April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Carol Burnett!

The originator of Eunice Higgins, Stella Toddler, Nora Desmond, and Rhoda Dimple turns 78 today.

 I'm a bit sheepish to say I only recently discovered The Carol Burnett Show on YouTube. I quickly made up for lost time, though. As great as the comedic skits are, it's the seriocomedic skits that are truly brilliant. The most famous recurring sketch, "The Family" and the Eunice special come all the way back around to the tragedy of Eunice's life, as she's forever stuck the cycle of her dead-end life, and because of her family, is a resentfully bitter woman through and through. And that's the short version of it! Eunice especially runs the mood straight into a heartbreaking denouement that reminds us that despite the events that have happened, nothing has really changed in Eunice.

 For now, though, here's a video of a seriocomedy number from The Carol Burnett Show, with Carol singing "Send in the Clowns". Happy Birthday, Carol. We salute you!

April 18, 2011

Review - Power Rangers Samurai Episode 8 "Forest for the Trees" and Episode 9 "Test of the Leader"

 The last time Mike the Green Samurai Ranger had the episode focus was in the first episode "The Team Unites". So here, it's interesting to see both the student and the teacher admit their mistakes and come to an understanding. The Nighlok-of-the-Week is pretty average here, but the best part of this episode besides Mike and Mentor Ji is the Samurai Battle Wing, probably the first time newly acquired accessory mecha has combined into something other than a megazord formation. All in all, a well put-together episode.

 "Test of the Leader" introduces a much-needed change of pace with Xandred launching a large mass Mooger attack right away, aiming to capture Jayden. Though not the first Power Rangers episode to have a villain scheme aimed directly at the Red Ranger, this is probably the first occasion of the villains consulting a past battle between them and the previous rangers to this vast of a degree. The Nighlok-of-the-Week, Robtish, is reminiscent of an early Kamen Rider monster, looking like a combination of a bat, a moose, an owl, and a set of speakers. Thank goodness he wasn't adorned with swastikas, because then he'd have no chance whatsoever of appearing on our shores. Robtish's strong Scottish accent is the last voice you'd expect from a monster looking like that.

 It's not very often the Red Ranger, or any ranger for that matter, takes on two villains, whether they be temporary or Big Bads, by himself. It helps, of course, that Jayden has two swords, a rarity among ranger weapons.

 Although "Test of the Leader" is one of two parts, they're technically seperate episodes according to the episode list, so I'll cover "Jayden's Challenge" in the next review.