will only increase his pathological narcissism to a dangerously high level.  I love what they've done with Britta being a psych major - everyone knows the psych majors are all the craziest (no offense intended...I was almost a psych major).  This is one of my favorite Jeff moments EVER:

"Hello." makes me giggle EVERY TIME.

And then there's this.

If Jim Rash didn't already have an Oscar, that would have just won him the Oscar of my heart.  Like...what??? Amazing.  And we are not even a quarter of the way through this episode.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Community At PaleyFest

It's been almost two weeks since I saw Community at PaleyFest, and I know I probably should have written about it before now seeing that the Internet is going to blowing up with Community-related bidness tonight and tomorrow, but I don't care.  The posts come as they come, folks.  Anyway, it was an amazing night.  One of the reasons I've waited so long to do this is that the way the panel made me feel is almost ineffable.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My seat was in the third row.  I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference that made.  Being close enough to not only see but also hear every little thing that was going on with the people on-stage was like being let in on a secret.  Watching the panels on LiveStream or even from farther back in the theater where you have to rely on the big screen is an incomplete experience.  The camera usually only shows 1-3 people at a time, but often the rest of the panel is doing or saying something that you would also like to see or hear, or the camera isn't quick enough to catch a quick visual joke that someone makes.  Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong in particular were sitting together and were basically just making jokes and having fun the ENTIRE time.  It was maravilloso.
Danny must hate his job
So the TV critic who's running the panel (my future job, fingers crossed) came out and introduced Dan Harmon, who then came out and gave a little talk that was equal parts grump and gratitude.  I love how little he cares about what anybody thinks of him and also his visible graciousness to his fans.  That was something that was apparent over and over again during the night: the people who work on Community know how much their fans love them, and the impact that the fans have had on the show's (hopefully rising) success, and they seem to be happy and even eager to do what they can to return that love.  So.  Basically they are all amazing people making an amazing show and I love them all.  The end.

Look at Danny's face!
Just kidding!  There is so much more!  Mr. Harmon introduced the episode that premieres tonight, "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts" (ahahahaha what?!) and then we got to watch it!  On the big screen!  Which was awesome.  I honestly don't remember much more than the basic plot of the episode because I was so hyped up on adrenaline, white wine, and love, but I remember it being VERY funny and having so many things I adore (Dreamatorium, anyone?) and laughing pretty much constantly and thinking, "Wow, they sure packed a crazy ton of jokes in here for the fans".  So be excited.  What's the opposite of a disappointment?  Because this episode is it.  I was able to scribble down one singular quote, which I believe was from Britta:  "I know what [an analogy] is! It's like a thought with another thought's hat on!"

So after the episode the panel came out for the discussion.  It included Harmon, two or three writers/producers, and the entire cast excepting Donald Glover and Chevy Chase.  During the Q&A somebody asked why Chevy never came to these things, which I thought was both rude and also wrong, because I've watched him on at least one of these panels before.  They were all like, "Uh, he does when he can.  He's busy.  He's Chevy Chase.  So rude! (words and emphasis mine)"  Basically the critic/moderator asked questions and people would answer them or just talk about whatever.  I'll admit, in the past I've been kind of bored by these types of panels, but what made this one so great is that everyone just used it as an opportunity to not only give a lot of love to the fans and share some cool behind-the-scenes tidbits with us, but also just to make a ton of jokes and be incredibly funny.  Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong were rocking it (I can only imagine what kind of fembot explosion I would have gone through had Donald Glover & his overwhelming hotness & mad improv skills been there), but Joel McHale was also totes killing it with his off-the-cuff one-liners and Jim Rash was/is (a) an amazing genius and (b) the toast of the theater/Internet, fresh off his Oscar win/successful mockery of Angelina Jolie.  This is where it became obvious that sitting up close was crucial.  While one person would be answering a question, somebody else would be telling a quiet joke to their neighbor, or, more often than not, doing a physical comedy bit, and the camera would miss it.  But not me!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


So, you may have noticed that I haven't really been doing the episode recapping like I used to. There are a few reasons for this; one, that recapping is totally a time drain because I have to watch the episode multiple times, and two, that I've been more interested in focusing on broader-picture stuff ever since the Glee Christmas episode brutally murdered the recapper in me. It's not that there aren't episodes that I'd love to talk about - I'm planning a post on this turbulent season of How I Met Your Mother in the coming weeks - I just often don't have the time or energy. But this week's episode of Modern Family was one of the worst of the entire series, and included all of my main issues with the show, so it will not be ignored and we're gonna talk about it RIGHT NOW. Because REALLY???!!! Try to at least pretend like you deserve all those awards.

To begin with, though, let's throw out a positive. One of my main complaints about Modern Family used to be Manny. He was so overly precocious and grossly sexualized and given waaaaaay too much screen time. This problem has been fixed this season (probably in response to critics, because I know I'm not the only one who felt this way), with Manny taking more of a backseat and acting more like a regular-yet-unique preteen. A good move on the writers' part, because it allows him to play the straight man against more insouciant characters like Luke and Gloria. So props are to be had for this adjustment.

And that is the only good thing I have to say.