'Harvest Festival' dreams come true for Pawnee in another outstanding episode
The eagerly awaited Harvest Festival is almost derailed by Pawnee-wide collective delusion: the carnival is situated on the site of a historical battle between an Indian tribe and Pawnee settlers, making it the ultimate “sacred burial ground”, and therefore cursed. Of course, the tribal leader, Ken Hotate is deliberately playing up the well-known fact that white people are “terrified of curses” (also, they love Matchbox 20 but that doesn’t seem to be as important). Even with Larry Bird’s aunt signing autographs, 15 extra cotton-candy machines, and the triumphant return of mini-horse Lil Sebastian, everything seems to fall apart the minute the awful Joan Callamezzo gets wind of the curse. Before you know it, the carnival’s generator fails, the horse escapes and Ben has walked off sulking that he has jinxed the whole thing. Who saves the day? The awesome Leslie Knope, of course – by borrowing a generator from the same Ken Hotate who inflicted the curse in the first place. She even has the bright idea to let him do a bogus Native American ceremony to lift the bogus curse (per the subtitles “I am not saying anything. No one can understand me anyway. Doobee doobee doo.”) Using Tom Petty’s “American Girl” to close out the episode was a fitting tribute to the fabulous Ms. Knope.
Meanwhile, in Too Adorable To Live Town, April spontaneously tells Andy that she loves him. Andy, in his own way, says he loves her too. Unfortunately, “I love you too” in Andyspeak is “Dude, shut up! That is awesome-sauce!” This causes an understandable rift until Ron F’ing Swanson clarifies the situation; as Andy endearingly explains, love is what makes “the sauce so awesome”. And that phrase is as good as any to describe this show.
- “Eagle-eyed tiger new band name I call it!”
- “I’m going to suggest you bottle that noise up.” “That’s what my mailman said.”
- “Murder the most melons.”
- Lil Sebastian wears a tail scrunchie. Like you do.
- “Just treat him and release him and then don’t say anything to anyone about anything for the rest of the month.”
- I love how Donna basically hangs around in the background and doesn’t seem to do any work. She did wear a stethoscope for a while though.
- “Crap on a spatula.”
- That sweeping overhead shot of the maze and the carnival? Seriously, when was the last time the final shot of a sitcom gave you chills?
'Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy': The series returns with a more straightforward sitcom vibe
In tonight’s episode, Chang goes to extreme lengths to prove he could be a good father to Shirley’s unborn baby, transforming into an odd Mr. Rogers clone (“Why does the VCR have to be on 3 when “Bones” is on 5?”) and ending up as the kidnapper of two young boys he mistakes for Shirley’s kids. This plot was frequently funny, particularly as Shirley tries to coerce Jeff into making Chang forgo his parental rights, only to have that plan backfire when Jeff sees a way to get Chang to finally move out of their apartment. In addition, Malcolm Jamal-Warner continues to fit in nicely with the regular cast and has a warm rapport with Yvette Nicole Brown. But Chang is so thoroughly unpleasant that it is hard to have any sympathy for him; I confess that I was more invested in Jeff and Shirley’s plan to put him away in jail for 20 years than I was in seeing them bestow any forgiveness.
Fortunately, the other main plot was consistently amusing and a great showcase for Gillian Jacobs as Britta. Troy and Abed have a (very attractive) new friend named Luka to play video games with them, and they order Britta to stay away (“We like him a lot. So you’re not allowed to bone him.”). Apparently she “ruins” guys Troy and Abed like by dating and then dishing the dirt about them. She even ruined Jeff Winger (nipples were involved). When Luka turns out to be a bona fide war criminal from the Balkans, Britta turns herself into knots trying to get the boys to figure this out for themselves. With many clever callbacks to past episodes - the hoodies from the paintball tournament (emblazoned with “It’s all downhill from here”), Britta channeling Annie’s Boobs as she snakes the DVD from Abed’s room, - and a firm belief in the supremely irritating personality of Britta, it was a winner of a plotline. Unless you haven’t seen “Catfish”.
