Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, And The Life And Death Of “Community”

Community.jpg
“Community” co-stars Donald Glover and Chevy Chase

The NBC sitcom Community, which ran from 2009-2015 (its last season actually running on Yahoo Screen) was once one of my most beloved TV series. Blissfully unaware of my later revelation that “fandom ruins everything,” I had an intense fandom for this show.

But reading Atlanta creator/star and current Lando Calrissian Donald Glover discuss his experiences on Community, I am reminded once again what a clusterfuck that series was & why it was ultimately doomed.

Continue reading “Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, And The Life And Death Of “Community””

Friends: The Russ Ross Paradox

RussRoss.jpg
*shudder…*

One of the most scary things I’ve ever seen was not in a horror movie, but in the TV series Friends. It was a literal doppelgänger of the character Ross—called Russ. Russ looked…similar to Ross. But had subtle differences.

These great similarities yet subtle differences deeply creeped me out about Russ. To the point that whenever I even look of a picture of Russ, I shudder as if gazing upon some sort of Lovecraftian demon from the bowels of Hell. Had I encountered the Russ/Ross paradox as a small child, I know I would have studiously avoided watching Friends at all in an attempt to never encounter this creature again.

Continue reading “Friends: The Russ Ross Paradox”

How “Dodgeball” Challenged Traditional Masculine Stereotypes

dodgeball-reunion-ben-stiller-920x584.png

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, is one of those mid-level comedies from the Aughts that I keep revisiting every once in a while. It’s funny, has some memorable quirky characters, and it moves. So many comedies during this period “felt” like Dodgeball…with the same actors, the same sense of humor, even overlapping plots (that’s got to be a separate post down the line).

This video essay from Trash Theory points out something that I never quite noticed before in previous viewings: just how much the film subverts traditional conceptions of masculinity.

Continue reading “How “Dodgeball” Challenged Traditional Masculine Stereotypes”

“Too Funny To Fail” OR How To Kill A Series With One Sketch

entertainment-2011-08-dana-carvey-show-breastfeeding-clinton-still.jpg

Sometimes it’s just as instructive to study fabulous failures as it is to study successes. Case in point Too Funny To Fail, the interesting new documentary on Hulu about Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey’s short-lived sketch comedy series on ABC.

It was the mid-1990s, and Carvey had just come off a successful long run on SNL as well as the Wayne’s World movies. He received a sweet deal from ABC with carte blanche to make his own sketch show—basically, his own version of SNL (at least…that’s what ABC was expecting!)

Continue reading ““Too Funny To Fail” OR How To Kill A Series With One Sketch”

Who Was The Better Hunter S. Thompson: Johnny Depp Or Bill Murray?

It’s late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday, and a question popped into my head: who portrayed him better on film, Johnny Depp or Bill Murray?

Depp, of course, starred as Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s surreal 1998 adaptation of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas. Murray headlined the less well-known but still really good HST flick Where The Buffalo Roam in 1980.

I feel that to determine who did the Thompson role best really comes down to an assessment of how the acting styles of Depp and Murray differ.

Continue reading “Who Was The Better Hunter S. Thompson: Johnny Depp Or Bill Murray?”

What Is The “Multicamera Comedy” And Why Is It Dying?

new-odd-couple.jpg
“The Odd Couple,” shot on multicam

With the recent cancellations of 2 Broke Girls, Dr. Ken, and Last Man Standing (and perhaps The Odd Couple as well if we take Matthew Perry’s word for itwe just might be seeing the death of the multicamera comedy in favor what is increasingly becoming the industry standard: the single-camera comedy.

But what exactly is a multicamera comedy? It sounds like it has more cameras than merely a single-camera comedy, so isn’t it better? I’m a big TV sitcom nerd, so you’re going to hear me briefly pontificate on this topic. Get ready.

Continue reading “What Is The “Multicamera Comedy” And Why Is It Dying?”