Tag Archives: Party Down

Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happdeaned: Five (and Maybe More) Seasons of ‘Community’ and the Truly Jumping the Snark

Community Finale 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.

More: Graduate Psychology 101

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Filed under Better Late Than Never, Brilliance, Count Bleh, Discos and Dragons, Greendale Human, Must See TV, Team Zissou, Tribal Council, Winterfallen

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

Twinsies: ‘Teen Mom’ Edition

A few months back we were drawn into MTV’s Teen Mom 2 for a number of reasons.  There was Kailyn, the Target employee who was living in her baby daddy’s parent’s basement.  There was Leah and her fiance Corey, who must endure a physical malady affecting of one their adorable twin daughters.  And there was Chelsea, the Teen Mom who kicked her loyal best friend out of the house in favor of her toolbag boyfriend, who, in fact, may not own a shirt.

But what truly caught our attention was Teen Mom Jenelle, and more specifically her explosive, expletive-laden relationship with her mother Barbara.  And we couldn’t stop thinking to ourselves “Who does Barbara remind us of?”  And finally it came to us.  The answer, we’re pleased to announce, is Megan Mullally’s Lydia in Party Down.  See?

Riiiiight?

Go ahead.  Compare and contrast.

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Filed under Century 21 Reality, Makes You Think, TV Killed the Music Video Star

Good News! The Man Who Brought Us ‘Veronica Mars’ is Bringing His Latest Show to the Network that Brought Us ‘Arrested Development’

Veronica Mars and Party Down might be just memories now, but it appears that the genius of Rob Thomas will live on.  Previously, Thomas, along with Party Down co-creators, John Enbom and Dan Etheridge, received a pilot order from NBC for their workplace comedy Temp.  Keeping the ball rolling, Thomas has now been granted a pilot from Fox for his latest project, Little in Common, which has been described as  “three families whose lives have become intertwined through youth sports,” which sorta sounds like Modern Family, but with unrelated clans.  Or Perfect Couples with kids.  But if Thomas can do with families what he did with a sassy teenage detective and hopeless Hollywood caterers, then Fox may have its best sitcom since Arrested Development.  And if we can get three seasons out of this one, we’ll be happy.

Now we imagine “youth sports” will include activities like soccer, baseball, basketball, maybe dance or ice skating.  But may we recommend kickball?  We already know that Thomas has that one down cold.

via Splitsider

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On the Last Day of the Year: The Best Show of 2010 and Nine Other Good Ones

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).

Keep reading: More on why Community is the best show of 2010. And 9 other good ones…

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Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Brilliance, Dillon Panthers, Greendale Human, Lists, LOST, Matt Christopher Books, Must See TV, Top Scallop, Tribal Council

‘Delocated’: Another Best Show You’re Not Watching. Unless You Are. In Which Case Nevermind.

We talk a lot about the best show you’re not watching on this blog (Friday Night Lights, Community, Party Down before its unfortunate demise).  To that list we now proudly add Delocated.

If you’re a fan of Adult Swim you might have caught Delocated on a random night/morning around 1:45am.  The show was created by and stars Jon Glaser,  longtime NY comedian and former writer (and performer) on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.  If you’ve been around comedy in NY you probably know him, and if you own a TV you’ve probably seen him and not even known it, with appearances on 30 Rock, Human Giant, and Cheap Seats.  In his early days he was also a writer on The Dana Carvey Show, which was basically to up and coming comedians as The Outsiders was to young, hunky, male actors (The line-up included Carvey, Glaser, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Robert Smigel, Dave Chappelle and, curiously, Charlie Kaufman.  It was pretty much the ’27 Yankees of comedy).

The first season of Delocated comprised six 10-min episodes (and an amazing Paul Rudd cameo), and features Glaser as “Jon,” a member of the Witness Protection Program who agrees to move his family to NY and turn their life into a reality show, despite the fact that this requires wearing masks and using voice modulators.

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The show also stars Eugene Mirman as Yvegni Mirminksy, an aspiring stand-up comedian who happens to also be a member of the Russian crime family that Jon ratted out.

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The second season has been expanded to twelve 22-min episodes, and with the added length the show has broadened its scope, increased the violence, heightened the drama, and upped the absurdity.  It’s a dumb-smart, surreal, brilliant show, capable of silly comedy, and, as we find out in the season two premiere, silly drama.   It’s one of TV’s best kept secrets, but unlike “Jon’s” identity this is one secret that should be revealed to all.

