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Wannabe punks meet real aliens in the vapid Neil Gaiman adaptation How To Talk To Girls At Parties Wannabe punks meet real aliens in the vapid Neil Gaiman adaptation How To Talk To Girls At Parties

How To Talk To Girls At Parties, John Cameron Mitchell’s fourth feature and first in seven years, tries to be many, many things. It’s a coming-of-age tale about wading through the murky waters of adolescent sexuality. It’s a painfully sincere love story between a sensitive boy and a mysterious girl from out of town…

Intimacy divides a young couple in the effective Ian McEwan adaptation On Chesil Beach Intimacy divides a young couple in the effective Ian McEwan adaptation On Chesil Beach

Ian McEwan’s 2007 novella On Chesil Beach, about a young couple’s disastrous honeymoon in southern England circa 1962, presents a classic adaptation problem: The book runs less than 40,000 words, the prose largely examines the characters’ interiority, and the majority of the action takes place over the course of an…

Barry makes a horrible decision and gives a performance of a lifetime Barry makes a horrible decision and gives a performance of a lifetime

After Chris emphatically tells Barry that he wants to come clean to the cops about murdering a Bolivian gang member and he doesn’t care what happens to him as long as he has a clean conscience, you can actually see Barry make the decision. Bill Hader has given a great performance week after week in Barry, but all of…

The Last Man On Earth puts some roots down and (maybe) says its goodbyes The Last Man On Earth puts some roots down and (maybe) says its goodbyes

After four seasons, multiple location changes, various cliffhangers, and numerous guest stars and cameos, The Last Man On Earth might be at the end of its run. Today, Will Forte and Kristen Schaal both hinted that it’s possible the show would not return in the fall. Though ratings have been on par with last season,…

Mike and Tandy search for new life while the gang discovers old ones on The Last Man On Earth Mike and Tandy search for new life while the gang discovers old ones on The Last Man On Earth

There’s some nice parallel storytelling in this week’s Last Man On Earth: Mike and Tandy embark on a journey to examine the enormous blob on Mike’s thermal imaging system in the hopes of finding new life, while the rest of the gang discover numerous murdered corpses in the walls of their Zihuatanejo mansion. Though…

Barry's world starts to unravel as he loses control of his two lives Barry's world starts to unravel as he loses control of his two lives

When Barry chose not to kill Taylor after their stash house raid, and subsequently tried to fold him into Fuches’ operation instead, it was, to put it delicately, a bit of a risk. Even though Fuches is a sociopathic manipulator who has kept Barry under his sick influence for years now, his logic for why Taylor should…

Tandy fights for Mike's affections on a sweet Last Man On Earth Tandy fights for Mike's affections on a sweet Last Man On Earth

Last week on The Last Man On Earth, Tandy’s brother Mike Miller, presumed dead from the virus, suddenly returned in the dead of night to shave off half of Tandy’s face. Though everyone welcomes Mike back into the fold with open arms, he nevertheless feels a little displaced from the group. Everyone has kids and is in…

A guilt-ridden Barry tries to wash the blood from his hands A guilt-ridden Barry tries to wash the blood from his hands

When Lady Macbeth somnambulantly monologues about the imaginary bloodstains that cover her hands in Act V Scene 1 of Macbeth (“Out, damned spot! out, I say!”; “What, will these hands ne’er be clean?”; “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”; yada, yada, yada…), her soul can no longer be saved.…

Barry tries (and fails) to take charge of his life Barry tries (and fails) to take charge of his life

For the past three episodes, Barry has tried to run from his past, but, predictably, his past keeps catching up to him. He tried to wiggle his way out of killing Ryan Madison only to end up in a position where he kills a car full of Chechens. He tried to leave the hitman business behind only to be forced to kill Paco,…

Jason Sudeikis returns to The Last Man On Earth with mixed results Jason Sudeikis returns to The Last Man On Earth with mixed results

