"Maya & Marty" Is The Summer's Biggest Flop

"Maya & Marty" Is The Summer's Biggest Flop

NBC's latest clunker is all flash, no substance

I have, for many years, explained to anyone who would listen that there is no reason why the variety show is no longer a staple of television. After they inevitably change the subject out of disinterest, I think to myself about how, aside from Saturday Night Live, we have no programming comparable to the hit-or-miss shows of the 1960s and '70s, shows which offered a myriad of entertainers crammed into a single hour. The fact that so many genres of television, most significantly talk shows (which have become little more than a string of viral-worthy clips), have learned to adapt to the capricious tastes of modern viewers makes the inability of variety shows, seemingly tailor-made for the viral age, to gain footing all the more baffling.

NBC, hot on the heels of a failed, Neil Patrick Harris-led attempt to reboot the genre, has created Maya & Marty, a variety show starring Maya Rudolph and Martin Short. The show is doubly burdened by both the palpable lack of chemistry between the stars and by the painfully evident fact that the show is fighting an uphill battle to raise an entire genre from the dead. One skit from the second episode makes it clear that the writers would rather create a schmaltzy tribute to a bygone era than offer a fresh take on an obsolete style. In it, guest star Tina Fey joins Maya Rudolph in a medley of songs such as "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Da Doo Ron Ron," including Rudolph employing her always-funny Charo impression for "Love Will Keep Us Together." They discuss the impact of Carol Burnett, Donny & Marie, Sonny & Cher, and The Mandrell Sisters, and, because Carol Burnett is quite honestly the only person mentioned whose show can and should be taken seriously, the tribute is less emotional than it is hokey. It does little in the way of tugging heartstrings or eliciting laughter and only serves to remind the viewer of just how long it's been since a variety show drew in a sizable enough audience to warrant mention. Whether this trip down memory lane is meant to be self-congratulatory or a genuine ode to their predecessors, it falls flat and renders the episode a slipshod pastiche as opposed to something fresh and novel.

All that's missing is the obligatory mediocre guest star(s)

Worse still, is the fact that the tribute (if it can be called that) is sandwiched between two period pieces, one set in the 1920s, and another set in the 1980s. The "roarin' '20s" was a well-trodden trope of television by even the standards of the 1970s, and underscores the fact that the only ones putting forth effort are the show's stars; Maya Rudolph, with her irreverent, spot-on impressions, and Martin Short, with his frenetic, puppyish-despite-his-age style. The greatest variety shows of all time relied, aside from an occasional skit or musical number, on contemporary culture for their humor. Maya & Marty is covering familiar territory which was done better four decades ago.

The first foray into the relatively recent is a skit in which Martin, Maya, Tina, and Steve Martin play two over-the-hill, yuppie-esque couples meeting in a restaurant. The skit, which attempts to lampoon the self-obsessed elite, is a toothless rehash of jokes made a decade ago by Saturday Night Live's recurring "Two A**holes" and Rudolph's far superior Nooni Schooner character. The biggest laugh comes from Kenan Thompson, playing a waiter, approaching and mentioning that he "took a single glance at [their] table and [has been] avoiding" them, if only because the viewer can relate to his instinctive dislike of the characters. With so much combined talent, the blame can only be placed squarely on a writing team that would rather earn a paycheck than produce noteworthy comedy.

Because of both my adoration of the stars and my desire to see a flourishing variety show on television, I will not pass definitive judgement on Maya & Marty. If they can stop relying on the crutch of acknowledging the difficulty of reigniting public interest in an art form as irrelevant as vaudeville and separate themselves from the pervasive influence of Saturday Night Live, they will have no difficulty attracting an audience. In the meantime, I'll be watching the real thing, praying that something of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour's controversy and caliber returns to television, and soon.

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.


17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

Warcraft 3 – Original vs. Reforged Trailer Graphics Comparison Youtube

However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:

Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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