I’m going to do a for real post this week, because HOMELAND. Seriously…..Homeland. But in the meantime, a brief post about Halloween.
I wasn’t always into this holiday, until I realized I could use it as an excuse to make pop culture references. Preferably obscure pop culture references that no one really gets, but not necessarily. In the past few years, my costumes have included Regina George from Mean Girls, Enid Coleslaw from Ghost World and Anxiety Girl from the Natalie Dee web comic.
This year I decided to outdo myself. And by outdo myself, I mean I decided to dress up as a minor character from a television show that aired for two seasons in the early ’90s. Yes, I went as the Log Lady from Twin Peaks. No one knew who I was (except for my friends who I’ve been describing the Log Lady to for the last year). I still told them my log had something to tell them. Everyone was appropriately annoyed.
Twin Peaks may not be topical, but it’s still a great show. It was brave enough to go for a really long time without revealing the mystery at its core. And even after that, it was still totally weird, dealing with lots of supernatural themes and focusing on developing all the quirky characters in a weird little town. Of course, I’m a sucker for David Lynch, so of course I love that show, even though I have to admit the second season went a bit too far off the rails at times.
Anyway, clearly I had to pay homage to this long-ago cancelled show. I think I did a pretty good job, too! Check it out:
RIGHT?? Happy Halloween, y’all.
Fox has an impressively strong Tuesday lineup this fall, with two returning sitcoms and two new ones. So far, I’m very much enjoying all of them. Unlike CBS, Fox seems to recognize that it’s 2012, so they’ve moved away from the multi-camera, laugh track set-up, making way for shows that I would say are funnier and more relevant.
This show is crazy underrated. The premise is maybe a bit kooky – a lower class guy named Jimmy Chance who lives with his parents (played by the amazing Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt) knocks up a serial killer who gives birth in jail before being sent to the electric chair. Jimmy is left to raise the baby, Hope. The whole concept could have easily come across as offensive, since it’s basically about a struggling, undereducated family doing the best they can. Fortunately the whole thing is so funny, and the Chance family so obviously a loving, well-meaning unit, that it just makes for good television. OK, sometimes it goes a bit off the rails with Jimmy’s great-grandmother, Maw Maw, who suffers from dementia and is played by Cloris Leachman, but on the other more important hand, Cloris Leachman running around in a bra being racist is pretty hilarious.
The other thing that makes the show notable is that it’s done a great job of creating a whole world, filled with recurring characters like Jimmy’s coworkers at the grocery store where he works and random weirdos in the neighbourhood, like Dancing Dan. I feel like I don’t know many people who watch this show as it enters it’s third season, but you should be, because there isn’t a lot of television that’s so heartwarming and actually funny.
Ben and Kate
I like this show – I do! But I’m also kind of a little bored of it at the same time? I think the problem is that critics seem to be obsessed with it and they’re all calling it the best new comedy of the year and junk, and so far I just think it’s OK. Basically it’s about Kate, who has her life together mostly and has a kid, but then her irresponsible brother, Ben moves in with her. And hilarious shenanigans ensue! Oh and also Ben has a friend who has always had a crush on Kate, and Kate works with a girl played by Judy Punch who is hilarious and the best part of the show.
I want to reiterate that I do like this show! I just don’t love it, yet. But I feel like I could, given time. And more Judy Punch. Her character’s name is BJ, btw. Just putting that out there. Even without her, each episode has had a good amount of funny moments. Like when Ben ugly cried, that was good. So far it all just feels kind of generic and somewhat unmemorable, though. But I’m still looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do next.
When this started last year, I mean, I watched every episode, obviously, but I kind of wrote it off as stupid and I was just watching it because it was on (when you watch as much TV as I do, this is a valid reason to watch a show). But something happened halfway through last season where it went beyond Zooey Deschanel’s whole adorkable persona and became a show about four totally different personalities coming together and making their quirky lives work together. AW. Also, it got pretty legitimately funny. Like, I laugh out loud when I watch it by myself. I think what makes it good is that it’s not afraid to be totally weird. I like that Schmidt is anal about things like cleanliness and cooking but also is forced to contribute to a douchebag jar, and Nick is literally just a cranky old man who hates young people things, but also becomes obsessed with random things and people on the regular.
And yes, obviously Nick and Jess are going to get together eventually, but the show is pretty good at building tension between them without hitting us over the head with it constantly. It’s addressed, but not in a totally annoying obnoxious way, just in a way where it’s clear they are just not at that place yet but they will be eventually! Yes. This show is a good show.
The Mindy Project
This isn’t super amazing great yet, but I think it’s going to be. I don’t know what it is, but I just really like Mindy Kaling and I like watching her do things, whatever those things might be. I do think the show is best when it focuses on the work comedy aspects of the gynecologist office where she works, but even when it’s all, blah blah, rom com, dating is hard, etc., I totally enjoy it. It’s weird to watch a show like this, or Girls, because there is a woman who is the lead, who is obviously not fat in real life, but is TV fat. That maybe sounds terrible, but you know what I mean. I could not fit my hand around Mindy Kaling’s upper arm, you know? I hate that I notice that, but I DO notice that, and then I’m glad that I’m seeing it on my television.
