Molly Lambert: I am so sad about Eastbound & Down ending that in true Kenny Powers fashion, I am angry. Why must you go, Kenny? What is the world worth without you in it? I know Danny McBride will keep making movies, but what if we all go Misery on him and just tie him up until he promises to be Kenny for us again, one last time? Still, the legend of KP will live on in boxed sets, GIF sets, and HBO GO, but most of all in our hearts, minds, and groins.
I love Eastbound so much that I made eight mixtapes based around it concurrent with each season that are probably the most complete record of my life during the years the show spanned. I've been reflecting on how much time and thought I'd invested into this fandom, and how it's probably the last time I'll ever invest so much of myself in a thing I did not make. I feel a lot like Stevie Janowski, losing the sense of purpose I'd been grounded to for years. Who am I without Kenny? Who did I possibly think I was before? Regular television feels bland, network sitcoms limp, everything is colorless in the wake of Kenny's flaming margarita of a run through culture, backed by Jody Hill and David Gordon Green's impeccable tag-team direction. This clip is from the second season, when Kenny flees to Mexico. I like to compare Season 2 of Eastbound to Season 2 of The Wire, which had a similar sophomore shift in location and supporting cast, only to revert back to the original setup for the remaining seasons after that. Season 2 has great guest spots from Michael Peña and Ana de la Reguera. Choosing a favorite clip from Eastbound is difficult. Every moment of the show is the best moment. So here's a small offering of Kenny freestyling in the booth and misinterpreting obvious social cues. "Kenny Powers's girlfriend. Kenny Powers's girlfriend's song." I love you, Kenny. With Mad Men's end also approaching, I might just throw my TV into the ocean. Maybe I'll make a pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach.
The first thing you should know about comedic actors is that most of them really want to act dramatically. The second thing is that, yes, A.C.O.D. is infinitely better than R.I.P.D., but that's not asking very much. The third thing, which is really the first and only thing you actually wanted to know, is that A.C.O.D. stands for Adult Children of Divorce. Adam Scott, lately of Parks and Recreation, plays Carter, the titular adult child of divorce. In a plot that sounds more convoluted than it plays, Carter finds out he was part of a landmark study conducted by a flaky pseudo-therapist (Jane Lynch) on the emotional issues suffered by kids whose parents split up. The feuding parents are played by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara, who find the humor in even the most intense screaming matches. It's like The Squid and the Whale mated with a Restoration comedy and a '70s sitcom.
A.C.O.D. tries to be a lot of things at once: a dramedy, a farce, a sex comedy, a sensitive emotional drama, a cynical rom-com, a late-coming-of-age movie. It's pretty good at all of them, if not outstanding at any. The movie is anchored by strong performances, particularly from Scott, proving he can carry a movie. Scott is an understated actor, and A.C.O.D. works best as a character study about Carter, whose attempts to keep the dueling halves of the family together keep backfiring on him. Instead of the man-child stereotype that is still so rampant in comedies, Carter is its converse — the overly responsible type-A guy. Carter is sort of the male version of that time-honored female rom-com character, the career girl whose emotional compass is wired completely wrong. Scott excels at playing struggling, but also at playing smug. In A.C.O.D. he's the former, surrounded by an extended family who fall into the latter category.
An adaptation of James Thurber's classic "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" — thanks to its steady classroom presence and general winning charms, one of the best-known American short stories of all time — is a daunting-enough task. That the 1947 adaptation still warms the hearts of millions worldwide makes a new version that much more of a challenging enterprise. And that this newfangled take is being helmed by Ben Stiller, as divisive a movie star/auteur/scruple-free-box-office-cash-in-dude as we have working today — and that he's starring and directing — might just go ahead and make this, for you, a terrible idea. (Oh, right: And The New Yorker did a big piece on the softly labored Mitty production, which doubled as a big ol' invitation to go ahead and bring out the knives.) But anyway: Now we get the first teaser trailer for the flick and oh damn. Hmm. Wow. That's that's pretty damn lovely.
Let's let erstwhile Rock & Roll Jeopardy! host Jeff Probst explain what's happening here: "Hello, everybody last year, we brought you what we were led to believe was the greatest event in television history: a shot-for-shot re-creation of the opening title sequence to the 1980s hit show Simon & Simon." (Remember? This? With Adam Scott and his buddy Mr. Jonny Hamm?) "Well, as it turns out, it wasn't the greatest event in television history." Pause. "Not even [beep]ing close." So what did we get this year? Adam Scott subbed out Hammy boy, picked up his Parks and Rec MVP teammate Amy Poehler and they did a shot-for-shot remake of the title sequence of Hart to Hart. I'm sorry? What's that? Your brains are all over your shoes? Cause they've exploded? Right through your nose? In other words: If you have a spare 20 minutes, watch this. Adam Scott is truly the greatest.
