Here is the last of our Year In Review posts for the 2012 regular season of tv. As usual, SB’s thoughts are in blue and mine are in purple. Read, agree, disagree, comment – you know how it goes! And get ready, because our summer 2012 coverage is kicking off soon!
OH MY GOD, KRISTEN WIIG IS GONE! Our long national nightmare is over! AND ALL THE PEOPLE REJOICED!
Okay. It’s out of the way. You knew it was coming, right? Anyway, I thought this was a really good and funny season of SNL (the Mick Jagger finale not included). Let’s review some highlights:
- Jason Segel and The Muppets
- Capitalizing on all the pedophiles in the news with Steve Buscemi (which would make an awesome title of a standalone TV show, right?)
- JIMMY FALLON’S CHRISTMAS EPISODE, AM I RIGHT? God, all the alums and everyone having such a good time … best ever.
- Channing Tatum’s strippery monologue (and also, who knew he was so hilarious?)
- Eli Manning making me laugh almost as much as Peyton did, which is a huge compliment
- Even Lindsay Lohan was sort of interesting to watch, in a horrifying trainwreck sort of way
- The introduction of the fake soap opera “The Californians”, which hilariously mocks how everyone in California is obsessed with driving directions and provided the INSANELY fun to imitate “What are YOU doing here?”
So overall, a very fun year. But the big question on everyone’s mind was, where the fuck was Timberlake? Yeah, yeah, he showed up from time to time, but I need him to host AT LEAST once a year. Step aside, Alec Baldwin. (And also, please no more Katy Perry ever on anything, okay TV Gods?)
Oh, SB and I disagree on a lot with respect to SNL (not The Californians though – that is easily one of my favorite new recurring sketches). First, I can’t believe she didn’t like the Mick Jagger finale! I was actually bummed that he would be hosting because I thought he would suck, and he turned out to be really fantastic! I loved his Charles Nelson Reilly-esque over-the-top gay action star on the Secret Password sketch. And I cried (well, I misted up, let’s not get crazy) during the Ruby Tuesday goodbye to Wiig because I like her and I thought it was really, really sweet. BUT I CAN’T BELIEVE WE DIDN’T GET ONE LAST ‘TWO A-HOLES’ SKETCH C’MON SHOW!!!!
- I am officially on Team Taran Killam and fully expect him to become the next breakout star of the show and I think he’s awesome and I’m super jealous of Cobie Smulders and I’ve watched this video WAAAAAY too many times but I can’t help it because it makes me happier than most things on the internet and you should really watch it too:
- Even though his episodes tend to be pretty good, I never need to see Justin Timberlake host again because I hate his stupid, smug face and his ‘I’m a legitimate actor’ delusions.
- Speaking of host requests, the show just really needs to focus on bringing in hosts who are funny every week. Stop it with the wooden non-actors (JANUARY JONES, LOHAN), coked-out has-beens (LOHAN) and anyone else who seems more ‘ratings stunt’ than ‘actually talented at live sketch’. Funny is better than famous, period. My vote for host who must return once a year? Jon Hamm. Or Jimmy Fallon. Or Melissa McCarthy.
- I will say that even though it featured Lohan, I loved the Real Housewives of Disney sketch, especially Wiig’s drunk Cinderella and Killam’s super-gay Prince Charming. Definitely want to see that again when Wiig eventually returns to host (Get ready SB, you know it’s going to happen!)
- The full-circle return-to-the-beginning final Digital Short was great and Chris Parnell really needs to record a rap album already.
- On the occasion that Wiig does return to host, someone please set fire to the Gilly wardrobe because I never want to see that nightmare again.
Once Upon a Time
Well, it’s official. I am done with this show. We’re breaking up. Even though the last episode was somewhat cool, it was just too little too late. The show had already become repetitive by midseason, a problem that persisted all year, but when they killed off the huntsman, they also killed my ladyboner and also my only reason to still watch. Combine that with the fact that the main characters became horribly unlikable sons of bitches, and not even Sebastian Stan is enough to keep me DVRing this one. SEBASTIAN STAN, people. I love him. So please, let that attest to what a shitty piece of shit this show is and how over it I am.
