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More Broad City Please

Broad City

Last year, one of the best shows in television came into my life: Broad City. The story of 2 real, funny, clever, reckless girlfriends, Broad City is a show that the 20-40 year old female demographic desperately needed. Watching the New York-based adventures of Abbi and Ilana as they cause chaos among the coworkers, attempt to score weed and men, while maintaining the realest friendship on TV makes me and every woman I know so hopeful, nostalgic, emboldened, and excited. It’s not often that we’re allowed to see women be goofy and sex positive. It’s even more rare to see 2 women on TV not destroy each other over men or even constantly talking about their men.

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Abbi likes her neighbor Jeremy but it isn’t all she talks about. She has a job as a janitor at a gym. She is a career woman who wants to move up the rankings and become one of the trainers. Her self-involved, meathead of a boss constantly taunts and tests Abbi, but she is resilient and always comes through for him no matter how much he chooses to ignore her desires for a promotion and her career goals. Abbi is all of us. She also had one of the funniest moments in TV during the early parts of the second season when during a massive heatwave she found herself in an apartment with air conditioning…alone. She mimed out Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” as she sauntered through that cozy apartment reminding us all that it’s the little things like air conditioning in the middle of a New York heatwave that need to celebrated with the best pop song performances.

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Meet Ilana. She is Abbi’s best friend and she does not give a single fuck. She wears what she wants, does what she wants, and commands the hell out of a room. She’s like Lucille Ball on LSD and she is the such a master of absurd physical comedy. She has a job (barely) as a telemarketer and when she does manage to show up, she shows UP. Her boss is on the verge of a nervous breakdown when she’s in the building and her coworkers are not her biggest fans but everyone loves Ilana despite her lack of expected social responsibility. She is ride or die for her bestie Abbi even in the midst of going into anaphylactic shock over a shellfish allergy or doing a passport job of babysitting Abbi after a dental procedure. Besides her devotion to Abbi, my favorite thing about Ilana is the way she handles her sexual relationship with her dentist homie/lover/friend, Lincoln played with straightman coolness by the increasingly popular and very funny comedian Hannibal Buress. She is not looking for anything serious though it is obvious that Lincoln would wife her up in a heartbeat. As much as Ilana plays around, she doesn’t actually use this knowledge against him. It is what is.

Though the show is a bit wacky and grounded just outside of reality, it is so nice to see women perform antics like this on TV. The girls don’t hit us over the head with any abrupt feminism reference, or are forward about their feminist objectives like Lena Dunham’s Girls, but they still manage to embody the feminism spirit that so desperately need to be shared on any network but especially the male-dominated sphere of Comedy Central. It should go without saying that women are funny, but let it be known that our humor is not just Sex in the City or Girls, we have some Broad City in us as well. Thanks Abbi and Ilana.

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So Excited for Top Five!

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I’ve been a Chris Rock fan since I was a young teen. The scream cadence and repetition of his all-too-familiar voice has always brought me laughs. I can remember going to the theater to see “Head of State” and his other various films on the day of their release and tomorrow will be no different. My excitement has only increased after reading a string of press interviews Rock has done over the last 2 weeks.

Here are a few unforgettable and poignant Rock quotes:

“I’ve got artsy taste, which is great and not great at the same time. I’d rather work with Wes Anderson, but I don’t look like Owen Wilson. I’d love to work with Alexander Payne and Richard Linklater. But they don’t really do those movies with black people that much.” —Rolling Stone

“There are almost no black women in film. You can go to whole movies and not see one black woman. They’ll throw a black guy a bone. OK, here’s a black guy. But is there a single black woman in Interstellar? Or Gone Girl? Birdman? The Purge? Neighbors? … I go to the movies almost every week, and I can go a month and not see a black woman having an actual speaking part in a movie.” —The Hollywood Reporter

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“I don’t want to [act] in anything that [takes place] before the Jackson 5. Anything before them is just black misery. Everything before the Jackson 5 is essentially slavery, or close to it. So as far as I’m concerned, Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie ended slavery.” —Rolling Stone

I wish he’d write another memoir or a political humor book, like Bill Maher. His last book, “Rock This!” was written in the late ’90s.I don’t always agree with everything he says but his thought process and the way he breaks down ideas is bar none. Warm it up, Chris!


