It’s summer and it’s wedding season. This week I watched a bunch of cool stuff in between editing wedding videos, so in honour of all the people I’ve seen kiss in front of their families, here is a wedding themed blog post. (Spoiler, there will be no further talk of weddings.) (Secondary spoiler, there won’t be any actual spoilers.)
Something old: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst is something old in the sense that Robert Durst, the subject of the miniseries, is hella old, the open case file for Durst’s “missing” wife Kathleen Durst is 33 years old, and The Jinx aired three months ago, so all the hot press this miniseries earned is long out of the cultural consciousness. (Since the The Jinx is based off true events, there is a lot of information about the story and about Robert Durst’s life available online. Google at your own peril if you don’t want the shocking finale episode spoiled.)
The Jinx aired on HBO in February of this year and caused quite a stir in the media, and for good reason. The story of Robert Durst and the people he is suspected to have murdered is chilling. Even more so that Robert Durst is still a free man. It’s a bizarre story that begins with the disappearance of Kathleen Durst in 1982. Robert Durst is suspected of being involved by the people that knew Kathleen, but never suspected by the police. Then, in 2001, Robert Durst kills his neighbour Morris Black, chops up the body, is caught by the police, but isn’t charged with murder. The whole time, the media is obsessed with Robert Durst. How could he get away with murder? Then, in 2010, after filmmaker Andrew Jarecki releases the film All Good Things based on the life story of Robert Durst, Durst calls up Jarecki and says that he wants to tell his version of the story. What follows is The Jinx – a beautifully put together story – a sad, twisted, thrilling story that is stranger than fiction.
Something new: the pilot episode of Why? With Hannibal Buress
The first episode of Why? With Hannibal Buress aired last week on Comedy Central. The premise of the show is “why not let Hannibal Buress talk for half and hour?” I’m going to make the obvious joke and ask, “Why am I watching Why? With Hannibal Buress?” Why am I watching a chill dude make lazy jokes in front of a live studio audience? Why am I watching skits that are slow moving and poorly crafted? Why isn’t Hannibal doing his good stand up material? Why is he doing shitty topical jokes a la Jay Leno? Why is he still making Cosby hates Hannibal Buress jokes?
Why would anyone watch Why? With Hannibal Buress? One good reason to watch would be because Hannibal is usually a relaxed and personable comic, with a canon of cute/smart/chill bits. Why else would one watch? I have no idea. Perhaps because they like the slap-dash vibe of daily talk shows in a once-weekly format. Perhaps because they missed the “one man on an empty stage” vibe of Montel or Maury. Actually, I’d really like to see Hannibal do a paternity test segment. Why not?
I probably don’t “get it.” Although, I wonder who the target audience is? Hannibal Buress fans? It can’t be young people – it moves so slowly. Is it meant for old people??
Granted, there has only been one episode, so perhaps I’m being too hard on the poor pilot, but I really, really didn’t like it.
Something blue: the Season Finale of Inside Amy Schumer
I’ve written about Inside Amy Schumer before. It’s one of the most consistent comedy shows on TV, and season three has been exceptional — see the episode “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” for proof. (Vulture named it best episode of the year.)
After all that praise, one huge criticism I have of Inside Amy Schumer is that I’m routinely disappointed in how the show ends each season. TV has trained us that the end of a season should be special. A finale should be everything a show is, plus something more. (This is where we get to the “blue” part of the review.) I actually hate the inclusion of Bridget Everett as the finale act. Every single season finale, Bridget Everett. I like Bridget Everett. She’s raunchy and clever and I bet her live performance kills. But firstly, I think her act, being a cabaret style act that relies on the reaction of the audience, is probably much better live. Secondly, at the end of 10+ episodes of watching Amy Schumer in every single sketch and every single segment, I don’t want to watch someone else. Why does someone else get to close out her show?
Sidenote: I realize that Bridget Everett is one of Amy Schumer’s best friends in real life, but her inclusion in the finale episode (possibly the most important episode each season) feels like a favour to Bridgett Everett, not an attempt to make Inside Amy Schumer better.
Second sidenote: While I may be critical of the inclusion of Bridget Everett as the finale act, if I had a TV show it would be jam packed with my friends, so who am I to judge?