Monday, July 12, 2010

Cole Escola Gets A Job

Cole EscolaIn episode one, season two, of Jeffery & Cole Casserole, Jeffery Self and Cole Escola presented the first course in their sophomore season, and it didn't taste good. There's always a danger when a creative team does a sequel to a popular piece that they will not understand well enough what worked before and they will drop or change essential elements of what made it good. Even worse, by overplaying what they think made it a success, they can become just caricatures of what had been before. Unfortunately, these things seem to have occurred, and the casserole has gotten really bad during the year it was left in the refrigerator.

(Read about the issues with season two of Jeffery & Cole Casserole
compared to the review of season one of Jeffery and Cole Casserole.)

Here is a summary of this episode:

The Beginning: Borscht-Belt Homosexuals

Cole and Jeffery sat on the stoop as a man jogged by. They became animated at the sight of him and arose to run after him. As they passed a young man with a noticeably large bulge, they stopped and reversed their course to follow the second man instead. A blond young man passed going the other direction, and Cole and Jeffery changed direction once more to purse their new male quarry. Sensing the close pursuit, the man turned around and slapped the two of them. Having achieved at last some physical contact from their chutzpah and pursuit of NY manmeat, Jeffery and Cole high five'd one another and smiled.

The humor in this bit came from Cole's various facial expressions as he observed and become enamored with each of the men. It was a silly sketch, but it did serve to show the difference in acting ability between the two stars of the show. For example, when they were slapped, Cole looked like he actually was struck. On the other hand, Jeffery just looked like he usually does: a blank half wit who sniffs a lot from the aerosol cans under his mother's sink.

1. Introduction

Cole and Jeffery babbled about flies, Mary Louise Parker, Nicole Kidman, Courtney Cox, and politics. They actually looked like they were reading from a script, which is the antithesis of their previous work. They also looked like they were high or drunk, and even though that would make what they said very funny to each other, to the viewer it was only excruciatingly annoying.

They played "marry, f'ck or kill: Marlo Thomas, Valerie Harper, or Mary Tyler Moore." What a difference a year makes. When they did a similar routine the first episode of season one, it was done with clever absurdity. This time around, they just let it fall flat and lay there and die slowly on the floor.

The whole intro was like a weather alert siren, so you wouldn't be able to say they didn't warn you of the severe crapfest that the viewers would experience in the next half hour.

2. This Isn't Ballet... THIS IS TORTURE

Jeffery and Cole attended the ballet. Jeffery remarked that it was torture. It was then seen that the assessment was literal. On stage Cole was shown whipping a whining, tied-up Jeffery. The bit was too short to go anywhere and too long for a simple sight gag. For anyone that would be interested, Cole's man parts were visible through his costume. It still didn't make the gag worth it, but it is noteworthy.

3. Cutting Brenda Blethyn's Hair

A Brenda Blethyn character bouncing around the room was the inspiration for this routine of what it would be like to try to cut her hair while she was in motion. It was worth hearing Cole emoting hysteria.

4. The Jobs (Part 1)

Jeffery and Cole were fishing from a boat in a pond. Their mailperson, in another boat, delivered them an invitation to enter a fishing contest. The entry fee was $200, which the low paid comedians didn't have. They went to an "unemployment office" to seek work. In line, Cole was unsure about the endeavor, but Jeffery insisted, refusing to allow Cole to sell blood for money anymore. They pulled jobs from a hat, and Jeffery got a position as a census worker, while Cole became a nail technician. A gnarly, older person pulled out an assignment to be a fourth grade teacher, providing the only, albeit infinitesimal, amount of laughter.

5. The Little Girls Room

At a bar, Jeffery and Cole asked for the location of "the little girl's room". They went to it, and behind the door was literally a little girl's room. You can't get a sight gag cheaper than this. Put it in the category of "Hee-Haw". There was an attempt to somehow use the sight gag as a stepping stone towards something actually funny, but it was a misstep and a free fall, with the following comment written on a set of the show's standard yellow ruled paper: "When Life Gets You Down... Don't turn to drugs or booze of anonymous sex. Just chill the f*@#k down and go to... The Little Girls Room." It's almost like they are taunting Logo to see that it got what (little) it paid for.

6. I Need A Plumber

Cole used his Brenda Blethyn voice and wig while calling for a plumber. When the plumber (Jeffery) arrived, Cole explained that the water from the faucet would not stop running. Jeffery turned the faucet handle and the water stopped. He then told Cole that the cost for his service would be $5000. Cole make a noise and a strange face.

7. This One's For You Mom!

Jeffery is seen urinating. When he is finished, the camera shows that he was urinating in Cole's mouth. In unison, the pair say, "This one's for you, Mom." This makes Jeffery and Cole on par with the average middle school kid making videos in rural Ohio.

8. The Jobs (Part 2)

Cole and Jeffery walked down the street. Jeffery said he had first day jitters and that he hadn't had a job since he worked for his dad. A cut-away showed that he propositioned his father for that job by seductively unbuttoning his shirt. Cole told Jeffery he would be fine. On the other hand, Cole worried about working with some of his high-profile clients. He whispered the name of one of them to Jeffery, who was surprised that Cole was doing her nails that day considering that she was dead. Cole replied that that was why he was so nervous.

The following two sets of scenes were shown, interspersed:

Jeffery was shown visiting "an average American home" in his new role as a census worker. He started to count the occupants when he was handed a cocktail. He engaged in small talk with the Harrison family there and had some snacks. Music was played and Jeffery asked for someone to dance with him. He limbo'd. Later he discussed his personal problems with the family and became drunkenly emotional, telling them that they had become his family.

Cole was shown doing a woman's nails. He sniffed the polish and noted that it's odor was strong. He repeatedly sniffed the bottle until he was summoned away by a blond haired woman with a beard. They went into the restroom where Cole took a deep hit off a nail polish bottle. The blond told Cole that there was an easier way to enjoy the intoxicant. Cole took the suggestion and infused himself with it intravenously. Dazed, Cole left the restroom, but was confronted by his boss who insisted that he had another appointment he must work on before he could leave for the day.

