I must admit something right off the bat: I've never been the biggest fan of Jimmy Fallon as a late night talk show host. I know, I know, that's like saying puppies are overrated and ice cream is a sub-par dessert. I'm of the minority and I realize that. Let me clarify that I actually thought Fallon's Late Night was a fun, hip (The Roots rule all!!) and modern (the guy knows his viral-friendly audience) show, but Fallon's interviewing style of fawning and giggling over every single guest always hit the wrong nerve with me. Again, I realize that Fallon doesn't have the gravitas as Letterman, nor the politics of Stewart and Colbert, but I like my hosts more edgy and daring than agreeable and starstruck, and the squeaky-clean Fallon most certainly ain't that.
I keep waiting for the Hannah bubble to burst. Not the charmed-life bubble (because despite all her whining, it is one), but rather the self-absorbed bubble. Hannah has it in her mind that she is the greatest writer that the world will ever know and no amount of publisher deaths or the fact that she's only produced a few pieces of content will change that. It doesn't help matters that those around her are constantly telling her she's right (writers go through rejections and edits regularly, but that never seems to be the case for Hannah) and feels entitled to whatever success may come her way. There's no sense of humility or, more importantly, the will to really work in the business she claims to be above. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised by "Free Snacks," an episode that hit the nail right on the head about a lot of things in the current world of journalism. (Except for all those daily snacks. If that's really what's going on over at GQ, they can expect about a thousand resumes coming their way this week.) Hannah has no earthly idea how her industry works because she's so detached from it, in every way possible. So it was incredibly refreshing to watch her realize that everything isn't handed to you on a silver platter and that sometimes you have to compromise your dreams. No matter how "talented" you think you are, there are just as many – if not more – people out there just like you struggling to keep their head above water. While I don't think this experience will make Hannah a better person, or even a better writer (a good writer also listens; they don't just yell above the crowd), I do think this will make for a better show if she continues to experience some truly real-life circumstances.
The E! Upfront felt very true to the E! Network brand -- the red carpet was fenced by fangirls and boys screaming at the top of their lungs whenever a new celebrity arrived, the party's decor was like being inside of someone's swanky living room, the presentation was completely phoned-in and all of the big E! stars left within an hour of the party (sadly, the Burning Love gang never even showed up)... save for Ryan Lochte, who was too engulfed in a sea of drooling women with camera phones (present company included) to escape with the rest of his new coworkers. Compare this to the Bravo Upfronts presentation, where there were at least a few risks taken programming-wise, and then the Bravo party, where those no-good reality stars at least stayed well into the night -- though realistically, they were probably contractually obligated to. But still. It was way more fun and better planned.
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.
We've been so focused on the Nick/Jess relationship lately that we've forgotten the equally important relationship between Schmidt and Nick. Thankfully, Schmidt rectified that in "Tinfinity" with his celebration of their tenth anniversary of living together and threw one hell of a party. We only wish we'd had a chance to see more of the Paper and Wood parties as well. Our major quibbles with the episode involved the way they made Jax such an annoying weepy mess and the lack of Winston in general (yes, we sound like a broken record... for those people who even remember what records are). They could have done the Jax thing in a less over-the-top way and it would have been fine. And we'd say mazel tov to Cece and Shivrang, but we know that would break Schmidt to pieces.
I'm not entirely sure I "got" "Video Games," unless the point of it was to make me not want to see Jessa again for a while and like Hannah even more. My colleague Ethan Alter made a very good point that despite its flaws, the episode did add to the expansion of Girls's universe, thanks to the addition of beautiful Upstate New York (and last episode it was Staten Island, the episode before that, an alternate look at her own neighborhood), but beyond that, we're all kind of just waiting for next week.
If I were grading this episode by numbers, I'd have to take off major points for every time someone used the word "nailed" (or any form thereof) to talk about sex acts. Nailing someone's mouth in particular rubbed me the wrong way. It got to the point by the end of "Parking Spot" that I was physically cringing whenever it happened. And I didn't love that Winston was again separated with his own subplot that started out entertaining and then waned, but I do appreciate the way they are dealing with the Nick/Jess stuff, and some of the random callbacks to previous episodes (Coach!), so if there is a TV curve, this would probably get bumped up to a solid "A" after seeing Kat Dennings play with marionettes and Andy Dick on 2 Broke Girls.
Looks like Walter White is doing some planning for his future.
Oprah and Lance re-enact the Ricky Gervais classic, The Invention of Lying
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