Category Archives: Fashion Show at Lunch
First, some context: we are not especially devoted Seth MacFarlane fans. For a time we watched Family Guy semi-regularly and certainly were a part of that groundswell that helped resurrect the show from its premature grave. But do we consider ourselves MacFarlane evangelists or advocates? Not at all. We still haven’t seen Ted, and are not exceptionally eager to do so. We rarely watch American Dad and we can’t say for sure that we’ve ever caught an episode of The Cleveland Show. We were, however, impressed with his performance hosting the SNL premiere, and it demonstrated that not only could he do funny voices and write an off-color (and oft-humorous) joke, but he could also perform, and perform live, which is not always second nature for a writer-producer-voice actor. Did that mean we were thrilled to learn he was tapped to host this year’s Oscars? No, not really. We thought it was somewhat a knee-jerk, ill-advised decision (probably due, paradoxically, to his mess-up when presenting at the 2012 Emmys). But we knew, at least, that he could hold his own on stage, singing, dancing, cracking wise, and thinking on his feet. Was he going to offend some people? Probably. But that would come with the territory. Wouldn’t that be by design? If you wanted someone with only a love of musical theater and a flair for singing and dancing, then wouldn’t you just turn to Billy Crystal for a record 74th time? So, with Seth MacFarlane, that’s the package, that’s the deal (a faustian bargain, depending on your point of view): some dick and fart jokes and some mildly anti-Semitic and racist humor mixed with some sprinkles of old Broadway.
So were we surprised that MacFarlarne’s hosting turn this past Sunday night was met with a mix of disappointment and outright scorn? No, not at all. That was to be expected. But, after seeing the show, we were taken aback at the amount of criticism leveled at MacFarlane because, frankly, for someone who trades in abortion jokes and greased up deaf guys, we found his material relatively mild. It was almost as if we were watching a different show, different from the one that so much of the (tweeting) public found so repugnant, so misogynistic and racist and base. And, to our surprise, we found ourselves in MacFarlane’s corner. Not because we found his turn especially remarkable. But because it wasn’t that bad. And, more importantly, it wasn’t that vile.
Last night Bob Costas caused quite a stir when he debuted a new pair of eyeglasses while anchoring NBC’s prime time coverage of the London Olympics. Whether he was trying to appeal to that all important Williamsburg demographic or wearing them to honor famed Liverpudlians or trying to impress the makeup girl or just plain didn’t bring enough Acuvues to last two weeks is up for debate. Either way, it was quite the statement.
However, Jumped the Snark has obtained an exclusive photo of Costas with the glasses he will wear during tonight’s telecast. Obviously he expects the Americans to clinch the medal count today, and it seems he’s all too happy to finally dispense with all this impartial journalist nonsense.
USA! USA! USA!
With the new fall TV season almost upon us (did you see the “new” promo for NBC’s Wednesday & Thursday night comedies?), we thought we’d offer our first The Office related post in quite sometime. But this one is less about them and more about us.
had offered a side-by-side comparison of the employees of Dunder Mifflin’s changing styles during their seven seasons in front of the “documentary” cameras. It was engaging, well-researched, and totally spot-on It was also VERY familiar, as we had (twice!) previously posted our own visual essay on the stark physical transformations experienced by the Office cast. Sure, The Fug Girls presented their findings in attractive slide-show fashion, but we find the single page model much easier and efficient (and we’re not about forcing you into
clicking through a dozen panels just to drive up our page views). The truth is, we both did a great job distilling the pygmalion like evolution of these characters, and each post has its merits. So, you know what, we’ll just go ahead let you decide.
Ours: Who Are These People?
This is it, folks. We estimated it would take us about two days to get to this point. Instead it’s taken 3 weeks. But, nevertheless, we’ve arrived. And the end. Well, the beginning of the end.
6:14pm, Season 5, Disc 1, Episode 1: ” The Fight”
00:10: Well, right out of the gate we have to compliment the DVD menus for this season. MUCH improved.
01:49: My school never had the “pool on the roof” gag. I kind of regret that. Feel like I didn’t have a proper high school experience.
02:32: Fun Fact: Elizabeth Berkley turned 44 during this season.
Season 4, as per the DVDs. Basically a lot of episodes that are square pegs in round holes, but arguably some of the show’s best. Certainly several of our favorites. Here we go, guys!
3:42pm, Season 4, Disc 1, Episode 1: “SAT’s”
01:41: The SAT’s episode!
01:55: Probably the most frequent nugget of Saved by the Bell trivia is “What was Zack’s SAT score?”
2:25: Kelly, no talking! That’s cheating!
02:35: I don’t think they had any trains traveling in opposite directions word problems on the SATs. This episode is just riddled with inaccuracies.
02:40: Ladies and gentleman, Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor!
