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Re: TV Thread

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:37 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Sunny 8.2. This was shot as the season premiere, and it feels like it. It's basically an episode about the show and the sort of storylines they do. "The Gang Recycles Their Trash" indeed. It's a good one too. Wildcard, bitches.

It was held back because FX felt that it would be confusing to new viewers, but I suspect it could have the opposite effect as well - letting them know exactly what they're in for.

I do get the feeling that there's been less pitch-black horror and cruelty lately. Almost like Breaking Bad season 3. We'll see on that, though.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:13 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Well, I said we hadn't had enough horror ...

Sunny 8.3 "The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre." It's a lot like a Community episode, using the show's characters to create a zombie movie genre parody, without any actual zombies. It's stylish enough although it's a departure for the series, feeling different visually. The characters are very much their usual selves though. I liked how the boys treated Dee as a "zombie." The whole thing is pretty cartoonish, although we can still believe this happened in the Sunny universe. Despite being a zombie episode it's more believable than "Frank's Brother."

The ending is very over the top with Dennis screaming "NOOOOO." Despite the ending, Maureen Ponderosa has not appeared again on the show to date.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:17 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Sunny 8.5 "The Gang Gets Analyzed" is a great episode. One of those premises that I could easily have watched for an hour. I would have liked to see the analyst's judgement of them, particularly Dennis, who is in full-on manipulative sociopath mode here. Nice to have Kerri Kenney involved.

Since Mac's not fat anymore, they're going back to the "Mac might be gay" thing, which didn't get any real play in season 7.

Kerri and Charlie:

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:59 am
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:49 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
So Fred Savage left Sunny in 2009 to work on Party Down for a season, and never returned. Hm.

Most of the music heard on the show is stock music by Heinz Kiessling.

Sunny 9.1. The Ha Ha Cafe. I've performed there. Landslide is Huell from Breaking Bad (Lavell Crawford). The producer Ken Davitian was Borat's sidekick.

Kaitlin on Conan:

Sunny 9.2. Very pointed stuff mocking the arguments about gun control. Everyone's personality comes through nicely. A good Sunny.

Sunny 9.3 The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award. An episode about how the show never wins any industry awards. Brilliant, especially since the script walks the line of still making sense in the Sunny universe, and showing the gang at their usual worst. And Charlie as Randy Newman. And then as himself.

Dennis on female roles in "bars": “She doesn’t need to be funny though, because she’s cute, she’s loveable, everybody likes her, and then if she can tell a joke—hey, it’s just a bonus.”

“Men are intimidated by funny women—we just need you to be pretty and benign.”

Chad Coleman shows up as Z, and gets a big laugh during Charlie's song. He was on The Wire, which despite its accolades was overlooked for awards as well. Dennis makes that overt when he says that black bars don't win awards. I also like the absolute lack of chemistry between Mac and Dee, who are married in real life. Even Charlie and The Waitress have had some chemistry in recent episodes, but Mac and Dee, nothing. A flatline.

The presence of Oscar Nunez from The Office is a very pointed inclusion as well. Mel Brooks stage star Roger Bart also appears.

What a great season so far.

Other takes of Charlie's song:

In 8.7, "Frank's Back in Business," Charlie and Mac had made an inept promotional video for "Fight Milk," shot in HD but with bad color balancing and awkward outtakes not edited out.

It's no surprise that Charlie and Mac would be bad at anything, but the Gang has usually been suspiciously good at making videos and performing as actors and singers. This is, of course, a TV series staffed by professionals, and it's very common in films and TV series that you see "amateur" video productions and plays with far greater production values than the characters could have come up with.

But on Sunny I've accepted that the Gang are actually somewhat skilled as entertainers - it's only their own bizarre personalities and hangups that ruin everything. Lethal Weapon 5 and The Nightman Cometh were competently made productions that fail only because the Gang are insane, and show that insanity in the writing and production. We've seen that the Gang regularly spend a lot of money on stupid things, and this would just be more of that.

That is, I'm trying to believe this.

I have to assume that the video for "Fight Milk" was conceived and edited by Mac, who was more interested in fast cuts and shots of muscular men and other graphics than cutting out their screw-ups. Which makes some sense. It's a very "Mac" sort of video. I'm overthinking this, but I'll allow it.

Your average audience member doesn't know what bad filmmaking (and bad acting) really is. Unless you've tried to make an amateur or student film yourself, you have no idea how bad most people are in front of a camera. You have no idea how bad nearly all non-professional screenplays are. You have no idea how bad sound and lighting are unless done in a professional manner. We rarely see "bad" moviemaking on television or film that actually looks like a bad student or amateur film.

But a filmmaker knows. I have to feel that Lethal Weapon 5 is more Tommy Wiseau than student film, and Frank's segment is literally Tommy Wiseau. That is, Wiseau spent a lot of money on his bad film, but was undone by his own insanity, shown onscreen. The Gang's movie isn't as bad as Tommy Wiseau's opus, but few films are.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:24 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
9.4 "Mac and Dennis Buy a Timeshare." Only weak episode so far, though it's amusing to see the gang get conned very easily, and get a little bit into pyramid schemes and timeshares. Rowdy Roddy Piper returns.

9.5 Mac Day. We voyage into Mac's psyche, with increasingly predicable results. Country Mac! This episode really defines Mac as he is now.

9.6 The Gang Saves the Day. And this one defines all the characters. I think this is the first time we've seen Mac wear a black RIOT shirt rather than the earlier grey one. It's certainly the episode referenced in this 16-bit image:

http://theirategamer.wpengine.netdna-cd ... 24x673.jpg

All the gang's fantasies are pretty great, especially Charlie's, and Mac's. I suspected that Frank's would be smaller scale than the rest and I think that was pretty perfect too.

I occurs to me that at this point, the Waitress having dark hair is now another thing from season 1 that we're supposed to forget. The kids all have blonde hair - although this is the dream of a crazy person.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:04 pm
by Oliver Judd
Mac Day is darker than usual, though the ending had me in stitches...

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:15 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
9.8 Flowers For Charlie. Burn Gorman here, costarring with Charlie again after Pacific Rim (director Guillermo Del Toro also played the head of the McPoyles a bit back). One of the extras seems to be a Doctor Who cosplayer I know called Kevin. I've asked him about it.

And in Burn Gorman's second scene at the end, Charlie is impersonating Gorman's Pacific Rim character ... who in the film seems to be an impersonation of Sylvester McCoy, though that's not really the case in this episode.

9.9 Lethal Weapon 6. As a filmmaker, this is harder to watch than the previous effort. It's hard to accept this as believable and just laugh at it. There's a lot of weirdness and awkwardness, but also high-budget-looking filmmaking, with special effects in post and onset, lots of extras, color correction, and a generally high level of competence visually that doesn't fit with the jokes they're doing, when everything breaks down.

It's still a fun enough watch, and this has been an excellent season. Also, Mac has been very gay this season.

9.10 The Gang Squashes Their Beefs. Thanksgiving. "Genius of Love" as party music, huh?

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:16 am
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:48 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist