CheekyMF! Review: Season 5 of The Game in bits and pieces.

As I write this, I’m listening to an episode of “The Game” in second and a half bursts thanks to the inadequate streaming service provided by it’s new home, BET. I have an adoration of this show that stems to the pilot that was awkwardly tossed into the “Girlfriends” time slot on the CW. Or the WB. Or whatever the fuck that network was called when the show actually premiered. It’s been too long to remember accurately and I feel like writing, not researching right now, so we’ll just call it not particularly important information.

My love of this show based around a sport that I largely abhor stems more from my adoration and respect of it’s creator than it’s basic premise. That said, as a general sports fan, it is nice to see the locker room from a different perspective, so don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the occasional bits of the sport thrown into the episodes. Much like “The League”, this show has proven itself able to be less about the somewhat barbaric and probably on it’s way out game of football, and more about the humanity behind the game; a hard thing to master, but this show has managed to do it well from it’s infancy.

I was thrilled to hear the show was picked up on BET after the clusterfuck of it’s old network imploding on itself. Only one issue: at the time I didn’t have cable and for the last two years, I’ve been reliant, with my wily nomadic ways, on hotel and motel cable…which rarely, if ever, comes with BET, or, for that matter, any other Viacom-owned cable networks. Don’t know why and complaints about it go unheard, so whatev.

“The Game” is also not available on iTunes. Well, insofar as it is not available to me on iTunes, not sure if it actually is on there or not.. (I have to play Musical Computers if I want to use iTunes–This really just means I never use iTunes except on my iPhone. To this extent, I have checked iTunes & found a whole lot of “Game of Thrones”, just not “The Game”. Now you know.)

And now we get to where I’m currently at, They do stream full episodes of “The Game” which is super awesome, don’t get me wrong, but they have no buffer to speak of, advertising included, and what often results is watching an episode, “Chopped & Screwed”, so to speak, ad time running out and the audio of the episode coming back in while the video is still trying to hawk me some Grey Goose..ooh, cherry!..sorry about that.

Oh, and my favorite–after the third commercial break, consistently, on every single episode, the audio jumps ahead of the video, fairly significantly, making the episode look like a badly dubbed kung fu flick from that point until the end.

I think I know what has happened in this season, but to be honest, I feel like I’ve missed so much that it might have just been a lost cause from the start. The parts that have come through loud & clear and with a mighty decent buffer, weren’t exactly filling me with hope.

From what I have seen, there was a ridiculous amount of time spent with Tasha and Melanie cattily fighting, and honestly, I’m sick of seeing that device used in singular plot lines, much less multi-episode arcs. I understand it has some basis in reality, but god damn it, women can be involved in business/family relationships with best friends and they don’t always, always, always end in prolonged Manolo Blahnik standoffs. It’s cliched, it’s easy and I wish every television show I love didn’t fall prey to it at some point in it’s run. Conflict may be necessary, but it doesn’t always have to come at the cost of the relationship between the main two female characters.

I’ve gotten to a point in the season where this conflict has finally come to an end, but between how long that was drawn out and the fact that I haven’t watched one episode start to finish in less than 90 minutes, I don’t know that I can keep up with this one until the end. This might end up being a “Put in a pin in it ’til the shit hits Netflix” and move on with my life kind of show. Which is something I genuinely never thought I would say about it..


CheekyMF! Random: “You’re everywhere and nowhere, Dawson!”

Image: Kesha//Blow Video

While the title of this post may come directly from a vehicle which is currently heavily using one James Van Der Beek to elicit laughter, the statement, in and of itself, has proven oddly accurate in regards to my viewing choices as of late. Scout’s fucking honor, so not intended to be that way! (And yeah, I’m pretty aware that this is coming from someone who had an insane love of the show “Dawson’s Creek”, but, if I’m being real with myself, I was all about the Pacey…just saying.)

