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Film

Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

SURPRISINGLY GOOD. Slick, sleek, and gorgeous, although the third act gets wobbly and the film kind of forgets that Gaby is amazing. (And she is.) But that scene where Gaby and Illya go from hating each other to almost making out? Is so perfect. Lots of fun and nothing that made me want to rip my teeth out.

Television

Hannibal, “...And The Beast From The Sea”

Molly escaping Dolarhyde: SO TENSE, SO WELL ACTED. I mean, I know Nina Arianda is a very good actress and that her chemistry with Dancy is off the charts (they were in a production of Venus in Fur together), but SHE IS SO GREAT. And that hospital scene is also SO GREAT. Ugh, everything is going to hell and Hannibal is doing everything he can to sow chaos and fuck up Will enough so that he’ll come back to him.

Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/The Dirt Band”

Jane Curtin as a distaff Fenstrunk is delightful and I never thought I’d love the Coneheads so much. Also, the Dirt Band is compromised of wizards.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Fanfiction

(Hannibal, Hannibal/Will) “every color at hand” by Randstad

Is this a perfect fic? It might be a perfect fic. Perfectly echoes season one mindfuckery. I don’t want to say anything more.

(Hannibal, gen) “I am a Good Dog” by hershpa

Tragic fic from Winston’s perspective with nothing bad happening to the dogs. Except the people sausage.

Fanvid

(Hannibal, gen) “aruba” by CaptainBanshee

Hee hee.

(Hannibal, Hannibal/Will) “Silver Linings Playbook - Hannibal Parody Trailer

Brilliantly done and edited; I really like how it just borrows beats from the original trailer, because there’s plenty of suitable material in the show.

Film

Ella Enchanted (2004)

“Is that… a purposefully cultivated neckbeard?” Also: keep your eyes peeled for Hugh Dancy’s facial hair, which cannot be tamed through conventional means.

Television

Hannibal, “And The Woman Clothed With the Sun…”

OH, GOD, THIS SHOW. Molly and Will’s phone call (complete with +2 dogs). Dolarhyde’s new amazing friend (PLEASE LET NOTHING BAD HAPPEN TO HER and I also kind of want them to run off together even though he’s a murder rapist). WILL AND HANNIBAL TALKING. AGHRHGH.

Saturday Night Live, “Mary Kay Place/Willie Nelson”

Mary Kay Place brings a very streamlined and welcome perspective to this episode. I did enjoy the Ladies’ Group sketch, where four women compete to see who can be the most self-abnegating in a relationship. It reads like an Amy Schumer sketch that actually hits home and also features Newman and Radner play-acting a couple. Laraine Newman is a goddamn national treasure.

Project Progress

Parks and Recreation: 0% (0/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, Season 6 and Season 7

Okay, I’m fudging here because I finished it this morning, but I’m not writing out an episode thing for everything. It’s been such a fun and funny ride and I’ve really enjoyed it. Now, to the thinkpieces about race in 30 Rock and onto Parks and Recreation!

Sailor Moon, “Crazy for Celebrities! Mimete in Doubt”

I do really like that Minako didn’t win the contest at all.

Sailor Moon, “Shadow of Silence: The Pale Glimmer of a Firefly”

Oh my God, Setsuna, don’t you have another outfit?

Saturday Night Live, “Madeline Kahn/Taj Mahal”

Very on point this week—save for a stupendously cruel sketch about a blind black man getting screwed out of an affirmative action scholarship to law school because I guess Mike O’Donoghue thought affirmative action was dumb. (What a fascinatingly and repulsively cruel man.) Aykroyd’s glorious, frosty weirdness is on full display, and especially sharp in the presence of Jane Curtin, who is a Secret Weird.

Project Progress
30 Rock: 100% (7/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 20% (8/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “The Natural Order”

Colleen is a treasure every time she shows up to ruin people’s lives: here we find her finally affirming Jack while also basically revealing that his father is not who he thinks it is.

30 Rock, “Mamma Mia”

Liz nerding out over getting to Mamma Mia Jack is amazing.

30 Rock, “Kidney Now!”

A solid finale.

30 Rock, Season 4

How did I watch an entire season of 30 Rock in a week? I’m entering it into this log as one thing, because I don’t want to do episode by episode for 22 episodes. But it’s really found its groove, as people warned me. There’s such a great balance between Liz and Jack, the nominal cool heads (who are still bonkers), and everybody else. Pete gets more to do this season about how tragic his life is. Tracy gets a good arc in his desire to have a daughter. I can’t break it down, because marathoning it means that it all blurs softly into a wall of solid jokes, endearing characters, and sometimes absurdist comedy. (“Oh, Pete, that’s later. Maybe we’ll be dead by then.”) And Cheyenne Jackson is so great as the new cast member! I love you, 30 Rock. (Although you have very clear representational issues.)

30 Rock, “The Fabian Strategy”

I kind of really love how much Jack adores Avery, because she’s just like him and the show plays that to the hilt. And I adore Jenna as an actually great producer. It’s nice to see her be good at something.