Back to Cole and Jeffery interacting. Cole called Jeffery and told him that he would not be able to attend fishing practice that evening because of work. Jeffery was glad because he would rather continue to spend time with the Harrisons. After the call, Jeffery heard a baby cry and he became very upset. He accused the family of not telling him, the census worker, about the additional family member. Back at the salon, Cole thought his client had three hands.

Cole Escola9. And Now A Sneak Preview...

Jeffery as a mobster told Cole (in drag) that he lost "the suitcase". Cole became irate, saying the suitcase contained 2 billion dollars in it. He screamed, "Who has my money?" A cut-away showed that two babies (Cole and Jeffery) had it. The voice-over stated that this was a movie called "Babies with Money". An investigator (Jeffery) told his team that if the babies had the money they needed to be protected from the mob. Drag mob boss Cole shouted to her minion to get the money from the babies. The babies were seen going on a spending spree. Mob boss Cole confronted the babies on a rooftop. Investigator Jeffery got the drop on her. With nowhere to go, Cole surrendered.

10.Cole! Get Outta There

This was a routine that was also done in season one. Nothing new added to it, except the excessively cheap tag at the end with a "brought to you by..." That's a bit that is so ancient and played out and not worthy of something with Cole's name attached to it.

11. The Nun Who Was Very Allergic To Nuts!!!

Jeffery ate a cookie and asked if there were nuts in it. He was told yes, so he made a face, and not a good one. He should have spent more time practicing this in front of a mirror.

12. Smellin' Jeffery's Dirty Laundry

Jeffery was shown as a stand up comedian. He said he had gone jogging that weekend. He threw his dirty shorts to Cole who smelled them and said that they smelled like balls. Jeffery then took off his underwear and gave it to Cole who said it smelled like a cat's butt.

13. The Chair Store.

Cole continued the character he did with the plumber, going with his sister to a store to buy a chair. Cole and Jeffery played two chairs in the store. Cole was appalled by the comments expressed by the chairs and decided to buy a couch instead. The chairs were unhappy, but the couch, played by Jeffery, was pleased.

14. The Jobs (Part 3)

Back at the Harrisons', Jeffery confronted the family about their failure to disclose the existence of the baby. They claimed ignorance of the necessity of counting the baby. Jeffery became agitated, accusing them of not considering the effect on him. Jeffery performed his outburst how Cole would do it, which means it was the best performance Jeffery did during the episode.

Jeffery went to the nail salon and rescued Cole from his nail polish pusher. Jeffery apologized for pushing the two of them so hard to earn money for the contest entry fee.

15. The Lake

Back in the boat, Cole asked Jeffery how he knew that Cole had been messed up from huffing polish. Jeffery replied it was because of a phone call. On screen a transcript of the call was displayed. It showed that Cole had said, "Talk to the moon, not at it, not at it. Kerrrsh." Cole said he didn't remember the call. Jeffery apologized again for pushing them to enter the contest. The mailperson in the other boat said not to mind her. And so an inglorious end to a s***pail of an episode.

16. Conclusion

Jeffery and Cole are back at the webcam. Jeffery echoed the sentiment of the typical viewer, asking, "What the Hell am I watching this for?" Jeffery and Cole told each other lines that they thought were funny but committed the cardinal sin of absurdist comedy by laughing at them instead of treating them as serious remarks.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. We can only hope this episode was an anomaly and that a return to past glory is in the offing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Short Track Speedskating 1500m

Considering that Apolo Anton Ohno remains a big star of Winter Olympic games, it was no wonder that NBC hyped their airing of short track speedskating action during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The first short track event was the 1500m, and Apolo did not disappoint, winning the silver medal. In a surprise ending, teammate J.R. Celski (at right), Apolo's heir apparent, captured the bronze.

Before his heat, NBC showed Apolo waiting for his turn to race. He had a chin hair wedge, which frankly in its current incarnation is not attractive. It was pointed out that Apolo is 20lb leaner that he was in 2002. You can really see it. He's all efficient muscle. You could also see in HD close-up that that camera needs to keep from getting that close. Some people are more attractive without a crystal clear view of their pores and skin texture.

Surprisingly, Cameraman did a upward jutting crotch shot. You very rarely see that with athletes that have revealing, form-fitting suits. It boded well for the Olympic coverage of the male athletes.

Needless to say, Apolo blew away the competition in his heat.

In another heat, it was J.R.'s turn. Cameraman didn't show J.R. under his helmet. J.R. is a cute kid from Federal Way, Washington - same as Apolo. Happily, NBC didn't show any visuals of J.R.'s horrible injury from 5 months before at the Olympic Trials, where he cut his thigh with his own blade down to the bone. It was surprising that they didn't show it considering that they showed the Georgian luger being killed. Maybe they were trying to do better.

Before the semi-final, Chris Collinsworth did a piece on Apolo. It showed Apolo Anton Ohno shirtless, doing his training. Yeah, he's fit. Even Collinsworth, talking about Apolo working out a lot, said "He's hot right now." At the track, Cameraman did a close-up of Apolo that was ostensibly to show his gloves, but it also gave another extreme close-up of Apolo's crotch. Cameraman is okay.

Finally J.R. was shown clearly, although actually it was in a Procter & Gamble commercial.

NBC then went back to their graphic ways as they showed J.R. from the previous September, sitting on bloodied ice as the blood pumped out of his leg. Should NBC's coverage get a V rating?

J.R.'s semifinal was a good race and you could tell that he was looking good for the final. He took the lead and would not relinquish it.

