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IR TV Review: HOLEY MOLEY II – THE SEQUEL – EPISODE 1 (“Literally Jumping The Shark”) [ABC]

The aspect of competition shows has always been great but the comedy of errors within can be even more gratifying. But the question becomes what motivates people or even the reality of who they are versus (say) actors. That is the crux of “Holey Moley II: The Sequel” which makes mini-golf the stuff of buffoonery legends but with a “Titan Games” spin. While such shows like “Bonzai” out of Japan were great because it just shows the human barometer from a diffferent cultural standpoint, it is as much about willing stupidity but also willingness and unwillingness to do so. It can be a truly fun thing to watch. Here with Episode 1: “Literally Jumping The Shark”  Rob Riggle is a perfect fit for this though it would be great to see guest commentators like the “Whose Line Is It Anyway” people. However the shenanigans might be more controlled than we know. However different paths like Dragon’s Breathe placing people on fire is cool (though possibly a bit staged).

The first of the final holes that literally shocks people if they miss a shot is awesome but if the contestants signed a waiver, they are open game. The inclusion of Jon Lovitz is funny as a pirate who drives a golf ball blind or half blind is good (even if he goes a bit meta and says “Where did my career go?” Neither he nor Dana Carvey has gotten a little bit of that Sandler love for whatever reason. With Sandler’s Netflix deal it is surprising that hasn’t happened. But back to Holey Moley II, the progression of the different aspects of the holes especially people jumping onto a moving inflatable shark or trying not to get knocked in the water by rubber windmills or port-a-potties being opening, the list of course obstacles is pure entertainment. In a time when things don’t have to be serious, this kind of show is needed and understood. Riggle even goes meta and says in one instance “Where is the water?  I guess we ran out of money!” Only time will tell since 250K is set for the winner at the end of the rainbow wherever that may be.

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By Tim Wassberg

IR Interview: James Murray & Joe Gatto For “The Misery Index” [TBS-S2] – Part I

IR TV Review: HARLEY QUINN – EPISODE 7 (“There’s No Place To Go But Down”) [Warner Brothers Animation-S2]

As the season progresses, “Harley Quinn” is coming to terms with its identity in a way but has also spreads out the narrative in a more broad way than would have been expected, using humor to its advantage but not necessarily making narrative sense. The series seems to operate in vignettes while also engaging on ongoing story lines like Batgirl (aka Barbara Gordon). This episode “There’s No Place To Go But Down” seems to have triple meaning like most of the titles. The progression of this one is that Harley is brought to court for the murder of Penguin but as it is new Gotham it is a Kangaroo court with Two Face as prosecution and Bane is the judge. The court appointed attorney is a mutant Bat which is sort of funny since no one can understand what he is saying and he seems aloof with a drinking problem. Of course Harley is sent to jail but Ivy tries to take the fall for her which is sweet.

What progresses is that instead of Arkham, Bane transports them to a new place he calls The Pit which is a prison of sorts where the inmates, all murderous types try to find themselves through painting and the arts. Bane is a delight here since he is always made to be the butt of all the crime lords jokes. All he wants is a little order, some laughs and the bed made. It is only when he kicks in his serum that he becomes dangerous. Harley just wants to escape so Ivy can finally get married to her boyfriend Kite Man. The ending progression is interesting for Ivy because it is existential and identity prone but then the last shot changes everything in a quick shot. It creates a neat but undeniable story shift which could have interesting ramifications.

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By Tim Wassberg

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