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.
Tag Archives: Glee
Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happdeaned: Five (and Maybe More) Seasons of ‘Community’ and the Truly Jumping the Snark
It’s our first week of the No Reynold Club on Survivor: Caramoan – 2 Legit 2 Quit, and the remaining members of the Edamame tribe are really starting to show the strain of the game. Eddie sees the writing on the wall, as the last remaining male fan and Uno Amigo he’s likely the next to go. Unless, of course, he can hook up with another girl, expose her to the Curse of Donkeylips, and watch her be sent off to Ponderosa. But would he hook up with an old chick like Sherri or a mom with a bottom retainer like Dawn? “Gross” he no doubt says to himself upon considering his options. Brenda? “Too into pig brains,” he likely reasons. So a reunion with Team Bro – Spring Break in Caramoan, y’all – is what Eddie expects to come shortly.
Cochran is also beginning to see the writing on the wall. Except this scribbling says that he now might be the biggest threat to win, that despite Erik’s abs and Eddie’s
lisp lips he’s the alpha male on the island, and as such the bullseye might now be on his back. Dawn, to her credit, hasn’t cried in a…oh, no, wait, here come the waterworks, never mind.
Erik, on the other hand, clearly hasn’t recovered from the diabetic shock he experienced after devouring those chocolate glaze donuts last week, and he’s beginning to hallucinate, stuck in some kind of vivid fever dream, a mysterious voyage. Or perhaps, to teach Erik a lesson about voluntarily bowing out of challenges, Jeff Probst laced the pastries with some peyote. Either way, he’s seeing things.
Let’s get it on:
12:34pm Season 3, Disc 1, Episode 1″ The Fabulous Belding Boys”
‘SNL’ With Host Cee-Lo, Musical Guest Gwyneth Paltrow and a Very Special Episode of ‘Pee Wee’s-Playhouse’
A little late this week so let’s get right to it:
We get it Gwyneth, you can sing! You already proved it with Country Strong, your appearance on Glee and your CMA performance (and with Huey Lewis in Duets ten years ago). But you had to show us again in your monologue, as Taylor Swift in this My Super Sweet Bar Mitzvah sketch, and by joining meandering songsmiths Kat and Garth on “Weekend Update.’ Listen, Gwyneth, WE GET IT. It’s a wonder they didn’t hold off the “Worst of Soul Train“ sketch another week so Paltrow could play some kind of disco queen. But they probably thought that would be overkill.
Also, Cee-Lo, we get it. You’re a big deal right now. Gwyneth Paltrow covered your hit song, and hugs you and treats you like her best friend. But we don’t need to see the you also singing during the monologue and in the Bar Mitzvah sketch and also appearing in the “Record Label Meeting” sketch that was just a device to introduce your musical performance. What’s that we said about overkill? We mean, c’mon, it’s not like the guy is Paul McCartney. And, sure, we admit, “F*** You” is one of those songs we heard about ad nauseam before we ever actually heard it (much like “Umbrella”), because the only radio we listen to is sports talk and NPR. But it is good, at the very least, it’s dangerously infectious. However, isn’t “F*** You” just like “Hey Ya,” but not as good. Seven years later we still think the former is a great song, not sure if the latter will fare so well in 2018. Will it be a classic or a novelty? Only time will tell if it stands the test of time. But, until then, we could have done with at least one less Cee-Lo appearance.
Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence. It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week). In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better. Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:
1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer. Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010. It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special. When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week. Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black, “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).
It’s really hard to pinpoint when we fully realized the genius of Late Night with Fallon, because there have been so many brilliant moments, like the California Dreams reunion, or the Muppets dropping by to sing “The 12 Days of Christmas”, or the visit from Zack Morris, or the Lost homage “Late,” or the Parks & Recreation-assisted Glee‘d version of “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” It’s really been an incredible twelve months for Jimmy Fallon and his team, whom we’ve praised over and over again, and plan to keep doing so. But, for us, there was perhaps no greater pop-culture tribute than Late Night‘s very own incarnation of the a capella legends Rockapella, which they gifted us in March of this year. Lost, Glee, even Saved by the Bell, those are rather obvious objects of affection. But to channel something like Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?‘s house band, well that’s truly special, and perhaps more than anything else Late Night has done that showed the depth of their knowledge, humor, intelligence, and a disturbing awareness of references from our childhood that we will go crazy for.
