Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Funny Stuff: HIMYM(2/25)

Well, that was disappointing.  Tonight, we get recycled plots, and a man-child masquerading as Marshall.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Lily and Marshall have a big art gallery opening, and Marshal is tres concerned about the lack of food, so he buys a gigantic bag of Skittles(“The last bag your Uncle Marshall would ever buy,” Ted intones ominously).  Marshall then proceeds to sit on several expensive pieces of art, and make terrible puns with artist’s names in the guise of ‘being outgoing.’  This plot was soooo boring.  I don’t even know what to say about it.  And then Marshall dropped his entire bag of Skittles on the floor(one Skittle at a time) during a moment of silence for the artist’s dead grandmother.  Instead of, you know, attempting to assuage the flow of Skittles, Marshall stood there as everyone in the gallery glowered at him for the entire minute it took.  It honestly feels like a character assassination, and for the writers to do that to the best character on the show is just wrong.
In other news, Ted and Jeanette are still together, and he put her on his RSVP to Robin and Barney’s wedding invite.  When they break up again(due to a spam e-mail from a girly-sounding spam-bot), Barney decides to help Ted find a new plus one by bringing out the Playbook.
“But that was destroyed eight episodes ago,” you may say!  
Of course, recycling plot from previous episodes(even if they are from the same season show) is now par for the course, so we get to see playbook antics again, yay.  Barney makes a command center at Ted’s house, and gives Ted an earbud so he can direct all of Ted’s words.  The plays are terrible, as usual, but when Robin comes back and finds the Playbook, Barney has to book it after her to get her back.  The second Barney takes his leave, Jeanette find Ted, and gives him a big...kiss on the lips, so he brings her back to his apartment, intent on getting back together.  It’s too bad, then, that Barney left the Playbook on Ted’s couch.  
Which Jeanette finds.  
And immediately begins trashing Ted’s apartment again.  Ted ends up on the sidewalk with the gang, and Jeanette threatening to blow up the Playbook with the fireworks she found.  Barney tells her to do it, and the whole thing goes up in flames, and Ted is ready to settle down for realsies, cause all the other times he’s settled down with a long term girlfriend were not him being an anti-commitmentaphobe.
Oh, and Barney got Robin back by telling her he’s a lying liar who lies, but he really REALLY loves her, so it’s cool.
This episode was kind of the antithesis of funny.  Even the laugh track wasn’t really into it at all.  Even if there are few laughs, a sitcom can be good if it has character development.  It’s too bad that all of the ‘character development’ this episode consisted either of regression(Marshall) or things that have happened a million times before in an ugly new wrapping(Ted, Robin and Barney).  Lily got the shaft, she had no development whatsoever, and she wasn’t even funny.  I just wish I wasn’t so invested in who the mother was, so I could drop this show like it really deserves to be dropped.
I got one funny line for you:
Ted, on one of Barney’s ‘one rules’: “Lebanese girls sprint to third base, and then stay there?”

As Doug Walker said...

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This is why our generation is screwy :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Amazing Race: Loose Lips Sink Ships(S22E2)

Another week, another episode full of whiny teams.  The teams get a major bunch right at the start, when water taxis don’t run in the middle of the night, oddly enough.  They head out to another island, where the teams get a blessing from a priest before collecting scuba gear to do the detour.  The choices are create an underwater picnic with a helmet on, or find two red pearls in a large amount of oysters using swim fins and a snorkel.  The teams then got a map to head to yet another island, where they had to kick a coconut down a track on stilts for the roadblock, before making a mad dash to Phil, who is on yet another portion of the island. 

How did the teams do?  Let’s find out

Jessica and Jon left first, but were quickly gain on by all but the last two teams.  Dave and Connor tried to get the second express pass, but they held it close to their chest, at least for now.  Other than than, these two didn’t leave much of a mark

Bates and Anthony rocked this leg, and managed to come in first, but again, didn’t say anything to really stand out, either.

Dave and Connor made a major error this week-they forgot their scuba gear at the priest island, and had to go back after reaching the detour.  Other than that, they ran a solid leg, and actually managed to pick up a spot in the melee.  But Dave, on the run into the mat, thinks he ruptured his Achilles tendon.  Dun dun DUN!

Pam and Winnie were pretty whiny this leg, even as they didn’t make much of an impression.  They did manage to get completely and utterly lost after the detour, but did it affect their finishing position?

