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Monday, November 7, 2011

Last Week in TV #7

A Halloween-heavy batch this week thanks to the Monday holiday. Also, I'll be out of town most of this week for work, and thus unable to watch much TV, so next week's post will probably be rather short.

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXII


Even in weak seasons, the annual "Treehouse" episodes tend to be pretty good, but this one was just average. Not even bad, just very by-the-numbers and unremarkable. As has been the case of late, all three of the stories were more or less just parodies of movies or TV shows will no real connection to Halloween, other than the opening sequence (which contained a huge gaffe: Homer introduces the Switch Witch to the kids and tells them its Marge; the next morning, he doesn't know Marge was the Switch Witch) and a greater presence of cartoon gore. Of the three, the final Avatar spoof was probably the strongest. It generated the biggest laugh of the night (when Chalmers in his mech suit climbed into an even bigger mech suit, then proceeded to knock himself off the cliff) and by replacing the Avatar aliens with the Rigellians from past "Treehouse" episodes, it connected the story at least slightly to Halloween. But still, Avatar? You're not exactly hitting these phenomenon at the peaks of their relevance, Simpsons... 

Homer: Okay, I’m on the floor. I can’t move. So far, a normal Sunday morning.


Family Guy: Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q. 

 
Hey you guys, remember when Family Guy was funny?

(Okay, there were two lines that made me chuckle:)
Brenda: It only hurts when I see.

Peter: So you like getting beaten? Well why don’t you smoke a whole carton of cigarettes!


The Walking Dead: Save the Last One
As an episode, this was pretty good. The scene with Rick arguing for his son's life, pointing out that of everything, Carl rememberd the deer, was probably Andrew Lincoln's best performance on the show so far. And though it was somewhat predictable, the extent to which Shane dispatched Otis to save his own life (and get back to Carl) was still pretty intense (I figured Shane left Otis behind to get eaten, but I was thinking he shot him in the head, and not that he left him to get eaten alive). Shane walking through the house afterwards, twitching eerily, was downright creepy (and this show knows creepy).

That said, man, is this show decompressed. The three episodes of this season has covered, what, two days and two nights now? This episode alone showed the passing of maybe four hours. At this rate, the actor playing Carl is going to be married and have kids by the time the group gets off the damn highway. This show is never going to have as strong an overarching narrative as I'd probably like it to, but even character development requires some passage of time. Watching Shane deal with the ramifications of what he did to Otis won't have quite the same impact if we're watching him deal with it minutes at a time. Taken as individual episodes, these last three outings have been some of the show's best, but a little narrative urgency wouldn't hurt.

Other Thoughts
After a strong scene in the season premiere, Laurie is back to being portrayed in a less-than-sympathetic light. I mean, you can make the argument that maybe Carl is better off dying like this instead of living in a zombiepoc (hell, it's pretty much the argument Andrea's been making all season), but having that argument come from the kid's mother does Laurie's character no favors.

More fun from Daryl and Andrea, though I wondered, if the arrow is important, why not cut down the Walker and retrieve it?

I continue to like Maggie, and her scenes with Glenn her very good.


How I Met Your Mother: The Slutty Pumpikin Returns


There are apparently a lot of HIMYM fans out there who have spent the last six years eagerly awaiting the return of the Slutty Pumpkin, who was the focus (albeit unseen) of the show's sixth episode. Those fans were likely disappointed to learn Katie Holmes was cast in the role, and were likely disappointed with the end result in this episode. Personally, I hadn't really given the Slutty Pumpkin much thought until I heard Holmes was cast, at which point I sort of shrugged and said, "sure, why not bring back the character? That seems to fit with some of the examinations of the show's history this season is doing (like the return of Victoria). Also, Katie Holmes? Ugh."

Which is my long-winded way of saying that while I was largely unimpressed with the return of the Slutty Pumpkin and this episode in general, it had little to do with any burning desire I had to see this storyline revisted, and more to do with my general apathy towards Katie Holmes and the sleepwalking performances she tends to give these days. This episode was no exception, as, while the idea of Naomi being as secretly freaked out by Ted as he was by her was a solid one (and very fitting for Ted), Katie Holmes' inability to comes across as crazy as Ted told us she was kinda undersold the whole thing. The story wasn't terrible, but it wasn't very memorable either, and that's frustrating whether you were chomping at the bit for the return of the Slutty Pumpkin or not.

