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Justifiably delicious

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Justified.

Damn. This show.

Every week, I watch it and I’m like “Wow. Yup.” Then I go to work and argue with co-workers about which show is better: Justified or the Walking Dead. I almost always close my arguments with the sound, sage wisdom of “It’s just so fucking good and you need to watch it, blokay?”

How’s that for expository and persuasive?

But on the real, The Walking Dead is about to start back up again and I can’t even remember where we were except that I do recall a little girl zombie got shot in her zombie brain and that was good, if more than a little predictable. Actually, at one point after Sophia went missing, I was like “Really? You’re STILL looking for Sophia?” and Jess and I both agreed that if there was any outcome other than “Sophie is a zombie and they have to kill her” we’d quit the show. So it looks like we continue to watch The Walking Dead because they called my bluff.

But you guys. It is soooooooooo slow. Nothing happens except stupid shit. Shane cuts his hair. Carl pets a deer. Pruitt Taylor Vince gets shot.

Hmmm. That last part seems familiar.

Oh! It’s cuz Glen Fogle from last week’s Justified was played by Pruitt Taylor “LaRouche” Vince. He gets shot and dies in Justified, too, except this time, it was fascinating. Even though there are no zombies. There ARE oxy addicts, though, so close!

He did NOT get shot on The Mentalist, but the crossover of casting on all these shows is really making me wonder how close together the shooting sets are in the Hollywood lot system. If only Raylan Givens would show up on the Walking Dead. He could just kill everybody except Darryl and they’d have themselves a badass-off. Raylan would clearly win, but still.

Yes. I really like Justified, a-no-duh! Last week’s episode, Harlan Roulette, in particular, was really a fantastic hour of television. So much happened! This show is just clicking right along!

There’s a scene at the end with cold, creepy pill mill partners Robert Quarles (Neal “Tin Man” McDonough), Wynn Duffy (Jere “No, lift the eyebrows up! I want to look perpetually surprised!” Burns) and our hero Raylan Givens (Timothy “My lower abdominal muscles haunt Tanis’ dreams” Olyphant) that is just, ugh, so good it’s gross. It’s fraught with tension and barely disguised malice and fear and curiosity and they pulled it off so perfectly you almost want to puke.

What happens is, Raylan knocks politely on the trailer door where Quarles, Duffy and a stooge are meeting. He quickly dispatches the bodyguard, lets himself into the trailer, punches Duffy in the face and  then steps on his neck. After explaining that he doesn’t give a shit about all the bodies stacking up around here because he knows Duffy has had something to do with them all, he says “Look here,” then drops a bullet on Duffy’s chest. “Next one’s comin’ faster.” He is, of course, immediately confronted with Quarles, who asks Raylan with chilling politeness how fast he thinks the bullets will be when they’re heading back at him. Raylan’s response is grimace at him as he silently takes out his cell phone and snaps a photo of Quarles, who creepily smiles for it.

I haven’t even gotten to the great scene where Vince’s character, Fogle, is shot by his flunky (Jamie “May The Killing be forever on hiatus” Wright) while they both try to ambush Raylan. But not before Raylan gets to charm me with his “Me and dead owls don’t give a hoot.” line. OH, SHOW! Let us not forget an earlier great scene between Raylan and his ol’ buddy Wade Messer (James “Dude, that is a brilliant disguise and you are a much better actor than I ever gave you credit for” LeGros) when the Marshall tells Messer about respect and not goin’ in to a person’s home without their permission. He then casually opines that “We all have our lines we gotta cross” when he reveals he has done just that to obtain Messer’s firearm. This is almost as good as the scene before THAT when Fogle makes his fuckup flunky play Harlan Roulette, a version of Russian Roulette where the house ALWAYS wins. If the house is a bullet in your brain.

Things I don’t even have time to discuss, but which I wish to draw to your attention:

- The scene between Dickie and the prison guard, Ash Murphy (played by Todd “I was on the Mentalist, too!) Stashwick. I really like Jeremy Davies. I thought his talents were wasted on Lost and it’s so sweet to see him just disappear into Dickie Bennett, a role that is simultaneously playful and pitiful. I can’t help it. I like the way the man wears his prison jump suit.

- So tell me about your fast sliding gun arm, Quarles. “Funny you should ask. I was out Christmas tree shopping…” I’m sure that, had he not been interrupted by Raylan, Quarles would have given a totally logical, reasonable, not at all creepy explanation for how he got his menacing quick-draw device that helps him murder people with expediency and a minimum amount of fuss and muss. That involves Christmas tree shopping.