- “I believe the theme is “Stuff Lying Around My Apartment.”
- “You just guaranteed she’ll bone him.”
- “Hit my genie bottle?” “What the? What was that?”
- “Pieces of paper, stapled together, lot of writing. I’m afraid this is as far as I can go.”
- “God bless you!” “Not lately.”
- The “wah wah” trombone sound effect from next door while Britta and Luka were making out? Priceless.
- “Don’t saw the floor! Don’t saw anything! I’m tired of confiscating saws.”
- “Lots of fork foods. Don’t want to grease up the troops.”
- “Girls are so un-desensitized.”
- “Didn’t take? You’re not giving him a perm, Jeff.”
- “I’m just here for my “Trekkies Do It In The Final Frontier” hat.”
- Joel McHale in tight running clothes = one for the fans.
‘Stage Two’: Here’s to family. I guess.
It has been made clear that “Archer” features some of the best comedic voice acting in the business. Although the actors record their parts separately (I assume), the lines still bounce off each other with crackerjack timing in every scene. But who knew they could also actually express some serious emotion? Well, at least a (very very VERY) little bit.
Sterling Archer has breast cancer. Or maybe he doesn’t. Either way, he actually transformed himself ever so slightly into the nicest version of himself that it was possible to be. He spends quality time with the wee baby Seamus, and gets them both matching tattoos. He had kind words for Woodhouse, but he still steals his long-suffering butler’s prepaid trip to Vegas. He tells Lana he loves her, but somehow manages to still be a dick to her in the cold light of day. He bestows “mid-range” Scotch on Cyril, while still letting him take the fall for Sterling’s misadventures in Sin City. Best of all, he actually has a mother/son heart-to-heart talk with Malory. A self-pitying, drunken, whiny talk, but still - baby steps.
- “If I cared about what you do on the weekend, I’d stick a shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.”
- “It’s just like when the barn flooded in real life, only tiny and sweet.”
- “Thanks, I’ll let you know if I need a hybrid pig-boy.”
- “Damn her piggy little eyes.” “Ah, Pigly.”
- “Good God, you’d think he was half-fainting goat.” “Ah, Goatly.”
- “Looking for this? Or perhaps the lead container I probably should have left it in?”
- “So wait. There’s good cholesterol?”
- “Really? To both statements.”
- I would also like to know what the wee baby Seamus is into.
- “Why are you dressed like a…tout?”
- “Oh, you gotta go. It’s ama…zing, I hear, but I’ve never been.”
- “Lana, I’m in love with you.” “You are also shit-faced.” “I can be both.”
- It’s easy to get excited about bear claws. (Growwr.)
- “This is so boring and forever-taking!”
- The whole doctor gag had to be a callback to Jessica Walters’ previous job “Arrested Development”, right?
- “There’s radiation treatment, there’s chemotherapy, there’s…well, I think just those two things.”
- “I’m kind of making peace with my loved ones right now. Plus some other people.”
- “Totally cancer free! Again!”
- “Not a new person.”
Scoop from the Paleyfest panel reveals new romances, guest stars galore and Sue Sylvester's 'trifecta of doom'
- The love triangle between Rachel, Finn and Quinn is a major plot point for the rest of the season (six new episodes start April 19).
- After a bit of a break, Sue Sylvester's back up to her old tricks, pulling together her "League of Doom" to take down Will Schuester and the glee club gang. Her "trifecta of evil" consists of Will's ex-wife Terri Schuester, former McKinley glee club director Sandy Ryerson and Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby.
- Kristin Chenoweth will be back as drunkard April Rhodes -- and she'll be doing a "Glee" original track, "It's 10 A.M., I'm Drunk," as part of a one-woman show called "Crossroads."
- Will Schuester's new love interest, Gwyneth Paltrow's Holly Holiday, makes a return, too, after the show's four-week hiatus. "Gwyneth is sort of the muse of the show," creator Ryan Murphy said. "She's somebody I write to on weekends and say, 'What do you think of this for an episode, even if you're not in it?' She has opinions. She's great."