Other Thoughts
I always love it when Robin's Candian-ness gets exercised, so I more or less enjoyed the whole "Barney is part Canadian" subplot (and I hope Robin continues to periodically bring it up). The Lily/Marshall subplot had the misfortune of airing after the Happy Endings Halloween episode, which also featured a (much funnier) subplot about the two married characters on that show debating moving to the suburbs whilst dealing with trick-or-treaters, so this iteration of the plot lost some of its punch.

That said, I definitely enjoyed Lily talking about where Marshall could put his, ahem, pinball machine.

Aside from seemingly-phoning in all her recent work (and being the worst part of that Kennedys miniseries), Katie Holmes irritates me because back in the day, I thought she was quite attractive, but now when I watch her, despite looking more or less the same, she seems...off, somehow, and I wonder where that hot woman went...

Barney: I want American Scotch! From Scotland!

Lily: Just because my body is growing a fungus (fetus) doesn’t mean that my metal (mental) factories (faculties) are in any way funicular (...).


Glee: Pot Of Gold 


Once again, we have an episode that is following up on previous threads, instead of introducing new ones willy nilly. Between Sue's run for office, Quinn and Puck's desire to get Beth back, the school musical, the school president election, and the rival glee club, this has been one of the most serialized stretches of the show's run, to its betterment. I don't know if its the influx of new writers or just a realization that the up-and-down, anything goes plotting of last season wasn't very effective, but I like it. Not all those plots are winners, but at least there's narrative consistency from episode to episode.

It's also refreshing to have a storyline on Glee which frustrates me for the right reasons. Instead of being frustrated by a dropped plot or a character acting out of character, it's nice to be irritated by Mercedes whole diva routine simply because her actions are frustrating. It fits her character that she'd quit New Directions and then recruit for the new club, but it still pisses me off. I mean, how was what Mercedes did during the TroubleTones number different than what she used to do? She sang in an ensemble, then finished off the song with a trailing high note. But because she's not threatened by any of the other talent, it's okay with her. I think Mercedes is being dumb (I really want to see an episode where Shelby gives a solo to someone else and Mercedes storms off to form her own, third, club where she gets every solo), but at least she's acting in character.

I think I realized what bugs me the most about the "Sue running for office" plot: in the end, she's either going to win (which is the most realistic yet frustrating outcome) or the show will come up with some kind of TV-esque way for her to lose, which will be more rewarding but frustrating for the way it doesn't handle the issue realistically. It's really a Catch-22.

That said, having Burt run against her is awesome (more Burt is always a good thing) and it might offer a reasonable out to the storyline that still makes narrative sense while being satisfying.

I was a little unclear as to what Sue's talk about special ed funding was meant to suggest; if her entire campaign has always been about cutting arts funding for the sake of special ed funding, fine. That's at least a defensible position. But she hasn't made that terribly clear, instead just railing against the arts. If the point was that was going to be her platform going forward, fine. Again, that at least makes some political sense.

I really liked Finn throughout this episode, awkwardly lurking behind Brittany and Santana, reaching out to the Irish kid, and going after Sue's heart attack burger.

Quinn continues to be a dumbass re: this whole getting Beth back thing. Even if her "make Shelby look like a bad mother" plan worked, she wouldn't get the baby back. She signed a legally binding contract. Someone should explain this to the poor girl. I'm also not sure if the show realizes this, and if it wants us to feel sorry for Quinn or be rooting for her.

I'm curious how playing second fiddle to Mercedes is a better deal than playing second fiddle to Rachel and Blaine. Isn't Santana's move just a lateral one?

My eyes started rolling as soon as it became clear that the Irish kid was always dressed in green, but then they stopped when it became clear he was simply playing up the leprechaun angle to get with Brittany.

TroubleTones is an awful name. It sounds like they have trouble with their tones.

Puck and Shelby? Blech. 

Glee still being Glee: Figgins cutting the musical budget because some woman threw a brick at him is ridiculous. Step 1: Call the cops and file assault charges. Step 2: Tell her funding for the musical has nothing to do with her dumbass kid's inability to read. Problem solved. Also, I love how Will tells Burt he won't run against Sue because he promised to give the club his full attention, then proceeds to offer to be Burt's campaign manager (though this did lead to one of my favorite lines of the episode, about how Kurt already claimed the job but could probably use some adult supervision).

