31 December, 2011

Chuck Vs. the Baby: 5.08 - All This is But a Dream

I am going to pretend that Chuck Versus the Baby was Sarah's dream episode. Meaning that Sarah was dreaming, because that will better explain the continuity and logic problems it created. Granted, if you are a shipper, you got your dream episode! Full of emotional payoffs and dream scenes.

Here's my question: how do you go through the brainstorming process in the writers room; the script writing process; the review of the script process; the several meetings leading up to the shooting of the script; the shooting of the episode, and the multiple edits of the episode, without recognizing fundamental problems with what was written?

CHUCK is a show where I can ignore the plot. But I can't let it go when the writers ignore the things that built-up or stripped-down our characters. Even if it is stupid, it has to be explained if you decide to bring up a parent we've never met before. It's like Writing 101.

1. Sarah had a handler even though she already had a partner (Bryce, remember him writers?) who she was apparently having super sexy time with all over the world. Then, at the end of the flashback mission, she demanded to no longer have a handler and her boss was fine with that, then told her that her next assignment was to become the handler for a new asset. That asset? Chuck. Problem? The CIA wouldn't know Chuck was going to be an asset until Sarah found out he had the Intersect for at least one day. Oops. Oops. And oops.

2. Sarah's mom is a wonderful person who seems totally cool and balanced and the kind of person who you don't hide from at your grandmother's house while your dad goes away to rob people blind. And if she isn't a totally capable mother, why did you leave your kidnapped "sister" with her, Sarah? Oh wait, Sam? Why does your mother call you Sarah anyway? Did she get the memo from season 3 that you were done with Sam?

3. Sarah doesn't know that a 5-year old doesn't cry like a 5-month old. So now we know that she's an idiot too.

4. Sarah once used a baby as body armor. Or she thought putting the baby right in front of all the bullets that would fly toward her at really high rates of speed was a good idea.

5. Sarah and Chuck can speak to each other through the thick glass of a European bus. Mind you, no one has ever been able to do this, try as they might.

6. We can stop drilling for oil and looking for new power sources. Sarah's hair can apparently power an active bug for upwards of 12-hours, if not more. That's fuckin' incredible!

7. Chuck and Sarah carve their names into their dream house like only a couple of sociopathic assholes would, you know, just to ruin it for anyone who might want to buy it.

8. Alex apparently knows all about the Intersect that was in Morgan's brain but is still being a dickshit about it. Typical Casey-spawn.

9. When the CIA cleared Carmichael Industries of all wrong-doing, they should have unfrozen their assets, meaning Chuck and Sarah should have a few dozen millions coming to them. That means they should be able to buy that crappy house that now has their names carved into it.

10. That baby Sarah kidnapped and then illegally gave to her mom is the heiress to BILLIONS. No one seems to care outside of the dude Sarah stabs in the back. Sounds like Sarah is going for the long con.

If I had to rate this one, I'd give it:

79 out of 100

Unfortunately, the emotional payoffs don't outweigh the character arc elements that are lacking, or outright violated. This episode punts every rule of retconning. And it is too bad that it suffers the way it does because the Chuck and Sarah/Awesome and Ellie stuff is really good. And this episode could have been so much better if the Graham giving Sarah the mission scene is cut out entirely (how did not one editor or producer realize that it violated show canon?). And if there is even one dialogue sequence added in explaining why Sarah didn't live with her mom. Cut out the Graham/Sarah scene and add the mom explanation scene and the episode works better. Without it, it is an episode that lives on emotional pay-offs and a couple of good performances.


24 December, 2011

CHUCK Vs. the Santa Suit - 5.07: A Tale of Two Kisses

There was a ton of hype about this episode, perhaps some of it due to the fact that CHUCK is the only original network show on. But did it deserve all that hype? DID IT EARN IT?!

Find out after the juuuuuuuump!

Writer Amanda Kate Shuman rides out guns-a-blazing in this one, backed by the directorial brilliance of Peter Lauer who has now helmed at least three, if not four, of the best episodes in series history (Best Friend, Colonel, Last Details, Santa Suit). Supporting them are the cast and crew, all fully engaged in delivering a masterpiece. And it almost all works to perfection.

As we discovered in the previous episode, there is a virus and it is doing bad things. Unlike last episode, our characters behave realistically and don't regress to fit the stupidity of the story. This time, everyone is behaving as heroically as 85 episodes of story have established.

One of the most surprising things in Chuck Versus the Santa Suit is Brandon Routh's excellent performance as Chuck and Sarah's ultimate nemesis, Daniel Shaw. The great thing about Shaw, unlike every other bad guy on the show, is that his hatred for the pair is totally believable, so much that there were times during the episode I actually thought some harm could come to our heroes. Of course no real harm can come to them, but that's how convincing Shaw's passion for hurting them was that I, a cynical veteran of television, forgot the most obvious. At times, the hairs stood on the back of my neck as Shaw beat, tortured, or stalked Sarah. Insanity!

Another excellent element? General Beckman who, as it is now clear, has been underutilized for most of the series. Her kissing Chuck should go down in show history as one of the most hilarious. I laughed, clapped my hands together, and probably screamed when it happened. The subsequent discussion between the two in the car, and the later attempt by Chuck and Beckman to explain it to Sarah, will continue to entertain me for some time.

As all that's going on, the show's also able to create a fun, funny, and exciting Buy More subplot that ended up being very important. As Jeff and Lester eat Subway sandwiches and drink Subway coffee, and get a personal Subway slave, while Subway eye-rapes the audience with its products, they are able to believably discover the true nature of the evil virus, giving Chuck and Morgan a solution to the Shaw problem.

The toughest job may have fallen on Yvonne Strahovski who had to play the defiant damsel in distress Sarah who slowly realizes the danger awaiting her husband. Her fight scenes against Shaw were some of the most violent we have seen on the show involving Sarah and a male character. Usually, this show will save Sarah beatings for a female opponent, but this time it felt appropriate to have Shaw dominate her physically, and it felt necessary as a way to elevate the feelings of danger throughout her ordeal in Castle. I give a tip of the cap to the writers room for going through with it and for Strahovski and Routh for making nearly every scene between them compelling.

Ellie and Awesome also get some focus, with the former getting her hero moment at the end. Big Mike gets a few very good scenes too, but the character continues to be underutilized by the writers. Casey and Morgan both get to be heroic, though I do feel that Casey's arc in the episode was too familiar. His getting shot is much like Kenny on SOUTH PARK getting killed. Except on CHUCK it feels more like a crutch when the writers have to take Casey out because he is too capable. That would be one of my nitpicks. It isn't a major problem, especially since he does get a couple of good moments, but something that did bother me a tad.

If there is a big logic bomb in the episode, it could be that Shaw still has the Intersect in his head. However, after thinking about it, there is a reasonable explanation. Before the CIA could suppress it in Shaw, he turned Decker into his pawn. So, Decker essentially protected him and kept him from being de-Intersected.

