Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend about myself: I don’t get as excited about things as I used to. Perhaps it’s a merely function of getting older – I just hit the big 3-0 six months ago, after all – or, maybe, all the years of crushing cynicism and relentless snark has finally caught up to me. Passion, perhaps, is the provenance of the young and the unencumbered, and I’m no longer either of the two. For example, it would have shocked the ten-years-younger version of myself, maybe even the 2009 model, to learn that it took me, a devoted Wes Anderson-ophile, two months to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, especially after making a pilgrimage to see The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic during their respective opening weekends, and attending a screening of The Darjeeling Limited by myself because I just couldn’t wait any longer, even if that meant sitting alone in a small theater on a Tuesday afternoon. Likewise, I’ve yet to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, and that’s already been out for a whole week and is possibly the X-Men movie that I’ve been praying for these last fourteen years. There are spoilers abound and I run the very real risk of having the movie ruined before I get around to seeing it. It’s a danger I’m well aware of, and one, for some reason, I’m at peace with. Perhaps most egregiously – and this something I’m very much ashamed to admit on this blog – I’ve yet to watch last week’s Survivor finale. Yes, I was out-of-town for two weeks, but I’ve been back for four days already. Really, what good excuse could I possibly have for not immediately marathoning the last three episodes, including the two hour-finale and post-show live cast reunion? Heresy, is it not? Not only am I liable to inadvertently stumble upon the final result at any turn, removing any drama upon viewing, but shouldn’t this be tearing me up inside? It’s Survivor, the subject I’ve perhaps committed more space to on this blog than any other, and, yet, I’ll get to it when I get it to it. Urgency, shockingly, I do not feel. It’s not apathy or indifference – that would be truly alarming – but, rather, caring a bit less, being more patient. It’s an odd, peculiar, somewhat concerning notion to not experience the same sense of pressure, immediacy, and life-or-death importance about these shows and films and bands that I always did. Am I depressed? Should I look into Lexapro? But the change is also freeing in a way. There is a flipside to caring a little less. It means that it doesn’t hurt so much when something you love is taken away from you.
Category Archives: Discos and Dragons
Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happdeaned: Five (and Maybe More) Seasons of ‘Community’ and the Truly Jumping the Snark
The Return of ‘Community’: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hiatus
Tonight brings us the long-awaited return our beloved Community, the show that is, if you ask us, far and away the funniest, most innovative show on television (or off television, as the last couple months would have it). While we still had Parks and Recreation, and welcomed back 30 Rock with open arms, Thursday nights just weren’t the same without the Greendale study group, just not as magical.
However, even though we dearly missed the show, and do worry about its chronically low-ratings and tenuous chances of renewal, we were not in panic-mode like some others were over its benching. First off, the show was not canceled, and even though there was no definitive return date when the hiatus was announced, there was never a doubt that it would return this season. Even if the show pulls in dismal ratings (which it unfortunately does), it wouldn’t make much financial sense for NBC to produce a full season and then never air the back half. It’s not like Community will fare much worse than any of their other comedies, save for The Office. So the hiatus was not a punishment, or a really even a threat. Just a business decision, one that NBC scheduling has now applied to Parks and Rec, as that equally wonderful show takes a break til late April.
Keep reading: Why the hiatus was good for Community and good for us
Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: You’ve Got Jumped the Snark
The bulk of our daily search terms continue to be Survivor: Redemption Island related – Phillip, Survivor Phillip, Former Federal Agent Phillip, Kristina boobs – so we’re going to work with the odd man out in the group, “jumped the snark.” And we’ve previously established that when our search term is “jumped the snark” it’s a wild-card day, we can post anything our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head heart desires. And our little R2D2 Mr. Potato Head once again desires to honor the work of Judd Apatow.
This past weekend brought us the long-awaited Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared reunions at Los Angeles’ Paley Center (which you can read much more about here). It’s truly amazing to see these kids grown up, truly amazing that they’ve almost all gone on to successful careers as adults, and perhaps most truly amazing of all is that none of them have developed a serious drug problem (excluding an apparent affinity for the wacky tobaccky). We frequently mention Freaks and Geeks on this blog, so we’re going to shine the spotlight on Undeclared this time around.
