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Gracepoint: An Inexact Copy

Dear David Tennant: the next time you’re cast in an American drama series and some network honcho tells you to lose your beautiful Scottish brogue, you fight it.

My own biases aside, there’s much to be said about Fox’s new drama Gracepoint. I don’t want to be yet another person stuck in the abysmal “British originals trump American remakes” mindset, nor do I necessarily want to focus on how foreign Tennant’s accent sounds to me, a fan of both his run on Doctor Who and the original Broadchurch, from which Gracepoint is directly influenced. But in its relocation from the English county of Dorset to a northern California town, it seems to have forgotten parts of itself along the way.

The pilot episode of Gracepoint is structurally almost identical to its cousin. Young mother Beth Solano (Virginia Kull) wakes up one day to discover her son Danny is mysteriously missing, and makes the usual calls and inquiries into his whereabouts. Meanwhile, Detective Ellie Miller (Breaking Bad alum Anna Gunn) returns to work after a vacation to find that the job she was being considered for has been given to Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant With An American Accent, whoops, there I go. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.). Carver is an out-of-towner hoping to put some demons of an undetermined nature to rest, and Miller is rightly pissed that he’s muscled his way into her limelight. But these characters’ normal lives all come crashing together when Danny Solano’s body turns up on a Gracepoint beach, jump-starting the worst breakdown of “love thy neighbor” in TV history.

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Mulaney, Series Premiere, Review

Mulaney is a modern take on Seinfield. The former is nowhere near as good as the latter, but Mulaney is far from being another Selfie. Although, that’s not saying much.

In the show, John Mulaney plays a fictional version of himself. The fictional John Mulaney is a struggling standup comic, who lands a job at Lou Cannon’s television show. Cannon (Martin Short) comes off as self-absorbed, but in the end we find out he has a soft spot for Mulaney. Cannon uses Mulaney’s jokes, so Mulaney doesn’t quit.

I love Martin Short’s obviously affected over the top public persona, but he does it all the time and there’s no other character that rivals his hamminess. Making matters worse, (the real) Mulaney either can’t act or is completely uninterested in his own show. As a result, the scenes with Cannon and (the character) Mulaney feel like “The Martin Short Show.” If Short wants to do weekly television, someone should give him his own damn show. Leave Mulaney in the writers room.

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Mad TV Song Parodies

Mad TV wasn’t a very good show. However, like most sketch comedy, it had it’s moments. Before everyone on the internet was making parody song music videos, Mad TV was doing it better. Here are some of the show’s funniest music video parodies.

Britney Spears- “I’m Not a Child”

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Surviving Jack Premiere Review

There is absolutely no reason for Surviving Jack to be a good show. It has the same premise of half the sitcoms this season: kid with grumpy father grew up in the 80s/90s and is now reflecting on it. Television this season has basically been filled with a bunch of The Wonder Years wannabees. Despite starting from the same cliche, Surviving Jack uses the past as a tool to enhance the comedy, instead of as a distraction. There is no haha it’s the 90s, what were we thinking? It’s just a sitcom that happens to take place in the 90s.

Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni as Dr. Jack Dunlevy, who is a great doctor, but a rough parent. He love his kids, but doesn’t know how to get that across. Jack is forced to take over primary parenting responsibilities when his wife, Joanne, goes to law school, a move he fully supports. Like any mother, Joanne is afraid of what will happen. As it is, she has two teenage children, Frankie and Rachel, who are busy getting themselves into trouble.

In the premiere, Frankie and his friends George and Mikey steal dirty magazines from a homeless man. Not wanting to be found out, Frankie hides it in the backyard. Jack catches his son digging a hole in the backyard at 2am. He’s not mad that Frankie has the magazines. However, Jack disapproves of the fact that he stole them. A few days later, he takes Frankie, George, and Mikey to return the magazines. The homeless man jumps out from behind a tent, holding a shovel, and scares them. Jack fights the man until the boys are out of sight. Then, Jack pays the guy 20 bucks because that part was a set up. Of course, Jack would. He’s that kind of guy. Jack acts like a drill sergeant, whose convinced he’s actually a big softie. He’s not, but he cares.

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Cosmos Makes Triumphant Return

You don’t need to know rocket science to know the name Carl Sagan. Easily one of the most brilliant and passionate voices of his generation, Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, Cornell professor, and prolific science popularizer, and in 1980, he captivated America with his hit show Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. It was unlike anything seen on television before, a documentary series that provided an engaging look at the history of mankind and its collective thirst to understand the universe. It seamlessly melded philosophy with life lessons, experimentation with historical re-enactments, and scientific theory with impressive visual effects relative to it time.

Like the zombies it’s currently up against in the Sunday night timeslot, Cosmos has returned from the dead, and without a moment to spare. The new season, subtitled A Spacetime Odyssey, is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and already seems to be living up to it namesake with the thrilling journey it promises over its 13-episode run. The show is co-produced by Seth MacFarlane (proving that backing projects outside one’s typical genre can and should be done), 24 and Star Trek: Enterprise‘s Brannon Braga, and Ann Druyan, producer of the original show and Sagan’s widow. The first of what I anticipate will be a series of spectacularly informative hours of TV included a look at our “cosmic address,” the influence of a monk named Giordano Bruno, and the Cosmic Calendar, a narrative device used in the original series to demonstrate humanity’s history relative to the history of the universe. (Spoiler alert: we’re a blip on the radar.)

