Tammy One, Detlef Schrempf and diabetes all come together in a delightful episode
The shocking details of the previously glimpsed Tammy One kept piling up: she was the nurse that delivered Ron into the world, she was his Sunday school teacher, his math teacher, and taught him sex and driver's ed. It only takes one week for this ice queen to transform Ron into a wimpy, emasculated - and most horrifically clean-shaven - shadow of his former self. Offerman obviously enjoyed the heck out of playing Ron's evil twin, complete with brightly striped shirts and a joint checking account ("When she explains it, it makes total sense."). And who comes to the rescue? Do you even have to ask? Due to the Swanson family moonshine, whose only legal use is to strip varnish off of boats, Amy Poehler is thankfully allowed to do another hilarious drunk scene ("Not even close. Marvin Clones. Glenn Close. Go to bed Jimmy.") Even more thankfully, Ron sees the error of his ways.
If this had only been a half-hour of nothing but the Ron and Tammy show, it still would have been a exemplary episode, but the subplots were highly amusing as well. Ben got to once again be the only grown-up in the room, this time by helping Tom and Jean-Ralphio get a grip on Entertainment 720. His most important advice: they can't keep printing their own money with their faces on it. Meanwhile, Ann films a new diabetes PSA with Pawnee's own Wilfred Brimley, Chris Treiger. Naturally, his enthusiasm results in an entire day of filming and drives Ann to brutal self-examination about why she ever went out with him in the first place. Until he displays his sweet side, sincerely complimenting her "patience, intelligence and insight". In the world of "Parks and Recreation", nice guys usually finish first.
- "Income tax is illegal!"
- "Are you broken?"
- "I made that man a dining room table in exchange for 60 feet of copper pipe and a half pig."
- Various succinct descriptions of Tammy One: "I don't even know her and she's my hero." "Tammy One is my blond chicken." "She's the cold distant mother I never had. I love her."
- "Your mom sounds kick-ass."
- "Lastly, I hate the name Angelo. I'm gonna switch it up for you right now. Your new nickname is Jello Shot."
- "I don't think it will be necessary for you to speak again while I'm here."
- "I hope the rest of your day is cool beans."
- That face slap was pretty hard-core.
- "In a sense, yes. But in another truer sense, no, it is not."
- Even just a glimpse of Megan Mulally as Tammy Two is a gift from heaven ("She can pinpoint your weaknesses and then destroy you with just one word. And a jar of acid.")
- Paula Pell as Tammy Zero is coming back, right? Tell me she's coming back.
A good-natured episode revisits some familiar quirks of the study group members
Consistency may be a hobgoblin in some areas, but for network television it is good to keep a healthy dose of it most of the time. Too many shows have veered off track, not just by disrupting the established "mythology" of the plotlines, but by having the characters launch into unmotivated and random actions seemingly at the whim of the writers' room. Love it or hate it, "Community" has been fairly dependable when it comes to maintaining certain truths about the various people at Greendale.
Tonight's episode revisited three of those ongoing tropes: the on-again, off-again romantic tension between Jeff and Annie, Annie's tightly-wound competitiveness, and Brita's shrill social activism. All of these plots tied together quite cleverly, and they all had steady and increasingly funny escalations. Britta and Chang got to explore their conflicting pathologies in a safe environment (it's a toss-up which was funnier - her stuffing the "warning" into her mouth and then spitting it out or her insane mangled doll costume at the end). Gillian Jacobs is always good at making Britta completely annoying in a loveable kind of way, and Ken Jeong was used just enough (he's still better in very small doses). Annie found her "multi-cultural evil twin" Annie Kim, another buttoned-up grind who engages her in a Model United Nations battle to the death. Alison Brie and the rest of the gang (along with lots of floating heads and some Georgian accents) excelled at the rapid-fire one-liners of this nerd face-off, which recalled the "Debate 109" episode from the first season. It was surely not coincidental that that original episode also featured Jeff and Annie's first kiss.
