Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Week In TV #36

This will probably be my last regularly-scheduled (such as it is) "Last Week In TV" post until the 2011-2012 TV season kicks off next fall. I've still got a ton of stuff leftover from the end of the last season to catch up on (like the last four Parks and Rec episodes and the rest of The Event) as well as some summer-debuting shows (like Burn Notice and that one with Noah Wylie fighting aliens) that will likely prompt at least a few posts over the next few months, but I doubt I'll be watching enough stuff worth writing about to promise a weekly post. In the meantime, let's wrap up the 2010-2011 season with a couple of finales.

(I am curious if there's anything you guys are looking forward to watching this summer, so if there is, let me know in the comments).  

Glee: New York


Thankfully, Glee ended its second season with a solid finale capping off a consistently solid run of final episodes. While this episode certainly had its problems (particularly with pacing on the front half, making the episode feel like it should have been a two-parter or longer, and shoving the Finn/Rachel relationship back to center stage) it was one of the best kinds of Glee episodes, the ones that examine the bittersweet difference between teenage dreams and adult realities.

For a show that has no problem tossing characterization or continuity out the window in favor of the plot-du-jour, this episode also contained some nice callbacks to Glee history. There was Kurt's obvious reminder of how New Directions was once just six misfits and now they're all in New York, but also the scene between "the popular girls" that illustrated how far all three had come since they joined the club as, basically, spies for Sue, and the duet between Rachel and Kurt on the Wicked stage, which illustrated how much their relationship has changed since they competed against one another via a different Wicked song (in fact, their friendship and mutual respect for one another as the two members of the club most determined to "make it" is one of my favorite things to come out of this season).

Other thoughts:
As much as I don't really care about the Rachel/Finn relationship (especially since she spent most of the back half of the season trying to win him back but now doesn't want him, because, hey, the script says so), I do like the idea that Rachel's future is the third side of the triangle instead of Quinn/Jesse/Puck/whomever. It speaks both to the show's overarching theme and Finn's character as someone who is talented and would like to leave town one day but maybe isn't quite as talented and driven as would be necessary to do so.

I also really liked their duet culminating in an onstage kiss, especially the fact that no one in the audience knew how to react until Will started some mild applause and that it (realistically) cost them the competition. It's the kind of dumbass thing teens would do, and I'm glad it had real consequences for them.

So Will's song was wildly self-indulgent (especially since I think it was a song off Mathew Morrison's album) but what the hell was up with that guy randomly telling him, "you got it, kid!"? I mean, the fact that it wasn't a dream or something is ridiculous enough, but then the show never comes back around to deal with it? We're just supposed to take that at face value? Really?

Quinn's "I'm going to destroy the glee club!" insinuations from last episode really amounted to nothing.

Stuff I Shouldn't Worry About: I know I mentioned this after the last episode, but really, you kids don't deserve to win Nationals if you're honestly writing your songs the day before the damned performance! Also, does Times Square really have a set of bleachers smack dab in the middle of it?

Favorite Song: Still not a huge fan of the original songs (though I enjoyed them well enough, especially "My Cup, which was kinda awesome) and just about everything else was unfamiliar to me, aside from the Wicked song and "Belle Notte". I'll go with "Belle Notte" since it kinda cracked me up.

Rachel: The guy did seem crazy. He charged my credit card by swiping it through his butt crack.

Mercedes: Did you know New York City was built on top of Old York City?
Tina: I'm pretty sure that's not true.

Kurt: I feel like Eloise.
Brittany: I have pills for that.

Gooslby: I hate my kids. I would literally whip them if I could.


Community: For A Few Paintballs More


While part 1 was a very specific parody of spaghetti Westerns, this episode largely ditched that in favor of something more generic. It started out as a loose Star Wars parody, with an opening crawl and Abed calling dibs on the Han Solo role (which he followed through with throughout the episode, including a hilarious scene between him and Annie (with Shirley as C-3P0) that re-created Han and Leia's flirtation aboard the Millennium Falcon during Empire Strikes Back) but the episode never quite committed to it, instead expanding into a more general parody of action and war movies, which, despite the shenanigans, wisely allowed room for characterization. In fact, the third act was almost entirely hi-jinks free, and was used largely to wrap-up the "Pierce is an ass" ongoing subplot (at least for the season). Chevy Chase isn't going anywhere (as far as I've heard) so the cliffhanger, such as it is, isn't all that intense, but it does open some interesting doors for where the character could go in season three and helps illustrate that this show cares just as much about character development as it does wacky paintball antics. That we could get both in one twenty-two minute episode is a testament to how awesome this show continues to be.

