A year ago, I thought I would be rolling in tears when Community ended, distraught at the sight of my favorite study group graduating from my beloved Greendale Community College in season four’s finale, “Advanced Introduction to Finality.” I felt like the 8th member of the group, loyally sitting in the always empty spot besides Jeff Winger (Joel Mchale). I was there throughout the paintball adventures, Troy’s (Donald Glover) 21st birthday, and #sixseasonsandamovie. And at no point in time did I ever think of bailing with Jack Black to join Owen Wilson’s infinitely cooler study group.
Last night’s “Heroic Origins” episode of Community was heroic indeed, as it was the first episode of this underwhelming fourth season that has been able to keep my attention. In the latest episode, the study group is trying to study for the history class final, while Abed (Danny Pudi) embarks on yet another parody. Jeff (Joel McHale) becomes angry—blah blah blah—and we’re are thrust into a Community portrayal of the movie Unbreakable, complete with comic strip rolls between scenes as Abed tells the origin story of the study group’s existence.
This week’s episode of Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men, “The Flood,” throws its characters for a spin in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mad Men has featured famous historical moments many times before, but this one is particularly difficult to watch. The shock and pain of Dr. King’s death is felt deeply not only in the lives of the cast, but in the structure of New York City itself. The chaos that ripples through the characters’ lives is traumatic and, in many ways, universal.
What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, E!'s latest reality TV series, focuses on the day-to-day life of Olympic medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte. It's pretty apparent two episodes in that Lochte is primarily concerned with boozing, picking up young women, bonding and bickering with his family members, talking up his fashion line and, of course, swimming. The show's ambition is to make viewers laugh while endearing them to Lochte, a man-child of a professional athlete. At times it succeeds, at others (like when it’s relying on the humor found in Lochte offering a blank stare and a stutter when posed a question) get old pretty quickly.
Jim Rash may have won an Academy Award for screenwriting (The Decendants), but last night’s episode of Community, "Basic Human Anatomy," which he also wrote, still sucked. The phrase ,“Am I crazy?” popped into my head more than once as I found myself unable to enjoy a Community episode written by an award-winner. But then I realized it was just another parody episode in a long list of themed episode that have ruined the latest season for me. In the latest show, Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) switch bodies (or do they?) in a reenactment of the movie, Freaky Friday.
Da Vinci’s Demons brings Leonardo da Vinci back to life in a show that even Lorenzo Medici (Elliot Cowan) wouldn’t pay fifty Florins to watch. Da Vinci was an extraordinary man by all accounts. While widely regarded as one of the greatest painters in history with pieces such as the Mona Lisa, he was also very innovative, sketching out futuristic designs like his concept of a flying machine. Yet, for a show about the Renaissance Man, it is anything but inventive. Da Vinci is the star of a semi-fantastical world full of drama and dull characters fitting of a show on the CW (even then I would watch Arrow over Da Vinci’s Demons any day of the week), not Starz.
Danielle Panabaker's Top Pop Picks
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