Mona and Beth were a complete and utter non-entity, beyond the fact that they were the first team to choose the picnic detour, and managed to pick up a few places.

Joey and Megan were pretty annoying again today, they were fully obnoxious in how proud of themselves they were in the detour, ‘oh, look at us and how smart we are for thinking of this technique’ that EVERY other team(except one) did too.

Chuck and Wynona were standard middle of the pack fare, though Wynona was a titch insufferable in her whining about being too old for this.  I just wonder what she thought she was getting into, if not a physically taxing game.

Idries and Jamil were fully scared of water AGAIN.  And again, I have to ask what they thought they were getting into.  Have they not seen this show, like at all?  Anyway, they do fine until they get to the detour, where their whole thing unravels.  They blather around for the better part of an hour, attempting to get clams and having to be rescued, before they finally change to the other half of the detour, and finish that relatively quickly.  But did their dithering hurt them?

Max and Katie ran a solid, if unremarkable leg.  It’s almost too bad they had that four hour penalty(beside the fact that I still HAAAAATE them), though it was cut to an hour and a half with the bunching.

Caroline and Jennifer also had a solid leg, and rocked the final challenge, but again, had a four hour penalty that made everything interesting.

Beyond the whining and bunching, this was a solid episode.  The challenges were sufficiently difficult, so that positions were not guaranteed, which was nice.  I also liked that they actually had to navigate themselves around, which always leaves room for extra drama(oh hi, Pam and Winnie!).

Lets see how everyone ended up, shall we?

Finishing Order(Average Place)

1. Bates/Anthony(1.5)
2. Dave/Connor(2.5)
3. Jessica/Jon(2.0)
4. Joey/Megan(5)
5. Chuck/Wynona(6.0)
6. Mona/Beth(5.5)
7. Caroline/Jennifer(8.5)
8. Max/Katie(8.5)
9. Pam/Winnie(6.5)
10. Idres/Jamil(9.0)-Eliminated 

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Funny Stuff: The Middle(2/6,2/13,2/20)

Oops, got a bit of backlog to catch up on…

The Smile(2/6)

Sue has an incredibly crabby teach, the kind who goes off on rants just cause he can, the kind who should really have retired years ago.  Anyway, he tells them to find something they are actually excited about, and make a science experiment around it.  Sue decides to test if smiling is contagious.  After a mid-experiment update in which her teacher is a complete and utter jerk, Sue is more determined than ever in her experiment.
In the end, she wasn’t able to prove her hypothesis, but the paper she wrote put a smile on her teacher’s face(and it actually was a decent paper), so all’s well that ends well, I guess?

Axl is getting bummed, and his parent worried, about not hearing anything from any of the colleges he applied to.  He can’t even get enthused about the prank he and his friends are planning.  Frankie accosts the mailman and everything in hopes of finding a possible lost letter.  But!  Axl chose to get the e-mail notice, and finds out in class that he got in!  After a couple of non-starters attempting to tell his parents at a noisy restaurant, the three of them group hug, and it’s cute.

Later, he and his friends are going to paint the water tower for their prank, but Darren forgot the paint.  As the three friends look over their town, Axl is glad he had his experiences in Orson.

Brick really wants an iPad, and is super obnoxious about it, seeing as Mike is heating up his coffee with a hair dryer.  After an entire month of saying no to getting an iPad, Mike and Frankie realize that Brick is a good kid, and there are tons of cheap ones on eBay and whatnot.  They get him one, and everyone is happy.

This was an ok episode.  Lots of character development, not a lot of laughs.  No funny lines, though

Valentine’s Day IV

Aww, this episode was sweet.

Axl decides he wants to grow his BossCo business, and so has a new plan:  they’ll break up with girlfriends for boyfriends who don’t want to.  They make tons of money, but the girls on the receiving end are not impressed.  The guys, though, start to realize that they are doing a truly terrible thing, but how do they make up for it?

Sue, in trying to avoid thinking about the fact that she doesn’t have a boyfriend, volunteers for clean-up duty at the dance.  That is, until Matt calls, and asks her to the dance!   She’s all excited, but as she’s getting ready, Matt calls, and leaves a message on the answering machine, which Axl and co overhears.  The boys nominate Darren to tell Sue the bad news, and Sue starts to have a breakdown.  But nice guy Darren says that he’ll go with her, and it is about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.  They dance, and talk, and eventually kiss over the garbage can.  Aww!!

