The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland – FX Brings the Funny July 14, 2010Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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Louie – FX, Tuesdays at 11pm
Meet Louis CK. He isn’t that famous off the stand-up circuit but he’s deservedly getting more recognition from general audiences. His dark, foul mouthed, self-deprecating style of comedy would be more depressing than hilarious in the hands of other stand-ups and TV writers. CK manages to create a more lovable, huggable, and non-threatening everyman character that gets away with discussing off-putting topics by exuding a nubile level of innocence stuck in a overweight and unattractive 42 year old man. Because he’s so talented as an entertainer his lovable loser schtick has reached a new height of cool. He’s like the James Dean of fat and ugly.
His new show on FX (also available on Hulu.com) is in the style of Seinfeld but in composition only. The show starts with Louie performing stand-up in a small comedy venue in New York City and bleeds into a story line that parallels the stand-up topics with more on-stage jokes sprinkled throughout the half-hour. Unlike Seinfeld, Louie has plenty of uncensored swears, it doesn’t dance around taboo topics and it’s characters aren’t synthetic and formulaic. It’s more like Curb Your Enthusiasm without a complicated blueprint.
The show is already more entertaining than its lead-in. A must see show for anytime of the year but because Louie CK isn’t well known the summer is the best place for him to find new viewers with nothing else to watch. So no excuses. Go meet Louie.
Sidenote: FX’s hilarious trio of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer and Louie the black sheep of the FOX Network is suddenly giving NBC a run for it’s comedy championship belt.
Rescue Me – FX, Tuesdays at 10pm
Rescue Me’s season premier usually clears the dirty dishes of the previous season and sets the table for the new one without any bombshell jokes or twists but this season’s start has not been less compelling as previous years. The first two episodes of the long delayed sixth season were sub-par. No big laughs. No shocking moments. No secondary plot lines to break up the melodrama of Tommy’s plight. Last night’s episode picked up the pace and had some laughs supplied by the firefighters of the 62 truck. But after five years of watching Tommy being pussy-whipped by Janet and Sheila maybe it’s time to change the basic skeleton of the show. Rescue Me needs to pull a Dexter and murder a main character. Or someone. Shit needs to shake up! You need to make me laugh… and bloooooow me. Because I deserve it. Sorry, but the Mel Gibson phone calls is still the funniest thing the summer has handed us.
The nighttime soap is fading fast. The show hasn’t done anything mind blowing since Tommy raped Janet in season 3. What’s worse is that Colleen’s alcoholism is ruining her skin complexion and her spot in the spank bank. So, c’mon Tommy. Hurry up and get Colleen off the hooch… or rape someone. I prefer you clean up your smokin’ hot daughter but a raping is acceptable. (Checks with lawyer) Fictionally raping someone… would be… entertaining… Uh, I feel awful for saying that but it’s true.
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland – Dexter Has Balls (SPOILER ALERT) December 15, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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If you don’t know what spoiler alert means surely google.com will be able to find the definition for you. If you don’t want the ending of the fourth season of Dexter spoiled then don’t read the rest of this article. Or any of it.
In an entertainment world of cheap thrills, kitschy twists and infuriating cliffhanger season finales Showtime’s Dexter doesn’t follow the rest of the sheep. Each of the four seasons have ended succinctly and cleanly. All the story arcs come full circle with all the necessary information revealed. Most importantly each season ends at a significant turning point in Dexter’s life. Season one ends after he murders his brother who was the only person at the time to know Dexter’s secret. Season two ends after murdering his ex-girlfriend who murdered Sgt. Doakes, the only other person to know Dexter’s true hobby, leaving Dexter free to continue as a crazy fuck on the loose. Season three ended after Dexter murdered his new best friend whom found out Dex’s secret then convinced Dex to teach him the trade of murder for fun. Then he married Rita.
Click More… for the spoiler. (more…)
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland – Scrubs Season 9 December 2, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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Scrubs (ABC at 9pm on Tuesdays)
Those crazy doctors from Sacred Heart are back for a ninth season due to popular demand. Well, maybe it wasn’t popular demand but either way Cougar Town isn’t paying all of Bill Lawrence’s wife’s plastic surgery bills. Some of the characters are back and some are not. The hospital is still called Sacred Heart but it’s a brand new scene. “They tore down the old hospital and built a new one on the medical campus” which translates to “The old ER set was just sitting around… so…” And there’s some new characters.
All in all the first two episodes which aired back to back on Wednesday weren’t really all that bad. Despite Bill Lawrence saying that they were going to change the “feel” of the show its pace, charismatic aceribic wit, voiceover use and angry attending Dr. Cox are all the same. It had some funny moments but for the most part it was akin to a series pilot that has to spend time acclimating the viewers to new characters and setting.
Click More for lists of Returning characters and New Characters… (more…)
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland – The League Week 2 November 10, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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The League (FX) – Thursdays at 10:30 and 11:30pm.
Last week The League premiered and sucked. This week The League did not suck and was quite entertaining. Pilot
episodes are either the best episode of a show’s rookie season (Sopranos) or it’s a lackluster representation of a decent show that’s worth watching (Scrubs, The Simpsons). Two episodes is a tiny sample size and the future for this show remains uncertain. However, The League’s second showing took three themes and hammered out as many jokes as it could and it worked. Normally this strategy equals annoying repetition with a hand-off to boredom. But the themes The League picked were: jerking off to pornography, guys who nail the same women and vagina pride. All of which are funny and not discussed in such detail and with fervor on other shows. Fantasy football rides the pine for most of the game but subs in when needed and it works out. If The League continues to bring funny jokes about racy topics and ram them down your throat for 22 minutes then this show will have lofty expectations and will need to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. If is a strong word when trying to hold onto some hope for a show that is based on a gimmick but The League may turn into a Cinderella story.