Sailor Moon, “Who is the True Messiah? Chaos of Light and Darkness”

Sailor Moon, A House Filled With Evil Presence: The Beautiful Hotaru’s Secret”

Saturday Night Live, “Eric Idle/Neil Innes”

“Plain Talk” with Idle and Ackroyd? So great. You can so see why Idle really likes Ackroyd. Also, that Queen impersonator? Is Jeanette Charles, who did it professionally before she retired.

Saturday Night Live, “Shelley Duvall/Joan Armatrading”

Um, Duvall is a such a cutie. And as sexualized as the Video Vixens bit is, I do really love seeing the girls perform a boast song. (Plus, Newman performing? ALWAYS GREAT.)

Project Progress

30 Rock: 57.14% (4/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

Spy (2015)

Ugh. We could have had it all, but Spy mostly only parodies what it should be satirizing. Still, we do get to see a woman of size kicking considerable ass, and Jason Statham’s utterly bonkers Agent Rick Ford is a magnificent comedic creation.

Television

30 Rock, “Goodbye, my Friend”

Have I mentioned I love Liz being a terrible person and then trying not to be a terrible person? Because I do.

30 Rock, “The Funcooker”

Liz strikes fear into the heart of her workers.

30 Rock, “The Bubble”

I really love that the Dr. Baird storyline ends with him being so sheltered by his looks that he can’t function. (Although I have never found John Hamm that attractive? He’s deeply charismatic and certainly objectively symmetrical, but he doesn’t do it for me. Different strokes, etc.)

30 Rock, “Apollo, Apollo”

Jack getting so excited he throws up? Awwww, Jack. I do really love that, beneath his dapper and shark-like persona, he can get back in touch with his inner child.

30 Rock, “Cutbacks”

Every joke about Kenneth being secretly crazy old? Great. GREAT.

30 Rock, “Jackie Jormp-Jomp”

“Liz accidentally joins a Sex and the City Fight Club” is a great premise for an episode, even if we didn’t have Jenna faking and then not-faking her own death.

30 Rock, “The Ones”

This is such a great conclusion to the Elisa arc; we have to get rid of her, because Hayek has films to do, but Elisa and Jack have crazy chemistry! Also includes the infamous “Night Cheese” joke.

Sailor Moon, “The Death of Uranus and Neptune: The Talisman Appears”

Haruka and Michiru doing coupley stuff: always great. Haruka and Michiru owning a helicopter? YOU ARE SEVENTEEN CALM DOWN YOU’RE PRACTICALLY MAKING SAPPHISM A SUPERPOWER AT THIS POINT. But yeah, this episode is really heartwrenching, because it shows that they can’t sacrifice each other for the talismans; even Michiru, the one who has always been willing to take a life to save the world, can’t let Haruka die.

Sailor Moon, “The Holly Grail's Mystical Power: Moon’s Double Transformation”

Haruka and Michiru are restored to life—THANK GOD—by the arrival of Setsuna, while Usagi gets her third evolution.

Also, THE PROFESSOR IS HOTARU’S DAD? THIS IS SO WRONG THIS IS SO MESSED UP

Saturday Night Live, “Julian Bond/Tom Waits/Brick”

The show shows its hand in race, from managing to conclude a Black Perspectives sketch that starts off with interrogating racist IQ tests with pure colorism to just having Murray, Belushi, and Akyroyd playing black men. The only positive thing that can be said about that is that it’s not blackface, but also Brick was performing and could have subbed in?

Saturday Night Live, “Elliott Gould/The McGarrigle Sisters”

Gould is so good at hosting and more vaudevillian comedy. Whatta guy.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 28.8% (2/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “The Succession”

The joy of Liz being her worst self while going corporate.

30 Rock, “Sandwich Day”

YES INTERNAL NBC MYTHOS. I find this so fascinating and mildly weird, the way this show concocts a strange alternate mythology to NBC in a way that the company let them do.

30 Rock, “Cooter”

Oh, hey, Matthew Broderick!

30 Rock, “Do-Over”

AND MEGAN MULLALLY, WHO IS THE GREATEST. I do really love that the show is now committing to Liz’s chaotic neutral stance.

30 Rock, “Believe in the Stars”

NO. NO. Blackface is never okay, even when you think you’re parodying it. I had hoped that they would never show it, just the reaction to Jenna, but oh boy. Oh boy. NOT COOL, GUYS.

30 Rock, “The One with the Cast of Night Court

This is an episode of 30 Rock Kyle Mooney has definitely seen.

30 Rock, “Gavin Volure”

Several good turns in this one, and so nice to see Steve Martin play bonkers.

30 Rock, “Reunion”

Liz remembering high school differently—amazing. Jack pretending to be someone she went to high school with and abandoning it immediately—AMAZING.

30 Rock, “Christmas Special

Jack and Colleen—ugh. So great and so messed up. I love that the stinger is just them playing a Christmas song.

30 Rock, “Señor Macho Solo”

I really, really like Jack and Elisa. We see this more later, but they’re a fun couple and we see why they like each other. And Elisa gets to be funny in a way that never invalidates who she is.