PS Is Annie randomly kissing one of her friends going to be a recurring season finale motif?

City College Dean: You haven't seen how mean this dean can be...ean.

Abed: I'm calling dibs on the Han Solo role before Jeff slouches into it by default.

Magnitude: Pop...
Troy: 'Pop' what? 'POP' WHAT?!?!

Jeff: Denny's is for winners.

15 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the Glee finale for all of your reasons. And though, I'm glad the kiss resulted in a real reaction, part of me still wants that happy ending. It's like when I watch Cool Runnings for the millionth time...and they always crash. SMH. Or when Robin Williams still embarrasses himself as Mrs. Doubtfire. There's no happy ending there.

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  2. @Hannah: part of me still wants that happy ending.

    Yeah, me too. I want the happy ending, but I know it doesn't always make for the best ending.

    Or when Robin Williams still embarrasses himself as Mrs. Doubtfire. There's no happy ending there.

    Or really, most any Robin William movie. Except for the fact that its over. Zing!

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  3. actually, i'm not sure i enjoyed the season finale of glee. I mean, i was so excited to see what kind of crazy shit was going to happen, ESPECIALLy because of all the trailers hinting at Quinn doing somehtign terrible and then nothing happened. So, yeah. Also, Will makes me gag so there's that. I was just reminded again that most of the main characters are really unlikeable.

    Also, i think it's a mistake, watching Burn Notice ;-)

    I have no idea what we're watching this summer. Something, I'm sure. And we'll probably watch Dexter season 5 when it's out.

    WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING DEXTER YET??!

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  4. I haven't seen the Glee episode yet, but there is a big red stairway (to nowhere) in the middle of Times Square. It's part of the TKTS booth: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/nyregion/17tkts.html

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  5. I don't like Dexter.

    There. I said it.

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  6. @Falen: ESPECIALLy because of all the trailers hinting at Quinn doing somehtign terrible and then nothing happened.

    Yeah, I just pretty much assumed the promos were being manipulative and tempered my expectations accordingly (but then again, I tend to like Glee more when less crazy shit goes down).

    WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING DEXTER YET??!

    Because I don't have the money to buy the DVDs, the inclination to watch it online, and shit tons of other stuff I'd rather watch first.

    @shadzane: but there is a big red stairway (to nowhere) in the middle of Times Square.

    Huh. I'll be damned. You win this round, Glee.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

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  7. As far as Glee goes, I'm going to steal a line from Television Without Pity. Shouldn't Rachel, of all people, know that Cats is no longer running on Broadway?

    Also, speaking of TV, did you catch the MTV Movie Awards? I saw about 5 minutes, but the reason I bring it up is because these are the results:

    http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2011/winners.jhtml

    It occurred to me that if the MTV Movie Awards were around in the 1950s communism would have won because the MTV Movie Awards are definitive proof that Democracy doesn't work.

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  8. @Dr. Bitz: Shouldn't Rachel, of all people, know that Cats is no longer running on Broadway?

    Ha, true. I meant to point that out, and totally forgot, even though I included the butt crack line...

    Also, speaking of TV, did you catch the MTV Movie Awards?

    Well, I watched the Twilight Awards, if that's what you mean. And by "watched" I mean we let it get about an hour and a half of lead time on the DVR then watched it all in about 40 minutes via liberal fast forwarding.

    It made me very, very sad for the generation behind us, which of course, made me feel very, very old at the same time...

    And look, no one really cares about the MTV movie awards, but it is fun to see some of those summer blockbusters that wouldn't get awards anywhere else win things, or some of the goofy categories MTV does like Best Fight scene.

    You know what sucks all the fun right out of that? When you know every god damned nomination for a dumb ass Twilight movie is going to win.

    It occurred to me that if the MTV Movie Awards were around in the 1950s communism would have won because the MTV Movie Awards are definitive proof that Democracy doesn't work.

    Also good evidence for why we need a representative form of government, or else Dead Eyed Robert Pattinson and Irritatingly-Aloof Kristen Stewart would apparently be elected King and Queen of America for life...

