Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Colton Underwood on Olympian Aly Raisman: 'I was just asking a girl on a date'

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Colton Underwood does not understand the national fervor surrounding his new-age manner in the decidedly old-school custom of courting.
"I was just asking a girl on a date," the Oakland Raiders sixth-string tight end said before practice on Tuesday. "And it turned into something much bigger."
To be fair, that "girl" has been on the international gymnastics stage for years now, and when three-time Olympic gold medalist -- and ESPN The Body Issue participant -- Aly Raisman accepts a professional football player's advances, people talk.
Especially on social media.
In fact, it was in a video where Underwood made his inquiry, and on a responding video where Raisman accepted.
Those videos, though, have been playing on a loop in the Raiders' locker room, much to Underwood's chagrin. Even if his colleagues are paying him respect.
"I was like, 'Hey man, you put yourself out on a limb there, bro,'" quarterback Derek Carr said with a laugh.
"That's a lonely feeling being out there on a limb, man. I'm happy for him, and she made a good decision saying yes, because he's a really good guy. He really is. Besides all the football stuff, he's a really good person, so I hope it works out for him."
Coach Jack Del Rio agreed.
"We have a celebrity in our midst," he said. "It's amazing how things get traction. I think young men doing what young men do, and [he] invited out a really decorated Olympian, so that's a pretty neat story.
"When you put yourself out there, you want to get that yes back, so congrats for him."
This was not some blind-date, shot-in-the-dark situation. In fact, it was semi-set up by backup long-snapper Andrew East, who is married to another former U.S. Olympic gymnast in Shawn Johnson.
And while Underwood and Raisman have exchanged pleasantries over FaceTime, they have not spoken since she agreed to the double-date with East and Johnson.
"She did a great job and her whole team did of representing the USA [in Rio de Janeiro]," Underwood said. "So I felt like it was only right for me to send a congratulations and extend an offer when she got back to the U.S. and had some down time.
"Now I'm going to have to figure out a time in the schedule with the season coming up, but she's actually scheduled to be out here in September, so I'm looking forward to attending that show and catching up with her."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's Ahead for One Direction After Zayn Malik Split

PHOTO: From left, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan of One Direction are pictured on Dec. 12, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
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One Direction will play on, despite losing a member of the band. But the question remains -- will it ever be the same?
Zayn Malik, 22, announced Wednesday that he was leaving the popular British boy band after five years because, "I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."
Though the remaining four members -- Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan -- have vowed to carry on as a foursome, recording their fifth album, to be released later this year, and continuing on to the next stage of their world tour, it will be interesting to see if they will "continue to be the best band in the world," as Malik predicted in his statement.
Lyndsey Parker, Yahoo! Music's managing editor, said Malik's exit comes at an interesting time for the group, just as it was beginning to evolve with a more mature sound.
"Can this band continue without Zayn?" Parker asks. "Yes, but it probably won't ever be the same."
Even though Malik was probably not as well known as Styles and Horan, his departure will be felt.
"They're all important," Parker said about the members of the group. "Unlike more traditional bands like Coldplay, where you only know the lead singer by name or face...boy bands are built on the fact that everyone has a favorite. It won't be the same but that doesn't mean it can't continue."
The question is for how long.
"These bands have a very short shelf life anyway. Very few boy bands are around for 10 or 20 years," Parker said.
Which brings up another question for Malik: "Why not just ride it out, and make as much money as you can and retire at 27?"
"We don't know if a band like One Direction was going to have a really long term future anyway so it seems a little short sighted for him to give it up now," Parker added.
Plus, Parker said, the group was starting to get some artistic recognition for its last two albums.
"This is a group that came together via a singing competition and they don’t really get credit for fact that they can actually all sing," she said. "People were starting to see that they were evolving and sort of losing the boy band sound and having a more mature sound."
She added, "One direction did have the potential to cross over a little bit into more serious territory."
So was Malik wanting to go in a different direction or plot his own solo career?
"I don’t get the impression from the statement that Zayn made that he necessarily was wanting to leave for artistic reasons, to pursue his own musical path," Parker said. "I'm sure everyone in a boy band kind of hopes that they can be Justin Timberlake or Michael Jackson."
Instead, Malik claim he just wants to be a "normal 22-year-old."
"How many normal 22-year-olds would change places with him in a heartbeat," Parker wonders.
Then again, few of us can understand the life that Malik has lead these last five years, nearly a quarter of his life, making four albums in five years, touring endlessly, his life constantly in the public eye.
When he announced last week that he was leaving the group's tour to "recuperate" at home in the U.K., there were reports that his relationship with his fiancée, Little Mix Perrie Edwards, was strained. Now, she's being called the "Yoko" of the band, referring to John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono.
One person who seemed to understand was former Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell, who left the Spice Girls at the height of their popularity, much like Malik is doing with One Direction.
Halliwell sent out a tweet yesterday that seemed meant for Malik.
As Halliwell herself knows, nothing is final. Just as the Spice Girls reunited 10 years later, Parker predicts the same for One Direction.
"They will probably put out one or two more albums to diminishing returns -- commercially they've already peaked, 'Four' was not as big as the one before," she said. "I'm predicting they'll all go their separate ways. They'll attempt solo careers, some more successful than others... Then in five, 10 years there's going to be a One Direction Unity Tour. It will happen. Every band reunites. I'm sure Simon Cowell is already plotting."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Tactical Review of 2015 El Clasico

Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga to four points on Sunday by winning the first Clasico of 2015 against Real Madrid. Jeremy Mathieu and Luis Suarez struck either side of a Cristiano Ronaldo goal to give la Blaugrana a timely boost at a key stage of the season.

Formations and XIs
Barcelona played a 4-3-3 as expected, with Javier Mascherano starting as an anchor due to Sergio Busquets only being fit enough for the bench. The Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez trio continued up front, and Jeremy Mathieu started in central defence alongside Gerard Pique. Claudio Bravo resumed duties in goal.
Real Madrid played a fluid 4-3-3/4-4-2, with Cristiano Ronaldo straddling a left-wing/striker role, Gareth Bale playing slightly deeper on the right and Isco partnering Toni Kroos in central midfield.

1. Marcelo Epitomises Madrid's Attacking Energy
Marcelo has been a little hesitant to venture forward in La Liga of late, so it was a (pleasant) surprise to see him willing and able to bomb forward in the Clasico. His energy and appetite for attacking epitomised Real Madrid's strong first half.
He would either dance forward as a true wide player or overlap and be found by a pass from central midfield; either way, he was central to all things quick and potent early on. Both of Madrid's most threatening attacks in the first period were down the left side, and rather than sit cautiously and try to care for Messi's presence on his flank, Marcelo opted to take advantage of the fact he wasn't being tracked.
Credit: beINSport
With Ivan Rakitic a little slow to get over and mark him, Dani Alves was frequently exposed in these stages. Karim Benzema's immense movement into the channels then became a real threat, and with the Frenchman joining Marcelo in overloading that side, Barca's defence was forced to shuffle over and fall out of position.
The hosts took the lead through a brilliant Mathieu header, but los Blancos, on balance, were by far the better side across the first 45 minutes.

2. Ronaldo's Equaliser
Ronaldo scored the equaliser, but Real Madrid's goal on the night was all about the build-up play. It's deserving of great commendation, and adds another string to the bow supporting Benzema as a world-class talent.
With Modric creeping forward with the ball and Benzema spotting Mathieu in a wide position (dragged out to start closing Bale down), the Frenchman darted right to take Pique with him and opened a huge gap in the centre of defence. Ronaldo saw it and filled it, and Benzema's sumptuous flick found him for a first-time finish.
Credit: beINSport
Jaw-dropping stuff from the striker.
His movement into the channels and in dragging defenders around throughout the first half was absolutely stunning, and this was the validation of his play; his piece de resistance.

3. Direct Barcelona
The opening 10 minutes of the second half were a little scrappy, then suddenly Suarez, like a bolt from the blue, made one run, that was picked out by one Alves pass, and gave Barcelona the lead.
It was symptomatic of the "new"(ish) Barcelona we've been treated to this season. They're still a 4-3-3 passing side, but they move the ball from back to front much, much quicker and Suarez latching on to a defender's long ball has been a theme for success.
Credit: beINSport
The Uruguayan took advantage of a ropey-looking defensive line, controlled Alves' brilliant pass with one magnificent, god-like touch and slotted home in trademark fashion. It wasn't the first time he's scored "that" goal this season, and it won't be the last.
Luis Enrique has focused on getting the ball out of the centre-backs' feet and into Ivan Rakitic, who can turn and supply the front three within seconds. The Croatian's excellence at this is why Xavi has been marginalised, and he's the embodiment of the tactical nuance that's given la Blaugrana an edge this year.

