The Mindy Project: Hot Mess Time Machine – Bite Me (Review)

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)

The Mindy Project returned with “Hot Mess Time Machine” a sort of Groundhog Day riff that had Mindy repeating her “crappy” Wednesday over and over. The reason? It is the chance Dr. Lahari needs to win Ben back after he unceremoniously dumped her on a New York sidewalk in the previous episode.

It takes hilarious months for Mindy to learn what she has to accomplish to keep another Wednesday from repeating. During that time she does all the things she ever wanted to do. She hits every MacDonald’s in New York, she goes to Brooklyn and practices basketball, until she can not only drop the ball through the net consistently but she can also dunk.

(Morgan actually guesses at one point that his boss is having a Groundhog Day moment when he reveals he watched her dunk the basketball.)

Morgan is the one person who helps Mindy realize that this is fate’s way of allowing her to repair the relationship with Ben. Initially the male nurse is still angry at Mindy and he refuses to have anything to do with her.

Later, after many attempts, Mindy figures out that she needs to attend “nerd university” and she crams everything about Star Trek, Star Wars  and Marvel that she can find. She has to focus on Marvel after turning up as Robin, a DC character. Mindy then moves on to learning everything she can about Ben.

The Mindy Project - Season 5
Mindy moving on to Storm and the X Men.

This episode of  The Mindy Project was nigh on perfect. It showed off Kaling’s comedic skills and spot on delivery.  The prayers to God, the funniest has her telling the big guy that he can “bite me” if this is all some cosmic joke, were all humorous.

Her Star Wars light sabre practice where she keeps breaking the pottery on  her desk and grilling Ben on his family secrets, which includes his mother’s banana-nut bread recipe, were also funny.

Mindy telling Moran that he can do whatever he wants because the day will reset anyway turns out to be a lie as Mindy fixes things with Ben.

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bryan Greenberg as Ben, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)
Bryan Greenberg as Ben, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri – Banana-nut bread.

New cast member Rebecca Rittenhouse, as the coldly beautiful Anna Ziev managed to stand out yet again in the “ABCDE’S of Forceps Hygiene” sequence that was already funny. “Flow-verall” alert shouts Morgan over and over again until Mindy finally covers her overall with a fur coat.

The episode was both funny and fun. It also managed to salvage the relationship of Ben and Mindy. These two were a perfect fit and when Ben left Mindy outside of the party it was almost devastating.

Although the couple may not last too long. Mindy is Mindy after all; a tad sophomoric in her interests and, as Ben points out in this episode, self preoccupied to the extreme. But this is what makes Dr. Lahiri so much fun. One “groundhog day” reprise may not be enough to change her completely.

THE MINDY PROJECT -- "Hot Mess Time Machine" Episode 508 -- Pictured: Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/Universal Television)
Mindy the basketball queen.

The Mindy Project airs Tuesdays on Hulu. Head on over and catch up on the hilarity.

Cast:

The Mick: The Snitch – Butt Toothpaste (Recap/Review)

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The Mick “The Snitch” manages to once again push the boundaries of good taste and question whether being turned into butt toothpaste is proper punishment for tattling on your teammates. The photo of a naked girl, that has the face blanked out, is sent to the Lacrosse team. Chip is overwhelmed by the nude picture and gets caught by the principal.

The boy’s punishment will be meted out after Chip faces an “honor board” run by his fellow students. It is chaired by the school traitor, who is also Chip’s  sister, Sabrina.

Mickey tells the middle child that snitching just is not done. She mentions Brendan Carthas, a guy who snitched and wound up being turned into butt toothpaste.  (He was put into a garbage truck and mushed to death.

Alba rushes Ben out of the room and Mickey promises to help Chip out. Meanwhile, Alba is in trouble for wrecking, or damaging, the family cars. She refuses to drive the minivan, something she says is for pedophiles.

By the end of The Mick Alba forces Ben to torch the Rolls and Chip actually rats his two teammates out. Sabrina also puts her two cents worth into the equation.

The funniest bits about the episode were not Mickey’s impromptu defense of Chip. (She watched movies in order to prep for the hearing.) They had to do with Chip’s reaction to the unicorn tattooed naked girl on his phone.

After having a wet dream that Sabrina witnesses the aftermath of, he learns, at the honor board that “unicorn girl” is his sister. He rushes to the nearest rubbish bin and throws up.

