03-31-09 - Recent TV Reviews

I just started watching "Life on Mars" (BBC) with Alissa. It's decent so far. It is rather ham-handed with the whole is-it-real existential crisis. It also beats you over the head with the setting over and over just like the horrible "Mad Men" ; like oh look they're smoking how quaint, oh look there's an 8-track in the car, how cute. It would be so much better if they just told the story straightforwardly and the setting was just *there* without all the over-emphasis. Life on Mars wins over Mad Men just because it actually has stories - the Not sure if recommend yet. I think I would rather just see a good cop show rather than this self-conscious highly affected play on a cop show.

(BTW of course if you have to option between an American remake and the BBC original - always watch the original. The American formula is to basically steal BBC shows, put beautiful retarded actors in them that don't match the character, rip out everything that's real or honest or edgey or controversial at all, make them just like every other bland TV show, use tacky overly slick fancy production and lighting and makeup and everything).

I've been watching a bit of "Shameless". It's basically a Northern England soap opera, and I feel a bit dirty watching it, but it's very well made. It's got a great pace and rhythm to it and the characters are very lively. Recommended for losers like me who wish they were watching soaps but would never admit it.

Watched all of the first season of "That Mitchell and Webb Look". I must say watching it all in one go was not friendly to it. The running gags are very repetetive. The first episode I really liked and it just went downhill. Still a few bits really made me lose it. I love the realtor bit, and the natives in the gardening supply was laugh-out-loud gold.

I watched an episode and a half of "15 Storeys High" then gave up on it. I just don't get it. Is it supposed to be a comedy? I don't think I've seen a funny bit yet. It's just sort of weird and grim. I guess there are some bits that are obviously supposed to be funny, like when the guy doing the relaxation tapes gets mad and yells, but that was just so obvious and set up and not at all in context that it completely misses. Do not recommend.

Recent Movies (just the good ones) :

"Man on Wire" was beautiful, inspiring. I've always wanted to live more like that - living every day artistically, beautifully, doing something crazy and pointless and dramatic with a band of friends that are united by the sheer drive to be doing *something* this these sad boring lives of ours.

"Milk" was quite good. A bit heavy handed & cheezy at times (the flash back at the very end to the foreshadowing at the beginning was just inexcusable), but overall very moving, well acted, fun. It made me really miss San Francisco (we saw it before GDC). All the crazy fun people, the liberal politics, all the protests and parties in the streets.

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old rants