Joking Bad

This has turned into late night talk show week on the blog, which is helpful for me since I haven’t had much time for anything else. Kimmel and Fallon have really been killing it this week, which makes me even more excited for their showdown come 2014. It’s a friendly competition, but they are both so creative that I think the real winner will be the viewer.

Fallon has done a great job with parodies in the past; I quite enjoyed his versions of Downton Abbey (“Downton Sixbey”) and Game of Thrones (“Game of Desks”). So I knew when he announced that they were taking on Breaking Bad that it would be fantastic. And I was right.

Check out “Joking Bad,” chock full of fun cameos:

 

All this awesomeness on late night makes me wonder if I should be checking in on Conan more regularly. He’s always got something up his sleeve. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit all these shows in; my schedule is already pretty ambitious. However, we already have my first casualty of the fall TV season (R.I.P Boardwalk Empire – you were just too boring for me), so perhaps some additional time will open up if the rest of the shows I watch are off to as rocky of a start.

I’m actually home this weekend – for the first time since the 4th of July – so hopefully next week will bring some movie reviews and sneak peeks at some of the new TV shows debuting.

 

Timberlake Tuesdays

I have been feeling under the weather for over a week now, but have simply not had the time to get sick. We have way too much going on at work and I had too much scheduled in my social life to give in to whatever it is that is making me feel lousy. It’s not bad enough that I need to take a day from work, but I’m far from 100%. Still, I try to ignore the nausea and general exhaustion and soldier on. I’m such a trooper.

Last night, in an attempt to finally get over whatever it is that is trying to break my stride, I went to bed ridiculously early (for me). I’m usually up until at least 11 pm, but last night I decided to try turning in shortly after 9. I fell right to sleep, which was great; unfortunately, when Pumpkin the cat woke me up with his shenanigans around 4 am, I couldn’t go back to sleep. At all. After about 45 minutes of lying there, wide awake, I gave up and decided to watch some TV. After watching an episode of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I turned my attention over to my pal Fallon to see what he was up to.

After his usual monologue, I was surprised when they came back from the commercial that the show came back to a black screen that said “The Evolution of End Zone Dancing;” this isn’t normally the way that the show segues into the last segment before the guests. Fallon had done “The Evolution of Mom Dancing” with First Lady Michelle Obama a few months ago, so this wasn’t completely unprecedented; however, Obama wasn’t a surprise as she had been announced as a guest. Looking at the guests for last night’s show, I doubted that Michelle Pfeiffer or David Cross would be participating in this (though Cross would have been funny). Before I could figure out who it could be – perhaps an NFL player? – the mystery was solved when none other than Jimmy’s BFF, Justin Timberlake, popped out to dance with Fallon.

 

At the end of the segment, Jimmy announced that for the rest of September, Timberlake will be making an appearance on Late Night every Tuesday. And while I have loved all their collaborations and think that they make a wonderful team who clearly enjoy working together, I do worry that they may wind up going to this particular well too often. Timberlake has made several appearances on the show – we had Timber-week earlier this year when Timberlake was on every night of Late Night for an entire week (which was also re-run over the summer) – and the two have created some very memorable moments (The History of Rap I, II, III and IV being the most popular). I am concerned that the increased frequency of Timberlake’s appearances will make them feel routine and less special. Had I been more fully lucid when watching the episode – I was both tired and wide awake at the same time, the most frustrating of combinations – I should have easily predicted that Timberlake would be the surprise participant. He has a new movie coming out with Ben Affleck (Runner Runner – the previews do not look promising) as well as the second volume of The 20/20 Experience dropping on September 30th. His appearances tend to coincide with him having something to promote and this is a big month for him.

So while I will look forward to the next few Tuesdays to see what this duo is up to, I do hope that Timberlake disappears from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a while. I don’t want him to never do the show again, but his appearances will be more exciting when they happen less frequently. Jimmy may want to tuck away his very popular and famous pal until he takes over The Tonight Show early next year and may need the extra little push in the ratings. You don’t want to give Leno any ideas by not coming out of the gate strong. Look what happened to poor Conan. I don’t begrudge anyone hanging out with their friend, but too much of something isn’t always a good thing. In the words of the great philosophers Cobra Starship “You Can’t Be Missed If You Never Go Away.”