Brick makes a really tacky card for Frankie, but she doesn’t save it, and Brick is incensed.  Frankie goes to the OCD neighbor next door, and borrows one of her meticulously organized kid projects, but there’s no way in hell it was made by Brick, as Mike is quick to point out.  Frankie goes to apologize to Brick, but he is having none of it.  That is, until Frankie gives him a cad with a nice note.  Which he promptly throws away.  As you do.

Oh, and Mike accidentally texted a Valentine’s note to an employee instead of Frankie, and his other employees are not impressed.  They all want Mike to call them special, so he finally breaks down and tells them it was for his wife, and not the employee.  All his staff try to therapize him, and it gets into Mike’s head to do something, so he gets her flowers, and tells her…you know.

I was literally awwing through much of this episode.  It was super cute, super fun, and even had some character development, which I’m sure will be completely forgotten next week, but it is a sitcom.

I did get a funny line, which I have meme’d for you:

(Axl just called Sue a cat lady in training)

Winners and Losers

And finally, we have the Oscars episode, mandated by ABC for cross-promotion.

Let’s start with…

Brick, who is very excited about his class Chicago trip.  Frankie is terrible apprehensive, seeing as Brick will be alone in Chicago with only the chaperones, and since she won’t be going, she tries to convince Brick not to go.  Brick calms her down and convinces her that he can be responsible in going to Chicago by himself.  But then, Frankie forgets to pick him up at the end, and Brick is pissed.

Axl and Sue have a rather intertwined story this week.  Sue passes Darren in the hall at school, and is her normal self about it, that is: completely awkward.  She wonders if anything is going on between them, and Darren is super cute about the whole thing, though Axl tries to throw a wrench in the budding relationship at every turn.  Beyond the part where he is just trying to get rid of Sue, and has no idea they might like each other.  Darren eventually sings a horrible song that shows Sue how he feels, and it is adorable.   He comes over later to watch the Oscars, and he and Sue flirt like mad men.  Axl slowly catches on to the fact that they like each other, and is not impressed, and tries to forbid them from dating, even going as far as to tell Frankie and Mike, but they are happy for the kids.  And then Sue and Darren are super cute, the end.

Man, I enjoyed the heck out of this episode.  Beyond the shoehorned in Oscar crap, the storytelling was great, and I really like Sue and Darren together, especially since the writers have been building it up for a few episodes already.

I got a funny line for you, too!

Darren, singing to Sue: “It was a moment of bliss, my magical trash can kiss!”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Funny Stuff: HIMYM(2/18)

Ahh, that was a decent episode.  It was back to classical form: cross-cutting, multiple points of view of the same story, and natural character development.  It was actually pretty incredible, considering the nothing we’ve been getting for the last couple seasons.  Let’s jump right in.

Let’s jump right in to…

Ted’s version

So Ted has a phone message from the Captain(Zoey’s ex-husband), and he immediately starts freaking out, worried that the Captain wants to kill him.  Turns out, Ted, Robin, and Lily went to an art gallery opening, where Lily is worried about embarrassing herself in such a fancy place.  Suddenly, in walks the Captain and his ‘art advisor.’  He asks what Ted and co are doing there, and very rudely interrupts Ted’s explanation to finish Ted’s sentences at every turn.  Ted head-monologues about his rudeness, and then Robin asks what an art consultant does, and Lily explains, while pointing out a painting she likes.  Ted and the Captain make eyes at each other, with the Captain basically threatening to kill Ted, but then he invites them up to his apartment to see a new painting he got.

While in the apartment, Ted plays with an expensive ashtray before the Captain comes in, extolling his love to a mysterious photo.  Ted calls him on the Zoey thing, and the Captain pulls a harpoon gun(!) on him.  Ted calms him down, and then waits until everyone left to look at the picture on the Captain’s desk: turns out it’s someone Ted has been ‘hanging out’ with.  Just then, back in the present, the Captain calls back, and asks Ted for Robin’s number.