Here’s a clip from the series’ third episode, “Eric Visits,” which contains probably our favorite Undeclared exchange. At about the 30 second mark please enjoy Seth Rogen’s thoughts on a certain Tom Hanks romantic comedy.
We feel the same way.
Parting Shot: Rough on the Diamond
Filed under Discos and Dragons, Judd Apatow, Parting Shot
Two Years Later, Our Judd Apatow Chart Reaches Judd Apatow!
Well, maybe not exactly. It’s possible he still hasn’t seen it. Or maybe just took a cursory glance. But he definitely saw our Tweet from last night, linking to the Judd Apatow Chart in commemoration of the Blu-Ray release of The Cable Guy. How do we know he saw it? Because he retweeted it:
We did it guys! Nearly two years later, we finally got through. Now we can say this blog was not created in vain.
So, Judd, thank you so much for taking the time to click “retweet.” We know that sounds sarcastic, but we certainly don’t mean it that way. Just the fact that you paused for a second to acknowledge our work gives us renewed inspiration. So to all you new Jumped the Snark readers, brought here by Apatow’s retweet, welcome and get ready. We could retire now and be satisfied, but we’re not going to stop here. Hate to break it to you, every out there, but now we’re emboldened to do even more.
And, why not, let’s end this with a little Gordon Crisp. Possibly our favorite three seconds of all-time.
Filed under Count Bleh, Discos and Dragons, Freak Out Control, Judd Apatow
Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: Dungeons & Pegasuses
Today’s search term is “snl pegasus mural,” which means that someone was looking for this middling, often painful, somewhat baffling Saturday Night Live sketch:Vodpod videos no longer available.
But it’s not our job to just give you what you asked for. No, our job is give you what you didn’t even know you wanted. To show you something better. To light up the path towards brilliance. And with that in mind here’s a far superior Pegasus-related clip from last night’s phenomenal Dungeons & Dragons-themed Community:Vodpod videos no longer available.
[And see what happened next here]
From the first ten seconds of this episode you could tell it was going to be special, and it was just another example, in what has become a long line of examples, of how Community is totally redefining what it means to be a television comedy. The way they play with genre while still keeping the characters consistent is a marvel, their ability to reinvent themselves without sacrificing the greater story arcs truly remarkable. Basically, they’ve gone ahead and blown up our conception of a network sitcom, truly breaking new ground, blazing a trail. Freeing Draconis and shining a light on brilliance.
Perhaps there hasn’t been a show that has mixed this much deft comedy with as much genuine heart since Freaks and Geeks. Which is why we would be remiss not to bring you that one of a kind show’s own Dungeons & Dragons-centric moments. In many ways, these stories are two sides of the same coin:
Now if we could only see a showdown between Carlos the Dwarf and Hector the Well-Endowed.
Second(!) Danza Moment of the Week: Danza for Hire
Normally we like to limit our Danza Moment of the Week posts to one per week (which is why we don’t call it the “Danza Moment of the Bi-Week”), but we thought it was prudent we got this one right out there (and maybe take next week off. Jk!).
Well, apparently the logical next step after teaching Of Mice and Men to fifteen year-olds is to appear in a web video that discusses both horse and orangutan fucking, because that’s exactly where Tony Danza has gone after leaving Northeast High School. Apparently the stress of teaching was too much, perhaps turning Tony from the earnest, affable idealist we knew and loved into a more cynical, jaded celeb, preferring to pal around with Michael Cera and Martin Starr than headline another school fundraiser. Which isn’t to say that we’re complaining, or criticizing Danza, but between this new Funny or Die video and yesterday’s clips from Scott and Zander’s Crazy Night, it seems like he’s trying to reinvent himself as a viral video foil, poking fun at his image the way that James Van Der Beek and Rob Lowe have done in the last two weeks.
