‘Gotham’ Episode 3: Writers, You Must Be Trippin! Show Me Better!

Penguin has arrived back to Gotham, and as if that wasn’t enough drama, we now have our latest villain, the “Balloon Man.” Yes, that’s right, he hustles with balloons, sadistically and ritually conducting balloon-carrying shenanigans with federal folk or Detective Gordon’s crew or whatever. Oh, wait, I don’t think I explain that well enough.

Well, Gotham really has gone crazy since the Waynes have died. People that have access to balloons have access to murder? Wow. Okay, so we have this crazy new villain that’s short-lived and only for this episode—please, dear writers, don’t allow such short-lived villains on this show, it’s cheap, and cheap is cheap…(referencing that quote from Midnight in Paris, which was such a chill Allen movie).

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The truth is, the villain in this episode only serves as a motif for an fucked up government. I asked myself, “Really? Why not give more attention to Penguin?” He’s yet our favorite villain! I already told everyone in the last review he was so Saint Laurent circa 2009! This show better showcase Penguin….because we’re in love with his darkness.

Cat (IMDB credited as Selina Kyle, not the young Hollywood actress, the character), gives Detective Jim Gordon some information and it’s basically the true evidence that Cat had suggested from the previous episode. He finally believes in her when his shoes are plucked with mud and an identification card is spotted in the midst of the location where the Waynes were killed. The information she gives him is true. Of course it’s true, it’s CAT! She’s one we’re rooting for. I pray that Cat and Bruce lock lips in a future episode.

We love Cat because she’s a true fighter and and she seems to actually care about Lil Bruce Wayne. We all do! We all know he’s becoming what we all need in our government: Batman. That’s what he is! What he is to become! He’ll become president because he serves justice. That’s what a president does, right? I don’t know, actually. If he doesn’t become Batman what will he become…..Will this show fail? Will Fox executives become distraught knowing they could’ve done better? 

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Tonight, Jada Pinkett Smith’s outfit appeared as if a slippery snake had been wrapped around her neck. She was, basically, being such a cold hard bitch, like the previous episodes, except for less dialogue. Dear WRITER(S) : allow Jada more dialogue because she’s working this shit. This is huge. Sorry, writer, or writers, I didn’t like this episode that much.

I wasn’t even interested in looking up the credits of this episode. After the model-look-a-like waiter came back bruised from that Italian mafia crew last week, Jada, sorry, I meant MOONEY, was not happy. I’m sorta being a fan girl here with Jada on this show. So Mooney wasn’t happy and probably had a breakdown, but that was, obviously, not allowed. This writer or writers or whatever, they didn’t give two shits about Ms. Mooney. It was cut short. Snooze…

Penguin also feigned a foreign *cough* *cough* Russian accent that was so not believable. He said he was from Odessa when an obvious spectator of the television media decided to punch that one guy he saw “convicted”, which was Oswald aka Penguin, duh. He’s literally working through some random Italian mafia restaurant business in Gotham. It absolutely reeks of Mulberry Street stereotype, but like, in a super fake set of Gotham way. Wow, so just how fake can we get with this episode? Anyway, Penguin’s questioned about such Italian authenticity and he’s obvi not Italian. It’s sort-of funny but, then again, this humor being used is sorta contrived. 

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Also, how could we forget how Gotham introduces a lesbian plot twist? It’s funny, in my last review I mentioned  that I thought Detective Jim Gordon had minimal passionate chemistry with Miss Barbara. But, literally, she’s head-over-heels (obvi) with a past lover, who’s also a detective associated with Gordon. OMFG! This is juicy! But, the episode suggest something that’s short-lived. Why get a wide audience on Fox such little hope for a lesbian relationship? Could this be a ploy for viewers to tune in? Nuh-uh…. Not in my house, Tay says!

Okay also, Barbara, Gordon’s supposed golden girl, totally smokes weed way too much. Yeah, right…. Come on past lover Renee….. (Wait, do we love Renee?) According to Renee, Barbara, her (past fling?) girl, she does indeed smoke way too much weed. That’s intense. So, basically, like, these two characters really know each other from the past? DAMN! I love a good lesbian twist that respects the lesbian community or, at least, entertains such demographic. That’s, literally, like, so hard….trust me. So yeah, wonder why Barbara suckers up to Mr. Gordon at the end of the episode…”I love you!” Hmm, maybe you should suggest a menage á trios?

