Friday, October 8, 2010
TV Critic Grimlock is the new definitive voice of TV criticism, so move over, Tom Shales--that is if you can move that hefty ass of yours
In just 50 or so tweets, Grimlock the Dinobot has emerged as a new insightful voice in the often stuffy and annoyingly middlebrow field of TV criticism. Nobody--not even the witty recappers over at the Onion-owned A.V. Club or the refreshingly not-so-stuffy, comic book-loving Alan Sepinwall--has enlivened coverage of the new fall TV season quite like the belligerent tyrannosaur has:
"me grimlock liked when grace park in bikini punched out surfer on five-0. hottest entrance since julie warner skinny-dip in doc hollywood!" (Tuesday, October 05, 2010 8:06 PM)
"me grimlock not miss rick sanchez. sesame street newsflash reporter kermit frog: he more credible journalist than rick sanchez." (Tuesday, October 05, 2010 8:00 PM)
"me grimlock not into unfunny nbc sitcom outsourced. me wish that call center get torched by mumbai gangsters in final episode." (Wednesday, October 06, 2010 11:45 AM)
"me grimlock not masturbate to fox news ladies because they sound so hateful and whiny like starscream." (Wednesday, October 06, 2010 11:41 AM)
I haven't been this riveted by the thoughts of a writer who's discussing TV since the time Armond White implied he wanted to spoon with Keller from Oz.
So what if TV Critic Grimlock, who launched his Twitter page with my help last Sunday (@TVCritGrimlock), has only one follower? Some talented writers are at their most interesting when they're a best-kept secret--or before they jump the shark, to borrow a TV-related phrase that, now that I've finally thought about it, is kind of as tiresome a term as "BFF" or "bromance."
From the Autobot homebase known as the Ark, Grimlock took some time out of his busy TV-watching schedule to discuss the fall season and the animosity towards Optimus Prime (and Dinobot teammate Slag and anyone who's a Decepticon) that occasionally seeps into his tweets, which always look e.e. cummings-esque because Grimlock doesn't quite understand the purpose of the Caps Lock key. To make this Q&A less irritating to read, all of Grimlock's words have been properly cased.
Jimmy J. Aquino: TV Critic Grimlock, do I have to include the "TV Critic" when I address you? Can't I just address you as simply Grimlock or "Grimmy" or "Grimbo" or "Mista Grim" or "Claws Up, 'Lock Down"?
TV Critic Grimlock: Me Grimlock not care! Just like how Optimus not care that his management style become too soft and antiquated for me Grimlock.
JJA: Wow, you just really can't let that beef with Optimus go, can you, Rex-n-Effect? Even after everything Optimus has done for you and your Dinobots here on Earth?
TVCG: Optimus remind me Grimlock of Colosimo in Boardwalk Empire! Optimus lacking ambition! You remember what happen to Colosimo at end of Boardwalk Empire series premiere? Me Grimlock not need to say more.
JJA: You do know you just basically said that Optimus' days are num...
TVCG: Me Grimlock not wish to comment anymore on that. Move on.
JJA: Boardwalk Empire has been well-received within the TV critic community, but you said, "3 episodes in, and me grimlock still wondering if boardwalk empire gonna be scorsese's berlin alexanderplatz or scorsese's seaquest dsv." Aren't you being just as impatient as the broadcast network execs whose constant tinkering in the development of their scripted shows is something HBO has been careful to avoid with its scripted shows?
TVCG: Huh? Me Grimlock not completely follow question. Slow down for me Grimlock.
JJA: You dug The Wire and The Sopranos, right? The Wire didn't get cooking until the fourth episode, when McNulty and Bunk exchanged nothing but F-bombs at the crime scene, and then we knew this wasn't going to be another banal procedural. The Sopranos' first really interesting ep wasn't the pilot. It was when Tony took Meadow on a college road trip, which sounded dull on paper but was riveting because of the artful way the innocuous trip was juxtaposed with Tony's murderous side. Because there's very little pressure to talk down to their viewers and hold their hands and cup their balls, HBO dramas unfold slowly. That's what I think Boardwalk Empire showrunner Terence Winter--a former Sopranos staffer--is doing with his new show.
TVCG: Me Grimlock enjoy certain aspects of Boardwalk--especially full-frontal Paz de la Huerta nudenessness--but at times, me Grimlock feel like been there, done that. Some part of me Grimlock feel like HBO doing another gangster show kind of not up to post-Sopranos HBO standards. AMC and FX original programs more interesting than HBO output these days. Look at biggest hit on HBO right now: vampire version of old '80s HBO softcore porn show The Hitchhiker, but with 10 times less Canadians and 10 times more gay sex? Come on, HBO, step game up.
JJA: But I think most of HBO's scripted comedies have been pretty above average. I was glad for Eastbound & Down's return the moment when Ana de la Reguera slowly shook her ass and did the best version of "Night Moves" ever. What are some examples of AMC and FX original programming that you think are putting HBO to shame right now?
