Monthly Archives: April 2013

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Aw, Nuts!

After the stunning, shocking, game-changing Tribal Council that saw Team Bro play three Immunities and send Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip packing on the previous Survivor: Caramoan, Eddie thought that before everyone started strategizing and scrambling he’d just deliver one of his classic zingers to lighten the mood.

That Eddie. 2 much. And 2 Legit 2 Quit.

But the good vibes don’t last too long. The next morning Brenda wakes up just super cranky. Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed! Or maybe she saw something that freaked her out. Wonder what that could have been…

More: What terrified Brenda? What gave Dawn diarrhea? And what’s all over their faces???

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Huh?, It's gross., MS Paint, Tribal Council

Parting Shot: Peeples is Peeples

Peeples is PeeplesNo is buildings. Is Tyler Perrys, huh? Is peeples, is dancing, is music, is Craig Robinsons. So, peeples is peeples. Okay?

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Filed under Huh?, Muppets, Parting Shot, The Big Screen

Jumped the Snark Shorty: The Avengers’ Pandora’s Box

In last summer’s The Avengers, the Earth’s greatest heroes contend with an army of otherworldly creatures bent on our world’s destruction, alien soldiers brought to our planet through a portal opened up by supervillain Loki. The rag-tag group rallies together – despite their differences – and manages to save humanity, sending back the Chitauri fleet, capturing Loki and raking in $1.5 billion worldwide. The Avengers was nothing but an unqualified success, a culmination of years of cross-promotion Easter eggs and post-credit teasers. It changed the paradigm of what could be done with a film franchise, something that Warner Bros will no doubt try to replicate with DC’s Justice League. And with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 on the way this year, and a captain Captain America sequel the next, the Avengers may have served to make its parts greater than the whole, making its super hero stars even more super. However, in closing that rift in space, and doing it with such fanfare, the Avengers may have opened up another Pandora’s Box of sorts, one their super powers and heroism cannot shut.

The Avengers phenomenon, for all the sequel possibilities it opened up for its core members and ancillary personnel, might have actually had an inverse effect on the rest of the Marvel cinematic universe, at least from our perspective. In The Avengers we see Nick’s Fury great vision come into focus, that one day there would be a threat large enough, menacing enough, to require some force or resistance greater than anything S.H.I.E.L.D. or any army could offer. Fury had a hunch that something fierce was coming, and played that hunch in recruiting the team – an arduous process we had seen in and around the individual films since Iron Man kicked this all off in 2008 – and when the time came that there was some truly epic evil, the Avengers would put aside their pride and egos and band together to save humanity.

But there’s an inherent paradox in all of this. If the idea of the Avengers is that they’re needed to combat Earth’s greatest foes, then how seriously should we take the villainy in, say, Iron Man 3. If what Tony Stark is facing – the Mandarin in this case – is so grave and terrible and dangerous, then wouldn’t he call in his new buddies for backup (although, we do assume that The Hulk – but not necessarily Mark Ruffalo – will make an appearance in the film)? After The Avengers the stakes just feel lowered for any non-Avengers movie. Admittedly, it’s a little less clear for Thor: The Dark World, because much of it appears to take place outside of our realm and in Thor’s home of Asgard, but the principle still rings true. If the situation is so dire wouldn’t Thor summon his team if he could? Or else, if he doesn’t need them, then the bad guy can’t be so bad, right?

Of course, you could argue that it’s all a moot point anyway. The approaching enemy forces in these films can be far more powerful and dangerous than the evil in The Avengers, but it doesn’t really matter because we know that none of our heroes will ever be vanquished in their own films. They need to survive until the next Avengers movie. And then live on for their next individual movie. And so on. And so on. And so on…until the whole thing is rebooted once again.

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Filed under Be careful what you wish for, Geekery, Shorties, The Big Screen

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Mutiny Aboard the S.R.Us. Fillifore

Stealth R UsOn the last Survivor: Caramaon – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit we were privy to one of the greatest, most unexpected Tribal Councils of all-time, with confusion going into the vote causing to Malcolm flip his vote to Reynold and then subsequently persuade Reynold to gift his own Immunity to Malcolm. That series of events we knew would be hard to beat, even to approximate. To think so, to hope so, would be reckless and negligent, and truly unfair to the institution known as Survivor. 

But this show is predicated on surprising you. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, there might just be another shocking, breathtaking turn of events right around the corner.

First, these kids are creepy. An unwelcome visit from Kid Sister and My Buddy. Can’t tell if they’re expressing joy or crying for help, like Hasidic children on a school bus.

Enil Edam Flag

Continue: Dawn’s a damsel in distress…

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Filed under Analysis, Brilliance, Century 21 Reality, Freak Out Control, Tribal Council, What? Too fabulous?

Let’s Go For a Ride: ‘Community’ Continuity

Late at night last week we were absent-mindedly watching a rerun of The Office (“The Delivery, Part 2“), which is something we don’t often do. However, our decision paid  dividends when something caught our eye during a commercial break, an apparent allusion to another NBC Thursday Night comedy. Thirteen seconds into a Honda Accord  spot featuring two preternaturally mature, Wes Anderson-esque children, we just barely noticed the distinct markings of a potato chip brand recently featured on Community, that being the preferred chip of Troy, Let’s.