Speaking of which, one of the best fights in the ENTIRE SERIES was the one between Chuck and Shaw in the Buy More. Yes, we have seen this fight before, at the end of season 3, but this time neither one of them has the Intersect. To finally see Chuck demonstrate the skills he has naturally learned, and should have learned by now, was like the geek-payoff of the decade. So many times fans have questioned why Chuck's not trained to fight without the Intersect, or to do just about anything without it, and this season the writers have slowly been hinting that he's been working out. The fight choreographers even made sure Chuck's fighting style's similar to Sarah's (I notice such things being the master martial artist that I am), because she would likely be the one to show him most of her moves. Little details like that may not mean much to most people, but I salute everyone involved for making the little boy inside me geek out crazy style. So far, season 5 has done everything I wanted them to do it season 4. It is like the perfect book-end to the series.

And finally, we close out the episode with Ellie saving Chuck, the CIA accepting the gang back into the fold, and a government designed Christmas party for the gang. Did I forget anything? Oh, yeah! Sarah has a secret baby! But what does it mean? Tune in next week!

Alright, and now to my favorite portion of any episode write-up...

Big Mike being interviewed by a reporter for a local news story.
Big Mike: I'm Michael Tucker, assistant manager Burbank Buy More. I want customers to remember the true meaning of Christmas. And get back to what you're supposed to be doing. (grabs Jeff and pulls him into frame) Buying stuff.
Jeff: Like this iPad, a bargain for $599! Honestly it's overpriced. You can get all this stuff on the Internet.

Big Mike discovers that the store Santa suit is missing.
Big Mike: Damn, hell! What kind of monster steals a Santa suit on Christmas Eve but leaves the eyebrows?

Chuck, having stolen the Santa suit and just received a call from Awesome about it, addresses the situation.
Chuck: My wife has been kidnapped and I'm officially ruining Christmas for the children of Burbank.

Tied up Sarah realizes it is getting cold in Castle and Shaw explains why.
Shaw: I tapped into the internal generator. Lowered the temperature. To stop the mainframe from overheating. Once the virus activates, the resulting data influx could fry it in seconds. You with me? No, you're not. [If] you were, you'd have brought a coat, silly.

As Jeff and Lester work on the Omen Virus problem, Lester contemplates the situation.
Lester: God, can you imagine a world without the Internet? What if it's up to us? Two Buy More employees left to stop the Omen Virus and save the world.
Jeff: Come on. The government has their best people working on this. Right?
Cut to CIA workers getting drunk at their Christmas party.

When Chuck and Beckman are discovered breaking into Decker's office, the general sees only one way out of the situation.
Beckman: Pucker up, Bartowski! You're about to become a man!

After Beckman and Bartowski share a kiss, on the drive home, Chuck feels the need to explain something as the general fixes her lipstick.
Chuck: You know, I typically brush my teeth before I..
Beckman: We never speak of this again.
Chuck: Never.

As Sarah sits tied to a chair, going in and out of consciousness, Shaw decides to take the opportunity to kiss her.
Sarah: You sick son-of-a-bitch!
Shaw: Just wanted to see if any of the old fire was still there. No. Ice cold.

After the highly caffeinated Jeff and Lester reveal to Chuck and Morgan what the virus actually does, Chuck tells them their work is done.
Chuck: You can go home. Happy holidays. Maybe drink some water.
Jeff: Water can only dilute this feeling.
Lester: Plus, fish have sex in it. Jeffrey, let's go for a run.

After Chuck and Shaw fight for some time, Shaw eventually gets a hold of his gun and aims it at his opponent.
Shaw: You're good, Chuck. But you're not lucky.
Ellie bashes Shaw in the head with something solid.
Ellie: That was for me.
Chuck: Nice shot, sis. But I told you to stay at home.
Ellie: I'm Eleanor Woodcomb. Since when do I do what I'm told? That man took our father away from us, Chuck. I wasn't gonna let him take anybody else.

If I had to rate this one, I'd give it:

95 out of 100

One of the best of the series. Dangerous, riveting, funny, action packed, family oriented, with one of the biggest payoffs to an important show arc. A nearly perfect episode from beginning to end. I may even grow to love this one more than I do right now.

So, what did you think? Comment below. As always, anonymous posting is enabled. Though, sign your comments if you want people to know how to respond to you.

Oh, check out our podcast of the episode below. There's filthy dirty language so don't listen if you are 12. Thanks!

Click to listen:



23 December, 2011

THE HOBBIT Production Video #5

Sure, earlier in the week we got the first trailer for the movie. But today we get another production video. And while trailers are nice, I live for these production videos!

Click below and enjoy.


16 December, 2011

CHUCK Vs. the Curse - 5.06: What's in Bartowski's P.A.N.T.S.?

As we hit the literal halfway-point in the season (since we have 7 episode left that will run over six weeks), and the end of the series, the writers decided to give us small amount of progress, a setup for the next episode, and some fun side-character focus.

Instead of doing a play-by-play of the episode, like I have been, I am going to give a critique of the story. Also, I've been having computer problems and so one of the problems I have this time around is the ability, or inability, to rewatch the episode as I write this review. So, no "quotables" (sorry). Maybe I can squeeze them in later, if I have time.

One of the things many shows do is make our characters behave as if the past, promises, relationship development, and emotional growth never happened. So, you get an episode where Chuck decides not to trust his wife and to even doubt that she wouldn't want to exact same thing he wants with respect to his kidnapped family members. You know, because now they are her family too. In fact, they are literally the only family members she has around. And Chuck, being the introspective extrovert should KNOW that nothing would be more important to Sarah than to save his family. HER family.

Therefor, it is a cheap device to have Chuck go against his wife. And why do it at all? Simple. They needed to get the virus into the hands of the bad guys so it could be released upon the world so that we could get forward momentum on the bigger conspiracy story arc. But even that makes little sense. Chuck is a super tech. Why doesn't he just REPLACE THE VIRUS in the device? Or, not give them the device at all? Again, the answer is very simple. The writers don't feel like they need to deliver a better story. That's not to say most shows do any better (BURN NOTICE does stupid plot shit every episode, every season). But why take such little care with the show? I bet a few fan fiction writers (mind you, I find fan fic writers to be the most evil people in the universe) could come up with 20-ways to get the virus released in this episode that wouldn't be so stupid.

Having said all that, I actually enjoyed the side-character stuff. More Beckman. More Alex. Lots more Ellie and Awesome. Man, Sarah Lancaster is smokin'! I am sure Ryan McPartlin is hot too but I'm a dude. Even the totally pointless P.A.N.T.S. side mission had its fun moments, as the writers set up Morgan and Alex eventually getting back together (wanna bet it's next week?). I've also recently fallen madly in love with Mekenna Melvin so... I'm a total sucker for any scene with her in it.

I also rather liked Rebecca Romijn's characer. She was the right amount of bad while not being cartoonish. Also, I liked her reaction at the end when Casey and Beckman revealed her own device. I know it seemed like they tortured the information out of her, but my bet is that she revealed the information without being tortured. Having used the device on people before, she would know its effect and that everyone eventually talks. However, if she was tortured, that's pretty dark. I like it, but that's pretty dark since even dark shows don't like to suggest the good guys torture to get information. And this isn't one of those really dark shows (though, it should be... and hot... and sexy... all the time... like why can't Chuck and Sarah have hot and sexy moments like Ellie and Awesome?).