The plot has become lost. Why introduce sexuality, particularly a lesbian plot twist?  It almost seems minor. What are you going to do with the lesbian plot twist? At this point, the lesbian plot twist almost stinks of some artistic ploy. But, if you’re reading this third episode review, you have indeed followed my train of thought correlating with this series. Is the lesbianism going to be momentarily serviceable for the show or is this developed relationship with Barbara going to be major?

So Penguin shows up at the door when Barbara is totally dressed up to please Detective Gordon after all the drama. Oswald is absolutely not happy about Gordon shooting him into the river. I wouldn’t be either. Okay, so basically the sex scene we could’ve witnessed between Gordon and his girl was cancelled? What’s going to happen with them? Writers, where are you taking us in this Gotham journey?

It’s not that I’m absolutely apathetic about this episode, it’s just that I didn’t think the “Balloon Man” suggested such a motif of corrupt government enough. Sorry, I hope this review made sense. But, secretly, I’d rather eat a burrito from a Taco Bueno drive-thru in Dallas, Texas than watch this episode. SNOOOOOOOZE, YOU LOSE! This episode wasted my time. The only part that I looked forward to was, and I mean this sincerely, was Penguin showing up at Detective Gordon’s front door at the end. Not enough Jada….Not enough Cat…..Not enough…Hm…Not enough Lil Bruce Wayne…Not enough of what I wanted.

And to all New Yorker Gotham fans or readers:

Wait, it was actually so funny they (the whole production) shot on White St. I have many inside jokes about White St.—you know what I mean? Don’t act like TriBeCa isn’t funny….It sort of is….

I feel bad, like I’m discouraging readers to not watch this show, because I’m not! I just hope you enjoy my GIFS. Gotham is a good show. Why would I be reviewing it every week? It’s going to get crazy! 

This One’s For You, Tina Belcher

I come today to speak not of Hannah or of Jessa, but of Tina.

For the next few weeks, unless you’re into sports or whatever, your Sunday night lineup may be a little barren, what with Girls being over (as those weary of all the thinkpieces breathe a sigh of relief) and sadly and perhaps more importantly, Enlightened possibly over forever (BOOOOO!). And there’s still a couple more weeks until Game of Thrones, not that we’re counting or anything. So all I’m suggesting is, that maybe if you haven’t yet, now would be a good time to at least give one episode of Bob’s Burgers a shot, if for no other reason, than for Tina.

This past weekend, Tina had a banner episode, as school dance episodes often are. In it, Josh, her paramour from the dairy fridge and longtime crush Jimmy Jr. both vie for her affection after she plays them both, in her own way, and it ends in a dance-off because God loves us and wants us to be happy. For a character usually painted as this hero to everyone who includes the phrase “socially awkward” in any sort of social media bios, and certainly not to say she has to be validated by dudes to be successful or awesome (nor do you, any of you), it was really refreshing to see her in control and owning it and, even in failure, still coming off as somewhat victorious by virtue of just being Tina, you know? 

 In Bob’s Burgers’ usual spot in the Fox Sunday night lineup, Tina shares a space with the likes of Family Guy’s Meg Griffin, who has gone from angst-ridden occasional plot point to nothing more than a punching bag for the barrage of the same jokes and non-sequiturs for the past decade or so and Hayley Smith, who per the Seth MacFarlane formula, is basically just Meg with a community college degree and political conscience. Neither are particularly liked, nor written to be particularly likable. When Tina gets her own episode, especially this season, the show shines, and all the typical teenage girl A-plot material, even when peppered with erotic friend-fiction and bookended by the craziness of the other Belcher children, is handled gracefully, or as gracefully as anything goes in that universe. Even in the Loren Bouchard-helmed bizarro-world, everyone can see a bit of themselves in Tina, and maybe we all wish the world would let us touch Jimmy Jr.’s butt sometimes. Anyway, here’s a supercut. 

‘American Idol’ Deathwatch: Just Die Already

If you asked me before I got on the Internet this morning who the current hosts of American Idol are, I would have guessed 50 Cent, Kim Kardashian and a Hanson brother, with Colin Meloy filling the Ryan Seacrest role. Turns out, though, that Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj are on it now? And some white guy sits between them? (For real: do not attempt to explain to me who that guy is.)