- The scene between Limehouse (Mkelti “Bubba” Williamson) and Boyd is also exceptional, as is Boyd’s thumping of Devil, who is so stupid that he thinks $5,000 is a fantastic sum of money, even as Boyd is angling to take over organized crime in Harlan. Wonder if he’ll run up against any outside influences like the Dixie Mafia or the Detroit Mafia or the Limehouse Mafia.

- The scene where Boyd and co. take back the bar is pretty OK, even if it does get a bit ridick. I’m excited that Johnny’s back, though. I love him!

- The scene between Devil and Boyd once they have the bar back is very interesting. Well played by both actors. The title of the next episode The Devil You Know does not bode well for anybody by the name of Devil, methinks.

- Maybe, if I’m lucky, this week’s episode will have more Tim “Babyface” Gutterson. Because I like his swagger and the last episode had almost everything… except some sass from the office.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything at length about TV, so I apologize for the scattershot point form near the end. You know why, though? It’s because Every Day We Tumbln’. Join us, won’t you?

When good people make BAD TV Part I – CSI

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A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Salome that I was watching CSI (She laughed at me) because I suspected Ted Danson would be so much better than Lawrence Fishburne.

My suspicions were correct.

Danson, though he started out doing what amounted to a Jimmy Stewart impression, has been a breath of fresh air on this stagnant show as new criminalistics boss D.B. Russell. (L.B. Jeffries = D.B. Russell. Jimmy Stewart impression case closed. You’re welcome.)

But why wouldn’t he be good? He was very, very good on Damages, still impresses on Bored to Death, and honestly just has a very good track record because who can ignore Cheers? Cheers was fucking great!

So it was with open arms that I welcomed Danson to one of my favourite dumb shows. Unfortunately, the writing on CSI took about 18 steps back. I’ve been waiting for it to pick up, but after last night’s ridiculous Jump The Shark Moment, I doubt it will.

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Whitney!

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So last night, Jess and I watched the premier of Whitney on NBC.

I didn’t want to judge this one before I saw it. But now I have seen it, so here’s my one-word synopsis: WOOF.

I almost can’t believe this is a half-hour comedy on NBC. If the peacock has done anything right in the last three seasons, it is half-hour comedies. Community, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock and The Office (in its day), all have excellent things to recommend them. I’d say the first three are in the top five best comedies on television right now (FX’s Louie and It’s Always Sunny round it out). Whitney, on the other hand, seems to be what CBS would try to package alongside Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother in order to compete with NBC’s comedy powerhouse. Instead, the Whitney Cummings-penned 2 Broke Girls is on CBS and Whitney itself is on NBC.

It was pretty hideous. It felt kind of like I was caught in a time warp back to 1994-ish, when every network was trying to replicate the success of Seinfeld by giving standup comics their own TV shows. Or 1996-ish when everybody was trying to replicate the success of Friends with a bunch of ‘attractive people hanging out’ shows. So I felt a little leery.

Still, how could I resist watching this show when it appealed to me via ads like this one:

Women be crazy! Huh? Huh? Ladies? Am I right!? HUH?

If you didn’t know better, you might think this show was good. But I’ve seen Whitney Cummings’ standup, which is all a version of “LADIES! WE ARE SO CRAZY!” So I DO know better.

The characters on Whitney are all kind of lame. We have the jaded blonde single friend, the desperate to show off her perfect new relationship ginger friend, the macho male chauvinist, potential-date-rapist cop-for-no-reason friend (who will likely hook up with the jaded blonde one desperate, drunken evening), whipped new boyfriend (played by the very awesome Maulik Pancholy, who also fills the ‘person of colour’ qualification that this show was narrowly missing) and of course, Whitney herself.

Here, instead of being a comedian, she’s portraying a photographer. Chris D’Elia plays Whitney’s live-in boyfriend, Alex, who sold an Internet company and now he’s well off or something. I don’t know. They don’t want to get married, but they do want to spend their lives together. Hey, that’s cool! I would watch a show about two people secure in their non-married relationship. That’s a very common arrangement nowadays. But I don’t think this is that show. I think this show is the “wacky girl with crazy friends who make her feel neurotic about her relationship and how it’s not traditional” show. Just thought this was info you should have.

