Let’s Focus on This Part of Comedy Central’s Schedule Tonight

America’s Got Talent on NBC at 8:00pm ET.

Suits on USA at 9:00pm ET. Seventh season fall finale. I honestly can’t believe this show has been on for seven seasons, but USA has a talent for that. I suspect because most of these shows make good background tv. It’s mostly just people in business dress standing around well-appointed offices talking at each other. You don’t really have to pay a lot of attention, nothing shocking will pop up on screen like if you have Bones on and happen to glance over at a body that was run through a thresher or whatever the gross thing of the week is. If you are watching this show for plot, please let me know what that plot is and why.

South Park on Comedy Central at 10:00pm ET. 21st season premiere. I hear these guys are «taking on» Charlottesville and I’m curious to see how their die-hard commitment to both-siderism works to make a villain out of Heather Heyer. Or maybe they’ve learned something. I won’t hold my breath.

Broad City on Comedy Central at 10:30pm ET. Fourth season premiere. Abby and Ilana are back to continue floundering their way through New York City.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS at 10:30pm ET.

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Once You See Beyoncé’s Latest Snaps, It’ll Be Hard to Focus on Anything but Her Cleavage

Beyoncé gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter on June 13, and we’ve been seeing a lot more of her lately. Following her sushi date with husband JAY-Z on Wednesday night, Beyoncé shared a series of cleavage-baring snaps on her website on Friday. In one of the shots, Queen Bey is shown drinking a glass of red wine at what looks like a restaurant, but her low-cut dress really makes it hard to focus on anything but her assets. Along with the photo, Beyoncé also included a video montage of her selfies on Instagram for us to enjoy. We must say, Beyoncé is looking good these days, but then again, when has she ever not?

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The Keepers Deconstructs the True Crime Genre to Focus on Women’s Lives 

The Keepers isn’t much of a true crime documentary, at least in the traditional sense of the genre. And that’s to its immense credit. Netflix’s seven-part docudrama flirts with the genre but resists its pitfalls; this series is no whodunit, no he-said-she-said narrative that concludes with neat resolution. Instead,…

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Jared Kushner, Who Is Now a Focus in Russia Investigation, Is ‘Basically a Sh*thead’

Do you like Harry Potter? Do you like those escape rooms? Then you are going to LOVE this Harry Potter escape room! — (Hello Giggles)

In politics tonight, the Post is reporting that Jared Kushner is, indeed, a «target» of the investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. (WashPo)

Kushner is also, apparently, an asshole. Politico has a deep profile on the President’s son-in-law, and this quote — from a former employee — sticks out, in that it basically suggests that Ivanka married her father. (Politico)

«We’re talking about a guy who isn’t particularly bright or hard-working, doesn’t actually know anything, has bought his way into everything ever (with money he got from his criminal father), who is deeply insecure and obsessed with fame (you don’t buy the [New York Observer], marry Ivanka Trump, or constantly talk about the phone calls you get from celebrities if it’s in your nature to ‘shun the spotlight’), and who is basically a shithead.»

MiMi done out MiMid MiMi! Lord. To live in MiMi’s world. — (Lainey)

This will be the last season for Bachmanity on Silicon Valley. T.J. Miller will not be returning for season 5. — (EW)

If you live in Dublin (Ireland, not Ohio — sorry!), this may be the purrfect (not sorry) job for you! — (HuffPo)

There’s no reason for me to post this except that it made me GUFFAW! —

I find it hilarious that there are actual bets, with bookies, on when Prince Harry will propose to Meghan Markle! — (Celebitchy)

Here is exactly what’s at stake on Better Call Saul now. (Uproxx)

Pigeons with backpacks fulla’ drugs. How high you gonna’ build that wall, Donnie? — (BBC)

So, is Odell Beckham Jr. looking to be the new Johnny Manziel? Dude don’t have a job! This is NOT who you want to emulate and hang with. Also, you maybe don’t want to lose your job for Iggy goddamn Azalea. Come on! — (Dlisted)

