Monday, July 02, 2007

Be more constructive with your feedback, please

I haven't watched "John from Cincinnati" yet, and may not get to it until tonight (please hold your comments until I do a post), but spoilers for, in order, "Flight of the Conchords," "Entourage" and "The Loop" coming up just as soon as I go to my Nana's for a cup of tea...

The "Rhymenoceros vs. Hiphopopotamus" video was easily my favorite "Flight of the Conchords" moment to date. I've probably watched it a dozen times since I first watched the screener of this episode, and it's likely going to achieve Turk Dancing/"Lazy Sunday"/"Dick in a Box" status where I keep watching the damn thing and quoting it ("They call me the Hiphopopotamus; my lyrics are bottomless...") long after the rest of the world has tired of it. (It's not up on YouTube yet, but you can watch an older concert version that's not nearly as funny; Bret's rapping skills have improved, and the use of synthesized beats instead of acoustic guitars works much better, parody-wise. UPDATE: Still not on YouTube, but HBO.com has it.) Same basic concept as "Lazy Sunday" -- nerdy white guys trying to be hardcore rappers without the lyrics or life experience to back it up -- but executed perfectly. Each time I watch it, I notice new funny things, like Bret's goofy dance while Jemaine is doing his first Hiphopopatmus verse.

And where I felt the first episode was strong on the music and weak on the jokes and the second episode was the opposite, this one was a good melding of the videos and the non-musical script. Loved Murray's fear of New York (and him not realizing that handing out those reflective vests was inspiring all those muggings of New Zealanders), the camera phone, Bret just assuming Jemaine was dead and renting out the apartment, the entire running gag with the murdered monkey, the reveal that Bret was on the double-date with Jemaine and Lenny Venito, more accent humor ("he may be dead" vs. "he maybe did"), Mel getting all worked up over the idea of Jemaine getting raped in prison, pretty much all of it. Next week's show isn't as good (it's basically a rehash of the pilot), but this one gives me hope that this show can be more than just a simple pleasure.

Though I had seen that episode a few times, I felt like I needed to watch it again to cleanse the taste of "Entourage," which did one of their worst episodes ever. The Drama/Turtle storyline exemplified all the worst aspects of the show; like Turtle's that much more of a prize than Colleen Camp? (And was that a fatsuit or has she just put on a lot of weight since the last time I saw her in the mid-'90s?) The Vince plot was yet another boring case of everything working out perfectly for our hero, and while E and Vince disagreeing on the quality of "Medellin" (and based on the editor's comments, I think we're supposed to believe E is right) has some potential, E ain't funny, and never has been. Just a bad, bad half-hour of television.

Finally, we say farewell to "The Loop." Well, sort of. My DVR was misbehaving all night, and the third episode is unwatchably pixellated, so I'll have to track that down by other means. Still, two amusing episodes before that, with Sam again in drag, Darcy perfectly matched with Derek Tricolli (who shouldn't make me laugh and yet does), Meryl molesting a drunken Sam (girl is kinky), the completely random Mark Cuban cameo (and does Cuban really fly coach?), and more. "Reaper" is better, but I'll still miss this silly, crude little show.

What did everybody else think?

24 comments:

Toby said...

Perhaps it's just as well that 'The Loop' is now history; let it go out with its lack of dignity intact before the network suits (may they be nibbled to death by ducks!) diddled with it some more in order to please whosever butt Murdoch has to smooch to buy up more media outlets.

It was a funny show and will have its place in my DVD collection (already have season one).

Should there have been more? I'd say so, but 'Fawlty Towers' went out with 12 episodes and kept its reputation unsullied by going on too long. Maybe in the long run, that's what's best for 'The Loop' as well....

Curious George said...

I actually think the older concert version is funnier, having seen it before this episode. Not sure why.

Homertojeebus said...

Alan,
I barely cracked a smile at 'Entourage', too, and my wife (who is English)was actually offended. Not by the fst girl/rimjob aspests, which I myself thought were too crude and mean-spirited for such a small payoff. No, she is pissed at the lack of verite in the football (sorry, "soccer") scene. Apparently, several of the Manchester United players shown have not been with the team for years, for one. I have to agree with her. Even a soccer-ignorant American like me noted that the exciting "final moments" of that game took place in the 43rd minute!
C'mon, details matter.
I reiterate my displeasure at the Drama/Turtle story. I have no problem with crude humor, but the bar is higher for the funny.
There needs to be way more Ari. I hopre that E is wrong about the movie. The editor's comments notwithstanding, maybe this story is a manifesto about following your vision. Whatever happens, I hope Vince gets back to having lots of $ and being a Hollywood Chauncey Gardner. like so many of his real-life counterparts.

Abbie said...

I agree with Curious George, but I also saw the YouTube concert videos before. I like the rapping with the acoustic guitar- and the "break it down" parts are funnier in the concert version of "Think About It".

But it's only a slight preference. The show is hilarious. It's a really bad idea to watch it when you're sick- I about coughed myself to death within the first few minutes because I was laughing so hard.

I like the interaction with Murray. I'm enjoying that aspect of it. He's slightly different twit than Stephen Merchant on Extras, and it works.

Anonymous said...

The lack of realism in the soccer bet was ludicrous. What, American bookmakers willing to take seven-digit bets on soccer don't know how to look up British lines on the Internet?

