Monday, January 13, 2014

Spoils, Globes, and Army Bros

Phew! There was a TON of TV to talk about this week. I'm a little behind on my self-imposed mid-season review schedule so let's catch up! Here's a few quick takes on two big premieres and one awesome award show that happened this week.

The Spoils of Babylon (IFC) Thursdays at 10PM

If you think late 70's made for TV mini-series are a weird thing to send up in 2014, you'd be right. Still, the funnyordie team takes an incredibly specific genre of television (one that was en vogue way before the time of most of it's viewers) and makes it ridiculous, campy, and at times, laugh out loud funny. The second installment was a huge improvement on the first, so if you felt like the introductory half hour lacked enough moments of pure absurdity, just wait for the next chapter for plenty of mannequin marrying, stock-footage-filled fun.

Will Ferrell is perfect as Eric Jonrosh, the egotistic, alcoholic author of this epic novel who opens and closes each episode with some of the funniest moments so far in the series. And as far as comedy temperament goes, Kristen Wiig is pretty much the only person I could see filling the over the top role of Cynthia Morehouse - the woman hopelessly in love with her adopted brother, Devon, played by Toby Maguire. She's crazy, dramatic, and exactly who you would want to have a one-on-one face-off with Lady Ann, the mannequin (voiced by Carey Mulligan) who really ups the bizarre factor of this story in a necessary way. I'm hoping that the show doesn't go back to subtlety for the next four episodes, but rather embraces the insanity as new guest stars like Jessica Alba, Haley Joel Osment, and Molly Shannon join the cast.

Enlisted (Fox) Fridays at 9:30PM
It's been a while since I've seen a sitcom pilot where, after it ended, I was actually sad that I had to wait a week to spend more time with the characters I just met. Further proving that Fox has got the lock on single-camera sitcoms (with New Girl, The Mindy Project, Raising Hope, and last night's Golden Globe winner, Brooklyn Nine-Nine...need I say more?), Enlisted's first half hour was incredibly skillful at setting up the world we're about to (hopefully) spend 22 episodes in this season, and that's not an easy task.

The show takes place on an army base in Florida where Sergeant Pete Hill (Geoff Stults) has been sent after punching his commanding officer while on tour in Afghanistan. He joins his two younger brothers, overeager Randy (Parker Young) and sarcastic Derrick (Chris Lowell) on the rear-D unit, otherwise known as the soldiers who hold down the base, support the army families, and wash the tanks. With fast jokes and more depth than I was expecting, I was pleasantly surprised by Enlisted and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the next few episodes.

The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards (aired on NBC, Sunday January 12th)
Guys, you know I love me a good award show, but the Golden Globes has got to be my absolute favorite for a few reasons: 1) It celebrates the best of both movies and TV. 2) The stars get to drink (and it shows). 3) For the second year in a row, my two comedy heroes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, were our hostesses for the evening.
This was another great year for the Globes thanks to some surprise winners like Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Elisabeth Moss, and a long deserved win for Amy Poehler! There were some not so pleasant surprises: Woody Allen, winner of the Cecil B. DeMille award, did not show up (Diane Keaton accepted on his behalf) and with those long winner's walks up to the stage, we lost a lot of valuable time (who is seating these people??) but with a great opening monologue and some genuinely funny bits, the show stayed fresh, fast, and funny for the most part. Luckily we'll be getting another year with Fey and Poehler at the helm, and until then we still have the SAG awards and the Oscars to tide us over. For a full list of winners, check out this article from The Wrap.

Just one more thing before I pick up my Dolce and Gabbana gown (and my $19 Uniqlo jeans) from the tailor...

Garfunkel and Oates are coming to IFC! There's no official release date as of yet, but their new show should be arriving some time in early 2014. I'll be keeping you all posted as Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci are two of my favorite singing funny ladies around, and if their YouTube hits and numerous podcast appearances are any indication, we're in for a great series. 
The Gallagher's are back! See you all next week for my Season 4 premiere review of Shameless.

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