Thursday, September 10, 2009

A night at the Paley Center

Last night a Friend and I jaunted over to the Paley Center and watched TV Guide's NBC screenings. Three new shows premiered with a Q&A, appetizers and drinks, and a chance to hug it out with Joel McHale and Chevy Chase and some other people on TV, all for free.

We had tickets but nobody ever checked them. If you had passed by the Paley Center at the right time you could have just walked in and gotten some free shit and met Chevy Chase.

Friend and I meandered around drinking free beer and attempting desperately to get some snacks which were passed around like three at a time on a little tray that was consumed immediately like a living victim in a zombie horde. At one point I grabbed a pretzel stick wrapped with prosciutto at the same time some bitch grabbed the same pretzel stick and literally tried to tug it out of my hands. I hope she didn't have germy hands because I won. At that point it was 7:30 and I hadn't eaten since 11. I was hungry enough I would have stabbed the bitch with the pretzel stick and licked her blood off before cramming it in my mouth.

You know those backdrops celebrities stand against while they get interviewed by lots of people with microphones and retarded questions? We watched that. Just fascinating. Joel McHale is tall and he walked that press line like he'd been doing it since he was three. Chevy Chase is also tall. It looked like he really enjoyed being back out in the limelight. The little Asian dude from Community was pretty awesome. He was the first one in line and the last one to leave.

As McHale and the others finished their walk of glory some lady came on the intercom and told us all to get our asses in seats because the show was about to start. We walked up to some VIP guard and asked where we were supposed to go, because if you've ever been in the Paley Center you know the architecture doesn't exactly lend itself to any kind of logic.

So the guard guy was all "Oh the best spots are on the roof. It's lovely up there."

So we were all "Oooh cool let's go there."

Yeah. The roof was overflow seating. But props to the guard for making us feel like we were special for like three seconds.

Still, I was able to get a beer in the middle of the Q&A, which the people in the auditorium were unable to do.

There wasn't really much seating up there, so for a while I balanced myself on the railing, constantly paranoid that I was going to slip and crash through the skylight into the confusing architecture below. But I did not.

Okay so Community. It's a sitcom about a group of people who for various reasons are attending community college and have landed in the same Spanish class. Joel McHale is a lovable asshole, and I am 99% convinced he is the ONLY working actor who could have pulled that shit off. No matter how big a dick he is, it's completely impossible not to love that guy. The show also gives us the brilliance of Chevy Chase and one of the most ethnically diverse casts working today. Two black characters, one Asian (who doesn't appear until episode 2), one Middle Easterner, three women (one of them black), and only two white guys among the series regulars. Yet it didn't feel forced.

You know, normally a Mexican in a sitcom becomes a silly stereotype, but in this case I think a Mexican American who sucked at Spanish would be a good addition as a recurring character. I mean, why not? They've got everybody else.

Anyway, the laughs were plentiful. I already added this show to my queue, which was convenient since it's on after The Office. I'm telling you guys, it sounds like absurd gushing, but I really enjoyed this pilot. My Friend agreed.

Then we watched the first act and a half of the new drama? Mercy. I say drama? Because I'm not really sure what it is. It's a medical show about a nurse who used to serve in Iraq and then some other people who work with her, including Buffy's Michelle Trachtenberg whose green nurse is an even more annoying character than Dawn in season 6.

There were parts of the pilot where I wasn't sure if I was supposed to laugh or be serious. Michelle jumped at one point with her hands around a bed pan so pee splashed all over her. I think that was supposed to be funny, but it just looked gross and disturbing. Our lead didn't really act like she was traumatized by the war; she just seemed like a bitch. Halfway through Act 2 Friend hinted that wanted to roll.

"I'm not invested in this," he said. We rolled.

Downstairs TV Guide had set up a photobooth where you could get your picture put on a fake TV Guide cover. Friend and I did a whole CSI thing which looked pretty cool because he was wearing sunglasses.

Then we left. When I got home I realized I had no food and was still starving, so about 40 minutes later I gorged on Papa Johns.

It was a pretty sweet night.


  1. Awesome...I love Chevy Chase! He is probably my biggest comedic influence throughout my life, and I am happy he's back in the spotlight again as this event you attended sounds like cool shit! Oh, and to denounce my pussiness, my name is Billy...nice to meet you!

  2. "Community" sounds really awesome, I'm gonna watch that. I was forced to take a few classes at the community college and it IS a very racially diverse environment, so I'm glad the cast is diverse.

    Joel McHale is awesome, too. Another reason to tune in.

    Now I'm hungry for pretzels but it's Ramadan :-(

  3. Damn! I thought the event was in Manchester. England. Boring night for me.


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