40 years ago today, my dad took me to «a dumb space movie. Why can’t we see For the Love of Benji instead?», and I’ve been a fan ever since. Thanks, Dad! — (Twitter)

I feel like RiRi walked out of her hotel room, got in the elevator, walked halfway across the lobby and then went, «OH, shit! I forgot to put on a shirt! Excuse me, sir? Can I have your jacket? Yes, your jacket, can I have it? Perfect! Thank you.» And off she went on her merry way. — (GFY)

Becks is at the amfAR gala in Cannes for the first time. But really, do you care about that? NO, no you don’t. However, there are fantastic pictures in here of Posh and Becks from Cannes in 2001! That you want to see. And also, remember «the hot felon» from a couple of years ago? Apparently he gets to go to Cannes. — (LG)

In a terrible loss to her six children, husband, family and friends, Dr. Amy Reed succumbed to hateful fucking uterine cancer yesterday. But before she died, she and her husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm fought like warriors so that other women would not have to die. The word «hero» is used far too casually these days. If you read about everything Dr. Reed and her husband did to change protocols, I think you’ll agree that «hero» is a label that applies to her. — (NYTimes)

The premise should be off putting in its ridiculousness — a detective investigating the murder of her doppelgänger. Rachie3879 so enjoyed Tana French’s The Likeness that she couldn’t put it down, despite having small ones and adulting things to do. Which book so enchanted you that you couldn’t put it down even when you needed sleep? (Cannonball Read 9)

Finally, at the time of this posting, it’s still too early to say who is going to win the Montana Congressional race. With 21 percent reporting, it’s basically a tie. Follow the results through the night. (NYTimes)

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All We Could Focus On During King Carl’s Birthday Celebration Was His Grandchildren

The Swedish royals celebrated King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 71st birthday on April 30. Prince Carl Philip was in the palace square with his father while the rest of the family, including wife Princess Sofia, watched the festivities from the balcony. Even though it was the king’s big day, it was Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar who stole the spotlight. The royal siblings looked too precious for words as they stood alongside their parents, Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, at the palace. Aside from waving to the crowd, Estelle also shared a sweet moment with her grandfather when she reached her arms out for a hug.

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‘We Gotta Focus On Not Losing Boko Haram’. Dive Into A Pool Of Crow’s Fecal Matter With ‘It’s Always Sunny’

‘Now social media will come down on you with the fury of a middle aged man who has accomplished nothing.’ — Dennis Reynolds

Here’s a thought experiment for you: think of a show. Any show. Now, has that show ever opened with a 70-year old man beginning his day by joyfully striding into a dive bar, all the while singing a nonexistent song to himself before casually whipping out a revolver and then a colossal bag of cocaine—complete with a bright green straw—and then going to happy numb nose town?

No? Then that show’s never gonna be as joyful an experience as It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

‘Wolf Cola: A Public Relations Nightmare’

I don’t know how they do it, but somehow these skillful bastards just keep making the horror seem fresh. After last week’s dip in energy, episode four of the twelfth season of It’s Always Sunny comes roaring out of the gate, coke-(and Wolf Cola)-fuelled, gnashing its teeth and rearing to go.

Wrapped into this twenty minute slice of wholesome Sunny goodness are, to name but a few marshmallows: Boko Haram, violent expulsions of nearly every possible bodily fluid, and the internet’s treatment of women in the public eye when they don’t conform to one exact template of acceptability.

So then the outrageous relevance and gross-out gonzo-ness is all present and correct, but that in and of itself isn’t enough to carry an episode of this show this late into its life cycle. No, it needs solid laughs, and it cries out for—at the risk of sounding like a broken record—some great character work. Happily, ‘Wolf Cola’ achieves both.

How? By following the tried and tested convention of breaking the Gang up and having them follow true, character-consistent impulses and goals.