(I feel that, in fairness, I want to just take a moment to say how truly fantastic Lana Parilla is as Regina/The Evil Queen. She’s amazing. I want her to be the bad guy in everything now. And she may be the only person currently on TV as good at playing a bitch as Madeline Stowe. Plus, there was an episode in the season where you saw her as her much younger self, and it was CRAZY. She looked younger and even SOUNDED younger, and it was all her, in how she carried herself and played it and changed her voice … she’s mega-impressive. And when she and Sebastian Stan have scenes together, I DIE. Still, the show isn’t even half as good as she is or I might reconsider. Shame.)
I’ve never seen this, but if you read my thoughts about Grimm, you already know that I think it looks lame. I have no plans to catch up. But SB – you can get a new Sebastian Stan fix this summer – he’s playing James Wolk’s younger brother (and Sigourney Weaver’s son) in the mini-series Political Animals. Which looks really good. Starts July 15th at 10pm on USA.
I think this may actually be a Friday show, but whatever, right? I just wanted to comment on how we started taping this show because everyone is always humping each other’s leg about it, and it’s only 20 minutes, so whatever, right? And it’s just the weirdest fucking thing, because I wouldn’t necessarily say that I enjoy it. I get it … I don’t live in Portland but I still find hipsters insufferable, so it’s not that. I don’t find it offensive or annoying … it’s more like it’s just kind of THERE. Usually there’s one sketch in an episode that I will laugh HARD at, like genuinely cracked up, hysterical laughing. Sometimes there’s not even that, and there’s almost never two of those. But I keep willingly watching it? It’s confusing, and yet I don’t see myself changing that particular habit.
So agree with everything you said, SB. I feel the same way. I have seen every episode, and I legitimately enjoy it, but only laugh out loud occasionally (but when I do, it’s major). I also find myself singing ‘The 90’s Are Alive (in Portland)’ at random times to myself. I just really like Fred & Carrie’s chemistry, and think it’s a really smart, sometimes too smart for it’s own good, but still enjoyable show. Plus, I love all of the musician cameos. Put a bird on it!
So, about once a year or so, there seems to be a show that I’ll start watching that’s totally random and doesn’t seem like anything else I watch (Top Shot, Pawn Stars, How It’s Made, and Mantracker all come to mind), and no one else I know seems to really watch them. Except for Billy, because we have one TV. Anyway, this year, it’s Duck Dynasty on A&E and I have to say … this might be my favorite reality show of all time, and it RAPIDLY became one of my favorite shows, reality or not, of the year. It is good and truly hilarious.
Listen, I think few things in this world are as hilarious as when stoners or rednecks become rich, because then you get to see all their bizarre fantasies and ideas come to life. But usually that’ll entertain me for a couple episodes and then it’s like, whatever, seen it all! Not so with this one.
First of all, they’re all hilarious, some of them more intentionally than others. Secondly, most of what they do or attempt to do turns into an epic shit show. Third, there’s about a zillion family members, and they’re all uniquely insane. It’s just a really fun show. As Billy said about it, it feels very innocent. And everyone is so good-natured and there’s a lot of love in it, you know? It never stresses me out to watch it, and that’s a quality I like in my TV viewing. Plus, I feel like this is a lot closer to “the real America” or whatever than most things on TV. I certainly did not grow up a redneck–I’ve never hunted or fished or shot a gun … in fact, my few experiences of being near fishing have all been terrible for everyone involved because I either get super grossed out or just start yelling “Throw it back!” I have had a pickup truck but I never took it muddin’, and I only voluntarily eat common meat found in bougie grocery stores, and even then I have my limits. But the way the family interacts, and fights with each other, and get annoyed with each other, and congregate over food, and the grandparents are trying to teach crazy life lessons, and everyone is just generally carrying on? Yeah, that’s all stuff I can DEFINITELY relate to.