30 Rock, “Flu Shot”

Liz is a terrible person and I love that. (I could say this about most episodes.)

30 Rock, “Retreat to Move Forward”

Oh my God, Liz playing camper’s mom to Jack? And taking one for the team? We see Jack do a lot for Liz, but rarely vice versa, and it’s so great to see.

30 Rock, “Generalissimo”

Jack deciding the way to get into the good graces of Elisa’s grandmother is to completely rewrite her favorite soap opera? Fantastic grand gesture. I’m not thrilled about Alec Baldwin playing a Latino actor (this show and race, yeesh).

30 Rock, “St. Valentine’s Day”

THE WORST DATE EVER. The way it escalated was amazing. And seeing Jack destroy a priest with his sins? Fantastic. Plus, McFlurries and Elisa being angry that Jack is being such a dick that she won’t even get to show off her fancy underwear because there’s no way she’s sleeping with him tonight—great.

Mr. Robot, “Hello, My Friend”

Rami Malek is fantastic in an otherwise sloppy show.

Sailor Moon, “The Stolen Pure Heart: Usagi’s Crisis”

Holy crap, “Ai no Senshi” is a great song.

Sailor Moon, “The Arrival of a Small Pretty Guardian”

I do adore that, seeing Rei at a diner with a girl, everybody assumes that it’s a date. This is something I really like about Sailor Moon—Haruka and Michiru’s plotlines aren’t about them being queer without ever erasing that fact, and we do see what a pack of slightly sheltered teenage straight girls might think now that they actually know lesbians. They’re learning!

Sailor Moon, “Making New Friends: Chibi Moon’s Adventure”

This is where the professor starts getting just bonkers, which I really appreciate.

Sailor Moon, “I Want Power: Mako Lost in Doubt”

Mako doing anything = my favorite.

Sailor Moon, “The Bond of Destiny: Uranus’s Distant Past”

SO. GREAT. More on how Michiru and Haruka met (Michiru’s opening line: would you model for me? SMOOTH), more on how it’s actually Michiru who is convinced that people will need to be sacrificed to save the world, and more on how in love with Haruka Michiru is. I think Haruka pulls a lot of focus as Sailor Moon’s major queer character because she’s a soft butch goddess, but, like, Michiru’s gay too, y’all!

Sailor Moon, “Art Is an Explosion of Love: Chibi-Usa’s First Love”

For a second there, I thought Michiru was teaching their art class, because Haruka and Michiru are suddenly everywhere in the girls’ lives. Also, Chibi-Usa bites a grown woman because she is Usagi’s daughter.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi Dancing to the Waltz”

Usagi pukes and rallies and everybody wants to dance with Haruka.

Sailor Moon, “The Shocking Moment: Everyone’s Identities Revealed”

Saturday Night Live, “Broderick Crawford/The RCO Allstars”

A middling show, notable for Crawford rarely getting up from his armchair and Bill Murray appealing to the audience for support, thus sealing the eternal goodwill pact that has kept him in America’s heart these many decades.

Saturday Night Live, “Jack Burns/Santana”

Burns is… basically Timmy’s dad from The Fairly Odd-Parents, while seventies Santana plays the living hell out of his guitar in a fantastic all-white ensemble.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 28.8% (2/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Books

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

“Does this thing spark joy?” And now my closet has been reduced by half.

Film

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

A FEMINIST ACTION 80S EXPLOITATION PUNCH TO THE NOGGIN THAT WILL MAKE YOU NEED TO GO SCREAM UNDER A DOCK FOR THREE HOURS JUST TO PROCESS HOW AMAZING IT WAS.

Television

30 Rock, “MILF Island”

Imitating a tasteless reality show’s format for an episode? Ugh, I love this show.

30 Rock, “Subway Hero”

Oh, Dennis. I do really love seeing Liz struggle with how easy being with Dennis is (see the cutaway to a white-clad Liz freezing to death peacefully) and how awful of a eprson it makes her. YOU GOT THIS, LIZ.

Sailor Moon, “I Want to Quit Being a Sailor Guardian: Minako’s Dilemma”

Minako used to be a star volleyball player? Love it.

Sailor Moon, “Usagi in Tears: a Glass Slipper for My Birthday”

Tuxedo Mask is surprisingly more effective this episode.

Saturday Night Live, “Louis C.K./Rihanna”

And we click off the lights for the summer with a solid episode.

Project Progress

30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “The Collection”

I’m having emotions over Jack giving up his absurd cookie jar collection? Goodness, this show is getting to me.

30 Rock, “Rosemary’s Baby”

Carrie Fisher cameo-ing on 30 Rock? GENIUS. 30 Rock (perhaps unintentionally?) touching on the problems of white feminism? Great.

Sailor Moon, “Let Moon Help With Your Love Problems”

I remember this episode from the English dub! I remember, specifically, the game, which Haruka naturally wins, because the show is as gaga for Haruka as I am.

