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Parks and Rec Recap: "Born & Raised"

The Parks and Recreation book, Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America was released this week, and, as a tie-in, this week’s Parks and Rec involved Leslie Knope dealing with the aftermath of writing said book. In the context of the show, Leslie wrote Pawnee on her own without any intention of releasing it to the public, but her campaign manager convinced her to publish it to generate some heat for her impending City Council campaign. In Pawnee, the highest honor a printed work can achieve is being named a part of talk show host Joan Callamezzo’s Book Club, and naturally, driven Leslie seeks out to win this title.

Louie Recap: "New Jersey; Airport"

“I’LL WAIT FOR YOU!”

Season one of Louie ended on September 7, 2010, with two episodes, beginning with “Gym.” In it, Louie attempts to pick up Pamela (again), but she’s not having any of it (again). She bluntly asks, “What makes you think I’d want to sleep with you?” Louie responds, “I don't think you would…I just…want to, and I was hoping you would let me." That episode was coupled with “Going Out,” where a babysitter sobs because of Louie’s single parent lifestyle, and she forces him to have a night on the town, even though he’s perfectly resigned to eating ice cream all evening. Which is to say, [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: "The Bi-Sexual"

This season, Larry David seems to be partially filling the Cheryl void by bringing in big name celebrities to base his episodes around. David disciple Ricky Gervais gave a funny performance last week, Michael J. Fox is booked for the season finale, and this latest episode was Rosie O’Donnell-centric. O’Donnell is a real-life pal of Larry David’s from their days in the New York City stand-up scene in the late 70’s/early 80’s, and she was even considered for the role of Elaine during Seinfeld's casting process. She makes her third Curb appearance here, bringing her A-game to the show as she usually does. Larry David and Rosie O’Donnell have [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: "Vow of Silence"

Those wondering when Larry David would get around to this season’s New York story arc are finally given an answer on this week’s episode, and LD’s reason for going to the Big Apple is definitely worth the wait. Five episodes in is the latest Curb has ever introduced a season-long story arc (these storylines are normally set up in the season premiere), but Larry David has been trying a lot of new things in Season 8. He’s shared credit with other writers for the first time on this series, hasn’t used Cheryl Hines beyond the premiere episode, and has given supporting players like Susie Essman and Bob Einstein more screentime [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap, "Palestinian Chicken"

“Palestinian Chicken” is exactly the kind of Curb episode that couldn’t have existed back when Larry was married. His newfound singlehood has freed up the storytelling considerably, as last night’s show gets a lot of mileage out of Larry struggling to choose between his Jewish identity and his sexy new Palestinian girlfriend. Navigating the dating world is an area Larry David’s previous series, Seinfeld, drew a lot of material from, and it’s entertaining seeing him continue to tackle the topic on Curb this season.

It's Always Sunny Recap: Frank Reynolds' Little Beauties

Considering the rank grotesqueness of recent child pageant shows like Dance Mom and Toddlers & Tiaras, it’s both fitting that the It’s Always Sunny gang should find themselves in charge of one, and hard to imagine of how they could possibly make them more off-putting. The answer is, of course, to declare child pageants the greatest tribute to patriotism this side of the Pledge of Allegiance. "We can do whatever we want with our kids and that's our right as Americas," Dennis declares when Frank reveals that he kind of, sort of, maybe got himself embroiled in the child pageant circuit with a known “kid diddler” for a partner.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: "Mister Softee"

Those of us wondering what Larry David’s youth was like were given a rare glimpse of his childhood on this week’s Curb, which involved a traumatic incident in Larry’s past causing him to frustrate SNL alums Robert Smigel and Ana Gasteyer.

