Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Louis C.K. has made me blog again

Hey. It's been a while.


Great, hyperbole out of the way early, but just in case you missed it - THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TELEVISION SHOW LIKE F/X'S LOUIE...EVER.

Seriously. Louie is such a singular achievement in a world where we have long thought nothing new could be done to shake up the sitcom formula. I am in awe.

Here's how all sitcoms work and have worked regardless of what they're about through the history of time. There is a short tease to start the episode wherein a problem of some sort is brought up. Then there is an opening credits sequence (these have, admittedly, been phased out as of late so sometimes there's not) then someone formulates a plan on how to solve said problem and it doesn't work. Commercial. New plan, problem solved. Commercial. Final sting with a joke and we're out. Also, during this whole process another, less important and usually jokier, story is playing out. It's resolution usually ties in with what is going on in the other story.

That's how it works, folks. From Dick Van Dyke to Ray Romano, Roseanne to Arrested Development, Lucy to iCarly. That's it. That's how it goes.

Oh but mean, it doesn't always have to do that? See, we've been told it does. And it's not a bad formula. Greatness has come from this and it can and has been played for smirky, wink-wink in-jokes for forever, but it's a formula that has been clung to for as long as sitcoms existed. Networks make you do it. There are books about it.

Louis C.K. doesn't give a shit about that and luckily he had enough clout to convince F/X to allow him to do a show with complete creative control. This is his vision, folks. now upon first glance an idiot may try and tell you that Louie is like Seinfeld because C.K.'s stand up is interspersed throughout the show. It's not like Seinfeld. That's a stupid assessment. Then, maybe some other idiots will tell you it's like Curb Your Enthusiasm seeing as how C.K. is technically playing a modified version of himself, a comedian who is irked by lots of stuff. It's not like Curb Your Enthusiasm. That's a stupid assessment.

Louie follows no traditional sitcom rules, so although it certainly borrows some aspects of other shows and can, sometimes, be tonally similar, it's something all it's own. First of all, there are not three acts and no conflict resolution that plays out over 22 minutes. Louie has two completely separate pieces that play more like two short films than anything else. There is no B-story anywhere to be found because Louie doesn't have any true supporting characters. As far as I can tell they will change week to week. Oh and you know what else? It's still really fucking funny...and then sometimes it's not. I was staggered by the opening sequence of episode 2.

Let me set the scene, Louie is playing poker with some of his comedian buddies. Guys you'd recognize, Jim Norton, Nick DiPaelo all playing themselves, when talk turns to one of their poker buddies who happens to be gay (I'm not sure who he is and I'm not gonna pretend). What follows is a pointed conversation between these comedians and their use of the word faggot on stage. It's a funny conversation, but it's also eye-opening and, dare I say it, touching. None of these "characters" betray themselves in the moment. It's well written and it's FUCKING honest. You have never seen a scene like this on a sitcom...ever. And, you know what? It's the whole first act.

Louie is remarkable. It looks great. It's gritty. It feels like New York. It sounds great. The dialogue is spot on and, again, real. It's a comedy, sure but it's also about this man, this real life man going through a divorce and trying to live. It's the Friday Night Lights of sitcoms and if you have ever worked in television and have been told it has to be a done a specific way, fuck that, Louie is proving it doesn't.

It's inspiring.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Because Dan's right, there are no headbands in college.

Well, like most shows that take their high schoolers to college, Gossip Girl is really testing out those growing pains. Last night's episode was entertaining to watch, but when I sit down and think about it, it's officially a marked drop off from the previous seasons and, truth be told, I'm a little worried. Alright, let's get into it.

-Carter Baizen. No thanks. Go away. Remember Aaron Rose? Yeah. Carter's not that bad, but in the Serena Van Der Woodsen relationship spectrum he falls somewhere in between the horror of Aaron Rose and the sometimes likability of Dan Humphrey.

-I think maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't care about Serena at all. I care about Serena less than I cared about Marissa Cooper and let me tell you I did not care about Marissa Cooper.

-There's no way this current Serena storyline can be satisfying for me as a viewer. I don't care when she's good and I totally don't buy it when she's bad. She's only interesting when she's with Dan, but when she's with Dan then Dan isn't interesting. It's a sticky situation.

-I'm really on the Dan bandwagon, by the way. He's still pretentious and stupid but in a really pleasant way.