Sailor Moon, “Coldhearted Uranus: Makoto in Danger”

Case in point: Makoto, like every girl on the show (even the ones who tell Makoto that she shouldn’t give up on boys), develops a massive crush on Haruka. But I really like that it’s ultimately because Makoto feels like, despite her best efforts, that she fails at femininity, and Haruka, being the soft butch goddess that she is, is a model for a different, more inclusive kind of gender presentation that still affirms Haruka’s identity as a woman. (I’m told that Haruka is bigender in the manga? I will investigate.) Aww.

Sailor Moon, “The Labyrinth of Water: Ami Targeted”

Ami wears great outfits and Michiru wears what appears to be a clown-inspired swim suit. Also, is it a rule now that everybody has to go for a motorcycle ride with Haruka? Is this why they’re all warm and fuzzy about Haruka?

Sailor Moon, “To Save Our Friends: Moon and Uranus Join Forces”

We get more background on Haruka and Michiru’s mission—the reason they stay away from the Guardians is that they’re convinced sacrifices will have to be made and they don’t want that decision muddled or put on the shoulders of young girls—and see Haruka being amazing. Also, Usagi turning into goo when Haruka holds her to keep her quiet from enemies and that being how she discovers that Uranus is probably Haruka? Genius.

Sailor Moon, “A Man’s Kindness: Yuichiro Heartbroken by Rei”

Haruka, so amazing that Yuichiro immediately thinks she and Rei are dating. (To be fair, Rei, for someone who was the first to tell Makoto not to give up on dudes, you are flirting with Haruka WAY HARD. SHE HAS A GIRLFRIEND, REI!) It’s always great to see Rei’s non-Sailor Guardian supernatural powers used.

Saturday Night Live, “Sissy Spacek/Richard Baskins”

You know, I had no idea she was Southern.

Saturday Night Live, “Reese Witherspoon/Florence + the Machine”

An admirable job, with the cutest Mother Day’s tribute monologue possible. (Kenan’s childhood clip being from a movie, because he’s never not been in show business? Actual lil baby Aidy spoofing “Genie in a Bottle?” Learning that the scarecrow we call Kyle Mooney used to be a husky kid? ADORABLE.)

Project Progress

30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “SeinfeldVision”

Two things I love: NBC’s strange self-mythology (heartily helped by 30 Rock) and Jack and Liz’s friendship. No matter how far she falls, he still sees a lot of potential and light in her in a nonromantic way, and I adore that.

30 Rock, “Jack Gets in the Game”

HOW IS THERE NO BIZARRO KENNETH/DEVON FIC? FANDOM. FANDOM. You have failed me. Also, Liz’s turnaround from “You want me to eat this in front of you?” to “OKAY!” is genius.

Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/The Kinks”

Okay. So I have trouble understanding Bill Murray at the height of his popularity, right? He seems like too much of a yuppie asshole in Ghostbusters, for instance. But I love him here and I love him older. Steve Martin is the same; I don’t get young Steve Martin. He’s too much of an asshole. Maybe I just need to watch the specials.

Also, the show stopping for Lily Tomlin to promote her Broadway show (because she and Michaels are tight) and do a number with the ladies? Amazing.

Saturday Night Live, “Scarlett Johansson/Wiz Khalifa”

ScarJo does a fine job that’s not outstanding. The Avengers sketch is… well-executed, but comes from a disappointing premise? They don’t mock the idea that Marvel can only make a rom-com about Black Widow enough, which equals perpetuation. (Although cardigan over the catsuit? Amazing. Fire apology? My only means of apology.) A handful of poor ideas executed well. And the JostBot 3000 wins me over by trying and failing to make a joke about Bruce Jenner’s transition because there’s no way to respectfully joke about the situation unless you’re Jenner, with Che merrily watching him fail and refusing to help him. That should be his anchor update thing! That he’s a bland white guy slightly off-kilter in the real world!

Project Progress

30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)

Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)

Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Overstuffed and sloppy to be sure, but still capable of rousing character moments and one moment in particular that is… one of the best and most efficient storytelling shots I’ve ever seen in my life.

Camelot (1967)

Woof. A slavishly devoted filmic interpretation of the stage musical, which ends up largely implying that Guenevere destroyed Camelot all on her own. Franco Nero acts his HEART out, though. Damn.

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Ruth Gordon/Chuck Berry”

Gordon doesn’t live up to her promise, but Chuck Berry remains as electric as ever.

Saturday Night Live, “Fran Tarkenton/Leo Sayer”

A remarkably sweet and cohesive episode as the cast tries to make a sports star comfortable. Aww.

Project Progress
30 Rock: 14.3% (1/7)
Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Film

The House of Yes (1995)

“Okay, we get it, the twins are doing it! Jesus.”

Television

30 Rock, “Black Tie”

This might be my favorite episode so far? it covers most of my favorite parts of the show: the utterly insane world of privilege Jack operates in (including his obsession with his ex-wife), Liz’s mix of unflappability, shit-stirring, and snark, Jenna’s mix of willful optimism and calculation (“we gotta boogie, gang” after murdering a prince), and… I suppose there’s some Kenneth in the B plot, which is pretty okay. Oh, and Jack and Liz’s friendship which makes me melt into a thousand hair-chewing pieces.