For the final, there was some concern expressed by the commentators about there being three Koreans in it. They are very nationalistic and would be likely to do team play, which is against the rules but difficult to prove. The fear was that if the three gained the first three spots during the race, they could position themselves to prevent anyone from passing.

Sure enough, towards the end of the race, the three Koreans managed to team up and take the first three positions. Fortunately, they outsmarted themselves, and on a curve, two of them crashed into one another and took themselves out. They left Apolo and J.R. to fairly end the race as 2nd and 3rd.

For Apolo, it was his sixth Olympic medal, and that tied him with Bonnie Blair as the American Winter Olympian with the most medals. For J.R., it was an amazing accomplishment for someone who had a skate blade embedded two inches deep into his leg muscle only five months before.

By the way, I really like the light blue and dark blue combination of the U.S. suits. It looks like the really cool palette used by Team USA in the 2002 games.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympics Opening Ceremony 2010

Olympics Opening CeremonyIn keeping with the low-key spirit of the country, the Vancouver Organizing Committee put on a rather average Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony, with mild entertainment and a minimum of flash. The only unpleasant aspect during the show was the peculiar contradiction of Canadians, which is that since they are so nice and modest they feel compelled to slap you obnoxiously in the face with it. That, and the public displays of self-help affirmations about a national identity, which sadly, almost always come back to, "We're not Americans." Last there was the uncomfortable climax of the torch lighting, which proved you should always have a backup plan and you should never play with fire, especially indoors.

The ceremony started with a displayed countdown flashed around the stadium. Love a good countdown. Unfortunately, it was immediately followed by a video presentation of aerial shots of the Canadian landscape. It was pretty, but the show is supposed be about what is happening in the stadium, not about the view from a plane from some time in the past. The purpose was to show a snowboarder coming down a mountain while the list of previous Olympic cities were read aloud, leading to a live snowboarder (Johnny Lyall) riding down onto the stadium floor. It was pretty lame for an opening, and certainly not as good as Salt Lake City.

The RCMP brought in the Canadian flag, but they should have gone with 9 Dudley Do-Right types instead of the variety of people, a concession to diversity. Actually, any one type would have been good. It was the different builds and heights that were not aesthetically pleasing. The national anthem was torn up by Nikki Yanovsky. Do Canadians get as upset as Americans when the anthem is not sung as written? Nikki could have done a great job with a classic rendition.

Representatives of native tribes gave a welcome to the world. The Indian boys looked like they had stepped out of an A+F catalog (above), which is fine. They did the welcome at the foot of four bizarre zombie totems, which looked ready to eat the brains of the audience at BC Place. Not very welcoming.

Andre LangeThe athletes were brought in, before the entertainment, which is nice so they can see it. It's fun to do people watching, seeing the different nationalities march in. Some really stand out, like the Germans, who seemed particularly Aryan this year. Along side them, keeping order, were a line of Canadian volunteers doing a generic white person folk dance, dressed in what appeared to be long johns. The backsides were not shown to see if they had drop seats. Love drop seats. All the athletes were dressed in winter clothing, but considering that the outside temperature was 48 degrees and they were inside an enclosed stadium, one wonders if the a/c was turned up full blast to set the mood and keep the athletes from having heat exhaustion.

Stephane LambielThe Swiss flag bearer was Stephane Lambiel, giving a glimpse of how fabulously flamboyant the figure skating is going to be. It must be said, the kid looks like can do more tricks on and off the ice than a Swiss Army knife.

The American team wore Ralph Lauren outfits, with that company's emblem. The huge polo pony emblem looks so tacky, even on regular Ralph Lauren clothes, but especially on a national team's uniform. It's an embarrassment. There were some close-ups of a few of the notable American athletes. In particular, there was the cute face of short track speedskater J.R. Celski, with his teammate Travis Jayner behind him. Also, sighted was the attractive long track speedskater Trevor Marsicano.

j.r. celski

J.R. Celski

Eventually all the teams entered and Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado did a little ditty to welcome them. Mercifully, there was no close-up of Adams. He wasn't so good to see 20 years ago, don't need to see him now in HD. The song finished. The native peoples who had danced frantically and continuously throughout the long athlete entrance could try to snap out the spirit visions that the exercise and exhaustion had dropped them into. Overhead, the disembodied voice of Donald Sutherland began to tell the story of Jebediah Springfield, or something.

Some people started wandering around the floor, (yawn). A giant bear as might be seen in a department store window, only bigger, rises upward. People wander around some more, (yawn). Canadians begin to Twitter their apologies to friends in other countries. Global warming breaks up the ice floes projected on the floor. Whales appear to swim across the floor and spout, which was cool for the couple of seconds it lasted. Totems sprout upward to the ceiling and turn into trees. Sarah McLachlan lip-syncs, but no one-eyed cats or dogs appear. More people mill about the floor, appearing to be dancing or perhaps acting out some cruising action in Stanley Park.

There was some sort of presentation of "Fiddler on the Canoe" (maybe a French-Canadian Jewish thing?) Then more fiddling and river dancing. A lot of giant maple leaves were strewn about, which you know, makes anything "Canadian".

Finally the fiddling ended, and there were some video effects projected on the ground. Donald Sutherland told the tale of the silver tongue, or something. Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" was played with an aerialist (Thomas Saulgrain) hanging overhead doing a tribute to Canada's flyover country. I like the song, but with a kid erratically bouncing around from a wire during it, not so much. But the video stuff was definitely good, probably the best part of the evening.

From above, the giant iceberg mother ship landed and mountains were formed and people flailed around on wires again. NBC's Bob Costas generously and quixotically said, (after Beijing) "you do something that succeeds and touches people on its own terms. I think they've succeeded here." Keep those viewers watching until the last commercials have aired.

Slam poet Shane Koyczan started babbling about Canadian identity, which the audience got off on, but as usual with such blabber, it just makes other people wonder how a nation could have such low-esteem that they need to keep telling themselves, "I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me."

