TV

The Rundown: An Incomplete List Of TV Shows That Could Be Improved By Giving Jean Smart A Chainsaw

The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE — Listen to me

There’s good news and bad news here. Let’s start with the bad: The second season of Hacks ended last week. This isn’t bad because the quality was bad. I enjoyed the second season a lot. I like that they took the Magic Mike approach of “screw it, the sequel is a road trip movie now.” Road trip movies are awesome. Go watch Midnight Run this weekend. Yes, I know that, technically, Hacks is a television show and not a movie. Please do not get hung up on this. I’m building up a head of steam now. Let’s just agree to let this one slide. There’s too much to get to.

Like, for example, the good news: In the second to last episode of the new season, Deborah, played by Jean Smart, takes a chainsaw to the stupid treehouse her neighbors built that blocks her view of the ocean. While obstructed views from multimillion-dollar beach homes would normally be filed under Rich People Stuff I Do Not Care About, this one piqued my interest, mostly because, again, JEAN SMART WITH A CHAINSAW.

JEAN
HBO MAX

This was terrific in the moment and it is terrific in GIF form and those of you who follow me on Twitter can expect to see this sucker hundreds of times over the next few years. I have it in the same folder as the GIF of Judith Light snorting cocaine at a rodeo from the short-lived revival of Dallas on TNT. I have no higher praise to offer.

My only complaint in all of this is that now I want Jean Smart to show up with a chainsaw in more shows. All of them, if possible. Even the news. Especially the news. But that’s probably not realistic. She’s a busy woman. And it would get expensive to run a chainsaw all day, what with gas prices and such. No, we need to prioritize. Let’s do this. Let’s do an incomplete list of shows that could be improved by adding Jean Smart with a chainsaw. Feel free to add your own. But I’ll start:

Succession — Jean Smart takes a chainsaw to Gerri’s office after finding herself in a love triangle with Gerri and Roman

Barry — Jean Smart plays a chainsaw-wielding assassin named, like, The Night Moth, and terrorizes NoHo Hank a little bit

Ted Lasso — Jean Smart plays a soccer hooligan who starts cutting down trees all over England when AFC Richmond goes on a losing streak

The Mandalorian — JEAN SMART WITH A CHAINSAW IN SPACE

Stranger Things — The series ends with Jean Smart decapitating various monsters in the episode before the finale and then the whole last episode is everyone going to Aruba to celebrate

Severance — More like sever-ance, in my opinion

Atlanta —Jean Smart and Darius in the woods for a whole episode, just chopping stuff down and starting fires, with no dialogue

Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives — Guy Fieri trying to talk to the 82-year-old owner of a locally famous barbecue restaurant in Nebraska while Jean Smart stands behind them and mangles a slow-cooked pork butt with a chainsaw

Abbott Elementary — Mr. Hill gives Jean Smart’s grandchild a C- minus on her big science project and a few days later we hear a RNGNGNGNG from the parking lot and the sound of chainsaw teeth ripping through a car bumper

The Righteous Gemstones — Jean Smart as a rival televangelist who incorporates chainsaws into her sermons in as yet undetermined manner that I trust Danny McBride to figure out later

Bridgerton — A portal from the future opens up and a low mysterious humming is heard from inside it, getting louder, as is a kind of cackling and maniacal laughter…

I could go on. I suspect I will, in my own head, when I’m supposed to be doing other things, maybe for the rest of my life. There are worse things to let your brain crank away on for a few minutes or months, I suppose. Let her chase the contestants on The Bachelorette around the house a little bit. There’s another one. I was not kidding about doing this for the foreseeable future.

ITEM NUMBER TWO — I must know everything about this

So here’s what happened, and I need you to stay with me. Alan Cumming starred with a chimp named Tonka in a movie in the 1990s. That’s the trailer for it up there. It’s called Buddy and it is yet another confirmation that the 1990s were objectively nutso. Imagine seeing that movie in the theater. Imagine telling people you were going to see that movie in the theater. People did that. More than a few of them. Take a few minutes this weekend and ponder that.