TVCG: Me Grimlock blown away by Breaking Bad! Although Walt remind me Grimlock too much of Optimus when he deal with Jesse, so me not like Walt so much. Me root for Jesse to someday overpower Optimus... I mean... Walt. Mad Men in top form now that storylines headed towards turbulent late '60s. HBO original series department on crack when they rejected Mad Men.
On FX side, me Grimlock into Justified, It Always Sunny and Terriers. Me Grimlock thought at first that Terriers too much like breezy, lighthearted USA detective show, but then me surprised by dark Shield-like turn early on. Me bet that dark turn due to presence of Shawn Ryan. Lights Out trailer on FX badass. Me Grimlock look forward to Lights Out.
JJA: Louie has been excellent. I'm glad Louie will be coming back to FX, as well as Archer.
TVCG: Me enjoy Archer even though it could use more Dinobots in cast. Archer need more diversity in cast. Maybe in season two, Archer writing staff get Dinobot to seduce Lana on undercover mission.
JJA: You Grimlock wanna hit that, right?
TVCG: Me Grimlock like! Lana's man-hands not bother me Grimlock!
JJA: But Tom Shales bothers you. You tweeted that you "wanna rip apart velma from scooby-doo lookalike tom shales. any critic who frequently attack daily show gonna get bit by me."
TVCG: Jonny Stew funny! Tom Shales? Funny-looking!
JJA: Well, you are aware that Shales has always been Team SNL, right?
TVCG: He also hate Wiseguy. Me Grimlock not understand why Shales never like it. Me Grimlock used to enjoy reruns of '80s precursor to Donnie Brasco and Sopranos, even though Unibrow too whiny as undercover Fed.
JJA: Vinnie Terranova was also pretty whiny behind the scenes, according to some old article I once read. It listed Ken Wahl as one of the most difficult-to-work-with TV stars of the '80s. Although when a camera runs over your foot twice and leaves you in crutches and a cast for half a season, being a dick is understandable.
TVCG: Me Grimlock would bite cameraman if he did that to me Grimlock!
JJA: Are you saddened by the passing of Wiseguy co-creator Stephen J. Cannell?
TVCG: Me Grimlock love A-Team--even though bullets not ever hit anybody on that show. Yeah, big loss when Cannell died. Cannell behind so many badass shows! Cannell got brains like friend Perceptor!
JJA: Yeah, The A-Team can be a fun show, and I always get a kick out of B.A.'s hatred of planes, but I don't think parts of that show have aged well. Nah, I'm more of a Rockford Files guy. I first saw Rockford on DVD and got hooked on that show. That shit's timeless.
TVCG: Me Grimlock think Rockford too wimpy! He hurt hand whenever he throw punch! That never happen to me Grimlock!
JJA: Uh, that kind of was the point of The Rockford Files. He's not invincible. He doesn't have metal claws and razor-sharp teeth.
JJA: Are you on Cybertronian crack? Haven't you ever seen Rockfish's ride, the Firebird?
TVCG: It not able to transform into warrior like me Grimlock! Wimp!
JJA: Which of the fall's new shows really stand out?
TVCG: Me Grimlock think Terriers terrific. Broadcast network dramas not on par with current cable dramas, although Hawaii Five-0 and slightly edgier Detroit 1-8-7 both solid "comfort food" dramas. Five-0 seem more like USA show than CBS show. CBS hour-longs usually gloomy and as Perceptor once joked, often named after 12 percent of alphabet.
JJA: "Twelve percent of alphabet." I get it: CSI, NCIS...
TVCG: No one except showrunners of Lone Star--before it cancelled--and The Event itching to make next Lost. That tell you plenty about current scripteds on broadcast networks.
JJA: Whoa, I think somebody's trying to impress Variety. "Scripteds." "Hour-longs." So yeah, not-so-risky procedurals are still the way to go, especially in this economy.
TVCG: Me Grimlock not like! Cable better! More risk-taking! Scripts better written on cable! Characters more complex! Lots of human lady tits for Powerglide to rub nosecone to!
JJA: Thanks for that pleasant image of Powerglide, Grimlock.
TVCG: Me Grimlock not like reality TV, whether on broadcast networks or cable! Slag enjoy that vapid drivel! Me Grimlock battle Slag for command of remote! Slag always watching Real Housewives franchise. If me Grimlock wanna hear ugly bitches argue, me go send Blaster to eavesdrop on Megatron and Starscream.
JJA: Do you think the haters are right about Glee quickly running out of steam like Ryan Murphy's previous show Nip/Tuck did?
TVCG: Me Grimlock not watch Glee.
JJA: Me neither. I'm like Jeff on my current favorite non-cable show Community: "I don't understand the appeal at all!"
TVCG: Glee more something Bumblebee would like. Me Grimlock once caught Bumblebee singing along to Camp Rock 2 soundtrack.
JJA: And that's a good place to end it. Thanks for stepping out of "the dark of the moon" to do this, man, uh, I mean, tyrann.
TVCG: Me Grimlock! King of Twitter! Me not give two stegosaur shits about me having only one Twitter follower!