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March 26, 2014

Couch Potato: Some ‘Lazy Quick Hits’ to brighten your day

NEW CASTLE — Welcome to this extra special edition of the Couch Potato, where I very lazily tell you about some stuff that I recently watched. Strap in now, because it’s going to be a wild ride of “Lazy Quick Hits.”

•Mrs. Couch Potato and I watched two movies over the weekend, which is an absolute miracle because very rarely does she stay awake past 9 p.m. We started out by watching “The Hangover Part III,” which is obviously the third installment of the wildly successful “Hangover” franchise.  See how lazy that last sentence was. Anyway, here’s what I would say about this movie. There were some mildly entertaining gags, like a giraffe getting decapitated and some other outlandish chicanery, but they probably should have stopped after “Part II.” There wasn’t much left to do here for the gang, except for cash the huge checks they invariably received for coming back one last time.

•The second movie we watched was “Flight,” starring Denzel Washington as an alcoholic pilot who safely lands a malfunctioning airliner, in amazing fashion, sparing 96 of the 102 people on board. At almost two and a half hours, Washington had plenty of time to flex his acting muscles, but there wasn’t much else for him to do besides continually get drunk after swearing to his superiors that he wouldn’t. As Mrs. Couch Potato finally said, “OK, we get it, he’s an alcoholic,” after he fell off the wagon for the umpteenth time. Aside from that, the movie did have a nice message that ultimately, we must accept responsibility for our failures. The ending of the movie did an eloquent job of hammering that point home, and Denzel did shine in that moment.

•“Broad City,” mentioned in this space before, continues to bring home the bacon in terms of comedy on Wednesday nights. Mrs. Couch Potato is hanging with me on this show, because even though it can be crude and obscene, it is consistently hilarious. I thought that when this show started, that it would mainly be about following the two female leads (Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer) around New York City and that that would be the source of the comedy. That is the premise, but the show has surprised as the season has progressed by showing a proclivity for outrageous ancillary characters that are sometimes funnier than the main ones. The season finale airs tonight at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central, but all episodes are available on Comcast’s On-Demand menu.

•Mrs. Couch Potato and I are halfway through the 1991 movie, “JFK.” I should take a moment to mention that one of our French Fries left Friday, for a week in sunny Florida with her grandma. With only one French Fry around, things are a bit calmer in the Couch Potato household, and that is why we have been able to watch so many movies. We are even getting things done in a timely fashion, like laundry, the dishes, cooked meals, grocery shopping, and having calm restaurant dinners, easy bed time dealings and have a relatively clean house. Who knew having only one kid was SO easy, but we do miss the other one, I guess. So anyway, “JFK” is really good, if you’re into the whole conspiracy theory game, which I am. It’s easy to follow, engaging and does a good job of presenting some of the more mysterious “facts” surrounding the death of the popular president.  Who knows if anything in the movie is true or fabricated or whatever, and since it’s “Lazy Quick Hits,” I’m not bothering to look anything up and accepting the entire movie, or at least the first half, as complete fact.

•I started watching “The Shield,” FX’s first dive into original programming, from way back in 2002. My buddy at work gave me the entire series on DVD, so I’ll start the arduous process of plowing through the whole series. The first episode was pretty good, and I distinctly remember my college friends never missing an episode, so I’m excited for the ride. Ninety episodes seems daunting, but I’m sure I’ll get a column or two out of the gritty drama, featuring Michael Chiklis as detective Vic Mackey. As my buddy at work likes to sarcastically say, "it’s a great show about a crooked cop with a heart of gold!” He actually does like the show, but it’s pretty funny, nonetheless.


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