Tag Archive: seinfeld


 

curb-seinfeld

Two things after getting completely caught up on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’…

still feel uncomfortable/don’t know if I’m allowed to laugh at the episode with Ana Gasteyer’s ‘pre-gay’ son…

As an actor, I’ll always appreciate how Larry David subversively drove him the point that Jason Alexander was/is acting as George Costanza and he brought something to it.  He wasn’t just doing a Larry David impression.

This song coming through the shuffle brought all those thoughts back to me today.

Have a good weekend!

 

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madmen

Alright, now that our time with Dick Whitman has ended let’s update the list.  As always, just one man’s opinion:

1. The Wire – And still the Champion of the World!!!!!  Time has made Season 4 (the kids) even more impressive and Season 5 (tying up character arcs, but…the newspaper?) more of an albatross.  As a whole though, still the most impressive.  The city of Baltimore was the central character and the story was basically how the system is rigged, and for some reason, feels like I can turn on the TV and still see something very similar to that in the real world…

2. Breaking Bad – Actor bias here, but only a little I think.  As a character study of how one person changes and the ripple effects, it was close to perfect still.  We knew it ‘in the moment’, but time has justifably made the respect for the writing and long term planning of Gilligan (and the details!) that much stronger.

3. Mad Men – And here we are.  Again, hard for me to put into words. Still processing obviously.  I don’t know, something about the story of a man with rural roots, who takes on a new name and identity and cleans himself up, parlays his style and natural looks into access to beautiful women and an upscale life, but his unstable youth makes him a terrible husband and an absent father in spite of his best intentions, but in middle age he becomes a quasi-Buddhist in California and the implication is his biggest million dollar idea is still in front of him…

(woo, hold on, got something in my eye…)

(Editor’s Note: Malik stared at himself in a mirror and cried for three and a half hours before finishing this post.)

Sorry about that, what was I saying?  Oh yes, I loved ‘Mad Men!’  Good show!

4. The Sopranos – The student surpassed the Master!  Still the show that spawned so many of the others, but time is not doing this show that many favors.  If anything, the last shot of that show has made every ‘great’ showrunner since say ‘This is my baby and how the story ends, but I have to end this in a way that makes my loyal audience angry and confused.’  So there’s that.

5. Gotham – I keed! I keed!

But seriously, there should be at least one comedy right?  Is ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ too old school now? Was ‘Parks and Recreation’ too small?  Do we count ‘the Office’ even though most of us stopped caring as soon as Michael Scott left?  Maybe it’s ’30 Rock’?  (By the way, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ is a worthy successor in its own way.)  At the moment, ‘True Detective’ still has a chance.  Maybe it’s ‘Friday Night Lights’ if we all throw out that one disastrous storyline in season 2.

Lot of good TV we’ve gotten the past 10 years plus.  But tonight is for Don Draper.  I’ll be having a Coke tomorrow.

Cheers!

‘Blue Jasmine’

 

blue-jasmine

Let me start by telling you (if you didn’t already know) that whenever I see the title card that says ‘Written and Directed by Woody Allen,’ that’s an automatic plus one on the review.

Blue Jasmine follows a middle aged woman (the always on point Cate Blanchett) who has to move in with her sister after her New York upper class life completely falls apart.  Definite allusions to A Streetcar Named Desire in this one.  The movie is told in both present day and flashback; we see Jasmine attempting to rebuild her life, and in flashback we see her living the high life with her husband (played by Alec Baldwin, who else?), and watch piece by piece how events from the past affect how the characters react to the world (and each other) in the present day.

Seinfeld had a great B-story about this in one of their episodes, but there really is a ‘cult’ of film geeks/comedians who I’m sure to this day will answer yes to ‘Do you want to be in a Woody Allen film?’ without asking what character they’re playing or what the story is about.  So to see Louie C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay pop up in this film wasn’t completely surprising. What was a little more surprising (kind of) was how both guys brought heart to their minor characters.

This film is definitely set in ‘the New York world’, so if you’re not a hardcore Woody Allen mark, you may not be into this one as much.  I enjoyed it though.

 

martin

This one makes me reminisce how good we had it in the 90s.  I can pick up the phone right now and start quoting from this show to put my people into a laughing fit.  For the uninitiated, Martin told the story of a Detroit DJ (Martin Payne) and his comical relationships with his girl (Gina) and their friends (Pam, Cole, Tommy).

Alright, on to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  The show was set in Detroit, with five black principal characters.  As my militant partner in crime likes to point out, there was a Do the Right Thing poster hanging in Martin’s apartment.  We’ll stop there.

Craft:  I might be a little biased since this show is also a personal favorite, but in my opinion if you want to do laugh out loud comedy that doesn’t get stale with time, you could do a LOT worse than watching Martin. 

Legacy: Everyone who watched Def Comedy Jam knew how funny Martin Lawrence was.  Among other things, this show proved Martin could still be hilarious without ever cussing.  Which opened the door for Big Momma’s House! 

Crossover:  I’m not sure how much Martin’s career hit the mainstream because of this show.  Martin was always up against NBC’s ‘Must See TV’ lineup (Seinfeld, Friends) so I imagine that the ‘mainstream’ people watching Martin were the same types who were watching him on Def Jam anyway.

Apollo:  This could SO easily be its own post.  I’ll list my own personal top five while you reminisce on yours…

5. In the first season, Martin introduced the character of Jerome: a permed out, gaudy jewelry wearing brother with a thick goatee, straight playa.  What made this character so funny to me was I have a second uncle in Louisiana who looked AND acted exactly like Jerome.  One of my cousins picked up on this at a funeral when we were kids and I felt so guilty for busting out laughing in the middle of church.

4. Among Martin’s other characters was a white guy named Bob.  His most notorious moment was probably when he started wilding out a party with Gina and Pam.  “Gina’s outta control, Pam’s outta control, THIS WHOLE FREAKING PARTY’S OUT OF CONTROLLLLLL!!!!”

3. Later in that same episode, Martin (who thinks Gina’s creeping on him) hides under the bed when Gina has the maintenance man fix her ‘clogged vent’.  By the time the maintenance cat says, “When I finally pull this out, you are going to LOVE me!”, I was dying laughing without Martin’s facial expressions.  This is immediately followed by one of the five worst ‘fake beatdowns’ you will ever see.  Martin was a clown!

2. Maybe the greatest ‘little man paranoia’ story ever, had Martin having to stand up to Tommy ‘Hitman’ Hearns.  The whole episode is classic, but when Martin feels slighted and calls out Hearns with the line.  “Hey Tommy, I talked to Sugar (Ray).  He says you’re the Get Hit Man!”  Then he turns around and says ‘What?’ trying to punk some random dude out; that still kills me.

1. Martin’s CD player is missing.  This leads to what to this day is still probably the best New Jack City parody you’ll ever see.  Having everyone dressed in black, Martin plays the Nino role, threatening his friends with a toy Doberman.  This was a taped television show, and you can still clearly see damn near the whole cast bust out laughing throughout the scene.  Oh, and for story purposes, ‘Bruh Man’ borrowed Martin’s CD player.  Remember Bruh Man?

Alright, as I debate whether my need to be objective is preventing me from ranking this show higher, I can tell you another classic sitcom awaits next month…