In the premier, Whitney and Alex go to a friend’s wedding. Which friend? Nevermind. Incidental. Not germane to the plot. Which is that Whitney’s friends make her feel weird because she and Alex don’t have sex all the time. So when they get home, she’s all “I’m gonna sex you good.” But doesn’t have anything sexy to wear. Sexytimes post-poned until tomorrow. So she gets a sexy nurse’s outfit, wears it and he’s so excited about this he falls and hits his head and lapses into a coma and dies of boredom. Oh no, wait. That last part was me during the show. He does hit his head and has a concussion and goes to the hospital, where the nurses won’t let Whitney in to see him because they aren’t married. That is stupid and, I am pretty sure, would not happen ever.

Speaking of things that don’t happen in real life: Every single one of Whitney’s friends shows up at the hospital. That is just perfectly normal. Also, Whitney’s mom is there for some reason? And she is played by Malcolm in the Middle’s Jane Kaczmarek. So. You know. Good for her? I guess? Look, we can’t all be Breaking Bad. As an aside, this also made me wonder what had happened to ol’ Malcolm himself. Until this afternoon. It’s raining today, so cue the Criminal Minds/CSI on Spike/A&E marathon. And cue the Criminal Minds episode where Frankie Muniz is a successful graphic novel author.

You guys? He is just terrible, facewise. Dave Foley was right. The cute as a species do not age well.

Aaaaaaaanyway. Whitney.

Digital Spy has an article quoting a Whitney exec as saying people are “rooting for our demise.”  because they’re a multi-camera show. Well, I wouldn’t say I’m “rooting for” your demise. I would say I’m “absolutely waiting for” your demise.

Can you film a half-hour comedy in a multi-camera format and have it be popular and well done? Sure. I think How I Met Your Mother is proof of that. The concept is getting a little stale, and if they don’t show us the mother super early into this season, I’m out for good, no matter how many times Barney sings about his love for suits.

The thing is, the format is not the problem here. It’s the schtick!

This show had an opportunity to be less terrible than it is, but unfortunately, it’s based on Whitney’s comedy! Badum-ching! Her schtick is very 90s, ‘women are like this’ and ‘men are like this’ and never the twain shall meet.

And the ads don’t lie. At its core, this is a show devoted to examining the whiney, shrewy ways of women everywhere and how they are just absolutely batshit insane and hard to understand for dudes, who are totally practical and smart and easygoing.

Ultimately, it pains me to know that Maria Bamford, who so adroitly skewers the ‘LADIES!’ type of comedienne in her act, has no show, while Whitney has two.

I’d rather be cockroach racing

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I know that we all know that Ted Danson will be taking over the CSI mantle from noted pill pusher Morpheus Laurence Fishburne.

 

That is fine and dandy, Sam Malone, but you know, I just watched an episode of CSI when Grissom was still on. And I’m sorry, but you cannot hope to compete with Gil Grissom’s extraordinary awesomeness.

Gil Grissom: Pthirus Pubis.
Catherine Willows: Yeah, crabs. I am buying Lindsey a chastity belt.
Gil Grissom: There’s a… hole in the metal to let the urine pass, so theoretically, she could still get them.
Catherine Willows: You are so creepy sometimes.

 

COME BACK, GRISSOM! WE MISS U, BB!

We now return from our regularly scheduled loafing.

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Hi! Hi! Sorry! Hi!

We’ve been rilly, rilly busy with work and life things. But not so busy that we couldn’t watch two entire cable series without posting anything at all about them!

We watched Game of Thrones and The Killing in their entirety. Guess who we think SHOULD have lost their head! Find out, after the jump!

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My name’s pronounced RICHARDE.

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Everybody’s favourite stupid surfer-dude actor from Veronica Mars and Party Down, Ryan Hansen, has scored the lead in a new NBC pilot, Lovelives. According to the article behind that link, Hansen will play Tim, “an attractive and smart professor of literature at Fordham University.”

Sooo…. they’re casting against type, then? Don’t get us wrong, we loved Ryan as rich, dumb dude Dick Casablancas on Veronica Mars and he was super effective in Party Down, too. But… well, this:

Cassidy splashes Logan and Dick while swimming in the Casablancas pool.
Dick Casablancas: “Don’t make me go all ‘Ordinary People’ on you, Beav.”
Cassidy ‘Beaver’ Casablancas: “The older brother drowns, dumbass.”

And also:

Dick Casablancas: “So what… You’re just going to mope around like the guy in… What’s that book when the guy’s mom dies and he comes back to Jersey? And he’s got that motorcycle sidecar?”
Logan Echolls: “Garden State was never a book.”
Dick Casablancas: “It wasn’t? Oops… So much for that paper.”

