Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Funny Stuff: A week in review



So some of you may have noticed I’ve been slacking pretty hard core.  I apologize, and in penance, have reviewed every episode of comedy shows I watched in the last week, which started on Sunday, with…

Happy Endings

So, this was a thing.

Jane and Dave tried to find guys for Max to date.  Jane had the perfect guy, and so did Dave, and they set Max up right away.  Max was not terribly impressed with either guy, mainly due to the fact that Jane’s guy was guy-Jane, and Dave’s guy was gay-Dave.  Max didn’t like either guy, but he did find another guy he liked, Marcus.

When they are on a date, Dave and Jane crash with their gay dopplegangers, and completely scare off Marcus.  Max calls them out on their BS, and storms out of the bar.  Dave and Jane try to get Marcus to talk to Max again, but are harshly rebuffed.  When they see Max again, they apologize, and Max accepts, letting them know that he already has an awesome Jane and kick ass Jane in his life, and so doesn’t need another. Aww.

In other news, Alex is going to Rom-Com Con, and Brad and Penny manage to break a keepsake plate as she is leaving, and then Alex’s racist parrot Tyler kicks the bucket while they are gluing it back together.  Brad and Penny stage a ‘plausable’ death scene, and Alex totally buys it, or she will, once the parrot autopsy comes back.

At Tyler’s funeral, Alex talks about the human hand that caused his death, and Penny and Brad can’t handle the pressure, and spill the beans.  Alex is obviously pissed, after her confusion fades(she thought Tyler committed suicide due to the argument they had), and goes to verify with the autopsy, revealing Tyler died of alcohol poisoning…as a picture of Alex and Tyler scrolls across the screen, them drinking a martini together.  Alex resigns herself to knowing she killed Tyler, and the gang reminisces about the horribly racist bird.

So this episode felt like it was hitting beats, and occasionally finding punchlines, but the character pairing didn’t really ring true for me.  There were definite funny moments, but the whole thing didn’t gel for me as Happy Endings normally does.

I did find a couple of funny lines for you, though:

Jane, to Alex, wondering why she brought her parrot out to a restaurant: “Wait, I’m not surprised, I once saw you put sunscreen on a grape so it wouldn’t become a raisin.”
Jane and Max, as Jane and Dave snuck into Max’s apartment: “How did you know we were here?”  “I smelled testosterone—and Dave, you smell like peppers, bud!”
 
Raising Hope

This episode was great.  A great cameo by Christopher Lloyd really made it for me, and the jokes were great as well.

The grocery store Jimmy and Sabrina works at is having a pioneer days festival.  This will be important later.

In actual story arcs, Jimmy needs a new car due to the fact that his van is not an appropriate transport for Hope, who’s car seat is bungee corded into the back.  Sabrina tells him he needs to get a new car, and Jimmy acquiesces, assuming of course his parents say yes.

His parents are not on board at all, telling Jimmy that they don’t use credit, they only buy things with cash, and used.  They offer to help him find a used car the next day.  All the cars they find in Jimmy’s price range are terrible…that is, until they find a Delorean.  And yes, it is about as awesome as you’d think.  Too bad it’s out of Jimmy’s price range.  Virginia and Burt, though, REALLY want it, and decide to throw in the extra money, and give Jimmy Virginia’s old car.

Unfortunately again, Virginia’s car is about as bad as Jimmy van, and Sabrina finally convinces Jimmy to go to a dealership just to see what they have.  Jimmy immediately falls in love with a fully loaded minivan, and has the salesman run his credit.  Jimmy is terribly confused when his credit score comes back as a 91…out of 850.

Turns out his parents took out a credit card in his name when he was 5, and never paid it off.  In fact, they used Jimmy to spite the creditor, so he is not very impressed with the chance family in general.  And who is this creditor, you may ask?  Well, if you were paying attention, you will remember Christopher Lloyd guested, and it is him!  Virginia and Burt even try to get the Delorean to 88mph, and it’s great.