Grade: B A second chance has turned into a third chance. On third and short will The League convert?* Would have been a B+ but there’s a trade that’s too preposterous even for blackmail. A show about fantasy football should know better.
*The stranger guarantees way less lame football references down the line.
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland November 10, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Solid as usual. Plus they added 6 times the normal amount of large boobs. Frank
continues to be the most absurd character in live action television. His hair is beyond bed head and it embraces the fashion of the homeless. Kudos to you sir.
Grade: B+ It’s nice to see the gang back to a full episode of arguing.
Community – An excellent showing from my new favorite show that isn’t Curb Your Enthusiasm. This week unfortunately featured another weak opening but fully recovered with such amazing things as: an AIDS joke, a suicide note joke, a Brian Williams joke, a racist Michael Richards (the janitor from Weird Al Yankovic’s UHF) joke and finally, a delicious herpes joke.
Grade: A- Abed continues to entertain no matter what he does or says. McHale doing an Abed impersonation is entertainment squared.
Click More… For wrap ups of The Office, 30 Rock and South Park. Or be forced to not know if other people agree with you. (more…)
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland – The League Premier October 30, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
The League – Thursdays on FX at 10:30pm and 11:30pm
Pretty simple stuff. The League is about suburban guys playing in a fantasy football league. They all have to deal with their lives and how it effects their fantasy seasons which is opposed to real people having to deal with their fantasy seasons affecting their regular lives.
It stars: Mark Duplass, one of the writers of ‘Baghead’ a horror movie from 2008. Nick Kroll, the
voice of Stu in ‘The Life and Times of Tim’ and was a co-‘star’ in Cavemen… the show about Geico’s cavemen. Stephen Rannazzisi, who had a bit part in ‘Paul Blart: Mallcop’. Jon Lajoie, a Canadien youtube sensation most famous for a song called ‘Show Me Your Genitals’ and ‘Everyday Normal Guy.” Paul Scheer, of Human Giant and the Upright Citizens Brigade (not the original MTV show but the still running improv troupe that performs in LA and NYC.)
So that cast sounds like a bunch of assholes plus Paul Scheer. Lajoie had some pretty kinda funny stuff on youtube but nothing that would make me say, ‘Oh thank zombie baby jesus! Someone finally gave Jon Lajoie a tertiary character on a basic cable sitcom!’
I do respect Scheer though. He’s been successful as an improv comedian and even has an improv show called FACEBOOK in which he makes fun of people’s facebook profiles. Wish I’d though of that. (more…)
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland October 30, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
Thirsty Thursday has come and gone but the hangover remains the same. But now… here’s a review of the best night in television (Not counting Sunday which is the best night in television by de facto Curb Your Enthusiasm viewing) because you have way too much work to do on a Friday to actually do it all.
Community – Had a horrible start. Not only was it not funny for about 9 minutes it was negatively funny as it’s jokes missed the mark by a small football field. The second half was back to standard Community affair. It took Pierce (Chevy Chase) to new heights as a character with the best drug sequences since ‘That 70’s Show’ set the standard for drug scenes on network television. In fact, it surpassed 70’s Show.
Grade: B+ Because I love drugs.
Parks and Recreation – I’ve given up. I don’t see this show as funny, clever, or funny. Did I mention not funny twice? Yes I did. When a show has Louis C.K. in it and doesn’t get more out of him than a few chuckles worth then that show is dead to this blogger. R.I.P. P&R. Maybe I’ll visit your grave if my friends can convince me your show has completely changed.
The Office – This season’s theme seems to be that Jim is a jackass. So things could work out because Jim is a jackass. Though I was disappointed that they didn’t continue to step up the ‘Dwight’s espionage crusade against Jim’ this week. So I’ll assume they pick it back up soon.
Click More for 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and South Park… (more…)
The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland October 22, 2009Posted by The Ringer in The Oasis in a Vast Wasteland.
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Comedy Thursday! Pound for pound the best day of comedy!
Community – Joel McHale’s first primetime network sitcom affair continues to be endearing, clever, occasionally out loud funny and backhandedly racist and sexist in a charming way. I continue to love it more than other more developed, popular and sexier shows. Because it has personality and it does the dishes. You to should also date Commuity, I mean watch it.
This weeks episode – Troy Considers Playing Football and Brita Wants to Be One of the Girls. Abed doesn’t get much screen time but the Dean subs in beautifully and creepily. It was great. Grade: B+
Parks and Recreation – Amy Poehler’s foray into primetime continues to be horrible, unoriginal and a huge disappointment for the female species. Ricky Gervais’ The Office has been rehashed in the U.S.A., France, Germany, Canada, and even Chile [in the Chilean version the whole office gets locked in the office for months and ends up eating the accounting department] but Parks and Recreation is like that loser in junior high that started wearing snap bracelets 5 years too late. Your attempt at popularity is flawed and isn’t helping your chances with the boys.
Mrs. Amy Poehler-Arnett-Bluth you are better than snap bracelets. You are better than this show. Aziz Ansari, you sir, are better than this show.
This weeks episode – Wasn’t funny. Grade: D
Click More for This Weeks The Office (which is trying to stay ahead of Parks & Suckreation) 30 Rock and Tosh.O (more…)