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I’m Moving in with New Girl

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

My biggest fear sitting down to watch the season premiere of New Girl was wondering how the show was going to be structured.  Specifically, we know that Zooey Deschanel is very cute and can play quirky really well. I wondered if they would rely on only that in the show.

Does that make sense?

We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where the writers have done this.  They just take the specific talents or shtick of a certain actor and stretch that out in a story or episode and care less about plot and supporting characters.   I was relieved to find out that New Girl cares about everyone in the story.  Yes, Zooey is the centerpiece at the table, but the rest of the table dressings complement her very well.

It was really impressive how these writers manage to introduce the characters, allow them to make us laugh and show us they have heart in such a short span of time. The three roommates are fun and real.  They are guys without being too much of the cliché, overdone beer commercial douchebags.  I use that term affectionately (if that’s possible) due to their use of the very funny douchebag jar.

On a side note…THAT’S DAMON WAYAN’S SON!  Good grief he looks like his dad!  And good grief I feel old now!

From the moment Zooey’s character, Jessica, moves in after awkwardly coming home to a cheating boyfriend, she blends well with the guys…Schmidt (not the best name to have when people make fun of you), Coach and Nick.

The laughs were quality laughs, and I really appreciated the decision by the writers to have the guys make such a heartwarming decision at the end.

It was a nice touch and yet another reason to hang out with them all again next week.

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What are Two Broke Girls Worth so Far?

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

On our current podcast Daniel Manu, the executive editor for televisionwithoutpity.com, said that when it came to the sitcom that Whitney Cummings stars in, he wasn’t impressed.  This was mainly due to the constant loud and brash dialogue her character has throughout the show.

However, he did seem to like the sitcom she produces, Two Broke Girls.

As I watched the first episode last night, I could see Cummings’ imprint on this show right away.  The first of the two broke girls we meet,  Max (Kat Dennings), has a very similar personality to Whitney.  She’s blunt, brash and sometimes overly rude and sarcastic.

Later in the show, with the help of some cheesy dialogue, we’re led to believe that underneath all of that attitude is some heart.  The problem is that by the time we see that, we’re 85 percent the way through the show and it’s harder to believe that such an aspect to her personality is even genuine.

Caroline (Beth Behrs) was a bit easier to get used to and therefore,  I was more interested in learning about her.  So far her “rich girl having to get her hands dirty” character hasn’t been too cliché and that’s always a good thing.  You can’t say the same thing for the over-the-top rich woman that Max babysits for.  Yikes.

The rest of the jokes were hit or miss for me.  There weren’t many “LOL” moments.  I was especially shocked that the “Ha!  She’s actually gay” joke was again utilized.  Max accidentally touches lips with a woman when they bump into each other on the subway.  While the “take that off my bucket list” line was funny…the woman later handing Max her phone number was a huge stretch of a gag that fell flat.

I understand that it’s only the first show and I am willing to give this program some time.  At least it wasn’t as bad as watching the first episode of Mr. Sunshine where I knew I wouldn’t be coming back.

I love the idea of counting how much money they make at the end of each show.  For now, I plan on watching them make a little more.

In Defense of the Ewoks

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I am here to officially announce my ongoing, undying support for a little tribe of bears.  These aren’t just any cute little bears, either.  They are a group of highly organized, brave warriors.  Despite being somewhat primitive, they aren’t afraid to wrap their hands (or paws?) around some technology (aka speeder bikes, AT-STs) and use it to defend their home.  May the silent minority be silent no more!  I like the Ewoks!

Many of today’s jaded fanboys will cringe at that statement.  They have to understand, however, that the statement is not the problem.  It just might be them.

As many fans anticipate the release of the Star Wars trilogies on Blu-Ray, commentaries are popping up all over the internet about what we’re going to see.  As with many things the jaded fanboys complain about, I understand their point with some things and roll my eyes at others.

I have never understood the hatred toward the Ewoks.  The only theory I can come up with is that there is just so much testosterone pumping though some fans, that if every creature in the galaxy doesn’t look and sound like Boba Fett, Greedo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader then they don’t belong. Some may even make the ridiculous claim that it’s impossible for them to exist.

The Ewoks can pwn an Empire.

If they don’t use cool blasters, fly cool ships or hold the title of badass bounty hunter, then they’re nothing more than irrelevant peons.  The implication is Ewoks are too cute and too simplistic to play a role, much less help defeat the mighty Empire.

When I hear fans complain about things like this, I am baffled by their lack of knowledge of history, mythology and story.  If you know anything about these topics you know how the Ewoks definitely belong in the Star Wars universe.

Without going into all of the historical and mythological examples that inspire the creation of such characters, let me just remind everyone that the little guy beating the giant is nothing new.  That’s what the Ewoks represent.  Some of the best stories of all time involve an underdog finding a unique way or gaining a fate-driven opportunity to overcome oppression or tyranny.

A tribe like the Ewoks wouldn’t be even living on a planet like that if they didn’t have some sense of how to live and defend their livelihood.  We see that first-hand when Luke and the rebels get caught up in their net.  Think about it, in one big swoop, they incapacitate a Jedi, a wookie and a clever, blaster-wielding smuggler.

You mean to tell me that this huge tribe of inhabitants, combined with the rebellion in a dense forest, couldn’t overwhelm the Empire?

Think about the arguments that were made against the Vietnam and Iraq war.  One of the key arguments of anti-war activists involved the deadly and overwhelmingly challenging terrain the enemies possessed and how that may get many in the world’s best military killed.  The Empire faced that same quandary on Endor.

You can’t just base your interpretation of the “details” in something like this and proclaim it as truth.  Many fanboys took a similar approach when it came to Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans.  The scenario is similar (though Naboo is no Endor) but Jar Jar was the difference maker.

When we first meet Jar Jar, he has been branded as a clumsy, scatter-brained fool who is so useless that he isn’t welcome in his own home.

Before the movie is over, we learn that even people like Jar Jar have a purpose in life.  In this case, he single-handedly brought two segregated societies together in order to preserve life and freedom on the planet. Not only is that a common historical and fictional theme, but in the mythology world, “The Fool” has a significant role in a story.

The Ewoks and Gungans, like it or not, fit into the Star Wars universe on multiple levels.  That is undeniable.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not written anywhere you HAVE to like any character in any story.  Nonetheless, when it comes to how you dislike a character, perhaps it’s best to do something Yoda might ask you to do.  That is, control your anger and don’t let it cloud your judgment.

Personal hatred of any character doesn’t always mean they don’t belong.