Still in New York, Larry David spends this episode haunted by an adolescent exploration of sexuality gone wrong, in which he was disrobing in the back of a Mister Softee ice cream truck with the daughter of an ice cream man. The girl’s father catches his daughter with a naked Larry David, who rushes out of the van, only to be laughed at for his nudity by a [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm recap: "The Hero"

Ricky Gervais! Chris Parnell! Larry David continues to pull out all the stops when it comes to booking guests this season, with these two comedic powerhouses popping up in significant roles in this week’s episode, which also features former Daily Show correspondent (and an underrated one at that) Dan Bakkedahl playing a nosy waiter.

Last night’s show, “The Hero,” picks up right where the previous episode left off — a rare thing for Curb — with Larry eating Pinkberry on a plane trip to New York with Jeff and Susie. Susie seems to have calmed down significantly since the end of last week’s episode, though. She no longer seems [...]

Louie Recap: "Oh Louie/Tickets"

On a different, lesser show, one more like Oh, Louie starring Bob Saget, Louie C.K. and Dane Cook would have envied one another, wishing they had what the other possesses. In Louie's case, it’s riches and a double platinum album; for Dane, it’s to be seen as a comedian's comedian, to maybe not be able to sell out Madison Square Garden but have the respect of your fellow joke-makers.

But things aren’t always that black-and-white.

Louie Recap: "Joan"

“You came here on a shitty bus to give Donald Trump your seventy-five cents."

I love the women of Louie this season. They’re either disturbing, overbearing, awkward, or all of the above, and without them the sadness to Louie’s character wouldn’t have the depth that makes this show so hilarious. Joan Rivers plays herself in “Joan,” where Louie learns from not just another strange woman in his life, but a seasoned celebrity who has seen both the best and worst times a successful stand-up comedian can experience. And how fitting this episode aired the day of the Emmy nominations — Louie snagged two for Outstanding Lead Actor In A [...]

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: "Larry vs. Michael J. Fox"

A typical Curb Your Enthusiasm season finale is generally an encapsulation of the entire year’s plotlines and character threads that ties the whole run of episodes together.  This year, things felt a little different. The overall storytelling in Season 8 was a looser and more lackadaisical, leaving “Larry vs. Michael J. Fox” to not feel like the pretty bow on a tight package that Season’s 3’s “Opening Night” or Season 7’s “Seinfeld” did.  It was still an excellent season with some stand-out installments (“Palestinian Chicken,” “Vow of Silence”), but the episodes didn’t feel as cohesive with each other as they have in past seasons.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: "Car Periscope"

This week's Curb sees Larry trying to better himself in more ways than one — working with a personal trainer (30 Rock's Cheyenne Jackson) to better his physical health and possibly deepening his pockets through an investment opportunity from a forward-thinking inventor. The invention in question is the titular “car periscope,” a device that’s too wacky to actually exist but seems like it could be practical in the real world. In all fairness, the car periscope did look like a lot of fun. If Larry, Jeff, and Susie’s extreme excitement over the periscope are any indication of the real life enjoyment one would feel while using one, then I’d [...]

Louie Recap: "Come On, God"/"Eddie"

“So we’re like porn for God?”

Even at the risk of revealing too much about myself (apologies in advance): a friend of mine from middle school once told me that every time someone masturbates, it’s like they’re aborting millions of babies. That thought crossed my mind every time I, in the words of Dr. Cox on Scrubs, took a trip to Palmdale when I was 13 and 14 years old, and I didn’t realize the flawed logic behind the statement until years later.

Like Louie C.K. says in the first episode of last night’s two-episode mini-marathon, “Come On, God,” as men, passions overwhelm and every beautiful thought we have [...]

Louie Recap: "Subway/Pamela"

“You wanted to take a bath with me…?”

I love the still above. In a single photo, you have the entirety of the New York subway experience: in the background, a random piece of shit on the floor (not literal shit, mind you, which I’ve also seen), but our attention is on the sexually depressed Louie looking everywhere on the train but at what he wants to gaze at, the beautiful woman (played by Ashley Beach) literally inches in front of him. But oh he wants to, how badly he wants to impress her, and in his literally black-and-white imaginationland, he does. In the “Subway” segment of last night’s [...]