Anyway. You’re probably either the type of person who thinks this show is hilarious or doesn’t, but you should at least give it an episode because if you ARE that type of person, you’ll feel like you hit the lottery. And if you’re not … well, the episodes are only half an hour, so it’s a low risk investment of your time. To give you a quick rundown on what it’s about, it’s a family business making duck calls. All the guys look like ZZ Top in camo, more or less. Willie is the CEO, and he always wears an American flag bandana, even to fancy occasions. His brother Jase works with him and is HILARIOUS–his commentary is always funny and he drives Willie nuts. Their dad Phil started the business but is mostly retired. He admits to treating his grandchildren like a labor pool and considers it his responsibility to teach them about life, now that the family has gone from poor to rich, and this mostly means telling the grandsons to stay away from yuppie girls. Willie and Jase’s mom, Miss Kay, is always cooking and luring people to events with her jambalaya, which … I don’t know why, but she seems to always make outside and with a shovel. And then there is Willie and Jase’s Uncle Si, who is probably the most legitimately crazy, always around, and says the funniest shit I’ve ever heard in my life, without a hint of irony. And he’s always talking about ‘Nam. It’s amazing, you guys. And there’s a whole other cadre of redneck employees and trophy wives and townspeople … I don’t know, I might need a crossover between this show and True Blood. Someone please watch it so we can discuss how it’s the best thing on the face of the earth, kthxbye.
I only know what this show is because of my slavish devotion to The Soup so I am slightly familiar with the concept behind it, maybe (ZZ Top-looking rednecks sit on porches and say dumb things?). But I can’t watch shows like this – I like them in nice, 30-second soundbites followed by 30 seconds of Joel McHale snarking on them, and that’s it. The Soup is really the best reality tv primer – you know all the latest insanity (Dance Moms, BIG ANGE, Gold Rush Alaska’s Glory Hole, etc) but you don’t feel like you’re giving up any of your dignity. It’s perfect!
Much has been said about this show on the internet since it premiered, and I don’t plan on getting into any of it here. All I will say is that this show makes me so uncomfortable sometimes, and it’s not very ha-ha funny and I LOVE IT. I don’t even know why, I just find it kind of fascinating. Lena Dunham fascinates me. And I kind of hate her for being only 24. But the show is very well-written, well-acted and SO GODDAM WINCINGLY HONEST at times. If you’re a tv fan, you should at least check it out and see what all the fuss is about.
Oh my god, this is my new tv obsession. I love Julia Louis Dreyfuss a lot and the entire cast is great. And this show is FUNNY. JLD is the VP of the United States, and her staff is made up of Tony Hale (Buster Bluth), Anna Chlumsky (Veda Sultenfuss!!!), Reid Scott (hot guy from My Boys) and Matt Walsh (UCB founding member) among others. It’s so good, so smart, and cracks me up every week. Start watching it and suddenly the line, ‘Did the President call? No.’ will be the funniest thing in the world to you. And Veda Sultenfuss swears a LOT and it is AWESOME.
The Good Wife
I love this show too, a lot. It’s one of the only law shows I watch because I’m not usually a fan (although I have managed to catch up on Suits on DVD just FYI). It just has really great characters, great actors, and it’s so much more than just a ‘case of the week’ type procedural. My favorite character rotates week to week because everyone is so damn good that it’s hard to even have a favorite (although mine are most often Josh Charles’ Will Gardiner, Matt Czuchry’s Cary Agos and Alan Cumming’s Eli Gold). Sometime the show gets a little too ‘ripped from the headlines’ for it’s own good when it comes to the actual cases, but luckily that’s rare, and the show is about so much more than just the cases that it doesn’t even really matter when it happens. Come for the classy, dignified performances and excellent writing, stay for the Agos Swagger.
Okay, that’s it for us! Tell us what you thought of these shows, what you were watching that we didn’t mention, and how much you agree/disagree with our assessments! Hurry, because the summer shows are a-comin’!!