Monthly Archives: February 2014
I love Seth Meyers, but Late Night with Seth Meyers is mediocre. It’s so mediocre that I could only bring myself to watch two episodes for this review. That being said, the show has some incredible potential. Seth’s in the same situation Conan O’Brien was when he began hosting late night: having writing skills doesn’t translate into being a good performer.
Part of Seth’s problem is that he delivers the monologue like it’s a Weekend Update. Rapid fire one liners may work on The Tonight Show, but on Late Night we’re used to a monologue that’s delivered like a one-sided conversation. Seth understands it, but when he attempts to joke about a bombed joke, he just digs himself deeper. He’s trying his best, but he doesn’t know when to move on. Not helping things is that a lot of his jokes miss the mark. If I have to think about the logic behind your joke before I understand it, it’s not a good joke. Seth’s still has to figure out that a monologue full of “just for us” jokes doesn’t work for the 12:35 crowd.
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Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead continued to follow the formula of showing only a few characters at a time. This week we followed Rick, Carl, Michonne, Glenn, Tara, and the new group of survivors. Fans of the comics knew exactly who they were, but were the new survivors were introduced to the audience as Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. They are traveling to Washington D.C. because Eugene is a “scientist” and he is going to “save the world.” I think it’s safe to put those in quotes because you cannot trust a man with a mullet. Especially one that claims to be a scientist.
Michonne asks Rick what their plans are- whether they are going to stay in the house or continue to travel. Rick doesn’t have a clue, so he just makes her take Carl scavenging while he takes a nap. Rick is woken up by a group of strange men that have broken into the house. Since he is still weak from being beaten by The Governor, he hides under the bed. Things get awkward when a man walks into the room and decides to take a nap. Then things get really awkward when another guy comes in and demands to have the bed. Then things get super awkward when that guy chokes the other guy just to have the bed. He sees Rick hiding under the bed before he’s choked to sleep. Rick slips out under the bed while the both men are sleeping/passed out.
The Tonight Show fits Jimmy Fallon like a glove. It’s a perfect match that I wasn’t expecting. For me, Jimmy Fallon’s version of Late Night didn’t capture that show’s essence. During their times on Late Night, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien were the guys who came on after the show your dad watches. They were slightly edgy and a little left of the mainstream without completely alienating it. Jimmy swims in the middle of the mainstream and wholeheartedly embraces it. It wasn’t a good match for Late Night, but it’s exactly what The Tonight Show‘s about.
Unlike Dave and Conan, Jimmy was able to move his old show lock, stock, and barrel an hour earlier. There was no changing to appease middle America, but he acts enough like an overgrown frat boy to appeal to the college crowd. If Jay Leno is vanilla, Jimmy is vanilla with sprinkles. He’s inoffensive fun. Parents won’t have a problem having their kids stay up late Friday nights watching The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, whereas they shudder at the thought of a certain self-pleasuring recurring character from Conan.
Sid Caesar died earlier this week at the ago of 91. Unfortunately, most episodes of Your Show of Shows have been destroyed, so it’s impossible to watch from beginning to end how groundbreaking he was. Since there aren’t many full episodes, enjoy Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, and friends in This is Your Story, a parody of This is Your Life.
For those who want better commentary on Sid Caesar, David Zurawick over at The Baltimore Sun provides it.
Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead showed how it’s going back to its roots. The show, finally making its way to the comic’s second compendium, picked up where it had left off in the midseason finale. The prison is destroyed and the group is split up. Rick and Carl are together, Daryl is with Beth, Glenn and Maggie have each other and Tyreese is with the girls. Michonne, on the other hand, is alone again. Each episode looks as if it’s going to focus on a few of the groups at a time. This week focused on Rick, Carl and Michonne.
Rick isn’t doing too well after being beaten up by The Governor. He has a hard time putting down a walker, and Carl ends up shooting it. Rick scolds him for using bullets because they no longer have a stockpile of ammo. He takes Carl into an abandoned home to recover. Carl just wants his father to take him seriously. Rick then sleeps for most of the episode, forcing Carl to prove that he can live without Rick. So, of course, Carl gets into trouble because it’s in his nature.
Let’s get this out of the way, I’m a Conan O’Brien and David Letterman fan. For all intents and purposes, the media tells me I should despise Jay Leno. I don’t. He’s not my favorite comedian. I find what he did to David Letterman distasteful, but it’s been over 20 years and the two men now talk to each other again. I also think he should have left NBC after they handed The Tonight Show to Conan. However, things get nasty when two people are battling over their dream job. For years ago Jay came out looking bad, yet so did Conan. The real loser was NBC.
Instead of hating Jay, I understand that he’s vanilla. Something bland that the remains of an aging mainstream America falls asleep watching. I am not his target audience. In spite of it all, I watched the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno expecting something more than a typical show. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. NBC’s making a big deal about the changing of the guard at The Tonight Show, but Jay went out with a whimper. It was an average show that focuses more on the past than normal, which is saying something for a show hosted by a guy still making Monica Lewinsky jokes in 2001.
The episode began with John helping a neighbor find her son, who is a drug addict. Of course, he finds her son. What he doesn’t expect is to find Sherlock lying on the floor next to him. Because Sherlock has a long history of drug problems, no one believes him that he did it for a case. Even, the mild-mannered Molly Hooper smacks Sherlock across the face. Sherlock wasn’t looking for a high, at least not off of whatever drug he was using, he was luring Charles Augustus Magnussen onto his trail. Given Sherlock has a flair for the dramatic, it makes sense that Sherlock would pretend to resort to old habits just to get to the “one man he truly hates.”
Magnussen is basically Rupert Murdoch with a huge mansion and a malicious mind palace. Sherlock may like to call himself a sociopath, but Magnussen is one. Magnussen makes a living out of blackmailing people and publishing the results. Not even Sherlock is immune from Magnussen’s power. Granted, Sherlock gets himself into trouble and always manages to make it out okay, but Magnussen did have Sherlock good. He manipulated Sherlock via his pressure point: John. Specifically, Magnussen threatens to disrupt John’s life as he currently knows it. He can reveal Mary Watson’s darkest secrets- secrets she hasn’t told John because she loves him and doesn’t want to scare him.
In just eight episodes, HBO’s True Detective will take detectives Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey back to a case they couldn’t solve in 1995 Louisiana whose killer may now be resurfacing. After the first two episodes, seemingly occult-based murders have begun to lead the two down a path of drugs, flop houses, and a burnt-out, backwoods church of ‘redemption’ looking for answers.
The ‘history’ of the case in True Detective unfolds through a series of flashbacks as the former partners retell their tale(s) to two current detectives who lost the files to storm Rita. The pace flows slower than most television crime shows as if McConaughey and Harrelson are actually reliving their partnership and a case nearly two decades old (within a slow, southern atmosphere no less). The show’s mystery and acting help carry the viewer through the proceedings at a decent pace, but the current detectives are quite distracting when you’re trying to figure out if they’re hiding something or if they’re just giving each other goofy looks whenever they can because they think it’s funny.