What was that about how I smell…?
(Via Comic Book Resources.)
Ok, to each their own, but it would be difficult to conceive of a more pointless way to waste four years of your life than this:
Four years after he began his project to write out every word of the Bible, Phillip Patterson penned the very last lines Saturday at an upstate New York church.
‘Every single curly-q, every single loop, it was all worth it,’ said Patterson, 63, moments after inking the final two verses of the King James Bible. ‘I’m really going to miss this writing.’
Patterson has said he started the project to learn about the Bible, not as a spiritual quest.
This would have been so much easier. And faster. Also, I hate it when people talk about “the Bible,” as if there’s some sort of one true version that trumps all the others. There are a gazillion different versions and translations, and they’re all significantly different from each other. So until he’s copied at least one Catholic version, not to mention the Ethiopian one, Patterson’s potty project is still unfinished.
By the way, many years ago – I think I may have seen this on Ripley’s Believe It or Not – there was an idiot who achieved his fifteen minutes of fame (it didn’t last, since I can’t find him anywhere on the web now*) by adding one plus one on a calculator until he reached a million. I don’t know how long that took, but maybe he and this Patterson guy should start a club.
(*And I searched for at least half a minute.)
I have tried for so long to be patient with this show, tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, tried and tried to fool myself into thinking that it isn’t just repeatedly shoving a giant dick up the ass of every real geek out there, week after week – but no more. Not after this week’s atrocity of an episode. There are certain lines that should never be crossed, and when they are crossed, there is no going back.
So fuck you, Big Bang Theory. Fuck you.
And fuck you Chuck Lorre. Maybe Charlie Sheen was right after all. Who knew.
So how to end the season (and probably the entire show)? By bringing back paintball, of course. And evil beards.
The darkest timeline strikes back, and Evil Jeff arrives Terminator-style in the Dean’s office to make sure that good Jeff turns bad or else… But since Community has firmly established that this sort of thing does not happen within the reality of the show (unfortunately), it’s clear from the start that events are unfolding in someone’s imagination, or it’s a dream, or Abed made it up, etc. Except that it’s not Abed. It’s Jeff, experiencing anxiety about his graduation, and here’s the problem: Why keep this ambiguous at first and then suddenly reveal that “it’s all in his head”? Why not do the usual wavy thing instead, before zooming in on Jeff’s face, or whatever? That would not have been original either, of course, but at least it wouldn’t have felt like a desperate cop-out or a cheat the way this did. As it is now, it creaks badly and it doesn’t fit. This is Jeff, after all – why would he suddenly start imagining things that seem to be coming straight out of Abed’s head, complete with subplot, and not his own?
I love the darkest timeline and the dimension-jumping – what true geek and Community connoisseur wouldn’t? – but the way it was mishandled here makes it seem as if two completely separate episodes were forced together, violently. But at least the episode managed to avoid the kind of over-emotional, tearjerker crap fest that was looming threateningly on the horizon for a while there. At least that part was nicely balanced, by being minimized.
And Pierce was back again, for the very last time (that much, at least, is certain). He wasn’t killed off and he wasn’t abandoned without being written out, instead he simply graduated. So much for that. And what happened to Dean Spreck and his evil plot? That was left hanging with no resolution and not even a mention, and it’s likely to remain that way unless (by some miracle) there really is a season 5.
And now I really have to start catching up on some other shows. If only there weren’t so many…
Chevy Chase spots a doughnut
I really hope this was not the next to last Community episode ever. But if that does turn out to be the case, then at least it was a good episode, both bittersweet and nostalgic. Abed has delved into the history of the study group, connecting the dots from every scrap of information he could find, and even going so far as to present a “crazy quilt of destiny” to show how the members of the group (minus Pierce) were all “destined” to meet at Greendale. “Like a team of superheroes,” Abed says, and this is their origin story, although for me an origin story conjures up images more of lab explosions and radioactive spiders rather than this kind of interconnectedness (and I was thinking more along the lines of Lost than Unbreakable, anyway). But that was old-school origin stories. Then come the sequels and the prequels and the desperate need to go back and explain how everything really got started – and this is more often than not a bad idea, as Abed comes to learn to his regret (even making him contemplate a letter of apology to George Lucas), before everything is made alright again over some frozen yoghurt. Every hero needs an enemy, indeed. (And since Pierce is not available anymore…)
As it turns out, the members of the study group were all (directly or indirectly) responsible for each other’s misfortunes just prior to Greendale, which means that this is also why they all decided to come to Greendale in the first place – with a little help from a certain individual currently pretending to suffer from Changnesia. And so everything neatly resolves itself, and every loose end is tied up. Which does not bode well for a fifth season, but at least the show has a good chance of going out on a high note, now, with only one episode remaining.