I realize that Quvenzhane Wallis is probably pretty busy, but this video just proves that MTV needs to be filling its empty programming slots with The Quvenzhane Dance-Off. You think it's easy to bust a move in a knee-length skirt? It's not. I would also accept Teen Mom Competitive Waltzing, 16 and Dougieing, and The Challenge: Choque.
With The Office winding down toward that great big nothing in the beyond, Rainn Wilson is letting nostalgia get the best of him. Today on Facebook, he gave us this informative update: "This is the original sign-in sheet for the first day of casting for The Office given to me by Allison Jones, our incredible casting agent. I was the very first person to audition for the series, 11/06/03. Notice all the amazing talent on the sheet, including the amazing #13! This is perhaps the greatest Office keepsake I have. So grateful for the best job I will ever have." But never mind Rainn Wilson's sweet sentiments! Look at all these quasi-well-known actors who auditioned for The Office!
Fans of comedian Marc Maron and his WTF podcast now have a date with IFC on May 3. That's when Maron's TV show — titled Maron — will debut. So it's Maron on Maron about Maron. The good thing is, you know right off the bat if this show is for you. The comedian and podcaster will play a fictionalized version of himself, a comedian and podcaster, working out his neuroses or merely airing them via his garage podcasting studio. One suspects this is Maron's attempt to get on the Louie train, but Louis C.K. didn't even really seem to be getting on the Louie train for about half a season, so who knows?
After seven years, several serious-ish boyfriends, and countless offscreen episodes of TGS, Liz Lemon is a married woman. Last week's 30 Rock saw Liz making it legal with handsome slacker boyfriend Criss Chros (James Marsden). Liz eschewed her original plan to elope in sweats at City Hall in favor of a more formal event, replete with Tony Bennett and a Princess Leia bridal gown. You'll have to forgive me for replicating the famous Lemon eye-roll when I learned that Liz had secret white-wedding fantasies concealed under all her anti-romance bluster. It was somewhat trying to watch Liz realize that her tireless hatred of the culturally enforced marriage-industrial complex was a defensive reaction to her true heart's deepest wish, which just happened to be a ceremony like the ones on Bravo's Wedding Bitches. I found myself rooting for witness Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters) to pound on some glass and break up the wedding, The Graduate–style.
Rembert Browne: Will Ferrell is in a great place right now. This is the fourth wave of his career and perhaps the Era of Ferrell I'm most excited about. He has already had his rise to fame (SNL), his string of classics (Old School, Zoolander, Anchorman), and his Sandler phase (Kicking & Screaming, Semi-Pro). The key is that he successfully made it through the Sandler "I am just going to keep making movies because I can and I don't care if fewer and fewer people laugh because I got bills, son" period, remembered how to be really funny again, and is now getting weird and experimental. That's what Casa De Mi Padre, an absurd movie completely in subtitles, screams out to the public. "Get weird with your old pal, Will." I don't know what I'm getting myself into with this movie, but I genuinely can't wait.
Each week, marketers release new movie posters, many for films whose releases are still months away. But for those who know where to look, one-sheets can reveal studios' hopes and insecurities about their products. In this space, we will attempt to decode the hidden meanings of the week's new posters.
A visit to Pawnee City Hall yesterday –- conveniently located in the palm tree filled San Fernando Valley –- provided many memorable moments, including Rob Lowe talking to a dog, Rashida Jones suffering through an epic post-Watch The Throne tour hangover and the incongruous sight of Chris Pratt nose-deep in a 500 page book. But while most of the details will be saved until for a longer Parks & Recreation story, coming next month, one bit of news did emerge: the Party Down movie may be closer than you think.
In between takes on a freezing Southern California morning -– really! –- Adam Scott revealed more details on the big-screen reincarnation of the culty catering comedy. “We have a treatment,” he said, “and if everyone’s schedules work out, we’ll shoot it over the summer.” This info comes on the heels of a previous relevation that the film had a production company lined up and was only waiting on the go-ahead from Starz. Still, two years from cancellation to cinematic rebirth is a timeline that should embarrass even the most patient of Bluth fans and give hope to anxious Greendale Human Beings. With visions of pink bowties dancing in our heads, we cautioned Scott about the one thing that could still derail the project: Michael Cera. He said there was no chance of that happening, before deadpanning. "At least I hope not.”
Matthew McConaughey has joined the cast of Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh’s stripper drama that also stars, and is partially based on the pre-fame life of, Channing Tatum. McConaughey will play Dallas, a former stripper who owns a club called Xquisite and mentors Tatum’s character in exotic dancing. A former stripper? Could Soderbergh possibly have the guts to make a stripping movie in which McConaughey keeps his shirt on the entire time? Grade: A [Variety]
Brad Pitt’s Plan B productions will adapt Twelve Years a Slave — the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and enslaved before fighting his way to freedom through the legal system — with Steve McQueen directing and Chiwetel Ejiofor starring. Grade: B+ [HR]