Well, the week started out with us joining our friends Eric and Rachel for a Moulin Rouge singalong at the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s what it sounds like: a theater full of folks singing along to the songs as the movie plays on the big screen. Moulin Rouge – I’ve often called it one of my favorite movies and, in fact, it was the very first DVD that I ever bought. I was 19 when I first saw it, as I was dating a cinema projectionist and she introduced me to it. It was at a time when I had young, foolish, perhaps even irresponsible notions about “love” – not unlike Christian in the film. It became our movie and the songs became our songs. Eventually, the relationship ended, as unions at that age are wont to do. I didn’t revisit Moulin Rouge because I felt that chapter was closed. Sure, Eric and I would sing “Come What May”, alternating between the male and female parts, but I wouldn’t watch the movie. Still, one thing about it has stayed with me through all these years: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” That’s a powerful message and it’s not as easy as it sounds. I know I still have trouble being loved, but it’s something I’m working to be OK with. Wow, this got deeper than the stuff you’re used to getting in these weekly posts. Anyway, it’s such a heavyhanded farce (Christian & Satine = Christian & Satan), but I was surprised to see how well the movie has held up all these years later. Oh well, now let’s talk about the Netflix stuff I watched.
Tom Papa: Freaked Out – I never watched when he hosted The Marriage Ref, but I came to like Papa’s work via his Sirius/XM show, Come To Papa. This was a really funny special, as he described his family life and why the Asian grocery store scares him. I also liked that it had a 70s aesthetic, like a Flip Wilson special or something – which is really funny, considering Rob Zombie produced it.
Ron White: A Little Unprofessional – By far my favorite of the Blue Collar Comedy guys, this wasn’t his best work, but it still had its moments. He seems to be a fan of saying “This ain’t gonna suck itself.” He explained that phrase is the reason he does everything his wife tells him to do.
Brian Posehn: The Fartist – funny special, as he deals with becoming a father and a responsible adult. I kinda wish he’d mentioned that he co-writes Deadpool, but I don’t really know how he would’ve snuck that into the set.
Bob Saget: That’s What I’m Talkin’ About – TERRIBLE. This was my first Netflix 1-Star rating. He was just scattered, and he spent too much time either namedropping Full House or doing really lazy crowdwork. He closed out his set with some really bad songs he had written. I knew he could be inappropriate, but he’s usually funny while being that way. There was NOTHING funny about this special.
30 for 30: The Price of Gold – As I was raised by women, I grew up in a figure skating household. No, we didn’t skate, but we watched ALL the competitions. So, I was right in the thick of the whole Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan thing when it happened. To my recollection, I don’t think we were on either side of the debate. While Tonya was clearly white trash, Nancy had this uppity air about her that kinda made it seem like she got what she had coming to her. Once Oksana Baiul emerged as the winner in Lillehammer, I think my family gravitated to her and her sob story. In any case, this was an interesting documentary, as it really makes you feel for Tonya. Part of this is because Nancy refused to be interviewed, but it’s greatly skewed towards being The Tonya Harding Story. We learn about her abusive mom, her abusive ex-husband, and how she really couldn’t support herself after being banned from the sport. She maintains that she didn’t have anything to do with the planning of the attack, even though she pled guilty to not reporting what she knew after the fact. Ya know, I kinda believe her. The attack was so sloppily planned, and they were hardly criminal masterminds, so I find it hard to believe she would have gotten away with it had she known about it from the start. Anyway, it’s worth watching even if you just had a passing interest in the controversy. By the way, am the only one who thinks young Tonya looked like Shawn Michaels?
The Americans returned on FX a few nights ago. I remember writing about how much I enjoyed it, and then I just kinda forgot it existed. There were just too many shows to watch, and it didn’t make the cut. I’ve heard from some folks that it got even better, so now I’m thinking I need to catch up. Besides the quality, it’s also a bit risque as I heard this week’s season premiere included what the French call a “soixante-neuf”. Everyone to Google Translate!
Did y’all know that CeeLo’s gone from The Voice for good? I thought they were gonna alternate judges like they’d been doing, but he announced he’s not coming back. I dropped that show after season 2 ’cause those winners weren’t going anywhere, but I certainly enjoyed his antics. It’s not clear whether or not Usher will be his permanent replacement, but I hope not. That chair needs someone flamboyant in it. Maybe Gaga?
If you’ve been following my Arsenio Watch, you’ll be surprised to hear that he’s been renewed for a second season. I know I was! According to my mom, his show got better. I couldn’t make it through that first week. So, if you enjoy watching the same late night programming as a 75 year old woman, The Arsenio Hall Show‘s for you!
Who knew Wayne Brady could freestyle?
Links I Loved
Thoughts on the Olympics – Musical Wanderer
Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life – Vulture
Free Falling: The Sad, Strange Career of Former WWE Champion Ric Flair – Bleacher Report
5 Things You Never Say to a WWE Fan – UnderScoopFire!
Flame Off: The Case Against Black Johnny Storm – Snoopy Jenkins
Ageless Pharrell Swears He’s Not a Vampire – CNN Entertainment
In Case You Missed It This Week
While he probably should have gotten this last week, I wanted him to get some shows under his belt so we could see how he did. Jimmy Fallon has now hosted The Tonight Show for a week, and it is clearly his show. He doesn’t seem to be worried about what Jay did or what Johnny did – Hell, even what Conan did. He had a successful formula when he hosted Late Night, and he brought it, as well as The Roots, with him to the earlier timeslot. One of the things I love about Fallon is that he has always catered to social media. Unlike shows that you might watch in full, his version of The Tonight Show can be consumed in bits and pieces. This format has helped him, as it seems one skit per night has gone viral the next day. Whether it’s charades, The History of Hip Hop Dance, or this:
Fallon is clearly the late night host for a new generation. So, for bringing The Tonight Show into the 21st century, and for having a great first week of shows, Jimmy Fallon had the West Week Ever.