When The Last Man On Earth first introduced Tandy’s astronaut brother Mike (Jason Sudeikis) floating up in space, desperately searching for any human life below, it felt like the series had fully embraced the limitless nature of its premise. After all, if Tandy wasn’t the last person on Earth, let alone the last man,…

Chiwetel Ejiofor can't absolve Come Sunday of its many dramatic sins Chiwetel Ejiofor can't absolve Come Sunday of its many dramatic sins

In the late ’90s, evangelical bishop Carlton Pearson was watching a news report about the Rwandan genocide while caring for his infant daughter when he had a revelation. What if there was no hell? Would a loving, caring, almighty God really sentence billions of people, including starving African children, to eternal…

Todd and Melissa act ridiculous for flimsy reasons on a middling Last Man On Earth Todd and Melissa act ridiculous for flimsy reasons on a middling Last Man On Earth

Every so often on The Last Man On Earth, the characters will act completely out of whack for story purposes only to reset at the end of the episode. Sometimes there are justifiable reasons for such a drastic change in behavior, and other times, it either makes little sense and/or the writing forces the performances…

Barry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make the Unsafe Choice Barry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make the Unsafe Choice

Barry moves between many different modes—existential hitman profile, showbiz comedy, whimsical mafia farce, low-key cop procedural etc.—but they all serve as vehicles for Bill Hader to interrogate the idea of success. For Hader, success doesn’t beget happiness; if anything, it only emphasizes the hollow nature of the…

The Last Man On Earth has baby fever in one of the best episodes of the season The Last Man On Earth has baby fever in one of the best episodes of the season

Last week, The Last Man On Earth returned to the status quo by burying Karl and re-introducing Todd’s baby fever. After seeing how Melissa bonds so well with Jasper, Todd feels guilty that he can’t connect with the nine-to-eleven-year-old boy in their midst, but he’s more depressed because he believes he’ll never be a…

Barry turns a somber memorial into amateur night in a funny second episode Barry turns a somber memorial into amateur night in a funny second episode

When Gene Cousineau informs his acting class about Ryan Madison’s gruesome death, they first mourn, and then they plan a show. After all, they’re actors, and their emotions are the paints in their toolbox, so their sadness must be put to good use. Sally informs everyone that the memorial will be held at Jake’s (her…

Bill Hader creates a new life on stage in the Barry series premiere Bill Hader creates a new life on stage in the Barry series premiere

In just about every professional field, passion exists in spades, but talent is hard to come by. Putting aside the vast number of people who never even receive an opportunity to discover their dreams, let alone realize them, that still leaves an enormous glut of people who reach for the moon and only hit the ceiling.…

Roxanne Roxanne takes an unconventional approach to the life of a legendary female rapper Roxanne Roxanne takes an unconventional approach to the life of a legendary female rapper

In 1984, a 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden recorded “Roxanne Speaks Out” (later renamed “Roxanne’s Revenge”) over beats from the UTFO B-side “Roxanne, Roxanne” outside the Queensbridge housing projects where she was living. She was already a known name on the freestyle scene, taking on amateur rappers twice her size…

Chekhov's Cube finally goes off in the Last Man On Earth spring premiere Chekhov's Cube finally goes off in the Last Man On Earth spring premiere

Due to FOX’s erratic programming schedule, only two episodes of The Last Man On Earth have aired this year, but that’s enough time to introduce yet another new character not long for this world. Karl Cowperthwaite (Fred Armisen), an awkward normie who moonlights as a cannibalistic serial killer, made his first…

Great News closes out the season (and possibly the series) on a positive note Great News closes out the season (and possibly the series) on a positive note

With no renewal from NBC in sight, “Early Retirement” might just represent the last gasp of Great News. Thus, it should come as no major surprise that the episode has some “series finale” qualities to it, like sentimental tributes to certain characters, as well as a happy ending. But while some shows hit the gas with…

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