It all started with “Don’t Trust the B* in Apt. 23”, of course, Van Der Beek playing an outlandish version of himself, eternally tortured with his identity as the emotionally mature beyond his years Dawson Leery, and trying like hell to be known for something other than the Creek. Then a funny thing happened, I gave into a random urge I’ve had lingering around for years, I watched ‘Danny Roane: First Time Director’. This is a flick I watched a trailer for several years ago, couldn’t commit to it, came back to it a few months ago, but was just off my ‘Bad Batch’ experience….so, yet again, I couldn’t pull the trigger. Then it popped up on Netflix as a suggestion.

I was so far removed from the trailer at this point that I didn’t remember what drew me to watching it in the first place, so instead of reminding myself, I just said “Fuck it!”, and dove right in. The film is a mockumentary of sorts. Following around Danny Roane, (Played by Andy Dick), a recovering alcoholic, who is attempting to make a film, with James Van Der Beek playing, let’s just say a version of Danny Roane who is in essence just a version of Andy Dick, so Andy Dick with a bleeding asshole is who he plays. Yes, that’s the one.

Again, The Dawson, gives us a version of himself that is so committed to keeping his role in this movie, that, even when the director shows up drunk on set with liquor bottles covered simply with a piece of masking tape, the word “SODA” written on it in Sharpie, he continues to press on in the thought that this movie cannot only be successfully completed, but also, somehow, successful!

Then, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” happened. A month ago, in my review of “Don’t trust the B*”, I mentioned that I had just adored Van Der Beek’s turn as a psycho killer in “Criminal Minds” a few years back, sans the killing part, he showed up in full force for this role.

It’s still a fairly new episode, and I’d rather not spoil anything, so I will just put this right here, and you can see for yourself:

Law & Order: SVU//Father Dearest

His acting ability is really no surprise. I mean, to be able to pull off those rambly monologues that he was given on the show that he owes his fame to, one would have to be fairly adept at the art of becoming another. I’m thrilled to see he’s moved beyond that, even if that moving on still includes a hefty amount of laughing at himself and his past…

CheekyMF! Rant: Hey NBC, why don’t you sit don’t for a bit, we need to have a talk.

The time has come when we must address this. It’s gone on far too long and I just can’t watch this network I grew up adoring frenetically spiral downwards any longer. You’ve got to stop self-destructing, NBC, there’s no other way to say it.

I don’t know if it’s booze or pills. Maybe you’ve gotten yourself hooked on the reefer, but whatever is happening, it has to come to an end.

I grew up knowing that Thursday night could be funny because of you. I can’t begin to count how many Saturday nights were spent quietly awake in my bed, waiting for my parents to finally go to bed so I could come out and laugh at Adam Sandler and David Space dressed as Gap Girls. Five whole seasons of quotable “Newsradio” dialogue that still comes out of my mouth on a near daily basis…. We had some good times, right?

You can get to that place again, but it’s not by putting shows like “Community” and “Best Friends Forever” in limbo while “Whitney!” and “Are you there, Chelsea?” drag you down. When every show has shit for ratings, maybe you need to start looking at why. And I know it hurts to look inside yourself and own your failures, but please, stop now, take a step back, re-assess, and just look at what you’re doing to yourself for a minute.

A fan base is a finicky thing and it takes time. And while you think you’re doing the best for the Parham/St. Claire show by pairing it up with other “girl” shows, you’re really not. The fan base that would have inevitably proven the core for “Best Friends..” is simply not going to show up for Whitney Cummings or Chelsea Handler. I forgot the show was on every week if I’m being really honest. Only tended to remember when Friday morning came around and I realized it had been a while since I’d seen a new ep.

I know that at the end of the day, not every show can stay on the air. And what speaks to the broadest audience and gets the cheapest laugh is what’s likely to win out…but this one hurts, NBC. It hurts to see you give such a small chance to a show that had such potential and still keep shows that have been around for longer and seemed to have inspired less of a fan base. And perhaps that’s what hurts the most, it’s those shows lack of a fan base that cost this show from ever getting a “real” showing.

Please get help, my dear, sweet, NBC. Get help before there isn’t a network left to save.

All my love,

Maya F.

CheekyMF! Review: Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.

I love this show. There, I said it, I just came right out and said it. Sure I had my reservations initially, the cheesy title, the lack of a commitment to the word “bitch” itself. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that everyone already has a “Chloe” in their lives and…well…is that really the territory we want to venture into during our “zoning out in front of the tube” time?