Catch up on season one on the Adult Swim website, and then move right onto the new season (below!).  Also, catch new episodes Sundays at 10pm, just before Childrens Hospital (which, now that we mention it, is another best show you’re not watching).

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Bonus features:

Jon Glaser on Jimmy Fallon last night!

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Also, Jon Glaser reads letters from his deceased father, Dave Glaser, to his father’s former band mates ZZ Top.  One of the funniest things I have ever heard.

And finally, for extra credit check out the Delocated Blog and the PFFR website.

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Filed under Best Show You're Not Watching, Dillon Panthers, Good Humor

Not Very Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Random, Belated, Emmy Thoughts

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.

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Dillon Panthers, Freak Out Control, Intersection of the venn diagram of things that I love, LOST, Must See TV, Participation Award, Saturday Night Live, Top Scallop

The State Continues Its March Towards Dominating All Forms Of Media, Just 14 Years Later

From 1993 – 1995 The State was the premiere sketch comedy show on MTV, if not of all of cable.  In the fall of ’95 they crossed over to network television into the pantheon of classic variety shows with the well received if little-seen one-off “The State’s 43rd Annual All-Star Halloween Special.”  They then followed up their assault on television with the release of their somewhat legendary, thoroughly inaccurate and mildly successful travel guide State by State with The State.

And then, like that, they were gone.

Sure, members of the troupe would soon pop up in things like Ed, Men Behaving Badly, and Game Boy commercials.  And then, of course, they all basically found various degrees of success with other efforts, such as Stella, Reno 911, Party Down, and, in the case of Joe Lo Truglio, playing the creepy guy in Judd Apatowian films, and now they have wallets made out of money.  But, with the exception of a somewhat recent appearance at Sketchfest, there have been no projects featuring the whole team, just our grainy VHS tapes, our oft-removed YouTube clips, our creased paperbacks, and, after what seemed like an interminable wait, our glorious DVDs to sate our appetetite.  But, even with the DVDs, and their extensive special features and informative commentaries, there remained a void, a void created by a long-rumored, never been heard State comedy album.

Well, that myth is now a reality.  Fourteen years later Comedy for Gracious Living will finally see the light of day.

Sketch comedy, variety shows, travel literature and now, after many years, The State officially enters the hallowed ground of comedy albums.  What’s next?  Who knows?  But if I were you, Broadway, I’d watch out.

To celebrate, let’s go to the zoo and watch the monkeys do it.

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Last Night on Late Night Was the Intersection of the Venn Diagram of the Things I Love (And One Thing I Hate)

*Editor’s note: Jumped The Snark has been and will be busy for the immediate future on another somewhat related but also not really project, and thus updates may be few and far between for the next two months.  We’re going to do our best to keep up regular posts, but they may be of the very brief variety.  That is all.

Jimmy Fallon.  Parks & Recreation.  Rashida Jones.  Fred Armisen.  Weekend Update.  A.D. Miles.  Dee Snider.  Last night was a convergence of all of those things on Late Night.

Fallon proves once again that his show is the place to turn for pitch-perfect parodies (see: “Real Housewives of Late Night,” “Late“), and this time the team turns its scalpels towards the unfortunate phenomenon that is Glee.  And not only does their version, “6-Bee,” capture the exact tone and rhythm (and hokeyness) of the show, it pits the Late Night glee club against the Parks & Rec squad, treating us to Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Jerry and Jumped the Snark long time favorite Rashida Jones (but wherefore art thou, Asiz Ansari?), as well as an appearance from another longtime favorite, Fred Armisen.  And it all culminates in a truly impressive take on Twister Sister’s classic anthem of rebellion “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

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(You may have figured out that the one thing I hate, as mentioned in the title, is Glee (the show, and by extension its cultural resonance).  A long time ago I intended to write a long blog post explaining why its characters are just caricatures, the tone muddled, the perspective confused, and that while I’m happy for Jane Lynch, her role in Party Down trumps her one-note performance as Sue Sylvester.  And this thoroughly enjoying Late Night interpretation shows that without the dramatic musical sequences Glee would just be a cut-rate Degrassi.  There, I finally said it).

And if that all wasn’t enough, later in the show we were treated to a charades battle of the former “Weekend Update” co-anchors, with Fallon and guest Tina Fey taking on Poehler (clearly pregnant by the way) and her old partner and current solo host Seth Meyers.

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And to top it off, arch-nemesis and top search term Justin Bieber!

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Keep up the good work, Jamie!

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Filed under Good Humor, Saturday Night Live, Talkies