Monday, November 22, 2010

TV Club. Now On iTunes. (Not Really)

Read the wholesome version here. Read the even more wholesome version at

JB: All across America, the same question was asked, "Why did we ever
think Gwyneth Paltrow was an asshole?" As much fun as she was here,
wait till her stupid-looking country movie opens for a reminder.
Finally, they came up with a way to de-douche Schue: put him in scenes
with his crazy clingy ex. He seems almost human and sympathetic.
Except that there's no reason for her to exist on the show anymore.
Worst moment: the bully who kissed Kurt telling him, "I'm going to
kill you if you tell anybody". That wasn't foreshadowing. That was
CC: Okay, everyone I know is saying Gwyneth was really good on this,
and I suspect everyone is talking about the acting scenes, which of
course I did not watch, but obviously I watched the musical numbers
and I'm sorry, that woman cannot dance and therefore was a giant pain
in the eyeball to me. She was even worse than I thought she would be!
She looked like a lumbering horse up there! And I WANTED to like the
Umbrella mashup at the end. I've got very good memories of Harry Shum
dancing in the rain at the end of Step Up 2. But this? Yikes. Thank
god for the bright spots of Heather Morris whenever she showed up
onscreen; you could let your eyes go totally out of focus and still
know which one she was, she hits so much sharper and cleaner than
everybody else.

JB: Anne Hathaway is the Paltrow we like. I am hereby authorized by my
homeland to give the Royal Engagement sketch two thumbs of approval.
And Katie Holmes! There will be Scientology repercussions. Quick word
about this Jay Pharoah. He's something SNL hasn't had in a long time:
a cast member who could turn into a star. He's also something they
haven't has in even longer: a black cast member who could turn into a
star. It's a joke that he doesn't get to do his dead-on Obama because
someone who doesn't do an dead-on Obama and has to put on brown-face
was there first. But they need to find better way to showcase him
impressions than putting him on Weekend Update with an act he probably
did on open mic night at the comedy club. And he needs to stop wearing
t-shirts with his face on them.
CC: Agreed on the impressions showcase; the premise of that was sooo
shoehorned in. They shoulda just owned it, or stuck him in that last
sketch, which I had no hopes for when they kicked off with Wiig as
Cranberries, like, how busted is that, but then it provided me with my
biggest laugh of the entire night when Samberg showed up as Robert
Smith. I absolutely cracked up. It was just so ridiculous, by that
point in the show and after everything else that had already happened
(this week was waaay better than last week). Also great, Sudeikis's
little smile at the end of his Adam Lambert. Also totally
rewatchable? Bobby Moynihan as Guy Fieri. Shut up. I've seen Guy
Fieri on many a Food Network show and I don't know that I've ever
heard him mention raisins, ever, or even do ridiculous wordplay, but
goshdarnit, that damn segment worked for me.

Friday Night Lights
JB: Banner week for the supporting cast. Buddy Garrity Jr comes back
to Dillon, mocks his dad's abandoned showroom, calls the school a
mental hospital, openly admires Tami Taylor's rack, steals Buddy Sr's
truck and credit card. Plus he commits the cardinal sin on this show:
he thinks football's stupid. While Mrs Coach fails to make any
progress rehabilitating Epyck( that's right, Epyck. Not Epic), Mindy
Riggins out-Tami's her. That is correct, Billy Riggin's ex-stripper
wife totally came through for Becky, saving her from having to go back
under the same roof as her rotten dad and stepmom. The Riggins
decency: it's buried deep but it's always there.

JB: Maybe ten people are watching this show. Eleven if you count me. I
don't even know if I would attempt to recommend it to anyone. I just
know why I like it. It's a little bit The Rockford Files, a little bit
The Last Boy Scout and a little bit Chinatown. It's a detective show
in the same way Friday Night Lights is a football show. I'll even take
that a bit further: you know how, pre-FNL, Kyle Chandler was always
cast as the blend handsome guy? Terriers takes Donal Logue who was
always cast as the doughy slob and says, Yeah, he's that but why can't
he be the smart guy and action guy and the heartbroken guy and the
funny guy and the self-sabotaging drunk guy and the screw-up who's
trying to redeem himself? No reason at all, is the response from me
and the other ten in the audience.