When Frank, shortly after his inaugural bump of the day, finds out by way of the TV news that his previously-money-laundering-but-now-genuine-money-spinner scheme, Wolf Cola, isn’t generating income from being sold down in Boca Raton, but instead due to its bafflingly rapid and wholesale (and TV-friendly) adoption by terrorist group Boko Haram, he begins searching for an exit strategy before it all blows up in his face. Dennis and Dee, at first almost vibrating with glee at seeing Frank squirm, soon collapse down to his level when they find out that Frank had made them Wolf Cola executives, and thus inadvertently dammed them with him (it really is a wonderful sight to see the levels of selfishness on display here as first Dennis and then Dee find out their fates in sequence, and how they spend the moments before each revelation gloating that they personally remain unaffected before having that bubble popped). Dennis, taking control rapidly, figures a way to minimise the media fall-out: ‘We need to face this thing head on. And we need to do it right away. Because we only have…’

And then just the strangest little pause, where for a second we think, ‘That’s an odd bit of editing’, before it cuts to:

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Boom! Dennis slamming down a countdown timer and announcing—in his ever aspirational, zeitgeist-savvy way—that they only have 24 hours to take control of the narrative before it runs away from them and internet trolls take it. And just as we’re about to remember the strange little pause, Dee herself addresses things in a deadpan way: ‘This is why we had to wait for you to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond?’

Cue Dennis: ‘Yes, bitch!’

Now, two things here:

1) That is another excellent and funny addition to Dennis’ need for pageantry. We absolutely believe that this guy would jog out of the bar, mid-point, in order to go to god knows how far to buy a dramatic countdown clock just to add flair to his delivery of that point. Once upon a time when the Gang were flush with cash and they decided to buy a boat Dennis set out on a florid speech to seal the deal. But Mac and Charlie pre-empted him and cut it short, much to his rage and frustration. This is a man who has his particular way of doing things, and damn any of those who might stand in his way. Speaking of which…

2) Of all the high-wire acts It’s Always Sunny is engaged in, there is almost none more impressive and deftly performed than the continuing miraculous feat of repeatedly calling Dee a bitch, and somehow still making it funny every time. Part of that is down to the situations they surround it with of course (not moving the dumpster; taking the Gang to a gin bar), but the other key ingredient there is Kaitlin Olson’s magical reactions to the insult. Ever wondered what indifference, anger, resignation, and contempt all looked like when stirred together in one pot? Well here’s your answer:

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Someone get that woman a goddamn award.

MEANWHILE, IN MAC AND CHARLIE TOWN…

Splintering off from the Family Reynolds this week, Mac and Charlie indulge their entrepreneurial side. After finding out from Frank that their diabolical concoction, Fight Milk (‘For Bodyguards! By Bodyguards!’) has apparently taken off in a big way among the UFC community, Mac and Charlie decide to lean into this accidental success by going on a marketing and selling drive.

How? By barrelling into a UFC gym, blaring awful techno off a CD player, and intermittently imitating the sound of a cawing crow and shouting ‘Fight Milk!’

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Here’s the thing about Mac and Charlie’s arc this week: it’s a delight. It’s funny, it feels true to their respective characters and bond, and it furthers the mythology of a product that—let’s be honest—our world is so much poorer for not having in it. Having said that, it doesn’t feel quite as substantial as what the Reynolds get up to—certainly it carries almost zero of the thematic weight of the episode—but in all honesty when you have real world UFC fighters appearing, actually using Fight Milk not as a genuine supplement but as a means of expelling bodily fluids and thus make weight for a fight, who needs thematic resonance.

Did I mention that one of the exchanges involves the fighters bent over a bucket and squatting on a toilet, respectively, and the following exchange happening in appreciation of Fight Milk:

‘They should give you guys the Nobel-…[ungodly bodily noises]. Ah, I just puked on my dick!’

‘[Weakly] Rock ‘n’ roll!’

Still not sold?

How about Mac’s Herculean struggle with his sexuality leading to THIS SERIES OF FACES:

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In all honesty, Mac and Charlie’s arc sorta tapers off a bit after that. It still packs in a number of good gags, and the effortless-seeming flow of motivation and causality in their story is a credit to the writing, but in the face of the Reynolds clan going on live TV, trying to salvage their reputation, it just can’t help but take a back seat.