Check out “Top Five” in theaters tomorrow!

“30 Minutes or Less”: YES PLEASE!

Since I first heard the casting news late last year, I have been over the moon with excitement about “30 Minutes or Less”. Coupling my absolute favorite funnyguy/writer Danny McBride with Jesse Eisenberg (nerdswoon!) and Aziz Ansari is inspired casting at its best.

The premise: A pizza delivery guy is forced to rob a bank by hillbillies who need the money to hire a hit-man to kill their father for their inheritance. That big mouthful of plot sounds like an amazing set up for big laughs at every corner. I’ve already watched the trailer 9 billion times and I shall watch it a few more times as I impatiently wait for its August 12th release date.I love you McBride!

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Here’s a pic from the heavily anticipated sequel to “The Hangover”. I can’t imagine what kind of skullduggery is going on in this picture but the fact that the monkey is wearing a vest means I’ll wind up watching this movie a minimum of twice when it hits theaters. Cheers!

Here’s a blurb about “The Hangover 2” that I copy-pasted from Yahoo! movies for your pleasure:

Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.

Zombieland is #1, thank you America

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Just as I had given up all hope that Hollywood would ever produce another original movie in walks “Zombieland”. The buzz was small but impressive, and as I arrived at the theater my excitement became wiley. After the audience did a thorough job at laughing at the extended New Moon trailer, the movie started off with a cinematic bang and I barely had time to catch my breath.

A beautiful slow motion action sequence bled into the introduction of the narrator, played to perfection by Jesse Eisenberg. One can almost always expect to be slightly mocked by movie narration. Most writers can’t figure out how to use this plot device to explain their story to the audience without making them feel like they are dumbasses but that is where Zombieland differs. The writing is modern, witty, sharp and accessible. After spending some alone time we make our way over to meet Woody Harrelson’s character, “Tallahassee” and then the real fun begins.

A friendship is created amidst the post apocalyptic world these unlikely chums are forced to inhabit, where a deadly disease is turning everyone into the flesh eating undead. There are certain rules you must always follow in order to survive and sometimes you may be forced to break a few.ZOMBIELAND

Harrelson demonstrates the lunatic charm we all love to see from him. While Eisenberg usurps Michael Cera’s every nerd crown and succeeds in places where Cera has never been cuz remember that Eisenberg was on the scene first. The zombie journey continues and we are introduced to a pair of ass kicking sisters, played by Emma Stone (Superbad) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)  hellbent on familial survival. The story takes a shift at this point but t’s not for the worse. Twists, turns and a brilliant cameo ensue and I left that theater with a giant smile on my undead face.

I can confidently say that Zombieland is now my favorite movie of 2009 so far. Beautifully shot, written and acted, I was so overwhelmingly entertained that it was jarring. I suggest that if you are heading out to the cinema that you give this movie your box office dollar. You will not regret it.

Ryan Reynolds+SNL

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Ryan Reynolds is hosting Saturday Night Live later on tonight and I can’t wait to give them my viewership. Unlike  last Saturday’s hopeless Megan Fox led episode this one will be funny. Doesn’t hurt that we get to stare at Ryan for an hour and a half.  And then there’s this:

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Lady Gaga, icon, chanteuse, and fashionable weirdo, is the musical guest and that translates to a very unboring episode of late night sketch comedy. How will she followup the VMA’s ? Singing “Paparazzi” from a vat of petroleum jelly while wearing red long johns with a missing ass perhaps? What will Samberg do? Possibilities are endless. Thanks Gaga.

Happy Birthday Dave Chappelle!!

