Monday, March 27, 2006

Ahhh, Brent-ie


I was super-geeked at the prospect of Ricky Gervais both writing and appearing in an episode of "The Simpsons," until I read an article in the newest Entertainment Weekly where he listed his five favorite "Simpsons" episodes ever, none of which would be close to my top five, one of which -- "Homer's Enemy" -- represented everything I came to dislike about the later years.

Thankfully, that article helped me, to quote Tony Soprano's doctor, recalibrate my expectations. I came in expecting another Frank Grimes-esque celebration of Tony at his oafish worst, so the actual episode was a nice surprise. Not top 10, or even top 150, but by the standards of the last few seasons, pretty good.

The best part, by far, was Gervais writing and playing himself as David Brent: the career choice, the awkward flirtation, the inappropriate jokes that require five minutes to explain, etc. Plus, the visit to the Fox lot was pretty funny, especially a Mischa Barton statue that gave a much more convincing performance than the real Mischa ever has.

(By the way, when Paulie Walnuts took one in the walnuts on last night's "Sopranos," was I the only one who instantly thought of "Barney's movie had heart... but 'Football in the Groin' had a football in the groin"? Not just me? Good.)

The only other Sunday TV I finished was "West Wing," which was mostly campaign filler, other than the Toby scenes. My daughter's not a lot younger than Molly, and while I've never violated national security (not that I can think of), the notion of having to be away from Julia for a long period of time hit home for me. Plus, I much prefer Toby's ex-wife when she's not singing in front of burning cars. My prediction for next week, influenced by the least subtle preview reel of all time: Santos wins, but the victory celebration is ruined by the death of Leo.

2 comments:

Tosy And Cosh said...

Agreed that the The Simpsons ep was good not great, but I did very much like that it had a different feel than most Sipsons eps these days. You could definitely hear Gervais' voice coming through, and it was a refreshing change from the kind of "house voice" that's calcified over the years. My assumption is that Gervais wrote the whole thing himself, or at least mostly--as opposed to the writers' team approach the show ususally uses. And if so, I'm very much hoping that they try moe of tehse experiements. Think of some of the great comedy writers writing Simpsons eps! A Steve Martin ep. A Woody Allen ep?! Hell, an Aaron Sorkin ep!

undercover black man said...

There was one gag in it that had me laughing helplessly for a full minute, and laughing out loud whenever I thought of it again in later days. And that was... "Ahh, 40 years of the Family Circus," then it winds up in the fireplace. So funny!

Haven't laughed so hard during a "Simpsons" since Treehouse of Horror XII, when Pierce Brosnan as the computer tries to beat itself to death with a table lamp.