Monday, October 23, 2017

30 Rock 2.15

Cooter

Liz finds out she is pregnant. She's pretty sure that Dennis is the father. Jack is stuck in DC working at the Department of Homeland Security with Cooter (Matthew Broderick). Kenneth struggles to complete his application in time to work at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Tracy completes work on his pornographic video game.

This is not a great episode but I thought it was fun.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.07

Raising Gazorpazorp

Morty fathers a half-alien child with a sex-doll from the planet Gazorpazorp. Rick and Summer travel to Gazorpazorp. There they find a society where men and women live separately. The men are extremely aggressive. The women are extremely petty. Both sexes have extra arms.

Morty tries to properly raise Morty, Jr., who grows up very quickly. He quickly learns that his son's first instincts are extremely violent and near impossible to correct. Rick and Summer get arrested once the women of Gazorpazorp discover that he is her grandfather.

Very fun and funny episode. I love the social commentary on men and women and raising children.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Sopranos 1.07

Down Neck

Tony flashes back to his youth several times as he tries to figure out what to do about AJ, his son. He is concerned that one day he will have to talk to him about what he does for a living. He tries to get Dr. Melfi to tell him what to do but she just keeps turning it around on him and asks him more questions.

AJ and a couple of his friends were caught with wine stolen from the church. The school psychiatrist suggests that he may have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and encourages Tony and Carmela to have him tested. This is the incident that seems to set off Tony's concerns. As he mulls it over he starts to have the flashbacks. He remembers the first time he saw his father (and Uncle Junior) beat someone up and the first time he saw them get arrested. He remembers watching his parents argue and how verbally forceful his mother could be to his father and also to him.

There's one scene that takes place at the Ba-Da Bing but for the most part this is a family-centric episode. Just about all the gangster related stuff that goes on happens in the flashbacks.

Another solid episode. This show really worked and works on a number of levels. Ultimately all these different levels are manifestations of Tony's life but they each have their own flavor. The fact that they all work and still taste good to me is a testament to the quality of the show.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Halt and Catch Fire 3.09

NIM

Four years have passed since the last episode. It is 1990. Gordon and Donna are divorced. She is now a partner in the same firm as Diane. Gordon is dating one of his employees but he still works for Donna. Cameron comes back to the States (from Japan where she and Tom live) for an appearance at COMDEX.

Donna encourages Joe to go to the show to see Cameron. She wants him to take her a message. He goes to the show but he doesn't read the message or take it with him. Cameron and Joe hang. Everything is cool between them until Donna shows up. Cameron doesn't want to see or talk to her and walks out. She ends up spending the night with Joe.

Gordon tries to entertain Michelle, the woman he's dating, but Joanie, one of his daughters, gets in the way. She wants to go to a party but Gordon says no when he finds out that there won't be any adults present. The situation gets very awkward when Joanie starts doing what she can to disrupt Gordon and Michelle's dinner.

I want to like this show. It has moments I like. I like some of the moments that Joe and Cameron share. I wish that this show was about the characters and not the computer industry. That's my read of course but in my opinion if it the characters were the focus of the show then the show would be more slowly paced and there wouldn't be as much fast forwarding as there is.

I think it is time for me to move on, after I watch the season finale.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Young Justice 1.15

Humanity

Zatara vists the cave with Zatanna, his teenage age daughter. The team is still pissed at the League over what happened with Red Tornado in 1.12 (Home Front), mostly because the League doesn't want them to get involved despite their relationship with the android superhero. The team sneaks out behind the backs of the few League members (Zatara, Black Canary, Captain Marvel) who are at the cave at the time. They fly to Belle Reve and interrogate Professor Ivo who spills the beans (as to Red Tornado's likely whereabouts) thanks to a spell cast by Zatanna.

T.O. Morrow, the Red Tornado's inventor, is hard at work repairing his creation. He completes his work before the heroes arrive and then introduces him to his new brother Red Volcano. He reminds Red Tornado about the history of his androids. Red Torpedo and Red Inferno (originally named Firebrand), his two older siblings, were both heroes initially but neither was very successful. Morrow activates Red Volcano who quickly rips his "father" to shreds. It turns out that "father" was an android, too.

The heroes arrive and do battle with Red Tornado. It seemed like Red Tornado had switched sides, joined the bad guys, but Red Tornado was not brainwashed. He helps the young heroes battle Red Volcano and talks his other two siblings into joining his side. He reminds them that they too were heroes once. Together the trio of androids takes down their youngest brother. All but Red Tornado are destroyed in the process.

Not perfect but this episode had some moments that I really liked. The sequence where Morrow tells the story of Red Torpedo's and Red Inferno's origins brings in the Justice Society of America very briefly. The coloring for this sequence is faux black-and-white which makes sense considering that both of them were created during World War II when most movies were still in black-and-white. I was very surprised to see Firebrand (albeit an android version of the comic book character) make an appearance.

There was something about the music in this episode that I really liked. It helped to underscore some of the emotional or character moments that I thought worked quite effectively without overemphasizing them. The scene where Red Torpedo and Red Inferno drag Red Volcano down into the lava and they are slowly destroyed was surprisingly moving. I was also moved by the scene at the end where Red Toranado visits the real Morrow who is considerably older looking than the android version of himself.

There are lots of unanswered questions and jumps that I thought about as I watched this episode. It felt like it could have been longer. I'm not sure I would have liked how they filled in the missing parts but I can see how some might not like this episode or feel that it is weak. All in all not perfect but I found enough here to move me that I give it a thumbs up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Parks and Recreation 6.16

The Slogan

Leslie has trouble letting the citizens of Pawnee select a new slogan for the city. Andy accidentally discovers Ron's secret life as a jazz saxophonist. April and Donna help Tom find a location for his Italian restaurant.

This show has gotten way too vanilla. It feels too much like they are going for the happy ending instead of for laughs. There are some laughs but on the whole it feels much more bland than it originally did. Just for the record, vanilla can be great. I'm talking about metaphorical vanilla, not the real stuff.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Rick and Morty 1.06

Rick Potion #9

Morty talks Rick into making a love potion for him that he can use on Jessica, the girl of his dreams. Morty takes it with him to the dance and uses the potion on Jessica. It works a little too well. Jessica is sick and spreads the effects of the potion to everyone else around the world. Everyone is clambering for Morty. They all love him and want him for themselves. The only ones unaffected are their family: Jerry, Beth, Summer.

Rick's attempts to fix the problem don't exactly work either as he turns everyone into giant praying mantises and then into monstrously ugly nightmarish version of themselves. Jerry gets jealous when Beth is called in to work late at night. He fights his way through hordes of giant praying mantises to reach the animal hospital just in time to save Beth from her co-worker. Rick ultimately solves the problem, kind of sort of.

Not my favorite episode but a very fun and surreal one. Rick is unable to save the day, for once. He has to resort to an underhanded trick to "set things right". He isn't unfamiliar with underhanded tricks but this was a new flavor that had not been seen before on the show. The ending was a game changer and gives the impression that this show is willing to go places that most shows would never go.