So, London, yeah, stole our fucking Ferris Wheel didn’t they?
We can’t complain, we moved ours & then tore it down, but you know, that’s a fine howdy-do isn’t it? I mean, now it’s in the opening credits of Sherlock right there, next to the title, because they know everyone in Chicago is watching it. We have to watch it, it’s funny, it’s clever & our version really sort of sucks.
Sherlock Holmes in New York, Female Watson, but you know, Johnny Lee Miller. We all know how well he can play a drug addict, so, you know he’s the ONLY plus isn’t he?
Our only really great Sherlock Holmes duo was Sean & Gus wasn’t it? And they just finally threw in the towel after 8 years. It’s a shame. People were complaining about the last couple of seasons but their constant parody of popular movies was pretty hysterical. No Country for Old Men & their found footage horror episodes were certainly laugh out loud funny. It was one of those rare shows where, even if the episode was weak, there were still parts that made me laugh out loud. Psych I’d have to give two-thumbs up. Only because it gave the middle-finger to procedural. They sat down & said, “you know what? We’re just going to be childish about it.”
Humor goes a long way with me & television. There’s a lot of television I can’t watch.
Most of the time. I’ll get bored & turn on the news, & then get bored & read the BBC or the Guardian UK, you know, because the British do a better job of reporting on America than America does. At least they seem to have the appropriate confusion over things that we apologize for.
In England, they don’t understand why a 9-year-old would be handed an Uzi. In America, we defend it. Insanity isn’t it? And the news reflects that. The British headlines were close to What the Fuck???!!!! & that seems to me to be the sane way to handle that story.
It used to be that I could get bored & turn on the History Channel, History International, National Geographic, A&E, & kick back & do, what Eddie Izzard calls “passive research.” Let the research come to me.
Eddie Izzard, yeah, I stole a LOT of his routines when I was teaching history. Subject comes up that he did a stand-up act in & I felt obligated to work it into my lesson plan. Right down to the run of Pius’s & Pope Man & Alter Boy. But you know, Cake or Death, in America, you have to bend over backwards to work the Church of England into a lesson plan. It just doesn’t fit into the whole European Reformation thing & we don’t really teach about English history in high school, so when you do work it in, yeah, you sort of have to do the entire bit.
That whole passive research thing works fine unless, you know, unless you are living with someone. Especially if that someone is female. It seems to be a guy thing, women can’t understand how we can veg out on the couch & watch three documentaries in a row all staring Zahi Hawass.
To be fair, we can’t either. Everyone sort of hates the man. We watch Zahi because he forces himself on us & we’re left wondering how he gets any work done when he’s staring in every single documentary about Egypt.
Actually, that whole passive research thing doesn’t really work any longer. You can’t exactly kick back on the couch & watch Ancient Aliens. I mean, not when you have the X-Files on DVD & let’s face it, Mulder did it better. Otherwise you have American Pickers & Pawn Stars & where is the fun in that? I love antiques & even I can’t watch that crap.
People have been trying to get me to watch American Horror Story, but I can’t get into it. It looks like a good show, & believe me, I do absolutely LOVE the concept behind it, but no, too dark. The acting is great, the story seems great, but really, takes itself a little too seriously for me. It is straight up horror & I can’t watch that for too long. I need that little slice of comic relief to really keep me focused on it. If you can’t throw in something to make me laugh, I can’t take the time to watch you.
It lacks all realism. In real life, you know that someone is going to do or say something funny, just to break the tension. I would. I know if I see a ghost, if my dream house was haunted, the humor is coming straight to the top because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to deal with that shit.
Tales From the Crypt did a great job with it. It was both dark & funny & absolutely loved how it was done. I like the whole American Horror Story concept, but I like Tales From the Crypt more. It was like the Twilight Zone. No main characters, no over arching plot, no continuity, guest writers, guest stars, guest directors, & you get to kick back & watch a new story once a week.
That concept seems better to me. It’s why the stand alone episodes were always the best on the X-Files. You can only beat the characters & the over-arching plots for so long before it gets dull. When you do something like Tales From the Crypt, you can air it forever without the audience getting bored, there is no story to drag out for eight seasons. Here’s the theme: Horror, now write whatever you want.