The Chances go to the bank and try to get Jimmy’s credit fixed, and Christopher Lloyd is still there.  He is apprehensive, but then finds out they have a Delorean.  Seeing as it was Christopher Lloyd’s dream car, they give it to him to eliminate the debt, cause that is definitely how things work.  Anyway, it does work, and they walk out with Jimmy having clear credit.

Jimmy and Sabrina go back to the car dealership, and get a very basic minivan that is fully within their budget, and it is super cute.

Oh, and Christopher Lloyd tries to get the Delorean up to 88mph, and ends up stopped in front of the grocery store, still in full Pioneer Days decoration.  He is terribly happy that his ‘time travel’ worked, and it was basically the greatest thing ever.

This episode was great, and incredibly funny, to boot.  The product-placement was a titch egregious, but I’m sure it helps cover costs that will make Fox think this show is a good investment, so yay?

I got a bunch of funny lines:

Creepy co-worker, to Sabrina after Jimmy needed to get parental permission for a  new car: “I’m a free thinker, and I can do 25 sit-ups…throughout the course of the day”
Virginia, on the dangers of credit: “Credit is why this whole country is in a repression!”
Burt, on the silver lining: “Now their houses are either underwater or upside down.  While that sounds fun for a weekend, it’s no way to live.”
Jimmy, to his butt, when he learns about heated seats: “Your life is about to change, my friend”
Christopher Lloyd, after he thinks his time travel worked: “I’m off to the year 2008 to marry Susan Boyle, before she got rich and famous!”

Happy Endings(again)

I’ve read that ABC is burning off this and Don’t Trust the B by airing two episodes every week, and if that is a portend for eminent cancellation, I will be very sad.  But in any case, for now, we get extra episodes, yay!

This episode was pretty funny, but also rather forgettable.

Brad and Dave decide they need to fix the dimmer switch in Brad and Jane’s apartment, mostly because Brad isn’t feeling very manly.  They man it up, and do more prep work than actual work done.  In the end, they manage to short out the electricity in the whole apartment, while Brad screams like a little girl.  They try to figure out the issue, and get into a bit of a pissing contest that ends with the Man-am games.  Jane walks in on them, and reminds him that he is a man: he couldn’t be acting more like a man, stupid stubborn and smelly.  They kiss and it’s awww.

Alex just sold a dress to some sort of pop star, and Penny convinces Alex that she should use the paparazzi to get publicity for Alex’s store.  At the restaurant, the pop star comes out, and her date completely freaks out and runs away.  The pop star spazzes out as well, and destroys a camera and Penny’s car.  Later, at the store, the pop star comes in, and reams them out.  Alex and Penny apologize, and help the pop star sneak away from the paparazzi with Penny pretending to be her under a coat while the pop star has a date in Dave’s steak truck.

Jane and Max, lastly, decide to try and find Max’s gay category so he can find his perfect match.  They go out with Jane’s crazy hair and plaid pants, and figure out that Max isn’t a young grasshopper, an ostrich, a ginger snap, chameleon, lobster, broadway queen, sitcom gay, seal, or hairy.  They decide, instead to make up his own group: the optimistic red velvet walrus group.  Unfortunately, no one shows up until a wild Allen shows up, and then an actual optimistic red velvet walrus, and it was great.

Like I said before, this episode was pretty funny, but not terribly memorable.  I had to watch it a second time to even remember what it was about, which doesn’t bode well for it’s longevity.

I got a couple of funny lines, though:

Dave, after saying something vaguely abusey: “I meant that in a figure of speech kind of way, and not a domestic violence kind of way…”
Penny and Alex, as Penny runs into Alex’s store: “OMG, I’m going to die!  Me too, but why are we talking about that now, it’s sad?”

The Middle

This episode seemed like a character development episode, and not so much with the funny.