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 12:35 am on NBC. Timberlake will appear on September 17th and 24th.

The Justin Timberlake Experience

March has not been a good month if you don’t like Justin Timberlake. Even people like me, who generally like the former N’SYNC-er are experiencing a little JT fatigue. He’s seemingly everywhere.

Technically, this media blitz really started in January, when a mysterious countdown clock appeared on Timberlake’s website and this fairly anticlimactic video was posted:

 

Three days later, Justin Timberlake officially announced that 7 years after bringing “SexyBack” and a mediocre at best attempt at a film career, he was ready to release a new album. A new single, “Suit and Tie” featuring Jay-Z was released. Reaction was mixed. I didn’t love the song at first, but after repeated listens it has really grown on me.

February brought a Jay-Z/JT performance at the Grammy’ as well and the announcement of a 12 city co-headlining stadium tour (I will be at the first Yankee Stadium show – YAY!).

 

In March, the Timberlake publicity machine really went into high gear. Justin hosted Saturday Night Live for the 5th time on March 9th, though I must admit that I didn’t think this show was as good as some of his other performances. I don’t necessarily knock him for that; SNL has been slumping along as the ghost of its former self for several years now.  The sketches and writing just aren’t that funny anymore, regardless of who appears in them. There were only a few sketches that made me laugh at all; “It’s a Date” really wasn’t all that hilarious, but it was nice to see JT reunite with Andy Samberg as well as the unexpected return of Steve Martin and Dan Aykoryd’s “two wild and crazy guys.”

 

While it was nice to see so many familiar faces, I thought the “Five Timers Monologue” wound up being more awkward than anything else.

 

The only other thing memorable was Justin’s alleged swipe at Kanye West, who has been acting the fool lately (not all that surprising; I think this is Kanye’s default setting). Timberlake changed the lyrics in his performance of “Suit and Tie” from “Sh*t so sick got a hit and picked up a habit” to “My hit’s so sick got rappers acting dramatic,” which pretty much sums up Kanye. This seems like a pretty harmless little spat and since I don’t see this feud elevating to Tupac/Biggie territory, I think it’s fine that Timberlake responded.

Justin then followed up his SNL appearance with a week’s residency on his pal Jimmy Fallon’s show. Timberlake has been the musical guest every night this week and has also popped up in some of the skits. So far, nothing has come close to meeting the greatness of the Fallon/Timberlake “History of Rap” songs, though perhaps they are holding something back for tonight’s final show. The barbershop quartet version of “Sexyback” was fun:

 

And while this sketch of a young Justin and Jimmy at camp wasn’t hilarious, I also enjoy Toto’s song “Africa”:

 

This week iTunes also allowed people to stream Justin’s new album The 20/20 Experience in its entirety. I’ve listened to it a few times now and overall I enjoyed it, which is good as I assume he’ll be performing a lot of these songs when I see him in July. The song “Mirrors” kind of reminds me of something that he would have done during his boy band days and “Let the Groove Get In” has a kind of weird Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine vibe to it that just strikes me as an odd choice. But overall, the more I listen to The 20/20 Experience, the more I enjoy it. Not as good as Justified or FutureSex/Love Sounds, but better than I honestly expected.

The month-o-Timberlake will conclude on March 19th when The 20/20 Experience will finally officially be released. That night at 8 pm, the CW will air an hour long special Target Presents The IHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake which will feature performances, interviews and, presumably, lots of shilling for Target (Target is also having a big month, as they were prominently featured in last week’s episode of Cougar Town). I’m not sure how much more there is to reveal about this album and with all this buildup, it would be very easy for it to fail to meet the unnecessarily inflated expectations. This all seems like a bit much – he recorded some songs, not found a cure for cancer.

So if you are beginning to suffer Timberlake exhaustion like I am, the end is hopefully in sight. I’m eager for things quiet down for a bit so I can get properly excited for the concert this summer. I like Timberlake, but it turns out in mostly smaller doses. I honestly can’t imagine any pop star or band that I would want to see this much in such a short amount of time.