Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Top Cult TV Shows To Rewatch

Everyone has a list of the best shows to watch, but they are of no help if you have already seen them and they were only enjoyable the first time around. That only leaves the shows that are fun to watch again. Here is a list of some TV series that have not lost their entertainment value the second time around.

Louie

Louie is one of those rare shows that pushes vulgarity so far and so well that it becomes an art form. The show is split into random snippets of Louie’s hilariously depressing life and his stand up routine, but Seinfeld it is not. The comedy is so textured in its obscenity that multiple viewings never seem to lessen the experience. Whether it be an implied rape by his overly comforting dentist or his fantasies that seem, for Louie, to involve a bag of dicks, this is definitely a piece of work worth seeing again.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The series follows a gang of reprehensible people who run a Philadelphia bar and should not be allowed in public. There increasingly sociopathic antics have been providing much needed entertainment for many seasons now. Among the things that make the show is Charlie, the dyslexic, possibly illiterate rat bashing hobbyist with a glue huffing addiction.  The latest and most extreme addition to the show would  be Fat Mac, the normally fit Mac put on some pounds in the latest season and became the main focus of ridicule and laughs. Antics like these make it fun to watch every time.    

Futurama

The continuing adventures of the planet express crew returns for more intergalactic trouble. If you can’t abide the few episodes aired on the comedy network, there are still plenty of seasons worth another watch. The content was better back on fox. Playing on the vast material given by the world of sci-fi, Futurama spoofs and alludes its way to hilarity, and those well timed Bender-isms never get old. 

Stargate Universe

The grittier cousin of Stargate SG1, SGU had a short 2 season run before being cancelled, leaving television void of real sci-fi ever since. The series played with much heavier sci-fi situations than its  Stargate predecessors. The marooned misfit crew of the ancient ship Destiny live in a more surreal situation than usually seen, such as body swapping across universes with little thought for what they do in others bodies.  It is the retro sci-fi with a Blade runner sound track and 2001 Space Odyssey visuals. The ambiance and surprisingly well developed characters, especially Greer, make this a very enduring watch.

Archer

Foul mouthed, mommy issues, and a licence to kill define Archer Sterling, the top not so secret spy of the Isis organization. A terrorist threat is merely an excuse to live out a Burt Reynolds movie fantasy but extremely raunchy and offensive. Archer has made seminal episodes, including adventures with Duchess Von Finger Bang, a Russian made bionic man arch nemesis and crazed astronauts bent on populating mars.  It always pleases that when the terrorists attack Archer will be banging chicks and shooting dicks.

The X-Files

Before the Winchester brothers, there was Mulder and Scully, the original paranormal investigators. This 90s series stands the test of time for its alien/paranormal investigations. Before David Dechovney became the lecherous Hank Moodie in Californication, he was the conspiracy theorist, porn addicted FBI agent we all know and love. Enjoy the alien abductions, human organ eaters, and inbred hillbilly murderers all over again.    

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


The cult series has remained a favorite among Joss Whedon fans over the years. Firefly showed some promise. Dollhouse, while interesting, was far too disordered and character free to watch again. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was always well liked for its witty dialogue and character. What makes it enjoyable to watch again are the jokes you are not likely to remember or did not get the first time around because they were so fast and subtle.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer 2012 TV Shows That You Can’t Miss


The summer television selection has gotten progressively better over the past decade. It used to be that the summer would be filled with reruns but now it a hot bed for British model dramas and comedies; meaning they only have up to thirteen episodes. Arguably these summer shows are better than some of their regular season counterparts on network TV. We are going to go over a few of the best shows that are going to be on this summer and give a few reasons for why they are worth missing a few hours of outdoor related summertime fun.

Workaholics - Comedy Central
This comedy centers on the antics of three male twentysomethings who all live and work together and you better believe it is not even a bit loose butthole.  You might think that you have seen a series very similar to this one before and you have. However, the level of downright hedonistic behavior from these characters is extremely charming.  In one episode the focusing more on the guys life outside the office, one of the main characters Anders decides he will have his twenty-fifth birthday at a Chucky-Cheese style of kids restaurant, which for some reason serves beer. There is nothing like getting shitfaced around small children while playing carnival games. By the end of this episode Ander’s learns a valuable lesson about growing older with dignity but that was not before his roommates purchase him some hookers for an adventure in the indoor tunnel fortress. The humor of this show comes from the strange relationship between the three coworkers\roommates. They seem to have overstepped some boundaries a few years earlier in their relationship and never looked back.  They even have their own way of speaking which most memorably includes the term loose butthole as an insult and tight butthole as a complement; because everyone knows that a tight butthole is better than a loose one, there in lies the compliment.       