Favorite Song: No real standout this episode (how embarrasingly random was "Last Friday Night"?), so I'll go with Puck's rendition of "Waiting for a Girl Like You)" even though it made little narrative sense.

Sue: Two thousand four dollars, people. That's a year's salary for a public school math teacher.


Top Chef: Everything's Bigger in Texas (season premiere)


Give the Top Chef producers credit: they knew going back to the norm following the generally well-received and exciting All Star season would make the norm come off lackluster by comparison, so they made an effort to shake things up a little bit. It's unclear just how familiar the territory will be once the top 16 is settled, but in terms of initial surprise, this whole "qualifying round" is a clever way to makes things different without venturing too far from what they know works. Spur-of-them-moment eliminations are definitely fun to watch.

That said, I wonder how much sense this selection process makes. I mean, after the end of the first two rounds, there's only five spots for the final ten remaining, plus the bubble folks. That seems to put the group three people at a disadvantage born of nothing more than the (seemingly) random fate that put them in the third group. And the whole "taste their food, decide if they're good enough" selection process is a bit dicey too. It would have made more sense to taste all thirty contestants' food then determine the top sixteen. I mean, what happens if they love the first five people in group three? Do the last five just not serve? How do they know that #8 in that group isn't better than #2? It seems like a flawed premise, even if it does help shake things up.

Other Thoughts
The clear highlight of this episode was when Tom sent the snooty chef for celebrities who couldn't butcher a pig home without even tasting his food. It was clearly designed to emphasize the "no one is safe" feel of the round, but I still love it whenever Tom is hardcore.

I've never been a big fan of Emeril as a TV personality, but he should be an interesting presence as a judge. I don't know much about the other new judge (other than the fact that he needs an eyebrow wax) but my wife (who watched Top Chef: Masters) was excited to see him.

Of all the regional/state cultures out there, I have the least tolerance for Texas' (or maybe Boston's), so I will have little patience this season for all the inevitable "everything's bigger in Texas"/Lone Star State/spirit of Texas BS/

Not much on the contestants themselves this time out (not surprisingly) but I already like the former drug dealer with the magnificent beard (mainly cuz of the magnificent beard) and Ty-Lor's name makes me think he's a Masters of the Universe character. I wonder if He-Man, Tri-Klops, and Sy-Clone will be making appearances this season...


Community: Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps


This episode did itself no favors airing a week after "Remedial Chaos Theory", featuring, as it does, a similar structure of seven different tales. That this episode is only a minor step down from the excellent "Chaos Theory" is a testament to just how great this show can be. Where the seven stories in "Chaos Theory" were, aside from being ridiculously funny, showcases for how each character can impact the group dynamic, the seven stories in this episode were more about how each of the characters saw themselves within the group and their relationship with the others. But moreso than "Chaos Theory", the stories in "Horror Fiction" are principally hilarious parodies of the conventions of various horror movies set against a Halloween backdrop.  As a result, it suffers in comparison to "Chaos Theory", but very much felt like an overstuffed classic "Treehouse of Horror" episode, and that's definitely not a bad thing. 

Other Thoughts
Of the seven stories, my favorites were Abed's (for his uber-sensible but narratively boring take on horror), Annie's (for her lampooning of Gothic Horror/Twilight and, well, that outfit) and Troy's (for general awesomeness).

Britta's name is now a verb. I love it when nouns get verbed.

Troy and Abed: Troy and Abed sewn together!


Parks and Recreation: Meet N Greet


We all knew Entertainment 720's demise was long in coming, what with its handing out of free iPads and seeming lack of any actual revenue, but it was still nice to see that demise used to setup a strong Leslie/Tom story, something we haven't gotten yet this season (I recently re-watched the episode from last season where Leslie gets matched with Tom by an online dating service (because Tom has 26 different profiles designed to match every possible woman) on an airplane and was reminded of how great the two of them are together). Leslie's transition from indignation to pity was well-handled and believable, given their friendship, and her reaction to his campaign video was priceless.

The other main plot, Ben's frustration with April and Andy's failure to run things by their roommate, set during their Halloween party, was equally strong (I love that Ben actually broke Andy's nose with pacifism) and provided a nice backdrop for a surprisingly funny Ron/Ann pairing. After a slightly down episode last week, it's nice to Parks and Rec frying on all cylinders again. 

