March 2013 Archives
Somehow Mariah Carey and her scepter of annoyance escaped our list this week, though we really don't understand what show she's watching when she thinks saving Devin is an idea with any merit.
As a feminazi with no sense of humor, watching Modern Family is tiring -- but writing about this show is truly exhausting. To be clear, "The Wow Factor" wasn't all that bad, but also, I don't like genuinely hating shows... especially not comedies. I love being snarky and meticulously nitpicking what's wrong with Modern Family, but I take no pleasure in having to come here every episode and tell you why the half-hour of TV you enjoyed last night after your long day of work was actually, on my completely biased critical level, pretty crappy.
"Chicago" was such an off episode of this show, partly because it dealt with the death of a character we only met once, but mostly because it wasn't funny. Sitcoms can certainly deal with dead people -- look at the legendary "Chuckles Bites the Dust" episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show as a prime example -- but this just seemed like it was desperately trying hard to be funny and failed almost entirely (some of the Schmidt mortality stuff was amusing). It's a shame because it had the makings of good stuff, what with Margo Martindale and Nick Kroll cast as Nick's mom and brother. But the thing that gave the whole thing an air of weirdness was the unacknowledged elephant in the room of Nick and Jess (he introduces her to his mom as "my new roommate"). Sure, Nick's brother and his insinuating eyebrows made some comments about them sleeping together, but aside from that, it was hard to tell if this episode even took place after the fish-tank-breaking-make-out session, or if this episode was meant to air earlier. It felt like this death of a con man episode existed in this own little bubble, or alternate reality. Maybe the gang should stay out of Chicago for a while.
For better and mostly for worse, David Mamet's HBO telefilm Phil Spector is another case of Mamet being Mamet. Once upon a time -- back in the era of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict and even The Untouchables -- this would have been cause for great excitement. But within the past decade, Mamet has become the conservative mirror of Aaron Sorkin; a writer who uses his various films, TV shows and/or plays as spoken editorials. Their characters aren't so much characters as platforms from which both Sorkin and Mamet can stand and shout from, to the cheers of their like-minded fans and the boos of the opposing side.
People weren't as disgusting this week as normal, so that's refreshing. Instead they were just obnoxious.
Back in the Dan Harmon days, Community would occasionally take a break from its high-concept stunts and try something really wacky: acting like a traditional sitcom. That was the kind of episode "Economics of Marine Biology" tried to be, one that didn't have any big post-modern comic premise on its mind or major plot points to address -- just standard situation comedy hijinks involving a group of (supposedly) funny people in a (supposedly) funny location.
After watching the recent Fox special Stars in Danger: The High Dive, we were convinced that not only was Splash going to be a waste of time, but that the entire concept of celebrities diving was pointless. And while it still is true that this is utterly unnecessary (as are most reality shows), at least Splash surprised us by being well produced, interestingly cast and kind of fun. Yeah, we're as shocked as anyone. We might even watch it again next week. Here's why:
We could sit and recite all of the clever dialogue of "Quick Hardening Caulk", but it would probably just be a copy of the script... and besides, the fans on Tumblr have probably gif'd the entire episode by now. Instead, we'll just break down the highlights:
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