Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
- It was a nice touch when Tommy convinced the M.E. to list Jerry's cause of death as "coronary failure." That way Peter will never know how his father actually died, especially since the guys had him cremated too.
- I loved the look of satisfaction on Lou's face when he figured out that Jimmy the Jew was leeping with another fire-fighter's wife. Looks like Bart is coming to the 62 Truck crew.
- Troy being completely obsessed with Tommy was a riot. Is that the only reason that he's dating Sheila?
- Loved when Lou gave Mike a hug instead of making a gay joke. Not for long though. ("We attack at dawn!")
- The fire scene in the office building was tense too. After they got lost, I really thought someone minor like Mike was going to die. If one show out there can layer on the deaths, this would be the one.
- The scene with the marriage counselor was by far the best part of the episode though. Janet and Tommy explain their screwed up life and the guy thought he was being set up by a co-worker. Hilarious!
- I loved the little nod to the Worcester, MA, Cold Storage Fire (where Leary's own firefighter cousin was killed) when Tommy talked about a similar fire that Jerry helped with in the Bronx back in the 70s. Another nice touch.
Beyond those little moments, there wasn't much else other than what I mentioned earlier. Just a lot of stuff that confirmed what I already sort of knew. Now that I'm four episodes in, I think my biggest concern is not knowing what the big conflict is going to be.I think Tommy and Janet will still probably have another shot once he actually has a doctor diagnose what's wrong with his wedding-tackle. As far as Nona goes, she'll be around to complicate things. I'm sure Sheila will be too once she tires of Troy. But still... where's the conflict? I suppose all I can hope for is something big that I can't yet predict. Knowing this show, I'm sure it will be good.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Carter and Henry investigate Eureka's latest mystery. They keep referring to an Artifact that must plays a huge role in setting up a big mystery for this one. It seems nearly everyone is involved this time, Allison's autistic son Kevin, Beverly the therapist/escort/assassin and nearly everyone connected to Global Dynamics. The Artifact is an active force of its own.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
That being said, in this episode I got to see a little bit more of what lurks underneath Dwight's pompous exterior. He really seems to be a go-getter, but whatever he's going to try to get still is somewhat questionable.
The Jim-Karen flirtation doesn't do anything for me. The squeaky chair stuff seemed rather forced. I don't think I have the patience to see if this thing will develop or not. I guess I'm so used to seeing the Jim-Pam dynamic that any other situation involving either one of them would pale in comparison. To top things off, Jim and Pam finally spoke on the phone, and although there were some awkward moments, you can just tell that something will happen between them--either a hookup or another rejection on someone's part.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Onion Soup with Sausage
1/2 lb pork sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced onion
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) beef broth
Shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large saucepan, cook sausage; drain if needed. Add mushrooms and onion; cook for 4-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in the broth. Bring to a boil Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-6 minutes or until heated through. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls. Top with a slice of bread; sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.
The Closer: Saving Face
Does anybody else really, really want cake? The scene near the end of this episode where the entire team was eating an angry bride's wedding cake made that cake look so good. Yeah, it was a good episode. But, what stuck with me was the cake.
I love when the writers pull out episodes like this one. Sure, there's a dead person and an investigation, but the entire episode still manages to be light-hearted. It all started with Lt. Provenza dropping a coffin down a flight of stairs, then proceeded to a fight between an angry bride and Brenda, and to the entire homicide team eating the bride's $30,000 catering (including that cake).
There were a lot of great scenes in this episode involving Brenda (the bride fight was pretty great), but my favorite was in the plastic surgeon's office where the surgeon made Brenda speechless. He tried to guess what she was in for and started saying very rude (but true!) things about how she slathers her red lipstick on, making her mouth look huge. So, she's suffering from self consciousness as she attempts to solve a murder. And it only gets worse when she looks to Det. Daniels for advice on new lipstick and Daniels takes her down another notch by bashing her wardrobe. Brenda's wardrobe, incidentally, is probably my favorite quirk of her very quirky character. The woman constantly pairs contrasting patterns and looks as if she shops the sales at JC Penney.
Lts. Flynn and Provenza got some good play in this episode as naughty little boys. It was like a playground dynamic between them and Brenda and Lt. Tau, who had to run and tell Brenda about the murder the minute the victim was discovered.There wasn't really much controversy to this episode and I didn't get a whole lot of overall plot advancement, but that's perfectly fine with me. I was entertained. I got a little of the Brenda/Fritz relationship where she's under pressure to go look at houses, but the Brenda/Sgt. Gabriel riff didn't come up this episode. Best to let that simmer, I say.
I was a little uncomfortable with the blackmail practiced by Johnson and Pope at the end of the episode. I guess the justice system is full of this type of blackmail-- if you do this, we won't charge you with that-- but it seemed a bit unethical.
A couple of great one-liners:
"Not a wet eye in the house." - Lt. Provenza to Lt. Flynn after his eulogy.
