Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, or you just don’t follow sports(in which case you may deserve to live under a rock) you probably heard about the catastrophic, unbelievable, too farfetched to be a movie, collapse the Toronto Maple Leafs gave up against the Boston Bruins in April of 2013. Before I get into it, we have to understand just how brutal the defeat was. Unfortunately, I rewatched the above highlights prior to writing this, and if this was Dragon Ball Z, my pure rage would allow me to become a Super Saiyan(sorry for this reference). But the main purpose of this post is to talk about what happens to the audience when our expectations are not met.
It feels weird actively staying up to watch The Tonight Show. Are you doing this too now because of Jimmy? Jimmy is doing so, so well on The Tonight Show – so well that I’m going out of my way to watch the full show live. I never did that with Late Night, so I don’t know why, because he’s just as good here as he was there, but regardless, I like it. Last night was the premiere of Late Night with Seth Meyers. Did you watch?
It was….okay. It was very much a First Show and for a first show, it was fine, but there is a lot to be worked on, like that f-cking set. This budget desk + two chairs combo they bought at Business Depot 3 days before the show aired needs to go. Fred Armisen’s band stage looks like he might fall through it, and the background is a bit much color wise. As for Seth? He was so nervous, you could tell, but he did well enough. I don’t think the material was as strong as it should have been – I remember only a handful of the jokes and even then, they weren’t knockouts. But when Amy Poehler is your first guest, you really don’t need to do much work. Amy is the best guest a talk show host can have. Have you ever spent your Saturday night in a Tina & Amy YouTube blackhole? It’s the best kind of pre-party. There are too many Amy interviews to link to, but just go and have a field day. It feels weird to say someone is a great guest on a talk show, like when you say a celebrity is “the nicest”, as if they shouldn’t be anything other than nice but you’re still surprised when they are nice. But there are so many celebrities who suck at interviews and ultimately it speaks to their personality. Of course Seth and Amy are friends and it was like eavsdropping on two best friends at a coffee shop talking shit (the bit with Fred is amazing) but again, she’s so damn engaging, funny and smart.
It’s been in the works for a while. Most of the casting has been “rumored” for months and then, yesterday, they decided to spill that Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara are “nearing” deals, while Miles Teller and Jamie Bell are still in talks. Again, we’ve known about these names for their roles for several weeks now, so not a lot of people were *that* surprised. Well…
Not to be racist, but people are still ignorant. This kind of reaction from certain individuals, with, um, certain mindsets, was expected. I feared it was coming. I mean, the internet nearly broke when Ben Affleck was chosen to play Batman. Here’s how I feel about this entire thing: Michael B. Jordan’s casting for this pointless reboot of a franchise that no one cared for to start with, is the only inspired thing about it. It’s smart, it’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s necessary; there are enough white superheroes, thanks very much. As I noted today on Twitter, audiences identify with the character and not the presentation of the character, this kind of inspired casting is more than welcome, it’s needed. What offends me most about this cast is Miles Teller, because to be honest, wake me up when we’re done trying to make him happen.
So now I have to defend this unnecessary Fantastic Four reboot. Why? Because it just made itself important. Because this kind of ignorance will only get louder once the movie goes into production. Because people like to be heard, especially the stupid. This reboot of a failed franchise is now as unnecessary as it is important.
Let’s say it together: Okay byeeeeeeeeee Jay Leno
No disrespect to Jay Leno, but who is going to miss him besides those of middle america who presumably own Big Bang Theory merchandise? No one, is the answer. Bias aside (the bias being my love for Jim Jam Fallon) when it was announced he would be taking over it was the most logical choice: Jimmy is safe, yes, he’s like an adorable puppy, sure, but safe doesn’t have to equate boringness. Jimmy Fallon is safe but he is not boring. Jay Leno was, or had become, boring. Conan O’Brien isn’t Louis C.K but he isn’t as “appealing” as Fallon is, or can be. The Tonight Show is a very broad show. So this transition made sense.
I have this weird thing where I’m happy for people I don’t know. Which, for me, is rare, because I’m rarely happy for the people I do know. Jimmy Fallon has this way of being so endearing that you just want the best for him. Last night was the beginning of the new chapter and it went off without a hitch. The set is spectacular, first off. The Spike Lee directed opening is fantastic. And the show was such a smooth transition. It felt so natural. And this was only the first episode. Imagine how much more at home he will be in a week, in a month? It’s exciting because, like him or not, Jimmy Fallon is exciting. You can scoff at the “viralness” of his sketches, but when he does a sketch with a celebrity, the next day it is making waves, and in the best way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he has the most fun, always, and he wants you to as well.
