TV Reviews Archive

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Live Blogging the Oscars

…awww, shit. You mean this thing was last night?! I thought we all agreed years ago to start broadcasting this boring-ass programming on Monday mornings.

Thanks for keeping me in the loop, Tom.

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The Year is Over

So, it’s 2012 in a bit, and as 2011 winds down, we figured we’d do you the disservice of providing some links to some of the better stuff we’ve put out this year. Everyone does it, I know. We’re not trying to blaze trails here, we’re just trying to toot our own horns. We did some terrific shit! It’s just a shame that back when we actually tried, no one paid attention.

Without further ado:

The list is long, but if you’re new here, those are some of the things we’re proud of in this website’s brief existence. We’ll be back next year with more. We hope you’ll stick around.

Much love & respek,

~The editors

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The most fun that has ever been had in all the world

If you, like me, currently find the world a particularly depressing place to be, and you also just generally hate Mondays, and you need something to get excited about, and you also really fucking hate Glee, may I suggest watching The Sing Off? (I apologize for the presence of Nick Lachey, but I promise this show is so goddamn good, you barely notice him). You probably haven’t heard of The Sing Off — an acappella singing group competition — because some dumb assholes at NBC decided to run it opposite Dancing With the Stars on Monday nights. This show brings me pure joy, which, dear Christ, I can really use these days. I haven’t felt this obsessive about a show since I was fourteen and Dawson’s Creek was in full swing. The show started with 16 groups, and they’re now down to the top four, but really only two of the groups matter: Afro Blue from Howard University, and Pentatonix from Arlington, Texas. Just crazy good, these two:

(Even my husband thinks this is awesome, and he thinks acappella groups are about as cool as meningitis).

(Apparently these are both shitty Kanye West songs, which I suddenly love).

You will also notice, following these performances, that the judges on this show are actually legit singers/musicians — Ben Folds, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, and Sara Bareilles, unlike, say, drunken choreographers that can’t sing, snooty British egomaniacs with no musical talent, and a woman more famous for her arse than her voice. Also, the judges are the ones who decide who goes home until the very last episode of this show — SUCH a vast improvement over letting 12-year-old girls vote for that cheese dick Scotty McCreery week after week. We all know the American public cannot be trusted to vote (properly).

There are a million wonderful things about this show, but what really stands out for me is the  incredible teamwork involved — everyone works so well together and all the while they look like they’re having THE MOST FUN THAT HAS EVER BEEN HAD IN ALL THE WORLD. Plus, some of these groups have so much musical talent and come up with such original arrangements, I just have to hoot and yell at my TV and literally jump up and clap at the end. You should know by now that I’m not the kind of person who jumps up and claps at the TV unless there is some kind of gruesome hockey play in progress.

So spend your Monday checking out these fine-looking, super-talented young folks just killing it:

Ugh, get a load of this dreamboat. Want. To. Touch. Inappropriately. His munchkin backup singing friends are also wonderfully adorable.

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More breaking hipster news!

Speaking of Michael Cera, MTV has the pants-wettingly exciting announcement today that “The Arrested Development movie is finally happening.

Yeah, I know. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. But

No, seriously. After years of rumors, denials, hedging, backtracking and wishful thinking, series co-creator and executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz confirmed over the weekend that not only are the seriously, hilariously, unapologetically dysfunctional Bluth clan headed to the multiplex, but they will get tuned up for their movie debut by making a short trip back to TV.

Speaking on Sunday at theNew Yorker Festival, Hurwitz broke the news, with”Development” actor Jason Bateman confirming it a few hours later on his Twitter feed. “It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”

Let the Final Countdown begin!

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If I had to vote Republican, so far, Buddy Roemer’s my guy

He doesn’t have a shot in hell, which is too bad, but listening to him on The Daily Show last night gives me hope that perhaps there are still a few Republicans out there who haven’t been completely hijacked by the lunatic Right.

 
While I’m unnecessarily pimping Comedy Central, here’s an interview with T-Paw on Colbert. Why the hell is it that candidates become so much more likable once they’re no longer candidates? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. The answer is: “Everything sucks and I hate you.”)

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In which I love on Hugh Laurie

Quotes, quips, and factoids from the recent NYT profile of one of my all-time favorite actors and six-time winner of the “Actual British Person Most Likely to Be Mistaken for an American Award,” Hugh Laurie:

  • Laurie’s cover album of New Orleans-themed blues, Let Them Talk, drops today — and it’s pretty damn good. (It’s also already number two in England.)
  • Speaking of England, Laurie is actually far better known in his home country for his comic work in the 80s and 90s (specifically, Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry & Laurie) than he is for House, to the extent that Stephen Fry, his long-time collaborator, ”says he has even been asked, in London, whatever became of Laurie” — even though House was, not too long ago, the most-watched show in the world.
  • Asked if he enjoys his role as House: “I equate happiness with contentment, and contentment with complacency, and complacency with impending disaster.”
  • Discussing the differences between British and American TV: “I think good-looking people seldom make good television,” he said. “And American television studios almost concede before they start: ‘Well, it won’t be good, but at least it’ll be good-looking. We’ll have nice-looking girls in tight shirts with F.B.I. badges and fit-looking guys with lots of hair gel vaulting over things. So at least we’ll have achieved that base standard of entertainment.’” He shook his head. “I think that’s hugely misguided. The glory of American television is Dennis Franz.”
  • Laurie has also written a novel, The Gun Seller, published in 1996, which the profiler describes as “an odd but enjoyable cross between the international intrigue of Robert Ludlum and the mannered comedy of P. G. Wodehouse, leading to prose like ‘there I was, the model in diagram (c) in the chapter headed “Neck-Breaking: The Basics.”‘”
  • “There’s a hierarchy of piano players in New Orleans, and I’m not even ranked…Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have dared…Too nervous, too shy, too pessimistic. But now I’ve had a glimpse of this most wonderful existence, and crikey, it tastes good.”
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I Guess I’ll Watch The Teevee Tonight

