Well, it took all episode to finally get there, but it looks like things might be returning to normal in time for next week's 100th episode extravaganza. It's an event so big it's going to take both the 100th and 101st episodes to tell it.
But first, there's the issue of Tracy Jordan. Things have gotten really serialized the past few weeks, but the ongoing storyline of Tracy's sabbatical to Africa New York finally reached a head this week as Kenneth and Liz started tracking him down.
The C-Story this week was a bizarre arm-wrestling plot where Pete discovers a strength he didn't know he had, and finds it within him to care and be willing to lose. At least that's what it appeared to be on the surface.
This Sunday's Times magazine had a ton of great comedy revelations in it. There was the How to be Funny compendium put together by sometime Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman with two cents from TV scribe and director Paul Feig and, of course, the comedy writer's snack attack article.
Writers from Knights of Prosperity, Everybody Loves Raymond and How I Met Your Mother all confessed to the terrible eating habits of the writer's room and the accompanying weight gain. How I Met Your Mother's Chris Harris even relayed a story of how the staff of Joey "apparently weighed
Because of Tuesday night's festival kickoff party, I decided to sleep in a little yesterday. Because of that, I missed both a morning panel on the value of independent TV production, which included Doug Herzog, the president of Comedy Central. I also missed the screening for the first set of Drama pilots. But I did manage to catch the first batch of Reality pilots, the first batch of Comedy pilots, and a really funny panel discussion about the American family on TV.
Why was the panel hilarious? Because the three people on the panel were executive producers Mitchell Hurwitz of Arrested Development, Phil Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond, and Mike Scully of The Simpsons. So no one was left unscathed joke-wise; even the creator of 7th Heaven was lovingly labeled a "whore."
We all have our opinions on what we'd like to see on television, and what we don't want to see. And now Salon has a two-part series where they asked several writers and other folks to come up with their fantasy television series. Included are such people as Phil Rosenthal (creator/producer of Everybody Loves Raymond), Mark Cuban, writer Megham Daum, Aaron Shure (writer on Lucky Louie), and ex-Men's Health, Maxim UK, and Stuff editor Greg Gutfield.
Most of the writers took it as a creative writing exercise, so many of the shows are more jokes than actual ideas. I don't really get Daum's idea about a show involving a ferret and laser tag, and John Darnielle (lead singer of The Mountain Goats) wants to see more boxing on TV.
Mark Cuban wants a reality show starring Dennis Rodman. Ugh.
You know whose essay I agreed with the most? James Frey's. Yup, that's James Frey of Million Little Pieces and Oprah fame. He wants to see a return of the old-fashioned private eye show we don't see on TV anymore, like Magnum, P.I., The Rockford Files, and Mike Hammer. I'd love to see that happen. Either that, or a variety show hosted by Amy Sedaris. All Amy, all the time!
Says Garlin, "I play Jeff Garlin, the biggest variety star on television, and pretty much the show follows me getting into trouble each week. This is the show I've wanted to do since I was little."
Phil Rosenthal, of Everybody Loves Raymond, is producing the show, along with Garlin. Production on the pilot begins in March.
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