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Glee’s “Previously Unaired Christmas”

If you thought last week’s episode was at an all time low, Glee puts it all out there for their Christmas episode. Glee not only has sexy elves costumes, but the show has sexist and racist remarks as well. The show certainly  wants to make a statement for the fall finale. However, those probably weren’t the things the writers wanted everyone talking about.

In this episode, Sue Syvlester holds a contest that has McKinley High students decorating a Christmas tree. The one rule is that it needs to be eco-friendly. The first place price is a plastic crystal angel “that a twelve year old Filipino made.” Tina and Sam are on the glee club’s decorating committee. Tina takes this contest very seriously because, as always, she wants it about her. Prom queen wasn’t enough.

While Tina continues to stress about the tree, Artie mentions that the nativity scene got defaced and vandalized.  The nativity scene gets  defaced with swastikas and the baby Jesus is even found in Figgins’ chimney. Figgins informs the glee club that he wants them to perform a live nativity scene. Coach Beiste wants Jake to play Joseph because “he is a tan Jew.”  All of the girls want to be the Virgin Mary, except Kitty. While all of the girls audition, Kitty sits this one out. Not only is she angry about the girls’ performance, but she doesn’t think “a Chinese person should play the Virgin Mary.” Marley corrects her with “I’m pretty sure she’s Korean.” Even though Kitty puts on a hard shell, she showcases her vulnerability in this episode. She tells Marley that she feels Marley doesn’t deserve to play the Virgin Mary because of her promiscuous ways.

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‘Glee’: “The Puppet Master”

Glee was one of the few shows that aired a new episode on Thanksgiving. If you thought the tryptophan was getting to you or you had too many glasses of wine at dinner, fear not. It was probably  “The Puppet Master,” which is Glee‘s trippiest episode to date. “The Puppet Master” had fantasy sequences and puppets that looked liked the characters.

The episode mainly revolved around Blaine, who is considered to be the puppet master of the New Directions. He doesn’t realize how controlling he is, but the other glee club members can see it. The glee club feels they don’t get a say in any of the decision making process because it’s all about Blaine’s ideas. This is not a democracy in the rest of the clubs eyes. Tina goes as far as to compare the glee club to North Korea. However, Blane feels that no one is appreciating his leadership skills. After sitting in the back corner of the choir room, Blaine starts falling asleep and begins dreaming of the casts’ puppet counterparts. As if this was a Sesame Street episode, Blaine sings “You’re My Best Friend” with the puppets.  Seriously, why can’t Glee just grow up? If anything, Glee should have used the puppets for Avenue Q songs. Avenue Q is meant to be a puppet show for adults.

It’s sad to say, but Blaine’s becoming the new Rachel Berry. Rachel was a very prominent character throughout the show, but has been kind of hidden in the background lately. Rachel and Blaine are the kind of characters you love to hate  because everything revolves around them. It makes them sound even more selfish than they are. Quite frankly, the show shouldn’t be called Glee anymore cause Blaine has been taking over. It should be called now “The Blaine Anderson Show,” just like it used to feel like “The Rachel Berry Show.”

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Glee’s Billy Joel Tribute

After last week’s twerking craze, Billy Joel is probably the best thing for getting back on track. The Billy Joel songs chosen throughout the episode complimented the story line and didn’t seem like a forced attempt to seem cool. Last night, the show was about the characters’  joys and fears of the future.

The episode starts with Sam and Blaine heading to New York to visit Rachel, Kurt and Santana in hopes for career advice. They believe that “New York is the city where dreams come true.” Blaine hopes to get into NYADA and Sam at Hunter University. Sam hopes that his impressions and his Channing Tatum Male Stripper Scholarship award will come in handy in the long run. Ever since, Sam was a young kid, his dream job was to become a male model  because he was not a good student. Since Hunter University was a no go, Sam decides to pursue his modeling dream by meeting  up with a tough talent agency named “Bichette.” Bichette, played by none other than Tyra Banks, gives Sam a harsh reality of what it takes to make it into the industry.

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‘Sleepy Hollow’: “Necromancer” Recap

It seems that another ship set sail in Monday’s episode of Sleepy Hollow. Abbie’s sister, Jenny, was released from the mental institution and began working with Captain Irving. Fans voted for the ship name to be “Mr. and Mrs. BAMF,” but I think it should be something along the lines of Jirving. This is not going to distract fans from the favorite “Ichabbie” ship as the writers continue to tease us with all of the “will they, won’t they” tension. Thousands of fans cried out in delight as Abbie implied that candle light was romantic, to which Ichabod practically blushed and seemed to agree with that statement. Seriously, writers, you’re killing us.

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‘Glee’: “The End of Twerk”

Sadly, Glee‘s story lines are coming directly from the headlines. They are pandering to a younger, pop culture savvy media demographic. The episodes of Glee, I remember seeing in the early days are a lot different than what’s being produced today. Last night, Glee paid tribute to this year’s most talked about hot button issue: Miley Cyrus. The episode was all about rebelling, twerking, and the freedom to express yourself.  When I first heard about the episode, I said “Oh god, this is going to be a train wreck.” I was right.

Everyone has those days when you feel like breaking out in dance when no one is looking, but nowadays its very easy to get caught. Blaine happens to  get caught twerking because Tina recorded it and showed everyone in the glee club. He becomes embarrassed, but Mr. Schuester feels that this is what they need to get into nationals. Mr. Schuester feels that this dance craze is certainly “not traditional, but its envelope pushing.” Soon after, he begins to break out in song and dance to Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines.” The students seemed to be enjoying themselves by sexing it up and making it look inappropriate.

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