This leads us to…

Robin’s version

Robin reminds Ted that he was COMPLETELY toasted the entire time, and is mis-remembering several things, such as…

-Lily wasn’t embarrassed for herself, she was worried Ted was going to make a fool of himself at the hors d’oeuvres table
-The Captain wasn’t rude and threatening, he was helping Ted find words and jovial
-Ted didn’t so much head monologue as say everything he was thinking in an incredibly loud voice
-The Captain hardcore hitting on, and flirting with, Robin
-Ted nearly dropping the very expensive ashtray
-The harpoon gun, which was actually a remote control

We also learn that Robin turned the Captain down gently when he invited her to his room to ‘see’ his new painting.  Robin then calls the Captain, but it turns out he actually thought Robin was Lily, so Robin give him Lily’s number, leading to…

Lily’s version

Turns out, not only was Ted toasted, Robin was smashed on scotch shots.  Lily reminds her that she is ALSO mis-remembering things, like…

-Robin was hitting on the Captain, not the other way around
-The Art consultant being a complete and utter bitch
-Lily saving the ashtray from a clumsy Robin, who really had saved it from Ted
-The picture being of a yacht(with the girl Ted was haning out with as a small ad on the bottom of the yacht picture
-Robin throwing herself at the Captain again in his bedroom

We also learn a couple more things, namely that the Captain disrespected Lily’s enjoyment of art, and she performed some ‘Aldrin Justice’ to teach him a lesson: she took that fancy ashtray.  Lily won’t take it back, but she does break down because she’s despondent that the best days of her life are behind her.  Marshall tells her to follow her dreams, and bring that ashtray back, dammit. 

Lily does, the next day, and the Captain didn’t even realize it was gone.  What he did do, though, was buy that painting Lily liked, and surprise surprise, it appreciated in value immensely.  The Captain asks Lily to be his new art adviser, and she agrees.  Hooray!

This episode wasn’t terribly funny, though it was true to HIMYM form.  I enjoyed it, but didn’t laugh very often.

I did get one funny line for you, though:

Marshal, after Lily confesses to stealing the ashtray, and Barney asks if they are gonna do it: “No, we’re gonna fight…and then maybe do it.”

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Funny Stuff: Raising Hope(2/19)

Ahhh, this episode was great!!  Tons of laughs, and lots of puns, plus class difference between the Chances and Sabrina without feeling shoehorned.  Lets jump right in.

It’s Arbor Day, and the Chances are getting ready to celebrate it with Hope for the first time.  Sabrina is very excited to learn they celebrate Arbor Day, and Virginia delves into all the holidays they celebrate:

-Presidents Day, which included a shower of chocolate coins, special food, and their favorite show, Beverly Hills 90210
-Groundhogs Day, where they dug holes and filled them with treats, had special food, and watched their favorite show, Beverly Hills 90210
-And finally, Arbor Day, where they got baby trees and hung treats all over them, and Papa Woody came to visit, finishing with special food and Beverly Hills 90210

Sabrina is fully in for the fun tradition, until she finds out that the Chances dug up the trees from a park for the Arbor Day tradition, and then burned them on Chinese New Year, when they were good and dry.  She is NOT impressed with this, seeing as she was the one who planted those trees for Arbor Day in the first place.  Sabrina doesn’t want Hope celebrating this tradition, and forbids Jimmy from letting her.

Sabrina shows Hope her meaning of Arbor Day, including tree planting, leaf rubbing, and edutanment video watching.  That night, thought…

Sabrina was visited by the ghost of Arbor Day!  AKA Luke Perry, and it is awesome.

They visit the past, and he shows Sabrina that Virginia and Burt used the lesser holiday traditions to make up for the fact that they couldn’t give Jimmy all the awesome stuff for Christmas, but could give him the best Presidents/Arbor/Groundhog Day ever.  Sabrina is chastised, and the move on to…

The present has a bummed out Burt and Virginia, missing a kid to celebrate Arbor Day with.  Jimmy is a sad sack too, reading an Arbor Day story to Hope, but reminding her it’s only a story, and that she won’t really wake up to things growing on trees.  Sabrina is chastised again, and they move on to…

The future, where Hope is a teenager, and has all sorts of toys.  But Jimmy is bald and stressed, Sabrina is wrinkled and stressed, and Hope just wants to spend time with her overworked parents, who don’t have time to spend time with her.  *tear*  Sabrina is dually chastised, and we head out of dream land.

Sabrina doesn’t want to end up like that, so she races to the park to pull up saplings for Hope to celebrate Arbor Day, and totally gets arrested.  Whoops.  It’s okay, though, cause Jimmy got a tree for Hope, but instead of letting it dry out, they planted it like Sabrina wanted.  Aww.