-Gossip Girl - how dare you beat me over the head with Nate and Whatsherface and have absolutely no Eric or Lil' J in the whole episode. Fuck you, Gossip Girl. Fuck you.

-"And no Riverdale doesn't count." Attagirl, Blair. Attagirl.

-I am not into nice Chuck. "For your information I told Rufus about you not going to Brown because I was concerned." YUCK. Please, don't let this be the case. Please let this be a long ruse where you lure Serena in and then at the end of the season you poison her to death with poison.

-What was the deal with Scott freaking out about the professor thing? Mara and I were perplexed. Does he have tourettes? By the way, that guys name is Scott and like a lot of this show so far this season he is not interesting.

-Who are all these non-descript businessmen who want to invest in a Chuck Bass venture? I usually don't hold the show accountable for it's reality flaws but come on.

-And while we're on the subject. - a party on the roof of an NYU dorm? Again, come on!

-On the reality side of things though, Blair's right, clubs on the weekend are totally bridge and tunnel.

_Ok let's talk about my beloved Georgina. Am I wrong or is Georgina the single most compelling character on the show? Chuck and Blair are foundering big time and everyone else makes me want to throw up (except Lil' J. I love Lil' J) Let's cut right to the chase everyone, yes Georgina is evil and yes Georgina is plotting to bring Blair down and yes that's why she's awesome. The insincerity was oozing out of her when she complimented Vanessa on her stupid documentary (she was almost as insincere as V herself when she said "Aw shucks! Come on guys!" Or something like that.) Please don't let Georgina go away. Don't let her go on that stupid nurse show. Stay, G stay. Please!

-"The only queens here are the ones with tickets to see Liza at Carnegie Hall." I didn't like this. I thought it was cheap and not funny and worst of all not Chuck Bass.

-Still love Dorota, that's for sure.

-Never gonna stop hating Rufus. Remember when Dan was like "ask Rufus he's a good dad" and I was like "Uhm no he's not. He's the opposite of being a good dad. He's a bad dad." And as Mara pointed out - he's looking a bit puffy. I bet that actor that plays Rufus is as douchy as Rufus. Just an inkling.

OK. I didn't like this episode. There were some funny moments, but ultimately it's fell very, very flat for me. Think about it there are two central storylines going on (out of about 4 altogether) that have no juice at all. They're completely uninteresting and they take up 50% of the show and the other 50% is lagging as well. Chuck and Blair are blergh right now and this whole Scott thing is gonna turn into a mess. I can't believe I'm saying this but right now I'm incredibly pessimistic about the season as a whole.

Georgina Sparks saves it from being an outright F and brings it up to a D.

Pick up the pace guys. Maybe some Cyrus next week and definitely some Jenny Humphrey PLEASE!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Because...well, because it's the MOTHAFUCKING season premiere MOTHAFUCKAHS

Fall is here and I, for one, could not be happier. The air will get crisp, I will talk about wanting to go apple picking and then never go apple picking and of course that means the return of Gossip Girl - the single greatest television show in the history of time and space.

-Welcome back everyone, I missed you all so much. Oh wait, no I didn't. I totally forgot. I didn't miss Rufus because I hate him. He's the worst. And I didn't miss Dan. Well that's not entirely true I kind of, sort of missed Dan. He's growing on me. But I, for sure didn't miss Serena. I missed the way her boobs looked in flowy dresses but I can see them in those fake tabloid pictures I'm sure. I wish she would have stayed in whatever foreign country(ies) she was in (I tend to not pay close attention to Serena storylines).

-This premiere episode felt like a lot of set-up for me. It wasn't bad (it can never be bad) it just wasn't particularly memorable.

-Vanessa's hair gained weight.

-You see this is why Rufus is so stupid - if a teenager approaches you anywhere and tells you that he/she is just a really big fan of your stupid band, know this - HE'S LYING! Just a good rule of thumb, ok? Great.

-CONCERN ALERT: Blair and Chuck are less fun when they're together. I know we think we want it, but we don't.


-Alright Vanessa. Enough. If someone gave you a limo to drive around in all day, like you wouldn't? You could take it Ricky's and buy earrings. (Do they even sell earrings at Ricky's?)

-Jenny and Eric are the new Will and Grace. No they're not.

-If you were Jenny Humphrey's father (In this case, Rufus) would you let her walk around looking like that? I know you'd like to think you'd be progressive and all "I just want my daughter to be able to express herself" but you wouldn't. It's not even that she looks slutty it's that she looks she's just been busy finishing up all this heroin. Add to the fact that I'm now starting to think she's the hottest one on the show and you've got yourself a problem on your hands, fella (in this case Rufus).

