Evening TV Round-Up: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' New Girl' & 'The Mindy Project' reviews
It's evening round-up time, with quick reviews of tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" coming up just as soon as I pump my fists too hard at a Weird Al concert...
Episode 3 of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" illustrated a potential structural problem for so far: the show is built around the tension between Jake and Captain Holt, and in virtually every argument, Holt is right and Jake is wrong. And that's a problem, because as much as I enjoy watching Andre Braugher get to be smug and correct, it makes Jake into a juvenile, narcissistic clown, when he's supposed to be immature but ultimately smart and likable. On "Parks and Rec," Schur, Goor and company figured out pretty early how to put Leslie into conflict with other characters (and Ron in particular) in ways where either they both had a point, or where the dynamic see-sawed back and forth from episode to episode, and we need to get that kind of balance here, ASAP. Most of the comic highlights from "The Slump" came courtesy of either Terry (whether bragging about his love of "Scary Terry" or being emotionally defeated by the castle) or Gina (particular Chelsea Peretti's interpretive dance to "Beautiful"), rather than from the main story.
"New Girl," meanwhile, finally backs out of the dumb Schmidt/Elizabeth/Cece triangle it never should have stumbled into in the first place, but in a way that predictably ends Schmidt's relationships with both women. I can appreciate the writers being wary of having four-fifths of the ensemble happily dating at the same time, making Crazy Winston seem even stranger and more pathetic, but this whole thing felt mechanical and made me strongly dislike Schmidt . And the idea that he's now going to try to split up Nick and Jess? Ugh. If they don't work out, they don't work out, but this is dumb. All the laughs here came from small character details (Nick still using the 10,000 cell phone minutes he bought back in 1999, or his horrified reaction to Schmidt dating both women) than from the plots.
I haven't written about "The Mindy Project" yet this season because I keep waiting for the show to settle down with its cast and tone, but it seems it's destined to remain in flux, with the addition here of Adam Pally as the douchey new member of the practice (which had no use for a fourth partner until this week) and the jarring exit of Anders Holm as Casey. I never expected Mindy and Casey to stay together, both because Holm has a day job on "Workaholics," because it's much too early in the series for the writers to want Mindy to settle down, and because for whatever reason they're convinced that her One True Pairing is Danny Castellano. But even considering that, this was Casey doing a complete 180 character-wise so the writers could shuffle him quickly off-stage without making Mindy look bad for blowing it with the handsome perfect clergymen. Didn't work at all, and while Pally has a lot of residual goodwill from "Happy Endings," the character as introduced here is not someone I particularly want to be spending time with. Hopefully he evolves, and quickly; as demonstrated in this very episode, "The Mindy Project" isn't afraid to throw out pre-existing character traits if necessary.
What did everybody else think?
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
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