Breaking Bad - AMC
Many people have heard of Breaking Bad fewer have actually watched it though. Originally the show was about a high school teacher who teams up with one of his former students to cook meth in order to make enough money to leave for his family after he has succumb  to the terminal cancer he abruptly found out he had; a noble enough rationale to produce a horribly addictive drug. The initial antics of Walter White and his former student Jesse Pinkman trying to get their drug operation were interesting enough but the show only really began to pick up once the Mexican Cartel came into the picture along with a man whose ability to cook the best chicken in the mid-west matched only by his eye for talented chemists.  The show’s subtle character and explosive season finales  are some of the best on television right now.  You will love and then loath Walter and grow in your distain for Walter’s wife Skyler only to end up feeling sorry for poor choices. The issue however is that if you haven’t seen the earlier seasons you may feel a bit lost. A lot has happened in the previous seasons and the show writers have a long memory and like to bring old characters and unfinished storylines back up down the road. It might be a good idea to watch some the previous seasons on Netflix or pick them up on DVD, it would be worth it.

True Blood - HBO
One of the best comedies that HBO has ever made, True Blood is the answer to the Twilight problem.  There may be a lot of over the top love stories floating around in the story of this show but at least it is funny. A lot of ink has been spilt over this series; some call it too sexy and graphic and they are right. True Blood is filled with sex and violence and it is not for children to watch, it is a grown up show that borders on soft-core porn at times. But we grownups can take it and if you ever asked the question, whatever happened to the kid from the classic children’s movie Fly Away Home, well she is grown up and regularly naked and star of True Blood. Now you know.  At its heart True Blood is a comedy, and it attains its laughs through over the top moments of passion and violence.  It also makes for a great conversation centerpiece, where you will ask questions, like when Sam shape shifts into another animal do you think he has had sex with that particular species female counterpart? It’s a fair question.  Last season featured a witch who could control the dead, which was bad news for vampires since they are dead and all. There was even an instance when the main vampires of the show were made to march towards a vampire killing magical barrier in the style of zombie extras from Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video.  You can say a lot of things about True Blood but it is consistently entertaining.   

Burn Notice - USA
Burn Notice is a spy show without all the seriousness taken out of it.  The show has been around for over five seasons and its success hinges on the charisma of the cast.  Michael Weston is the main character of the show and his back story revolves around him being burned by his agency and then having to live off of his private eye skills helped by his misfit friends and his mommy. The reason this show is so watchable has a lot to do with the fun ways the stories play out and the different methods Michael and his team use to thwart his enemies. The spy team also includes Sam Axe played by a guy you might know named Bruce Campbell, made famous by the Evil Dead movies. He plays a lovable drunkard ex-navy seal that helps Michael get into and out of sticky situations. The show is also set in Florida and has a lot of nice landscape shots, so you can at least pretend like you went outside this summer.    

Wilfred - FX
Wilfred is a show about a man and his dog. How could anything sound more wholesome as a premise for a TV show? Well, the relationship between man and beast becomes a little blurred when your dog can talk to you and not just that encourages you to harness your inner animal. Oh and this dog appears to his best friend and only to his best friend as a man dressed in a dog suite.  Elijah Wood, of Lord of The Rings fame, stars alongside a man in a dog suite in this show set in California. The interesting thing about this show is that it did not start as an American show. No, it and the actor who plays Wilfred the dog hail from Australia where the show had a successful run. This version of the show is a bit different than its original, instead of Wilfred having a strange relationship with his master’s boyfriend, in the American version the dog strikes up a relationship with his suicidal neighbor, teaching  him how to enjoy life and not be so depressed.   Among other things the two main characters on Wilfred engage in copious amounts of weed smoking and long psychedelic talks involving some great existential questions. It appears that there is nothing more ponderous and primal than the mind of a pot smoking dog.

Louie - FX
From the mind of brilliant comedian Louis C.K. Louie is not just one of the best comedies airing during the summer months it is one of the best currently on television. The show is based on an alternate version of Louie, where he is divorced and is not nearly as successful as he is today. So what you get is a nice mix of stand-up bits and off-putting social interactions played out in some of the most awkwardly funny scenarios you could NEVER imagine and all done with pitch perfect execution. There is something inherently dark about Louie as a show; it is laced with self-effacing humor and most at the expense of Louis himself.   Moments such as the one where he professed his love for one of his female friends was a classic set up, that most of us have seen on a show or two, but the way this woman reacts to Louie’s putting-it-all-on-the-line/hail marry moment is so true to life and manages to be both brutal and honest and most importantly funny. This show is very inventive and has something in every episode that will make you laugh and even think a little bit. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

‘The River’ Could End Up Being Great Serial Fun




ABC’s newest mid-season serial drama The River could manage to entertain audiences who long for a nice season long story arc. The show takes place on a magical river somewhere in the Amazon. The characters in the show travel by boat in search for a lost adventurer who is sort of like an American version of Jacques Cousteau named Dr. Emmet Cole. In the pilot episode Dr. Cole’s son and wife (accompanied by a film crew of course) head out on a journey to find the lost explorer but end up finding magic. This sounds idiotic on many levels as a premise for a television series, at least one that could entertain most avid television viewers, but the lost footage style that the show is filmed in along with the new mystery of the week structure of the series creates a nice precedent.