This episode literally had me rolling practically the entire time.  So. Many. Puns.  I almost couldn’t handle it.  I also liked the combined traditions story, even if it is bordering on TV Trope status.  And Hope?  Is freaking adorable.  “TWEE!”

I got several funny lines for you, too:

Virginia, when Maw Maw pulled out a Votes for Women banner: “That’s for Susan Banthony’s birthday!”
Jimmy, explaining Arbor Day’s mascot: “Papa Woody—the famous spirit of the forest who pitches his tent deep in the bush!”
Virginia, naming President’s Day’s special food: “LBJ sandwiches.”
Virgina, naming Groundhog Day’s special food: “6 more weeks of wieners.”
Burt as Papa Woody, after Jimmy makes a wish: “and I’m sure he wishes you were good at throwing footballs, or chewing with your mouth closed!”
Luke Perry as Papa Woody:

Amazing Race: Business in the Front, Party in the Back(S22E1)

Yay, it’s a new season of Amazing Race, and we have all new contestants, ones no one has ever seen before!  Tons of stuff happened in this episode, let’s take a peek, shall we?

The teams started in LA, of course, because it’s not like there aren’t literally a million other places they could start.  Everyone made their way to Bora Bora to go skydiving out of a helicopter, followed shortly by a needle-in-the-haystack style roadblock that always tend to be the demise of at least one team.  The teams had to dig through hundreds of sandcastles to find their clue, rebuilding each destroyed structure as they went. The teams then had to build a canoe to paddle to the pitstop.  With eleven teams, this episode was jam-packed, with lots of personalities to go around.

Chuck and Wynona are married rednecks.  How do we know they are rednecks?  Well, the mullet is the first clue(on the man, in case you were wondering), and Chuck is also into taxidermy.  They manage to get on the first flight to Bora Bora, but are held up on the sandcastles, pulling them back a few slots.

Bates and Anthony are professional hockey playing brothers(in the blood sense).  They did crack me up in the intro, where they started in on the clich├ęd ‘we’re so close’ bit, but the other brother ended it with ‘each other’s sandwiches,’ so, amusing.  They didn’t have much time on screen at all though, so I’m not sure if their prospects are very good.

Mona and Beth are moms who happen to roller derby, which is fun.  Of course, they had a snafu on one of the signup sheets-missing a line but other than that, had a pretty solid leg.

Max and Katie are terrible people, and they know it.  I hate them, and was not sad they had such a terrible leg.  I’m really hoping their penalty will doom them next leg.  Oh, and according to Max, Katie’s ‘likeability factor’ is low, and her being sociable is horrifying.

Dave and Connor are father and son cancer survivors.  Son is a professional bicyclist, and that is about all we learn about them in an overstuffed leg.

Jessica and Jon are dating, and are a non-entity.  I don’t even remember them doing a single thing this leg, so maybe gone quickly, but who knows.

Idries and Jamil are twin OB/GYNs, and are kind of hilarious.  When another team asked them their professions, one of the twins first responded ‘I’m a delivery man.’  The other team calls them on those shenanigans right away, and the other twin goes, ‘okay, okay, you got us.  We’re kindergarten teachers.'  I’m not ashamed to admit, I lolled.

Pam and Winnie are Team Asian Besties, only to differentiate between the three other besties on the race.  They were yet another non-entity.  Though I did wonder if Winnie is an homage to Winnie Cooper.  She seems about the right age.

Joey and Megan are Youtubers, and I am so glad I have never run across their show before, because they annoy the living hell out of me already and they had VERY little screen time as well.  If that’s what non-internet users think all online content producers are like, then I can see why they don’t even want to try.

Matt and Daniel are firefighters, rednecks and really poor racers.

Caroline and Jennifer are country singers that I’ve never heard of, and had very little screen time as well, though what I did see of them seemed…whiney.

The first episode of a season is always fun, but so jam-packed you don’t really get a feel for many of the teams.  So far I’m on the hate train for the newlyweds and the youtubers.  Everyone else was kind of meh. 

It was interesting that the final three team came together and decided to quit the sandcastle challenge together.  I don’t think I’ve seen that kind of game-playing since Rob and Amber.

Finally, we have team placement:

1. Jessica/Jon
2. Bates/Anthony
3. Dave/Connor
4. Pam/Winnie
5. Mona/Beth
6. Joey/Megan
7. Chuck/Wynona
8. Idries/Jamil
9. Max/Katie
10. Caroline/Jennifer
11. Matt/Daniel-Eliminated