Thing is, the ratings for this season so far are bad: Entertainment Weekly points out that viewership of the premiere dropped 19% from the last season-opener, and apparently the show’s numbers have been plunging since 2008. 2008! That is five whole years of a televisual juggernaut sliding into pop cultural irrelevance. In fairness, I guess The Simpsons is still on.

But if I’m not watching it—never did—and you people aren’t watching it either, then just who are these last 16.2 million American Idolwatchers? When are they going to stop getting in the way of progress, by which I mean Fox freeing up its schedule for some reruns of When Animals Attack!? Stop being selfish. You’ve had your fun laughing at crappy, deluded singers. Why not criticize yourself instead?

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Tom Cruise Film Premiere Postponed, ‘Family Guy’ & Other Shows Pulled In Wake Of Newtown Massacre

The premiere of Jack Reacher, a new action film starring Tom Cruise, has been rescheduled and several networks have pulled episodes of shows in the wake of Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 28 people dead, including 20 young children.

Yesterday, Paramount Pictures postponed the premiere of Jack Reacher set to take place in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, because of the tragedy. The film stars Cruise as a detective who hunts down a sniper killer who murders five people.   

Here is a statement released by Paramount: Due to the terrible tragedy…and out of honor and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken, we are postponing tomorrow’s Pittsburgh premiere of Jack Reacher. Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones.

SyFy announced it had pulled Friday night’s premiere of an episode of the show Haven, entitled Reunion, which depicted ficticious school violence, the Huffington Post reported. According to a tweet posted on HuffPost from Craig Engler, a senior executive at the network, the episode would be rescheduled and a the holiday episode episode of the show Eureka ran in its in its place. 

Fox also rescheduled two shows. Entertainment Weekly reports that Family Guy and American Dad are rescheduling their episodes of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and Minstrel Krampus because they contain "sensitive content." Instead, Fox will air repeats of both shows. 

Barry Manilow also cancelled a charity concert in Palm Desert, California, on Friday night and rescheduled it for Sunday afternoon. Manilow said he canceled the show as a "gesture of solidarity" with the victims. 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Ten Late-Era ‘Simpsons’ Episodes That Should Be Canonized

Practically any Simpsons snob will pinpoint where, how, and why the show stopped being good, whether you’re listening to them or not. And while there’s no denying a steep drop in average quality somewhere around the turn of the millennium, those who refuse to watch past the tenth season (or even the eighth, as some diehard purists claim) are cheating themselves out of a few diamonds in the rough. As it can be irritating to wade through that rough, we’ve rounded up some episodes that deserve recognition, if not stone-cold classic status.

“The Cartridge Family” (Season 9, Episode 2): This one harkens back to the old days with its wildly simple, all-American premise—Homer buys a gun. As spot-on a satire about firearm laws as you can hope for.

“Realty Bites” (Season 9, Episode 9): Too many episodes revolve around Homer getting a ridiculous job (with ridiculous consequences), but this down-to-earth entry features Marge getting into the home realty business in a Glengarry Glen Ross-type office, complete with the late Phil Hartman’s sleazy Lionel Hutz as manager.

“Viva Ned Flanders” (Season 10, Episode 10): Ned Flanders, realizing he’s barely lived out of an overactive sense of caution, recruits Homer to teach him how to live in the moment. The ensuing bender in Sin City was long overdue and flawlessly done—“Las Vegas doesn’t care for out-of-towners,” the pair is told when they’re dumped at the border afterward.

“Brother’s Little Helper” (Season 11, Episode 2): Bart’s trademark disruptive, capering ways lead him to a role as guinea pig for Focusyn, an Adderall-like behavior modification drug. A scathing look at the pharmaceutical industry and overmedication of children, with a fantastic last-act twist.

“A Tale of Two Springfields” (Season 12, Episode 2): Springfield is riven with class warfare when a new area code is forced on the “poor” half of town, ultimately giving rise to a Berlin-type wall of garbage in the middle. As ever, angry mobs provide some of the show’s best moments.

