We rant, we rave. When one of our writers wants to applaud something great happening in television or get out some steam, this is where you'll find it.
You get the impression that no matter the story... if it begins within the world of Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo, all must inevitably turn to blood and violence. If it wasn't so damn enthralling, you might just feel bad for these poor saps.
In prepping this article, I had one goal in mind: Shed a bit of light on some of this year's finest work in TV comedy. But many of the current TV comedies are already so popular, why would they need any more light shed upon them? So, Get Your Laughing Gear 'Round This (that's a saying, right?) and strap in for some of the best and most under-praised, under-loved and under-seen TV comedies of 2013.
Earlier this summer, Netflix brought Arrested Development back from the dead and now, they turn their powers of resurrection to another, less known comedy character, a friendly English bloke, named Derek. Created by Ricky Gervais as a one-off character for The 11 O'Clock Show, Derek has always had a million dollar heart and ten dollar brain.
When we first meet Nathan Flomm, he is sailing down a California highway in a luxury convertible, blasting Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4". Singing along, he bobs his head-- seemingly content with his life. Little does he know, he is mere hours away from ruining that very life.
"But I'd never give up being deaf to be just like everyone else."
On the surface, Switched At Birth is a drama about worlds that collide together. Two teenage girls find their birth families, and everybody moves in together. Over time we see all sorts of social issues getting addressed, such as the differences of economic class, culture, and education, to name a few.
Netflix might be the future. The revolutionary little service that allows you to stream movies and television dang near anywhere --including your smart phone and tablet-- has grown by leaps and bounds since its mail-order rental days. But before I risk descending into the world of tech blogging, I'll digress: The conglomerate that is Netflix-- they no longer operate as mere content providers. Now, they're content generators.
American Horror Story has been on my radar from the moment it was announced. I've always loved the horror genre's sporadic stabs at the small screen (from Night Gallery to American Gothic) and am more than ready to welcome new additions. But as I watched this 2nd season -- I realized I could never write about the show on a week to week basis. The plot twists and twists and twists.
This is why I love episodic TV: When it is at its best, you inevitably arrive at a point -mid-season- where the show's creators have so many plot strands, so many plates spinning -- that all you can do is sit back and admit: I have no clue how this season is going to end but, I don't care. I'm on board for the ride.
One of Breaking Bad's most unsettling moments takes place in the third episode of season five. Skyler (Anna Gunn) lies in bed. The sounds of nearby gunshots are audible. She goes to the living room, where she finds her husband Walter (Bryan Cranston) and their disabled son Walt Junior (RJ Mitte) laughing gleefully as they watch Brian De Palma's Scarface on TV.
FX's Louie is the best possible example of why labels like comedy and drama are utterly useless. It differs in tone, feeling and look from every other modern 30 minute sitcom. This show has countless strong points, both dramatically and comedic but, Louie defies pointless categorization.