Bet you think I'm gonna start off calling the AD writers and producers out on a repeat of Amy Poehler's Lynddie England photo gag, don't you? Nope. I only lecture once. If they choose to ignore me after that, it's their failing, dammit.
Besides, I giggled my way through this episode like a kid. "Do you guys know where I can get one of those gold necklaces with a 'T' on it?" asks Maeby. "That's a cross," Michael answers. "Across from what?" Ah, sacrilege. It never gets old, does it?
And the Burger King gag? First it's a joke about product placement, with Burger King being complimented and prominently featured. But then the first ad of the commercial break is for... Burger King. Did they just go meta-ironic on us, or have we been had?
Well what do you know, Ishe steps up! As badly as I wanted to see Ishe humbled in the ring, I was much more impressed by his newfound humbleness outside of the ring. Can't say the same for Ahmed. If that loud-mouth braggart asked his mirror who was the prettiest of them all, it would answer, "Pretty thou art/ But not a Contender./ Your ticket's been punched/'Return to Sender'"
If you believe in karma, you know that Ahmed got what he deserved. He and Ishe both talked plenty of smack, but where "Hollywood" crossed the line was when he stepped in the ring with Sugar Ray Leonard and tried to prove something. The only thing he proved was a total lack of respect for a legend, not to mention his host. And then he had the audacity to brag about it! Ahmed, when Sugar Ray was in his prime, you wouldn't have passed for his sparring partner!
When Tommy in a bright-pink shirt led the West Coast boys into a high-end clothing boutique, I was sure Carson Kressley was about to sashay out of the dressing room and announce, "Welcome to Queer Eye for the Brute Guy." But it totally worked. Watching these guys go from thug to stud proved to be some of the best moments of the show so far, and by the end of the shopping spree I was wishing we had more of this and less of the dodgeball-on-a-tennis-court silliness.
By the way, if you haven't caught on to the formula of the show yet, here's a hint: Keep an eye on the underdog. Dan Roberts
Jake in Progress
If I'm not mistaken, TV already has one incredibly slick, insanely good-looking, smooth-talking ladies' man who can charm the tightest pair of Seven jeans off the savviest of women. Though Jake does have one thing over Two and a Half Men's Charlie Harper: Did you get a look at that hot bod when he took his shirt off at the office? (Good thing you're not in NYC, Chuck. Otherwise you'd be faced with some seriously rock-hard, firm, smooth, solid... uh... what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, competition.) Jake's faux pas seemed a little too familiar. Didn't Charlie also date someone he'd already slept with, but hadn't remembered? Though I have to give Jake credit: unlike Charlie, he wants to reform his ways. "How many vapid, thong-wearing, tantric-sex-loving models with fake tans and butterfly tattoos on the small of their back can I date?" (Hmmmm. A shot at his real-life model ex, Rebecca Romijn?) I'm willing to see if he means it, so I tune in for the second ep. And while he's hasn't given up beautiful women, Jake does seem more motivated by what's in his heart than what's in his... well, you know. Sure, he deserves a small pat on the back for choosing to help Patrick instead of spending the night with Allison. But the best part of this ep had nothing to do with Jake's quest to be a better man. Turns out Jake's public relations job is more interesting than he is. (I laughed out loud when one of The Three Gaymigos, a hilarious take on Queer Eye's Fab Five, turned out to be straight.) Maybe he's just too smooth for his own good. How about a less fake Jake? Now that would be progress. Robin Honig
The toughest part about being evil: You don't attract the best help, and karma finds you either way. I have no idea if there's an afterlife, but Al Swearengen's already got his Hell on Earth in the form of gleets (don't know exactly what those are, but I've got guesses and all of them burn), sprung ribs, a knucklehead who tries to air out Al's recently cleaned suit on the dust-blown balcony and an innkeeper who annoys the crap out of him with nearly every uttered word. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, though, huh?
But character's displayed in the face of adversity. Despite her position in life, Trixie's no dummy. How many Old West prostitutes do you think threw around the term "self-deluding"? And what do you want to bet she can hit whatever she aims that rifle at?
And who'd have figured murderous Dan Dority for a daddy-needing crybaby? Brilliant stroke.
Best line of the hour was Swearengen saying this to Adams: "Over time your quickness with a cocky rejoinder must've gotten you many punches in the face." Few shows manage such a mix of brutality, laughs and poignancy on a weekly basis. And this one just keeps getting better and better. MP
Satirical jab of the night: "Some networks are even censoring their scripted dramas."
Alan was of course making a point to Chelina about how the First Amendment is "losing its luster lately." But this barely veiled barb was really intended for ABC, whose execs instructed David E. Kelley to remove all direct references to a certain "fair and balanced" network from the script. Not that it made much difference. The inferences were unmistakable, and the ultimate irony is that this "conservative network" was vindicated in the name of free speech, which regardless of where you get what passes for news these days is as it should be.
Now, maybe I'm missing something, but is it anyone's business that a terminally ill man (portrayed in a brilliant turn by Carl Reiner ) wants to turn himself into a Popsicle? I'm not buying the opposing argument that the state has an interest in preventing an act of free will. The old man's mistake was telling anyone about it. He should've just hopped a plane to Arizona and gotten himself frozen! What are they gonna do? Wait till the science is ready to thaw him out so they can put him on trial for freezing himself, and then force him to live out the remainder of his chronic illness? Yeah, that sounds like justice!
Ironic jab of the night: "The man wishes he were me." Denny, after describing Milton Bombay as a man with a "runaway ego." Ha! DR
OK, anybody else catching hints of heat between Starbuck and Adama? Weird, I know, but I'm just putting it out there.
But speaking of those two, I'm not much for the new math, but how much weight is the force required to move a Viper thruster pedal supposed to be? 'Cause it looked like Adama put about 1,500 lbs. on that leg machine, so I'm thinking Steve Austin's the only guy to fly that mission or maybe David Banner if he were really p---ed. Too bad those guys were on other shows, and... oh, man I really didn't need to hear the splash of Cylon Boomer's vomit.
As for Adama and Apollo's father-son moment, why am I such a sucker for bagpipes? I was raised a nice Jewish boy, for cryin' out loud. And now that I mention religion... just when I thought Baltar couldn't get any wackier, he thinks he's got God on his side. Oy.
Anyway, here's a textbook case for good sci-fi: CGI and effects don't count for anything without a solid story and characters you care about (hear that, George Lucas?). Which is why this episode worked really, really well. Well done, Sci Fi. MP