Hump: I do not envy network drama executives these days — it’s basically impossible to create one that sticks. Just look at this winter’s list of casualties: Golden Boy, Zero Hour, Do No Harm...each with worse ratings than the last. So, I try to give them all a chance. After all, there could be a Revenge (season one, not whatever’s going on right now) in there somewhere. This paltry reasoning is what led me to DVR ABC’s newest offering, Red Widow, which premiered this Sunday.
Suffice it to say, I won’t be tuning into episode two. What the show did convince me to do, however, is start watching Hell on Wheels, because it stars Anson Mount, a sexy, burly, bearded mix of machismo and tenderness. For half an episode, he played the ill-fated husband of the titular Red Widow (“red” because she comes from a Russian mob family that supposedly runs a thriving illegal import/export marijuana trade out of an Oakland port...doesn’t everyone out there have a dispensary card?). Mount doesn’t actually do that much besides hold clandestine meetings on the docks with his brother-in-law and other shady characters, but then...oh, but then.
In one last blaze of glory, before he’s gunned down in his driveway, the series suddenly pauses to have an almost-soft-core porn scene that makes quite a compelling case for Mount’s backup career options, should his Hell on Wheels character meet a similar demise. He wouldn’t even have to change his name.
Marry: I’m sorry I didn’t let you know about this one sooner, but a satisfying, satirical sketch show ended its brief first season on Wednesday night on Comedy Central. Never fear, though, Kroll Show will be back for season two. I would like nothing more than to live inside Nick Kroll’s head while he watches reality TV, devising clever characters to playfully mock the genre I so love and loathe (mostly loathe at this point). From publicists who think everything is “ahhhhmayyyyzing”, to L.A.’s premiere plastic surgeon for dogs, Kroll cleverly skewered nearly every major network’s particular heinous brand of “reality.” Nick, if you’re reading this, next season please use more John Mulaney, and consider a character who’s the buxom, no-nonsense head of a local children’s party craft emporium. I’ll let you think about it and get back to me.
Kill: Ummmm...have you watched Glee recently? I gave up awhile ago, but since it was a super slow TV week, I gave this Thursday’s episode a chance. The “theme” of the episode was “movies” — as in, songs from them. Creative! And, to push the innovation even further, the glee club faced off in a girls-versus-boys medley battle. Never seen that ‘round these parts before ...
But like...I don’t even have words for this. The guys’ medley was a “tribute to the early macho cinema of one Mr. Tom Cruise” (Artie’s words), and they split into two groups to honor two specific examples of this sub-genre of the Cruise career. The luckier fellas donned pilots’ jumpsuits, helmets, and aviators to sing “Highway to the Danger Zone” from Top Gun, while the other three dudes performed “Old Time Rock and Roll” in the classic tribute to Risky Business that’s pretty much relegated to college girls’ Halloween costumes these days.
I know, it’s Glee, and there’s supposed to be a certain suspension of disbelief involved, but come on — high school boys cannot strut around campus wearing underwear and button-downs. Maybe I’m getting prudish in my old age, but it just felt so inappropriate. I realize it’s not the most outlandish or revealing costume Glee characters have donned throughout the years, but seeing three actors thrashing around in Y-fronts while the female glee clubbers cheered them on like the ladies of Tampa in Magic Mike just felt so wrong. I don’t think anyone in my high school would have done that, even if it had been dress code-approved. There’s a time and a place for Risky Business tributes, and it’s not during high school glee club performances. Now, put some clothes on and get off my lawn.
Photo: Courtesy of Sergei Bachlakov; Courtesy of Greg Gayne; Courtesy of FOX