4. Disconnect
"We didn't play like a team," Modric stated to reporters after the game (h/t Inside Spanish Football). He's absolutely hit the nail on the head. First half for los Blancos? Great. But the second? A shambolic mess.
Once Barcelona had gone 2-1 up, Real Madrid's front three stopped pressing and harassing the opponents, devoting themselves solely to attacking as they were in need of a goal. They stood high up the pitch and waited for the ball to be passed to them, but it never actually came.
Credit: beINSport
Barca began pushing forward and finding themselves free to pick their passes, approaching Madrid's midfield line without any pressure from the forwards. It naturally dragged the away side's midfield contingent forward in order to engage, opening huge holes in between themselves and the defence for Enrique's front three to exploit.
All of a sudden, with Messi drifting centrally and exploiting the space behind Toni Kroos and Modric, one simple pass between the lines was enough to set the hosts away on a barreling attack. Several were carved out, and only poor decision-making and profligacy from all three—and in particular Neymar—stopped them from making the score looking more convincing.

Quickfire Conclusions
  • Bale was essentially absent again. Last week he bagged a brace and cupped his hands to his ears, but this was more like the norm for the Welshman who has been very quiet of late.
  • Benzema and Marcelo, in addition to perhaps Modric, were Real Madrid's outfield players, and Iker Casillas showed the world he hasn't declined quite as sharply as some want to suggest.
  • In the first half Madrid were superb, in the second Barca were. Neither could string together a full 90 minutes of good play.
  • As ever, yellow cards provided a predictable backdrop to the game, but some of the play-acting and needless involvements in scuffles (we're looking at you, Jordi Alba) were disappointing to see.

NASCAR defends controversial Fontana cautions

Kurt Busch led 65 laps of Sunday's Auto Club 400. But partly due to late cautions, Brad Keselowski led one lap — the final lap — and took a trip to victory lane away from Busch. 
The yellow flag came out on lap 200 because of debris. Busch, who was leading at the time, later saw another caution (after Kyle Larson made contact with another car) on lap 204 get in the way of his victory.
MORE AUTO CLUB 400: Must-see images | Results 
Busch on his team radio said "WWE" after the series of events that led to a third-place finish behind Keselowski and Kevin Harvick. 
Richard Buck, the managing director of the Sprint Cup Series, defended the cautions after the race.
"We got multiple reports over the radio and confirmed it," said Buck, via FOX Sports. "There was a piece of material — something — in the racing groove, and so we went ahead and called a caution. And by the time that we had called the caution, somebody had hit it."
Buck said he wasn't sure what the piece of debris was.
"I don't have it back yet," Buck said. "I don't have the piece back yet, but we always ask the safety and cleanup crews to return that stuff to us. But there were multiple reports."

Kurt Busch (Getty Images)
Even Keselowski admitted he got away with a win after Busch and Harvick appeared too fast to beat.
"I knew [Harvick] and [Busch] had been the class of the weekend and deserved to win on speed," Keselowski said, via ESPN. "Maybe we kind of stole one today."
Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe, said he didn't see any debris.
"We hear them (NASCAR) talking about it on the radio, but I personally didn't see it and don't know," said Wolfe, via FOX. "But they call it when we're listening on the scanners. We can hear guys looking for debris, but I didn't see it."
Busch after the race told USA Today he felt his team had the win locked up.
"We had a really good car all day," Busch said. "We're just parked on the wrong spot here on pit road after the race. We had a winning Haas Chevy.
"The yellow sequence didn't go in our favor. I don't know what we could have done different. We just got pinned in by the yellows and the sequence at the end on which tires we needed to have to optimize how many laps were left. We had two tires; Keselowski had four. I just got out-muscled by Keselowski."
Sunday marked Busch's second race back after he served a three-week suspension following allegations of assault on his ex-girlfriend last September.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Barcelona vs Real Madrid, El Clasico: live