Joel McHale's considerable acting chops were put to good use here in the tender and sweet scene where he opens up to the girl he reflexively calls "kiddo", explaining that he does this in order to distance himself from his true feelings. True, their moment of connection does end with a joke ("That felt gross.") but strangely; it didn't feel like a cheap undercutting of real emotion. Just like the Spartacus-like confessions of passing gas, sometimes the lighter moments mean everything.
- No John Goodman or Michael K. Williams, but hey! Martin Starr!
- The incongruous use of Lionel Ritchie's "Hello" was pretty sweet.
- Best throwaway gag – Troy switching Annie's soft drink cup.
- "Georgia (the COUNTRY) is much obliged."
- "China has money! Does anybody want some?"
- "You're as much a criminal as this idiot is a cop. none whatsoever."
- I could listen to the security guard's description of the parking arm for another hour.
- "You can't just mumble nonsense. No one's cutting away."
- United Nations: High minded rhetoric and empty gestures.
Lesson are learned, bonds are formed, friendships are…yeah, none of that happened
"Archer" closed out its three episode special mini-series with lots of rip-roaring action, a few moments that verged on genuinely poignant, and a slew of one-liners and references that came so thick and fast they threatened to overwhelm the plot development. I mean, what other 20 minutes of television would contain allusions to "Get Smart", a Morning Edition newscaster, the indie rock band Archer of Loaf, and more idioms than you could shake a stick at? Maybe "30 Rock" in its prime, but not much else.
Archer, Rip, Lana, Ray and Noah all managed to escape the prison, but not before Ray was gut shot and almost died, Noah accidentally stabbed Rip in the eye ("I am incredibly sorry."), Lana is shot in the leg, and Archer almost sabotages the entire escape to cheer on his team in the Intra-Mural Lacrosse Finals, en-route to the South Pacific Lacrosse Championships ("That's not a thing.") Still, Sterling did do it all without his mother's help or ransom money, which is a big first for him, outside of the Columbia House incident. And Archer and Lana come as close to declaring their love as they ever have, or ever will, most likely. Thankfully, she isn't above holding the threat of telling Malory about his stint as the pirate king over his head forever. Now, that's a love story for the ages.
- ISIS shenanigans: Cyril and Pam do the deed AGAIN (Make. It. Stop.). Cyril embezzles and then un-embezzles all of the ISIS money. Cheryl/Carol is excited about possibly burning the building to the ground on Sunday.
- OK, there seemed to be a possibility that Ray Gillette was ACTUALLY going to die, in which case I think I would have had a serious nervous breakdown.
- "This thing called My Boss Made Me Sleep At My Desk, so pajamas."
- "Don't talk like black people."
- "I just traveled 8,000 miles and got ambushed by Malaysian pirates trying to rescue a person who is now responsible for my getting crabs twice."
- There's really only so much you can do with crab puns.
- Cheryl/Carol was pretty hysterical tonight, with her casual racism ("Oh my god, be more Chinese-y"), exaggerated imitation of Malory and continued hatred of disabled people.
- Cyril's attempts at remembering his password: "Archersucks" "KillArcherdie."
- "What's that? Sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my plan working."
- Seriously - "Lakshmi Singhers vs. the Archers of Loafcrosse." That just makes me happy.
Taking America's favorite curmudgeon to task
You know what really gets me? Obsolete journalists who are proud not to know what e-books are, or the identity of any musician who became famous after 1972, yet who report on them anyway. (Rooney eulogized Kurt Cobain by saying he "must have been a talented person" but that "if he applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, it's reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense, either.")
You know what really gets me? Obsolete journalists who oppose the rights of gays and Native Americans. (In 1990, Rooney proclaimed that the causes of early death include "too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual unions and cigarettes." Two years later, he called it "silly" for tribes to complain about sports team names such as the Redskins and Indians.)
You know what really gets me? Obsolete journalists who whine about the touchstones of my culture because theirs were so much better.
Yes, it must have been so much better in a world where television and the Internet didn't exist, where minstrel shows seemed hysterical and you couldn't make your own ice.
