Push, Nevada
The Black Box

Episode Report Card
Djb: C | Grade It Now!
Where Politos fear to dwell

Props to Potes.

Again? It's on AGAIN? Tuesday, it's on! Thursday, it's on! Go to sleep, it's on! Wake up, it's on! I feel like I'm watching the daily syndicated version of Push, Nevada hosted by Caroline Rhea and Wayne Brady and appearing daily on your local PAX affiliate. I can't wait until real television comes back next week and drives this show right on down into the earth's flaming core. I never thought I'd be so soothed by the upcoming presence of David Caruso. No. I don't mean that…I'm just kind of in a bad place right now, is all. It's the math. Sorry.

Affleck and the Afflecktones just can't leave recapping to the recapping professionals this week, as we follow an artsy set of previouslys into an episode whose first thirty seconds artfully recaps the previously seen previouslys, as a hairline fracture forms right down the middle of the time-space continuum and we can finally, legitimately blame Ben Affleck for breaking the universe. Jerk. It begins with a gauzy shot of a serpent tattoo fading against a black background. The shot is accompanied by the voice-over, "I witnessed a murder," spoken in a low, monotone, computer-altered vocal cadence which indicates that SAM Intercept software is still as viable as ever, and that the product-placement money Commodore 64 Inc. has been waiting on may finally be forthcoming. Next week: Jim Prufrock gets a side job as a paperboy and rides around Push on a bicycle, trying to fend off an ever-increasing tide of surly customers and ambiguously-rolling tires.

The tattoo is juxtaposed against an extreme close-up of one fluttering eye, as an ever-angrier SAM Intercept (and how would you feel if your legacy were "Poor Man's Speak & Spell"?) repeats the words "murder" and "tattoo," realizes it's about twenty years too late for a "Global Thermonuclear War" joke, and crawls back into '80s computer obscurity to live out its days in a dusty box with several thousand unsold copies of "Tapper" and a never-released Windows version of the "Print Shop Companion." Dude, when did I become such a computer enthusiast? Shows about math turn me into a huge dork. I give this episode a big ol' C++ grade. Anyway, most of the last episode is played out in the speed at which I could have watched it last week, and we replay the murder of Silas Bodnick and the burning of his manse, Jim's introduction to the femme fatale Taudrey, a voice-over courtesy of the Shylock Business Institute's Cliché Jewish Schnook Division in the form of Ira Glassman, and a telling shot of the aforementioned tattoo belonging to the masked man who did such Kabuki arson to the house of Silas Bodnick.

Finally, a shot of Jim in what appears to be a compromising, lap-dance-receiving pose finds Taudrey leaning down close to him and, giving as much possible credence to the stage direction "just try and be a good actress just this once, okay?", whispers, "We don't sleep past seven here." As she says this, the one fluttering eye of Jim Prufrock becomes the whole sleepy head of Jim Prufrock, head on the pillow in his bed at Martha's Boarding House. Thankfully, the dancing midget in the room with the red curtains remains appropriately off-stage, as everybody knows he doesn't appear for the first time until the end of Episode Three. Martha herself bangs on the Love Boat-portal-sized window to Jim's room, brazenly ignores the "Get out my biz-natch you crazy, crazy bitch, and oh yes please do not disturb" placard hanging from the doorknob, and calls repeatedly, "We don't sleep past seven here!" Jim calls back a distracted "I'm up, Ma," and leaps out of bed like his Keepin' The Faith haircut has for some horrific reason burst into flames or, worse, ceased to keep the faith. He leaps across the room to indicate his high levels of awake-itude, his matching blue flannel pajamas so spiffy and lightly starched the only reason to wear them is if you're convinced you're going to get woken up by the giant Nutcracker you just got for Christmas to dance around your living room in front of a paying audience, and you want to make a good impression on the sugar plum fairies. Otherwise, it's called sweatpants and a t-shirt from a 1990 Erasure tour. He promises Martha that he's awake, and she tut-tuts, "I don't care for shiftless lay-abouts." He apologizes, and she advises, "Mr. Prufrock? Don't let it happen again." At wacky B&Bs in Push, Nevada, checkout time is always Quirky O'Clock.

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Push, Nevada




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