Other Thoughts
If the end of Entertainment 720 does mean Tom is coming back to the parks department, I hope we get at least one good story out of Andy being Leslie's assistant before he does (Andy helping retrieve her birth certificate, while hilarious, wasn't exactly a full story). 

Loved Orin once again hanging out in the background of April and Andy's house. 

The Chris/Jerry/Jerry's daughter subplot still isn't doing much for me; Chris is capable of being a very funny character (see: "Stop. Pooping.") and his whole "texting without breaking eye contact" was hilarious, but overall, I feel like he's being wasted in this plot (it did, however, lead to the great gag of April turning Jerry's Potato Head smile upside down, so props for that). 

I would love to see one (or more) of Andy's brothers at some point.

Tom: Entertainment 720 has been a fixture of the community since June.

15 comments:

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

ooh, this was a big post. Exciting!

Family Guy - what the hell, right? I don't understand that episode at all. We only laughed at 2 spots, the Iraq Lobster, mostly because we LOVE Rock Lobster and sing it all the time, so throw in a dancing lobster and it's a win, and Quagmire's admission that he got a new cat

Walking Dead - even though i was pretty sure Otis was going to die, i was still super pissed at Shane. I mean, seriously, it would've been better to keep Merle around than Shane. At least with Merle, what you see is what you get.
Still, i'm hoping next episode (which we haven't watched yet) they'll find sophia and move on.

Glee - we were really excited about Glee because Irish kid (Damien in real life) was one of the winners of the Glee Project and he was our favorite, so we've been waiting for him to show up. Interestingly, Ryan Murphy mentioned on the Glee Project during one of the many times Damien almost got kicked off, that he could see making him an exchange student and having brittany not understand a word he said and believing he's a leprechaun, so it was humorous to see that as the way they went with him.

Top Chef - i'm excited about this too. We also like Beardo and we like asian guy who's on the bubble, though i'm not sure he'll make it since it's clear he's the one who cuts his hand this week. LOVED when that guy got kicked off right away. Though we felt bad for the vegan chef who they kicked off cuz his soup was spilled. I mean, you're not even going to taste it first?

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

jedi business...

Dr. Bitz said...

Yeah, I found Family Guy pretty bad. It wasn't funny and spousal abuse (significant other abuse?) is such a serious topic it's hard to make light of if.

Seth McFarlane seems to like to try and make light of some these heavy subjects and it usually doesn't work for me. Maybe that makes me an old fuddy duddy?

That being said, I did find the Grape Ape line kind of funny as well as the others mentioned.

The Simpsons Tree House of Horrors was fairly unfunny too and, as you said, it was more about movie/TV parodies instead of any Halloween-y stuff.

On the Talking Dead some people were actually defending what Shane did...there's no defense for it. It was selfish and evil, in my opinion. If humanity starts acting that way, then they're no better than the zombies!

Also, I think your desire for a greater overarching narrative is probably hopeless. It's hard to make a zombie-poc to have a strong overarching narrative. And even if the characters have a goal, when they achieve that goal it never gets the characters what they thought it would.

Zombie fiction is depressing...

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

On the Talking Dead some people were actually defending what Shane did

That makes no sense to me. In order for me to even begin to see it as defensible, he would've had to shoot otis in the head and not the leg.

Soapfish said...

I'm gonna go with Dr. Bitz on this one and say it's you all being a bunch of "old fuddy duddies". I feel maybe the collective humor of the blog is getting to that "stupid parent" age, ala early 90's when "stupid parents" thought Simpsons was offensive and vulgar because they pointed out Christian falicies. Or the time in a person's life when new SNLs stop being funny and they begin to long for the days of "Two Wild and Crazy Guys". I suppose that analogy is odd considering you still watch the droll that is the current seasons of SNL.

Concerning the subject matter: I can think of some pretty heavy stuff - abortion, pedophilia, aids, etc. that a variety of comedies make light of. That's never damned them before. Or at least in the case of Teebore it hasn't. I can't speak for Dr. Bitz. Either way, being turned off because you find the subject matter to not be in taste is the first sign of becoming a prude. Whether you find it funny or not is a different story, to each his own, but in my opinion nothing should be taboo when it comes to comedy.