-This long, lost son storyline is just going to serve to mean more Rufus, so I'm against it.

-I have to talk about Carter Baizen right? Ok. Done.

-Blair's most memorable line of the night came early when she told that girl she had "American Girl hair" which is a problem because, truth is, it's not that great of a line. It's good, yes, but it's not up to Waldorf standards.

-Chuck's military jacket thing? Yes.

-Nate Archibald? No.

-Seriously, Nate is really dumb.

-Glad to see Joanna Garcia, late of Privileged, in the mix here. She might make me not want to fast forward through the Nate bits.

-They don't check ID's at polo matches.

-Vanessa's new bf/Dan and Serena's half brother wears khakis. Khakis are stupid. No one should wear them. Unless that person is someone's dad. But even then...

- I like Nate's nefarious grandfather.

-Chuck made a Jules et Jim reference which baffles me on two levels. The first being - who do they think watches this show? I guess more people who would get a Jules et Jim reference than I would expect (and let me just say this, I'm not being all hoity toity like oh I totally get it, I only get it because I had to watch that movie in college and you know what? It sucks. It's boring. I'd much rather watch Point Break. RIP Bodhi. You're missed!) And second for the small minority who do get it, do you expect us to believe, based on the character you've created, that Nate would get it? But you do. You want us to believe that that dummy gets a Jules et Jim reference and he's not even in college! Come on. At least have Chuck make that reference to Vanessa. She's a pretentious snob.


Ok, here's the thing-the episode was fine. Nothing earth shattering, but fine. It looks like we're back to form next week with appearances from Doroda as well as one of my favorites - Georgina Sparks. Until then this episode is a B.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Over Here Now

Hey. I haven't been updating much I know because I'm concentrating on a new blog for a while.

You can go here to read it.

No fear, though I'll be back around for Gossip Girl.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hey, remember the 90s?

I watched Chasing Amy last night. The whole thing. It was on IFC and I decided to watch it. It hasn't aged all that well and is certainly not as good as I remember it, but there is still some stuff in there that's worth your time. Particularly Joey Lauren Adams. What happened to her? She's really good in that movie and, let's face it, with that voice she's starting in a hole. Her scene outside the hockey arena is the best scene in the entire movie.

What really struck me about Chasing Amy though is how much I miss the 90s. You remember the 90s don't you? Everyone called each other on pay phones, smoked in bars and shopped at record stores. They were good days.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five things in pop culture that I'm finished with.

-John Gosselin. Really? Enough already with this guy. I didn't care about him to start, then I kind of cared about him because I was told by everyone that I should, then I felt a little bad for him because his wife seemed annoying, then I felt sexist for taking his side when I really didn't know all that much about the situation, then I thought he was a douchebag (what with the earrings and all) then a dickhead (what with the galavanting around town with blonde girls all the while ignoring his EIGHT kids), and now... well now I'm done.

-Mischa Barton's meltdown. Does anyone care about Mischa Barton anymore?

-Entourage, more specifically anything invloving "E" and/or "Turtle. I've been finished with Entourage ever since the episode where Vince drove around with Turtle all day and then bought him really expensive sneakers from the kid who played Rufio in Hook. The show is mesmerizingly bad. Worse than True Blood. In fact, it's way worse. I'm really waiting for someone to tell me that HBO's current Sunday night line-up is just one big practical joke because if they don't I fear the apocalypse may be upon us.

-The Emmys. Ok. This is a big one. People who vote for the Emmys are supposed to watch television, correct? I thought so. Having said that it's safe to assume that most, if not all, Emmy voters have seen Connie Britton and yet for three years running have chosen not to nominate her for her tremendous work on Friday Night Lights. Let me say this, Connie Britton is the best person acting on television right now and she is surrounded by some of the best actors around and still she stands out. I don't get it. I'm at a loss. It's a brilliant show. She's brilliant. The Emmys are dumb.

-NYC Prep, but not for the reasons you'd think. I decided to stop watching the show after the second episode because I feel bad for them. They're being exploited just as badly as the Jon and Kate kids. It's bad. But, that's probably another post for another day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some things are just made for me.

<a href="" target="_new" title=""RENO 911!" and Human Giant Cinemash "Point Break"">Video: "RENO 911!" and Human Giant Cinemash "Point Break"</a>