Ellie and Awesome on their own little spy mission, before realizing they were actually on one, and after was a blast. I also loved watching Casey and Sarah come in, guns blazing, and just killing everyone in the room. And the thing I loved most was angry Sarah. I love angry Sarah. Always have. Always will.

Nothing is better than angry Sarah, especially when she is mad at Chuck. Yvonne, who is a naturally fun, funny, joyful, and bubbly person in the really real world plays angry, moody, conflicted, and deadly better than just about anyone. And while I do enjoy the fun Sarah moments, tonight's episode reminded me of the old Sarah that I also love. Thankfully, I think we will get a bit more of angry Sarah next week too. Though, this time aimed at someone she really, super duper really wants to KILL!

If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

88 out of 100

The logic bombs bring the score down but the good moments elevate it back up. I was both disappointed and very entertained. It won't go down in CHUCK history as either one of the worst or the best, but it also doesn't make me want to find a cute baby seal and club it.

Podcast for this episode uploaded. Only 12-minutes long. Check it out for a few mote comments. Adult language used, of course.

Click to listen:

Or here:

Or CLICK HERE to download and listen in the comfort of your own... something.


14 December, 2011

Geek Furious the Poopcast #6 - 30 Years of Metallica

In this episode, we discuss Metallica's 30th Anniversary 4-night celebration at the Fillmore, plus the release of FOUR new songs from the Death Magnetic recordings that were previously unreleased. There is also about 17 minutes of outtakes at the end of the podcast that covers material we discussed while recording the episode that didn't really relate to the celebration.

00:00 to 29:17 30th Anniversary Discussion
29:18 to 49:48 Beyond Magnetic (Hate Train, Hell and Back, Just A Bullet Away, Rebel of Babylon)
49:58 to 67:02 Outtakes

Autoplaying for your convenience.


Also, below is the remix of Hate Train that I talk about in our review of Beyond Magnetic.

ALSO... video of the fans jamming with Metallica on Blackened as mentioned on the poopcast. I had no clue they didn't know they were playing.


NEW GIRL 1.09 - The 23rd

This week the writers prove my prediction at the end of last week's review to be true. Jess is not allowed to be happy this early in the series. Granted, they did it so they could show us just how adorably sweet and cuddly Nick is. Awwww! Will-they-want-they button mashed again! So let us journey forward on this ride of 'Jess Versus the I Love You.'

Clearly I am going through CHUCK withdrawals already.

The setup: Jess and her coolest boyfriend in the world, Paul, are celebrating their first Christmas together which includes exchanging gifts. Paul gives her tickets to Vienna. She gives him a stuffed mechanical heart that has a beating heart noise that sounds like little farts. Being the sweet and quirky guy that Paul is, he is more than happy with the gift, seeing it as just part of what he loves about her. So he confesses that love and Jess, being the typical girl, decides that the sweet, nice, wonderful guy who cares about her has to suffer for what the asshole douchebag she loved for no good reason did.

And that is totally realistic as a bunch of my super nice, caring dudes with lots of love to give buddies of mine can attest (and my lady friends who do it all the time). If a guy is a cunt, then he is worth ruining friendships and family relationships for as he uses and abuses your love until, way too many years later, you realize he is never going to change and you finally give up (or he kicks you out of the apartment you shared for years).

However, if the next guy you date is everything you ever wanted and more in a man, but isn't a total cock face, then you have to crap on him because you are a piece of shit that daddy never truly loved, because you weren't a boy. So, yeah. That happened.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so now Jess has a problem because when Paul confesses his love, Jess uncomfortably squeezes out a thank you. Soon after, the gang goes to Schmidt's work Christmas party where the wild-one is playing sexy Santa to his office full of sexist women. Winston is there, doing his best to not get noticed by the audience, except when to interact with a child (he has spent 1/3 of this season so far with children). Nick and Jess talk about the love confession issue, where the most obvious thing is about to happen. And it of course does.

Nick, thinking Jess has already talked to Paul, discusses the issue, then realizes his mistake and uncomfortably and crazily tries to get out of it. When he finally accepts that pretending to be drunk or kidding won't work, he tries to talk Paul off the ledge. When Jess finds the two talking outside, after having some sexy sit-down with her friend Cece in the bathroom, Nick confesses his mistake and then hurriedly tries to escape back inside only to find the door locked. This leads to a few funny moments where he interrupts a serious discussion between the soon-to-be-over lovers.

Meanwhile, Schmidt is being sexually harassed. Then he stands up for himself. Cece's new boyfriend is a dick. She tries on stinky perfume that Schmidt gave her. Oh no! WILL THEY?! WON'T THEY?!

In the end, Jess and Paul break up, with Nick feeling horrible and pleading with Paul not to do it. Then, as the gang goes on a ride with Nick to the airport (a side story about him always missing the flight home for Christmas is at times fun, even though I barely cover it here), Nick decides to try to cheer Jess up by stopping by one of those super-duper Christmas lights neighborhoods you always see on TV. But when they arrive the lights are all out (never seen this happen in all the years I have taken a ride through one of these 'hoods) and so the gang starts screaming for the lights to be turned back on... which of course happens. Awww. Isn't that romantic?!

At the opening of the episode, the boys are all on roller skates that Jess has given them as gifts. When she arrives at the apartment she finds them all sprawled on the floor.
Jess: You guys are all wearing the holiday gifts I gave you.
Schmidt: No, I.. (the others look at her guiltily)
Jess: That is so sweet! I need to take a picture.
Nick: (crawling) Jess! Don't take a photo!
Jess: (with camera in hand as Nick tries to maul it away) So cute. So cute.

Jess and Nick are out shopping and Jess reveals a gift certificate for sex that she is considering giving Paul.
Jess: But I don't want him to think that I'm using him for his body.
Nick: I'm sure he'd be okay with that.
Opens up the card.
Nick: 'Nerdy weird sex that works for both of us?'
Jess: Okay, give it back!
Nick: This is amazing.
Jess: No..
Nick: I'm gonna keep this.
Jess: Come on..
Nick: I'm gonna cash this in one night and get some weird nerd sex with it.
Jess: But it's not for you!
Nick: Oh my god. Thank you! Now I know what I'm getting my mom.
Jess: Oh my god, Nick!
Nick: It's going right to my mom!