Family Guy isn't always the funniest, but at least it is taking chances. I would rather watch a hit or miss series that is sometimes hilarious and near-genius (comedy-wise) than watch the same old comfortable, laugh-tracked, prime-time garbage that is the majority of television comedy. If you aren't willing to take the risk on bad episodes you may find distasteful or unfunny, than Family Guy probably isn't for you. The reality is that Family Guy isn't what it was and it seems you may not appreciate the new direction. Enjoy some classic (ie: boring) Family Guy episodes when you need a Seth MacFarlane fix or better yet, stick to American Dad.

I apologize for the lack of grammatical skill. I hope it doesn't undermine my point. We can't all be functioning Bachelor's of English.

Also, not a stab at American Dad. Great show, just a little more "safe" in terms of guaranteed laughs.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

@Soapfish

I guess I don't follow you. You said you're going with Dr. Bitz, but he stated right up front that:

"Yeah, I found Family Guy pretty bad. It wasn't funny and spousal abuse (significant other abuse?) is such a serious topic it's hard to make light of if.


Did you mean you disagree with Dr Bitz?

Me thinks Soapfish may need to step off his soapbox.

Just because someone doesn't find spousal abuse funny, doesn't mean they should "find another show to watch."
You yourself said FG is hit or miss, so when an episode's a miss for you, for whatever reason, do you say to yourself "I guess I should find a different show to watch because clearly FG isn't for me"?
I doubt it. You probably say "I didn't find that episode funny", just like we all did here. Maybe you'll extrapolate further and say why you didn't find the episode funny. Maybe long segments composed of peter fighting a giant anthropomorphic chicken doesn't do it for you. That doesn't make you wrong, or a prude. It just defines your tastes.

Also, a prude is someone who "affects or shows an excessively modest, prim, or proper attitude, especially regarding sex". I don't know why you think Bitz saying it's hard to make light of spousal abuse makes him a prude.
It IS hard to make light of that. Just like it's also hard to make light of Aids, pedophilia and abortion, all things that FG has done successfully in the past. If it wasn't hard, this episode would've been a riot instead of a dud. If it wasn't hard, you probably wouldn't like it, because you stated straight up:

would rather watch a hit or miss series that is sometimes hilarious and near-genius (comedy-wise) than watch the same old comfortable, laugh-tracked, prime-time garbage that is the majority of television comedy

For me, one of the main reasons it wasn't successful is because they didn't trust their audience enough. Because opening the episode with Quagmire nearly dying from auto-erotic asphyxiation completely ruins the punch line of the episode. When Quagmire is getting strangled at the end, I knew that he would make a crack about him choking himself.
So, because I had already predicted what was going to happen, I didn't find it funny. For me, it would've been much more funny if we didn't have the opening scene. Because then the Idea of Quagmire choking himself wouldn't have been fresh in our minds.
We would have followed the joke without it. FG fans can easily interpret that Quagmire probably chokes himself for sexual gratification. We're all familiar with the character.

It wasn't necessarily the spousal abuse that was the issue with the episode. The issue was that it was unfunny. No one said they were going to stop watching so I don't know why you think no one's willing to take a risk on the occasional bad episode.

And whether you're a functioning bachelor's of English or not is a moot point. Not everyone who comments on this blog is. The only barrier you've put up is your attitude, not your grammatical skills.

*steps off own soapbox*

Anne said...

aaaahahaahh!
methinks soapfish totes just got pwned by Falen.
Seriously dude- we're allowed to have personal opinions without the result being personal attacks.

Anywho- the other part i liked on FG that wasn't mentioned yet was when Joe clearly didn't know Chris' name in the Intervention.
But my god- i loved the Iraq Lobster and his little dance.
Now the question is- does Quagmire have a deaf brother like he mentioned previosuly along with his abused sister?

Man alive i dislike Shane. Seriously- if you were going to kill Otis why wouldn't you just shoot him in the head?! what- you're completely devoid of compassion now, along with your quickly sliding moral scale?
I'm kind of bummed it looks like the vet kicks them out next week (or whenever they find or don't find Sofia)- i like that group.

Sarah said most of what i wanted to say about Glee. I, too, am excited to se Burt run against Sue just because i like Burt so much

I love me some Top Chef but i 100% agree with your concerns about the whole 3rd group getting the shaft.
But either way- i'm excited for this season. And i wish it had aired earlier so we could've visited all of those Chicago Chef's restaurants when we were down there a few weeks ago

Soapfish said...

