(S01E03) Considering Archer's previous episodes, the title "Diversity Hire" should have allowed you plenty of time to prepare yourself for lots of groan-worthy racial jokes. And yeah, that was definitely what we got. Overall, it was a pretty solid episode; the thirty minutes really went by in a blur because those jokes came rapid-fire.
This week, the ISIS lost yet another non-white agent and needed to make a diversity hire to get some sweet tax action (or not get tax action, I guess). Enter, Conway Stern, a black Jewish agent who is so nice and efficient, it is borderline suspicious.
(S01E02) FX, those bunch of sneaky so-and-sos. Their new hot piece of animated action was set to premiere Thursday night, but instead of airing the "Mole Hunt" episode that quietly previewed after It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia a few months ago, they pulled a fast one and showed an all-new episode first. I guess "Training Day" is to be considered the proper series premiere at this point? Even if it's really the second episode? Question mark?
If you'd rather hang on and revisit "Mole Hunt," our own Jonathan Toomey took care of that. Here, we're going to take a look at "Training Day."
There is only one really bad thing about Archer, and that's the fact it's going to make my Thursday viewing line-up very, very full. Way to not anticipate my needs, FX. Geez.
I just sampled five episodes of FX's new animated offering, including the pilot that quietly aired a few months ago (reviewed by Jonathan Toomey here), and I already love it. There are a lot of appealing things about Archer: It's 60s-style super-spy adventures plus hilarious writing that maintains a great pace for the entire half-hour. Oh, and puns. Lots of puns.
I should preface this review with something basic - I am in no way whatsoever an animation buff. I didn't watch a lot of cartoons as a kid and now that I'm a big boy, my Adult Swim knowledge stretches about as far as Aqua Teen Hunger Force with the occasional episode of Sealab 2021 tossed in. So... I guess I know a little. Enough to say that Sealab's mastermind Adam Reed definitely has a hit on his hands with his first stab at a half-hour show in FX's Archer.
So if you're looking for a treatise one why Archer's flash animation or cell-shaded stop motion freeze-frame whatever-it's-called is superior vs. parochial and clunky, then this is not the review for you. I'm basing my review on content alone and seeing as how Archer won't be back for its official premiere until January, we were very fortunately given more than enough to whet our appetites.
When FX initially picked up six episodes of its first foray into animated comedy, the plan for Archer was to pair it with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Since that greenlight, two things happened.
First, FX got trigger-happy and greenlit a whole bunch of other shows (from the likes of Louis CK and Don Cheadle). Second, and more importantly, according to FX it turns out that from start through post, it takes almost a whole month to complete one episode of Archer. With Always Sunny premiering this Thursday night at 10PM ET on FX, slotting in Archer's six eps suddenly became impossible. So the plan has changed. Instead of pairing Archer with Sunny mid-season, FX plans to launch its fantasy-football themed sitcom The League instead. However, if you were looking forward to seeing Archer, I've got some good news.
Chris Parnell has been cast in the new CBS comedy Big D. He'll play a preacher who is the brother of a woman who moves back to her hometown of Dallas with her husband. Hopefully this doesn't mean that Parnell won't be able to reprise his role of Dr. Spaceman on NBC's 30 Rock. Too much Dr. Spaceman could be too much, but it's really great to see him every once in a while.
More pilot news after the jump...
To celebrate the release of The Lonely Island's debut album "Incredibad," we've compiled this list of the top ten Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts. For almost four years, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer have brought us these videos, and they've managed to keep us laughing and humming their tunes weeks after they've aired. We hope this countdown makes you feel just as SNL-y in your digital shorts as when you first saw the videos, and if not, that's okay too. We're glad you're here anyway.
Of course, the rule is that they must have been prefaced by the "An SNL Digital Short" card to qualify. We know how much you love "Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides," but it's not happening. Sorry.
I liked it. I laughed. Sure. I also laughed last week, but I can't quite remember what was so funny. These specials are pretty forgettable, bleeding into my Saturday Night Live memory and then dropping into the recesses of my mind. Again, I understand the need to jump on the debate coverage as soon as possible, but I honestly could have held on until Saturday. Or maybe they were worried that everyone would be sick of Joe the Plumber by then. Well... too late.
Well, that was a little strange... and maybe a little unnecessary. All right, it was definitely unnecessary. I wasn't quite sure how they were going to work out these Thursday election specials, because even though they called it "Weekend Update Thursday", I didn't believe they were just going to show a twenty-some minute long "Weekend Update" segment. As it turned out, the special consisted of one cold open and the rest was "Weekend Update." This is where I got super-confused. Half of these jokes had absolutely nothing to do with the election, leaving me to wonder if there is anyone out there that could not have waited until Saturday night to hear the relevant jokes. I don't think anyone's going to forget the election or the economic crisis any time soon, let alone by Saturday.
Still, a few brilliant and hilarious performances were left out. You can't argue with nominations for Will Arnett and Elaine Stritch, but I'd swap one or two of the nominees with a few of my own favorites. Check out my list of overlooked 30 Rock guest stars after the jump. And yes, I left out Jerry Seinfeld. Emmy got that one right.
TV Squadder Paul Goebel reviewed the series premiere of the ABC comedy Miss Guided. He wasn't sure what to make of the show after the first airing and I must admit that I also had my doubts about this new comedy. Judy Greer is a joy to watch as guidance counselor Becky Freeley but the comedy was predictable and the cast way too beautiful to portray a real high school. However, I decided to stick with it and ended up enjoying the show's storylines and characters as well as the interview-like tidbits.
The series aired its season finale last week and is now awaiting ABC's upfronts to know if it'll come back next season or have to close the books. To help ABC make its decision, here are some reasons why Miss Guided should be renewed.
(S01E01) I'm not quite sure what to make of this show. It's hard to decide what I like and don't like considering that the show is really not that unique. For example, I've always been a fan of Chris Parnell but his work on Miss Guided pales in comparison to the stuff he does on 30 Rock. The same goes for Brooke Burns but if I had to choose, I'd rather see her in those jeans she wore on Dog Eat Dog.
Judy Greer is super funny. Her guest spot on Two and a half Men was brilliant in my opinion. So when she got her own show, I was interested to say the least.
A sketch has surfaced over at FunnyorDie.com starring Conan O'Brien. It appears to be a sketch from the Saturday Night Live episode that he hosted in 2001. The sketch was cut from the live airing of the show and hasn't been seen until now.
While watching the sketch you get the feeling that it was something that he always wanted to do on his own show but could never fit it in. The premise is pure Late Night but the sketch is way too long and too involved to have worked on a talk show.
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Parnell is moving up in the television world from guest-star/recurring character to prime-time regular. He has just been picked to star in ABC's mid-season comedy Miss/Guided.
Guided stars Judy Greer as a former high school wallflower who returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor. Parnell will play a fellow counselor. Whether he'll be a friend, enemy, lover, sprout horns, or channel Tom Brokaw (one of the characters he played on SNL) is unknown. What is known is that he'll be joining other cast members Brooke Burns and Kristoffer Polaha.
Parnell was part of SNL for nine years and was let go in 2006 during the semi-purge of the cast. This past season he had a recurring role as Dr. Leo Spaceman on the NBC comedy 30 Rock, where he shared the screen with former SNL buddies Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan.
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