Nick and Jess discuss her issues with being too giving to men.
Jess: One time I went on a date and by 11pm, I gave the guy my ATM code.
Nick: What is your ATM code?
Jess: Four. Two. Th.. very funny! Very good try but no.
Nick: Not a try. Got it.
[note: I wonder if the 4 and 2 was supposed to be a nod to Zooey being in HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY]

Cece talks to Schmidt about how his boss (how many does he have?) is treating him in his sexy Santa outfit.
Cece: You know, you don't deserve to be treated like that. You just gotta tell her no. Otherwise, all she'll do is see you as a pretty face and a hot body.
Schmidt: I'm sorry, what was that?
Cece: You have a pretty face?
Schmidt: No, no, the sec.. 'cause the second part. And I'd like you to say it like in an accent and, but make direct eye contact.
Cece: Schmidt, do not push your luck with me.
Schmidt: (sniffing her as she walks by) What's that smell?
Cece: That's your perfume.
Schmidt: You wore it?!
Cece: (naughtily smirking) Yeah, it smells terrible.
Schmidt: (laughs) It does smell terrible. It's like a dirty dish towel.

After Nick confesses to Jess that he told Paul she didn't love him, his escape from the very awkward situation is made worse by the locked door.
Nick: Please, this is my nightmare! (banging on the door) Winston! Help me!

Schmidt tries to talk to his boss about sexy Santa.
Schmidt: It's over. Santa's dead. I killed him.
A small child screams and runs away.
Kim: Oh my god. No, no, no don't worry, that's just Gena's cowardly son. He is a scream machine.
Schmidt: Kim, I'm not a sex object, alright? I'm your employee. And I work harder than anyone. I'm the first one to show up every morning.
Kim: No, you're not.
Schmidt: There's, there's never a parking space.
Kim: That's because everyone's already here, Schmidt.

If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

90 out of 100

I really loved Nick in this one. It is his best episode since the wedding one (that ballooned expectations for this show in general). I still feel like the writers are having a hard time finding a place for Winstons. Man, that other dude was so much better. Schmidt was also fun, and his little moments with Cece do reveal a good amount of chemistry between the two. Finally, Jess and Paul's failed relationship may have been a bit of a downer, and the setup to that failure may have been too predictable, but it brought us a moment of Nick's mega awkwardness that made him even more lovable.


If I got any facts wrong during the recap, so what?


11 December, 2011

Metallica NEW SONG "Rebel Of Babylon"

This new song is arguably the best of the 4 new songs and maybe the best song they have written in 24 years.

I have no idea how long it will be available on YouTube. Warner has been pretty quick on getting these taken down. I will update for the next 24-hours as I find new uploads.



10 December, 2011

NEW Metallica Song: To Hell and Back

Another song from the Death Magnetic writing process that didn't make the album. Check it out below.

Since Warner is taking down all the studio versions, only the live version is available right now.


09 December, 2011

CHUCK Vs. the Hack Off: 5.05 - It's Naked Time!

"I don't run from the law. I am the law!" -- John Casey

Let's just kick it. Kick it with a tasty groove.

As the show winds down toward its 27 January. 2012 series conclusion, its 83rd episode takes us down an interesting road of exploration. Mostly body exploration. Not to mention, the exploration of the Jeff and Lester, and Casey and Gertrude relationships. Oh and it is directed by the star of the show, Zachary Levi, in his best job at the helm so far.

But first, Casey is in jail with his bested bud in the whole wide world, Lester. Casey is super happy about it. Especially since he has to deal with thugs who want to hurt him. Luckily for him, his girlfriend is a super spy and is able to get into the jail to provide him with a conjugal visit. After Casey delivers the goods, he convinces Gertrude to fill in for him with Carmichael Industries. Try as she might, she can't resist his manly ways and does his bidding.

Decker drugs Chuck and Sarah just so he can give them a mission. Success means all Casey's charges will be dropped. Failure? Not an option.

Inside Castle, Chuck is hunting down a lead to satisfy Decker's twisted needs. Morgan tells Sarah about Chuck's super hacker skills as the boss man sips Chardonnay right from the bottle. Eventually, Chuck identifies their hacker mark as a dude named Colin Davis.

When Gertrude shows up, she declares her intentions to help the crew. Chuck and Sarah reluctantly accept. The mission takes the three to a nudist colony where TV history has to have been made with pixelization of private parts on network television.

At the Buy More, Jeff and Morgan discuss the jailed Lester and the lesson he needs to learn about not poisoning your friends, something he is hesitant to promise.

Jeff: I didn't think it would be this hard without Lester around. I'm starting to forget him. I can't even picture what Lester looks like anymore.
Morgan: Close your eyes. Imagine David Beckham. Lester is a shorter feminine version of his wife.
Jeff: Right. I can see him now.

Chuck and Sarah infiltrate the nudist colony and find Davis but are soon discovered to be spies and have to fight their way to capturing their target. When Davis swallows the chip with the information necessary, Chuck tries to Heimlich it out of him but Gertrude shoots Davis with a dart, knocking him out.

Gertrude: Where's the chip?
Chuck: I hid it. (dropping the unconscious Davis) Inside of him.
Gertrude: So he swallowed it.
Chuck: Yes he did.

The team carries Davis off to probably do things you can't show on network television.

At the jail, Casey is assaulted by a number of evil doers but is saved by Lester, who has become the jail godfather via his tech knowledge.

Casey: What the hell?
Lester: I told you, I figured out a way to become the shot-caller in here. Now any of these people get out of line, and I will pull their plugs. Literally, I'll pull their plugs. I've been using my Buy More skills to set up cable and Internet for the inmates.
Casey: Of course you have.

Meanwhile, at the home base, Colin warns Chuck that the information on the chip currently making its way toward his poop shoot is so dangerous it could wipe out everything, or something. It is apparently a virus so powerful that the entire world could be in super duper danger. Gosh, I'm totally worried. At least more worried than I ever get watching BURN NOTICE, which isn't much since that show is total white noise. Anyway, so Chuck has to get a secondary element of the hack thingy and so there is another part to this mission.

Chuck, being the nice guy he is, offers to make his newest friend something to eat. Gertrude is not amused.

Gertrude: A snack?! Casey is in lock-down and this jerk wants jellybeans?! We should just cut him open and get that chip out right now.

I love this character!

Sarah and Ms. Verbanski have a discussion about relationships where Mrs. Bartowski seems to have fun pushing the buttons of a trained super killer.

In button pushing world, Jeff and Morgan Skype it up with Lester and reveal that they have hired Abed from COMMUNITY as his replacement. Their attempt to get Lester to see the error of his ways works very well as Abed, who is actually just a hired model/actor, is so impressive that Lester feels completely threatened. This is one of the better cameos the show has ever done, UNTIL... shocker, Shirley from COMMUNITY is revealed to be a green shirt! WHAAAAAT?!

That... was.... awesome.

Anyway, so Chuck goes to evil hack camp to engage in an old fashioned hack off for his life and the mission. There is something cool about seeing Chuck be a total nerd and to see that his hacker persona, of Piranha, carries weight with his peers. Though, like with many shows, it is kind of sprung on us out of nowhere. But I can believe it since we always knew Chuck was super smart and techie.

It is actually surprising that it took five seasons for us to get this kind of sequence on the show. And when Chuck expresses excitement over it, I find myself with a big smile.

Chuck: I forgot something. I'm really good at this!

I'm already missing this show.

Sarah and Gertrude go in, do some talking about relationships, and do something to get the mission thing and then Chuck runs away and the ladies save him. No surprise there. It's all fun, mostly because Chuck isn't able to use anything other than his natural talents to get out of it.

