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Posts Tagged ‘Alison Brie’

Punch & Judy

Punch & Judy

Before Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the last time I was this hopelessly addicted to a book was when I read Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan. (Or was it The Ruins? Whichever one of those I read second. Anyway, I found it totally apt that Smith wrote a big juicy blurb for Gone Girl‘s book-jacket.) Flynn’s story starts out like one of those true-crime Lifetime movies, until it gets flipped over and piledriven onto the arena floor. Then just when I thought the damage had been done, this crazy monster got back up and smacked me upside the face with a barbed-wire folding chair again and again and all the while I just kept thinking Keep comin’ at me you diabolical psycho.

There are some cliches here but at least they’re acknowledged. Besides, there are so many unavoidable cliches in the Missing Wife/ Suspected Husband Story (both fiction and non-) that it’s near-impossible to subvert them all in a single book. So of course there’s a very predictable extra-marital affair. Yet for the reasonable price of a few cliches, we don’t just get all that subversion. We’re also treated to pages and pages of vicious musings on marriage, male-female relations, criminal psychology, post-recession America, and the elastic hysteria of Public Opinion. Yes, there are some cliches in that stuff too, but honestly, can we ever have too much Nancy Grace-bashing?

I’m utterly amped for the movie. It might have to be like 80% voice-over, but if anyone can work wonders with wicked voice-over, it’s David “Fight Club” Fincher. Reese Witherspoon will only be producing, not starring, and thank goodness- not because she wouldn’t be perfect in the title role, but because she’d be so obviously perfect. I’m hoping for someone who hasn’t already played this kind of character. Sure, Jessica Chastain; fine, Amy Adams. But if I had the rights to Gone Girl I’d wait about five more years and then cast Alison Brie. (Granted, I kind of wish Alison Brie was in everything.)

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…change is always scary.  But then I thought of you guys, and I wasn’t so scared.  Abed, when you brought this group together, you changed our lives.  But then we changed each other.  And we’re gonna keep changing in unexpected ways.  And we’re still gonna be friends, even if we don’t all become professors at Greendale, or open a restaurant together, or move into the same apartment building after Pierce dies.  And even if we go somewhere, we’re not going anywhere…

Jeff Winger as imagined by Abed Nadir (Joel McHale)

I was trying to hang on to this moment because I was so afraid of the future… but then I realized: all of this was once the future, and it was completely different from what I’d known before. And it was happening so fast. But in the end- or in the now, I guess- it turned out great.

Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi)

The timeline feels a bit dark, and it’s not because the first post-Dan Harmon episode of Community was as disheartening as many TV critics had led me to believe it would be. (It wasn’t.) It’s because so many of those critics who’ve been singing Community‘s praises the past 3 seasons now seem so eager to dump dirt in the show’s open grave and call it a headless zombie.  Even the critics who bestowed lukewarm praise on the first few episodes of Season 4 are moaning that it’s still “not the same show.”

Now I’m no professional TV critic, but I’m no doe-eyed optimist, either.  And I have this theory: If the post-Harmon Community detractors hadn’t read the news that Dan Harmon got fired, they would’ve had no idea Harmon was fired based on the season 4 premiere alone.

Sure, there’s no way I could prove what would’ve happened in such a timeline.  But could any die-hard Community viewer really tell me with a straight face that “History 101” wasn’t Harmon-esque?  (Or, perhaps more importantly, Community-esque?)  For heck’s sake, it had Abed retreating into fantasy worlds within fantasy worlds!

I just have an awful hard time believing that Dan Harmon wouldn’t be proud of “Greendale Babies.”  (Or the wishing fountain, or Jeff & the Dean’s tango, or Blind/Blonde.)  That is, if he’s not still bitter about the whole Community thing.  Of course I wouldn’t blame him if he were still bitter.  A lot of those saddened TV critics, however, seem to be holding onto some odd grudge against Community for continuing without Harmon.  And as a result, they’re looking a lot like Abed, retreating into a fantasy world where Community starts sucking, because maybe that’s the narrative they’d prefer to believe.

Then again, that could very well be the narrative I’d prefer they prefer to believe. But I’ve watched “History 101” twice now, and I’ll probably watch it once or twice more before the next episode of post-Harmon Community. It’s that good.

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Was this week’s Mad Men a turning point in Pete Campbell’s life?  Will the loosely-based-on-Pete story being written by Ken Cosgrove/Ben Hargrove/Dave Algonquin end in redemption or misery?  Don Draper seems to think Pete’s redeemable, but who knows at this point?  What I do know is that Vincent Kartheiser killed it in this episode.  He brought Pete’s worminess to a whole new level, especially in that scene up there with the hooker.  And yet he still makes me feel a tinge of sympathy for that worm.  His eyes have this profound, pathetic sadness that tell me Pete Campbell wishes he wasn’t such a worm, and wishes he could be happy with a wife as hot as Alison Brie back at his safe suburban home in Cos Cob, Connecticut.  I mean, if an actor can me make me feel sympathy for his wormy character as he enviously watches a high school girl get fingered during Driver’s Ed, then he’s doing something seriously right.

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Usually when they say someone “wants to have it both ways,” they say it like it’s a bad thing.  You want it both ways, they usually say, but you can’t have it both ways!  Like you could say that about this clip here This clip wants to be a savage spoof of sexed-up Christmas songs and yet it shamelessly sexualizes Alison Brie!  You could say that…but have you ever considered that perhaps we sexualize Alison Brie slightly less than we could?  She is a gorgeous and hilarious woman.  We should sexualize her, and we do, but only to a modest degree, which is good.  I’m pretty sure there are zero humans out there who are sick to death of seeing Alison Brie’s sex appeal, and we should strive to keep it that way.  If we make just one human being sick to death of something as wonderful as Alison Brie’s sex appeal, we’ve done something terribly wrong.

Fortunately, this video does not push Alison Brie past what Jeff Winger calls “the point of diminishing returns on the sexiness.”  (Ultimately, the man himself couldn’t resist her song.)  So if Community wants to “have it both ways” by savagely spoofing sexy Christmas songs while at the same time shamelessly sexualizing Alison Brie, but in a tasteful way, like you could probably watch it with your grandma and not feel mortified, then Merry Goddamn Christmas, Community- have it both ways! You’ve been awful good this year.

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