Sheesh, someone's touchy. I think you read my reaction a little too viscously for what I was intending. I suppose I am used to talking with Teebore and the-like in person. My tone was not meant to be so...aggressive.

In response to agreeing with Dr. Bitz, I should clarify. I meant I agree with his statement "it usually doesn't work for me. Maybe that makes me an old fuddy duddy?" I thought that his possible assumption as to why the episode didn't work was correct and he is in fact a "fuddy "duddy".

Regarding the "watch another show" I didn't mean it as any sort of "go fuck yourself" as it may have come across. Rather, week in and out I read "Family Guy was kind of lame"..."That episode sucked"..."I don't get it"..."That joke was kinda funny". I say it is hit or miss, as you pointed out in your rebuttal, but the continuing trend, as I have seen it, is that it is always miss.

"You yourself said FG is hit or miss, so when an episode's a miss for you, for whatever reason, do you say to yourself "I guess I should find a different show to watch because clearly FG isn't for me"?
I doubt it. You probably say "I didn't find that episode funny", just like we all did here."

The difference here is that I do find many episodes bad, but others funny (such as this one). However, I'm not seeing that coming from this blog. Now to be fair, I don't religiously read this blog's comments so I can't speak to everyone's opinion's, only Teebore's, being that it's his posts I read and it's him that I talk too.

I should apologize, as I realize that this is a public forum and speaking as such, without the thought of other people reading my comments in mind, is insensitive and leaves me open to such flaming.

As to the "prude" comment: it's good to know my grammar is not a barrier to overcome, but rather my vocabulary. I should have apologized for my word choice as well. I merely meant prim and proper in general rather than the textbook definition (Not everyone on this blog is a BA in English, but I bet your one of them :P) "Let's not deal with something unless presented in a politically correct manner or a way deemed socially appropriate" is what I should say.

Anyway here is my concern. Something like spousal abuse is a touchy subject that may make people uncomfortable. When a person's response to such a touchy subject holds them back from enjoying something they may find otherwise enjoyable, as I am suggesting is the case with Dr. Bitz, it is the first step towards only addressing those subjects (such as spousal abuse) in "safe" context ie: "in a politically correct manner or a way deemed ssocially appropriate". My point is when you start to let things make you think "I don't know about that, seems kinda insensitive" you start to go down a road where you view other things, things you might have once found okay, funny, or even liberating as inapporpriate and insensitive.

Maybe the episode is just not funny, but don't let a hang up about the subject matter hold you back from enjoying something you might otherwise find entertaining. If it is as you say and the episode was just not funny, than whatever, it wasn't your thing. I took Dr. Bitz reaction to be a little more concerned with the attempt to take a serious subject lightly than the sheer lack of humor.

Also the crack about the BA in English thing was just a knock at my brother. I sometimes forget other people read this blog :P And yeah, the little face, this guy ":P" means the previous statement was being cheeky, not malicious as it seems to have been interpreted by the fervent response my jape received:P (see there he is again :D)

Soapfish said...

NO!!! So I totally forgot I didn't put in the little :P Man am I an ass, no wonder you got pissed. Ha and then I go and be all dickish with a emoticon break down at the end of my response post. I'll shut up now. Anyway no harm meant people. Yeah...wow.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

The only real issue i had (or what really ginds my gears. HAH! See what i did there?! full circle...) was you had said

"it's you all being a bunch of "old fuddy duddies"."

So i thought you were addressing everyone who had commented or thought the episode wasn't funny, which rubbed me wrong because it wasn't the subject matter that was the issue. For me, anyway. I'm well aware other people's mileage may vary.

As for this:

"Anyway here is my concern. Something like spousal abuse is a touchy subject that may make people uncomfortable. When a person's response to such a touchy subject holds them back from enjoying something they may find otherwise enjoyable, as I am suggesting is the case with Dr. Bitz, it is the first step towards only addressing those subjects (such as spousal abuse) in "safe" context ie: "in a politically correct manner or a way deemed ssocially appropriate". My point is when you start to let things make you think "I don't know about that, seems kinda insensitive" you start to go down a road where you view other things, things you might have once found okay, funny, or even liberating as inapporpriate and insensitive. "

I don't necessarily disagree with you. So thanks for clarifying.