My favourite bit of the night? Of course it was the parade of celebrities. The more I watch it, the weirder it gets because none of these people match. Not one. Not one person there matches, except for like, Tina and Tracy and Lindsay and….Mike Tyson, but that’s it. Imagine the conversation backstage? Imagine setting up who goes out when? This is why I love live TV because these questions are actually asked. Also: I know Tina would hate that this is being brought up, but she’s been looking like a REAL BABE lately. And Colbert just kills it.
Disclaimer: I like Melissa McCarthy. She may not have fulfilled the potential set-out by her amazing performance in Bridesmaids, but I like her. The Heat is really good and she’s really good in it and was the best part of This Is 40 and made me laugh, like, once, in Identity Thief which I still haven’t forgiven her for. So I like her. I do, but… this new trailer for Tammy, the movie she and her husband wrote (and he, Ben Falcone, directed) isn’t encouraging.
Before Bridesmaids (which, let me make clear, she is brilliant in and deserved that Oscar nomination) Melissa McCarthy did a lot of small, quirky parts. To a lot of you, she is best known for her role on Gilmore Girls. To the other 5 people, myself included, you remember her time on Samantha Who? (take a moment to bow you heads and remember Samantha Who?). On either show she played to aspects of her comedy we’ve come to enjoy (or be annoyed by) but it was way more subtle. I assume she plays the same type of “normal” on Mike & Molly but I won’t watch that until it becomes The Melissa McCarthy Show it should have been from the beginning (or, just, Molly).
I’m not disqualifying her talent, there are others on the internet who would love to do so. It’s that Tammy does not show me anything else, anything new, it’s just another variation of one of her sketch characters we’ve seen when she hosts Saturday Night Live (which, by the way, her most recent hosting job was subpar). But it clicks. The general audiences LOVE this shit. This is why Identity Thief did so, so well. The Heat too but that is a good movie. Maybe I’m jaded because I assumed Tammy wouldn’t be this kind of movie, I thought, with her writing, it would be a bit more grounded. Granted, I’m judging from a 2 minute teaser trailer that is just from one scene (and it did make me laugh) but still, it seems it follows her Psychopath With A Heart of Gold-shtick. She’s more than this. I support her, I love that she is a hugely successful movie star, but if we’re going to shit on, who, Johnny Depp for playing the same character all the time, then she deserves some shit too.
When it was announced that Drake would be hosting Saturday Night Live, I went through the three typical stages that are identified with Saturday Night Live: confusion, hope and concern. I assumed, and hoped, he would follow the Taylor Swift/Bruno Mars and, thankfully, he did. Drake hosted one of the stronger episodes of Saturday Night Live this season and, really, we shouldn’t be that surprised.
For me, it was all in the A-Rod impression during the otherwise mediocre cold open. I mean, A Rod isn’t the easiest character to do right off the bat (pun most definitely intended) but as soon as he started speaking, I was at ease. He was good! Really good! And then he followed it up with that monologue, which was, for me, the best monologue in FOREVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER. Why? Because it was so, so unexpected and original and fun. I loved it. Even when the sketches were shit (the Disney Indiana Jones ride, Nancy Grace and Mornin’ Miami ones were particularly weak) he was still, really really good and committed and just gave himself up to Lorne and the team. How many other celebrities, especially rappers, would do the same? Very few.
The strongest sketches? I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed the Resolution Revolution one. Love it so much, I’ve watched it several times since the episode aired, which is always a good sign. The BET: Before They Were Stars one was uneven, but when it worked (the Rihanna, Lil Wayne impressions were my favourite) it was stellar. And the Slumber Party one is the most notable, at least for me: Drake was strong with his impressions, yes, but his original character work was even better. He was just as good as the cast members in the Slumber Party sketch. And the cosplay moment in the Resolution Revolution sketch kills me every single time.
Guys, I’m just really proud of Drake right now.
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Robert Redford, who can be seen on the cover of the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter wearing you grandmother’s favourite knit blanket, was asked at the opening of Sundance about his feelings on not receiving an Oscar nomination this morning (like, how do you think one is going to respond? “I FEEL GREAT!” said no one). He, graciously, said it’s not bothering him, and wants to focus on Sundance. When pressed, he continued on saying “Hollywood is a business, and it’s a very good one, and I have nothing but respect for that…
we had no campaign to help us cross over into the mainstream.” This statement has some of you up in arms because it comes off as though he is disrespecting the film and everything involved. Is he though?