Sabrina realizes that she was the subject of his wet dream and starts gagging. Both of them dob in the boys who sent the picture to the team. At the end of the show when Chip comes to dinner, both he and Sabrina act strangely.

Mickey notices and remarks, “There is a weird energy…” at the table. This was brilliantly funny, as was Alba’s attitude about driving the family cars. She forces Ben to torch the rolls to hide that it was keyed by an irate motorist whom she cuts off.

(The scene at the table where Mickey describes in graphic detail the demise of Brendan Carthas in the garbage truck was also a bit of comic gold. Alba rushing to remove young Ben from the topic of butt toothpaste was funny.)

Later, Alba “tortures” Ben into telling her who keyed the Rolls. She holds back the kid’s inhaler until he agrees to tell her. After all the trouble Alba goes to the Ben’s description never gets past, “A man…with a face…”

Once more, The Mick offers up politically incorrect humor that is so wrong that it is right. Jimenez and Stanton are the double-act to die for and this week major kudos go to Barbusca and Black-D’Elia. Their brother/sister act was spot on and their mutual horror at the reveal was priceless.

Mickey’s “boyfriend” has gone AWOL and he is missed but, surprisingly, is not essential to the mix here. Still, it would be nice to see MacArthur return.

The Mick airs Tuesdays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring Wayne Wilderson as Principal Gibbons, Kevin Csolak as Stewart, JT Neal as Pierce and Kai Scott as Andrew.

Shut Eye: Five of Cups – Killing Gina (Review)

KaDee Strickland, Jeffrey Donovan in Hulu's Shut Eye

Shut Eye “Five of Cups” continues to accumulate bodies and this premonition heavy drama keeps Charlie on his toes as he tries to figure out who will die next.  Initially, after the bleeding roses vision and his being buried alive in his car, Charlie sees Nick and believes his son will die.

This episode picks up after last week’s show revealed that Fonzo was to give up his daughter to White Tony; by marrying his son, two of his parlors and Charlie. It also follows Gina and Linda’s fleecing of Nadine using the scopolamine that killed Emma.

The freelance con artist uses the drug on Charlie’s failed mark and she takes the $1.7 million out of her safe deposit box and gives it to Gina, aka Laurie her new assistant.  After a moment or two, Nadine comes floating out of the bank, sans Laurie.

Linda asks about her lover and is told that Gina’s message to her was “no hard feelings.” Charlie’s wife then rushes to the apartment where Gina has already been met by Fonzo. He takes the money and Gina; both are missing  by the time Linda arrives.

Charlie goes to Dr. White again. This time not to stop the visions but to enhance them. He wants more control over what he is seeing.

In the meantime Nick goes to the memorial service at school after seeing Rita about talking to his dead friend. She learns of Nadine from Charlie’s grief stricken son and obviously passes the information on to Fonzo.

Later, Nick is arrested at the impromptu grave site of Emma and wedding negotiations take place at White Tony’s home.  When Charlie believes that Fonzo has Nick, he and Linda barge in and he actually strikes Fonzo who, somewhat unsurprisingly, acts like a douche when asked about the boy.

It may well be this action that prompts Fonzo to kill Gina and bury her under roses in the Haverford’s back garden. As Charlie and Linda talk, after they collect Nick from jail, Charlie finds a handwritten note from their neighbor Gary.

It leads Charlie to the freshly dug plot of roses and he finds Gina’s body as a horrified Linda looks on. This was the what the vision was all about, Gina was apparently buried alive under those roses. The glimpse of Nick was the connection; Charlie’s act of hitting Fonzo caused Gina’s demise.

The body count has been quite high in this Hulu drama about fake psychic and the Roma population that control them. (Also known as Bujo and Gadje – Bujo being the “real deal” and Gadje the non Roma participants.)

So far in this show, one of Eduardo’s men was killed in a vat of boiling donut oil, another was shot by Charlie’s deadly friend and Fonzo’s cousin was burned to death by Eduardo as well. Emma dies after snorting the drug  Gina gave Linda and Nadine comes within a whisker of killing herself.

This episode manages to go a bit darker. “Five of Cups” also shows that Charlie is still having problems deciphering his visions.  Linda is shown to be something of a doubting Thomas regarding her husband’s new “skill” and Nick seems to be all caught up in the psychic chicanery of offer from the Roma clan.

