Hump: If you ever want to see the cast of my dream dinner party, look no further than Yahoo’s web series, Burning Love. The amazing parody of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is now in its second season, and E! will actually be airing the first season, which starred Ken Marino as a firefighter looking for love, on TV starting February 25. You should definitely watch.
The second season fittingly launched on Valentine’s Day, and it features Julie Gristlewhite (June Diane Raphael), one of the rejected suitors from season one, as the bachelorette looking for Mr. Right — and battling some personal demons along the way. The bachelors assembled are pretty much my all-star dream team of comedians and actors. Just to name a few: Adam Scott, Rob Huebel, Adam Brody (“The Jewish One”), Michael Cera, Ryan Hansen, Michael Ian Black (as host Bill Tundle), Nick Kroll, Nick Thune, Martin Starr, Paul Scheer, and Colin Hanks (who plays Allison, an exact clone of The Bachelorette’s entitled helicoptered-in tool, Kalon). I already have dreams starring all of these dudes, so seeing them assembled in one place making fun of one of the most easily mockable pieces of trash our culture has produced to date is complete nirvana.
Just like its source material, Julie meets her potential husbands at the first cocktail party, and right before the box ceremony (on Burning Love, “Will you accept this rose?” becomes “Will you hold my box?”), the host announces that she first has to meet four bonus gentlemen. Enter four non-white bachelors who barely get to say one word to Julie before it’s time for eliminations. “I didn’t even get to talk to her,” one bonus bachelor protests. “Well, it’s not about how much time you get, it’s about the fact that you got equal opportunity,” Bill Tundle explains.
Not one to slap affirmative action in the face or even know why she’d be presented with four random additional dudes, Julie does, in fact, pick one of the bonus gentlemen to make it to the next round: Zakir (Kumail Nanjiani), who she immediately renames Zak. So, just when I thought the cast couldn’t get any better, they throw Kumail onto the field. Someone please fetch my smelling salts.
Marry: Community aired its Halloween episode on Valentine’s Day because NBC sucks and held the season premiere (that was supposed to debut on October 19, making this second episode perfectly timed for, you know, the actual date of Halloween) until February. The season’s gotten off to a somewhat off-kilter start (even more than usual for the already bizarro show) without creator Dan Harmon, but the Halloween episode gave some of the actors a chance to go even more over-the-top since they were in crazy costumes.
Annie (Alison Brie) played the fool even better (and more meta) than usual in this episode. She was supposed to do a couples costume with Jeff, but he texted her to come as a “ring girl” (to his studly shirtless boxer), which she misunderstood, and showed up as “the girl from The Ring.” She even entered in the same creepy-crawly way that gave me nightmares for a week after watching The Ring despite hating referential humor (we see what you’re doing there, Community). Spot on scary-fun stuff, minus the fact that it’s February.
Kill: On Thursday, I tuned into the premiere of ABC’s new conspiracy theory show, Zero Hour, because hello, it stars Cappie from Greek (best ABC Family show, ever). But, oh my god, this show...I can’t. First of all, Anthony Edwards is the main character, and I had to IMDb him to confirm that he was a name and that ABC didn’t just hang an entire show on possibly the most unemotive actor of all time. (Then again, is “Starring Anthony Edwards from ER” really enough to get people to tune in?)
Then, there’s the entire premise. The show starts in Nazi Germany, where soldiers murder two priests because of some reason having to do with the whole “Zero Hour” premise. Then, flash forward to present day: Edwards plays the editor-in-chief of a print magazine called Modern Skeptic that the show’s creators expect us to believe is a thing that exists in the age of Snopes.com, The Smoking Gun, and the whole entire Internet. His wife owns a massive “timepiece repair shop” in Brooklyn, because tons of people these days are concerned about timepiece maintenance. I know I’m forever like, “Damn, my grandfather clock just isn’t chiming as loudly as it used to, better take it into the clock shop, and, oh wait, what’s that? I have time-telling abilities on this little handheld electronic device I own that also allows me to send emails, make phone calls, and play Scrabble?”
Anyway, the profitable magazine editor (good one) and the clock-repairer (better one) live in a gorgeous brownstone in Brooklyn (sure, why not?) and do things like meet up to stroll through flea markets in Brooklyn Bridge Park on their lunch breaks because they are so in love. In the pilot, however, Edwards goes back to work, his wife buys an intriguing, old clock at the fair, and then the guy who played Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo kidnaps her because of some age-old, Da Vinci Code-style legend that somehow involves the Church, Nazis, diamonds with treasure maps etched in them, and racing through the Arctic Circle in a Jeep.
The setup is confusing, and maybe I’m just getting too old and jaded to suspend disbelief, but come on, a lifelong conspiracy theorist didn’t know about this massive cross-continent, millennium-old Zero Hour a.k.a. armageddon thing? His magazine (still can’t get over that one) never covered it during what I assume can only be a long and successful history of writing stories exactly like this one? And this guy whose wife just got kidnapped and his best friend got murdered as a result can only stand there with his mouth slightly agape copping a half-assed ‘tude when the FBI questions him? Also: The FBI lets you bring journalists into meetings if they’re there for moral support instead of, oh, writing the entire magazine that’s on deadline? No. All of it, just no.
Photo: Courtesy of Yahoo; Courtesy of Vivian Zink/NBC; Courtesy of Nicole Rivelli/ABC