Film and TV

The Week In TV: The Globes, Garfunkel & Oates

This was the week in TV Land:

• Thanks to a combination of laziness and masochism, I wound up watching the Golden Globe Awards broadcast last night. Ricky Gervais hosted again, and while there's no denying his comedic talent, his approach to hosting is more of a scattershot roast than the more controlled mix of wryness and absurdity that we got in presenters like Tina Fey and Steve Carell. His tone is the "You're fat! You're gay! I'm outta here!" run-and-gun described by Mike Birbiglia when discussing how the class clown is always more aggressive than people remember. It's one thing to riff on Mel Gibon's documented anti-Semitism; it's another to fuck with people just for the hell of it. When Gervais landed a joke at the expense of presenter Robert Downey Jr., Downey retorted with, "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with vaguely sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show's been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" That pretty much summed up the show, which was also plagued with technical issued, muted expletives, and increasingly boring acceptance speeches. Robert De Niro's rambling, Abe Simpson-esque ode to his own lifetime achievement award almost broke me.

On the TV side, things went as expected; the snubs all happen in the nominating process for the Globes, so some of the awards are about parceling out hardware and grinning and bearing it. It was good to see Boardwalk Empire win for dramatic series, and to see Steve Buscemi get a trophy for his work as Nucky Thompson. The pilot episode had all the flash you'd expect from something directed by Martin Scorsese, but the rest of the season was quietly brilliant and totally engaging. Meanwhile, Glee won for TV series in the musical or comedy category, and also picked up awards for Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. Although the series has some flaws when it comes to, you know, plot and character and stuff, Colfer's acceptance speech was the most only moving one of the night.

• HBO is getting into the Garfunkel & Oates business, announcing last week that they're developing a series around the comedic singing duo. In a way, it feels like HBO is looking for a spiritual successor to Flight of the Conchords, which ran for two brief seasons (one in 2007, the other in 2009) and also featured a quirky pair of musicians who performed well-written joke songs. Garfunkel & Oates is composed of Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, who met at L.A.'s Upright Citizens Brigade and who have both done plenty of film and TV work when they're not performing together. G&O are funny and talented. I've got hopes for this one.

• In accordance with Rule 34, the enterprising freaks at Hustler have just put out a trailer for Simpsons: The XXX Parody. Aside from a lackluster title that shows none of the originality of Pulp Friction or even a basic desire to get the name of the show right (it's The Simpsons, not just Simpsons), the movie itself looks even weirder and more scarring than you'd expect. The trailer below is SFW, but should still probably not be viewed by anyone. Fair warning.

• Steve Carell's departure from The Office is mere months away, and show runner and producer Paul Lieberstein (who plays beleaguered HR rep Toby) revealed a few days ago that Carell will actually leave the show a few weeks before the end of the season to allow for a few episodes in which the rest of the employees in Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch deal with his absence and figure out who will take his place. Lieberstein also said that the office would be considering internal and external candidates alike to fill Michael Scott's chair, which is another way of saying he knows what they're going to do but doesn't feel like giving reporters and hints, which I understand and support. Lieberstein has said that, among others, Darryl, Dwight, and Andy are all in the running for the manager position. If I had my druthers, I'd like to see Darryl get the job. He's evolved the most over the series' run, from warehouse slacker to quietly motivated middle-manager, and I think he'd deserve it.

• ABC is all about treating the ladies right. After acquiring a series last fall based on the novel Good Christian Bitches, they announced last week that they've ordered a pilot titled Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, to be directed by Jason Winer (Modern Family) and written by Nahnatchka Khan and David Hemingson (American Dad). The series will revolve around a young woman trying to make it in New York while also dealing with her "troublemaking party girl roommate," and it will probably be about as forgettable as it sounds. But if those hilarious bitch-labeling antics aren't enough for you, ABC also has given the green light to a remake of Charlie's Angels, written by Smallville pair Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Bitches and sexy cops: only on ABC!

• IFC's Portlandia premieres on Friday, but they've put the pilot online at Hulu to try and get you hooked early. Take a look:

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Daniel Carlson
Contact: Daniel Carlson