Shut Eye gives us a cast of characters who are flawed, devious and crooked as hell.  Sylvia steals from her own brother, Linda has affairs that Charlie condones and it is only after the “near-death” of Nadine that he  backs off from the big con.

Gina cheerfully steals the $1.7 million from her lover and the only really “honest” character is the gullible Nick who believes the Roma con. The boy has gone to Fonzo for a love potion and to Rita so he can talk to Emma.

It is Charlie’s dilemma that makes him a sympathetic character. His interaction with Dr. White, who really comes across as a mystic believer, makes him more human and someone we can identify with.

There are two episodes left in the first season of Shut Eye. Head on over and check out this dark drama if you have not already.

Cast:

Con Man: Pin Cushion and I’m With Stupid – Musical Fun (Recap/Review)

Ep 7 Lou and Alan images by Comic Con HQ

In “Pin Cushion” Wray and Bobby are at the Long Con (You have to love these names, the next con coming up is “Shaka” Con.). She informs him that he does not yet have the part of Doctor Cop Lawyer, he has been pinned for the role. It appears that there is yet another Hemsworth brother, “The best one yet,” says Bobbie, “Farnsworth Hemsworth.”

She then goes on to tell Wray that Lou Ferrigno really wants him for his  stage version of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” Lou is in the room filling up on snacks at the buffet. Wray goes over to see Ferrigno and as the big man talks to Wray, he has a smear of dip on his upper lip.

As Wray tries to signal to Lou that he has dip on his lip (See what we did there?) Nearly’s old “double” from season one, Karen appears. This season she is Ferrigno’s double and when she arrives Karen already has dip on her lip.

Event coordinator Bucky (It’s a long story.) brings the talent out and finds she is two short, despite using the talent buddy system. Lou and Wray are missing. They have snuck into a back room to do a reading from the musical.

As the two actors enter the room, the door closes behind them. Wray is now trapped into reading the play whether he wants to or not. Wray is dismayed to learn that Lou will be playing George, a dream of his since he was a “giant baby,” and Nearly will be Lenny.

He is, however, somewhat excited to find out that Lou intends this to be a musical version of the story. Wray switches back to dismay though when he reads the play’s title: “I’m With Stupid,” and he is playing “Stupid.”

Wray immediately tries to talk his way out of the part, citing Spectrum: The Movie and being pinned for Doctor Cop Lawyer. He attempts to leave but finds the door is locked. Lou disregards Wray’s excuses and they begin to do a reading.

Bucky explains that Lou and Wray are missing and Karen tries to trick the attendees into believing that she is Ferrigno. Bobbie and Leslie go to find Wray and as they enter the room where the reading is taking place, the episode takes on a homage to The Marx Brothers film “A Night at the Opera.”

As each new artist enters the room, they are cast in Lou’s show. After Lansing is cast as the dog, Wray explains to Lou that he needs to be Lenny. Ferrigno also learns that Wray wants out, but he then talks the reluctant actor into doing the show…in the back room.

Karen comes in and holds the door but Wray tells her to let the door close and lock. They then continue working to put on the show “I’m With Stupid.”

Con Man Musical Poster courtesy of Comic Con HG

Con Man then moves into episode 8 where the actors and crew put on the musical in the back room. In the dining hall/meet and greet area, Bucky is showing an increasingly hostile audience a clip from Spectrum that features Wray and Jack. In the back room preparations continue for “I’m With Stupid.”

The “impromptu” show is actually quite good. There are plenty of comic moments.  Leslie Jordan’s “Short and Curly’s” is amusing but nowhere near as funny as Nolan North’s character. As Jerry Lansing, North plays the longest dog death scene ever in the history of musical theatre.

“Fat of the Land” is fun and funny. Ferrigno’s Lenny with the “dead” stuffed bunny is hysterical. As is Bobbie as the doomed  “femme fatale.” The scene with George and Lenny is also quite touching although Bucky bursts in at the shows climatic finish. She is furious at the stars for messing up her con.

Wray placates Bucky by giving her “Long Con” the world exclusive rights to premiere “I’m With Stupid” and the musical is a mega hit.

A bald Jack Moore calls Wray and tells him that “I’m With Stupid” is being streamed and that people are “losing their minds over it.” He believes it is the perfect lead in to Spectrum: The Movie.

