Recently in Laughing It Up Category
The nice thing about Kristen Wiig's return to Saturday Night Live this weekend? Because they brought back all her most obnoxious characters -- Gilly, the Target Lady and Denise among them -- we were able to fast-forward through majority of the show, turning a 90-minute sit into a quick, painless three minutes. (Closer to ten minutes with the not-bad monologue).
Selina's European (non-)apology tour took her to Finland on last night's Veep, resulting in the funniest episode of the season and perhaps the all-time funniest episode in the show's young history.
With his first HBO series Family Tree, Christopher Guest becomes an active participant in the ongoing small-screen mockumentary boom he helped lay the groundwork for through movies like Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and the granddaddy of them all, This is Spinal Tap. (Ricky Gervais has been very vocal about Guest's work inspiring him to go off and make The Office, which in turn led to the U.S. Office, as well as Parks and Rec, Modern Family and so on.) Guest's movies are hysterical (well, except for the last one before his apparently self-imposed hiatus, For Your Consideration), but it was an open question as to whether he'd be able to translate his skills to TV's long-form storytelling model as opposed to the 80 to 90 minutes his movies run.
In the immortal words of T.S. Eliot, "Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over." Or maybe, "This is the way
the world Community ends: Not with a bang but a whimper" would be more apropos. Whichever Eliot line you chose to go with, Community's fourth season (and, potentially, series) finale "Advanced Introduction to Finality" was a definite off-note on which to end a season that was already often out of tune.
It's comedy night in DC as Selina Meyer prepares to sing a rousing satirical song at "The Vic Allen Dinner." That's both the title of the episode and the grand fête where she performs a version of the Paul Simon staple "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" that targets her nemesis, Kent Davison, who has already royally pissed her off by releasing a photo from last week's daring hostage rescue that displays her in a less-than-flattering light and makes her an Internet meme
ma'am in the process.
Like a lot of people, my gateway into Marc Maron's vital WTF podcast was the once-struggling stand-up comic's famous two-part chat with estranged pal Louis C.K., which I initially heard excerpted on another show and immediately tracked it down to its source. It's a remarkable conversation, with both guys mining personal territory that's usually omitted from the public forum, particular in the context of an ostensible celebrity interview.
Question: What does a show do when it can't decide how to move forward? Answer: It looks to the past. That explains Community's penultimate Season 4 episode, "Heroic Origins," in which Abed pieces together the group's shared pre-Greendale history on a flowchart he labels the
Loom of Fate Crazy Quilt of Destiny. On the one hand, this gimmick allowed the cast to have some fun playing earlier incarnations of their characters, from Alison Brie's brace-faced Annie to Abed's Phantom Menace-trolling scarer of small children. At the same time, though, the whole thing felt kind of... well, pointless, since this trip to the past wound up shedding very minimal light on who these characters are now and what the future -- which may or may not last beyond next week's finale -- might have in store.
This show is so terribly written and not funny that it doesn't warrant a real review -- except that I will say that it's obviously trying quite hard to be an Arrested Development rip-off with its characters -- but rather, a list of the moments from the pilot episode that made me cringe So, without further ado...
Zero Dark Veep? That could have been the title of this week's episode, "Hostages," in which the administration finally did something about that Uzbekistan hostage crisis that's been simmering on the backburner since the premiere.
If nothing else, "Basic Human Anatomy" demonstrated the advantage of having an Oscar-winning screenwriter finally on your writing staff. On the heels of last week's Christmas-themed debacle, Jim "Dean Pelton" Rash swooped in and saved the series at the 11th
hour episode, penning the only successful high concept half hour so far this season. The high concept in question was body switching, that old staple of '70s and '80s comedies like Vice Versa (sorry Abed, we dig that one, Judge Reinhold and all), Like Father, Like Son and Freaky Friday (not the Lindsay Lohan version -- the 1976 Jodie Foster-starring, fortune cookie-free original), the latter of which caused buddies Abed and Troy to trade identities just in time for Troy to make a big decision about his ill-advised romance with Britta.
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