Turns out, yes, the answer is yes. The show focuses on the titular “B”, Chloe, (played by Krysten Ritter), her bad girl shenanigans, and her newest roommate, a very good girl, June, (played by Dreama Walker). In the pilot episode, (released on Hulu in advance of the show’s April 11th premiere), June’s world is turned upside down when she shows up in New York to start her shiny new Wall Street job just as the recession has hit. It’s in her apartment search that we’re introduced to Chloe. A, yes, bitchy chick, who we quickly find out has made a career out of scamming bright-eyed & bushy-tailed young gals “just off the bus”.

After having a chance to catch the second episode, I was sold. The growing friendship between Chloe and June is apparent, even if June herself is skittish of the idea. A bitch can be a great friend to have, just, you know, as long as your boyfriend isn’t a cheating asshole. That said, the premise alone would be a stretch to carry an entire series. Luckily, this show has help.

The first of our show carriers comes in the form of “The Dawson”, (and you have to understand that was said in my best Jason Mewes voice!!), James Van Der Beek himself. As himself. Chloe’s ex boyfriend/current non-gay “gay best friend”. It’s a fantastic addition that, well, I mean, come on, do I really have to justify this one? He’s a really decent actor. He made an entire country of 90’s teenage girls fall in looooooove with him, just by pouting his way into our hearts, then he pulled out that little accent in Varsity Blues….oh, and yeah…Haven’t you seen this? Psycho killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est.

This show also gives us another look at Liza Lapira, (NCIS, Psych), as Chloe’s last roommate who appears to be half desiring of vengeance for what Chloe put her though, but also half in love with her. What results is wholly laugh inducing.

With a solid cast and what appears to be decent writing, this show feels like it actually has a chance on surviving in the world of second week cancellations. I hope so, at least.

CheekyMF! Review: The Simpson’s 500th Episode.

I’ve forced myself to sit with this one for a few days before giving my thoughts. Well, that’s not entirely true, I’ve written no less than ten drafts of a post covering every thought I could possibly have about the 22 minute milestone I watched Sunday evening. And I mean every thought. All ended up in the trash.

The truth is, I liked it. As much as the plot was a rehashed variation of the main plot point of the film, so much so, that this plot might have been a better film, if just for the fact that we all knew eventually it would come to this, so why even bother with the entire dome aspect of the plot? Back to my point….It felt really sweet.

Am I aware that no less than 24 hours prior to this episode, I had a conversation with someone who pointed out that the series has become less about the dysfunction of a family and more a portrait of a functional family in today’s society? Yes, of course, but still.

500 episodes, or roughly 183.33 hours of my life have gone by watching this oddly coiffed slice of American family life. 23 years of making sure I got to the television set on time every Sunday, or Thursday….and I swear to deity there were a couple of Tuesdays thrown in there just to fuck with our heads.

I’ve seen them succumb to repeating their history, and leaving more altered versions of the future than Heroes could have ever hoped for…but this time, I was pretty OK with it all.

You sucked me with the nostalgia, guys, and for that, I thank you.

Review: Misfits.

I know I’m so late to the party on this one, but my access to Hulu Plus is sketchy at best, (I have a bit of an issue with the way they advertise their programming and the method in which they actually deliver it–so I consistently pay for Netflix, but only get Hulu Plus when I find a code for a month for free. Most recent: Viggle had a month on “sale” for 6,500 points. Or in my case, about 3 days worth of CNN).

Considering that I have only one month, I’ve decided to immerse myself in series I’ve never seen before, this week’s? “Misfits”.

I was a massive fan of “Heroes”, and I feel you need to know that in order to understand where I’m coming from here. I felt it was ended entirely too abruptly, by a network struggling to cope with the fact that they just can’t get on top in this world of 5 million channels. The writer’s strike combined with the expense of the show, I get it, it was a hard thing to justify keeping on, but nonetheless, my life has been a little more empty without the Super Power People in it. I’ve attempted some of the US options….”The Cape”, for example. For the record, the only thing that remains in my mind regarding this show is the “6 seasons and a movie!” line from an entirely different show…

But nothing has quite hit the spot. Made me all warm and fuzzy….nothing has been able to motivate me in the way Zach Quinto as Sylar could…to maybe, possibly….root for the “bad guy” a bit more than I should…I mean, yeah, he’s a serial killer, but the guy grew up with that mom….the Beautiful Homes & Gardens magazine chick….you know….he’s gonna have a screw or two loose!