30 Rock, “Up All Night”

We finally meet Tracy’s wife! And Kenneth and Cherie are fun together.

30 Rock, “The C Word”

Another great episode, from Liz’s conversation about how there is no male equivalent to “cunt” and the entire B plot about Tracy pointing out the racism at the top of the industry. YES YES YES.

30 Rock, “Hard Ball”

Liz drunk on power is hilarious. I adore her friendship with Jack so, so much, and seeing her be more Jack-like (which does not work out of her) is so endearing.

30 Rock, “The Source Awards”

Wayne Brady playing the world’s most boring dude? Genius. But the episode doesn’t have much in cutting comedy re:race, save for Tracy sarcastically responding to Liz’s question of whether or not she’s racist by pointing out that he’s being put in drag for a sketch.

Saturday Night Live, “Taraji P. Henson/Mumford and Sons”

Henson is so great, and she’s poorly used in this episode. A lot of the sketches that actually involve race are written from the wrong perspective—i.e., Henson is often pulled in as a funny black person, instead of, say, “Their Own League” being from her perspective. It’s also infuriating to see Davidson used so well in a sketch that’s fundamentally about dismissing/not believing that boys can be raped by women. And yet Weekend Update was the best it’s ever been, with Che and Jost landing their own style of jokes well. No interplay as of yet, save for Jost blithely waving “hi” after a cutting joke from Che. What bizarro world is this? Seeing Kate McKinnon’s Hillary with Hammond’s Bill is kind of wonderful.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

Saturday Night Live, “Ralph Nader/George Benson”

How odd and bizarrely hip! Watching Nader gamely and awkwardly make his way through the show is fascinating. (Pay especial attention to what he does with his hands. It is preposterous, and endearingly so.) And it’s the first episode for Bill Murray, who I didn’t even know was ever on Saturday Night Live. And he’s… so fantastic; game, affable, and snarky in a way that’s aloof but not detached. (The detachment got worse in the eighties before being replaced with the natural displacement age gives you.)

Saturday Night Live, “Michael Keaton/Carly Rae Jepsen”

Few things actually land, but the Neurotology sketch? AMAZING. Just when you think Colin Jost has finally been utilized as an onscreen presence effectively (as a dead-eyed supplicant), there’s Peter Davidson behind him making a weirder face. And more Jebediah Atkinson is good Jebediah Atkinson.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

Sailor Moon, “A Handsome Boy? Haruka Tenoh’s Secret”

Haruka swans into the Sailor Guardians’ lives and Usagi and Minako are immediately ENTHRALLED by her swagger. She’s basically everything I hoped for, with the added bonus of her immediately owning up to being in love with/hella committed to Michiru while also being like “well, we’re not exclusive…” to Michiru’s eye-rolling. Ughghghgh lived in couples. I am delighted.

Saturday Night Live, “Candice Bergen/Frank Zappa”

Well, Frank Zappa is a revelatory experience, from oozing televisions to Don Pardo guesting on a track to Belushi scatting on “Lagoon.” And Bergen is, as always, a graceful delight, from working elegantly with absurdity to watching in hysterics as Gilda Radner rescues a sketch she herself mucked up. Jane Curtin’s gag with her “boyfriend” is a treat and Killer Trees is fantastic. I might revisit this next Christmas and/or make my own Saturday Night Live Christmas special.

Saturday Night Live, “Dwayne Johnson/George Ezra”

Johnson is a consummate professional. Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong knock it out of the park this week. And I’m happy to see Pete Davidson so clearly enthused about working with THE ROCK.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “The Baby Show”

Liz Lemon declaring to the world that she will figure out how to have it all? Yes. This. I keep getting excited that the show only gets better, because I like it so much.

30 Rock, “The Rural Juror”

Seeing Liz and Jenna’s friendship from both perspectives? Seeing Tracy and Jack bond over being well-traveled and wealthy? I am all delight.

30 Rock, “The Head and the Hair”

More on Kenneth, and Jack’s fondness of him and inability to comprehend him. Plus: the first non-appearance of Brian Williams. This is so fascinating to watch in the overall narrative of NBC.

Sailor Moon, “Saphir Dies! Wiseman's Trap”

Oh, man, the Spectre Sisters! Great to see them.

Sailor Moon, “Believing in Love and the Future: Usagi’s Decision”

Oh, God, Demande. I hate this subplot so much, especially because so much of Sailor Moon is about redeeming the villains, and redeeming the dude who just tried to mindrape you… uh huh. But he’s gone now. SUCK IT.

Sailor Moon, “The Final Battle Between Light and Dark: Pledge of Love for the Future”

And we conclude Sailor Moon R. Onto Sailor Moon S, of which I have no recollection!

Saturday Night Live, “Paul Simon/George Harrison”

Oh, little baby Paul Simon utterly besotted by the fact that he’s playing with AN ACTUAL BEATLE. Plus George Harrison’s bonkers music videos.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 15.4% (2/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Television

30 Rock, “Tracy Does Conan”

This is such a weird episode to watch, knowing what happens to Late Night with Conan O’Brien and how Conan and NBC are now not really talking. Especially because this is the first episode that really utilizes NBC’s other players in order to create its own identity as a network. Spooky.