The floating head of Alison Brie was almost as unnerving as Troy doing an impression of Abed
After the first two episodes (I haven’t seen the third one yet), Defiance has turned out to be a big disappointment, at least for me, so no doubt it’ll become hugely popular and run for ten more seasons and a movie. But at least it’s not a reality show, so there’s that to be grateful for, if nothing else.
The whole Romeo and Juliet thing, or Hatfield vs. McCoy, or whatever you want to call it, couldn’t be less interesting, and the show is trying way too hard with the deep drama approach, no doubt hoping to say profound things about cultural differences and the difficulties of human/humanoid coexistence, but succeeding only in boring people to death. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen a million times before, and even the characters are nothing but clichés, stereotypes, or pale copies of earlier (and better) originals – Joshua being the charming rogue with a past, Cersei Stahma Tarr doing a tiresome Lady Macbeth routine, etc., etc.
Drama works only if you make it interesting (think the early seasons of Battlestar Galactica or Lost), and that isn’t happening here, at least not yet. The scope is too limited, and the ingredients are too lame and too clichéd. And the result so far has been a big fat zero as far as entertainment value goes. If this keeps up, I’ll quit watching.
Not even the descent into old St. Louis offered anything of interest, which is almost an achievement in itself. And please skip the whole crappy-music-running-over-the-final-scenes thing – that is probably the biggest cliché of them all.
Ok, so now Pierce is back again, having all of two or three lines to deliver, and… whatever, I don’t really care anymore. Since there are only 13 episodes in this season, and since most of them had been filmed before the departure of Chevy Chase, and since the episodes are not aired in the order they were produced, it looks like Pierce will be absent from only one or two.
Anyway, Troy wants to break up with Britta, but at first he doesn’t have the guts to do it to her face, so he enlists Abed’s help in a body-switching routine that I grew tired of after about five minutes. This was mostly because it wasn’t a genuine Troy-and-Abed thing, which made it seem wrong from the get-go. And the two aren’t even particularly good, pretending to be each other, but since it’s just a bit and not actual body-switching, I guess that’s ok. Although I don’t know why Troy would think that Abed looks and sounds like a creepy feminine robot with dead, staring eyes. The Winger speech made no sense at all this time, but at least it was mercifully short.
Now that Troy is free again, there might be a slim sliver of a chance that the old Troy-and-Abed dynamic could return (in the two remaining episodes), but I can’t really get excited about that since a) I know it won’t happen, and b) it feels like the show is just treading water before the inevitable end (especially since the group is about to graduate anyway).
So that’s that.
It gets even creepier after this
Sheldon has somehow missed that Alphas was cancelled, Leonard tries and fails to get Penny interested in Buffy, and Raj discovers Lucy’s blog, in which she refers to him as being feminine. This was one of the better episodes of the season, and all the storylines worked well. At the same time, it wouldn’t be a Big Bang Theory episode nowadays without at least one finger poked in the eye of real geeks, and this time it comes in the form of Leonard’s comments about the SyFy Channel. “If they didn’t want to get yelled at by crazy nerds, they shouldn’t have started a sci-fi channel.” Original, that.
Anyway, Amy decides on a course of behavioral therapy for Sheldon to deal with what she sees as his compulsive need for closure. In this, she’s a bit optimistic, first of all because it’s Sheldon we’re talking about here, and secondly because the exercises are done in one evening. I’m no neuroscientist, but I suspect it takes a bit longer than that before positive results can be expected. In any case, it’s a good thing the retraining of Sheldon’s neural pathways didn’t take – Sheldon wouldn’t be Sheldon if he weren’t Sheldon. And the show has already come dangerously close to ruining that.
