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Thursday Notebook

By Rich Heldenfels Published: February 7, 2013

Several things in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com. Much as I like Melissa McCarthy of "Bridesmaids" and "Mike & Molly,": I wasn't crazy about "Identity Thief," as you can see here*.I also think there's something longer to be written about a point I made at the end, regarding whether Hollywood will let McCarthy or someone like her be sexual but not erotic -- that she can have the appetite but is denied the heat. The more I think about "Identity Thief," the more that is evident; the man most attracted to McCarthy's character is a plus-sized guy (Eric Stonestreet from "Modern Family") while conventional hunks are unmoved by her; and even when McCarthy gets busy in the movie, it is played for laughs. So is the question of whether Jason Bateman might be attracted to her, although McCarthy plays up the vulnerability and longing in that scene.

Still, I am reminded of Yvette Nicole Brown's' recent comment: "I’m trying to figure out why beauty is negated by size" -- from an interview last week in which she specifically brought up McCarthy as a beautiful woman. And that brings me to "Community," in which Brown co-stars, and which returns tonight. I am happy to have it back, and generally happy with tonight's episode -- especially the explicit dig it takes at NBC's declarations about wanting more broadly appealing comedies. There's also a cameo that points to another off-camera issue about the show, so the departure of Dan Harmon hasn't diminished the show's hand-biting at all. And the two episodes I have seen are more than funny enough to justify another season of the series.

Today's mailbag is here and includes a discussion of actors getting "and" before their names in credits, the end of "Leverage, "Downton Abbey" getting a fourth season and more.

USA Network has announced plans to televise "Schindler's List" on Feb. 23 with a special introduction by director Steven Spielberg. The presentation will be commercial-free.

*I received a call this morning telling me that I had broken the local embargo on reviews for "Identity Thief." I disagree with the embargoes, since in the Internet age there are plenty of publications (including other newspapers) that do not honor them and their reviews are available online; still, I do try to honor them. The "Identity Thief" publication was my mistake; I was juggling three screening invitations, two without an embargo note, and one with -- and missed the notice on "Identity Thief." So, I suppose I should ask you not to read my review until tomorrow. Instead, you can read one or more of at least 19 other reviews**, which are linked here.

**Thursday at 2:35 p.m., the review tota  on Rotten Tomatoesl is now 27 (counting mine). And I had a call not long ago from someone saying he was with Universal, that they were compiling the reviews online and he wanted to know how many stars I gave it. (2.5, by the way.)

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