The sad news here is that the chimp passed away recently, after some ugly back and forth with animal rights activists about the conditions its owner provided. Rolling Stone has the story.

The chimp had recently suffered a stroke and died from heart failure, his owner Tonia Haddix claimed, submitting a declaration and court documents to a Missouri judge that detailed how the animal’s body was burned in a fire pit.

Hmm.

That’s weird.

How the chimp died and then was cremated in a homemade fire pit.

It’s kind of… suspicious, right?

Like, at least a little?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just cynical. I’m sure everyone here is telling the truth and there’s no reason to look into this any furth-…

But this week, Tonka was found alive, secretly hidden away for the past year in Haddix’s Sunrise Beach, Missouri home where he reportedly had a 60-inch TV, an interactive iPad-like touch device, and had celebrated St. Patrick’s Day among a few of Haddix’s close friends, according to Haddix.

Let me be clear about what is going on here, just so there’s no confusion: The owner of a famous Hollywood chimp named Tonka faked his death and amateur cremation to get animal rights activists off her back and then set him up in what appears to be some sort of man cave. This is already a better movie than Buddy. This chimp was like a mafia boss or war criminal on the run. He was a little plastic surgery from being Castor Troy in Face/Off. Which… wait. Hold on. Why hasn’t there been a version of Face/Off with chimpanzees? How did we make it out of the 1990s without someone doing that? Everyone should be ashamed of themselves. Or proud. One or the other.

Guess what: It gets better. I mean, kind of. It’s hard to top the things we’ve seen in the last two paragraphs. But there is this quote from the chimp’s owner, which I need every single person alive to see as soon as possible.

And despite potentially being found in contempt of court for lying under oath, Haddix laughs. “Honey, I’ve been held in contempt of court three times,” she says. “I have paid $50 a day [in fines]. I’ve been through the mill. I’m sure that there’ll be some jail time in this. Do I care? No, I don’t care. It’s because it’s about that kid. As long as that kid is safe, I don’t care about nothing out there.”

Please.

Please make this movie.

I am begging you.

I have been very good.

Sort of.

I have been good enough.

Please.

ITEM NUMBER THREE — More like What We Do in the Magic Kingdom, in my opinion

We can be quick about this one through the use of bullets points:

  • This is an Instagram post from this week by What We Do in the Shadows star Harvey Guillen
  • It is a series of pictures featuring him and fellow WWDITS star Kayvan Novak at Disney World
  • These pictures are incredible
  • I need you to click through and look at every single one of them
  • EVERY SINGLE ONE

It would honestly be okay with me if there was an episode or entire season of the show that takes place at Disney. I suppose it would have to be at night. You know… because they are vampires. But still. Night Disney. Laszlo doing Splash Mountain under the stars. Nandor getting scared by a statue of Goofy and dropping one of these.

nandor
FX

These are good ideas. Not as good as the pictures in that Instagram post. But still pretty good.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR — Something incredible happened on Holey Moley

HOLEY
ABC

Holey Moley was already perfect dumb summer fun. People got walloped by obstacles and crashed harmlessly into water or foam in the name of miniature golf. The hosts replayed the crashes in slow-motion with telestrators. The show added the Muppets this season. The only way it could be better is if they fling Gonzo down the zip wire on Pole-cano. Holey Moley is America’s finest television program.

Which brings me to this: Something amazing happened on the show this week. No, not the thing in the GIF up there, which also happened this week and we should not take for granted. I’m talking about this.

HOLEY
ABC

A couple things are important here, in addition to the fact that this guy — an actual stuntman in real life — made a freaking hole in one. The first is that he flung himself through the flaming windmills with ease even though he didn’t have to. The second is that he also became the first contestant to successfully complete the trapeze obstacle. Both of these were athletic feats on par with the Olympic decathlon. To me.