Sailor Moon, “Shared Feelings: Usagi and Mamoru in Love Once Again”

OH, THANK GOD. This was such a useless subplot.

Sailor Moon, “Venus: Minako's Nurse Mayhem”

It’s nice to see Venus get some more characterization beyond having a shoddy memory. I know we got that backstory, but c’mon. I want personality. Which she shows here, by taking everything on herself whether or not she has the ability.

Sailor Moon, “Artemis' Adventure! The Evil Animal Kingdom”

Not as fun as Luna’s adventures in the animal kingdom, but fine.

Sailor Moon, “The Terrifying Illusion: Ami All Alone”

Sailor Moon, “The Dark Gate Is Completed? the Targeted Elementary School”

There is something truly horror movie zombies about how the elementary school is transformed.

Sailor Moon, “Journey to the Future: Battle in the Space-Time Corridor”

Oh, poor Sailor Pluto. She gets more to do later on, right?

Sailor Moon, “The Shocking Future: Demande's Dark Ambition”

First of all: adorable that Endymion told his daughter stories about how cool Sailor Moon was. Second of all: Usagi and Mamoru finally catch up with EVERYONE in realizing that they are Chibi-Usa’s parents and glowing bright red. The dress Usagi wears while kidnapped by Demande is fantastic, but Demande’s rapey vibes? Uh, gross, disgusting, vomit.

Sailor Moon, “Wiseman’s Evil Hand: Chibi-Usa Disappears”

“She’ll be fine if she stays in the palace!” Chibi-Usa immediately leaves the palace. COME ON!

Sailor Moon, “The Dark Queen: Birth of Black Lady”

Oh… okay. See, I thought that Wiseman might have secretly been Black Lady—his laugh at the end of the previous episode sounds a little more femme—from a timeline where Chibi-Usa went back in time and failed. I thought this because I did not think that they would have just rapid-aged Chibi-Usa (complete with a focus on her breasts) into her.

Saturday Night Live, “Chris Hemsworth/Zac Brown Band”

Hemsworth the Elder(…est?) proves to be a capably goofy straight man, although he lacks the comedic chops of, say, Chris Pratt. Kate McKinnon ascends to the Hillary Clinton impression and nails it, a tough task to tackle after Amy Poehler’s flawless Clinton impression. (Sorry, Bayer.) The black cast members finally get a sketch all to their own—an Empire parody—and the show slots in Hemsworth as a dorky white dude. BOOOOO. And they could have done something more pointed with the Iggy Azalea sketch, but they did no such thing. The Weekend Update team shows a modicum of chemistry and personality, with Jost covering a wonderful flub with aplomb. As ever, I will always watch Leslie Jones yell at Colin Jost.

But the superior sketch of the evening is “Captain Poulet,” which is specific, absurd, and well-crafted. A+ all around.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Music

Calvin Harris, Motion

Not the blissed out retro bomb I wanted, but there are still highlights: “Outside” and “Pray to God” are fantastic.

Mark Ronson, Uptown Special

Almost the blissed out retro bomb, and probably could be. I have a hard time with albums, what with being raised by wolves who only owned greatest hits compilations, so repeated listening could help. But how on earth was this released in November? This is pure, funky summer. “Daffodils” and “I Can’t Lose” are infectious, and “Uptown Funk” is the greatest song ever written (since “Get Lucky”).

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Dakota Johnson/Alabama Shakes”

What a freaking cutie. If anyone can leverage Fifty Shades of Grey into a career plus, it seems to be Johnson—she’s playing just aloof enough from the material that she’s going to be fine. Plus, she’s sweet, relatable, and a little goofy. Like Deschanel at half-speed. “Brave” was amazing, featuring ALL THE LADIES, and McKinnon’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg was… a work of art. Not astonishing—although that “harder!” joke made me cackle—but solid footing. ONTO HEMSWORTH.

30 Rock, “The Aftermath”

I do like Tracy and Liz teaming up.

30 Rock, “Blind Date”

Holy crap, Stephanie March is smokin’. I remember some solid laughs and Liz awkwardly proposing that she could be into lesbian sex if she just lay there, so.

30 Rock, “Jack the Writer”

A lot of people have told me that the first season of 30 Rock is rough, but I’m actually enjoying it. Largely, that’s because Jack is a really fun character. He’s fascinated by the creative process but cannot execute it. At all. That adds some sweetness to him.

30 Rock, “Jack-Tor”

Which gets expanded here, when Jack is asked to ACT ON LIVE TELEVISION. Jack breaking down over something so simple is just fun.

30 Rock, “Jack Meets Dennis”

And then there’s the other great thing about Jack: the potential he sees in Liz and how, even though they butt heads a lot, he really values her as a human being. Especially when she’s stuck with Dennis.

Also, a Liz Taylor played by Rachel Dratch shows up to beat the crap out of Josh, who has already admitted to being very down to having sex with her. Amazing.

Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson/The Elephant in the Room”

Very Will Forte. Very Will Forte. Aggressively weird, fascinated by toilet humor, and sweet enough to make it all work. Of course, things pick up with the introduction of Kristen Schaal as the last woman on Earth. Much has been said about how she’s a killjoy, but the show is pretty clear about showing that she’s the only one of the two that’s still invested in human civilization. That gag that starts with Phil begrudgingly stopping at stop signs and ends with her forcibly pointing out that he still, somewhere, believes in the meaning humans imbue objects is fantastic.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon
: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Music

Calvin Harris, I Invented Disco

The seeds of the ‘10s Harris are present, but he’s leaning much more kitsch and novelty here. “Acceptable in the Eighties” and “Merrymaking at my Place” are the stand-outs.

Calvin Harris, Ready for the Weekend

Slightly more polished, but the last time that Harris uses his own vocals in his music. Which cuts down on the camp.

Calvin Harris, 18 Months

Oh snap, “Bounce” and “Let’s Go” are off this album? The summer of 2012 makes so much more sense now.

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Steve Martin/Kinky Friedman”

Seeing Steve Martin as a young rake is so weird.

Saturday Night Live, “Buck Henry/The Band”

Buck Henry returns and we, at long, long last, bid goodbye to Chevy Chase. Thank God.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Television

Saturday Night Live, “Eric Idle/Joe Cocker”

I have such mixed feelings about Eric Idle. I had a massive crush on him when I was a wee lass watching reruns of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on BBC America, but the more I’ve read about his behavior generally, I’ve realized… well, he’s not that great of a person. But it’s so nice to see him in his element here, and I have this instinctually positive reaction to Idle in drag, so this was a win for me.

Saturday Night Live, “Karen Black/John Prine”

A perfectly affable episode, but when, oh when, shall I be rid of Chevy Chase?

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Here’s a super-update to make up for the last three weeks.

Film

Wayne’s World (1992)

Warm, low-stakes, human, and honestly very sweet.

Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

And then money and a rushed script drain everything from it, although there are good character moments and lines. (“Take me now, Garth.” “Take you where? I’m low on gas and you need a jacket.”) BOO.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Charmingly and unaggressively weird; I imagine this played well for me because I don’t watch many mockumentaries, so it still feels fresh.

Music

Marina and the Diamonds, Family Jewels

Simplistic but sumptuous brat pop, which I luckily love. “Shampain” is pure glory.

Television

Sailor Moon, “Rubeus the Heartless: The Tragic Sisters”

Chibi-Usa discovers that Usagi is Sailor Moon; the Spectre Sisters are finally freed. Through the power of sisterhood and friendship.

Sailor Moon, “A UFO Appears: The Sailor Guardians Abducted”

Ah, Esmeraude, my new favorite villain.

Sailor Moon, “Defeat Rubeus: The Battle in Space”

I remember hearing about those crosses getting edited out. Oh, late nineties Internet.

Sailor Moon, “The Mysterious New Guardian: Sailor Pluto Appears”

Chibi-Usa’s mom is so obviously Usagi, although people do appear to be hairblind in the world of Sailor Moon.

Sailor Moon, “Magic of Darkness: Esmeraude's Invasion”

While it’s usually played for cruel humor, I do appreciate it whenever Usagi’s appetite is brought up. She glories in it! And so does Esermaude, who is exactly the kind of petty I like in a villain. Delicious.

Saturday Night Live, “Blake Shelton”

An affable dude.

Saturday Night Live, “Elliott Gould/Leon Redbone, Harlan Collins & Joyce Everson”

“The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise” is one meta trip. Although I think Laraine would have given better Spock than Chevy.

Saturday Night Live, “Louise Lasser/Preservation Hall Jazz Band”

This is an incredibly uncomfortable watch.

Saturday Night Live, “Kris Kristofferson/Rita Coolidge”

“Police State” is actually a very interestingly black comedy sketch. And the fake credits are ahead of their time—I wonder how many people caught the glory of “SHEP GREMLIN”?

Saturday Night Live, “Lily Tomlin/James Taylor”

“We Asked Judith Beasley” is a lot of fun, especially anchored by one of Dan Ackroyd’s bonkers salesmen.

Saturday Night Live, “Norman Lear/Boz Scaggs”

An episode with the bare minimum of Chevy Chase? I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, where Jane Curtin is the Weekend Update anchor and nothing hurts…

Saturday Night Live, “SNL40”

Enough nostalgia and remarkably gorgeously edited montages to choke a horse, and just a little bit of that weird, strange Saturday Night Live magic. It’s best expressed through a Weekend Update segment that features Tina, Amy, and Jane (!!!) sharing the desk while funny ladies Emma Stone and Melissa McCarthy do Radner and Farley. (As well as the latest chapter in the Stefon saga, where we discover that Seth is an alcoholic and they have two kids now. IT’S THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING.) Or in the digital short, which gently ribs everyone for breaking but also remembers that it’s a reminder of how much they love each other. Awww.

Project Progress
Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 17.5% (7/40)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

eralkfang: (Default)

Music

Kate Bush, Director’s Cut

Notable tracks: “Deeper Understanding” and “Flower of the Mountain.”

