Getting Old, Would Rather See Live Comedy These Days
Maria Bamford is godmode right now, easily a top five American comedian. See her.
ps Her tourmate Jackie Kashian was fantastic in her own right.
Tig Notaro seems content to tell stories and fuck with the crowd. She's got survivor's confidence, and the crowd's complete faith. Delivery and physical comedy were spot-on, joke selection and long anecdotes not as high payoff. Would have liked a little more discipline, but it was a treat to see her anyhow.
Mike Birbiglia seemed rejuvenated with a lot of new material and more enthusiasm and charisma than last time we saw him, where I think he was (and Scott sure was!) sick of his own stories. Met him again, had more pleasantly awkward conversation. You would have a good time too.
Season 5 got some shade thrown at it, and if you really feel like it doesn't continue to justify its existence, then nothing I can say can or should change your mind. That is a huge bummer, thinking it out-stayed its welcome. But I'd like to point-out Mr. Harmon had to do a MASSIVE course-correction, deal with the loss of his two best physical comedians, and SAVE THE GODDAMN SHOW all within 13 episodes. Name another show that has ever done anything like that.
And if your argument wonders aloud where they have to go from here, I think we pretty clearly have come, with extremely economic grace, to the season where we have to deal with Jeff and Annie. Something that happens to mirror what is happening in Mr. Harmon's life. You think that won't be worth watching?
Even it it would fail, haven't relationships been the weak link in many a great sitcom? Won't it be exciting to watch it try? Even the mighty 30 Rock shoehorned in a half-dozen uninteresting significant others and cooked up story lines for Julianne Moore or Salma Hayak that didn't justify the minutes away from the writer's room. Liz's had a better batting average, but we still had Wesley Snipes, repeatedly. And honestly, don't both the people Jack and Liz settled down with seem more like placeholders that just happened to be there when the story ended? They couldn't handle a romantic relationship--it is dangerous, messy business, and with both your stars over 40, not something the public is really clamoring for anyway.
But accomplishing a meaningful romantic journey, with already well-established characters is a truly difficult challenge, but so valuable. Think of how poorly done Ross and Rachel were, and how we still cared about it. America is not good at love stories, or hasn't been for years. Rom-coms have a bad reputation now because no one knows how to do them right, not because they're inherently stupid. A list of Great American Love Stories, well what do you think?
The Men with my 2nd favorite album of the new year, after Future Islands Singles.
Correction time: Lorde's Pure Heroine (Extended) is my album of the 2013. You need to sit down and listen to the whole thing. "Royals" is the weakest track on there, and sticks out like a sore thumb. But I can't fault her for Trojan Horsing her way into fame. I thank her. Imagine Southern (Hemisphere) Gothic- think Top of the Lake- with the outsider heart/mind of Lindsay Weir and the full realization of the xx's spare pop majesty. Her vocal emotiveness and limberness is banana-stand crazy. Who's to say what will come next for this kid who already thinks she's old, but based on her outre collection of covers and collabs, the sky is the limit. If she falls back to earth, this was more than enough.