Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 9/25/20

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The Amber Ruffin Show (CREDIT: Peacock/YouTube Screenshot)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Kajillionaire (Select Theaters)

TV
Despite the pandemic, the Fall TV Season is in full swing.
The Amber Ruffin Show Series Premiere (September 25 on Peacock) – One of Seth Meyers’ writers strikes out on her own.
Utopia Series Premiere (September 25 on Amazon)
Bless the Harts Season 2 Premiere (September 27 on FOX)
Bob’s Burgers Season 11 Premiere (September 27 on FOX)
Family Guy Season 19 Premiere (September 27 on FOX)
Fargo Season 4 Premiere (September 27 on FX)
The Simpsons Season 32 Premiere (September 27 on FOX)
Weakest Link Reboot Premiere (September 29 on NBC) – Hosted by Jane Lynch.
South Park: The Pandemic Special (September 30 on Comedy Central)

Music
-Tim Heidecker, Fear of Death

How Mascot-errific Are the Mascots (And Everyone Else) in ‘Mascots’?

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CREDIT: Scott Garfield/Netflix

I’d been meaning to watch Mascots for a while ever since it arrived on Netflix in 2016. Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries represent one of the most significant trends in American comedy, after all, so I need to stay on the up-and-up. So on May 16, 2020, I decided that it would finally be the day. And then after that personal resolution, I heard the news of Fred Willard’s passing. And well, I had no choice at that point. It was almost as if Willard himself had left me a note saying, “If I die, please have fun by watching this.” He seemed like the sort of guy who would leave behind such a message. Thanks for the laughs, Fred!

CREDIT: Scott Garfield/Netflix

So now that I’ve watched, I’ve decided to rank several of the main actors by how much their acting embodies the spirit of mascots, which consists of a mischievous mix of adorable and devious, plus a dash of uncanny valley. My evaluations are based mostly on Mascots, with some consideration given towards their performances in other Guest films (where applicable):

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This Is a Movie Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

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CREDIT: Disney

Ralph Breaks the Internet presents a remarkably satisfying and accurate (such as it is) cinematic version of the Internet (minus all the porn, of course). It’s filled to the brim with buzzy avatars representing pushy autofill, distracting suggested ads, and the like. There are also scores of little blue birds tweeting a bunch of nonsense (there should probably be even more of those). If the references look like they will be instantly dated, look again, and see that it is actually an ouroboros/phoenix of eternal present and unceasing nostalgia constantly eating itself and being reborn. The story zips along weightily with the technical dangers of a connected world grounded metaphorically in the emotional lives of Ralph and Vanellope. And the much-hyped inclusion of all the Disney Princesses is more significant than expected, with the ladies proving to be narratively essential as they also remain thematically true to themselves. All in all, as much as constant connectivity has transformed society (often for the worse), Ralph Breaks the Internet demonstrates that there is still room for friendship.

I give Ralph Breaks the Internet 23,000 Hearts out of 27272 Viruses.

SNL Recap October 9, 2010: Jane Lynch/Bruno Mars

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Cold Opening – Ask Gloria Allred
I didn’t realize that Gloria Allred has represented that many “victims” (though I assume there was some exaggeration), so it was amusing to discover that. Otherwise, this sketch was just an exercise in coming up with a bunch of ways to describe someone as the worst person alive, which proved to be bland and repetitive. C+

Jane Lynch’s Monologue
“Classically trained guitarist Fred Armisen,” eh? I like it. As for the Glee “theme song” premise, it was a little predictable and that sort of thing has been done before (see Jack Black’s King Kong theme song), but Jane Lynch did perform serviceably. B

Damn It, My Mom is on Facebook Filter
Ah, mom humor. It appears to be endless (cf. the Mom Celbrity Translator). To work, it requires solid performances, which we had with Andy as the frustrated son and Jane as the concerned and mommishly kooky mom. B+

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