When next we find ourselves in the Buy More, the issue I had with the whole Lester trying to murder his friends plot from 5.04 does exactly what I knew it would. Mainly, sweep the fact that a guy nearly killed his friends under the rug because he apologized and promised to not do it again. Awesome lesson! A teachable moment! It is OK to try to murder your friends as long as you promise not to do it again. Also, somehow you can drop charges against someone who is charged with manslaughter/murder and the DA doesn't bat an eye.

At the drop-off, Chuck discusses quitting the spy biz for like the 400th time in the show's history. Which is funny since the show only has 82 episodes at this point. But that's what this show's been doing forever so why change things now? Before we get too much of that, Decker arrives to pick up the virus and reveals that it was all a setup to frame Carmichael Industries for the release of the virus. Gertrude threatens his life but Decker isn't worried.

Decker: So I suggest you get your hands off of me and get a little head start. Because soon people will be hunting Chuck, the way they hunted Bin Laden.

But Gertrude has other plans and blows Decker into tiny little bits to save the man she loves. Before she goes on the run, she and Morgan help break Casey out of jail, while Chuck and Sarah prepare for the repercussions.

If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

92 out of 100

A fun episode with some cool tech stuff and spy elements, plus a lot of Gertrude, and Decker's death. Outside of a few nagging problems, I couldn't find much to dislike. The setup is of course that Chuck and Sarah will eventually begin to think of a way out of the spy life. Whether they achieve that or not will be told over the next 8 episodes. For now, they will have to fight for their lives, and the lives of their friends and families. It is about to get interesting.


Parks and Recreation - Citizen Knope

This is my first ever review of PARKS AND RECREATION, a show I have fallen deeper and deeper in love with over time. A rare occurrence as most shows lose my (and most people's) interest over the course of its life. And this season has been so full of greatness that every episode seems to knock some other great episode down a peg on the list of top 20. This continues that trend.

Leslie, having been suspended over the issue with her one-true-love (not my job to catch you up), puts together a community harassment group to fill the hole in her life that is always doing something to the extreme.

And stuff happens that you should know about since you watched it. I will determine how much of an effort I should make every week writing these reviews based on how many people accidentally read this one. So, if you want a full-blown GFucking, get to stroking my ego by sharing a link, freeloaders.

    Stuff I loved (apart from everything)
  • Ron's near emotional breakdown over Leslie's present was my favorite moment.

  • The Ann and Leslie lovefest was at its all-time adorableness. In fact, I kind of fell in the love with Ann in this one. Sure, I have always had a little baby crush on her but now I am full blown creeper 500-yard restraining order crushing on her. Something about her assertive while still being cute nature just gets me. I guess I like strong girly girls who are sexy like a meow meow.

  • April's painting of her murdering and collecting the heads of the Black Eyed Peas was bad to the shaved bone strips of her victims. Plus, it is time someone point out that they suck. It's just totally true. They do.

  • Leslie giving Chris a thoughtful gift and then threatening him was so brilliant, the writers over at WHITNEY slit their wrists. They didn't, but they should. I'm not kidding. You may think I am, but I am not. So...

  • Chris: Out of respect for you, I will meet with your group. But I hope that this puts an end to the madness.
    Leslie: Prepare for battle. Oh, I forgot to tell you. I got your Christmas present. It's like a little stop watch that records your jogging times and then sends it to your computer via blue-tooth.
    Chris: (excited) That's so thoughtful!
    Leslie: Awww, my pleasure. See you in hell!
  • The "PCP Make It Fun" t-shirts would be ridiculous if Leslie didn't intentionally make it a drug reference. And that is why this episode works so well. Leslie isn't accidentally making drug references, she knows exactly how to effectively make her group noticeable.

  • Jean-Ralphio, the 10th or something character on this show, who would barely be a blip on the radar on other shows, gets two standout moments as he advises Ben on career choices and then takes the job Ben turned down without knowing anything about accounting, just to exercise his twisted charm.

  • If I had to rate this episode with a gun to my head, I'd give it:

    94 out of 100

    I'd give it a higher number but this is a show that doesn't know how to make bad episodes so I have to lower the score a tad just in case some 99s are coming our way.


    COMMUNITY 3.10: Regional Holiday Music

    "Merry Christmas, everyone. Glee club just became history club." -- Jeff Winger

    The show's Christmas episode is also its last for a while, as NBC has placed it on the bench for the foreseeable future as it tries to restructure its Thursday lineup. The show will return eventually, as it is going to film its full 22 episode season, and I wouldn't be shocked to see it picked up for another season since Sony will practically give the show away for free to NBC just to make syndication numbers.

    The episode begins with Jeff helping to dissolve the school's glee club via ASCAP's legal intervention due to copyright infringement. That forces the club's instructor to try to get the study group to fill in as replacements. What follows is a manic episode that goes to crazy town, filled with wild singing and sluttery.

    First of all, let me just cite my source for the song titles in this review. I got them from Alan Sepinwall, at this link (his review is much better than mine).

    Second, the story is essentially secondary to the musical numbers, even though each one is brought about by the narrative element, which is essentially that every one of the study group members is somehow put under the spell of glee club. I suspect the instructor was slipping them all Ecstasy but what do I know. Here are the musical numbers as they appeared.

    Songs Performed
    "Glee," by Abed and Mr. Rad
    This one threw me off at first. Then I really got into it. Confession... I love comedic musical stuff, like anything by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and this number filled that need well. And unlike all those horrid songs on that awful show GLEE (sorry, Ali Adler, I still love you), this one is awesome and short, and original.

    "Jahovah's Secret Witness" by Abed and Troy
    Only COMMUNITY can pull this kind of thing off and not make it suuuuuuuuck like MISFITS season 3. Troy and Abed's rap about becoming a secret Christmas assassin is like the best YouTube video ever with autotune. Goddamn this show is too good for mankind. We don't deserve this level of awesomeness. CANCEL IT! WE ARE NOT WORTHY!

    "Baby Boomer Santa" by Troy, Abed, and Pierce
    Abed and Troy ambush the study group with a glee number and Pierce gets sucked in by their multi-generation spanning number. It's pretty nuts. You should be watching the episode instead of reading this bullshit review.

    "Teach Me How To Understand Christmas" by Annie
    Daddy likes! Me just male. Me should know dis totally wrong. Me weak. No resist. Give in to bad Santa's little helper girl who no smart. Annie writhes around the floor and everything else like a naughty Betty Boop trying to manipulate Jeff into turning to the dark side. He tries to resist but like me, he fills a nearby cup with a sampling from another album... or something. Boobies!

    "Happy Birthday Jesus" by the children's choir and Shirley
    Pierce brings cute little kids to sing about Jesus and of course Shirley can't resist and joins them. Shirley is one of those characters who can sometimes easily fall into the background but when given time to play, like last week, truly shines and when she finally belts out her tune (is that really the actor's voice?) it is the best performance of the episode. Britta is horrified!

