Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Master of None 1.04

Indians on TV

Dev confronts a network executive after he accidentally is sent an e-mail with a racist joke about Indians. It isn't so much the joke that bothers Dev as much as it is the fact that the executive balked at the idea of casting two Indian men on one show.

Danielle Brooks makes an appearance playing Shannon, Dev's agent. I know her from Orange is the New Black, where she plays Taystee. According to IMDB this is her only appearance in this season but she will be back in the second season. It took me a minute to figure out where I knew her from.

This is my favorite episode so far. It did a great job of addressing a serious issue and mixing in some humor, Loved the little incidental humor, especially Asush earnestly working out in the background while Dev and Ravi were trying to decide what to do next.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Casual 3.04

The Sprout

Alex finds out that Emmy is pregnant and wonders if he's the one who made it happen. In between dealing with AirBnB guests, whose food he keeps eating, he invites Emmy over. She has moved on but still comes over to visit him. The sprout is how she refers to the baby inside her.

Val ignores Leon's messages for the most part. She starts taking a creative writing class. She gets some new clothes. She has sex one of her classmates, who is much younger than her. It doesn't seem like she feels like she is making progress.

Laura doesn't have much luck getting signatures. She hangs with one of the guys from the store where she tries to get signature. Everything goes great until she gets caught trying to steal something from his house. I had a feeling she was going to get caught. I was really hoping she wouldn't do it but I also wasn't surprised when she did try to steal.

The funniest moments by far were Alex' interactions with the AirBnB guests.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Star Wars: Clone Wars 3.05

Corruption

Senator Padme Amidala pays an official visit to the planet Mandalor and Duchess Satine. Senator Amidala helps Duchess Satine investigate the source of an epidemic that has the hospitals overloaded with sick children.

Not an awful episode but not a very engaging one either. There was a little too much talk of trade negotiations, not enough action, and nothing in the way of character moments.

UnREAL 2.07

Ambush

Rachel has lots of drama, Quinn has a little. Mostly this one is about Rachel.

Rachel gets ambushed by Adam late at night, when she is in bed with Coleman, who has just asked her to be his date at his cousin's wedding on Martha's Vineyard. Adam and Rachel had a fling during the previous season. He was invited back by Quinn, who wants to break up Coleman and Rachel. She also wants Adam to make a guest appearance on the current season of Everlasting, which he does.

Rachel doesn't want to have anything to do with Adam. He backs her against a wall at one point and gets her to start making out with him but it doesn't get very far. He is trying to be nice but it is too late, at least in Rachel's mind it is, for the two of them. Quinn also attacks the Coleman and Rachel issue from another direction, she sweet talks John Booth into trying to lure him off the show with another project. Quinn just wants Coleman off the show. She wants Rachel to stay. Rachel finds out about this when she walks in on Booth and Coleman chatting about possible projects. This sows a bit of distrust between Rachel and Coleman.

Darius has to pick one of the four remaining contestants for a date. He goes with Chantal. The date is kind of fake and ends in a tragic-comic way. The boat they are on isn't a gondola, like it is supposed to be but actually a prettied up row boat, which isn't even on a body of water. The date ends with Chantal emptying her dead fiance's ashes from the locket around her neck and the ashes blowing into Darius' face.

Quinn is having a great time with John. She is very happy. He gives her a ride to the set of Everlasting. They make out in his car before getting out. Later they go back to his place. It is while they are there that they find about what happened after Darius and Chantal's date.

Romeo, Darius' cousin and manager, came back. Darius didn't like how the date with Chantal ended. They run into Tiffany and Hot Rachel (Yael) while Darius is complaining about the date. Someone, I don't recall whom, suggests that the four of them should party together. They take one of the show's cars without permission. Rachel and Coleman decide to call the cops and report the car as stolen. They then follow the stolen car they with a camera crew.

They get there in time to see Darius, Romeo, Yael, and Tiffany pulled over. When Darius can't provide ID to prove who he is the cops put him in handcuffs. Rachel and Coleman are filming the stop. Rachel gets nervous and runs out to try and calm the situation down, at least one of the cops at this point has a gun out. The cop gets distracted by Rachel, turns back around, sees Romeo coming towards him and shoots him.

