A lot of stories are popping up about the scene in the most recent episode of South Park that shows the Queen of England putting a pistol in her mouth and blowing skull fragments and brain matter all over the wall behind her. These stories, mostly coming from the UK, tell of the "controversial" scene and how it "shocked viewers."
And yet, not a single one of these stories, from what I can tell, gives any real evidence that the scene in question stirred up any controversy whatsoever. The stories merely suggest that, given the series' knack for courting controversy, people were probably bothered by the Queen's suicide, as well.
I'm not from the UK, but I am a South Park fan, and as I said in my review of the episode, the Queen's suicide was so quintessentially South Park I hardly batted an eye. If anything, the whole sequence seemed a little too easy, especially by South Park standards. I'll admit I'm not easily offended, but South Park hasn't shocked or surprised me in several years. That's not a slag against the show, it just means I'm tuned into its sensibility.
Assy McGee, Adult Swim's new series about a tough cop who also happens to be a talking ass, debuted Sunday evening.
Given Adult Swim's track record of shows that are often much smarter than they seem and sometimes take several viewings to truly appreciate, I didn't go into this "talking ass" show with any preconceived notions that it would be impossible to create a worthwhile show centered around an ill-mannered butt. Also, comedians Jon Benjamin and Jon Glaser were involved with the show, so I knew there had to be some dry, ironic twist to the whole mess, some way they would make a show called "Assy McGee" much smarter and funnier than a show with that title should be.
Homer: Marge, you being a cop makes you the man, which makes me the woman, and I have no interest in that, besides occasionally wearing the underwear, which, as we discussed, is strictly a "comfort" thing.
This episode begins with Marge and Homer attending an outdoor symphony. On the way back home, Homer warns Marge to be careful since the streets are dangerous, especially for "upper lower middle class types." He tells Marge not to trust anyone, but of course he fails to take his own advice and gets swindled by Snake with a game of three-card monty. Marge exposes Snake's cheating, and he takes off running. Since no one will chase him, Marge takes after him and corners him in an alley. When he pulls a knife on her, her instincts kick in and she smacks him with a garbage can lid, knocking him out cold.
(S02E14) If you check out the Adult Swim schedule grid, the words "Worst episode ever" are written next to this particular episode. The men and monkeys who run Adult Swim have never been above a bit of self deprecation, but I actually thought this episode was pretty damn hilarious.
The show opens with the Mayor poking Tom in the eye with a sharp metal rod. It's okay, though, because Tom's eye is made of glass. It seems he had an accident while playing with his step-sons. Tom, however, isn't there just to have his eye poked buy the inquisitive Mayor, he's there to sell hoagies for the annual Father/Son Barrel Goat Hunt, in which the father/son teams hunt the dreaded barrel goat, a creature that is driven insane by the scent of pickle barrels. The Mayor has never heard of a hoagie (he pronounces it "hoogie") before, and he can't get enough of the sandwiches. He also takes a liking to Tom's glass eye and buys two for himself, which of course makes it difficult for him to see and move around.
In Case of Emergency, a new dark comedy, is slated to appear sometime this year on ABC. If you want to see David Arquette, Lori Loughlin, Jonathan Silverman, Jackson Bond, and Kelly Hu play old high school friends whose lives turned out really crappy, then I guess this is the show you've been dreaming of, Jimmy. The press release doesn't tell us a whole lot about the show, other than it sounds like it'll be venturing into some "dark comedy" territory (one friend tries to commit suicide but shoots himself in the foot instead). It looks decent enough on paper, we'll see how it looks once it hits the air.
(S01E06) I've never been a big fan of gritty crime drama, which is why "The Fifth Quarter" has never been my favorite short story of Stephen King's. It's a very bare bones tale of a man whose friend is killed over a buried stash of millions of dollars and his subsequent quest to retrieve four pieces of a map, each belonging to a different "bad guy." It's not really typically "King" and even he acknowledgers in the Notes of Nightmares and Dreamscapes that the story is more like something that would have come from Richard Bachman (his occasional nom de plume) or even Richard Stark, the malevolent writer from his novel The Dark Half.
Of course, I can't really blame King for wanting to try something a little different once in awhile, but in a lot of ways the story works much better in a visual medium. The problem is, one hour isn't enough for a story that is this involved. Screenwriter Alan Sharp fleshes the story out by giving the protagonist (Jeremy Sisto) a wife and kid, and everyone in this episode plays their parts well, trying to convey a lot of backstory in a short time so we can get to the blood and guns. If anything, the episode suffers from trying to cram way too much drama into a short amount of time. I think this would have worked much better as a feature film, following Wilie (Sisto) as he hunts down the men who killed his friend and begins to piece together the map that will lead he and his family to a better life. That could still happen, I suppose, it's not like they haven't done multiple adaptations of King's work before.
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