So here you are, Internet, your newest web comedy sensation, Tony Danza:Vodpod videos no longer available.
Sidenote: It’s great to see Michael Cera and Martin Starr, stars of two of the greatest TV shows in the history of television, working together. Did we just catch a glimpse into Superbad 2: College Party???
Sidenote 2: Do you think Danza’s recent return to the zeitgeist is wholly or just partially attributable to Jumped the Snark? Something to think about.
Filed under Bob Loblaw, Discos and Dragons, Good Humor, Makes You Think, Virulent, Who's the Boss?
Be Careful What You Wish For: Boston Rob and Russell to Return for ‘Survivor: Redemption Island’; AKA Our Brain Just Exploded
When Survivor: Nicaragua began we were unsure if it would be able to capture our attention, lacking the unbelievable drama of the previous season’s Heroes vs. Villains edition, and, more specifically, devoid of the Boston Rob-Russell Hantz showdown that defined that season and should have, at the very least, earned it an Emmy nomination. To our surprise, we were hooked on Nicaragua even though it didn’t offer those familiar personalities (or even offer any truly engaging new personalities, save for Jimmy Johnson (who, to be fair, was not really a new personality)). But when we talk about Nicaragua, then and now, it succeeded despite having anything that approximated the Rob-Russell Clash of the Titans. And when we talk about anything approximating the Rob-Russell Clash of the Titans, what we really mean is specifically another Rob and Russell battle.
Well, hold onto your buffs, because it’s happening again.
Read on: Dreams do come true, but we’re conflicted. And what does this have to do with Freaks and Geeks?
Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: Etymology
There were no new relevant search terms today, but instead of just giving you another Tom Westman or Rashida Jones clip (which we’ll do plenty of, trust us) we’re going to do something a little different. Some of you out there have been using the search term “jumped the snark,” (listen, guys, the site is just jumpedthesnark.com, no tricks. You don’t need to work that hard to find us), so we’ll reciprocate with something based on that. However, we’re not going to self-promote and just link to one of our old posts (or, god forbid, show you our face), but, alternatively, we’re going to offer a little TV history lesson. In case you didn’t know, the name “Jumped the Snark” is derived from the term “jumped the shark” which is colloquially used to describe a TV show that has moved its plot in an unrealistic, absurd or hackneyed direction, often with the introduction of a new character or some sort of stunt episode, signaling that the show’s best days are behind it. “Jumped the shark,” in turn, is derived from a Season 5 episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie literally jumps a shark. But let’s hear about the origins of the term from the writer of the episode in question, Jeff Breederman:
And, for good measure, here’s the Fonz:
Quiz on Monday.
Winter Cleaning: My (Belated) Top 10 TV Shows of the 2000s
With the snow keeping us indoors we thought it might be a good time to go through our drafts and let some of these long-languishing, somewhat unfinished posts see the light of day. First up, our best shows of the 2000s, which we held off publishing until we could embed some video evidence. But, at this point, we’ll put that responsibility in your hands.
My belated best TV shows of the 2000s! (in a semi-particular order)
1. LOST: For the reasons I outline here.
2. The Sopranos: The Godfather of dark, fearless cable shows with flawed central characters. Might be responsible for killing network TV.
3. Arrested Development: Simply the smartest sitcom of all time. It was probably to clever for its own good. It was basically teaching a master class in comedy while throwing out an impossible amount of sight gags, call backs and cutaways. We should just be thankful that we got 3 seasons of this masterpiece.
4. Veronica Mars: Could have put it below Freaks and Geeks, but I give it the edge for somehow making it to season three (even if that was a neutered, watered-down version of VM). I’d put the first season up against any season from the last decade.
5. Freaks and Geeks: The most gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of high school ever. 18 episodes of achingly beautiful growing pains [editor’s note: just watched much of IFC’s Freaks and Geeks Holiday Marathon, and if we revised this list today we’d be tempted to put this show at the top of this list. It’s that fucking good].