Penny is becoming more and more disconnected from the rest of the group, and her sudden quest to find something to be passionate about was also a bit of a dud, to say the least. Also, I thought she was supposed to be reluctant about being in a relationship with Leonard, so what happened with that? But I’ve probably missed something in earlier episodes. I tend to nod off every time the Leonard/Penny soap opera is spinning, usually because it takes too long before the next scene with Sheldon begins.
The Raj and Lucy thing, on the other hand, is something I wouldn’t mind seeing more of – at least the way it stands now, before it too is inevitably ruined somehow.
The curse of the voodoo music box had struck again
This episode is the first in a long time to really focus on the relationship between Castle and Beckett, and as a consequence it mostly sucks. Castle is gaming and Beckett is horny – bad combination. And because Castle didn’t immediately drop everything and come running like a drooling dog when Beckett crooks her little finger… well, we all know how this goes.
There has been a murder at a snooty restaurant, but it looks like the wrong guy was killed, and the intended victim appears to have been celebrated billionaire inventor Eric Vaughn instead (except there are twists to come). This guy is basically Superman and Leonardo da Vinci in one package (except not gay), and everyone, including Castle, is swooning over him like teenage girls clutching their Justin Bieber pillows. For a moment there, I was afraid this episode might be Castle‘s take on shitbag Gordon Ramsey, since there’s some ranting psycho chef screaming at his staff in the opening scene, but thankfully that turned out not to be the case. With hindsight, it might have been better though.
Witnesses are interviewed, and us usual they all have flawless total recall, knowing to the smallest detail exactly what they were doing and where they were standing and what was going on at precise moments in time: “Yes, detective, the time was 17 seconds past 20:34, and I was standing two feet to the left of the second dishwasher by the north wall, and I had just peeled my 23rd potato for the evening…” Turns out one witness was lying, but that’s beside the point – these super-witnesses can be found on every cop show, and they never hesitate, they never forget anything, and they have perfect memory for detail. If someone asked me where I was at a specific time a few days ago, I wouldn’t have a clue. I would draw a complete blank. And trying to describe what a suspect looks like? Forget it, I couldn’t even describe myself to a sketch artist.
And then there’s Eric Vaughn. Castle quickly gets disillusioned about his hero once Vaughn inevitably starts sniffing around Beckett. Vaughn turns out to be a smarmy dickbag with a pathetic seduction routine so obvious that all that’s missing is a troupe of dancing chorus girls followed by a parade of elephants. And Beckett responds to it, and Castle is jealous, and I’m fast asleep at this point. Also, Lanie has suddenly turned into the most shallow woman on the face of the planet, but then she has never been anything more than a walking stereotype anyway, so I can’t say I’m surprised. What is surprising is that the whole Vaughn and Beckett thing is apparently being played straight like high drama, and the audience is supposed to view Vaughn with sympathy. Good grief.
All I can say at this point is: No more relationship episodes, please. But since there’s bound to be a lot more, I will say this instead: At least try to come up with something a bit more original in the future. I lack the words to say how sick and tired I am of the same old routine that I’ve been forced to watch a gazillion times before: Girl is angry, boy jumps through hoops for a while, girl forgives boy, rinse and repeat. This formula never changes. It’s always the guy who’s in trouble, and it’s always the guy who has to buy the girl’s continued favours with grand gestures, usually for no other reason than that this is how it… must… be. And I just could not care less if there’s trouble in paradise or not, and if Castle and Beckett will stay together or not. I don’t give a shit. So here’s an idea: What if Castle and Beckett are comfortable together the way they are and the show would focus on other things instead? I know this is such a revolutionary and earthshattering concept to some people that their little heads would implode if they tried to grasp it, but it would make a good show even better – which is why it will never happen. Instead, there’ll be more of the constant mewling about how hard it is to be in a relationship and ooh-is-she-leaving-me and ooh-he-doesn’t-care-about-me, and… fuck it, I give up. I was afraid the relationship shit would ruin Castle, and now it’s happening. Again.
As an aside, Castle’s LSL (Last Supper List) needs some serious work. What, for example, are things like Lennon and Sinatra doing on it? And a sadistic little shitstain like Ian Fleming is not much better. Disappointing, yet again.
This was my reaction, too, when I saw where this episode was going