A Look at Gravity Falls “Weirdmaggedon 2: Escape From Reality”


Jason Ritter and Linda Cardellini, blurring the fantasy and reality lines

“You can’t argue with the results. People are happy here. Does it really matter if it’s real or not?” – Mabel Pines

Gravity Falls is ending. The show hasn’t been cancelled but it’s going to be over in short order. Well, kinda. One more super-sized episode – to be aired at some unspecified date (likely sometime in the new year!?!), Disney XD was never one for scheduling the show with any consistency – and that’s it. Alex Hirsch, the show’s creator (and, to my mind, genius) said that this was part of his plan from the start, to create a show about one amazing summer among two siblings on the verge of growing up. Summers don’t last forever. Amazing ones are even shorter. Weirder and weirder things have happened to the Pines twins over the course of this summer (spanning 2 television seasons) – gnomes, merpeople, sea monsters, video games coming to life, time travel, body swapping. Pretty much anything Mulder and Scully would have investigated was also investigated by Dipper and Mabel during their stay with Grunkle Stan at the Mystery Shack.

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I Hate Jenny Slate

I don’t write this out of controversy or to ruffle feathers. This is out of sheer contempt. A lone voice of sanity. An emperor has no clothes type spiel. I don’t know her personally – I’m sure she is a lamb of a person, reads to blind orphans, assists those doctors that work with kids who don’t smile so that they can smile…but on a professional level. I hate Jenny Slate. Continue reading

The Best Time Ever, is.



I had heard a little bit about The Best Time Ever but was hesitant to tune in. Despite my love of the show’s host, Neil Patrick Harris, I assumed that a live Variety Show would be campy and lame and not much fun. When nothing else was on three weeks ago I decided to give it a shot, as at the very least I could hate watch it. I’m happy to report that The Best Time Ever, really is just that. Continue reading

A Rave Review of Master of None


You’ve done it again, Netflix! Thanks for another great comedy. I’ll add Master of None to one of my favourite comedies of the year (a list which includes Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, three other Netflix originals.) Someone high up in the comedy department at Netflix is hiring the right people then giving them the freedom to dream up and create auteur works of TV. In this instance, Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang have created a moody but funny 10 episode comedy: Master of None Continue reading

Keeping it Casual

Recently there has been a trend on TV of what I like to think of as “small” shows. And I mean no disrespect by that moniker. I love small things. I love things with compact, precise focus. Grand things aren’t usually my style. These small shows are generally half-an-hour long but aren’t sitcoms in the traditional sense. They are shows that walk the line between comedy and drama and their focus is usually relationships on a micro level. I can think of a handful of shows like this that I watch and enjoy (You’re the Worst, Catastrophe, Transparent, Red Oaks). These shows all air on smaller networks or streaming services (FXX, Amazon, Hulu) – another trend that is allowing for more of relatively inexpensive content to be created. These shows look and feel different from brightly lit network sitcoms. They remind me of indie films in the late 90s – more raw, a little less polished, dimly lit, taking place in houses that don’t have matching furniture – but, aside from the astonishing Transparent, not about anything particularly groundbreaking. These shows are immediately familiar, if a little bit odd. Continue reading

Why Little Girls Should Watch Wrestling

On a recent SNL the lovely and talented Amy Schumer lamented about the lack of role models for young girls. I’d like to have it noted, for the record, that I have been on the Amy Schumer train since ‘08. She basically summed up how sad it is that the Kardashians is what little ladies have to aspire to. Schumer herself is admittedly not a great role model to say a nine-year-old girl. Which got to me scan TV to find one. I guess Taylor Swift is OK – obvious ones like Hilary Clinton or Malia are fine. But what about a pop culture one? Something fanciful but still based in reality. Someone who vanquishes evil doers on a consistent basis. Designed for a girl who, say, is too old for Dora the Explorer but too young for Homeland. Somebody you can buy some merchandise and dolls for and talk about on the playground. Continue reading

A Cornucopia of TV Thanks


In the spirit of giving thanks to all we are grateful for this weekend, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank television. That big black box that is always just a click away from filling the room with light, happiness and the comfort of all my favorite characters. It would be impossible to capture all the reasons I am thankful for TV so I narrowed it down to some moments I’m thankful for this week. Continue reading

Distracted Watching

This week I am writing in defence of watching less TV. I’m not out to shame or blame or screech that “TV is bad for you!” This week, think of me as your childhood caregiver, the person who delivered you a grilled cheese sandwich and lovingly told you to sit further away from the TV set. I f’ing love to watch TV, so if you love watching TV too, understand that this essay is written from the perspective of a benevolent slob. One time I watched the entire series of How I Met Your Mother, and then when I was done, I started watching it again a few days later. I don’t even love that show. It’s just pretty good. Continue reading

“Is Anybody Out There?”: A review of The Last Man on Earth, season 2, episode 1

Would it be lonelier to discover you are the last person left on earth, knowing you will never again interact with another human being, or would it be lonelier knowing that other people are out there somewhere, to know that you could be talking to them and enjoying their company, but that you might never find them again? The Last Man on Earth began as a show about a guy who thought, wrongly, that he was all alone in the world, and then transitioned into a show about a guy who, if he wasn’t really the last man on earth, might as well have been. If the first season (back then I called it the “weirdest show on network television” and that hasn’t changed much since, more than that though it was also a very funny, sad, sometimes difficult and heartfelt show) was about the way that people can unwittingly force their own isolation with selfishness and pettiness, season two starts by exploring the way that relationships can make the feeling of loneliness more pronounced when those relationships are lost.

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