And I agree with everything else Alan says. The Drama/Turtle plotline was appalling; Eric isn't funny; it's tiresome that Vince keeps coming up golden when he makes such trainwreck decisions. (Of course, lots of movies get taken by Cannes that end up sucking.)

But the episode was saved by the Ari/Eric scene, where Piven shone. Piven is the only reason I watch the show, and I don't know why I don't just fast-forward past everything else into his scenes.

Curious George said...

To be honest, the words and lyrics of the rap battle were also a bit hard to understand, and I knew what they were from the previous clips.

Anonymous said...

And Colleen Camp has gained weight.

dyb said...

When Collen Camp showed up in this episode, the reaction I expected from Drama was "Hey, you're the realtor who showed me that small apartment four episodes ago, before I bought that condo." Maybe she was a last-second replacement in that episode, or maybe the show's producers are just a little lazy. Can't be the latter. Nah.

SJ said...

The Manchester United/Blackburn match was from a few years ago...in fact the guy who took the penalty left the team about a year ago.

Also, it is hard to believe that Brazil played a match right after the ManUtd/Blackburn match...international matches never usually coincide with club matches.

Sorry, as a soccer fan that just bothered me a bit. Also, the episode sucked.

Marty McKee said...

Colleen Camp has indeed gained quite a bit of weight. I recently saw her in the supplements on the DVD of THE SEDUCTION. A far cry from her SWINGING CHEERLEADERS days, for sure!

Paul said...

Anyone notice who was hanging out with Dennis Hopper? One was Oz's Chuck Zito, who was actually wearing a T-shirt with his own name on the back.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Mickey Jones, the guy who forgot to place the first bet, was also wearing a t-shirt with his own name (and, I think, the name of his website) on it. It's a new frontier: self-product placement.

Alan Sepinwall said...

If you missed it, HBO.com has the episodic version of "Rhymenoceros vs. Hiphopopotamus" up.

Edward Copeland said...

COnchords grows on me more and more with each passing week.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

A show about Dennis Hopper, Chuck Zito, Wojo from "Barney Miller," and Mickey Jones would be orders of magnitude better than Entourage.

Anonymous said...

I felt the opposite about Flight on the Concords. In almost every case the old songs were better in the original context. The rap song is perhaps the worst example and the stand up renditions are much funnier. "Just think about it", which was the best piece of their stand up, was simply awful. There new songs, which are clearly written for the show, are brilliant. This is the first episode to give use two old songs instead of one old and one new, and it showed.

Scott Tobias said...

Another Entourage question: In the history of the Cannes Film Festival, has a film that premiered in competition without a distributor attached ever fetched anywhere close to $25 million? Sony Classics was just ridiculed for picking up James Gray's We Own The Night for $11 million, and of course, Miramax was the butt of many jokes after spending $10 million on The Spitfire Grill at Sundance. But the idea of turning down a $25 million offer in order to fetch more at Cannes-- where bad reviews can be bruising to would-be arthouse fare-- is a fantasy that's far-fetched even for Funtourage.

And yes, that was definitely one of the worst episodes ever. Thank goodness Conchords found its groove so quickly, even though Wes Anderson should be demanding royalties.

Anonymous said...

Just watched Entourage. It really was a weak episode. Lately, though, it feels like the storylines have no momentum at all. They need something significant to happen soon.

As for the movie, like someone else said, getting into Cannes doesn't mean the movie doesn't suck. In fact, Billy Walsh seems to be at least partially based on Vincent Gallo. I wonder if the reaction to Medellin will end up being the same as Brown Bunny.

Ted F. said...

Also, Silverman funded the movie for $30 million. Isn't $25 million from Harvey going to be a financial disaster?

Anthony Foglia said...

After saying last week this week was to have one of my favorite songs "Think About It, Think, Think About It," I gotta say the new version sucked. I realize they were trying to parody more modern 80's/90's message songs, but it really hurt the song. And that's doubly sad because there already was a history of folk message songs, so the only reason to change it is for change's sake. Find the original, if it's not on YouTube, check out WhatTheFolk. (The original cracked me up on Comedy Central's rerun of their One Night Stand earlier in the week.)

Murray's safety tips were hilarious. (paraphasing) "You know how many New Zealanders get murdered in NY? I know. They come to the consulate and I tell them to stick to dark alleys--avoid big crowds."

Mark said...

Quoting an anon: Piven is the only reason I watch the show, and I don't know why I don't just fast-forward past everything else into his scenes.

I totally agree -- and the desire to fast-forward just heightens the impression that "Entourage" has turned into cheap celebrity porn.

jea said...

When I was rewatching Conchords, I noticed that Dave tagged Murray with a paintball. When they're in the police station, Murray's blazer has a big yellow stain on the shoulder. Great show.

anon said...

Anthony Foglia,

I think the YouTube clip of "Think, think about it" is pretty similar to what aired in the show, pace the obvious difference in instruments.

Anon

Anonymous said...

"This is business, it's not like your prom date who's still mad at you for not ****ing her right" is one of the best lines I've heard in a while. But overall I agree that was a pretty weak episode.

Flight of the Conchords is definitely getting better. My first impression was that it would be too offbeat. But I've enjoyed every ep so far.