- Broadway actor Cheyenne Jackson comes back as Dustin Goolsby, the director of competing choir Vocal Adrenaline (replacing Idina Menzel's character). Charice's character Sunshine will be back as that choir's star for the last six episodes of the season -- all of which put the focus on New Directions' journey to Nationals.
- Kurt and Blaine's budding relationship gets major play as the pair head to the prom! "That storyline is ripped from the headlines," creator Murphy told TVLine. "Can you imagine two boys wanting to go to prom in Ohio?" Eventually, the pair end up going long distance when Kurt heads back to McKinley High. But that's not all! Next season, Blaine ditches the Warblers and Dalton Academy to audition for New Directions! Expect loads of tension there, because he's used to being the star at his all-boys school. And we know New Directions already has its fair share of divas.
- Santana, too, deals with her conflicted sexuality -- but it's unlikely she'll be reigniting her relationship with BFF Brittany, who's still with Artie.
- The bullying storyline is revisited in the upcoming "Born This Way" episode.
- Mercedes will finally find romance -- and it's coming to us via the "Glee" casting reality show on Oxygen.
- The next themed episode will be centered on a single album -- the classic "Rumors" by Fleetwood Mac.
An enjoyable episode that was a far cry from a ‘Blaze of Glory’
“You know we’re gonna have to talk about it…sooner or later?” - Raylan Givens
It is nice to have a breather once in a while. After all, “Justified” is only halfway through a stellar second season, and they have time to build up the stakes in the dual master-plots for Boyd Crowder and the Bennetts. So taking a break for a lighthearted pair of stories about a spontaneous theft by Winona and a geriatric bank robber with emphysema was actually pretty agreeable.
Winona’s spontaneous lifting of a bill from the evidence room did strain credulity somewhat, although the writers (and Natalie Zea) did a good job portraying this as an out-of-character act, which was almost immediately regretted. She is jittery, conflicted and confused, with a dumbbell (estranged) husband screwing up their finances and a handsome but taciturn ex-husband sleeping in her bed. Maybe this is the point in her life where she acts rashly. She is just lucky Raylan thinks calmly under pressure and can lift the money back from Art after it makes its way into the stash of a crew of bank robbers.
And what a crew they were – Dopey, Nasty, and Wheezy. In the show’s Elmore Leonard universe, the peculiar characters and their knotty back-stories are more important than the shoot-outs or other action set pieces. So it figured that Frank (Wheezy) would threaten and attack Carter (Nasty), only to maneuver both him and Bobby (Dopey) into getting arrested while he took off with the money. As well as being a clever and twisty case of the week, it was also a showcase for the gruff charm of Nick Searcy as Art Mullen. His extended confrontation with Frank at the airstrip, ending in the most hilarious “chase” in the history of cop/bad guy chases, was simultaneously funny and unexpectedly touching, with both Searcy and Scott Wilson underplaying two aging men’s rueful regrets perfectly. It is always a welcome treat to take a break with all of these people.
- Just a little bit of Boyd to wrap up the mine robbery; it appears he will get away with it, but he will also definitely have Raylan sniffing around something fierce.
- Boyd and Ava, sitting in a tree……
- Man, they are going out of their way to make Gary a real tool. An Arabian racehorse? Really? Dude.
- “What am I, an asshole?” “No?”
- “Clearly, you are the smart one.”
- It was obviously not dynamite of course, but Raylan’s mighty punch and quip about road flares was pretty bad-ass.
- “You remember the end of “Jaws”?
'Cut Men': Tough decisions need to be made as the series enters the final stretch
“The train is leaving the station; if you can’t get on it, someone will take your place.” - Barry K. Word
In their essentials, people don’t change. As true as this statement may be, it is difficult to build a compelling television series around it. “The Sopranos” made this its over-arching theme, but then again, “The Sopranos” is one of the greatest achievements in television history. By bringing Patrick Leary back into bed with all the criminals (half-way and full-blown) that he thought he had left behind, “Lights Out” shows the inherent limitations of staying true to that subtext.