Sure a lot of films are made these days in the “lost footage” style and other than a few exceptions such as Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity films in this style are often quite shitty. It has been a while since this style has been employed for a television series, especially one that is of the mysterious persuasion. The very short lived series called FreakyLinks comes to mind when talking about The River. It too was a show shot with handheld cameras and revolved around a team of investigators who looked into freaky incidents. It failed miserably and was canceled very soon after it premiered back in 2000. FreakyLinks wasn’t a very good show and from what we saw in the first two episodes of The River neither is it. But the saving grace of The River may be in the structure of the series and not in the quality of the acting or originality of the stories. You see, it looks like in every episode the crew of the Magus will encounter some supernatural force to overcome, either by solving some riddle or burning some bones or some bullshit like that, in a new way in each episode. That sounds a lot like the CW’s Supernatural and people like that show and its format. So when you combine a successful format like the one used in Supernatural along with a very trendy filming style like that of Paranormal Activity you get The River which will most likely not be as good as either.

But who knows, the crew of the Magus might bring its viewers lots of joy, even if the joy is derived from making purposely mean comparisons between this show and say… Sy-Fy’s Destination Truth which often takes its adventurers on boat trips looking for magical creatures and mythical beasts only spoken about in whispers and hush tones. The name of the boat in The River is the Magus which for those less scholarly is Latin for, you guessed it Magical but potential viewers of the show should concern themselves with another Latin word to describe this show hospitalitatem, which it just might turn out to be. (What does that word mean, that’s a mystery). 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Please Kill ‘Terra Nova’ and Use It’s Budget to Keep ‘Fringe’


Let’s face it everyone was excited to here that a Jurassic Park sort of show was going to be coming out back when Terra Nova was first announced. The premise sounded great: the Earth is dying and humanities only hope is to go back in time to restart civilization in an ancient and alien land. Cool! But what we got was not so… cool.

Instead of having an entertaining science fiction series about a new civilization fending off giant dinosaurs we got a family drama set on what looks like a low rent Hawaiian resort. Despite the fact that it had a lot of potential it doesn’t mean that the network it airs on (FOX) should give up on another one of its science fiction shows, namely Fringe.

You see Fringe has not been doing so great, rating wise, since it was moved from Thursday to Friday nights; better known to most TV watchers as the Death Slot. Most people have things they would rather be doing on Friday nights rather than watching the TV. And as a result, Fringe is mostly watched by people who set their digital recorder in order to snag it for viewing at a later date. That’s assuming they even remember it is on. Even on its worst day Fringe is far superior to Terra Nova.  Which begs the question why wouldn’t Fox executives just move Fringe to Terra Nova’s Monday night slot and use the money they would have spent on Terra Nova to improve upon Fringe?

After watching what Fox’s moves have been over the past decade or some when it comes to its programming one thing becomes apparent. They think it’s easier to lure viewers to shiny new (probably terrible) shows than it is to draw viewers back to an existing series that has lost its appeal but is still of high quality. Most highly advertised pilots do get a few weeks of high ratings even if the show is obviously a Lost clone/wannabe that is going nowhere fast. Does that sound familiar (cough)… Terra Nova.  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fat Mac is the Best Thing to Happen To It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia In A Long While

If you haven't been following It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia since the start of their latest season you are missing out on some very funny shit. This season the gang has been going on road trips, creating sadistic board games and even putting on a pervert riddled kid pageant. All of these activities have allowed this season to be one of the shows best in years, but by far the best source of comedy to come out of Season 7 is Fat Mac.

The actor who plays the vain and Fat Mac, Rob McElhenney thought it would be funny if he put on an unhealthy amount of weight for the seventh season of the now long running FX comedy series. He was right. Seeing Fat Mac walking around with a garbage bag full of lukewarm chimichangas, insisting that he is "cultivating mass" as a part of some kind of fitness regiment  is just the start of the Fat Ass jokes. People who love to make fun of delusional friends that insist their size is due to some sort of "big boned-ness" or a husky musculature when in fact they are just fat fuckers who eat too much, they are in for a treat. You have to give it up for McElhenney he is a real champ for putting that amount of weight on just so he can be made fun of.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer TV Seasons 2011 | What To Watch Over The Summer Months


It used to be that during the summer months the only thing on television was reruns and an unpleasant amount of movies that were made over two decades ago. This is no longer the case. With the advent of Netfix and other similar services you can have access to an almost unlimited number of TV episodes. As well, summer television has started turning out original programming to make up for the TV withdraw inducing summer months.  This is list of viewing suggestions for those among us who just can’t stand the warm summer sun touching their skin.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete SeriesBuffy The Vampire Slayer
If you didn’t already know, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about a supernaturally endowed teenager. With her gang aka the scoobies Buffy battles her way through a variety monsters. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has what you need in terms of simple viewing pleasure. Whether it be a fight to the death or hanging out at the cafeteria table, there remains the lovability of the characters and the playful and witty dialogue they all engage in at every turn.