And here’s the thing about that: I could show you either or both of those things. I could make the GIFs right now. It would take me five minutes. But I feel like that’s not what the show is about. I feel like I should, instead, show you a GIF from later in the episode where a sweet woman in a Dracula cape whacked her face off of a giant rocking woodpecker. So I am going to do that.

HOLEY
ABC

I feel good about this one.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE — The time has come for Boban’s star turn

boban
LIONSGATE

Boban Marjanovic is a 7’3 NBA center who briefly played for my beloved Philadelphia 76ers and who I love very much. He appeared in John Wick 3 as an assassin named Ernest who John Wick murdered with a book in a library. He’s in the new Adam Sandler movie Hustle, too. The one that just dropped on Netflix. This pleases me. I love to see Boban thriving. He’s the best.

Another thing that pleases me: This entire interview with Boban from Variety this week. Look at this guy.

So let’s talk about you in movies. This is obviously your second big role since “John Wick 3.” How did you get started with working in films? How was working on this movie different from “John Wick 3?”

Marjanović: Well, they both are different, right? One I play basketball, one I’m fighting! But it was cool to be in front of the camera. This has become my love, you know. Of course, basketball is first, but acting and these type of things is my life and I love to do that. You know, I’m a happy person. And I try to stay happy, I try to share the positive energy. Even if I play a bad guy! Of course, people know who I am, and I do the best I can [in these movies]. I love the feeling when you go there on set. And this is not easy by the way! I’ve repeated that so many times, but it’s so nice when you watch that. You eat your popcorn and you enjoy every moment of this movie.

What are your favorite kinds of movies?

Marjanović: “Hustle” and “John Wick 3!”

I need three things and I need all of them immediately:

  • A John Wick prequel spinoff about Ernest
  • A talk show hosted by Boban
  • A heist movie starring Boban and Allen Iverson as mismatched jewel thieves

Think about it.

READER MAIL

If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at brian.grubb@uproxx.com (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From Rob:

The other day I was doing laundry and found myself humming a song. It was a mindless thing I didn’t really pay attention to. About 30 seconds later, I stopped and thought about it and realized the song I had been humming as I was folding my family’s clothes was “Jizz in My Pants” by The Lonely Island. I don’t know why but it seems like you’re the person I should tell this to.

This is a good and timely email. Not that it needed to be timely. It would have been good anyway. But it works out even better this week because I referenced the song “Pleep Ploop” from Kroll Show in our work chat on like Tuesday and it has been in my head ever since. I have errands to run on Saturday. There’s a very good chance someone will see me bopping around CVS singing this to myself.

Excited about this. Can’t wait for strangers to see the guy in the wheelchair going “Pleep ploop pleepy ploop” all through the cold and sinus aisle. Fun for everyone.

AND NOW, THE NEWS

To Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania State Police say someone broke into a Lewis Township home on May 20 and stole a bag of pierogies.

First of all, of course, Go Birds. But also, I love that this is written up in the actual news. Pennsylvania is a magical place. And a weird place. I do not think Pennsylvania got its due as a top-flight weirdo state until very recently. It’s not Florida. I get that. But it’s closer than a lot of people think.

The press release stated troopers are looking for a suspect who stole a five-pound bag of Mrs. T’s Pierogies from the victim’s residence and caused $10 worth of damage to the victim’s drywall.

Death penalty.

Dungeon.

Stockades.

Maybe not in that order.

According to state troopers, the burglary took place on the morning of May 20, right off of Route 15 in Lycoming County.

This investigation is ongoing.

This last sentence is maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever read. “The investigation is ongoing.” They’re probably looking for a well-fed dude in a Kelly green Eagles jacket from 1993 that is covered in drywall dust. The complicating factor is that there are five of these guys in line at any Wawa at any given moment. It’s like the dirtbag Pennsylvania version of the bowler hat scene in The Thomas Crown Affair.

And it’s somehow not even the weirdest story from Pennsylvania this week. That honor goes to… well, this.

Once again, this time with feeling and a mouth full of melted chocolate… Go Birds.

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