Community really is good. The paintball episodes, for example (both of them season finales, and both of them spectacularly awesome), are simply masterful television. Here’s the first half of this year’s season finale (other half easily accessible on YouTube with search terms “community paintball”). The dude at Slate in the link says that the one re-airing tonight is the hot cheese, though. Whatever. I haven’t got anything special going on, so I might as well check his math. Long story short, watch the show! Or read the article! Or do neither and click “Play” on the video below! Or click the little “X” on the tab that this website is on to close it! Who cares?!

I could care less. But this is good tv.

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It was only a matter of time

Holy shit.

It’s a sad story, don’t get me wrong, and my thoughts go out to his family and friends, but perhaps the most surprising thing about Jackass “star” Ryan Dunn’s death yesterday in a (presumably high-speed, possibly alcohol-related) car accident was that he had lived to age 34 in the first place. That all of them except Dunn have survived into their 30s and even 40s is frankly astonishing. Say what you will about the self-immolating prank/stunt oeuvre pioneered by Tom Green and perfected by the Jackass crew (go ahead, say stuff — I’ll wait) — not to mention the untold thousands of pre-YouTube Knoxville knockoffs who nearly killed themselves imitating their MTV idols — but if you’ve actually seen any of the Jackass movies, you know I speak the truth when I say that what you have witnessed is pretty much the outer limits of what the human body can endure in the name of entertainment (even if that entertainment left you — and them – in a wincing puddle of vomit afterward).

They may not have Keaton’s timing or style, Chaplin’s rhythm or wit, or Chan’s sheer athleticism, but watching the clips below, it’s tough to deny that their testicles must be the size of many small countries.

(Also, their choreographed set pieces are pretty flippin’ fantastic).

Alligator Tightrope:

 
Knoxville vs. Yak:

 
Parachute-less Plane Jump:

 
And perhaps the awesomest of them all,

Big Red Rocket:

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The original Ronald McDonald was probably a registered sex offender

The Consumerist has a hilariously creepy (or perhaps creepily hilarious?) post this week about the original Ronald McDonald, who appears to have been modeled after the original leatherface, Edward Gein.

I highly encourage you to read the article and watch all three frisson-inducing adverts there, but by way of an appetizer, please enjoy this first ever television spot featuring obvious sociopath/pederast, Ronald McDonald.

 
In case you missed any of the disturbing subtext, please draw your attention to my [annotated] transcript below:

Narrator: Introducing the world’s newest, silliest, hamburger-eatingest clown, Ronald McDonald! Now where is that clown? [Probably off molesting children.] Oh Ronald! Ronald! Ronald! Hey, Ronald!

Ronald McDonald: Here I am, kids! [It wasn't the kids who were looking for you, but whatever.] Hey, isn’t watching TV fun? Especially when you’ve got delicious McDonald’s hamburgers. [Christ, this dude's the Typhoid Mary of our current obesity epidemic.]

N: Ronald, you can’t be on TV and watch it at the same time. Now come on and meet the boys and girls. [The Narrator must be his pimp -- or at least his enabling, look-the-other-way pope.]

RMcD: Oh, we’ve already met. [I'll bet you have.] I know we’re gonna be friends, too, because I like to do everything boys and girls like to do. [Which would be fine, if you were — you know — a BOY OR GIRL, and not a grown-ass man in a clown costume.] Especially when it comes to eating those delicious McDonald’s hamburgers. My magic tray here keeps me well supplied. McDonald’s hamburgers, French fries, and milkshake. Watch for me on TV. We’ll have lots of fun! [I shudder at the possibilities.]

Singer: He’s Ronald McDonald, the hamburger happy clown. A McDonald’s drive-in restaurant is his favorite place in town. [Next to an unsupervised playground, that is.]

Thank goodness they finally adopted this perfectly normal-looking spokes-harlequin instead!

Ronald McDonald

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Saying Goodbye to Oprah – Wrap-up

On being underwhelmed:

Right. So I’ve been thinking about this for a month now, trying to figure why I’ve been so disappointed in the farewell season, and I’ve come to the same conclusion as pretty much everyone else: Oprah is a big ol’ contradiction — good and bad, truthful and hypocritical, angelically open and devilishly shrewd. This is the sum total of the Oprah Show — and oh my, does it ever provoke contradictory feelings in me. The finale still made me tear up multiple times despite the skeptical distance I tried to maintain — I was a convert for 48 minutes.

Her final show consisted entirely of her talking to the audience — a near hour-long monologue thanking them, talking about her own growth, their growth, and their role in her life. She preached to us about how to live better, how to know better (one of her favorite lines from Maya Angelou: “When you know better, you do better”), how to find your true calling and the rewards it all brings. She preached about God, or as she put it, “I’m talking about the same one you’re talking about. The Alpha and Omega. The Omniscience, the Omnipresent, the Ultimate Consciousness, the Source, the Force, the All of Everything There Is, the one and only G-O-D.” She preached about her conception under a tree in Mississippi, which was kind of creepy and a little too messianic for my liking. All in all though, it was a fitting, moving, and gracious ending. And yet, still, I’m unsatisfied.

What is wrong with me that I’m expecting so much from this one woman?

Read the rest of this entry »

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