The entertainment gave way to the ceremony part of the ceremony. The head of the IOC and the organizing committee spoke. The audience had all been given little drums and they used them in lieu of applause. The sound of thousands of Canadians beating off in unison was unsettling.

Back to the show and kd lang or someone impersonating Wayne Newton at his heaviest starting singing. That was followed by the raising of the Olympic flag and the singing of the Olympic Hymn. Factoid: the Hymn was sung by opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, sporting the largest chia-afro ever grown on Earth.

All that was left was to light the cauldron. The first athlete to appear with a torch was Paralympian Rick Hansen in a manual wheelchair, wheeling himself into the stadium. It looked like it was going to take awhile to get the cauldron lit. He passed the flame off shortly, and the final moments began before the cauldron catastrophe. Four athletes all got a lit torch and then assumed their positions at four corners on the floor. It was really too painful to watch, but one of the doors on the floor that hid the four legs to the cauldron failed to open and the flame bearers stood for several agonizing minutes as the directors decided what to do. Finally they went with just three legs and the cauldron was lit. The realization that "Vancouver, we have a problem," was horrible to watch on live TV.

After the indoor cauldron was lit, Wayne Gretzky ran outside with a torch and got on the back of a Chevy truck and rode through the rain to the real cauldron. Sad, just sad, to see a drenched "Great One" put through that.

Despite the problems, it was a reasonable show, and for anyone who enjoys picking things apart and being very catty, it was quite entertaining.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cole Escola Pushes Paper

Cole EscolaIn episode three, season one, of Jeffery & Cole Casserole, Cole Escola got his dream job of being a wrapping paper dealer and Jeffery Self received a hex.

1. Introduction

There was a hodgepodge of phone call situations (e.g. calls to radio shows, calls from home, calls from people in one's past. and calls from people you wish to avoid being stalked by). It was a good example by the two leads of improv based on a theme.

2. The Tyne Daly Tap Routine

The feet of actress Tyne Daly are seen as she began to tap dance. A large slab of chicken fell to the floor. Tyne laboriously bent over and picked the chicken off the floor. With low-wave guttural noises, she consumed the hunk of bird flesh, with her mouth and feeding off-camera (thankfully).

3. Once Upon A Time On A H0rny Friday Night

Jeffery engaged in an online Manhunt-like chat, with him and his trick using the IDs of SmoothCute22" and "HornyHunk79". The two arranged for an assignation at Jeffery's home. When Jeffery opened the door for his anonymous online skank, he found that it was actually his mother. He asked in disbelief is she was really HornyHunk79 (which meant Jeffery was SmoothCute22, making viewers wonder in disbelief at how much he must flatter himself). His mom explained that arranging for sex in an online chat room was the only way that she ever got to see Jeffery.

4. Fun With Mom & Mom & Son

Jeffery and his mom got unsettlingly but believably intimate in bed while Mom updated him on family affairs.

5. The Hex (Part 1)

Cole visited Jeffery, bringing Jeffery some of his delicious fritters shaped like Kelly Ripa. Jeffery quickly realized that Cole was trying to use the gift as a way to get Jeffery to do something for him. Jeffery recalled the last time Cole had tried this trick, where Cole had brought Jeffery an injured baby or something wrapped in a blanket after Cole had accidentally struck it. Cole insisted he wouldn't do something like that again as long as he stayed out of children's museums.

Cole reminded Jeffery that he had been on a waiting list to become a representative for a gift wrapping company. With the death of someone at the company, which Cole innocently insisted he had nothing to do with, there was an opening for Cole. Jeffery asked Cole why he would need to sell out of Jeffery's apartment. Cole said he couldn't use his place since it was not technically on American soil. Jeffery agreed to let Cole use his apartment if he cold have 10% of what Cole earned. Cole countered that he would give Jeffery 10% of what he had previously planned to give Jeffery. Jeffery, a college drop-out, agreed.

Strangely, a gypsy stuck her head in the door and asked if someone had said "wrapping paper", which technically, no one had. Cole shooed her away.

Cole began work the same day, taking the name "All Wrapped Up In Cole" for his business. On a phone call with a customer he told them he could get them the holly & the ivy Christmas wrap by Tuesday but could make no promises on the snowflake tissue paper.

Cole asked Jeffery to make a delivery of wrapping paper for him to the UN. As Jeffery was about to leave the building, the gypsy, waiting by the door, asked how much would it cost for her to buy the wrapping paper that Jeffery was holding. Jeffery replied that he couldn't sell it to her. So, the gypsy put a hex on Jeffery and laughed gleefully.

The next day, Jeffery coughed up feathers and realized he was under the influence of a hex.

6. The Hex (Part 2)

Cole called a doctor for Jeffery, who wondered how Cole could find a doctor who made house calls and how Cole could afford any kind of doctor. Cole insisted he had made a deal, but would give no specifics. The doctor arrived and Jeffery explained his symptoms of coughing up feathers. The doctor gave Jeffery an eye exam and was able to confirm that he had a hex.

Meanwhile, Cole's wrapping paper business began to seem like something more that what it appeared to be on the surface. One of his customers was clearly a wrapping paper addict who begged for just one more roll. Cole cut her supply and turned her away. With another customer, Cole demanded to know if they were a cop, fearing he might be being setup in a sting operation. With a third customer, he drove them away from his door, saying he had no greeting cards and asking derisively if they thought Jeffery's apartment was a stationary store (and not the front it started to appear to be).

With the examination finished, the doctor asked for his payment of wrapping paper that Cole had promised, but Cole didn't want to give him any since he hadn't actually been able to help Jeffery. The doctor insisted and Cole pulled a gun on him and threatened to use it. The doctor fled. Cole comforted Jeffery by telling him he would find a way to help Jeffery somehow. Suddenly the police were heard nearby and Cole rushed away but warned Jeffery if they should ask about "Valentine's day tissue paper", Jeffery should say he knew nothing about it.