Yes indeed: Frank, Dee, and Dennis go and appear together live on a morning-style TV show to talk to a bland, affable host in an effort to minimise the damage of a notorious terrorist group endorsing their family business’ product. Dennis, as ever the man with the plan, has a strategy. The key is to apologise for nothing, refer to nothing in particular, and speak in platitudes, all the while assuaging the consumers’ shallow anxieties. Dennis, in the brief moments before Frank and Dee interfere with their own takes, flourishes in this environment. In the warm, comforting lights and instant reactions of 24 hour news, Dennis Reynolds, psychopath and manipulator, shines. And what a damming indictment of the medium that is.

Pretty soon, though, Frank and Dee do have their say too.

Dee, not heeding Dennis’ advice about how people will perceive a woman on television or what the message should be, butts in, and apologises profusely.

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Frank, having announced his plans earlier of using the tactic of ‘softening’ Boko Haram’s image—

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—launches into a series of false equivalencies and obfuscations.

Neither of these tactics go down well with the audiences at home, and the blowback is immediate—‘ugly ugly ugly ugly #idstillhititthough’ and ‘What did the troll just say?’ being just two reactions scrolling across the bottom of the screen—and pretty soon the 24 hour countdown is reset.

Let’s just go back to the cutting insight presented in this week’s episode though—that of the perception and treatment of women by the public and the media. The relevant exchanges are worth quoting in full. When the subject of what Dee will say in the interview first arises, Dennis kicks in with:

‘Dee, actually, you don’t say anything. But you do have a very important job. To say nothing, and stand behind me. You see, audiences are gonna trust me over you, because you’re a women, and, by definition, shrill.’

Dee shoots back, ‘No. Women identify with women in power.’

Dennis: ‘Oh, no, Dee. Women hate other women in power.’

Then Frank chimes in: ‘I’m threatened by ’em.’

Dennis: ‘Everyone is. Now, objectify yourself, and humanise me.’

If you’re still left reeling from such a harsh mirror suddenly being held up to our society, Dee’s treatment at the hands of the internet after she dares speak up on television socks you another in the face.

Dee: ‘Jesus Christ, I’m just getting eviscerated online. People calling me a bitch. Flat-chested bitch. Pretty much everybody wantin’ to rape me.’

This is dark, horrible, gut-twistingly true stuff, and no other show would dare portray it as frankly as Sunny. Just like in ‘The Gang Turns Black’, this show stands unflinching, refusing to turn away from the kind of world we live in.

In the end, despite another go around at the live TV circuit, the Reynolds do truly bungle their redemption efforts, but this time mostly thanks to the one person who was holding it together up until this point. Dennis, all slick, cynical professionalism, gets licked by a dog wandering about the studio and we learn that there is another phenomenon that can set him off. Unlike the klaxon sound in ‘The Gang Goes On Family Fight’ (or earlier, way back, and very briefly on ‘The Gang Dances Their Asses Off’) though, instead of disarming him this merely enrages him. We can see the catastrophe coming even as the wayward dog makes the first pass, and the inevitability of it all makes it all the more delicious. Sure enough a ridiculous, deranged Dennis tirade follows that also ends—much like the one by his sunken amphibious vehicle—with a deflated look of self-awareness.

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Then we’re back in the bar for a brief coda and a snap ending. Thanks to its sensibilities and inherent rhythms, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia can get away with snap endings more than most shows—‘Sometimes things just sort of…end’—but in ‘Wolf Cola’ it works doubly effectively as another jab at the quick-fix, ADD-style reporting inherent to 24 hour ne-…

CAW!
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Sunny Obsessives Corner:

Another appearance of Frank’s unique two-handed point:
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Hey, Rob McElhenny, you reckon you can make it through one episode without breaking? No? That’s fine, it’s pretty funny.
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Holy shit, people do still actually drink in Paddy’s! Actual customers!
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——


Petr Knava
lives in London and plays music

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