Then again, I'm not the intended demographic for Andy Rooney appreciation. Maybe I'm wrong and Andy Rooney was a brilliant satirist, a tireless muckracker with an intolerance for injustice, a damn funny scalawag.
Maybe Andy Rooney was the best thing since sliced bread.
Sliced breadwas a step forward, wasn't it?
(Cue the stopwatch ticking sound.)
Andy Rooney's final "60 Minutes" airs Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
Bad news for EJAMI fans: EJ may be heading out of town
Sources told Soap Opera Digest that James Scott didn't sign a new deal after contract negotiations hit a wall, and that means he'll be walking. MSN TV sources, however, reveal negotiations are still ongoing. That means it's all still up in the air.
Scott's possible exit isn't entirely out of left field. The Daytime Emmy nominee revealed back in December that he had an itch to make a serious move and warned he might even decide to quit acting all together. "I think I’m going to stay here for a little bit longer," Scott told TVGuide Canada. "We got the pickup and my contract is for a little longer. Then I’m going to wait to see what happens ... I certainly would enjoy the opportunity to work in other mediums like film and stage, but at this particular point I’m just waiting to see what happens. I’m not making any real commitments in terms of which direction I’ll follow -- or even one direction, because I’m not sure if I will continue to act, which is very likely.”
Since joining "Days of our Lives" in 2006, Scott has been locked in onscreen romantic entanglements and psychotic machinations with Alison Sweeney's Sami and Arianne Zucker's Nicole. While being a key component in the EJAMI/SAFE (EJ & Sami vs Sami & Rafe) love triangle, his nefarious character EJ, son of villainous Stefano, recently announced his run for mayor.
While many fans would be crushed by Scott's exit, the big "Days of our Lives" reboot puts the show in a unique position to roll with the news, should it come to that. "Days of our Lives" recently shook things up with a slew of returning and new characters, as well as changes to the writing and producing teams. In the wake of the final episode of "All My Children" on ABC, that much-hyped reboot launched Monday with a big event on the fancy new Horton Square set.
At the same time, with the soap genre on the decline, "Days" is using the re-launch to attract "soap orphans" whose shows have been or will be canceled. The new mini-site Days101.com serves as an immediate immersion into everything Salem, including family trees and features on the returning characters.
Scott's exit could fold into this season of change, if it comes to that, but it's likely "Days" would prefer to avoid going down that road. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: James Scott has released a statement about the exit rumor, and it's good news for fans: "It has always been my wish to continue working with 'Days of our Lives,' and in light of recent reassurances given, I am optimistic of my future here at 'Days.'"
"Days of our Lives" airs weekdays on NBC.
NBC bets on Dane Cook, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler
NBC is throwing a spate of new comics against the wall, hoping that one becomes its next Jerry Seinfeld.
We’ve already watched “Whitney,” so we know it’s not Whitney Cummings. But three more well-known standups still have a crack at reviving "Must See TV" with new sitcoms. What are their odds out of the gate?
Projected air date: Fall 2012
Cook takes a lot of heat for allegedly stealing jokes, artificially building his fame via MySpace and simply not being that funny. (Hey, maybe you’re not into itchy butts and Kool-Aid Man nightmares.)
As well as being one of the most hated comics of the modern comedy era, however, he’s also one of the most popular, regularly selling out hockey arenas. And that means NBC is likely to give him the biggest budget, best writing room and free-est reign of all potential new Jerrys.
Also tipping the scales is that Cook has the best acting chops. Although the films “Dan in Real Life,’ “ My Best Friend's Girl,” “Employee of the Month” and “Good Luck Chuck” may have sucked, Cook didn’t suck in them.
And, as he’s shown us by appearing as himself on “Louie” to answer plagiarism allegations leveled by comic Louis C.K., Cook has a healthy sense of himself.
Odds: Very good
Projected air date: Fall 2012
Silverman plays a woman returning to the singles scene after a decade-long relationship. (Here’s a good guess: She won’t be promoting it on ex-beau Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show!)