7. Little Old Ladies.

Jeffery and Cole pretended to be old ladies, wearing towels wrapped around their heads and commiserating about the effects of old age. Jeffery started off by saying, "in 1934..." Cole interrupted by screaming, "Where did all that time go??" Jeffery said he had met a young boy named Walter. Cole tearfully exclaimed that he could no longer climb up stairs. Jeffery mumbled something and Cole let out a plaintive shriek about not knowing how to turn off the TV. Jeffery continued to unconvincingly act like an old lady and Cole continued to knock it out of the park. Cole dourly lamented he needed a new hip but could not afford it. Jeffery talked about Walt. Cole, perhaps not acting, began to doze off from Jeffery's boring performance. Cole awoke and loudly grieved that all the clothing he bought for his grandchildren were too big or too small. He confusedly screamed that none were the right size. Jeffery daydreamed. Cole mournfully longed to once again be a child. Jeffery realized the boy's name wasn't Walter. Cole frightfully bawled his fear that his license would be be revoked.

8. Cole Considers Pushing Jeffery Out Of A Window

Literally. And sadly for the show, Cole doesn't follow through.

9. Jeffery Traps Cole In A Mirror

Jeffery had trapped Cole within a mirror. While Jeffery was on the phone lying about Cole actually being in Floria, Cole pleaded with Jeffery to let him out of the mirror. Cole cried, and soulless Jeffery stared with dead eyes and no emotion into the camera. (FYI, it was the only performance he has given that was not outside his range).

10. The Race

Cole and Jeffery appeared to be masturbating. It looked like Cole climaxed first from the stimulation but it is was revealed that if he had indeed ejaculated at that moment it was from finishing first in their "a dead cat in the road drawing contest".

11. Wake Up Wisconsin

It was hard to pay attention to what was said as the viewer is compelled to wonder how, living in New York, Jeffery could have such a ridiculously butchered hair cut. It is not clear if it was a back-alley job or just a Self family bowl cut (Georgia style).

12. What's Up Jeffery's Butt?

Jeffery wanted to play a game to guess what was up there. Cole guessed a toaster, a fireman, and something rectangular like a remote. Jeffery gave a hint that it was something you eat. Cole wondered if it was something Asian. He only knew it was not power tools and so gave up. Jeffery shot it out for the big reveal. It was two chocolate chip cookies. They eat the cookies.

13. And Now A PSA...

Jeffery and Cole did a PSA for "nervous accent affectation". This is a disorder where one lapses into using a foreign accent when one is nervous. Jeffery acted out playing a businessman speaking to a subordinate. He got nervous and spoke with an incredibly bad English accent.

14. Practical Joke

Cole told the viewers that they would get to see him play a joke on Jeffery. He called Jeffery to the phone, saying it was Jeffery's Aunt Laurie on the line. Jeffery took the call and heard that his Uncle Frank was dead. Jeffery wept and Cole laughed and laughed. When Jeffery hung up, Cole told him that he has been on the receiving end of a practical joke. Jeffery hopefully wondered if that meant his uncle had not died. Cole said that no, the uncle was indeed dead, but Cole had tricked Jeffery into believing that the call was about "good" news. Cole was pleased with the result.

15. Indecipherable Background Noise.


16. The Hex (part 3)

Jeffery got his mail from the box and coughed up another feather. The gypsy appeared behind him and laughed about the though of a beak soon appearing on Jeffery. Jeffery realized that the hex was turning him into a bird. He wondered what he had done to deserve it. A cut-away showed Jeffery confessing to killing Jon-Benet Ramsey. He told the gypsy he hadn't done anything wrong lately. Jeffery asked what the gypsy wanted to lift the curse. She said she wanted all of Cole's paper. Jeffery told Cole about it. Cole decided to give all the paper to the gypsy. With paper in hand, the gypsy removed the hex. Cole asked her never to show her face again and she disappeared. Cole told Jeffery he felt scared and lost having given away his stash of paper, and now he would be starting a 12 step program. Jeffery suggested that they have some of the Kelly Ripa fritters to make them feel better.

17. Ending

Jeffery gave the goodbye for the episode while Cole wondered if he could give himself a white wine enema. Cole also practiced bull fighting, looking up Christmas music on the internet, and stripping down to his underwear.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cole Escola Almost Has A Baby

Cole EscolaOn episode two, season one of Logo's Jeffery and Cole Casserole, Cole Escola believed that he would have a baby after a night of unprotected alien sex. Jeffery Self was unsupportive of Cole's plan to carry the thing to term, thinking only of his own needs to direct a show that would be adversely affected by star Cole's leaving to gestate.


Cole and Jeffery tried to speak a welcome in unison for the show, but Cole wasn't really into at the moment. With his creative mind always at work, he suggested instead that they pretend that Jeffery was a cat and Cole a dog and that the dog doesn't like the cat. Adding an animal character to his vast repertoire, Cole barked menacingly, while Jeffery just licked himself. Cole went on to practice his British accent, following it with an impression of a waif model. Jeffery continued to lick himself (disturbingly). Cole looked at Jeffery in a mixture of concern and fear (think Shelley Duvall in The Shining.) Taking rightful control, Cole jovially gave the welcome by himself after Jeffery had wandered partially out of frame.

2. Coming This Spring...

... to the Floyd County Civic Center (a reference to Jeffery's Georgia upbringing). It was a new sassy Southern female character, played rather unconvincingly by Jeffery. Cole introduced her as being in the same vein as Tyler Perry's Madea or Vicki Lawrence as Thelma Harper, but it was more like a part-time accountant from Iowa doing drag for a Southern Decadence parade. Surprisingly, Oregonian Cole did a better job with the Southern accent that Jeffery. It's not clear why Cole didn't play the female role since that was the role that required comedic skills.