That shit works. It plays for me. I can miss an episode & not feel the need to catch-up. You don’t have to worry about it going down hill. It’s easy to keep fresh.
When I was in high school, we had Mr. Show with Bob & Dave. It was like American Monty Python, which is one of those shows that you just have to love. You don’t get a choice with sketch comedy, either you love it or you hate it.
Instead you had Community, which is Dada humor.
Da-da-da. Bum ba dum, bum ba dum. Da-da-da.
You have to “be hip enough,” to get the joke there & if it doesn’t irritate you, you’re going to laugh out loud with that one. Still, four seasons was all you need for a show like that. Four seasons is really all you need for most shows. After than they start to sink down hill a little. There are exceptions, but few & far between.
HBO you can rely on. True Blood, great opening credits for sort of a shit show. I know, I know, you just watch it for the T&A. I caught the first episode & thought, “Buffy.” Here we have another kick ass feminine hero. The blond girl that gets killed in the horror movies, but can sleep with anyone she wants & still win the day. In stead, it sort of fell into the woman-in-peril have to save the girl shtick.
Been there, done that.
Your other choice is Game of Thrones, & you know, fantasy. I just can’t do it. Fantasy never sits right with me. I mean, all my love to Harry Potter, but I hate Lord of the Rings. Harry had that beautiful humor behind him, didn’t he? Fantasy takes itself a little too seriously for me. I hear “the second empire in the era of the third mist of the middle realm,” & I tune out instantly.
Shit, it’s going to be one of those. You know what? If I wanted a complex fake history, I’d just read my comic books.
Justified I liked, but also on the chopping block & thank God. I’m all about canceling shows BEFORE they go down hill. I don’t want to sit back & remember a great TV series for it’s latter-day sins. With Justified, it was all about Timothy Olyphant & Walton Goggins, I mean, they have fantastic deliveries & can say some cunningly funny shit with a straight face.
Comedy, I think, is best done dramatically. Do it dry. Act like you’re doing something important & deliver the lines without the crap that comes with Will Farrell. It’s why I like dramas & horror movies that have that little touch of humor. The atmosphere forces the actors to play the part straight & the lines are always a little funnier when actors play it straight.
It’s why the Three Stooges never really make me laugh. Hey, we’re over the top. That’s great, but it’s not funny. Give me the Marx Brothers instead, at least when they are over-the-top I have something to think about. At least they can keep you on your toes when they do it.
Which leads me to Veep. Oh good lord. That’s the show that you have to constantly pause & rewind, isn’t it? The bastards will make you laugh & keep throwing the shit at you without pause. By the time you calm down from one line, you’ve missed six more. It’s like those action movies that are “a thrill ride that never lets up,” only, you know, when comedies do that shit, you miss a lot. Veep is great, but you have to seriously control yourself when you watch it otherwise you miss too much.
Seinfeld would give you time to pause & collect yourself before they hit you with the next laugh, Veep will just throw them at you non stop. You have to watch that shit.
Defiance, on Syfy, haven’t made up my mind on it. Love the music, love the covers at the end of each episode, but so far it lacks the heart of Farscape. It’s an OK show, nicely complex, but with all that complexity comes not a single character that you can really come to love. Farscape had Crichton & a cast to really back him up.
Ben Browder, blond hair, blue eyes, muscular, you think you’re going to hate him. You think he’s going to be that typical action star & then the next moment he’s hysterical. It’s a realistic hysterical, you’re thrown into an alien universe & about the only thing you can do is go slightly mad. Fuck it, I don’t understand anything, I’m just going to be as crazy as everything else. He pulls it off with humor & the conclusion that it is the only appropriate way to act.
The typical action role falls on Anthony Simcoe, for about the first season, & then he makes that turn too & poor Claudia Black is left with being the straight action lead in a living ship full of clowns & she fucking nailed it didn’t she? It’s the perfect Syfy show, even Wayne Pygram seemed to snap seamlessly between a really dark & ominous villain to fucking hysterical.
That was the show that ended just a little too soon. Four seasons is great rule of thumb, but don’t cancel a quality show like that without giving it the time to properly wrap up. Thank God for the mini-series. We would have all been seriously pissed if they ended on that cliffhanger & never concluded the saga.
Crazy is the new funny. In my mind, it’s the perfect science fiction show.