10 min A few stern words from the referee to Gareth Bale for some mild off-the-ball roughhousing.
8 min First glimpse of Gareth Bale as he runs at the Barcelona defence, before slipping Benzema in down the right channel. His first-time shot is weak, however, and drifts wide of Bravo's goal.
7 min Iniesta is back with us, and his ankle appears to be structurally sound, on the evidence of another surge into Real territory. Carvajal quells the danger this time.
6 min Whistles all round as Real try to get their passing going in the Barcelona half. Ronaldo is strolling around up front, waiting for something to latch onto.
5 min Nutmeg #1 for Lionel Messi.
3 min Iniesta and Suarez share a swift one-two in the area, but Madrid clear for a corner. Iniesta, though, is lying in a crumpled heap behind the goal. He's in a huge amount of pain, but he's giving it a go...
2 min Iker Casillas - the saddest footballer in the known universe - hoofs a clearance into the home fans, which will help his mood.
1 min Rob Palmer and Gerry Armstrong pretending to be in the Nou Camp commentary gantry tonight for Sky. An underrated pair, if you ask me. Dabi Alves and Ivan Rakitic double-team Ronaldo, who shows zero interest in chasing after them to get the ball back.
20.00 Here we go!
19.59 There's the obligatory small pocket of hardy travelling souls, with ample disposable income, sat in Row ZZZZ:
<noframe>Twitter: Dermot Corrigan - 500 Madrid fans up in top corner of Camp Nou, away fans tickets were €111 each.</noframe>
19.56 The teams are in the tunnel, there are inter-club handshakes, arms on shoulders and pats on backs of heads. Not for long though, eh?!
19.44 It seems that Senthamarai Subramanian is no fan of Cristiano Ronaldo:
19.40 Meanwhile, Sky Sports' Scott Minto is joined by Alex Song, Gael Clichy and Guillem Balague in the now familiar surroundings of what looks like a Spanish attempt at a Harvester:

19.33 A message of festive joy from Lauren Gallagher:
E-mail Liverpool vs Manchester United & Real Madrid vs Barcelona on the same day? This day should be named the Christmas of club football
Almost, Lauren. That's transfer deadline day. Days like today are more like Easter: overindulgent, often sugar-coated and no-one's quite sure what the ultimate point is.
19.30 I enjoy watching Messi and Ronaldo - I really do - but I'd welcome this man back with open digital arms:

Pure goalscoring, with precisely none of the trimmings.
19.21 Assuming this dedicated chap in the middle even has a match ticket, he's never getting in carrying that lot.

19.13 Here's the alternative Christmas message:
<noframe>Twitter: Unfitforpurpose - Your annual reminder that the classico is nothing but a way to celebrate two superclubs hoarding all the talent they possibly can.</noframe>
19.10 The teamsheets are in!
Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Rakitic, Mascherano, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Subs: Ter Stegen, Montoya, Bartra, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Rafinha, Roberto, Pedro
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Subs: Navas, Varane, Hernandez, Lucas Silva, Arbeloa, Jese, Illarramendi
18.59 Evening.
There's a creeping, global dilemma facing the world's anglophone football writers. Research has found that the earth's supply of superlatives for its two greatest footballers is running perilously low, forcing some to resort to whimsical, knowing understatement instead. Luckily for you, I'm so far unaffected by the superlative drought. So, tonight, a certain little Argentine by the name of Lionel Messi goes head-to-head with a former Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Cristiano Ronaldo (whatever happened to him?!) in the small matter ofEl Clasico. Not bad, eh?
Football's cruise/crisis dichotomy dictates that Barcelona's stock is back on the rise, while Real - with a scowling Ronaldo, a boo-plagued Gareth Bale and an under-pressure Carlo Ancelotti - are feeling the strain.
Back to the main protragonists: Jason Burt suggests that Messi's recent performances - Ballon d'Or or no Ballon d'Or - give him the edge over Ronaldo, who is cutting a frustrated figure:
Heading into Sunday's El Clasico, there were two images from the build-up that appeared to sum up the contrasting fortunes of the two highest-profile clubs in the world and the two best players.
The first came last Sunday when Real Madrid beat Levante 2-0 - and the petulant reaction of Cristiano Ronaldo as his bicycle kick resulted not in a goal for him, but for Gareth Bale. Ronaldo angrily waving his arm was about himself, not about the team.
The second image was the joy in Lionel Messi's face as he congratulated Ivan Rakitic after the Croatian had smartly collected Messi's wonderful chipped cross-ball to score the goal that beat Manchester City at the Nou Camp.
It appears, also, that such is their force of personality that it almost seems impossible for Messi and Ronaldo to thrive at the same time. So, going into El Clasico at the Nou Camp, it is Ronaldo's physical and mental state that is dominating the agenda.

