A buncha cops who aren’t doing their jobs … and they’re not in Detroit? Yeah, this is “Reno 911!,” and the gaggle of no-go officers – including the hot-pants-wearing gay one, Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) – are working hard … -ly to keep the city out of harm’s way. Even in the sixth season, they fight crime as seriously as kids who play Cops and Robbers do, and they’re as gullible as ever – getting duped on several occasions by the long-standing roller-skating queen, Terry (star moment: when Terry, played by Nick Swardson, fools them into believing he’s watching a ball game instead of offering blowjobs under the bleachers).
Over 15 episodes, the Reno Sheriff’s Department whips ass like wimps, winding up doing more bad than good – which is the point of “Reno 911!,” an almost-always funny “Cops” spoof that mingles improv with some scripted comedy. The DVD gets an eight-commentary treatment – all pretty solid, with some very funny stories – and a few deleted scenes, but it’s the show itself that makes the sixth outing, which debuted on Comedy Central in April, worth owning. It pulls off stupid-funny quite swimmingly, shooting .35-caliber bullets of goof-off hilarity into our funny bones.
And if you’re thinking, No, not possible without the squad’s now-gone sexpot, Clemmy: Well, yeah, we miss the horny vixen as much as Lt. Dangle is missing pants. But the show works its other assets instead of its assets. That means several newcomers, placeholders for those that perished last season, mesh pretty well, especially the city’s nutcase, Carmen (Sarah Tiana). A bevy of guest cameos, including ones from the always-welcome Jane Lynch (what is this woman not in?) and Carmen Electra, are sprinkled among the episodes – the best being one from Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” “Six Feet Under”) as a deep-throating murderer who toys with Dangle and Deputy Raineesha Williams (the always funny Niecy Nash).
Of the two new regulars, Francis “Frank” Rizzo (Joe Lo Truglio) is the most welcome addition. His memorable moment comes when he hangs out – quite literally – with the department’s dweeby dimwit Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney), the show’s comedic constant. Even when the show slips into unfunny silliness, Wiegel’s the show’s moronic rock: You can always count on the dingbat to do something stupid, like stop mid-chase to pick up a penny.
The only time this season truly shoots blanks is when it tries to be more epic than it is, opting for a two-parter mystery that abandons the sketch-like premise of the show. “Reno 911!” with a story line challenging the ADD-ed? Been there, done that with that series-spawned 2007 film that was just as crappy of an idea. But when “Reno” aims high, firing away with un-PC jokes and silly antics and stupid police moves, it makes living in Detroit, the most dangerous city in the U.S., look safer than it should. B
‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’
Nothing could be more of a faux pax than a movie about a chronic spender in the midst of a job-depleting recession. But that’s what this not-so-funny comedy about Rebecca Bloomwood, an upbeat NYC gal with a shopping problem, is: an ill-timed farce about spending everything you’ve got when many people – like, in the real world – are pinching pennies. It’s also a pretty bad movie, one that sews together “Legally Blonde” and “Sex and the City,” and falls apart at the seams with cliche after cliche, slapstick goofs and a stupid love story.
The whole ongoing who-needs-a-man-when-you’ve-got-couture joke brings a few giggles, but then a man enters the picture – albeit a hot one, played by Hugh Dancy – and the movie based on Sophie Kinsella’s book feels forced and contrived and totally unfunny. Isla Fisher as Rebecca is commanding, charming and cute enough to move this mess along, but would you buy the buttons without the shirt?