This week was kind of a wasteland, but I managed to scrounge up eight episodes to recommend. What am I missing? There’ve gotta be summer shows somewhere. Help me! Anyway, here’s what I do have:
8. Spoilers with Kevin Smith: “Girls Just Wanna Have Guns” (Hulu): You definitely can’t trust this show since they made the piece of shit that is Snow White and the Huntsman sound bearable. They even called it “The Avengers for women”, which is ridiculous because The Avengers is The Avengers for women. But, while this show might not be the best destination for legit movie reviews, it is the cutest little thing. Kevin Smith is really, really into making everything seem old timey and you got to see him geek out all over Carrie Fisher. I want to pinch this show’s little cheeks.
7. Legend of Korra: “Out of the Past” (Nickelodeon): This episode got deeper into the mysteries and had more Bolin being whacky. Neat.
6. Bunk: “Comics compete in absurd games” (IFC): I suspect that’s not the actual title of the episode, but it’s what my DVR claims the title is. I’ll go with it. Anyway, I can’t imagine this show becoming something I look forward to every week, but it definitely has its moments. This episode had cute puppies and cute Kumail Nanjiani. The funniest moment was probably during a challenge when contestants had to respond to a lie the show’s host said by providing a bigger lie. When the host said “I only sleep an hour out of every year”, Kumail said, “I sleep for a year every hour.” Fine, I’ll keep watching this show.
5. Comedy Bang! Bang!: “Zach Galifianakis Wears a Blue Jacket & Red Socks” (IFC): The first episode of this show was pretty disappointing considering that everyone has been hearing about how great Comedy Bang! Bang! is from their friends non-stop every minute of every day for months. This is a universal problem, I’m sure. Anyway, if you belong to the No Joke is Too Silly to Amuse Me Club, this show is kind of fun.
4. Common Law: “The Ex Factor” (USA): Dear TV shows, you don’t have to have an episode of your show where someone is dealing with an ex and then call it “The Ex Factor.” You may feel free to not do this! I’m definitely convinced that Common Law will never be a show that I can completely take seriously, but dang does it have a lot of Travis and Wes being cute. This episode found more excuses for Travis and Wes to do cute things than any episode before it. And keep in mind, this is the first episode that didn’t have Travis hold either a dog, a kitten or a baby, so that’s pretty impressive. Also, Wes being kind of a sadistic asshole makes the incredible cuteness of things like their pencil game all the sweeter.
3. Adventure Time: “Goliad” (Cartoon Network): I can’t believe I’ve never compared Princess Bubblegum to Annie Edison before because, now that I think about it, the similarities are striking. I bring this up because PB goes full-on “the Dean is a genius” this episode and I am into it.
2. Workaholics: “True Dromance” (Comedy Central): I’m quickly becoming addicted to this show. They really captured the stupid/awesome things you say when you’re talking to your good friends. For example, at one point in this episode Adam says, “It’s elementary school, my Emma Watson.” Yes. A thousand times yes. This episode also had Rumer Willis as a badass and incredibly sexy drug dealer as a well as a slew of wonderful lines like “She’s gonna cut off my dick and feed it to me. I have a very cut-offable dick. And I’m hungry” and “You don’t have to go to college. You’ve got hella free pizza.” All the promos for this show made me feel like it’s something I’ve seen a thousand times before, but I have to say that every episode I see surprises me.
1. The Yard: “The Economy” (Hulu): When I read the basic description of this show, I was wary. A show where an elementary school playground is used as a microcosm for different aspects of society sounds like a weird combination of pretentious and cutesy. But the writing of this show really makes great use of this risky concept and delivers something completely special. The kid characters are all unique and interesting. There’s Nick, who quietly buys another kid lunch every day despite the fact that he doesn’t have much money himself. There’s Suzi, who straight forwardly says that she thinks violence is usually the only way to solve any problems. The funniest character is Alistair, who was a complete loser until he got good at the most popular trading card game. There was a moment in this episode when the allegory for the economy and the reality of being a kid came together perfect: Nick sadly asked, “How do you tell a kid that the cards he traded for a year’s worth of desserts aren’t cool anymore?” But, even if you took away the allegory, they get a lot of awesome moments from kids just being kids. The show is in mockumentary format and one of the funniest scenes had the precocious kid J.J. being interviewed by the filmmaker character. Whenhe filmmaker asks him why he’s a vegetarian, J.J. explains that he’s been a vegetarian since he read Charlotte’s Web. The filmmaker says, “Oh, that’s a good book.” J.J. asks, “Oh, so you’ve read it?” When he says yes, J.J. asks, “So, you’re a vegetarian too?” When the filmmaker says no, J.J. just stares back at him blankly. Great point, J.J. There are also quietly heartbreaking moments throughout like when Adam, one of the youngest kids on the show, says that the bully Frankie always claims that Frankie’s dad is rich and Adam’s dad is poor, then explains, “You wanna know what? Our dad has two jobs and his dad only has one, which means our dad is twice as rich as his dad.” There’s a mix of intelligence, emotional resonance and hilarity on this show that is really rare. Combine that with a truly original concept and you can definitely color me lavender.