Woah, man. That was an intense finale. Action packed, fast paced, and definitely left us wanting more. In fact, I don’t think it could have left us hanging any harder if it tried. Some of our questions were answered… actually, the answers to our questions were more like, hinted at, while more questions were piled on top. So while we might not know much about the fate of our rag tag group of survivors, we do know this: next season is going to start off with a bang.
I’m not sure I stressed how much I enjoyed last weeks episode in the last recap. I really liked it. The ebb and flow between Michonne and Carl’s story seemed seemless, and while both stories packed in some serious plot, it never felt rushed. I’m reiterating this because in comparison, this week fell short. Really short. Sure, it was great to be reassured that the other group members were alive, and it was nice to see Carol again (Carol’s back!), but with so many seperate stories packed into 40 minutes of television, it left something to be desired.
When the world is crumbling around you, and the dead have started shuffling around, looking to rip open your intestines for a snack, holding on to anything is not the best idea. Tying yourself down to a person, place, or thing (so really any noun is a bad idea), can make you vulnerable in a post apocalyptic world. Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead focused on just that: letting go. From letting go of a backpack to letting go of your humanity, it’s fair to say that last night presented itself as a bit of a game changer.
The first two shows on my Fall TV chopping block are the parental sitcoms, Mom and Dads. Or, as I like to call them, “I’m upset these TV shows have the same names as my parents, and you should be too”. While both of these shows contain a star I’m rather fond of (Allison Janney and Seth Green), they’re both stunning examples of cheap, tired comedy that really isn’t worth your time.
Premise: Christy (Faris), a newly sober young mother, tries to get her life back in order with the help of her own recovering alcoholic mother, Bonnie (Janney).
Reality: I’m not sure who’s worse at creating female characters, Chuck Lorre or Christopher Nolan. At least with Nolan his female characters are just barely existing on the sidelines. In Mom however, all we’ve got leading the charge are one-dimensional females.
The premise does have promise; a single mother struggling to stay sober and not follow in her own mother’s footsteps could be a heartbreakingly uplifting show (Yes, that oxymoron makes sense. Shut it). And as we learned from 28 Days or Starved, there’s some comedy to be had in recovery. However, Mom doesn’t rely on subtle, smart, thematic comedy. The show exists for cheap laughs, and plotlines that manage to glamourize alcoholism, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy. Oh did I forget to mention that while Christy is attempting to stay sober with Bonnie breathing down her neck, her own teen daughter gets knocked up? And her mom and grandma are happy about it? It’s a good thing women were only put on this earth to look good and pop out babies while they’re still under age, or some people might find this ridiculous.
The biggest saving grace of the show is the goddess that is Allison Janney. It pains me that the material she has been given is so terrible, but at least her talent is big enough to pull it off. Seriously. She can make anything funny. Even tired jokes about her character’s drinking days render a chuckle due to her brilliant timing, which is a nice counter point to Anna Faris’ “Scary Movie School of Comedy”.
My other favourite part of this show is the restaurant humor. Cindy works as a waitress (oh yeah, I forgot to mention Cindy’s also sleeping with her restaurant manager. Go feminism…?) in a fancy restaurant, and the jokes that come out of her workplace are the funniest ones of the show. Ok, I’ll admit, my opinion on this matter might be biased because I work 40-50 hours a week at a bar, but there’s something about French Stewart‘s chef character that I find hilarious.
Overall, I’d say if you need cheap, easy, girl-time comedy, this show is ok. Bring it On might be a better option, but this will do too. It’s just sad that Mom skips the opportunity to be a groundbreaking comedy about recovery, to rely on cheap jokes, female stereotypes, and Anna Faris’ big eyes.
Starring: Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, Peter Riegert, Martin Mull
Created by: Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Executive Producer: Seth MacFarlane (I only mention his EP credit as it was one of the draws to the show to me)
Premise: Two grown men video game designers have to readjust their lives after their fathers surprisingly move in with them.
Reality: Oy with the poodles already. Where do I start with this one?
If there are two men I trust to dance around the line of appropriate, it’s Seth Green and Macfarlane. I love me some Family Guy and Robot Chicken. This show, however, is nothing short of a mysoginist disaster. Seriously. The whole show is made up of pathetic attempts to be edgey that ends up sexist and borderline racist. It’s not dancing around the line of appropriate, Dads has lined up Archie Bunker‘s greatest hits and butchered them. The mysoginist jokes in this swill make Charlie Sheen‘s turn in Two and a Half Men look like feminist literature.
Dads did get two things right though.
1) The two dad characters reaffirm a belief I picked up bartending: the older men get, the fewer manners they hold on to (and the older they get, the higher my desire is to punch them in the throat).
2) The son characters as video game designers sum up how most female gamers feel about the video game industry in general: it’s full of immature dudes who wouldn’t know how to write or treat a female if their life depended on it.
Other that that, this show is not worth your time, unless you have a grumpy old grandpa you need to entertain. But even then, I like to think my Papa has better taste than this. And he still asks me to pull his finger.
When we last saw Team Bartowski, Papa B had just been shot by Shaw, the Buy More had been blown to bits, and Chuck had promised Ellie he’d give up the spy life, only to be asked by his father in a video to find his missing Mom. This set us up for something a little different this season. With no more Team Bartowski, Chuck is on his own when it comes to finding his mom, and now Sarah will have to keep her CIA business to herself too. Yes, this season promises to be something entirely different… buuuuut not for long. As Chuck and his new partner begin the search for Mary Bartowski, Sarah and Casey start to look into an organization called Volkoff. What do you think the chances are these two things are connected?