A couple enhanced screenshots:

Let's Chips Zoom1

Let's Chips Zoom2

Let’s Chips has actually popped up several times in the show, including in Season 4 when it was reviewed during the end credits tag by Greendale’s foremost  nonagenarian and Korean War Vet (North Korean side), Leonard. The verdict was a firm “Buy,” advice that was clearly heeded by Dean Pelton and Troy. Britta, however, insists on sticking with her far inferior “Spwingles” brand chips, driving a potentially insurmountable wedge between her and Troy.

So what gives? Is this a wink to Community? A subliminal message intended to subvert viewers into watching the show against their will, thereby giving the series hope for a fifth season? Or has the Community soundstage already been shut down and dismantled, the props sold off to highest car commercial bidder? Should we expect to see Yard-Margs from Skeepers in an Daewoo commercial?

Or, perhaps, this a clue, an easter egg, showing that the world of Greendale is far greater than we ever imagined. 

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Filed under Conspiracy Theory, Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam, Greendale Human, Makes You Think, Must See TV

Allergy Season: Did Ron Swanson Perjure Himself?

On last week’s Parks and Recreation Ron Swanson swallowed his pride and disdain for modern medicine and agreed to visit a doctor after contracting a from his girlfriend’s little daughters. However, when Ann Perkins (who is still a nurse when it suits the story) asks Ron some basic health questions we couldn’t help but be surprised at one of his answers, as it seemed to contradict something he said to his Swanson Scouts in Season 4.

Very curious. Especially since we know that Ron hates lying almost more than anything (the only exception being skim milk, which is milk that is lying).

Perhaps this calls for another deposition.

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Filed under Good Humor, Makes You Think, Must See TV

‘Survivor: Caramoan’ – Brodeo Clowns

Survivor Caramoan Team BroOn Survivor, such as in life, if you don’t learn from the past then you’re doomed to repeat it. We see this time and time again, as if to illustrate to young, aspiring players what not to do, teaching us lessons while we watch from our couches. Don’t get involved romantically, don’t go home with an Idol in your pocket, don’t throw challenges. Watch, observe, absorb, and if something doesn’t work, don’t try it again. However, while the power of history is strong, it is no match for hubris; it cannot outlast, outwit, or outplay the person who believes that they can go right where others have gone wrong.

Last week on Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit, Corinne believed that she could turn the game on its head, upend her alliance and install herself as new Queen of the island. But, even with the numbers already in hand, she got too confident, too sure, and talked too much. She flew too close to the sun and not only were her wings burned, so was her blue bikini. She had the opportunity to make a gigantic move, but overreached, talked to Dawn, and became the author of her own demise. Hopefully, one would think, that the other players would take notice and not commit the same mistakes. However, this is Survivor. History repeats itself. But, thankfully, in oh so different and mind-blowing ways.

Continue: Bro down or bro, down?

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Comic Book Guy, Tribal Council

Reginald VelJohnson in Uniform Moment of the Week: April Fools’ Edition

Sure, we could have posted this April Fools Family Matters Kickstarter spoof on April 1, but that would have been so predictable and obvious, so totally against the spirit of that day of punking. Yes, ten days later on April 11 feels much more appropriate to bring you our first Reginald VelJohnson in Uniform in quite some time

Inspired by the recent record-breaking success of the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter, those pranksters over at Funny or Die unleashed a series of spoof campaigns for big screen versions of several classic television shows, including Darkwing Duck, Wings and Dinosaurs. Also amongst this impressive roster of past series looking for a second life is the legendary sitcom, the  TGIF anchor, Family Matters. And who better to be the face of this venture than Carl Winslow himself, Reginald VelJ. 

In the proposed film the Winslow family is kidnapped by a mysterious villain who may or may not be someone they know, perhaps someone very close to them, perhaps even someone who lives right next door. With his family in captivity, Carl goes into Liam Neeson Taken mode, his deep baritone striking fear into any would be evildoers. 

Funny or Die Family Matters Movie

[full video here]

RVJ still looks pretty good in uniform, doesn’t he? 

So do your part to bring Carl Winslow (and Reginald VelJohnson in uniform) to the big screen! Donate today! (or ten days ago)

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Filed under Better Late Than Never, Good Humor, Lady Holiday, Reginald VelJohnson, TGIF, Virulent

A Jumped the Snark Shorty: Dave, Lindsay & Alec

Yesterday we talked about how greatly Dave Letterman is revered, how, despite Leno winning the ratings battle, Letterman has clearly won the Late Night war. Part of his appeal, admittedly,  has been his aloofness, his refusal to play by the rules and pander to either the audience or the guests. His rough edge is what, ironically, has made him endearing for three decades. But there are times, rare but documented, when Dave abandons his cranky side, however briefly  and shows true compassion. It is that sensitive, caring, paternal part of Dave that is the flip side to his default curmudgeon state, the yin to his prickly yang that has made him so beloved and appreciated. And it was precisely that element of Dave that was on display when Lindsay Lohan appeared on The Late Show to, ostensibly, promote her appearances with Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 5 and on Anger Management. However, with Lindsay due to enter court mandated rehab in May, and with Dave’s history of engaging troubled starlets, including Lohan, Letterman not surprisingly steered the conversation towards off-camera matters, boldly confronting Lohan about her personal problems. It was awkward and sad and kind of hard to watch, and certainly not something you’d see from Jay Leno, but it was also classic Dave. And, despite Lohan’s obvious discomfort you can see that she appreciates Dave’s concern, and, conversely, it is plain that Dave’s concern is genuine.

