(S05E06) There's an old show biz line that goes, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard." Well, sometimes when dramas try a comic episode, it can be a little like death warmed over. Or a show can completely succumb to humor and forget the original genre entirely (you know that I'm talking about you, Mr. Monk). Fortunately, when The Closer chooses to take a walk on the funny side, it usually hits the mark. This episode was a bull's eye.
It was also great to see The Closer shine a light on J.K. Simmons. As Assistant Chief Will Pope, Simmons is great as Brenda's boss and the face of the L.A. cops in many tense situations, political and otherwise. A consummate character actor -- Juno, Burn After Reading, Spider-Man -- Simmons always brings a lot to the show. This episode was prime Simmons, with Pope the butt of the jokes and off his game, if you will. How else could a faux police detective named Dick Tracy dupe the chief?
"House of Pain" (the alternate was "Itty-Bitty Torture Committee", which is so much better): To further creep out the entire country, Bush admitted that six of the top members of his administration have extensively gone through what is considered torture. No wonder CIA Director George Tenet and company have freely and happily repeated that the government does not torture. Their definition probably stops just short of killing the interrogation subject. Asf for Condoleezza Rice's chuckle-inducing evasive maneuvering from that interview clip, it really shouldn't have been so chuckle-inducing. Ha-HA! Sadist government.
Did you know a person can be funny on television and the internet? It's true. Here's a few examples:
First, comedians Jim Norton (Lucky Louie, Tough Crowd) and Jim Florentine (Crank Yankers, Meet the Creeps) have a new series on Super Deluxe where they give super-brief commentaries on current events. The clips are not safe for work, or for most living creatures, but if you don't mind crude humor and lots of cussing, then check it out.
(S11E05) When this episode began, I figured eventually there would be some explanation as to why it is we color Easter eggs and why a rabbit hides them, some kind of explanation of these traditions and their pagan roots. However, by the end I was glad the story went where it did, because this was both the "worst" episode of South Park this season, and incredibly funny. I say "worst" because of all the horrible gags, like "The Hare Club for Men," and William Donahue's "double cross" that had me simultaneously cracking up and saying, "my god, that was a terrible joke."
"Papa Don't Preach": Jon did some nice coverage about the Pope's comments (and apology) regarding Islam. I'm going to have to try "I was just quoting a Byzantine emperor!" excuse some time in the near future. Senior Vatican City and San Marino Correspondent John Oliver elaborated on the situation. I thought the comparison of the popes to all the various James Bonds was fantastic.
(S02E02) This episode of Wonder Showzen began with Chauncey visited by himself from two minutes in the future. It turns out Chauncey's future self is a hundred times cooler than Chauncey, so Chauncey sets out to build a time machine and travel even further back in the future (four minutes) so he can be even hipper. But we'll get to all that in a moment.
I said in my last review that the "Beat Kids" segment wasn't my favorite, only because I don't think it always works in the execution. Of course, that was before last night when they had a kid put on zombie make-up, dress as the Pope, and interview people in front of a Catholic Church under the pseudonym "Little Dead Pope." Trey Parker has been quoted time and again saying Cartman was his way of creating a character who could say things that would get most real people burned at the stake. Wonder Showzen takes that concept one step further and actually uses real children, which adds a whole layer of apprehension when you hear them say things to unsuspecting adults like, "The Pope should go to Hell for promoting a corrupt system. High five!" Not many shows can make you almost fall of the couch laughing while at the same time fearing for a child's life. They should have some kind of award for that.
CBS will produce a four-hour TV movie on the life of Pope John Paul II after reportedly receiving the blessing of The Vatican. The biopic will follow the Polish-born pontiff from his early days through his 26 year reign as the head of the Catholic church. No doubt CBS sees a Pope flick as a safe bet for airing during an upcoming sweeps period and the movie will likely get some heavy promotion in the run-up to airing. While no casting has yet been done I can envision some people as being good fits for the lead role. I'm thinking Kelsey Grammer for some reason. Anyone else want to speculate?
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