Friday, May 17, 2013

THIS ARTICLE HAS EVERYTHING: EW breaks down the details of every single one of New York's Hottest Clubs according to Stefon. Geeks, sherpas, a Jamaican nurse wearing a shower cap, room after room of broken mirrors, pugs, geezers, doo-wop groups, a wise old turtle that looks like Quincy Jones, kiwis, Spud Webb, the Cleo Awards, some guy’s mom, a special showing of the African holiday classic A Fish Called Kwaanza, a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, a sensible dinner, those shoes that nurses wear — and you can dance the night away to the sounds of Donald Duck having a Vietnam nightmare ...
WITH MORGAN FREEMAN AS THE THIRD LEAD?  You can now enjoy the first trailer for Last Vegas [The Hangover x Space Cowboys], which poses a serious challenge to the Kevin Kline Mustache Principle since, for once, he's gone full beard.

Related: a really nice Michael Douglas profile by Lynn Hirschberg, with one of the more striking ledes I've seen lately: "The only thing that worried Michael Douglas about playing Liberace, the flamboyant Las Vegas superstar, was the fourteen-inch penis."
I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CAME:  Last night's Office finale was, in some sense, the funhouse mirror version of Seinfeld's -- subtext was elevated to text, only instead of using it to undermine the show and rub the audience's noses in the awful behavior we been rewarding for years, last night went self-congratulatory and overt on the whole isn't-it-great-that-we-spent-so-much-time-in-such-a-mundane-place-celebrating-life's-small-successes thing. And then, of course (does this need to go below the fold? Well, to be safe ...)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

TO BOLDLY SPLIT INFINITIVES: I haven't yet seen Star Trek Into Darkness, but I wanted to talk a little bit about its marketing.  To get there requires a spoiler, but it's one that's been pretty much made public already--nonetheless, the further discussion is after the break.  (For the comments, let's keep to the spoiler talked about in the post below and not any further spoilers.)
YOU AIN'T EATEN STEAK UNTIL YOU'VE EATEN IT UNDER A CHANDELIER!  Looks like the versatile Fred Armisen is leaving SNL as well. Too much to ask for one last Prince, one last David Paterson? (Maybe Ferecito too.)

Added:  Tara Ariano ranks Armisen's, Hader's, and Sudeikis' recurring characters by how much she'll miss them. [Unfortunate note: omits "Vance," Sudeikis' track-suit wearing dancer on What's Up With That?]
* * *
I expected to find a lot to mock in Buzzfeed's "65 Books You Need to Read in Your 20s," (NOT a slideshow, single page even) but it's actually a really good mix of interesting and well regarded books that doesn't skew too literary or too pop. There are 50 books written or co-written by men and 27 written or co-written by women. (It adds up to more than 65 because one "book" listed actually featured two books by the same author, or three in the case of the Pullman and Davies trilogies, and some books were co-authored.) There are 12 people of color represented and countries from around the world. Not only are gay and lesbian writers represented, books ABOUT gays and lesbians are on the list, too. The list is also a healthy mix of novels, memoirs, non-fictions, and even poetry. And one graphic novel!

You could quibble with the fact that there's nothing published earlier than 1900 on it, but, you know what? There's a lot of lists that are going to cover the canonical works pre-1900.

They also did a good job of choosing titles specifically geared to the "in your 20s" part of the title.

Thoughts on individual titles and an all-important Doodle poll, below the fold:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DID I STUTTER?  As suggested by a reader, my arbitrary and incomplete ranking of The Office's supporting characters in order of comedic slugging percentage, from top to bottom:
  • Mose
  • Stanley
  • Meredith
  • Creed
  • Darryl
  • Kevin (low OBP once they made him too dumb, but high SLG)
  • Phyllis (singles and doubles, all day long)
  • Angela
  • Oscar
  • Toby
  • Bob Vance
  • Nellie
  • Gabe
I'M GONNA TAKE YOU BACK TO BIBLICAL TIMES -- 1823:  At least one audience member at The Book of Mormon has been inspired to convert to the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-Day Saints).

Related, and much more fun: a bunch of Wisconsin high school kids perform "Hello" while driving in a van.
OUR BALLS ARE IN YOUR COURT:  Splitsider has compiled video of the The 47 Greatest, Most Hilarious Moments in "The Office." And yet it's still lacking: where is Michael's opening soliloquy in "The Injury", and where's the show's Crowning Moment of Awesome, Michael Scott v. David Wallace (and Stringer Bell), "Broke"?

So, yes, maybe the show is limping to the finish line like Steve Carlton in his post-Phillies years when it could have ended upon Steve Carell's departure, but my goodness what a great show we could enjoy during its peak years.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

HUMAN ROOMBA:  In the comments to the Bill Hader announcement, Andrew couldn't help but wonder: "Is Stefon the highest percentage recurring character in SNL history?"

In other words, whether measured by batting average or slugging percentage, is there any character who has appeared as often as Stefon has, without diminishing comedic returns? Phil Hartman's Frankenstein is the only one which comes close, off the top of my head.
THIS PLACE HAS EVERYTHING: TWEEKERS, SKIVVIES, SPUD WEBB, A CHILD... AND A RUSSIAN GUY WHO RUNS ON A TREADMILL IN A COSBY SWEATER. SO COME ON DOWN THIS WEEKEND. THE BOUNCER'S A BULLDOG WHO LOOKS LIKE WILFORD BRIMLEY, AND THE PASSWORD IS ... "DIE-UH-BEAT-US!": Bill Hader is leaving SNL after this season. Even beyond Stefon and his general willingness to go weird, what a great impressionist -- his Pacino, his Alda, his Eastwood, Price, and of course his Lindsay Buckingham are all top-notch. Lorne Michaels says that from the first audition, he was reminded of Dan Aykroyd:
“In terms of intelligence and talent, he was in that same tradition. He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there’s something strikingly original. He didn’t explode onto the air, but gradually he found his voice, and that became a huge thing.”
Also according to Lorne, both Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis are still making up their minds.
KIDS, YOU'VE BEEN VERY, VERY PATIENT: Okay. So I probably have only seen 5-6 episodes of HIMYM this season, but I did see last night's, and at least the end is in sight. Question: as to which occupational track is HIMYM less realistic -- academia or the judiciary?

added: Sepinwall with more news on how the final season will play out.
IT'S AN APPALLED WORLD, AFTER ALL:  "Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front."

Monday, May 13, 2013

MICHAEL J. FOX AND THE BUNK:  Coming to NBC this fall. Warning: may include the mockumentary device.
MIGHTY BIG NEWS:  Some folks with familiar names -- basically, all the TWoP alums except for Linda Holmes -- have launched Previously.TV, which looks to be awesome. Among the debut features are a faux-oral history of NBC's lesser Must-See TV shows ("Union Square was very similar to The Wire, in that even if Union Square DID have any black people, the ratings would have been terrible"), and Sarah Bunting on why Donna Martin should not have been allowed to graduate with her class.

Its upcoming Features List suggests a bright future for us all.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

AND THE TITLE OF SOLE SURVIVOR: All my thoughts to go below the fold. Just hoping to type enough here to make it spoiler-proof for the West Coast, because you deserve to see this fresh. (P.S. Avoid Twitter.)

REALLY:  In news which may excite no one -- though, to be fair, I was among many who was dismissive of the Fallon choice -- Seth Meyers has been named the new host of NBC's Late Night franchise.