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36 years ago today a little tike was born that would later grow up to become one of the funniest comedians of my generation. His name was David Khari Webber Chappelle or Dave Chappelle to his adoring public. For over a decade Chappelle has warmed the hearts and shook the guts of the world with his ability to make people laugh by way of parody and observation.

Today, let us celebrate a comedian who’s groundbreaking cult classic “Chappelle’s Show”  gave insight into a culture that is often misunderstood and stereotyped to death. From the classic “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” to his turn as a serious actor in “Half Baked”, Chappelle never fails to entertain. While he has been in remission for a few years gaining back the peace of mind that instant fame can devoid you of, he has remained in the heart of all who adore him. Happy birthday Mr. Chappelle and we can’t wait for your inevitable comeback.

Danny McBride is in Ireland, I send my love from afar.

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A few of my favorite actors of all time are all in Belfast right now doing principle production for the upcoming David Gordon Green helmed comedy, “Your Highness”.

Principal Photography on ‘Your Highness’, directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), is due to commence on Monday 20th July on location in Northern Ireland and the Paint Hall Belfast.

The fantasy film which is written by Danny McBride and Ben Best will be produced by Scott Stuber through his Universal-based company Stuber Productions. Mark Huffam from NI production company Generator Entertainment will executive produce with Stuber’s Jon Mone and Danny McBride.

The shoot will last for 3 months and Director of Photography Tim Orr (David Gordon Green’s go to lense man), Production Designer is Mark Tildsley (28 Days Later, The Constant Gardener).

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The film is about an arrogant, lazy prince (my dearest McBride) and his hero brother who must complete a quest in order to save their father’s kingdom. The cast features an award winning lineup including Natalie Portman (The Other Boleyn Girl, Star Wars), Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer), Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, EastBound and Down) and James Franco (Spider Man 3, Pineapple Express).

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The film is expected to infuse as much as £10 million into the economy, employing hundreds of cast, crew and extras from Northern Ireland.

So not only is McBride curing the world with his glorious comedy, he is poised to save the Irish economy.Well him and a few others..but let’s not argue semantics. Either way with the late addition of the “quirky” Zooey Deschanel, I’m assured that “Your Highness” will be yet another top notch comedy featruing Mr. McBride and company. Now if I could only teleport to a certain shooting location in Ireland, I’d be a very happy Danger Bowie.

Eastbound and Down is my gravitas.

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Witness the fall from grace of baseball superstar pitcher, Kenny Powers on “Eastbound and Down”. The 2 disc DVD made it’s way to stores on June 30th and it is all that I could hope for. As one of the biggest champions of Danny McBride, I urge you to get on board because he is so worth it. I foresee a Hollywood future with McBride’s mug all over the place, with his devil may care sexiness, penchant for southern quips and eloquent comedic execution.

Now for a little background on this HBO series. The episodes are continuations of each other so they are best viewed as a long 3 hour movie, and you will not be disappointed. The dark comedy was written by Danny McBride, Ben Best and Jody Hill, the trio from the dirty south that brought us “FootFist Way”,so expect a lot of darkness and a lot of raunchy goodness.

“Kenny Powers”, beautifully played by a mulleted McBride, becomes a 19 year old superstar pitcher in baseball, years pass and time is unkind. His arrogance, ruthless behavior, and  hate filled demeanor are the nail in his coffin when he slowly begins to lose his pitching arm. After jumping from team to team he finds himself out of work, broke, drug addicted, and completely burned out. He is forced to return to his podunk hometown, where he rooms with his brother and his family. He takes a job at a local middle school as a P.E coach and runs into his former flame played by the fierce Katy Mixon. Slight problem, she is now engaged to the principal of the school and Kenny is not taking no for an answer. He trips over himself as he throws all his sexiness into the pursuit of her love.

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Over the course of the 6 “chapters” or episodes, we watch Kenny decimate all the relationships around him while the supporting cast tugs on your heart strings with their sympathetic nature and goodwill. Katy Mixon is all moxy and sass as “April”, Kenny’s former high school sweetheart. Without the supporting cast coming through with just the right amount of self respect sand sympathy,  Kenny would be an asshole surrounded by a bunch of enablers.