Axl and Sue end up in the same life skills class, and they start fighting almost immediately.  Sue is way to involved in her learning for Axl’s taste, and Sue is not impressed that Axl is in a class for 9th and 10th graders.  They end up on a group project together, and Sue insists on doing the whole thing early, while Axl wants to wait until the day before.  Sue finishes the assignment way ahead of schedule and Axl doesn’t help even one little iota.

On the day of the presentation, Sue has everything in a plastic bag by the door, right next to an identical bag full of garbage.  Of course, she grabs the bag of garbage, and ends up having a meltdown , but Axl has her back.  He uses his school full of connections to get a posterboard, Sue’s paper and visual aids all delivers to class by the time they are set to present, and it’s pretty amazing how it all comes together.

Mike and Frankie, on the other hand, have to deal with a tree branch falling on their car.  The insurance company is way backed up, and they have to wait a week to get it fixed, until they finally hear that their insurance won’t cover it due to it being an act of god.  Too bad that the tree branch falling was determined to not be an act of god, since the tree wasn’t trimmed properly .  Sue freaks out just a little, but they get nothing in the end, except their church offers use of the church van until their car is fixed.

Lastly, Brick is being followed by a suspicious Dave Foley.  Brick has been referred to him to help him learn to make friends.  Brick is not as enamored with the kids that think it is funny to punch other kids in the funny bits, but Dave Foley insists on meeting with him weekly, and during his library time, to boot.  Brick is not impressed.  He uses the techniques that Dave Foley gives him, and awkwards all over his classmates.  Brick wonders why he needs to make friends with kids, if the points is so he can make connections easier as an adult.  Since he is already pretty awesome at making friends with adults, isn’t he ahead of the other kids already?  Brick wonders what the point of making friends with kids it, and stumps Dave Foley right to the break. 

Dave Foley does have an answer, though: he has no idea why Brick needs to be friends with kids.  He does ask Brick a favor: do him a solid so Dave Foley doesn’t have to work at the key cutting kiosk, pretty please?  Brick agrees to make a friend, under the condition that their sessions get moved from library time to Gym time.

This was a solid episode with great character development, despite the fact that the laughs weren’t hugely important.  I did get a funny line, though:

Dave Foley, in talking with Brick about personal connections: “I didn’t have a girlfriend until I was 30…but this is no time to bring up Shelly.”

Suburgatory

This was an okay episode.  The Tessa stuff was not great, but the Shay’s were fantastic. 

Tessa and Daliah took the SATs, or possibly the PSATs, and got their scores right away, or something?  I’m not sure, ti was very confusing, even on second watch.  Dallas gave Daliah a car for her effort, while George gave Tessa a card and ice cream.  Tessa is more than a little incensed, and mocks Daliah for her lack of intellect.  There is a hip hop dance off, and George and Dallas get in a fight over parenting techniques, and the whole thing was very strange and a little off-putting.

The Shay’s on the other hand, are doing everything in their power to get Ryan back.  They kidnap Malik, and arrange a hostage swap with Malik’s parents.  Or dinner, as Malik’s mom actually said.  They make it to the dinner,  and Ryan/Eugene is very angry still, and vocally lets them know.  They Shays eventually leave sans Ryan, and are very sad.

Ryan, though, is sad too, because the chocolate pudding dessert didn’t have a skin, his favorite part.  He asks Malik if he can get his new black mom to make it with skin, and Malik shoots him down pretty hard core.  The next thing we know, Ryan is back at the Shays, and everyone is happy.  Aww.

Oh, and I’m not even going to go into the ‘C’ plot, involving Opus the baby not being socially aware enough for preschool.  It was incredibly stupid and not funny at all.

The Shay plot in this episode was really funny with quite a few laughs, but the other tow plots were really lame, and not up to the snarkiness I expect from this show.  

I did get one funny line, though:

Dallas, after Tessa started to apologize: “Wasn’t that nice Daliah?  Tessa apologized by apologizing!”

Okay, I'm pretty sure this is already the longest blog post I've ever done, so I'm going to hold off on NBC Thursdays until tomorrow.  Enjoy!

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