    "Planet Christmas" by the gang
    The highlight of this performance is that Britta comes in and ruins the entire thing with her awful vocals and total ignorance of the lyrics. To me, this is the best moment of the episode. Britta is just so totally unaware of her lack of talent that she destroys all that the glee club instructor, and apparent murderer, has worked so hard to create.

    Annie: And don't bother this year, I'll be at the movies with my bubby [sounds like 'booby'].
    Troy: (confused) You're not taking both of them?
    Annie: (sad) Well, one's dead.
    Troy: What?!

    Dean: And to think, they were this close (holds thumb and index finger slightly apart) to regionals.
    Pierce: What the hell are regionals?
    Dean: They're this close, Pierce!

    Mr. Rad: (singing) Glee! It's like a drug that you use that turns pain into shoes and your shoes into dance!

    Annie: Hey guys. Rapping?
    Abed: Yep. Wanna join us?
    Annie: Totally! Wait. You guys never let me rap with you.
    Troy: Well, we're gonna need all hands on deck if we're gonna go to regionals.
    Annie: (suspiciously) Cool. I just need to.. study.. though, in my room. So, have fun!

    Troy: (effeminately) Look guys, I hear your negativity but also can I counter with this? Who hates glee? Listen to how that sounds. Glee literally means 'glee.'

    Troy and Abed: (singing) Baby boomer Santa, thank you for MTV!

    Annie: (singing in a baby voice) You smarty! Me dumb! Help pretty, have fun! Booby dooby doob boob, sex!
    Jeff: Look, eventually you hit a point of diminishing returns on the sexyness.
    Annie: (in baby voice) What's a diminyiwahnyawahhhh?

    Mr. Rad: (freaking out) This show is supposed to be gleeful! And bright! And fun! And you can let me do that or there can be another bus crash!
    The audience gasps.
    Mr. Rad: Well, figuratively. (laughing) I'm not saying 'I killed the last glee club!' I'm saying, you not listening to me is like metaphorically cutting the brake lines on your own.. (pointing behind the audience) look Kings of Leon.
    Mr. Rad runs away.
    Jeff: What did he say? Did Mr. Rad kill the last glee club?
    Dean: And to think I trusted him enough to captain a magic carpet in that dream I had last night.

    Jeff: It's been a dark semester. I basically killed a guy. And I kind of attacked you guys with a fire ax. Thinking about seeing a new shrink.
    Britta: What?!
    Jeff: Don't.

    If I had to rate this one I'd give it:

    92 out of 100

    One of the most unique episodes, in a season of unique episodes. COMMUNITY continues to prove the early season naysayers wrong by killing it every week. Those who feel the need to shit on a show as it enters the third season just because they have run out of stamina to enjoy genius can go fuck off and die someplace cold and dark. I am having a blast. When this show returns sometime in the next few months, after that abortionfest WHITNEY and its fuckbuddy CHELSEA bomb, COMMUNITY will ride in on its steed of greatness to set fire to the land of predictable shit that belongs on CBS where talent goes to sell itself into prostitution.


    08 December, 2011

    Metallica NEW SONG "Just a Bullet Away"

    Here you go... another new song written years ago but just released now. Enjoy and comment below if you like or hate or don't know what you think of it.

    EDIT 2: Warner took down all the uploads for the studio version.

    EDIT: Live performance from 7 December Fillmore performance!


    07 December, 2011

    Being a CHUCK Fan: 2007-2012

    Today, 7 December, 2011, marks the final day that the show CHUCK will film a new episode. It is over and there is no "saving" it. When the actors leave the set today, they will never return. The sets have either already been broken down or are in the process. Plaques have been made and the deal has been sealed for eternity. It is a sad day for all those involved. Not a dry eye in the house.

    But what makes this show special, above all others? What made CHUCK unique other than the obvious story, cast, writing, and setting? That every year, without fail, the cast, crew, and its fans worried from the end of season 1, 2, 3, and 4 whether or not the show would come back. And even going into season 5, would the show get more than 13? Those who have stuck around have struggled to just simply enjoy the show they loved, because that worry was always there.

    Will this be the year it all ends? Will this be the final episode or do we get more? Is that how it will all end?

    And every year after season 1, the show got more and more and more episodes, even as the ratings dropped. Mostly because NBC itself was in such a rut it didn't have a better option. And WB, the owners of the show, felt CHUCK could make them money in syndication (barely reported fact: CHUCK is a big merchandising seller), so they kept licensing the show for less and less so NBC would keep it. And fans, most certainly through their love and passion for the show, even if delusional, created campaign after campaign, after sometimes insane and totally unrealistic campaign to save the show.

    That is something some CHUCK fans never seemed to run out of: unflinching faith in their ability to keep the show around longer. Sure, I could sit here and point out how ridiculous the notion is that fans will ever actually "save" a show, but it doesn't matter. Because they believed it and they attempted it, over and over. So, those fans who participated were in a constant state of grasping at straws, to never let their love die.

    Of course it has died, but what a death. Nearly cancelled at 13 episodes. Then 35 episodes. Then 48 episodes. Then 54 episodes. Then 67 episodes. Then 78 episodes. It finally ended at 91, but not before the writers could construct an actual ending, knowing it was all over.

    Also, WB made it to the number of episodes required for syndication, thereby some day making the money back it lost on lowering the licensing fee. And fans got to see a real journey for their characters. They also got to create real goodbyes that the cast and crew was able to enjoy, knowing the end was coming.

    It is all kinds of beautiful.

    All kinds of perfect.

    And though it all ends for the cast and crew today, it doesn't end for us fans until 27 January, 2012. So, today we say goodbye to the process. In 7 weeks we say goodbye to everything else.

    Tell us your stories of being a CHUCK fan in the comments section below. Where did CHUCK touch you? Anonymous posting is, as always, enabled.


    NEW GIRL 1.08 - Bad In Bed

    Woah. Zooey is hot. I never knew this until tonight. She is a major hottie babe. She is sexy like a meow meow. I want to do some hotchie mutchie in her most totally inappropriate...... I mean the CHARACTER not the actor, of course. I mean Jess.

    Alright, let's just get to the recap.

    Jess bangs her new boyfriend and things just don't go well.

    Jess: I just haven't had sex with anyone but Spencer in six years and I get so nervous. It's like starting a new job with a really weird interview.

    But she has a plan to right the ship and sail into more friendly waters (why did I go for a boating metaphor?).

    Jess: You know what? Tomorrow night, let's just go out to dinner and then just nail each other. Just pound each other. V-bomb on the P-bomb. (smacks her hands together and makes an explosive sound with hand gesture)
    Paul: (confused) I would have the.. P-bomb. Right?

    While Jess deals with her sex problems, Nick has hair issues. Specifically, getting his hair cut issues. He doesn't seem to enjoy the small talk portion of the process. When Winston offers up an alternate solution, Nick isn't having any of it either.

    Nick: I'm not going to a black barber shop, Winston. I've seen the movies. I know how fast they talk. I don't need to seem any less cool than I already do.