Silverman enjoyed mild success in her Comedy Central sitcom, “The Sarah Silverman Program,” which ran from 2007 until its 2010 cancellation. But Silverman’s fame came from being the funniest female shock comic of all time, and the show didn’t capitalize on that energy, dwelling more on her weird and childlike side. (And she’s once again writing with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, her partners on “The Sarah Silverman Program.”)
The good news, however, and this is really good news, is that Ron Howard is reportedly taking an active producer role behind the scenes, much as he did with the brilliant sitcom “Arrested Development.”
“Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea”
Projected air date: Midseason 2012
Oh, man. Handler is such a brilliant standup and interviewer, I hate writing this. But, after viewing the original pilot, NBC sent the script back to the drawing board and fired co-stars Natalie Morales, Angel Laketa and frequent “Chelsea Lately” panelist Jo Koy.
Well, Handler at least gets credit for not starring as herself. (If you’ve seen her attempt to act in her “Chelsea Lately” sketches, you’ll know why I inserted the words “attempt to.”) Laura Prepon (“That ‘70s Show”) plays a fictionalized Handler based on the comic’s 2008 autobiography -- although Handler does do a turn as her own aunt.
Odds: Not good
Sneaky Ashton Kutcher has the right idea
According to this Variety article, those decals promote Internet companies the actor has a real-life financial stake in. They include Foursquare, Flipboard, GroupMe and Hipmunk.
Wow, that’s a sneaky move. Here are some suggestions for products we think should be snuck into the TV shows we watch.
1. "Real Housewives of (Pick One)"
E-A-R Earplugs in the ears of all those poor husbands. Just thinking about the hell those shlubs must go through because they wanted steady sex when they were 25-years old, makes us want to send them several pair.
2. "Jersey Shore"
Although Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi thinks the cure for a hangover is to drink more, we know it's that combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine known as Excedrin, a bottle of which should be displayed prominently in every morning scene as a public service announcement for the idiots who mimic everything this cast does.
3. "16 and Pregnant"
Little packages of Trojans placed around the subjects' living rooms by the production crew, while the subjects aren't looking.
4. "Toddlers & Tiaras"
Commercials for "To Catch a Predator" airing throughout the broadcasts. Enough said.
5. "Celebrity Rehab"
Multiple buckets of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken delivered to the next batch of celebrity patients by "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul in character as Jesse Pinkman. Now that would blow more minds than blue meth.
The club members have to confront the reality of their new deal with the cartel
Meanwhile, back in not so Charming, Linc Potter seals his identity as the cleverest (and most slyly hilarious) federal agent around. Giving out false identities like birthday gifts, "Nick Stackhouse" from the zoning department briefly bonds with Gemma by commiserating on the evil of Charming Heights, and "Gabe Marcel" from the San Joaquin Sherriff's Department pays a visit to Otto in his solitary confinement box (no, seriously, it was a BOX) to fill him in that Bobby Elvis and Luann were doing the deed before she was killed. Ray McKinnon is so delightfully odd in this role, and it makes it all the more fun to wonder what he is going to do next. Maybe join the committee to save the gardens of Charming? Now that would be an alliance I would get behind.
- I love how direct Piney is with Gemma, making quick work of her veiled and direct threats. It isn't at all clear what kind of power he could wield over the rest of the members, but maybe he is just doing this as a last-ditch attempt at nobility before he kicks the bucket.
- We have our first extended glimpse of Roosevelt's wife Rita and her flower shop. No nonsense woman.
- Latest 411 on John Teller: He has set up a meeting in Belfast in order to dissolve the relationship with the IRA and stop selling guns, and he was killed before that meeting took place. Still don't know who killed him.
- Kurt Sutter addressed (slightly) my questions about the Juice story, so let's hope that is developed well. There still seems to be a lot of assumed knowledge here.
- Sorry to be so callous, but I am going to laugh so hard when Clay finally loses his grip and rolls off of his bike one day.