And, just in time for the holiday season, they’ve done it again (this time with more Jason Segel!):Vodpod videos no longer available.
Hats off, once again, gentleman. Brava.
By the way, did you know that Rockapella founder Sean Altman auditioned for Season 1 of NBC’s The Sing-Off with his new a capella group the GrooveBarbers? They didn’t make the cut. Which somehow feels like if Marcel Marceau was rejected from a mime competition. Must have been the name. Oh, and it sorta sounds like he’s taking credit for the success of The Sing Off. Sure, why not?
Jimmy, let’s get this guy on the show.
In last night’s The Office episode, “Viewing Party” Michael comes to view Gabe’s presence as a direct threat to his power, and subsequently sabotages said viewing party of Glee. But wasn’t Michael Scott all in a dramatic tizzy a couple weeks back because he felt that Darryl was challenging his authority? That just happened, right? And he had the same reaction to Charles Miner (the indomitable Idris Elba) a couple of seasons ago, didn’t he? And last year he grew petulant because co-manager Jim gave Phyllis permission to dress as Santa for the Christmas party, in turn sending Michael on a holiday cheer sullying temper tantrum. Which is to say, we’ve seen it before, and, we think, we’ve seen enough.
Not that Jane Lynch was sub-par in her first (of hopefully many) outing as host of SNL, quite the contrary, but it’s that, once again, the material failed to live up to the vast talents of the host. It’s confusing, bewildering and frustrating that they keep wasting their resources. Perhaps, as we felt with the Zach Galifianakis show last season, the writing staff is actually less motivated by a talented host; they rely on the host to elevate the material, so what they deliver is second-rate. It’s just a theory, and probably misguided and misinformed, but you also can’t ignore the body of evidence, because, while this week’s show was better than last week, it wasn’t a great improvement. We saw plenty of Jane Lynch (and plenty of wigs), but nothing truly memorable.
NBC Thursday Night: Respect Your Friends, Respect your Coworkers, Respect Your Lovers, Respect Your Characters, Respect Your Viewers
Yesterday we gave our brief thoughts on the then impending return of the NBC Thursday night comedies, reflecting on the last season while looking forward to the next. And on the morning after, how do we feel? Impressed, pleased and disappointed, in that order. With the night going from Community to 30 Rock to The Office, we found that the first continues to improve, the second is showing encouraging signs of life, and the third is still struggling to return to its glory days. Taken has a whole, it was a good night, and two out of three ain’t bad. But really, we don’t want “ain’t bad.” We want great, we want three out of three. And, unfortunately, that just didn’t happen.
The Emmy’s were handed out three nights ago, and in the internet world that’s about the equivalent of a fortnight, and everyone who can say it better than me has already said it better than me. But, just to put it on the permanent record, and to get us ready for the impending fall TV season, we thought we’d follow-up with a few humble thoughts of our own, in concise bullet-point form:
- Loved the opening bit, even if it was somewhat of a rehash of 6-Bee‘s glee club rendition of “We’re Not Going to Take It,” a performance that we still giddily cue up on our screen on a regular basis (as well as an audio version on our iPod). But with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia AND Tim Gunn it was like the Ocean’s 11 all-star version of the original Late Night piece, and it truly demanded some freak out control. Our worlds colliding, but in an amazing way.
- Speaking of Jon Hamm, now that his comedic genius has finally been exposed to a wide audience (30 Rock is still critically adored but commercially ignored, his appearances in viral videos only legitimately reach a small segment of the online viewing public, and even two turns hosting SNL don’t necessarily make you a household name these days), can we start having him be funny full-time? He’s so gifted, and so natural, it honestly feels like a waste forcing him to be so stoic and dour and cold on Mad Men (and we know we sound like a broken record on this, but we’re going to keep bring it up until it happens. Or until Mad Men becomes a farcical satire. Maybe in season 5). Sure, he’s magnetic, sexy and mysterious on the AMC drama, but it’s when he’s allowed to do comedy that he truly lights up. But after being seen dancing like an idiot on HDTVs all across the country maybe someone will give him a chance to headline a comedy. Perhaps something in the Apatowian genre. I think that’s a hit.
- And if and when Hamm gets that nod can they please place Joel McHale alongside him? Please?
Continue: more overdue and rambling considerations, compliments and criticisms…