I think what’s really going to make this show great is the new nurse, played by Ike Barinholtz. He’s spent time in prison, and is kind of a wild card, but he also means well. AW! And then also there’s the antagonistic doctor Mindy works with, played by Chris Messina who Mindy has fun banter with and also, I freaking love Chris Messina. I almost even liked him in The Newsroom, and we all know how I feel about The Newsroom. The show is still kind of all over the place, but there have only been a few episodes, and I have faith that when it gets its bearings, it’s going to be delightful.
So, Fox Tuesdays – very entertaining and a lot of potential! They’re like the new NBC Thursdays. Which I’ll probably address next week.
So, obviously I’ve been failing pretty badly at blogging. Mostly this is because I’ve been out of town every weekend for the last month and a half, which has caused my life to feel like it’s in turmoil (it’s not really, but I start to get stressed when I don’t spend, like, 70 per cent of my time in my apartment). Anyway, excuses, excuses, blah blah boring.
Even though I haven’t been writing about it, I’ve at least been WATCHING television. A lot of my stories have started back up over the last few weeks. Because I watch way too many shows (seriously, it’s out of control) I’m going to do a few posts where I talk about blocks of shows that air on a certain network on a certain night.
CBS is not my favourite network. Mostly I feel like it specializes in old people dramas and pandering comedies with laugh tracks. Though supposedly The Good Wife is legitimately good, and it’s on my list of Shows I Should Probably Eventually Watch Some Day. Anyway, I do watch it on Mondays, though it’s starting to feel more like a chore than anything. The real problem is that I’ve invested way too much time in…
How I Met Your Mother
I completely admit that this show is generally bad, but I’ve been watching it for a few years and it seems like at the absolute MOST it has another two seasons left in it, so how can I stop now? Do I care who the mother is? No. Am I increasingly annoyed by the show’s generally misogynistic attitude? Kind of. Do I think Ted is the most boring, whiny, annoying lead character EVER? Hell yes. But I will not give up! I’m stubborn, OK?
It’s not all bad, though. I still really like Robin, and I mostly like Marshall and Lily and Barney are OK. I feel like there aren’t as many actually funny episodes as there used to be (see: Slapsgiving) but I’m still invested enough in the characters for whatever reason that I want to know what happens to them. Kind of. In a really passive, “meh” sort of way. Mostly I just try to ignore the gimmicks – the mother thing, the way they show misleading clips of the future, etc., and just enjoy it as mindless entertainment.
Oh CBS, you are so sneaky, putting this piece of crap between two more watchable shows. I’ve only seen two episodes of this so far, but since I’m compelled to watch 2 Broke Girls (more on that nonsense later) I suspect I’m going to see a lot more. And I can say with a reasonable amount of confidence that I won’t enjoy any of them. OK, I didn’t see the premiere, but the basic premise is, there are two friends – one is gay, one is straight – who work together as architects or some fake job that only people on TV have. The straight one is uptight or something and the gay one seems to be into meddling, because, you know, stereotypes. They get into wacky situations! In the latest episode, the straight one’s fiancee slept with Derek Jeter a long time ago, which made the straight guy mad, and the gay one was obsessed with the game Celebrity. THERE WERE MANY REFERENCES TO VARIOUS FAMOUS PEOPLE. I think they were meant to be funny?
Ugh, obviously this show is so terrible. Its selling point is that it was made by the creators of Will & Grace, but there is no Jack and Karen and everyone knows Will and Grace were the worst. It’s the kind of show that maybe would have seemed edgy in 1997, but even then only old people would have thought that. Now it just feels unfunny and the more I think about it, I might just have to take a TV break between my Monday night shows, because I’m not sure I can handle this schlock week after week.
2 Broke Girls
I have watched every episode of this show and I’m not really sure why. I just feel like if almost everything about it was different, it could be super good. Seriously! The thing that is good about it now is the relationship between the titular (hehe, titular) broke girls. One has always been broke, the other is a former rich girl, and all they want is to create a successful cupcake business. AWW! They have good banter and sometimes they’re funny and I kind of love Kat Dennings. Everything else, unfortunately, is not great. There is a horse that lives outside their Brooklyn apartment. Most of the cultural references are crazy outdated. Everyone else at the diner where they work is an offensive stereotype. So. Many. Vagina jokes. It tries so hard to be crude, which would be fine if it was funnier, but…last night’s episode was basically just all pee jokes. PEE JOKES!
Whatever though, I still think the girls feel like real friends, and there are moments when the plot is OK! Last season there was an excellent hoarder episode, which maybe I only liked because I am fascinated by hoarders, but still. I also liked when they met Caroline’s (the rich one) imprisoned father in the second season premiere. But the last couple episodes have been…not good, so the season is shaping up to be…not great.
I guess my verdict is that probably you shouldn’t watch CBS on Mondays if you’re looking for quality, intelligent television that’s in any way compelling or deep or particularly good. But Mondays are hard, man, so mindless junk is important too. And it’s not like I watch Mike & Molly or anything. I love Melissa McCarthy, but even I can’t handle a show that’s one giant fat joke.