Jack also tells Wray that the musical’s popularity has guaranteed them an invite to “Shaka Con.” He is over the moon at the prospect while Wray is less than enthusiastic.

Lou tells Wray that due to the popularity of the show the musical is going to the real “off Broadway.” He also reveals that they want a “name” to play George, “someone from England.” Wray is effectively fired from the show.

Before the credits roll, with a few previews of the next episode, Wray miserably refreshes his makeup. During the closing credits we are treated to Stan Lee doing a cameo and a bush offering to kill a Hemsworth for Wray.

Con Man continues to delight and amuse. The fate of Wray hangs in the balance as Spectrum: The Movie looks to be more of a possibility and yet another Hemsworth if found to read for Doctor Cop Lawyer.

It looks like Wray Nearly will be doomed to repeat his role in the film version of Spectrum.  Alan Tudyk continues to make the most of his character’s misery and all the cameos in this treat are splendid fun.

Ferrigno is beyond brilliant with his comedic touch and is surprisingly good with his musical bits.  The former Incredible Hulk, makes fun of his work as The Hulk and yet manages to put so much feeling into Lenny that he practically induces tears from the viewer.

Nathan Fillion, with his giant bald head, is spot on while trying to match a toupee to a yachting cap. This may not be high comedy, but there are enough nods and winks to other shows that it is well worth watching.

Con Man is streaming on Comic Con HQ.


Cast:

Fresh Off the Boat: Where Are the Giggles? (Review)

IAN CHEN, RAY WISE

Fresh Off the Boat “Where Are the Giggles?” manages to pay homage to three different Christmas themed stories in one episode. The holiday based segment takes a loving look at Home Alone, Jingle All the Way and A Christmas Carol. The Parks’ take on Christmas is a winner and the only real loser is their neighbor Deirdre.

The Park family are eagerly getting ready for Christmas. Jessica gets six movie tickets from a satisfied customer to see “Jingle All the Way.” They get ready to leave and get good seats.  Not everyone makes it to the cinema, Evan is left at home, alone.

Louis calls Marv who tells his friend to stay at the theatre and watch the film, it is, says Marv, worth it.  Jessica asks him to go over and look in on Evan. He agrees and ends up getting hurt by a boobytrap  set by the youngest Huang.

The Parks return home and find Marv on the floor with a back injury. Evan is wildly disappointed in his mother and she offers to get him any new toy he wants. Evan asks for a “Tickle Me Elmo.”

Just like the plot line of “Jingle All the Way,” Evan has asked for a toy that is nearly impossible to find anywhere.  Jessica hunts down the Elmo while Louis learns that Marv has sued them for his back injury.

Honey gives her husband muscle relaxants that he takes with beer. Louis has already told his friend how he feels about being sued. Marv’s guilt and his mixing of the tablets and alcohol cause him to have “A Christmas Carol” type dreams.

Emery, Grandma Huang and Eddie all show up as Christmas ghosts and they convince him to drop the  lawsuit. On top of these themed storylines, Eddie tells Emery that he is celebrating a  little known African alternative to Christmas; Kwanzaa.

Amusingly, in Marv’s “dream” Eddie turns up as a ghost of Christmas Present dressed in African ethnic clothing. He tells Marv that he is not the ghost of Christmas but of “Kwanzaa” present.

As Marv has his Scrooge-like visions, Jessica works to get her favorite son his Tickle Me Elmo. She dresses up as the Chinese Santa, a female in charge of all the Santas, to deliver the Tickle Me Elmo to Deirdre’s daughter. Her outfit terrifies the children at the girl’s party and Deirdre refuses to part with the other one.

Deirdre’s husband offers up the other toy and Jessica gives it to Evan. He reveals, on the day, that he does not really like new toys but he feigns excitement to please his mother.

Ray Wise knocked it out of the park on the festive themed episode. Constance Wu was hysterical as the Chinese Santa “Lao Ban Santa” the “boss of all the Santa’s.”

This was a fun episode on so many levels. Lucille Soong managed to come awfully close to stealing the show with her Christmas future and the kids on the show, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen all managed to hold their own against the adult actors.

(The interaction between Wheeler and Yang regarding the Kwanzaa holiday was very funny.)

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays on ABC. If you missed this brilliant episode, it can be watched either on demand or via Hulu.

Cast:

Guest starring Rachel Cannon Deirdre and Robert Paul Taylor as Ronaldo.