Thursday, 5 November 2009

It's Been Pretty, Pretty, Prettttty Good...

We are currently in the midst of a delicious seventh season of the wonderful ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ starring the genius that is Larry David.

I feel confident in saying that it’s not just the fact that I’ve been Jonesing for a Larry fix these last nine or so months that makes me feel like this has been the best season so far.

To celebrate ‘Curb’s glorious return I thought it an opportune time to name, and show (the odd ones I could find), some of my favourite classic Larry moments from the six (and a bit) seasons so far:

- Larry pokes ‘Producers’ co-star Ben Stiller in the eye with a kebab skewer while demonstrating his golf swing.

- Larry gets a pubic hair stuck in his throat and then gets into a fight with a nativity scene Joseph.

- Larry pays a prostitute to ride in his car in order to use the car pool lane.

- Larry inadvertently trips Shaq during a Lakers game.

- Larry steals a five wood he claims is his from a dead man’s casket.

- Larry attempts to sleep with his Hasidic Jewish dry cleaner using what can only be described as a ‘sex sheet’

- Larry adopts a ‘racist’ dog.

- Larry gets his therapist imprisoned for robbery.

Other Musings:

- We’ve got a great weekend of sport to look forward to this weekend. In addition to the usual Football shenanigans and NFL Sunday we have the World Series of Poker final table (come on Phil Ivey!), the Haye Vs. Valuev fight (which I’m predicting Haye will win on points; although I would love to see him get his ass handed to him even if I was one of the only people who found his decapitated Klitschko T-shirt funny) & the The Breeders Cup which may be lacking in the star power of last year but should still be a hell of a night of racing and is worth watching just to laugh at the American commentators.

- ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ has been hit by even more controversy if that’s possible as the public’s retarded voting habits kick in once again.

Former Footballer’s Wife Zoe Lucker got booted off in spite of being one of the stronger contestants while the utter dregs like Chris Hollins, Natalie ‘Moon Face’ Cassidy and Craig Kelly remain.

I can only assume it’s Corrie loyalist voting and his irritating habit of mentioning he’s from Blackpool more frequently than Rudy Giuliani mentions 9/11 that has kept him in this long.

Well Kelly desperately wanted to make it to the Blackpool show and now he has, at least he’ll only have a short walk of shame to make after he’s unceremoniously booted out this Saturday.

- The critically acclaimed ‘Breaking Bad’ hit Five USA this week, it has already had an airing on the brilliant FX on these shores but Five have now taken up the cause of getting this raved about show the attention it seemingly deserves; and, in the process continued it’s rehabilitation in my eyes for the abuse it has given the likes of ‘30 Rock’ and ‘Californication’.

Season 1 will get a full run until December and Five are going to follow it straight up with season 2, I don’t say it very often and I may not say it again, but kudos Channel 5.

- It was very nice to see Callum Keith Rennie in the preview for next week's ‘FlashForward’ - he's a great actor and is fresh off a brilliant recurring role in ‘Californication’ so it's good to have him back on our screens. We may soon be seeing quite a bit more of him as well as it is rumored he'll be showing up in the next season of ‘24’ as a Russian mobster.

Speaking of ‘FlashForward’ it continues to be a decent companion to Lost, albeit a campier companion, and the pieces of the puzzle are now starting to fall into place with the addition of Dominic Monaghan's mysterious Simon and the revelation that he and Lloyd had a hand in the blackout (which was pretty obvious to anyone familiar with the novel).

In a way, Benford's wall reminds me of the gash John Woo film ‘Paycheck’ where Ben Affleck has to piece together the future from a bunch of random items he has – ‘FlashForward’ does this a hell of a lot better though and is a damn sight more engrossing, but I've got to say that the production values of this one don't look as costly as ‘Lost's - but maybe that will all change when ‘Lost’ draws to a close next year.

- One of the shows I predicted would do well after my trip to America was paramedic drama ‘Trauma’ - shows what I know, it's been cancelled already!

- I happened across a stand-up special the very funny Jim Jeffries did for HBO on Comedy Central the other night. A good few years back, myself and my esteemed colleague Mr. Sam Brydges attended a comedy night at our naff local theatre Burnley Mechanics, hosted by none other than Alan Carr whose meteoric rise to fame since has astounded me and featuring one Jim Jeffries.

If Carr's ascension to prominence was impressive then Jeffries' has to be jaw-dropping because to get a HBO special is an achievement in itself but to get one when roughly five years ago you were playing to about forty people (and offending half of them [I wasn't one of them]) on a drab Sunday night in Burnley is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Jeffries 'I Swear to God' definitely lived up to expectations and must hold the record for the most uses of the word 'cunt' in one stand-up show, although, being a fan, I'd heard a few of the gags and stories before they were the pant-pissingly funny ones and were definitely a joy to hear again - including one about a particularly unfortunate masturbatory session involving a vibrating egg (which he told when we saw him at Burnley and is definitely his most memorable, and graphic, gag even if it did lose him half the audience that night).

I hope this is the start of something very big for Jeffries because he is a damn sight funnier than half of the big comedians out there and deserves to find a mass audience.

- My hatred of Cheryl Cole (part irrational, part completely deserved) is pretty well documented on these pages but I’m bewildered by just how easily manipulated the British public, and in particular ‘X Factor’ viewers, are.

Sure, we are currently drowning in an unrelenting sea of media hype for the woman with her inane grin greeting us at every turn of a page, click of a mouse or flick of a channel but I find the fact that her album has managed to fly in at number one bewildering.

The album is titled ‘3 Words’, and I have 3 Words for Cheryl myself:




- I was almost erect last week at the prospect of seeing my screen hero Christopher Walken on ‘Friday Night with Jonathan Ross’ and the living legend was no cock tease.

Now although Walken didn’t seem like he especially ‘got’ exactly what was going on in the interview and Ross sadly delivered a rather clichéd interview – his accent, impersonations, his hair etc. but the gravitas Walken carries himself with meant that the audience, the green room and Wossy himself were hanging on his every word.

I would’ve liked to see the interview go slightly longer (especially given the fact that Dominic Cooper got roughly the same amount of time) but it was great to see Walken on UK TV and for the most part being treated with the respect he deserves.

And although I called making reference to the plethora of Walken impersonations out there cliché, I couldn’t resist this opportunity to share two of the best with you:

TV Moment of the Week:

- A great episode of ‘Dollhouse’ - I honestly feel maybe the best yet. I never thought I’d say this, but having less Eliza Dushku actually worked wonders for the show.

This episode gave much needed back-story and fleshing out to Sierra, Topher and even Boyd and it was captivating from start to finish. The episode was a telling example of Joss Whedon’s undoubted genius and showed just how much potential this show has when they get it right.

In spite of all the criticisms, ‘Dollhouse’ has the power to be a great show – it just needs some focus… That said if they keep churning out episodes of this quality we may yet see a third season…


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