"Nothing tastes better than someone else's wedding cake. Mine tasted like prison food." - Lt. Provenza
"Oh, well. We're hateful people." - Dep. Chief Brenda Johnson
"Does this case have anything to do with the LAPD?" - Chief Pope"No." - Lt. Provenza"Then give me a big piece (of cake) from the corner." - Chief Pope
Highlights of the day: Jean played the flute during the ceremony, Bacon Bob (the bride & groom's St. Bernard) came down the aisle with the rings, the bridal party took a hay ride from the church to the reception hall, and Carissa rode a small 4-wheeler hauling Jim around the dance floor. Plus lots of good food (pig roast), interesting music & dance moves (I think it's my age), and a wonderful time with my two best friends - Jean & Patricia.
In the photos: I'm in the red polka dot dress, Patricia is in the white top, Jean (mother of the bride) is the solid black dress, and Michelle is the black dress with colorful spots.
Olivia, my friend Patricia's 12-year-old daughter, took most of the photos using my camera. So I cannot take credit for some of the "embarrassing" photos. She did a great job. Blogspot just came out with a video upload so enjoy my photos.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
I have to tell you, Emily Deschanel as Doctor Temperance Brennan, otherwise known as "Bones", really had a great episode. I don't remember her being so frank to so many people since the second season began. She was particularly brusque to State Department representative Alex Radzwill, who is a little person. She went off on Radzwill several times about his need to push around taller people because of his lack of height. Many of the lines she got out were very funny. Oh, also, she needed to get a translation from Booth about something Radzwill said. Good to see that the shoe sometimes fits on the other foot.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I saw that Danny Tripp made a similar realization a few years earlier when he followed Matt out the door rather than apologize for a political sketch. "I found myself saying screw honor, patriotism and friendship. We could lose the franchise," he says to Harriet, horrified at what he was becoming. He knew Matt was right, and he knew there were more important things at stake than his job or Studio 60. Right there is perhaps where I found the malaise that affected the show for its run: that there are more important things than Studio 60. It always seemed clear that Aaron Sorkin thought a TV show would be an interesting setting, but he kept having more pressing issues on his mind and tried to shoehorn them into this show.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
- Loved that fake ED treatment that Tommy was reading about in the magazine: Hugerophen. Great name!
- Tommy stealing Mike's face cream.
- Lou had some great ones. First he called Colleen's boyfriend Prick Jagger and then he compared Theresa's sex drive to a tsunami that destroys everything in its path. Hilarious.
- I shouldn't have laughed, but I did: Richie's girlfriend bowling. I'm a horrible person.
- Uncle Teddy wanting to go back to jail because he needs a schedule. He said he'd go on a killing spree!
That's what this show does though. It makes me laugh and cry. There are still plenty of stories that I'm looking forward to getting answers to though. How long before Tommy realizes Janet is going through post-partum? Is Colleen going to come home? What happens when Ellie finds Teddy? Will Tommy ever come to his senses and just sleep with Nona? Which house is Bart going to pick? And finally, will Jimmy make any more appearances? Actually... if this ended the way I think it ended, I might see Jerry again sooner than I thought. Tommy's ghost parade anyone?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
As always these plotlines were accompanied by a fair amount of flashback/manatee gags which were less funny than normal (excluding the hilarious use of Tim Curry's Lord of Darkness character from Legend). As mentioned only one of the storylines was really funny, and that was the one that featured Brian's girlfriend Jillian. The other story with Peter and Lois was really not funny at all, and seemed to be a step off from most of the material that the show normally airs.
The choice of Drew Barrymore as the voice of the ditsy beautiful blonde was perfect, and it wasn't much of a stretch to match the voice with the character. But what really made Jillian such a great character was her interaction with the Griffins. She matched stupidity with Peter and Chris, while acting as an endless source of comedy for Lois and Stewie. And in the end, Brian couldn't get rid of her, which is perfectly okay with me as we hope that Jillian is kept around for as long as possible. It has been a while since Stewie and Brian's interactions have been this fun, and the ever-present addition of the dumb girlfriend could really help in continuing Stewie and Brian's spiteful relationship.
Another topic that was pretty humorous in this episode was how they made fun of mediocre films. In three separate scenes bad Hollywood movies were glorified by the main characters. The first film was You, Me and Dupree, which Peter always discussed about with Cleveland at the beginning of every work shift. The second film was Along Came Polly which Quagmire would dictate scene by scene to Peter in the middle of his work day. The third film was Mr. 3000 which Jillian couldn't get to work in her DVD player. The mention of all these movies seemed like a way for MacFarlane and the Family Guy writing staff to sort of make fun of the rousing support for mediocre films from the broad audience.
Plus along with these three movies there was a large segment dedicated to the television show Wings, which although not a film, was also an average show that was embraced in the episode (by Quagmire). This wasn't the best episode of Family Guy, but it wasn't bad either.