Kate Bush, Fifty Words for Snow

The title track is literally fifty words Bush invented for snow. Genius. And with that, I’ve completed her discography. Huzzah!

Television

Sailor Moon, “For Friendship: Ami vs. Bertheir”

Bertheir is wooed to the side of good by the idea of sisters actually caring for each other in meaningful ways; she’s literally saved by Koan, who, without any of her superpowers anymore, still tries to save her and succeeds. Ughghghg friendship.

Saturday Night Live, “Desi Arnaz/Desi Arnaz, Jr”

How weird must it be to be interacting with someone playing your dead wife (or in Jr’s case, dead mother)? Gary Weis’ adorable, humanistic short films continue to be amazing. “The Bisexual Minute” is a good choice, although I do wish the humor came more from the wife’s description of how much she hated her home life and less from “queer ladies! existing!”. I am starting to be concerned about my crush on young Dan Ackroyd.

Saturday Night Live, “Jill Clayburgh/Leon Redbone, The Singing Idlers”

The more backstage meta the better, although I remain deeply unimpressed with Chevy Chase and his sloppy comedy. “Great Moments in Herstory” is incredibly underwhelming and racist. Clayburgh is sweet and game, which is all I ask from hosts. And Jane Curtin looks really, really, really cute as Betty Grable. Awww.

Saturday Night Live, “Anthony Perkins/Betty Carter”

“In some countries, it comes in like a lion and out like a different lion!” It’s the same joke every time, but I do like Belushi’s weather man.

Saturday Night Live, “Ron Nessen/Patti Smith”

It’s the seventies all over, as the Press Secretary hosts and the musical guest does punk rock. And Gerald Ford approves of Saturday Night Live, in an attempt to get ahead of it. “Super Bass-O-Matic '76” is fantastic. “Autumn Fizz” is funny because the idea of carbonated douche is hysterical. “Supreme Court Spot Check” is a fantastic, if slightly messy, sketch, because it makes its political point very cogently. (It should have ended in the awkward silence after Curtin’s character wonders why there’s no women on the Supreme Court, if they’re going to police her sex life.) Seeing a very young Bill Crystal is intriguing, although I’m not sure where his performance truly lies.

Also, spotting Mike O’Donoghue and his thousand light year stare in a sketch is a new, terrifying game I play with myself.

Saturday Night Live, “Raquel Welch/Phoebe Snow, John Sebastian”

Oh, poor Raquel Welch. It must be such an odd thing to try and negotiate your status as a sex symbol when that’s not what you set out to do. And then she turns up here and her trying to get her top off is a running gag, to the point that she makes a remark about tastelessness in her monologue. “The Decabet” is both an interesting joke and sign of the times (METRICS ARE COMING, Y’ALL!). And the running gag about the Beatles is born here, as baby Lorne offers them a tiny check to appear on their show.

Scred and Ploobis, in their penultimate episode, deal with puppet body horror (if they don’t have lower halves, Welch asks, how can they experience sexual attraction?) and lock themselves away in a trunk with the other Saturday Night Live Muppets. Dark stuff.

Saturday Night Live, “Madeline Kahn/Carly Simon”

“Wilderness Comedian”: somewhere, a young Will Forte has a dream about the Falconer. “Slumber Party” is an amazing sketch that uses its female cast perfectly; the humor is more of the slice of life variety, rather than specific jokes. And I always need Radner’s confused kiddos and Newman’s bratty girls in my life. “" Feel Pretty" is inspired silliness, as is “Final Days.” Kahn is an amazing host.

Saturday Night Live, “Dyan Cannon/Leon & Mary Russell”

Dyan Cannon was an actress in the seventies, I guess? This is why these episodes are so useful to me pop culturally. That and I definitely needed to learn about Leon Russell, MUSIC WIZARD. Although now I know what Chevy Chase looked like in his skivvies, which was NOT ANYTHING I NEEDED TO SEE.

Saturday Night Live, “Buck Henry/Gordon Lightfoot”

Laraine Newman snatching a crutch out from under Chevy Chase is beautiful. This is the beginning of the end, I think; there’s the fun tension that the show taps into, and then there’s the real tension simmering in the background. They’re coming for you, Chevy. “Talk Back” is a wonderful sketch. “Crowd Audition” goes great until the lynching joke (NOOO). Baby Lorne continues to offer the Beatles money. (And shit on Ringo. RINGO IS THE BEST YOU ASSHOLE.) Garrett Morris sings Schubert beautifully, but the scrolling text… if the joke had been the producers being amazed that one of their young, hip performers liked and performed Schubert, that’d be hilarious, but it’s racialized.

Saturday Night Live, “Kevin Hart/Sia”

Sia’s performance of “Elastic Heart” is astonishing and heartbreaking. Kate McKinnon is a comedy goddess. The “James Brown” sketch is beautifully silly.

Project Progress

Sailor Moon: 7.7% (1/13)
Saturday Night Live: 15.3% (5/39)
Star Trek: 32.5% (13/40)

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Eralk Fang

July 2016

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