3. Prank Calling Howie Mandel

Jeffery and Cole phoned Howie Mandel. Howie picked up and said "Hello" multiple times. Cole and Jeffery laughed silently but uproariously.

4. The Baby (Part 1)

As a piano played, Cole leaned back against a table and practiced his kicks. Jeffery stopped him, complaining that Cole was not on the beat. Cole became upset and Jeffery sent him home. As Cole prepared to leave, Jeffery told him that he realized how talented Cole is. However, Cole said he wasn't sure if he still had "it". Jeffery reminded him that that was the same thing that Cole had said when Cole opened a show as Mary Applebottom, America's favorite housewife with chronic fatigue syndrome. Cole reminded Jeffery that he had thrown up that night, stopping the show. Jeffery assured Cole that it wouldn't happen again as long as Cole stayed away from shellfish prior to showtime, but Cole was unconvinced.

5. Who Do I Look Like?

Cole asked who he looked like and Jeffery accurately replied Wynona Rider. Cole agreed that that assessment made sense. Jeffery asked the same question and Cole charitably told Jeffery he looked like Pat Sajak. Jeffery knew he didn't look that good, and struggled to find a proper response.

6. The Baby (Part 1, Continued)

Cole left his home and saw a spaceship. He was taken into the ship and there saw a alien Trauglen. He spoke to the alien in its native tongue, which surprised the Trauglen. The alien asked how Cole knew the language. Cole thought back to when his impoverished mother had left him with space aliens, because she could no longer care for him herself. (Another piece of the puzzle!) To the alien, Cole noted that he had not been anally probed yet, but encouraged the alien to decide whether he wanted to have sex with Cole or keep being coy. Never wanting to miss out on a good probing, Cole seductively unzipped his jacket. Sadly, the Trauglen was seen to be just Jeffery in costume, which spoiled the inspiration for some good Cole/Trauglen slash fiction. (Cole/Jeffery stuff is out of the question. Eww.)

7. Home Videos

Jeffery videotaped Cole, who was dressed only in a towel. Jeffery asked Cole to dance while Jeffery fantasized about being "Grampa". Inexplicably but perhaps as a result of the years of abuse, Cole fell to the ground and died. An angel took Cole away, while Jeffery unfeelingly had a conversation on the phone.

8. The Baby (Part 2)

Jeffery explained to people off-camera the definition of props. Jeffery said it came from "property" which means you shouldn't touch it if it doesn't belong to you. Cole entered and asked to speak with Jeffery. Cole told him that he was pregnant from the alien encounter on the previous night. Jeffery asked if he would keep the baby and Cole said he would. Cole said accordingly he must leave the show. Not wanting to leave Jeffery in the lurch, Cole recommended that a suitable replacement for him would be Debbie Reynolds.

At home, Cole got a call form Chrissie, who invited him to a show. Cole declined, saying he couldn't go because of his Lamaze class. Cole went on to say that Jeffery wouldn't talk to him because they were not speaking after Jeffery wouldn't support Cole having the baby. Staying true to his personality, Jeffery did come over to speak to Cole, but just long enough to selfishly take the phone away to use it as a prop in a scene of his own. Cole, with his sweet disposition and generosity as an actor and mother-to-be, politely let him take it.

Cole read a book about baby facts, while Jeffery continued on with his life, working on a opening number for his show. Then Cole read up on baby names. Again Jeffery was focused on work, but this time contemplating calling Debbie Reynolds to try to replace his knocked-up friend Cole. Cole moved on to reading some gay p0rn. Jeffery made the call to Debbie but she had other commitments.

9. Oops

Jeffery was seen drinking from a beer bottle. Cole entered and asked if Jeffery had seen the bottle that he had peed in. Jeffery realized that the bottle in question was the one he had been drinking from, but not surprisingly didn't spit out the salty warm liquid in his mouth.

10. Drugs

Cole explained that he had had a problem putting things up his nose. He had once put cut-up shoelaces there. It messed up his nose, but didn't get him high. When Cole spoke of his travails, you really felt for him, considering what he went through. Jeffery mumbled something about losing five years of his life to cocaine, but it wasn't very interesting and he said it in his monotone so it's hard to know what he was talking about.

11. Cole Enacts A Scene From A Horror Movie That Doesn't Exist

In a voice over, Cole realistically acted out a dramatic scene from a horror movie. Suspenseful and scary, Cole showed he is the master of all genres.

12. What Did You Do Last Night?

No matter how you feel about Jeffery, you really have to feel sorry for the pathetic view he presented of the life he lives and how it differs from what actually occurred. Speaking to Cole, Jeffery said that the night before he had went on a date to an Italian Restaurant. They had red wine and went to the ballet. Afterward, they went back to Jeffery's place and sat in bed and talked and laughed and stared into each others eyes. In reality, the camera showed that Jeffery had eaten a can of food heated in the microwave. He sat on the toilet drinking heavily. In bed, he just stayed up eating crackers and cheese in a can. Not unlike life in Georgia, but sad nonetheless.

In contrast, Cole told of how he had written a four act Greek play, getting inspiration from the mystery of the cowboy boot displayed within his living room. Amazing.

13. The Baby (Part 3)


14. Cole's House

Jeffery visited Cole. A very pregnant Cole came to the door and rubbed his belly, saying it was a girl. He didn't know for sure what the gender was, but if it were a boy he would just cut its penis off. Jeffery offered to help raise the baby, saying he realized that the important things in life were rock hard abs and family. Not having the former, Jeffery decided to focus on the latter. Cole questioned his readiness to take care of a baby, reminding him of his previous attempt when he confused a baby with a package of beef. Jeffery insisted he was sober now.

Cole went into labor and anally gave birth to an undigested sandwich. Seeing the result, Cole temporarily lost his mind and told Jeffery to get a plate before the bread went stale. Together they ate Cole's sandwich offspring. Looking on the bright side, Cole said that without the baby or dependent sandwich he could now do the show.

