Tag Archives: Broad City

An Earlier ‘Late Night’

Q: When is a sitdown a standup? 

A: When Seth Meyers premieres as host of Late Night and takes his act out from behind the “Weekend Update” desk and moves it to center stage. 

Seth Meyers Late NightIt was a much less of an auspicious debut for Late Night with Seth Meyers than Jimmy Fallon’s maiden Tonight Show voyage, even with a visit from Vice President “Crazy” Joe Biden (indeed, maybe the most notable part of the evening came from Amy Poehler, who utilized the opportunity to announce a second season renewal for Comedy Central’s Broad City). However, that it was a low-key evening was not a surprise, it was probably by design. In fact, whereas Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night distinguished itself for being the late night show for millennials, the first one crafted with YouTube and Twitter in mind, this iteration of Late Night might stand out for being something quite the opposite. And if it’s balance that Lorne Michaels’ late night lineup is after, then Meyers’ hour might bring it.

It’s foolhardy to judge the long-term success of a program based off of one show, or the first week of shows, or even the first moth, maybe even the first year. Conan O’Brien famously took some time to adjust, and Meyer’s predecessor Fallon slowly settled into his groove, and even after his promotion he still struggles mightily as an interviewer. So it was both no surprise and no cause for alarm that Meyers’ first outing left much room for improvement. His monologue, something that likewise remains a weak spot in Fallon’s arsenal, felt awkward, unnatural, and Meyers seemed uncomfortable finding his mark on the studio floor instead of behind a newsdesk. Indeed, leading up the premiere, we wondered if Meyers should dispense with the traditional stand-up monologue all together and just do it all from the desk, Daily Show style. However, after seeing what we feel is a beautiful, vibrant studio with distinctive sliding doors in place of curtains, we’re rethinking that sentiment; the setting is right, it’s just the style, subject and delivery that needs some work. More topical, pop-culture and current event setups, less obscure, strange-but-true stories. Similarly, his first desk piece, “Venn Diagrams,” had promise, but quickly lost momentum, and had little to separate itself from a Buzzfeed slideshow. We applaud the concept, but it needs more. Or less, like some cheap, low-concept Late Show segments. But, unfortunately, it was caught between a throwaway sight gag and entertaining, clever wordplay. What it maybe missed most was more of Meyers himself.

Which is where the show might need to go to find its sweet-spot. Meyers’ strength, as opposed to Fallon, is interviewing, is engaging with his guests in a way that’s neither fanboy nor sycophant. It was for precisely that skill that he was considered as a replacement for Regis Philbin on Live!, and it’s that ability he needs to exploit, even if, in the current talk show landscape, traditional interviewing is something that seems to be reserved for Charlie Rose. Perhaps, then, it is not any of Meyers’ Late Night forebears that he should strive to emulate, but Tom Snyder, whose Tomorrow Show was the precursor to Late Night with David Letterman. While we’re far from suggesting that Meyers dispense with the live audience, only interview one guest per show and take up smoking, emphasizing a more straightforward format – interesting, revealing interviews that allow for both Meyers’ and his guest’s personalities to shine through – might make the most sense, might allow Late Night with Seth Meyers to find its own voice. In fact, the new Late Night set itself – a sparse, almost teacher-like desk, and 70s style chairs instead of a plush couch – evokes the feeling of The Dick Cavett Show, another early talker that stressed insightful interviews over bits and punchlines. If Jimmy Fallon is the cutting-edge, high-energy, internet-savvy model at 11:30pm, then Meyers can be the more relaxed, subtler throwback at 12:30pm. He might need to go back, if he wants to stay late.

And, if Meyers focuses on those things, then he can leave the fun stuff to Fred Armisen.

 

 

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Filed under Back to the Past, Must See TV, Reeeeeege, Saturday Night Live, Talkies, Weigh-in

Girls, Girls, Girls*

Well, if you still needed something to wash out the taste of misogyny and disrespect towards women after the Oscars, then a trio of announcements concerning female-centric projects might just finally cleanse your palate.  Basically, it’s Ladies Night and all the girls drink for free. To wit:

1. Comedy Central has, very wisely, picked up a ten-episode order of Broad Citya comedy based on the web series of the same name created by and starring the brilliant Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (full disclosure: they are close personal friends and two beautiful, strong, hilarious, independent women). Loosely based on their own lives, it’s the anti-Sex and the City that Girls** isn’t. Here is the Season 2 finale, a love letter to NYC that features Amy Poehler, who is executive producing the series (and is another beautiful, strong, hilarious, independent woman):

More: K. Bell and the future Belle of the Ball…

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Filed under Brilliance, Flashback!, Freak Out Control, Good News!, Mars Investigations, The Big Screen, Virulent, Yasmine Bleeth

Yep, They Did It Again (Again)

Last fall the brilliant ladies at Broad City blew our minds with “Do the Right Thing,” their Spike Lee tribute first season finale.  Those beautiful four and a half minutes set the bar pretty much impossibly high. But, not surprisingly, stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson found a way to rise to the occasion, delivering a pitch perfect love letter to New York City, complete with a couple delicious cameos from some familiar faces (not to mention a cameo from a delicious treat).  It’s truly poetry, and comedy, in motion.

We don’t know how they’ll top this, but we’re certain that they will.

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Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Brilliance, Count Bleh, Good Humor, Local Flavor, Virulent

Great Month for Spike Lee and ‘Do the Right Thing’ Tributes

First, Children’s Hospital, which enjoyed an absolutely genius smart-silly-stupid-absurd first season on Adult Swim, ended the episode “Hot Enough For You” with these completely random, wholly enjoyable Do the Right Thing-inspired closing credits.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

That was awesome.  But then our friends, the gals over at Broad City, went ahead and blew that out of the water with this unbelievably brilliant Spike Lee homage that served as their season finale:

Beyond words. Mini-masterpiece.

Well, since all good things (and celebrity deaths) come in threes, we have to imagine there’s a third Spike Lee-esque joint coming down the pike.  Who will it be?  Sesame Street, we’re looking in your direction (oh, looks like these guys already sorta did it).

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Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Brilliance, Good Humor, Local Flavor, Other people's stuff