Friday, August 17, 2007
"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975," Khaled Hosseini's narrator reflects in the opening paragraph of The Kite Runner. "I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Nelson is a bully, but he's a complex bully. His home life is anything but ideal, but at school his knack for intimidation makes him king of everyone, even if his subjects secretly despise him. When Bart is the only one who shows up to his birthday party, Nelson is so thrilled he recruits Bart as his best friend, and Bart takes advantage of all the perks. Nelson soon realizes, however, that Bart really doesn't like him at all, and as usual everything ends up back to normal in the end.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
But, it isn't the tub full of bloody skin that brings me back, it's the fact that this show is good. So, pushing the image of a pitchfork full of skin out of mind, let's move ahead.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The Office: The Merger
Monday, August 13, 2007
The story, if you don't already know, is about Tracy Turnblad, an overweight but feisty young girl who wants to be a star. When she gets the chance to dance on the Corny Collins show, she becomes a local celebrity, and wins the love of show heartthrob Link Larkin, the boyfriend of snotty teen queen Amber, who is the daughter of the vixen station manager, Velma Von Tussle. But when the show refuses to integrate white dancers with black, and then cancels "Negro Day," Tracy leads her friends in a protest.
There were just so many bad things about the movie that I don't know where to begin. John Travolta as a woman was ... horrible. His accent, his acting, his make-up, and everything was a big FLOP. The dancing was the worst. Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken, can't dance to save their lives and should never try it on screen again. It was painful to watch. Amanda Bynes just smiled the entire movie and Nikki Blonsky wasn't nearly as interesting as the hype built up around her. Pairing her with Zac Efron was a mistake, especially since he looked confused and in his own world throughout most of the movie.I could go on and on about how the directors just found a bunch of big-named actors (well, sort of) of all ages and pieced them together in this long, drawn out movie, but I won't.
I'll try to say something positive about the movie ... half of the songs were decent, but after a while they started to drive me crazy. The costumes were nice ... except for Blonsky's. (All they did was give her a white button-down shirt for nearly every outfit and sneakers that didn't work well). The sets and staging were nice and ...I really can't find anything else to say about this movie that's positive. Just be prepared for an overly extended movie that fails to measure up against other REAL musicals. I'll take Grease any day of the week over Hairspray!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Of course, the inevitable "reunion" of Jim and Pam back in the same office was a major theme throughout this episode. They both awkwardly referred to it, but they didn't come out and say what they were feeling. Well, Jim did tell Jan that he was unsure about taking on the number two role in Scranton because of a personal situation, but in the end he took it because, frankly, he figured the job will pay him more and he gets to go back home. Plus, I know there's still something between him and Pam, and maybe he wants to take another shot at winning her. Let's not forget that Roy will be lurking about as well, albeit as an employee of a new company taking over the warehouse. However, Karen flat out admitted that she had a thing for Jim.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Of course, all of that is speculation now. Steven Weber is stealing the show as Jack Rudolph. He's become the most complex and interesting character of the group. He's a bit of a hard nose, there's no denying that - but he's a realist and his heart is in the right place - when it can afford to be.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke) makes another appearance here, and once again the show suffers for it. Teddy ground the show to a halt last season with his prison wife storyline, and the same happens here. The character just doesn't work and feels like it's a square peg in a round hole and the sooner he gets killed off or simply disappears the better. The only value here is that Teddy's wife makes the situation with Colleen running away with a member of a rock band seem worse.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
The opening scene featured a series of shaky camera shots and frequent fades to black as an LAPD cameraman stumbles through a crime scene where Brenda and the rest of the high priority homicide team are investigating the murders of a husband, wife, and daughter. The crafty open was a two-fold mechanism to reintroduce me to the team and to establish the case. Pretty successful, I thought.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
In the second segment of this episode, I quickly forgot that the dialogue was coming from off-the-cuff remarks made by humans and simply allowed myself to believe these were the words of the animals that were talking. This was made very easy by the perfect stop-motion animation of the characters as well as the pairing of characters to topic, specifically birds talking about flying. There were a number of very funny moments in the "Wingin' It" segment that almost had me thinking this was scripted television. Those scenes included the one-legged, arm-in-a-sling cardinal talking about performing aerial tricks and how any landing you walk away from is a good one. The cardinal then proceeded to fall off of his perch. Another standout was the baby bald eagles (voiced by children) talking about how scary flying is and how one shouldn't look down when soaring at such great heights. The biggest laugh of the episode came from the penguin attempting to describe how birds fly, pseudo-scientifically talking about how the air flows above and below their wings and it's their constant flapping that keeps them in flight. "I don't know. That's just me assuming."
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Saturday, August 4, 2007
The Stewie/Lois story was really kind of funny. This bit was a nice window in on parenting. Although parents want to be closer to their children, they can find that it isn't as good of an idea as they initially thought. Plus, this new relationship led to a couple great confrontations between Stewie and Brian. As always Brian is working his best to impress Lois, while Stewie's new found love for his mother springs jealousy - what follows are a couple hilarious scenes with the two competing for her (one argument ends with Stewie screaming in Spanish which is very funny).