15. Opening Night Of The Show

The show that Jeffery had been working on, "Hey Mr., I'm Over Here", was a success and Cole's sandwich-producing, hysterical pregnancy was all but forgotten.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cole Escola At The Prom

Cole EscolaIn season one, episode one of Logo's Jeffery and Cole Casserole, Cole Escola looked for a date to the prom, and with Jeffery Self's help almost had his magical moment. In addition there were a few random skits showcasing Cole's acting and comedy forte.

1. Introduction

The show begins with Jeffery looking into his webcam and vapidly welcoming viewers, in a way like a simpleton child standing at the entrance of the trailer park welcoming home his neighbors. Jeffery introduced the name of the show incorrectly, but Cole, unperturbed and realizing that no matter what he may ever say on the series from then on he would necessarily be the smart one, confidently corrected him.

Hoping to draw some interest from first-time viewers, Cole excitedly announced that No Doubt would be on the show. Then more excitedly and somewhat intriguingly, announced/screamed that they would be set on FIRE! Jeffery didn't get it and not willing to show he didn't know what was going on, popped Cole and the viewers' balloon with his objection to the likely audience favorite of No Doubt immolation.

Cole tried to get the show back on track by gently leading Jeffery with the question of whether they should show a video first. Jeffery was unsure, blaming the amount of crystal meth he claimed to have done. Co-dependent Cole bravely continued through his wish list of guests he wanted to have in the epsiode, like Jennifer Aniston (doing her disappearing hula-hoop act), and Jim Varney, from the Ernest movies. The latter was more a laugh at Jeffery's expense, poking fun at Jeffery's Southern rural roots. Jeffery didn't get it, first focusing on the security of knowing his meth dealer's phone number was stored in his blackberry and like himself was always available, and second, fondly reminiscing about and relating to Varney's character in The Beverly Hillbillies.

Fed up with Jeffery's lack of enthusiasm, even after he suggested the innovative notion of having Ellen DeGeneres throw marbles at his head, Cole exasperatingly asked Jeffery to think of something interesting to hook the audience. Jeffery tried his best not to be terminally boring, but he droned on an one while Cole fell asleep. Fortunately, Cole salvaged the intro with his bright smile and made sure the rest of the episode had some funny moments.

2. Wake Up Wisconsin

The first skit was a parody of a local morning talk show. Jeffery did an impression of an impression of an impression of an impression of a male host (and yes it was that bad). Cole played the female host role, and with his visual gag of clothespins for earrings, was the centerpiece of the piece. Jeffery claimed stereotypically that a Hispanic man sexually assaulted him, but with that kind of setup there really wasn't an opportunity for Cole to do a humorous retort.

3. High School

Jeffery and Cole sat on the stairs at school and Jeffery asked Cole if he would be attending the prom. Cole reminded Jeffery that he have to be because of the lawsuit. Cole ate a cracker and noted that it tasted like an elbow. The assessment made Jeffery want to eat the elbow flavored cracker that had been in Cole's mouth. Jeffery grabbed and ate the cracker, and after agreeing it tasted like elbow, wanted another.

4. Jeffery's House

Cole joins Jeffery in a sleepover at Jeffery's house. They lied in bed and played the child's game of "marry, sleep with, or kill". Jeffery started with the list of Shelley Long, Shelley Duvall, or Shelley Winters. Cole complained that he hated when Jeffery played the Shelleys. Jeffery asked sinisterly if Cole would prefer the Kathys. Cole remembered when Jeffery had held him at knifepoint, asking who between Kathy Bates and Kathy Najimy Cole would consent to kill. Traumatized, Cole agreed to do the Shelleys.

The game was interrupted by Cole's prom date ringing the doorbell. Cole went to the rooftop to speak with the young man. The date sadly told Cole that due to a urinary tract infection and the resulting peeling of genital flesh, he would be unable to take Cole to the prom. Devastated the news of how it would affect his prom plans, Cole understandably told the date that if he should survive, Cole never wanted to speak with him again. Jeffery consoled Cole by promising to find Cole a replacement date.

5. Enter The Old Show Queen

Cole showed his comedic genius doing a Leslie Jordan like character. Jealous, Jeffery bitched that Cole's portrayal was a stereotype and his performance was the reason gay people could not adopt or get married. Cole kept riding his prancing pony and finished his bit, to the audience's delight. Jeffery had a Salieri-like epiphany of his relative talent and stared silently into the camera.

6. High School (part 2)

Filler, involving poison darts. Think interlude, but rarified by Cole's awe-inspiring emotional performance.

7. Jazz

A tribute to 20's jazz, performed on the rooftop. Perhaps entertaining to some, but much too Un Chien Andalou for my tastes.

8. Cole! Get Outta There

Cole fits himself into a number of tight spaces, including a carry-on bag. Travel size gays are the best.

9. Untitled

Jeffery called Cole and asked him to meet up at the designated spot (The Wall of Respected British People). Jeffery tried to act clandestine, but Cole wasn't having it. He was his usual buoyant self. After seeing Jeffery's sunglasses, Cole ran off and got himself a pair (and a cap and an apple and a gun) while Jeffery impatiently waited at the wall. Cole accidentally killed a woman with the gun and Jeffery freaked out and wanted to leave. Cole gave a riveting, emotionally charged reaction to the death of the stranger, insisting that regardless of the turn of events, they should stay and complete their plan.They didn't complete the plan.

10. Snack Break

Jeffery walked his gangly body into the room while wearing only underwear. The appetite in any viewer for a snack quickly passed.

11. Jeffery & Cole's Football Game Half-Tie Show

In their underwear, Cole sensuously danced with arousing artistry while Jeffery sadly managed barely to shake himself. Cheers and jeers, respectively.

