Monthly Archives: September 2011

Review: The New Girl

ZOË RICE: Sitting down to watch New Girl, I kinda knew I was going to either love Zooey Deschanel in the role or hate her. Cuteness can go that way – and Deschanel is very cute. She’s stunning to look at with her million-dollar-gem sized eyes, milk skin, and thick, wavy dark hair, but wait – she’s quirky too! Off screen I dig that. I follow her fashions and enjoy her interviews. But for me on screen, her quirky cuteness mostly boiled down to: Oh my God, stop singing.

JESSICA BADER: Watching the pilot of New Girl, I kept thinking two things. One, this has the potential to be a fun, zeitgeist-capturing hit (the douchebag jar is genius). Two, the creative team needs to step away from the caffeine/sugar/whatever it was that made the show feel so frenetic – the little vignettes of Schmidt getting mocked at work for his pink tie and Coach yelling at the women in the exercise class he was teaching made my teeth hurt. Continue reading

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NFL Week 2 in Review

Bills 38, Raiders 35
CHRIS PUMMER: Are the Bills (2-0) this good, or are the Raiders (1-1) this bad? And if the Raiders this bad, how bad is the AFC West going to be this year?

Lions 48, Chiefs 3

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WBGO’s New Transmitter

AKIE BERMISS: For any jazz-lover in the New York City with his or her salt, WBGO 88.3FM is an old friend. For solid, mainstream jazz, it’s the place to be and has been for over 30 years.

CHRIS PUMMER: By itself at new radio transmitter sounds like a pretty reasonable investment. If you consider that as a non-commercial radio station, WBGO’s role is also as a curator of a musical form that is vanishing from commercial radio, then spending this money ensuring that people of almost all ages and economic standings can listen seems like a very good investment. Continue reading

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Review: Free Agents Pilot

HOWARD MEGDAL: For me, Free Agents represented a pilot with promise, but likely too many roadblocks to success.

JESSICA BADER: Perhaps it’s just that I’ve grown used to it based on recent experience, but as I watched the Free Agents pilot I kept thinking about how I enjoyed it but couldn’t see it making it much past October. Continue reading

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Woman Dates Magic: The Gathering Player

AKIE BERMISS: I’d like to say that we live in an egalitarian society. That we are wise, discerning, and open-minded. That by-and-large, we resist the petty psychological handicaps that are myopia and vanity. And yet, liking to say a thing and being able to say a thing are two very different things. Sadly, we live in a society that is chock full of all the vain iniquities and petty contentions you can shake a stick at. We make fun of people for being too dumb or too smart, too happy, too lonely, too fat… it goes on and on. Even when, as it turns out, we are ourselves alarming dumb and lonely and fat. Its a sad thing wanting to be normal is. And to be cool.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Agreed, Akie. Who does this lady think she is?

Continue reading

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Curb Your Enthusiasm: Week 10 in Review

SONIA BRAND-FISHER The season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”‘s Season 8 was very funny for an individual episode, but seemed to fall short as an end to what was supposed to be a transformative season. The battle between Larry David and Michael J. Fox was comical and irreverent in the way that we love to see Larry interact with people. The (fabulous) gay son of Anna Gasteyer and his fascination with swastikas was hilarious and strange in the ways that we have come to expect from “Curb.” But Michael Bloomberg making his decree to banish Larry from New York City seemed a little anti-climactic to me, especially when perpetuated by Larry’s sudden relocation to Paris.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Oh, I think this ending is utterly perfect. Try as he might, Larry David faces the same pressures and irritations anywhere in the world- Los Angeles, New York, Paris. And for me, anyway, they don’t get old. Continue reading

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NFL Week 1 In Review

Packers 42, Saints 34
CHRIS PUMMER: The Packers opened the season where they left off, rolling past a very good opponent. Green Bay only narrowly made the playoffs last year and struggled at times, but that was after losing…

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Curb Your Enthusiasm: Week 9 in Review

SONIA BRAND-FISHER: I think Larry David is losing it. And that’s not exactly a bad thing. I came away from this week’s episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” feeling baffled, a little uncomfortable, and with sides aching from splitting. Season 8′s Episode 9 was titled “Mr. Softee,” after a traumatizing incident of strip poker played in a Mr. Softee ice cream truck when Larry was an adolescent. The tune of the ice cream truck follows Larry around New York haunting him with the memory of his humiliation and sending him into an almost trance-like state. There are plenty of things psychologically amiss with Larry David, but this trauma gave him a vulnerability in this episode, a nakedness (literally) that was unable to protect him from the shame of both his past and his present.


HOWARD MEGDAL:
This episode had two main jokes, both years (in one case, decades) in the making. Like any joke properly set this way- Jack Benny’s holdup comes to mind- the payoff was exquisite, both with Bill Buckner and Susie Ecstasy. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Obama’s Speech Timing Battle

HOWARD MEGDAL: Boehner refusing to let the president speak on 9/7 before joint session of Congress was ludicrous. Obama caving and moving speech to 9/8 is demoralizing.

CHRIS PUMMER: Really looking forward to more whining on the left about how “This should have been where Obama drew a line in the sand!” and “Here is Obama caving again!” and “It’s so horrible, why don’t we just kill ourselves!?!?!”.

You know, like it makes any material difference. Continue reading

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The Hour Reviewed

ZOË RICE: BBC America’s The Hour packs a lot into its hour and fifteen minutes: The birth of a news program, developing relationships between characters, themes of news gatekeeping, democracy in the Cold War, the final throes of the British Empire, tensions between socioeconomic classes, and on top of all that a conspiracy involving spies, murder, a creepy villain in a fedora, and crossword puzzles. It’s all very tantalizing. Continue reading

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