[full interview here]

You can argue that Dave was wrong to drudge up her personal life – clearly Lohan is not in the right state of mind to address these things on-camera – but despite whatever sensationalist motive Dave might have had, you can’t argue that Dave does not care about Lohan. He’s a lot of things, but disingenuous it not one.

In other late night news, reports are indicating that Alec Baldwin is interested in hosting a late night talk show, potentially taking over the 1:35am slot currently (still, somewhat shockingly) occupied by Last Call with Carson Daly,* and that NBC is likewise interested in continuing their relationship with Baldwin. This show would most likely take on the form of an intimate one-on-one interview, something like a television version of Baldwin’s WNYC podcast Here’s the Thing. It would also be akin to Tom Snyder’s Late Late Show, which we discussed in yesterday’s post. As opposed to the possibility of Seth Meyers taking over for Jimmy Fallon on Late Night,  which we explained might be an ill-advised choice, we think this makes more sense. Baldwin is already in the Lorne Michaels/Broadway Video family, having just finished his career redefining stint on the Michael’s produced 30 Rock and having become the definitive SNL host (non-Justin Timberlake category). He’s arguably as popular as ever, and, as his podcast interview with Billy Joel showed, he can be simultaneously intelligent and well-read while still just feeling like a regular guy from Long Island. It’s that easy-going charisma that would make Baldwin a successful interviewer, and it’s not absurd to think that people would enjoy tuning in to see him chat with other actors, writers, musicians for an hour. In fact, it has so much promise, and is so different from what Jimmy Fallon does, it might actually make for a better companion directly after The Tonight Show, whether under the banner of Late Night or as something entirely new. With Fallon’s show being so frantic, so silly, so irreverent, it might be nice to pair it with something more old-fashioned and slower-paced, even if it’s just a Baldwin hosted show one night a week. And Baldwin can do it as long as he wants, until either he or Lorne is ready to for someone or something else. Worst case scenario, it can’t be as bad as The Chevy Chase Show.

*While this post was being written Deadline reported that Last Call with Carson Daly has been renewed for another (13th!) season, so all those words might have been for naught. Still, this might not affect the Baldwin situation, or, perhaps, indicate that he would, in fact, be considered for the Late Night slot.

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Filed under Analysis, Shorties, Talkies, Yasmine Bleeth

What About Dave? The Forgotten Late Night War

David Letterman BeardAbsent, or maybe just ignored, among all the words committed to The Tonight Show plan for succession has been a discussion about what will happen to The Late Show with David Letterman and its lead-out The Late Late Show. Like Jay Leno, Dave has been at this game a long, long time. Unlike Jay, Dave seems to not care about ratings (possibly because he knows he’s likely to lose), does not appear to be that concerned with being well-liked (which has worked to his advantage, and has paradoxically made him more revered) and is not in any imminent danger of being forced out by the network brass, basically been given carte blanche by CBS to stay as long as he wants and, essentially, to do what he wants. When one jump-starts a late night franchise from scratch, we guess he’s granted some amount of immunity. But, unlike Jay, Dave doesn’t have a younger, hipper, potential replacement nipping at his heels, which makes the future of The Late Show even murkier.

While Craig Ferguson has built up a small but very loyal, impassioned following, and has received rave reviews for years from critics, we don’t have the sense that he’s long for his job, or at least eying the 11:35pm slot. In that small studio (we’ve been there) in CBS Television City, without a house band or announcer, Ferguson can deliver long, meandering monologues (verging on soliloquies) straight to camera, as if the audience and the viewing public wasn’t there, and engage in extended, intimate irreverent conversations with a diverse pool of guests. The Late Late Show interviews occupy that space between the celebrity shilling meant for the masses that one can observe on most late night talk shows and the quiet, introspective, one-on-one interviews conducted without a studio audience on past programs like Tom Synder’s Late Late Show. Sometimes it feels like The Late Late Show is performed for the studio audience, and then broadcast to millions of homes as an afterthought. Which isn’t to say that Ferguson couldn’t do a more traditional, more accessible late night show if he were bumped up to the main slot, we’re just not sure he wants to. Signed through 2014, when Letterman’s current contract runs through, it feels in some ways like he’s only there as long as Dave is, his relaxed, low-key, mischievous Scottish wit a complement Dave’s acerbic bitterness. 

But if not Ferguson, then who?

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Filed under Analysis, Makes You Think, Man Plans, Mancrush, Talkies