12. Cole's house

Jeffery went to Cole's house to let him know that Jeffery had dropped his prom date so he could take Cole instead. Cole gleefully exclaimed that it would be "just us girls". Jeffery said he hated when gay men talk like that. Cole gave a prayer to Liza and Lorna for Jeffery's soul and got ready to go.

13. At The Prom

Jeffery and Cole were unable to enter the prom due to them not being on the guest list and not being students at the school. Cole's photo of Bonnie Hunt was found not to be an acceptable form of identification.

14. End

Jeffery wanted to do a Carol Burnett scrub woman ending, but Cole sweetly ignored him. Cole sang a few notes showing his vocal talent, and Jeffery warbled a few unpleasant sounds.

More to come.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Climax Of Ryan Conklin

Ryan ConklinAfter exhibiting many seasons of drunken and loutish behavior from buffoons and tramps on the reality show The Real World, Bunim-Murray Productions was handed an opportunity with the story of cast member Ryan Conklin to transcend their previously embarrassing endeavors and create a memorable dramatic work. This they successfully and artfully accomplished with the production of Ryan's season, The Real World Brookln. In particular they used the crucial and climatic episode eleven to showcase an exquisitely intense synopsis of the situations that would make its final minutes such a dramatic tragedy, as well as reflect the season-long, well placed inclusions of all the events and sights and sounds that had foreshadowed that moment.

Ryan ConklinIt's true that the actual events of the story were not created and did not occur by any direction of the production company. Instead, production demonstrated its talent by recognizing that when the taping was done that the season was not the "story of eight strangers"; it was the story of one cast member, Ryan Conklin, and its focus would necessarily be on him. Equally important, there was the crafting throughout the season of appropriate editing and of emotionally charged devices that created an increasing sense of melancholy and dreadful anticipation of something terrible yet to come. All of this built towards the powerful and gut-wrenching pathos that came from a single phone call, the one that generated a profound effect on those who watched it playing on their screen.

Ryan ConklinThe foundation for success in telling someone's story is making people care about the character. Again, production didn't create the person, but they smartly didn't hold back on letting Ryan show who he is. They allowed him through his personality and strength of character to cause viewers to develop strong admiration and deep affection for him.

The following are thoughts about episode eleven.

For the 2008 Presidential election, Ryan stated his support for Barack Obama. He indicated that a major reason for that support was that Obama was committed to withdrawing American troops from Iraq and that is something very important to Ryan. It is not known what Ryan's views are on other current issues or where he would otherwise fall on the political spectrum. We do know that he has said that he voted for George Bush previously and that his home county went for McCain 59%-40%. Actually I'm glad I don't know what Ryan's politics are. It's always best to leave politics and religion out of the conversation to avoid ill will.

Ryan ConklinRyan finally showed his castmates his scrapbooks of pictures from his time in Iraq. It was reminiscent of Pedro Zamora also showing his scrapbooks, except Pedro showed his early on, while Ryan waited until near the end. It's not clear why Ryan would want to have held off showing them. Once he had told the others that he was a veteran it would seem like a natural thing to bring them out. He had talked about his experiences before and the scrapbooks would have been a good visual aid. It must be noted that the scrapbooks were methodically put together with various picture sizes, placements, and colored borders, which show off Ryan's creative streak. He never ceases to surprise.

Ryan talked to Baya Voce about the showing of his film project at the New York Film Academy. He said his plans are to go to the University of Pittsburgh and there dual major in history and film studies. It's possible that his choice of Pittsburgh was in part because his girlfriend went there. Since he broke up with her, it doesn't seem so likely that Pitt is his choice. Ryan has said that he expects to move to New York City.

Ryan ConklinFor the screening of his short film, Baya, Chet Cannon, Scott Herman, JD Ordonez, and Sarah Rice came to see it and support Ryan. Ryan was confident that his film was good but he was a little nervous about how others would assess it. You could see the nervousness in his body language.

He warned his guests that the film, "No More Tomorrow", would be dark in nature. He said he wanted to show something very different from his usual happy go lucky self. Ryan was certainly honest in his warning. The work was very disturbing with an ending showing its single character committing suicide with a gun. After seeing the film, JD wondered if Ryan was showing again some deep seated feelings that he felt he could only express by way of making this movie. It was an excellent portrayal of a troubled person and Ryan's acting in it, especially the facial expressions during the gun scene, were spot on. Treating it as a work of fiction though, the real tragedy then became that Ryan's shower scene only showed him from the head up.

Ryan ConklinRyan was invited to an event sponsored by the Iraq Veterans Against The War. He invited only Scott to go with him. It's interesting that whenever Ryan talks with Scott it always sounds like someone talking with a good acquaintance, somewhat reserved. I think Ryan sees Scott as the adult in the group and he wants to try to act grown-up when he talks with Scott.

In a flashback from when Ryan's brother Aaron came to visit, Ryan tells his brother that he is going to talk to someone about PTSD assessment. Aaron was glad to hear it as people back home had been talking about the need for Ryan to check it out. The good thing is that Ryan may be open to stop self-diagnosing and self-treating what can be a serious medical condition, if here were to have it.

Ryan ConklinOn election night, Ryan went to watch the returns at the gay & lesbian center while wearing patriotic Uncle Sam drag. The pant legs were too long as are most of his pants. I think he needs someone to measure and tell him his correct inseam. After the election was called for Obama he went outside and did some celebratory high stepping despite his bad knees (thanks to the temporary therapeutic effects of alcohol, i.e. "rheumatiz" medicine.) You knew he was going to pay for it the next day, and sure enough he was limping.

At the IAVA gala Ryan Conklin got a big kiss from Katelynn Cusanelli, which was sweet. Ryan was dressed up in a nice dark suit and tie. It was much better than the brown one he wore previously with the fake mustache. He cleans up well. Very handsome.

Ryan Conklin

Then came the end and the terrible outcome that the season had been building up to. And with this sentence I can finally stop re-watching this episode and crying with every replay.