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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.

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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“Fresh Blood,” True Blood: In Pictures

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Dear readers, we humbly apologize for being late with this recap. Two of us are moving and one of us is easily distracted by shiny objects. That would be me. The shiny objects would be the Emmys. True Blood didn’t win any, but they did provide us with an entertaining award presentation where we got to see exactly how much taller than Stephen Moyer Alexander Skarsgard is. But let’s focus on the show. I know, it’s hard, because not much happened in this episode until the very end, but sometimes, we have to eat our vegetables before we can have our deserts.

C’mon in! Eric assures us the sun is fine!

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Lost: I was blind but now I see (that this show sucked)

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So. How about that Lost finale?

There are things this show did well (see first season) and there are things that it did not do so well (see all the rest of the seasons), but I think, in the end, Jacob picked the right guy to look after the island:

But for reals, that was kind of a terrible ending, we thought.

Some good cinematography and technical stuff and a few nice flashbacks to times when things were not terrible (Imaginary peanut butter? Don’t mind if I do!) but generally, it seems like Jack’s line “There are no shortcuts, no do-overs—what happened, happened. All of this matters.” rings kind of false since, you know, they’re all in churchy-heaven. Religion! Solving the world’s problem’s since 1 AD! That kinda blew chunks if you don’t subscribe to that particular world view. And I can’t believe that many of the characters do.

Jack’s father telling him that the time these people spent together was the most important time of their lives was also a “Whaaaaa?” moment. How much time was that? The time they spent on the plane before it went down? Oh, and forget about all the time you spent with Michael and Walt. They aren’t important enough to get into heaven.

Whatever, the worst part of this was the TWO HOUR retrospective that aired beforehand. What a circle jerk! I love how they completely and totally glossed over characters who didn’t make it into the finale. Michael and Walt? Not addressed. Nikki and Paolo? Not addressed  (thank goodness!) I wanted to punch Lindelof and Cuse right in their stupid faces. Mainly because they spent six years swearing up and down that it wasn’t purgatory. Only to come back at the end and be like “PSYCH! It’s purgatory, motherfuckers! Sorta.” And we hate to say it, but: WE TOLD YOU SO!

Look, I have no doubt that Lost was a phenomenon. But as a show, it hasn’t really given the world anything other than frustration. This is not the X-Files, which genuinely scared the shit out of us (Jess still worries about inbred mutants living under her bed, I can’t shower without checking a drain for a fluke-man and I’m pretty sure every time an animal nests in Salome’s attic, she makes extra sure it’s not Tooms.) and delved into what it meant to believe or disbelieve. Nor was it The Sopranos, which changed the face of television and ended on a high note (sung by Journey). It was just a show that had a good idea that didn’t really stand up to six seasons of television.

That said, this show would have been a STELLAR miniseries. But somebody (ABC) got greedy and asked them to make it into a show instead and suddenly, it was like “Oh shit! How do we drag this out for five seasons?” Try six, hombre. You do so by constantly introducing new characters who aren’t important, but you tell the audience they are (Nikki and Paolo!), by introducing time travel (Hey brother! Oh, hai Desmond.), and flash forwards (We have to go BACK to the island!), and alternate timelines (Sayid Jarrah IS MacGruber! Sawyer IS a renegade cop who can’t keep his shirt on!) and ghost busters (Bustin’ makes Myles feel gooood!) and shit.

I’m not trying to say that people who enjoyed the finale were wrong (you’re wrong) but that for me, it was deeply unsatisfying and patronizing and kind of slapdash. Basically, it was two hours of people yelling “WHAT’S HAPPENING!?” followed by somebody else shouting “TRUST ME!” Which is, perhaps the perfect summation of this show.

Bye Lost! It was nice hating you!

“Release Me,” True Blood: In Pictures.

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vlcsnap-745405After the jump, last night’s episode of True Blood in photos [NSFW, probably]:

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Welcome back, Conan!

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Tonight’s the night folks! Conan is back! It’s his first show as host of The Tonight Show and I could not be happier! God, I’m so sick of Leno’s long, drawn out not-really goodbye. It will be great to have Big Red back!

I’ve been watching this tall drink of Irish water since 1993. I had just started baby sitting for my elementary school vice-principal’s kids. They were staying out super late and their kids were super little and went to bed super early, leaving me a lot of time to avoid doing algebra homework.  It was at their creepy old house that I started watching the X-Files. I’d scare myself with that, then need something a little lighter so I wouldn’t feel the need to have every light in the house on. Thankfully, this was also the year that Conan premiered on late night. I loved him pretty much immediately, but over the years, it was fantastic watching him go from a nervous nobody to a hilarious and gracious host with an easygoing interview style and the best, most irreverent humour in the business.

Below are a few moments from Late Night that prove Conan is the best. I can only expect more awesome comedy from him in the future. Enjoy and don’t forget to tune in to Conan! Like, right now! Go watch!

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