“The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” (Season 12, Episode 6): Early-era loyalists will insist that the end of this episode leans on the exact kind of absurdity that derailed the series. Everyone else will enjoy a wonderful parody of The Prisoner, preceded by Homer’s successful tenure as muckraking blogger.

“New Kids on the Blecch” (Season 12, Episode 14): Bart, Nelson, Milhouse, and Ralph are handpicked by a record label exec who wants to make them the next ’N Sync (who are great sports about their cameo). But an even weirder agenda is afoot.

“Weekend at Burnsie’s” (Season 13, Episode 16): Look, if you can’t see the merit in a plot where Homer adopts a flock of crows and eventually becomes hooked on pot—which only propels him into an upper-level position at the nuclear power plant—just don’t talk to me.

“I’m Spelling As Fast As I Can” (Season 14, Episode 12): Many of the old classics deal with Lisa’s moral quandaries, and that plot is expertly resurrected here, when she must decide whether to throw a national spelling bee for material gain. Egging her on is a crooked George Plimpton in perhaps the best as-themselves voiceover part ever.

“Bart-Mangled Banner” (Season 15, Episode 21): Aired in 2004, it’s the only episode to directly engage the George W. Bush administration, and does it ever. Bart accidentally moons the American flag at school, sparking a chain of events that land the entire Simpson family in permanent detention for treason. 

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Non-Comprehensive Or Even Remotely Accurate Predictions For This Season of ‘Glee’

Everyone’s favorite erotic Tumblr slash-fic inspiration—er, show about show choir—returns to FOX tonight. After a season full of after-school-special moments about the dangers of texting while driving; a weird, offensive episode about the importance of not being racist; a character’s suicide attempt being reduced to a subplot and a pair of sweet, redemptive moments in the form of an Adele mash-up and an actually nuanced and well-done and maybe sort of realistic? episode about losing your virginity and West Side StorySeason Four will begin with a lot of unanswered questions and two different timelines, one in Ohio and one in New York.

We know so far that Rachel (Lea Michele) is trying to make it in the big city at Apparently The Only Musical Theatre School in the Country, NYADA, where she has trouble adjusting and clashes with her dance instructor, played by Special Guest Star Kate Hudson. We know that Puck’s little brother is joining the Glee Club, Kurt becomes a Vogue intern under the direction of Sarah Jessica Parker, Sue has a kid now because of reasons and what, Puck’s little brother is joining the New Directions and Ryan Murphy’s new Super Best Friend NeNe Leakes is coming back. Here are my probably inaccurate and definitely not comprehensive predictions of other things that will happen this season. 

  • At least one Fame reference in the first episode.
  • Kate Hudson will be surprisingly fun to watch and bring back that nice, refreshing dose of pure evil that made the show so fun to watch in its early days.
  • Sue Sylvester refers to Tina Cohen-Chang as “Gangnam Style” in the first episode, because offensive is Sue’s shtick, or something and this would be offensive AND topical! 
  • Kurt and Blaine break up because long distance/that smarmy Sebastian guy. Kurt takes the news particularly hard, and in the midst of an alcohol-fueled spiral, sings The Smiths’ “There Is A Light (That Never Goes Out).” 
  • Following said breakup, Rachel, Kurt and recurring plot snag Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) start a romantic relationship. (YOU’RE WELCOME, TUMBLR.)
  • Kristin Chenoweth comes back and destroys Mr. Schue’s engagement to Emma. Sadly, she fails, and there’s a terrible after-school special sequence about it.
  • Rachel moves to Brooklyn; pals around with Surprise Guest Star Zosia Mamet. Word "hipster" thrown about way too casually. 
  • Following week is a Very Special Episode about the dangers of cocaine. 
  • Sue Sylvester gets embroiled in a scandal when the weird, unnecessary kid with the gossip blog catches her putting her new infant child atop the pyramid.
  • Ryan Murphy completely abandons the show to immerse himself in his new gift-wrapped turd The New Normal and wins all the GLAAD awards.
  • Darren Criss performs a highly inappropriate but somewhat tolerable routine to Prince’s “Darling Nikki” at some point and everyone is still shocked that you can say “masturbating” in primetime.
  • The show finally, finally stops trying to make us care about anything happening in the life of Finn Hudson and ships him off to Afghanistan.
  • A spinoff launches starring Rachel’s dads and it is infinitely better than The New Normal if only by virtue of national treasure Jeff Goldblum.
  • I get frustrated with everything five minutes into the first episode, switch to whiskey and put the likely equally disappointing Bears-Packers game on instead. FOOTBALL. 