Back to the point…

“Misfits” follows a group of young offenders who, along with other random Brits in the general vicinity, receive super powers after some weird electrical storm sets over the city on some average, gloomy day in England. The powers are all pretty stereo-typical stuff, but the difference in this show is the fact that all of our “heroes” are complete and utter anti-heroes.

The show is well written, delves into that subculture of young adults who really don’t have their shit as together as former generations may have at that age….what, I can’t like television that’s relevant to me?

I generally don’t dig a lot of British television. I know I should have some respect for where the comedy that prevails in this country actually stems from, but I worked for a British company for a long time…and well, British accents, kinda give me nightmares. Not joking even a little bit here, this is serious, folks.

I’ve made exceptions in the past for anything Rowan Atkinson has ever done…and at the behest of my former mentor, I gave “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” more than a passing chance….I did love them both…still do….but I could never get myself into Monty Python…or any of the other Brit classics that every one looks down on me for not adoring, but whatever…fuck it, I can’t deal with the accents….unless they’re utterly cockney. Loads of that in “Misfits”….not too many proper Londonites..? Londinians…? Idk, nor do I care. I can deal with the accents on this show, and on the whole, understand the dialogue sans subtitles, so…you know…don’t let your fear of your old boss keep you from this one, k?

For now I’ll leave you though, cos I still have like two seasons to watch!

Review: Are you there, Chelsea?

I’ll preface this review with some truth, I am not a fan of Chelsea Handler. I have tried to watch her show “Chelsea, Lately”, and it’s just never been my cup of tea….I guess, if I’m in a dynamic where someone is being overly bitchy, I need that someone to be me. At least I’m honest, right? Well, this show feels like it’s anything but honest, and I’ve always felt that to be….insulting. There I said it. No network gods struck me down, NBC, you have insulted me. In a big way.

I’m kinda notorious for bitching about females in television. The few that seem to find their way into the industry do so by overtly playing up tired stereotypes, or..well…fucking network executives until they take a show away from their college roommate and give it to you. Jesus fucking Christ the E! Network is like a goddamn fraternity! But you, NBC? You should know better.

This show could have had some potential with a cast that included Laura Prepon, Jo Koy, Natalie Morales and Lenny Clarke. The reason why, is that of that list, Laura Prepon is the weakest actor. When you take away the bulk of that list and leave Laura Prepon with a collective of not-so-strong individual comedic talents and just a few moments of Lenny Clarke, you realize why Laura Prepon wasn’t one of the standouts of “That 70’s Show”.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Donna! She was my freaking Ginger Heroine! But she’s not strong enough to carry a show. That said, if I read one more comment about how “Chelsea needs to play herself”, I’mma go Postal. And not in the cute Uwe Boll way where I really just destroy myself in the process. Chelsea Handler looks haggard as fuck! All honesty, she doesn’t look like she should be playing a woman of “child-bearing” age, much less a 25-ish year old version of herself. Come on guys, she’s fucking painful to look at as a blonde in full make-up. The brunette Chelsea is a fucking train wreck.

While we’re on the topic of hair, the “Redhead Rant” coming from a chick who made a career out of playing an auburn goddess just came off as disconcerting. Maybe it has something to do with Chelsea’s words just seeming awkward and off-putting coming out of Prepon’s mouth in the first place, but it. just. got. weird.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but one final bitch: If you are arrested for drunk driving, your sister can’t just come and bail you out. If you’re arrested for drunk driving, your solution can’t be to just move to an apartment closer to the bar you work at. If you’re arrested for drunk driving, your life gets a whole lot less funny. This show takes a lighthearted stance on a serious topic, and shame on you NBC for trying to cash in on it.

To see drunk people who are actually funny and also walk everywhere–check out The Complete Black Books!