Even before we finished our analysis of last weekend’s Dana Carvey hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ we had no doubt that this particular episode, this particular crossroads, required additional insight. Perhaps, more than ever, a Kieran’s Korner was needed. As you know, we consider Kieran our elder statesmen when it comes to ‘SNL’ knowledge and personal experience, our very own living, breathing, sweater vest-wearing ‘Live From New York.’ To some degree, the Carvey years, ’86-’93, were always nostalgia to us; we were practically an infant when Carvey debuted, and thus only began to appreciate his talent towards the end of his tenure, largely because of the runaway success of ‘Wayne’s World.’ Our first time seeing the show live came just after Carvey’s exit, the final seasons of Farley and Sandler, and indeed we didn’t become regular viewers until the great cast turnover of 1995 (and, to be fair, like Kieran, we initially didn’t care for that group funny). So while the Will Ferrell era was the first cast we became intimately familiar with, watched week in and week out, the Carvey period came during Kieran’s formative years. We knew then that any effect the last episode had on us, there was a good chance that feeling would only be amplified for Kieran. So we turned to Kieran for his special brand of wisdom, to discover his reaction considering his similar but much more personal relationship with ’86-’93 . And, as usual, he obliged.
Speaking of the death of childhood, let me tell you about the flood of negative emotions I experienced watching the first episode of the 21st season of Saturday Night Live.
The date was September 30, 1995 and I was twenty-three years old. Mariel Hemingway was the host. There was an interminable sketch where Will Ferrell yelled at some kids who were, evidently, on a shed. Filmed pieces included a rather pallid spoof commercial for a “morning” beer named AM Ale. Against better judgment, Mark McKinney tried to import his Chicken Lady character from The Kids in the Hall.
I didn’t laugh.
Continuing our tradition of quickly recapping the last Top Chef just before the new episode airs, here are a few quick thoughts on last week’s Italian-themed entry:
– Angelo has a crush on guest judge Issac Mizrahi and literally says “Two of my most passionate things are definitely food, first and foremost, and then fashion.”
– Everyone definitely thinks Angelo is a joke (including Issac Mizrahi)
– Carla finally gets to mention how she used to be a model and got to go to France. Good for you, Carla!
– We get it, Dale. You have a girlfriend.
– Professor Ricky Blaise wins the quick fire! For making black ice cream! Looks good enough to eat!
– The elimination challenge is to cook one of the three main courses at the legendary NYC Italian restaurant Rao’s.
– Mike Isabella, who’s an Italian from New Jersey is like, “I got this.”
– Antonia, who’s an Italian from Los Angeles is like, “No, I got this.”
– Fabio, who’s an Italian from Italy is like, “Um, guys, I’m from Italy. Is this even fair? It is? Really? Okay, well I’ll just make this chicken dish that’s my grandmother’s recipe and is on the menu on my restaurant and I probably make it a dozen times a night.”
– Lorraine Bracco is a guest judge, because of course she is.
– Then the food is served. The antipasti is loved by all. But the pasta course is a disaster:
Let’s get it on:
12:34pm Season 3, Disc 1, Episode 1″ The Fabulous Belding Boys”
We were pleased to encounter some well-earned commendations for Bosom Buddies this week, from two relatively varied sources. First, in the AV Club‘s truly excellent Primer on 1980s sitcoms, they list Buddies as one of the cult hits from the decade that played with traditional sitcom conventions. Article scribe Todd VanDerWerff continues:
Bosom Buddies, which debuted on ABC in the fall of 1980, has a reputation as one of the worst shows of all time in some circles, but it’s actually a surreal work of near-genius and the only good show to ever emerge from the Miller-Boyett factory. Miller-Boyett assigned a young writer named Chris Thompson to work on a TV spin on Some Like It Hot, and he cast Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the lead roles…Thompson, who would go on to work on The Larry Sanders Show, filled the series with strange sight gags and mostly abandoned his central premise as soon as he possibly could. The show allowed Hanks and Scolari to improvise freely, often leaving the script for far funnier, stranger tangents.
Some might question the rank of “near-genius,” but we’re here to defend it. We recently used Blizzpocalypse as an excuse to revisit the series, and it’s impressive how well it holds up. And, as a bonus, there are jokes that I didn’t get upon first viewing that, with the benefit of age and wisdom, I now understand (although, there are still others I didn’t get then and don’t get now). However, we’re not exactly sure that we’d qualify the program as “surreal;” certainly, the premise that Hanks and Scolari, in the roles Kip and Henry, were required to dress in drag in order to maintain residence at a “hotel for women” was somewhat off-beat for the time, but, as the writer mentions, since the show was loosely based on Some Like It Hot it’s not exactly a novel premise. But VanDerWerff is right on when he notes that they wisely jettisoned the drag plotlines, in favor of letting the talented cast (including Holland Taylor, Wendie Jo Sperber, Donna Dixon and Telma Hopkins) utilize their immense chemistry and crack timing in more successful, less gimmicky storylines.
(we urge you to go over to the AV Club and read the comprehensive essay as soon as you finish this post. You’ll need to set aside a good 20 minutes, more if you want to watch the accompanying videos (primary source materials), but it’ll be worth it. And be certain to also study their 1970s sitcom Primer, either before or after (however, we do take umbrage with the 80s Primer’s criticism of the shows that comprised TGIF. Certainly, those sitcoms don’t represent the best the decade had to offer, but they have their redeeming qualities. However, that’s a defense for a later post.))