I think one of the best parts of the show is how unbelievably quotable each episode can be. Kenny says the absolute wrongest things to everyone he comes in contact with. Without spoilers, I can only mention his “on the reg” speech to the principal but it is improvised to perfection in the hands of McBride. He calls his portly blond nephew, “blond ambition tour” and I cried with laughter. While Eastbound is not riddled with pop culture references the little bits he throws out are fantastic.

eastbound.embedded.prod_affiliate.56Kenny will do the worst things and you will hate yourself for laughing as he blazes hate trails all around his hometown but McBride plays him with such panache and bravado that you slowly start to forgive him and his vast shortcomings. The second best part of  “Eastbound..” are the guest stars. Expect great moments from Craig Robinson and Adam Scott, but it is Will Ferrell as “Ashley Schaffer” owner of Ashley Schaffer BMW who will affect you the most. His awkward white wig and his penchant for close talking will make you chuckle and get you nervous.

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Kenny on his jetski (pictured above) should get it’s own spin off show, it’s so good. Don’t short yourself by skipping over the special features on disc 2. The gag reel and Kenny Powers motivational video are definitely among the highlights. The show has been renewed for another season but McBride has 5 films in development at the moment so there’s no telling when he’ll get the chance to sit down and write a follow up season to this HBO magnum opus. Three cheers for my favoritest guy of all time, Mr. McBride.

It’s Always “Funny” in Philadelphia

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I am irritating any person I come in  contact with about how insanely, ridiculously, gut wrenchingly hilarious “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” truly  is. Unfortunately for me, I only discovered it 2 weeks ago. After my regular season shows finished for the summer, I was left with nothing but time to start up a new batch of tv shows to get addicted to.  I bought “Eastbound and Down” and proceeded to watch all 6 episodes 5 times. Then there’s my weekly batch of “Weeds”  and “Nurse Jackie” . While these shows are amazing, there’s still something missing. So I turned my viewing hands over to the Netflix gods and their star rating system and lo and behold, Mr. Netflix tells me I will probably enjoy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

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They couldn’t have been more right. This show about 3 guys and a girl who run an unsuccessful bar in Philadelphia is the funniest scripted show on television that no one watches. I know they said that about “Arrested Development “and I will be burned at the stake for saying this but fuck that, it’s my blog, this show is funnier, in MY opinion. The characters Charlie, Dee, Mac, Dennis and Frank are all self obsessed, moraslly reprehensible and nihilistic and  deeply disturbed in a humorous way, if that’s possible. It puts me in the mind of “Eastbound and Down” in the sense that they do and say whatever comes to mind without apology. A show about 5 anti-heroes who somehow get you to care about them.

The show is most often called Seinfeld on PCP, because it is a show about nothing, but I’d liken it more to a live action cartoon, like “Family Guy” or South Park”. The characters come to the verge of death quite often but in the end life is preserved for one more day. Like cartoons, the shows are all stand alone and there are only a handful of side characters that show up randomly throughout the seasons. Imagine,5 people being egotistical jackasses and  yet it never gets old. Among the topics already covered in previous seasons: abortion, gun control, welfare, terrorism, slavery, incest, pedophilia, racism, mental illness and Nazism.

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Filled to the brim with pop culture references and an amateur professional feel, I can’t help but wish I had written the whole thing. It is a scripted comedy but the actors are so amazing that it seems improvised. 5 main characters and I can’t say which is my favorite because they are all that good. If you haven’t watched this show, I understand, it’s on FX and as a cableless poor person, I had to go the netflix/torrent way to get caught up before Season 5 begins in September. If you have an alternative sense of humor then please watch this show, you will not be disappointed. We are living in the age of the anti hero and I can’t  wait to see what they’ll come up with next. I hope my nonsensical rantings have peaked your interest, or at the very least persuaded you to get on board. Rest assured I will strap myself to the front door of FX  dressed as “Nightman” if they ever decide to cancel this show.