At the very beginning of the episode there was a disclaimer about gun violence. I wasn't sure what that was foreshadowing. I thought that maybe Jeremy was going to come back to the set with a gun. Once I saw Darius, Romeo, Tiffany, and Hot Rachel take the car I had a bad feeling I knew how that would wind up. The truly awful part about it is that instead of telling the cops who was in the car when they called it in Coleman and Rachel just reported it as stolen.

Romeo's status is unclear. Is he dead? At first I thought he was shot in the head but when they showed the replay it looked like he was shot in the midsection. They took him to the hospital, not the morgue but there have not been any updates on the status of his condition.

Jay gives Rachel a very hard time about what happened when he finds out how everything played out. Rachel is already blaming herself for the shooting when Jay confronts her. She goes back to her trailer and curls up in a ball. Adam comes back and tries to talk to her but she doesn't want him around. She winds up calling her mother who comes and takes her to a mental institution and has her take some medication to (presumably) take the edge off her dark mood.

Quinn sees Rachel leaving the set with her mother and doesn't look happy about it at all. The only thing Quinn is happy about is that Gary the network executive has fired Coleman and put her back in charge.

Finally, before the final scene with Rachel taking the medication, Hot Rachel meets with Jeremy. She acts distraught, at first about what has just happened. She asks Jeremy to tell her everything he knows. She surreptitiously start recording their conversation. I'm starting to think that Yael is more than just a contestant on the show. I think she might be an investigative reporter who wants to do an expose about Everlasting.

This was a very powerful episode. It was clear from the last episode that Rachel was already spiraling downward. She continued in that downward trajectory and more or less crashed. Never say never but I don't see how things can get any lower for her from here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

GLOW 1.01

Pilot

Ruth struggles to find work in Hollywood. She doesn't like the roles for which she auditions and never gets cast. One day a casting agent refers her to a call for unusual women. It turns out to be an open casting call for women wrestlers to join a new show called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). She doesn't exactly look the part but she certainly has the spirit.

Ruth is interested enough to stick around but gets cut from the program before training really gets started. She goes home, watches a bunch of wrestling, and comes back the next day in costume. She doesn't make much of a splash until Debbie, her best friend, shows up and the two start fighting. Ruth is very gung ho when she shows up in uniform but gets very squeamish when Debbie shows up and wants to fight. Debbie is enraged because Ruth slept with her husband. For a moment I wondered if this was some sort of set up that that Ruth and Debbie engineered but it was only a passing thought. Sam Sylvia, the guy organizing GLOW, gets very into the fight and starts fantasizing about a real match between Ruth and Debbie in front of an audience.

I'm not sure I would have watched GLOW on the first day it was available if it weren't for the fact that (a) Marc Maron (Sam Sylvia) is in it and (b) he's been talking about it a lot on WTF, his podcast. He is in this episode and plays a fairly significant role. According to IMDB and what I recall him saying on the show he is only in one more episode.

Alison Brie (Ruth) looks very different in this than she did in either Mad Men or Community. This episode was very much focused on Ruth.

There are other characters with speaking parts but none of them get their own spotlight. On the whole I was pleased with what I saw but it didn't grab me in the same way that some shows have with the first episode. I don't love it but I want to see more.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Taxi 1.05

Come as You Aren't

Elaine throws a party for people from the art gallery where she works part-time as a receptionist. She doesn't want anyone to know that she is also a taxi driver. Alex balks at the idea of coming to the party and pretending that he isn't a taxi driver but he does so anyway. By the end of the episode the tables have turned and Elaine outs herself as a cab driver and Alex wants to conceal his true profession.

I really liked this episode. I think it is mostly because of the way the tables turn. The other characters also appear in this one but it is a very Elaine and Alex-centric episode.

Master of None 1.03

Hot Ticket

Dev goes on a date with someone he barely knows. At first he thinks that she won't show. When she does he's excited until he finds out what she is really like. The episode ends with him hanging out with Rachel, the gal he was in bed with at the beginning of 1.01. That goes well but ends on a bittersweet note.

I'm still not a big fan of Dev. Maybe he is supposed to be the lovable loser. I did like the turn the show took in the second half. That turn has me interested in watching more, in hopes for more in that vein.