The Walking Dead
JB: Question: why don't the living people call the walking dead
zombies? Why would they call them walkers? They've all seen zombie
movies. They know what zombies are. Why make up a new term? Especially
one that sounds like it was created so as not offend them. You can
offend them. They're zombies.
CC: Seriously! That's all I want to yell, all the time, during this
show: "Aaaa! MORE ZOMBIES!" And I actually thought the societal
shenanigans were interesting this week, but again? When the zombies
showed up at the end and just fucking ate half the people? God, this
show rocks. There's gonna be a weird, hollow window in my life when
this ends and I've still got six weeks before Spartacus begins, but
maybe I'll, like, read or something.

X Factor
JB: John Lennon was shot. George Harrison was stabbed. Paul McCartney
married Heather Mills. But nothing The Beatles (Now on iTunes.)
endured in the past was as bad as the treatment they received at the
hands of the X Factor finalists. This was the BEST performance of the
CC: Oh my god! This was great! So terrible! I love it! A boy band
so completely awash in formulaicness that you can't even complain, you
totally gotta give them credit! They've got one of everybody! Well,
no, they've got two Biebers, plus Seth Cohen from The OC's heyday and
a gay-brother-from-Gossip-Girl-ish guy and then the one sliiightly
manlier guy with the earring that the sliiightly older preteens can go
for, but my god! They've built the perfect little terrifying machine!
Aaaaa! Speaking of which, did you see NKOTBSB on the AMAs? Yikes.
And I don't even really mean that in a bad way since of course all the
tunes they did in their medley were super memorable and catchy to this
day yeah I said it.
JB: I did watch it. And I had a couple of thoughts: BSB songs are slightly less embarrassing to perform as adults. NKOTB could probably kick their asses if it comes down to a fight. Which it will.

And now...the first, and possibly last, installment of YA Book Club!

Dash & Lily's Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
JB: We have TV Club. Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have their
she-writes-one-chapter-he-writes-the-next series of similarly-themed
bast-sellers. So obviously we come out ahead in that deal. I'm using
sarcasm to mask my seething professional jealousy. But there's no
point hating Cohn/Levithan's brand of indie/quirky boy/girl books.
They're genetically designed to win you over in the end. This one
didn't even have to wait to the end to get me. It's about a pair of
quirky(check), indie(check) Manhattan teens alone in Manhattan at
Christmas. Okay, stop right there. Quirky teens. Alone. Manhattan.
Christmas. I didn't even have to read the book. I've been three of
these things. My head is already filled with bittersweet imagery. But
Cohn/Levithan have more than just their emotive time and place.Just
like Nick and Norah's missing band and Naomi and Ely's no-kiss list,
Dash and Lily has/ have a gimmick. She embeds a Molsekine notebook in
an obscure shelf deep in the bowels of Manhattan's fabled Strand
bookstore. (The Strand! I'm welling up again.) The chances someone
will find it are minimal. The chances that the someone who finds it
will open it and be intrigued by the challenge to crack the literary
clue scrawled inside are even minimaler. But, of course, someone does.
And responds with a challenge of his own. And so on to the
post-Christmas happy ending. This duo churn out inventive and charming
books and they've hit on a formula that probably won't run out of gas
any time soon. And I'm sure David Leventhal was amusing himself when
he wrote the scene where the sixteen year-old heterosexual male
character celebrates having his parents' empty house to himself by
stripping off all his clothes and dancing around to his mother's Mamma
Mia CD.

Movie Club

Shutter Island
CC: I'm trying to figure out how the fuck I live in a world where
this movie made gazillions of dollars and Scott Pilgrim made much less
than gazillions of dollars.

CC: Okay, you know how Lost in Translation wasn't so much a movie as
a vibe? This was even less of a movie and more of a vibe. I didn't
know it was possible. I didn't even not like it, it's just that the
script for this thing must've been about four pages long. Nothing

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