Professor of Literature, Dick Casablancas, everybody.

Man, I miss Veronica Mars.

I don’t want Charles in charge of me

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Look. We get it.

Every time Two and a Half Men airs, an angel executive gets his wings a bag full of dumptrucks full of money and suitcases full of cocaine. But at some point, doesn’t CBS have to consider that Charlie Sheen should go to rehab? That he should, in fact, go to ALL the rehabs? And then follow it up with some JAIL?

Like, how bad does it have to get for our pal Carlos? This dude is trying to do all the blow andfuck all the porn stars and while we sort of think he can still come back from this if he gets his shit together (We know it might be hard to believe, but Robert Downey Jr. begs to differ) CBS ain’t care.

No. All CBS is worried about is where their money machine disappeared to and for how long he will be AWOL. We tried to think of a metaphor for what this is like. But what it’s most like is watching a greedy corporation act concerned about the health and well being of an employee, when really, they are just wondering if Charlie Sheen is going to come back to make them millions and millions of dollarzzzzzz. He’ll come back, right? Right?

We love how CBS exec Nina Tassler talks about how they are concerned on “a very basic human level.” They usually operate on a much higher cyborg plane of existence and don’t concern themselves over “basic” mortal affairs such as addiction. But basically, the message is: the guy is a human and you have to respect his humanity. At least. But do you? When he’s barely even passing as human? When he’s a rage-aholic coke monster from planet SPOUZALABUSE?

We also noted that Tassler commented about how the show is still number one. Oh yeah. Can’t forget that. Just a little “Fuck you” from America. The Sopranos. The Wire. Breaking Bad. GRITTY, GROUNDBREAKING, AWARD-WINNING DRAMA. All cancelled out because every week, Two and a Half Men is like “Fart.”  And Charlie Sheen is like “AHAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s a real WIFE KNEE SLAPPER!”

The AV Club ponders several scenarios that could happen to keep Two and a Half Men on the air should Sheen drop out entirely, all paths CBS seems unwilling to take. (They will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, fire him. Ever.) But one option the AV Club didn’t mention seems pretty obvious to us. Sheen’s got a famous brother. Two and a Half Men + Emilio Estevez – Chuck Estevez = Young Guns II. Just admit it. Young Guns II was WAY better. Martin Sheen can guest star. Call it Shit My Famous Dad Says. And then call it a day. Because that would be an unstoppable show that the TV-viewing public would just never stop watching.

It seems like at some point, CBS should cut their losses and try to make one of their new shitty shows happen. But their new shitty shows aren’t happing. Stop trying to make Shit My Dad Says happen, CBS. Why don’t you make some GOOD shows? “I have a better idea,” said CBS. “How about we cut out the middleman and just pay Charlie Sheen in suitcases full of cocaine?”

They are only concerned now because the public’s reaction dictates that they appear concerned. Before, they were perfectly content to let him do whatever he wanted, as long as the ratings juggernaut continued. But now, even Lindsay Lohan is concerned. So CBS was like “Um. Yes. He should go to rehab.” Their mouths are saying that, but their brains are saying “How funny is it going to be if Charlie Sheen ISN’T addicted to drugs/sex?” Would his character also reform?

Who cares? Just stick him in rehab long enough for the public to get distracted by a homeless dude with a golden radio voice. Anything to keep the Dick Joke Generator 3000 (Little known Charlie Sheen nickname we just made up right now) chugging along on a steady diet of coke-fuelled orgasms until he can’t orgasm no more. Because Sheen might be “great at his job.” But guess what? Charlie Sheen’s full time job is to be Charlie Sheen! His character on Two and a Half Men is based on his own bad-boy image and once that’s gone, it’s all gone.

And you know what? We take back what we said earlier about it maybe all being OK, so long as Charlie Sheen goes to rehab. That’s a sucker’s bet. Somehow, Charlie Sheen is both Charlie Brown AND Lucy in the classic football scenario. He sets up the football (drugs) and runs to kick it (rehab) and pulls away the football (flunking out of rehab) and falls spectacularly (trashing a hotel room in a coked-out rage while a porn star(s)/hooker(s)cowers in the bathroom). And he does it EVERY TIME, substituting new numbers of hookers and different combinations of things he ruined/location in which he ruined them because he was “doing quite a bit of coke.”

You would think it would stop being funny after awhile. And you would be right.

 

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