The Winner: Possibly decent comedy trapped in an awful format

I’m not really in the market for another new TV show to follow, but I like Rob Corddry and there was a time when “Family Guy” was actually consistently funny, so I thought I’d give the new sitcom “The Winner” a chance.

It stars Corddry as a thirty-something dude who still lives with his parents and is stuck in a delayed/perpetuated adolescence. He’s finally driven to get his life started when his childhood crush moves back to the neighborhood with her quirky son. Presumably, we’ll get to see the kid and Corddry “grow up” together, you know, should the series actually make it past a half dozen episodes.

The show features some good, off-beat humor. You get nice hard twists and the eager, half-aware dumbassery Corddry perfected on “The Daily Show,” but to get to those jokes, I have to wade through some truly heinous sitcom devices. The laugh track is loud, obnoxious and omnipresent, the simple exclusion of which would make the show roughly a billionty times better. Also, the bits with his parents are just awful, hacky, played-out family humor you’ve seen variations of since the dawn of television, which is a shame because Lenny Clarke is usually very funny.

“The Winner” certainly has potential, but its faults and my general bias against traditional multi-camera sitcoms may be strong enough to keep me away.

In other midseason TV news, “The Black Donnellys” is a solid B+, but it looks so expensive to make, it’ll almost certainly get yanked if it doesn’t immediately find a sizeable audience. Don’t get too attached.

Sunday March 04th 2007, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Television
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JeffNotes© Volume 1

Good Time Matt

* To celebrate my pal Matt’s birthday, I took him to see the Rebirth Brass Band at Harlow’s on Sunday night and ended up having more fun than I’ve had at any show in the past five years. Brass band music is cool and all, but it’s not something I listen to with any regularity, so I figured Matt would enjoy the hell out of the concert while I’d drink a few beers and maybe nod my head a bit. This was not the case. Matt did enjoy the concert, but the band won me over immediately. I danced, spazzed, hooted, hollered and clapped for about two hours straight, losing about three and a half pounds in water weight from sweating in the process. I used to love live music more than anything, but I don’t see as much of it as I used to. What I miss most about live music is that moment at a great show where it’s no longer a concert, but a party. That moment came at the very beginning of the Rebirth Brass Band’s set and the feeling never stopped. I feel so lucky to have seen them.

* I’m not one for hyperbole, so I hesitate to say this music video by Pleix for the Vitalic song “Birds” is mankind’s greatest achievement, but I will say it ranks somewhere in the top 25, just between waffles and Gutenberg’s printing press.

* Worst thing I heard this week: Sergio Mendes – Timeless. Is Sergio Mendes even remotely popular or influential enough to warrant a Santana-style pop-friendly guest-filled extravaganza? I’d say no, but that didn’t stop Will.I.Am from assembling a crew to update the Brazilian sounds of Sergio Mendes. With the lead Pea deucing his dumb, clumsy raps over mostly smooth jazz-quality arrangements, this ends up sounding like an unholy cross between Red Lobster lobby music and the worst of MTV Hits. Other guests like Justin Timberlake, Q-Tip and Stevie Wonder (STEVIE WONDER!) do no better. This album functions less as a tribute to the talents of a great musician and more as a cheap way for everyone to find out what a train wreck sounds like in Brazil.

* Best Thing I Heard This Week: The amazing a capella version of “God Only Knows” Petra Haden recorded, which is somehow more incredible than her a capella version of The Who Sell Out. You can download her version of “God Only Knows” for free over here.

* I think around the time I stopped eating so much food, for some reason I started watching way too much Food Network, which led me to an unhealthy celeb-crush on Giada de Laurentiis. Even though she smiles so much as to quite frequently appear demented and half of what she says makes no damned sense, I am in deep lust. Plus, everything she cooks looks delicious. By the time I finish watching an episode of “Everyday Italian,” I’m so hungry and aroused that I get confused and often find myself making sweet love to a plate of spaghetti tossed with olive oil, basil, gorgonzola and toasted pine nuts. Clearly, whoever decided to allow her to host “Behind the Bash,” a show where she occasionally appears in formalwear, is trying to kill me. I may need help.

* While being lazy is fun and all, I’m trying to push myself to work harder so someday maybe I can actually make a success out of myself. As a reminder to stay focused, I made a motivational stand-up I keep on my desk at work. Here’s what my version of a “hang in there” kitty poster looks like:

(“Stay On Your Grizzly” is my motto for 2006, by the way.)

Thursday February 02nd 2006, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Food,Music,Potpourri,Television



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