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Starpulse Contributing Writer
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My name is Jeffrey Malone, and I like liking things. I view reality through the lens of pop culture. I can also be found at jmunney.wordpress.com, jeffmalonesdreamblog.wordpress.com, Twitter, and YouTube.

'Saturday Night Live' Season 40, Episode 16 Recap: Dwayne Johnson/George Ezra

March 29th, 2015 10:49am EDT
The Rock SnL
As he noted in his monologue, Dwayne Johnson is known for joining established film franchises and giving them a successful shot in the arm. Accordingly, his fourth “SNL” hosting stint heavily favored sketches that commented on the host’s reputation and familiar pop culture entities in general. Many of this season’s hosts, even the most capable ones, have been relegated to mostly utility roles. But Johnson was effectively given plenty of opportunities to shine, as he was allowed to play to his strengths, and the result was an episode that overall also played to its strengths.

The Rock Ob...
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'The Middle' Recap: College Acceptance Plot Makes For A Tense Episode

March 26th, 2015 9:19am EDT
THe Middle
“Why are you embarrassed that there’s a fun side to you?”

The Hecks go through a lot of hell just about every episode, but there is usually no need to worry that things are not going to work out by the end of the half hour. This is the formula of pretty much every sitcom ever, but “The Middle” has managed to make the stakes feel higher and realer than on most other shows. There actually have been episodes in which some things did not work out, at least not in a traditional sense. Thus, the college acceptance plot of “The Waiting Game” felt tenser than it had any right to.

Sue is not th...
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'Community' Recap: 'Basic Crisis Room Decorum'

March 25th, 2015 7:20am EDT
Community
The Audacity of Hope

In its earlier seasons, “Community” distinguished itself among typical sitcoms with its determined focus on character development. The study group was various forms of broken, and Greendale was positioned as a place for them to work out their issues and become better people. The show followed through on this determination in a way that was deeply satisfying.

Six seasons in, “Community” is still concerned about allowing its characters to grow, but it is also intent on emphasizing what works best, and that can mean maintaining the status quo. “Basic Crisis Room Deco...
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'Bob's Burgers' Season 5, Episode 16 Recap: 'The Runaway Club'

March 23rd, 2015 4:05am EDT
Bob's Burgers
Like a lot of 21st century sitcoms, “Bob’s Burgers” has been known to occasionally put together a pop culture homage. It is a question worth asking of how well these homages fit within the world of this show. “Bob’s” may be populated by wacky characters, but the rules of its reality are fairly grounded. Thus, whenever the events of this show resemble those of a classic movie, it is not presented as that big a deal, which can produce some cognitive dissonance. It is perhaps as if “Bob’s Burgers” is saying that childhood is filled with moments that mirror touchstones of pop culture.

This...
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'Community' Makes It's Yahoo Premiere

March 18th, 2015 10:32am EDT
Community
“Community” season premieres have usually made sure to cover what has happened behind-the-scenes since we last visited Greendale. In Season 4’s “History 101” and Season 5’s “Repilot,” that meant winkingly commenting on all the personnel changes that had occurred. With an actual cancellation and a subsequent move to online streaming, “Community” would now seemingly have the most to say about its recent transitions leading up to the Season 6 premiere. But “Ladders” pretty much jumped right in exactly where Season 5 left off. An exact time frame was not specified, but with this episode ope...
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Ranking The Best 'Community' Character Episodes

March 16th, 2015 8:06pm EDT
What Are The Best Episodes For Each 'Community' Character?
“Community” returns for a sixth season, its first on Yahoo! Screen, on Tuesday, March 17. As this new age begins, it is an opportune time to look back on the best of the NBC era. Lists of the best “Community” episodes have been made by other publications, but this approach will be a little more specific. Herein are rankings of the best episodes for each individual character.

“Community” focuses on character arcs much more than the average sitcom. Thus, most of these choices are particularly exemplary instances of the growth and development of these Greendale human beings. But while “C...
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'Bob's Burgers' Big Adventure

March 16th, 2015 9:35am EDT
Bob's Burgers
“Bob’s Burgers” has a habit of splitting its core characters up into separate subplots without bothering to make any direct connections between those storylines beyond just being in the same episode. It gets away with this better than most shows because it has such a good handle on its characters. All of the Belchers can stand on their own, and there is no need to drone on with an explanation about why everyone is where they are, because it all just makes sense. For a change of pace, “Adventures in Chinchilla-sitting” deserves a little extra credit for a premise that actually requires a ...
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'Bob's Burgers' Touches On Some Timeless Themes

March 9th, 2015 10:53am EDT
'Bob's Burgers' Season 5, Episode 14 Recap: 'L'il Hard Dad'
With its focus on the family, “Bob’s Burgers” covers a lot of timeless themes. Indeed, it is not trying in reinventing the wheel in terms of life lessons. But that is not to say it is not unique or imaginative – far from it. The particulars of its plots often find avenues that no other show would ever look down. A father defending his principles because of the shoddy craftsmanship on a model helicopter based on “True Lies” requires some very special people to think it up.

This commitment to idiosyncrasy is an ideal approach for subverting expectations, partly because it is often unclea...
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What Was The Best Of 'SNL' With Chris Hemsworth?

March 8th, 2015 11:30am EDT
Saturday Night Live
It might just be pointless to give a thesis statement to an episode of “SNL.” Any detectable patterns may have just been accidental. When the host and musical guest do not bring in a whole lot of baggage, that truth becomes emphasized. Chris Hemsworth was host two months before the release of the next “Avengers” movie. Zac Brown Band have new music, but they are not dominating the mainstream conversation. This was certainly an episode that happened. There were highlights, there were lowlights, and it will lead to a multiplicity of opinions. Here’s one: it was cray-cray.

A Message ...
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'The Middle' Recap: 'Flirting With Disaster'

March 5th, 2015 8:40am EST
The Middle
The three disparate plots of “Flirting with Disaster” all shared the theme of taking on new, uncomfortable roles. There were varying levels of difficulty for the adjustments involved, but by the end, everyone was in a better place. “The Middle” has certainly never shied away from heartwarming moments, but they snuck up a little more sneakily than usual in this episode.

Frankie’s flirtation with Finn may have been atypical behavior, but it was not like this side of her was completely unfamiliar. Axl’s friends in Orson have been trained for years not to interact with the rest of the Hecks...
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