Teebore's gonna come back to the blog and see this whole mess. And that's kinda awesome...

Anne said...

@sopafish
good rebuttal
no worries- everyone's allowed a little 'bitch pudding' moment from time to time :)
(i used all mine up on another blog earlier this week)

Teebore said...

@Sarah: Teebore's gonna come back to the blog and see this whole mess. And that's kinda awesome...

Oh, I've been following it via email, and it's been AWESOME!

I just haven't had the time to comment in full (or finish my X-Men post...). Soon, soon.

Joan Crawford said...

Aw, why do I miss everything cool?!

Dr. Bitz said...

I suppose I should clarify a little. What I said was "a serious topic it's hard to make light of if."

I should emphasize "hard" (giggity) but I'm not saying impossible. It's just, if you tackle these serious subjects in a comedy you really have to nail it or it just comes off as weird.

I feel like Seth McFarlane sometimes thinks simply pushing the envelope is funny just because people can't believe they're showing that on television. But there's no actual humor it in it.

Like this episode. It had jokes and then scenes of domestic violence, and I don't recall much humor in the scenes dealing with domestic violence. So the whole thing felt disjointed.

But none of that takes away from the fact I'm still probably an old fuddy duddy.

Also, is it just me, or do the characters on the Walking Dead have super human aim with their weapons? They seem to get a head shot with every pull of the trigger...

Teebore said...

@Sarah: mostly because we LOVE Rock Lobster and sing it all the time, so throw in a dancing lobster and it's a win

Mrs. Teebore loves "Rock Lobster" too, so she enjoyed that cutaway as well.

it was humorous to see that as the way they went with him.

That is kind of funny. I guess they never came up with a better idea.

Though we felt bad for the vegan chef who they kicked off cuz his soup was spilled. I mean, you're not even going to taste it first?

Yeah, I didn't really feel that bad. I see your point (at least taste the food and see how it is, then knock off points for sloppy presentation) but at the same time, meh. That's all it takes, apparently, in these early rounds.

That said, I would have LOVED to see a Vegan chef in the competition.

@Dr. Bitz: It was selfish and evil, in my opinion. If humanity starts acting that way, then they're no better than the zombies!

Well said. It would be one thing if Otis willingly sacrificed himself and Shane took him up on it; it's another entirely to decide Otis is going to be that sacrifice. And even if Shane believes he's doing it to save Carl, he could have sacrificed himself and allowed Otis to get back with the supplies.

It's hard to make a zombie-poc to have a strong overarching narrative.

Yeah, I know. I guess I'm not expecting any grand narrative. I was fine with the idea of "let's go see what's cooking at Fort Benning" as the main thrust of the season, with the assumption of plenty of delays and detours along the way (we need food, we need water, someone is sick, we meet a crazy person, etc). But the only movement they've made in that direction in three episodes is lateral, and there's no indication that's going to change anytime soon. .

@Soapfish: Ha! I knew that Family Guy post would rile you up! I almost elaborated on it, but decided to leave it as is just to get your goat.

The dust has mainly settled on that particular discussion, so we don't really need to get into it again. I'll simply add that, for me, the issue with the episode wasn't the subject matter, but the lack of humor.

I would agree with you, that when it comes to comedy, no subject matter is off limits, as long as, in the end, it's funny. I will also agree with Dr. Bitz that it often seems like lately the Family Guy writers think bringing up a sensitive subject in a joke is enough to make it funny, without really trying to make that joke funny.

The vast majority of this episode wasn't funny, but moreover, it didn't seem to be even trying to be funny. There were a few lines/cutaways that elicited some laughs (as referenced in the post by me and the comments by some) but for the most part, it was just telling a story of domestic abuse. The last fifteen minutes or so didn't even try to make jokes, until the very end, when Quagmire survived being choked out. And, as Sarah pointed out, that joke had already been horribly telegraphed.

And, as a point of comparison, the "trapped in a bank vault" episode you and I have discussed (and disagreed on) before, I enjoyed more than this. That episode was at least trying to be funny in parts (even if it didn't always work for me) and I could at least see what it was going for, narratively speaking. This episode, I just don't know what it was trying to do.

So my main point is, I don't care what any show makes fun of, so long as it's funny (or at least putting some effort into being funny; funny is subjective, after all).


I suppose that analogy is odd considering you still watch the droll that is the current seasons of SNL.