It probably wouldn’t have been such a letdown if the last two episodes hadn’t had the incredible jolt of Eamonn Walker’s mesmerizing performance as Ed Romeo. He took Lights right up to the precipice of transforming himself, before Ed’s psychosis and Lights’ fear pulled them both back. It seems slightly unbelievable that Lights would be so forgiving to both Ed and Johnny for the injury that causes such chaos in his career, but maybe he learned that much Zen detachment from Mr. Romeo.
Who was it good to see again? Bill Irwin as Brennan, that’s who. Honestly, from scene to scene, I can’t decide if he is the most manipulative, cold-blooded SOB in New Jersey, or if he actually has sincere feelings for the Leary clan (well, Margaret and Lights anyway). Of course, he is looking to get a hefty piece of this fight – pulling strings behind the scenes with Barry and slyly feeding information about Lights’ assault on the dentist to Margaret. But he is also upfront and honest about the seamier side of the business, and about what needs to be done to get Lights in the ring in the best shape possible. And I’m still waiting to find out about that Morales fight.
- The lack of consequences for some of these incidents is getting a bit ridiculous. “Some homeless guy” stabs Lights and there are no detectives or policemen or even a crime scene investigation outside the gym? Two grown men have a bloody brawl that ends in a dive through a plate-glass window and “they aren’t pressing charges”? Suspension of disbelief: activated.
- Oh Johnny. Time to face that fact that your son is more of an “indoor kid.”
- Reynolds is turning out to be more vulnerable and sensitive than someone nicknamed “Death Row” should really be.
- The graduation bit was heavy-handed but still affecting, and it was good to see Theresa pissed off but holding it together.
- So grapes help with healing; who knew?
Kristin Chenoweth, Scott Foley and Tom Sizemore among the big names booking pilots for fall
‘Movie Star’: Hollywood invades the spy agency in a funny return to form.
Now that’s more like it. Delightfully absurd, with a solid satire of celebrity culture, “Movie Star” moved the ISIS gang right back into their bitchy, shallow and self-centered comfort zone. Featuring spot-on guest voice work from Rachael Harris, the episode had three funny stories that worked individually and interested cleverly at the end.
The invasion of dumb blond starlet Rona Thorne, who wants to shadow a secret agent for an upcoming movie role in “Disavowed”, inflames Archer and Lana’s rivalry, throws the office drones (Pam, Gillette and Carol/Cheryl) into a journal-stealing tizzy, and (most amusingly) pairs up Malory and Cyril as they rewrite the screenplay to be a “taut, sexy thriller”…with Malory as the star. Each storyline had brilliant comedy set-pieces: H. Jon Benjamin’s priceless “Mee, mah, mah” noises as he wanders around the office after being temporarily deafened by Lana’s gunshots, the bizarre and hilarious story of Carol/Cheryl’s stalking and stabbing of college football star “Dick Sledge” (“He totally snuck up on me!”), and best of all, Malory’s horrifyingly racist vision of a spy thriller (“The forbidden love between Malory and Cassius is central to the plot!”). Of course, it turns out Rona is actually a second-generation sleeper Russian spy, and it all ends with a patented “Archer” anti-climactic wrap-up - Archer and Lana drugged and slumped over in a compromising position. Can Rona be forgiven? Because having her back again would be….AMAAAAAZING!
- “Do you know who you are?” “I DOOO. I do I do I do I do…”
- “Speaking of my body, and your body, and stiffness…”
- “I maybe kinda slightly took it.” “Did you think it was meat?”
- “Deaf people are gross.”
- “She’s gonna wish I was never born!” “Just gonna softball it in like that?”
- “Or those big steam-shovely scoops you call hands.”
- “You do realize there’s a finite supply of Vaseline in the universe.”
- “Type! Nerd.”
- “Well, if your aunt had balls, she’d be your uncle.”
- “We’ll calling it Mandingo 2: The Enslavening.”
- “Come Krieger Bots! Avenge your fallen comrade!”
- “What voice is that? Is it from Bullwinkle?”