Mindy Kaling-Fronted Sitcom Picked Up for Fox’s Tuesday Lineup

So far, the new crop of network pilots has been well, interesting (the eye-roll-inducing shock-jock-meets-feminist! radio show Next Caller; the show where Andy from Weeds plays a vet), but Fox is hoping to turn the odds around with The Mindy Project, a new sitcom starring Mindy Kaling as "a skilled OB/GYN navigating the tricky waters of both her personal and professional life, as she pursues her dreams of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending." Fellow NBC comedy alumni Bill Hader and Ed Helms appear as Kaling’s character’s former flames. The preview clip includes Kaling riding a bike in a sparkly formal dress while hammered, hallucinating a conversation with a Barbie doll and making lots of references to male celebrities (including Michael Fassbender and Hugh Grant).

Fox also picked up Ben and Kate, a comedy which includes the same producers and director as New Girl, and stars Dakota Johnson as a single mother who gets some help from her wacky older brother, played by The Descendants‘ co-writer Nat Faxon.

The Mindy Project will be paired with New Girl on Tuesday nights next season. Fox’s other big-draw Tuesday night comedy series, Glee, moves to Thursdays. There is still the question of whether or not Kaling, who has written and directed a number of episodes of her current show, The Office (including some of the show’s most memorable episodes, among them "The Dundies" and "Diwali"), will leave to devote her time to The Mindy Project.

 

Roll clip, complete with that same voiceover that accompanies every rom-com. 

Morning Links: Russell Simmons Forges On in His Battle With Lowes; Diddy & Cameron Diaz an Item?

● Russell Simmons has thrown money into his fight with Lowe’s, who pulled ads from TLC’s new series All-American Muslim citing  "concerned" and "alienated" viewers, by buying out the show’s remaining ad time next week. "The show is now sold out! keep your money @lowes and we will keep ours," he tweeted. [Huff Post]

Star Trek actor George Takei is asking Trek and Star Wars fans to find "star peace," align together against the true evil (or, as he makes it sound, truly boring), Twilight. [NME]

● Jessica Simpson’s baby sent "big crocodile tears" streaming down her face when it "did a flip or something." [People]

● Britney Spears keeps up with Britney Spears news much like we all do by reading OK! Magazine at the airport! [TMZ]

● Their reps claim they are "just friends," but Diddy and Cameron Diaz were caught kissing and "being very affectionate" in the club the other night. Is love a-blooming? [Page Six]

● Gucci Mane is out of jail again, and he’s feeling great. “It was a time for me to sit back and just refocus the whole way I do things, man,” he told XXL, adding that, "This is the last time I think I’ll ever be in jail." [XXL]

What Was the Phone-Hacking Joke Fox Cut From Alec Baldwin’s Emmys Skit?

Do you know what Sunday’s Emmys could’ve used? A really good joke about phone-hacking. It would have cemented the ceremony’s place in the pantheon of legendary Emmys nights, along with the celebrated 39th Emmy Awards when Bob Newhart performed the Heimlich maneuver on Bruce Willis, saving the Moonlighting star’s life. (Don’t look for that story on the Internet – it’s a well-guarded Hollywood secret). The agonizing thing is that the Emmys had a phone-hacking joke, but Fox pulled the plug on it.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Alec Baldwin had pre-taped a sketch that included a phone-hacking joke for last night’s opening number, but later insisted his appearances be pulled from the show entirely after learning the News Corp subsidiary refused to poke fun at itself. (Something Baldwin & Co. do beautifully on 30 Rock where NBC is concerned.)

Saturday, Baldwin tweeted, “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me NewsCorp may cut the funniest line.” The line, apparently, was about the phone-hacking scandal in the UK where journalists at newspapers owned by News Corp (which owns Fox, who broadcast last night’s Emmys) evesdropped on the voicemail boxes of crime victims and celebrities like Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Grant. Alec Baldwin demanded he be deleted from the bit entirely. He later tweeted, “Fox did kill my NewsCorp hacking joke. Which sucks bc I think it would have made them look better. A little.”