There has been inevitable mischief with Hristo Stoichkov stirring the pot by claiming in the Spanish sports daily AS that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez could be considering selling Ronaldo this summer.
"Messi at the moment is much better," he said. "Maybe the obsession with Messi affects [Ronaldo]."
Despite his obvious bias, it is an intriguing point that adds yet another dimension to this remarkable clash.
17.00 Good afternoon. It is the most expensive match in the world. El Clasico almost never disappoints and this one should be no different.
Twenty-seven games into the season just one point separates Spain's two premier clubs. Lionel Messi's Barcelona sit top of La Liga on 65 points with Cristiano Ronaldo and chums on 64.
It's a bit early to say this match will decide La Liga's champions but... this match will (possibly) decide La Liga's champions.
Adam Hurrey is the man in the hotseat and will be here from around 7pm GMT with all the pre-match build-up, team news and action. Do join him.

Wrestler dies during match in Mexico

MEXICO CITY -- The son of a Mexican wrestling legend died early Saturday from a blow suffered in the ring, the Baja California state prosecutor's office said.
Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo, fell unconscious on the ropes, apparently after receiving a flying kick from fellow wrestler Oscar Gutierrez, known as former WWE star Rey Mysterio Jr., according to video of the match in a municipal auditorium in Tijuana.
The match continued for almost two minutes before other participants and the referee realized Aguayo was seriously injured and tended to him.
[+] EnlargePedro Aguayo Ramirez
AP Photo/Enrique Ordonez/CUARTOSCURO.COMWrestler Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo, died early Saturday, just hours after a hit in the ring during a match in Tijuana, Mexico.
He was taken to a hospital a block away and died about 1:30 a.m., prosecutor's spokesman Raul Gutierrez said.
"I have no words for this terrible news," Joaquin Roldan, director of the AAA wrestling federation, said through his Twitter account. "My sincerest condolences for the Aguayo Ramirez family."
The state prosecutor's office said the cause of death, based on the autopsy, was trauma to the neck and a cervical fracture. It has opened an investigation into possible manslaughter.
The company that reportedly organized the event, The Crash, couldn't be reached for comment. The Tijuana Boxing and Wrestling Commission called the death an unfortunate accident like those that occur in other high-risk sports.
Even though the match continued as Aguayo hung listless on the ropes, commission President Juan Carlos Pelayo said people moved immediately to check his condition. He said the doctor in charge was not at ringside because he was treating another injured wrestler, but paramedics and a doctor who was a spectator attended to Aguayo.
"The reaction for medical attention was quick, in my opinion," Pelayo said at a news conference Saturday.
Mexico is famous for its colorful characters and costumes in professional wrestling, popularly known as lucha libre, where fighters perform daring aerial maneuvers inside and outside the ring.
Aguayo, 35, had wrestled for 20 years and was the son of the legendary Pedro "Perro" Aguayo, now retired and a member of the Aztec lucha Hall of Fame.
The younger Aguayo was also popular and led a group called "Los Perros de Mal," or the bad dogs. He won numerous titles, including national pairs with his father, a national heavyweight championship and the Consejo Mundial Lucha Libre world trios championship.
"It makes me very sad because he was a professional colleague and I have great affection for his father," wrestler Hijo del Santo said in a telephone interview. "I think the fans in Japan, the U.S. and Mexico, of course, where he was very popular, must be in mourning, especially because of his youth. He had much ahead of him."