Firefly - The Complete SeriesFirefly
Firefly was Joss Whedon’s passion project which was cancelled before it’s time and, some would say, made him die inside, ruining him for Dollhouse. All the elements that Whedon excels at are seen here, a decent story, character driven, and witty dialogue, which is missing in most shows today. 




Terriers
Enjoy one of the most underappreciated shows to be cancelled after one season. This modern detective story follows a pair of unlicensed private eyes; ex-cop Hank and ex-thief Britt. The series was well crafted with strong characters and dialogue with wit and style distinctive to the show.  It is a god damn shame that it was cancelled, however if you are one of the many people not to watch it when it aired this summer is the time.

Lights out
This rocky-esque series follows a retired boxing champ struggling to earn money to support his family’s high class lifestyle after earnings are lost to bad investments and mooching family. Although the fight choreography was terrible (70s Rocky style, fake punch noises, and blows that clearly do not make contact), the series made its mark supported by a rich story and characters. Lights Leary has a dysfunctional relationship with his family that rivals that of Rescue Me’s Tommy Gavin. It’s exploration of the underbelly of professional boxing satisfy. It just happens to be another exceptional FX series dropped after its first season. Just like Terriers.  (FX=FU)

Peep Show - Series 1Peep Show
Don’t let title mislead you this in not a show for pedos. It refers to camera style of the show. Every shot is from the perspective of one of the characters. This UK series has been running for several years and every single episode is hilarious. The main draw is the inner monologue of the two main characters who are terrible people in the funniest way, like how Mark has a secret respect for Nazi mentality and how Jeremy is generally a whoring freeloader. It has the awkward humour of the office, but a bit more outrageous, and because it’s a UK series it has that British swearing that makes everything better. 

Louie: Season One (DVD/Blu-ray Combo in DVD Packaging)Louie
Louie C.K stars, writes and produces this manifestation of his demented sense of humour. He plays an unsuccessful version of himself. Expect gratuitous humour that goes too far and yet he pulls it off against all reason. Maybe he’s a witch.





Archer: Season 1Archer
Some archer quotes to intrigue you: Duchess von finger bang, Gator, Burt Reynolds. Enough Said.






The League: The Complete Season One [Blu-ray]The League
The premise of this show doesn’t sound very funny but the league and the men (and secretly some of their wives) who constitute it make it funny. None of the actors are exactly well known but that is all part of the charm to this basically unknown show. Don’t miss season two’s Rafi who just loves doing cocaine and shitting out booze. What is shitting out booze pre tell, well you will just have to watch to find out.



Party Down: Season 1Party Down
After being cancelled Party Down can be grouped together with some of those other great comedies that were prematurely ended such as Arrested Development and Futurama. The show is about a catering service crew who work in Hollywood, most of the people who work for the service are failed or aspiring actors. Pathetic as it may sound the interactions these caterers have with their clientele and each other are so funny you just might piss your pants. The show could not find an audience but that should not stop people from watching this very funny show. Just a note if you are starting from the first season there is one very important phrase you need to know, SUPER CRACCKERS.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FX Networks Loves to Piss on It’s Best New Dramas Like Terriers & Lights Out


The FX Networks produced two of the best new dramas for 2010/2011 season thus far, namely, Terriers and Lights Out. Both shows came out weak in the ratings department and now both have been canceled. The real loss here stems from the fact that Terriers and Lights Out never really had a chance since FX couldn’t seem to get across to viewers what either show was about or that it was even on in the first place. This is a shame because these shows had more substance and originality than most dramas on NBC or CBS combined. So why does FX not know how to market and hold on to viewers for these shows? The simple answer might be that viewers are just so used to crap on television that when they start watching an episode of Lights Out they just expect it to have a faster pace or spill more blood. Or it could be that the cast of both series was just not well known enough and they didn’t have much of a fan base so they could not use ‘star power’ to boost ratings. And the final option, which makes more sense to me, is that the FX Network loves to make great new television series just so they can take a massive piss all over them and alienate the show’s fans to such a point that they no longer are even willing to watch a new series on their network. Fans should look out for the Fall 2011 season on FX, because there is going to be one great show that will come out and no one will watch it but you and a handful of others and FOX FX will cancel it.