    For whatever reason, in the middle of this stressfest for Nick, Jess announces her sexual intentions with her boy slave.

    Jess: So, ummm, heads-up, Paul's coming tonight. And, uhhh, I just wanted to tell ya that I'm gonna tap him like a maple tree. I'm gonna be searching for some syrups. I'm gonna be having sex with him.

    Meanwhile, over at Schmidt's office job, he has a red-headed nemesis who seems to hate him, wants his job, and is out to destroy everything about him. When she lays out exactly the manner in which she is going to make his life a living hell, our boy is a tad confused.

    Schmidt: You like a Bond villain? You just told me your whole plan.

    As Cece and Jess shop for bedroom wear, the adorkable one worries she isn't good in bed.

    Jess: Everything I know about sex I learned from Spencer or the Clinton impeachment trials.

    Jess buys the sluttiest outfit known to man; Nick tries to learn to cut his own hair; and Schmidt gets himself invited to a baby shower to kiss up to the boss.

    When Jess comes across some spanky spank German porno, she crams hours of slutty learning into 5 1/2 hours, then asks the guys to teach her more. The guys, being the good roommates they are, put on a 3v1 orgy with Jess as the jam in the middle of their jelly donut.

    Alright, I made that last part up but that would have been an awesome episode!

    So Jess humorously demonstrates her four moves to the guys and they include the one where you do something, and then the other one... and that thing when you slap your hand, I think. Anyway, as Jess tries to get advice from the guys, the dudes get into a swinging dick match about who is better in bed. Before they can give Jess any proper sex advice, Paul arrives.

    At the baby shower, Schmidt and his red-headed nemesis continue to wage a war of terror, with Schmidt gaining the upper hand as he gets bombed-out-drunk with the girls. But just as he is impressing his very pregnant boss, he tosses her fat ass... I clearly meant to say glowing beautiful ass, in the pool. Because that's what we bros do. Just as the party and the audience thinks Schmidt has ruined all that good will, boss lady reveals her excitement and our boy is king again. This is a teachable moment. Throw your preggers boss in the pool. Always.

    Back at that apartment, Jess gets down and dirty and strips, to reveal her smokin' bod. She then talks dirty, in an old time 50s movie voice. Poor Paul is confused and puts on his best Jimmy Stewart as Jess plays the spanky game, then barks orders at him as an old woman character as he tries to take off her netting nighty thing. After Jess tosses Paul on the bed and threatens to split him in half, he tries to slow things down. So she chokes him. He escapes, telling her he needs to go home to get some water.

    That train-wreck had me literally rolling on the floor laughing.

    The episode ends with Nick's new haircut; Schmidt's conquest trying to find the door to get out; and Nick and Winston talking Jess off her figurative sex crime ledge.

    Nick: Here's the thing, you gotta stop thinking about it. Just relax and be yourself. You're awesome.
    Jess: What do you think, Winston?
    Nick: Why are you asking Winston?
    Jess: Because, Nick, look at your hair. You really don't look like someone who's good at sex.
    Nick: I can't believe you just said that.
    Winston: Here's what you do. You're gonna stop worrying about it. Completely.
    Jess: Yeah, that's really good.
    Nick: That's literally what I just said.
    Winston: What're you worried about anyway? Paul doesn't care what you do. I've seen the way that boy looks at you. And he is crazy about you.
    Nick: I agree..
    Jess: Shhhhh! I'm trying to listen to Winston.

    Of course, no surprise to anyone but people who have never watched television before, Paul shows up to tell Jess he likes her and that he isn't as experienced and then she confesses that she isn't either and they live happily ever after or until something happens in a few episodes to split them up since you can't allow Jess to have a lasting relationship on this show until at least season 9. Sorry if that is a spoiler.

    If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:

    88 out of 100.

    I enjoyed it. I didn't have any problem with it. I laughed. I thought Jess was hot and adorkable and dangerous. What more does a man need?


    06 December, 2011

    Metallica's "Hate Train" is officially unreleased

    Metallica commenced it's 4 night intimate 30th anniversary celebration at San Francisco's Fillmore Theater last night. You can read all the details here.

    More importantly, the band debuted an unreleased track from the 2008 "Death Magnetic" sessions called "Hate Train". Luckily for us (seriously, no sarcasm here folks), the studio version was just put up this morning for streaming.

    Go ahead and listen to it below.

    You can actually hear elements of other songs from the album in the song, specifically "Judas Kiss" and "My Apocalypse". I actually hear some recycling of "Fuel" at the end of the track. I am not really sold on James' evil Thomas the Tank engine lyrics. I can understand why the song was left off the album.

    Did it make me move my head and want to break things? Well, it didn't make me feel spermless like a girl.

    Needless to say, 7 minutes of "Death Magnetic" scraps still shit all over 90 minutes of "Lulu."

    Head Geek Furious Edit:

    Here is my remix of this song, removing the "Fuel" riff that annoys the shit out of me:

    GeekFurious Remix - Hate Train - Metallica by GeekFurious Page


    03 December, 2011

    Loutalica's "The View" Official Video

    So this happened. Metallica and Lou Reed continue to polish the Lulu turd by releasing a video for an edited down version of "The View". Oh yeah, it's directed by Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan", "The Wrestler", "Requiem for a Dream", etc.)

    HGF and I have discussed this in the length over the course of three podcasts already. So I am done.

    But please, go ahead and "experience" it for yourselves.


    Geek Furious The Poopcast #5 - PINEAPPLE!

    In this episode, we discuss so many things that you will need to freebase energy drinks just to get through it all.

    Head Geek Furious and Greek Geek discuss so many things that this podcast goes on for 2 1/2 HOURS! Bring snacks and pillows. Chuck, Star Wars, Fringe, Matrix, Metallica, Korn, Bon Iver, Grammys, Oscars, Peter Jackson, Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, news, censorship, liars, charity, We Heart Chuck, Chuckfest, Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and so on. Many dirty words like fuck face, cunt, cunt face, fuck faced cunt, fucker, mother fuck, shit, bullshit, asshole, dickrash... OK, I lied. There is no dickrash.

    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD a zipped copy of the podcast. (You will need to unzip it)

    Or, RIGHT CLICK and SAVE the file to listen to the podcast at your leisure.

    Or click the player thingy below to listen right from the site (this is not as good of an idea as downloading it, mind you).



    02 December, 2011

    COMMUNITY 3.09: Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism

    All your fake sweetness and religion is just a veil covering up a horrible monster! --Jeff

    Annie destroys the most important thing of value to Abed and Shirley teaches Jeff how to play Foosball. More after I fill this cup.

    Let me just put this right up front, I have never given an episode a 100 out of 100 and have sworn up and down I never would. Tune in next week to find out if I did!

    Or, just read the bottom of this article to find out.

    Abed gets a limited edition super deluxe Christian Bale signed, special commentary version of DARK KNIGHT and Annie, being the clean-freak that she is, accidentally steps on it while dusting the TV. Meanwhile, Jeff takes on a bunch of European-or-something foosball players who are loud and annoying, and finds a mentor and tormentor in Shirley.