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  9. this is another problem i have with Glee (and the universe therein)
    Are all these kids in the same grade? They seem to be as they have the same classes (not that that for sure means anything)
    But seriously- any other club would have students leaving and freshmen coming in the next year. Why aren't there any freshmen kids that want to join? in 2 years is the show done because everyone graduates and there's literally no more club?

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  10. @Anne: any other club would have students leaving and freshmen coming in the next year. Why aren't there any freshmen kids that want to join? in 2 years is the show done because everyone graduates and there's literally no more club?

    I believe this group of characters are all supposed to be in the same grade (Seniors next year). I had thought at first that they might pull a 90210 and have them be in the same grade for two seasons, but they seem pretty committed to the "one season=one year" mentality, and this finale definitely set up the idea that next year is their last year.

    In that vein, there has been some talk that, after next season, we might see this cast graduate and that the following season there would be an entirely new cast of kids along with Will, Emma and Sue.

    There's also been talk that the discussions between Kurt and Rachel in the finale are setting up either a possible spin-off featuring their adventures trying to make it big in NY or else a re-tooling of the show for after the cast graduates.

    Either way (and that's all just idle internet speculation at this point, AFAIK), I wouldn't be surprised if next season saw the introduction of some new freshman or sophomore members of the club, to start building a possible new core of characters for season four.

    As for why no freshman have joined yet, maybe the club's reputation for being a haven of socially maligned misfits has reached whatever schools feed students into the High School, such that no one wants to risk joining? It took them a bit to convince Sam to join, and he was a transfer student who learned about the club's rep pretty quick.

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  11. I think there's some lack of forsight by Glee for not introducing underclassmen earlier. And the core group should be varying grades. That way, the cast leaving is gradual and the audience gains the ability to get attached to the new class that's left behind. (Assuming the show doesn't follow the shenanigans of the Glee kids in college...and somehow Will becomes a college professor.)

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  12. @Dr. Bitz: I think there's some lack of forsight by Glee for not introducing underclassmen earlier. And the core group should be varying grades.

    Agreed. Then again, considering sometimes it seems like the producers don't know what's going to happen in the next episode, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by it.

    Assuming the show doesn't follow the shenanigans of the Glee kids in college...and somehow Will becomes a college professor.

    Given the show's already tenuous relationship with reality as we know it, I wouldn't put it past them.

    And frankly, I don't know that I'd mind it. I mean, if you're going to exist in a totally fictional reality anyway, why not go for broke? Send them all to some magical music academy where celebrity musicians could guest star as professors. Also, the glee kids would get super powers for some reason, and there may or may not be time travel involved.

    Or, (slightly) more realistically, I'd be okay with a good chunk of the kids going to the same college but without Will, simply because it would mean Will gets left behind and off the show.

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  13. I'd watch SUper Powered Music U. Straight up.

    Hannah, you should at least watch seaon 4 of Dexter, just based on your love for john lithgow. It's only like 12 episodes.

    I just wish Glee would make up it's mind about how stuck in reality it is. I don't care which side they come down on as long as they stick to it. It's the crossing the line regaridng reality (only one grade of kids in glee, parents not showing for contests, no chaperone's in new york except for Will) that pisses me off

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  14. exactly. i mean, the show has me working towards a rage lather slowly but surely with this crap that they pull.

    i'd probably watch a Rachel/Kurt in NYC show- especially if Finn wasn't there to add stupid love triangle tension bullshit

    @Hannah- sarah's right about Dexter season 4

    i'm not sure what the heck we'll be watching this summer- the only show i've seen advertised that looks exciting is Terra Nova and that isn't until this fall. Hopefully this means we can do some catching up on other shows and movies this summer

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  15. @Sarah: I just wish Glee would make up it's mind about how stuck in reality it is. I don't care which side they come down on as long as they stick to it.

    Agreed.

    @Anne: the only show i've seen advertised that looks exciting is Terra Nova and that isn't until this fall.

    I have a bad feeling that show is going to be awful, but time travel? Dinosaurs? I can't NOT watch it!

    Sometime this summer there's going to be a show on TNT starring Noah Wylie about the human resistance fighting back after Earth is conquered by aliens. You guys might want to check it out. I'm cautiously excited about it.

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