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: “Kimmy Gets A Job!” · TV Club · The A.V. Club

“I like helping people. I’m good at it,” Kimmy Schmidt tells Titus in “Kimmy Gets A Job!” In these first two episodes, it becomes very clear that Kimmy was a huge part of keeping the other women together in the bunker. She developed coping mechanisms for them to survive, like the one at the center of this episode: living life 10 seconds at a time. According to Kimmy, you can withstand anything for 10 seconds at a time. So count to 10 and then start over again, and you’ll get through. It’s grim—a reminder of the trauma Kimmy lived through in the bunker. But it’s also a reminder of Kimmy’s optimism. The 10-second rule is what helps her survive in her new life in New York City, and she imparts the wisdom on the new people she’s trying to help: the Voorhees..eses.
We learn that Jacqueline Voorhees has a stepdaughter, Xanthippe (Kimmy calls her various alterations of this—Sumpabeh and Xanadu—before landing on the correct confusing rich white girl name). Xanthippe is a rotten rich kid who thinks, foolishly, that she can break Kimmy. Here, the character is little more than a plot device, but Dylan Gulula leans into the nastiness of the character, and she’s great up against Ellie Kemper’s pep.
Over in the B-plot, Titus rallies the costumed workers of Times Square against the costume rental company that has scammed them out of their security deposits. It’s not as funny nor as narratively rich as Kimmy’s story, especially since we don’t really learn a whole lot more about Titus here. But it isn’t without some laughs: Hello Kitty keeps suggesting an orgy, and Miss Piggy looks more like a sad pink potato. Titus wins in the end, using his knowledge of intellectual property laws to pressure the costume rental owner into giving everyone back their security deposits. His knowledge, it should be noted, comes from when he staged his own production of Lion King—which looks like it was just a one-man show with a cat—and was served by Disney’s lawyers.
Back at the Voorhees household, things fall apart when it turns out Jacqueline’s husband Julian isn’t flying in from London after all. A heartbroken Jacqueline fires Kimmy...again. But it turns out Kimmy, like Titus, also wins. She realizes that Xanthippe’s whole story about a surfer boyfriend was completely ripped from The Baby-Sitter’s Club Mystery #12: Dawn and The Surfer Ghost, and uses it as leverage to ground her. She also gives Buckley the birthday he has always wanted by letting him beat up Titus in an Iron Man costume. Kimmy’s success with the kids makes Jacqueline decide to keep her around, but she also opens up to her, telling Kimmy she thinks her marriage is falling apart. That much was clear from the fact that Jacqueline could only communicate to Julian through his assistant, but this moment between Kimmy and Jacqueline is touching, even if it’s not quite clear what Jacqueline’s role is in this story yet. But the scene also isn’t without its jokes: “You know, who among us is a perfect footslut?”
Kemper doesn’t even need a punchline to land laughs. Her delivery of “what, who are you, I wasn’t rapping” when Xanthippe barges in on her very much rapping (“Well they call me Cool Kimmy cuz I like to rap”) makes it one of the funniest lines in the episode. Even the simple way she gestures to a speaker and says “this?” when Jacqueline asks her if she even knows what a Givenchy romper is made me laugh. In my review of the pilot, I wrote about how the writers have really made Kimmy feel like a believable and fun character who never comes off as annoying or dumb. Kemper deserves as much credit for that, too, because in less capable hands, I feel like the jokes wouldn’t punch as hard. Even worse, the character could read as overly cutesy. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is often cute—all of its episode titles, after all, have an exclamation point at the end—but not gratingly so. And it’s a darker comedy than its bright color scheme and smiling hero suggest. Kemper plays those varying shades with equal degrees of success, and it makes all the difference.
Stray observations:
  • Shoutout to Jeff Richmond’s music, which has such an identifiable sound that I had flashbacks to 30 Rock throughout the episode, sparked solely by the musical cues.
  • “We’ve got to pump her stomach! We can’t take her to the hospital because her dad is running for Congress!”
  • But the best Xan line has to be: “I chew you up and I spit you out, just like all my food.”
  • “Are her friends with her? They’re so mean and cool. Sometimes I look at them at Barney’s from behind a pillar.”
  • According to Jacqueline, the first iteration of the birthday party looks like “the reception for an Appalachian incest wedding.” She also calls the piñata a “Mexican candy animal.” I don’t know how my Jacqueline love has already matched my love for Jenna Maroney, but it has.
  • “A scrunchie that’s also a wallet?!” Someone please Kickstart this idea for Kimmy.
  • “Your stepmother expects you to be at your half brother’s party when your full father gets here.”
  • Kimmy: “Titus, I need you to get your robot suit back.” Titus: “But I already did something today!” I feel you, Titus.
  • “Damnit, what white bitch got him golf clubs?!”