    By the way, are those WHITNEY promos as annoying and look as stupid to everyone else as they do to me? Also, did I mention this is the second to last episode before the show goes on the bench? Maybe never to return again! Sigh. Well, it will be back and get picked up for a fourth season. I'm calling it! Though, they better not do anything stupid like fire Dan Harmon (I hear he's a little difficult with the executives... shhh, ninja info!).

    So, Annie breaks Abed's DVD and Troy knows it. She tries to figure out a way to cover it up, including recording a fake commentary (trying to do a Christian Bale as Batman voice, funny stuff). When Abed and Troy come home later that day, with Abed talking about all the ways they are going to enjoy the DVD that evening, Troy is more than a little uneasy. But when they open the door, Annie has tossed the place to make it look like they've been robbed.


    Abed goes full-on Batman, suit and all, dissects the situation, and determines that the thief must have been their landlord. He rappels out of the window with Annie and a hysterical Troy not far behind.

    Meanwhile, as Shirley and Jeff bond about foosball, we learn that the two had an unfortunate run-in as kids that changed both their lives. Jeff peed himself and Shirley was shunned.

    Moral of the story, don't break your friend's prized possession and then lie about it. And don't gloat when you win and then make a little boy pee himself.

    Alright, enough of this recap bullshit. QUOTABLES is so much more fun... and work for me:

    As the gang hangs out in the college lounge area thingy.
    Abed: Troy and I will be having a very special Saturday night as in DARK KNIGHT!
    Troy: It came! A limited edition $299 DARK KNIGHT DVD with bonus footage, special commentary, and a Christian Bale autograph including a personalized message of up to four words!
    Annie: (reading the cover) 'Abed is Batman now, Christian Bale.'
    Abed: It's official.
    Troy: From the man himself!

    As the European (maybe German?) dudes play foosball loudly nearby, Jeff goes into action.
    Jeff: I can't take it anymore!
    Shirley: Oh, Jeffrey, let 'em be!
    Jeff: (addressing the Europeans) Gentlemen. My name is Clarence Thaddeus Foos, my grandfather, Fletcher Morton Foos, invented this game for one purpose. To have the loudest, dumbest thing happen. Now it has. The game of foosball is completed. You're free to return to your undoubtedly hearing impaired families.

    After Shirley agrees to help Jeff become a better foosball player, she prays.
    Shirley: Dear lord, please forgive me. And please have mercy on him.
    Leonard: The stakes have never been higher.
    Shirley: Shut-up, Leonard! I found your YouTube page! What's the point in reviewing frozen pizza?!
    Leonard: You're talking about it.
    Shirley: Oh that is true.

    As Shirley and Jeff begin the training.
    Shirley: Now, Jeffrey, the key to any foosball is to tap into your darkness. So I need you to promise you won't judge the side of me that might come out.
    Jeff: Shirley, I'm gonna be perfectly blunt with you. The few times that you've been a little bad, are the times I've liked you most.
    Shirley: (happily) Really?!
    Jeff: Remember making fun of Britta's boyfriend's tiny nipples?
    Shirley: (happily) Oh yeah they were tiny!
    Jeff: Remember what you did to Pierce's hoagie? That was so disturbing, I almost proposed on the spot!

    The cops are called to investigate the fake robbery at Abed, Troy, and Annie's place.
    Copper: Sorry we couldn't get a car over here until now. Our captain was killed on duty last night.
    Annie the faker: My god. I'm so sorry.
    Copper: Yeah, good man. Leaves behind two kids and a pregnant wife. So, you're missing a Batman DVD?
    Abed: My DARK KNIGHT extended extended cut. It wasn't insured.

    After the cop leaves, Abed begins to put things together.
    Abed: Something doesn't add up. If there was no forced entry, it had to be an inside job.
    Annie: We don't know that.
    Abed: And instead of taking cash, pharmaceuticals, laptops, they take what? My Batman DVD and one piece of oddly ornate Hebrew themed jewelry?
    Annie: Nanna gave it.
    Abed: It's smoke. A ruse. A lie.
    Annie: Mmmm?!
    Abed: I think I know what happened here?
    Annie: (nearly in tears) Abed..
    Abed: The landlord did it! It all makes sense. Rick has keys to every apartment. Means. He knows when we are coming and going. Opportunity. And he was dressed as the Joker for Halloween. Motive!
    Annie: Mmmm.
    Abed: Something's gotta be done (leaves the room).
    Troy: Oh, let's not leap to thing-doing! Right, Annie?
    Annie: OhhhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhhhhIIIIIIIIIIwwwwuuuhhhhhh!

    When the Europeans confront Jeff and Shirley at the foosball table, a challenge is made.
    Shirley: The losers never get to use this table again.
    Euro Dude #1: Oh, you are so on that things have now become very much like Donkey Kunk.
    Jeff: We're gonna kick das butt.
    Shirley: Nice!
    Jeff: Thank you.
    Euro Dude #1: Enough teutonic punnery! Monday morning, you get this.
    Euro #1 gives Euro #2 a soccer ball, then puts his arms around the shoulders of Euro #2 and #3, then swings himself forward like a foosball player. Euro #2 then drops the soccer ball in front of the swing and the ball is kicked at Jeff, who ducks.
    Jeff: Were you guys walking around with a soccer ball just so you could do that?! (the Europeans leave) They left the ball and everything. I think they were literally walking around with it like a prop to use. It's like a $25 bit and it's not even that good!

    When Abed begins his descent into the abyss that is Batman, and crawling out the window, Annie confesses the truth but Abed is having none of it.
    Abed Batman: (in Christian Bale Batman voice) If that were true, you would have come forward a long time ago. You're lying to keep me out of danger. But there can be no peace while crime spits and dances on the grave of justice, to the hot beats and infectious rhythms of all that is wrong.

    After Abed Batman climbs out of the window, Annie is concerned.
    Annie: Troy! What're we gonna do?
    Troy: (screaming hysterically) Now you're open to input?!
    Annie: I'm following him! (climbs out the window)
    Troy: (following her) You moving in here was supposed to tone us down!

    If I had to rate it, I would give it:

    93.439 out of 100

    The Jeff and Shirley interaction was different and fun and the anime sequence during training was so unexpected I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement at the coolness (and I don't even like that shit). Yvette Nicole Brown needs to be given more to do! The lady needs an Emmy!

    Though the shining star of the episode was Abed, specifically Abed as Batman. Sure, it isn't even unique these days to have a Batman impression, but when Abed becomes Batman there is something terrifically fun about his transformation. In fact, any Abed transformation is a lot of fun because of the stark contrast to his usual behavior. Also, Annie's attempt to not just live the lie but to allow it to get so out of control was one of those teachable moments. The girl who cried wolf, until Batman nearly fell out of her window. All in all, a fun episode that may not rank higher than the show's best, but is definitely high up on the list. One negative was the lack of Britta, and Pierce for that matter. Sure, they were in the episode but barely. Though, Britta's opening scene with the cell phone, or whatever that was, did make me laugh.

    So, what did you think? Tell us in the comments below.