I had to stop for a while. As much as I love this blog and love talking about television, the job that gives me the money to pay for this little blog is usurping most of my time. Teaching is time-consuming, exhausting, and soul-crushing, but also inspiring and liberating. I’m lucky to like what I do, I’m just not lucky enough to have time for the other things I want to do.
I’m still watching TV. Though I had to abandon some shows and relegate others to the sidelines, I still caught a solid bit of what’s been happening the last few months. If you read my twitter, you will know. Here are some brief thoughts on what I watched, and what you should be watching.
Broad City: This show did me in every week during its stellar second season. The comedy is equal parts buddy comedy and New York hipster satire, and I smell wafts of skunk every time I lay eyes on Ilana Glazer. It sets a new bar for drug humor, like Workaholics without all of the macho posturing that can get so tiresome. These are the kinds of stupid but amazing people that you still want to hang out and play video games with.
Bonus thought: Man, I miss when St. Mark’s was cool.
Orphan Black: Season 3 just started and I’m watching. I recently got my mother addicted to it. Every episode she’d look at me with wide eyes and some sense of horror, asking me questions about the show’s twists and turns while I gleefully sat silent. I even got her to call me a bitch for not spoiling the show. She’s watching 201 as I type this, and my desire for 302 made me have Helena dreams last night.
Bonus thought: A friend of mine just told me that Orphan Black, while not a great show on its own, is very important to women into genre fandom. The truth is, I think that Orphan Black is important to science fiction as a genre, because it has suffered a lack of three-dimensional female characters (particularly leads) for far too long, and Orphan Black proves female characters can work, and well, and without Joss Whedon.
Louie: He’s wearing his hipster glasses again. Last night, he toyed with my emotions by inviting Michael Rapaport to play the cop archetype we all despite so dreadfully. He was abusive, demeaning, and irresponsible, exactly the kind that we’re so sick of hearing about on the news. And in true Louie fashion, he manages to make us feel sympathy for this man’s rock-bottom moment while making us feel like total shits for not understanding why he’s such an insufferable shit.
Bonus thought: The premiere featured Morgan O’Kane, a banjoist who I had the pleasure of watching while waiting for the subway in Williamsburg. He’s really good, and very easy on the eyes.
Other Space: Yahoo Screen brought Community fans to their little internet hideaway and bestowed upon us a delicious treat. Other Space is a weird sendup of space shows, starring an underprepared and frankly foolish crew. It’s made me chuckle out loud in fart-causing ways, and has just enough heart to not be a total throwaway. Watch for Michael, He’s easily the crew member that gets picked on the most, and that makes him kind of adorkable.
Bonus thought: Give it two episodes. I didn’t get it at first. It’s intentionally cheesy and calls upon a 70s sensibility despite the fact that most of us were born far past the 80s.
Bonus Bonus: YES, watch Community. ESPECIALLY for Frankie playing steel drums. I will give my time to Season 6 when I have it, because it deserves it.
Better Call Saul: This is a cinematically stunning character study. We know who Saul Goodman is, but the journey to get from Jimmy McGill to the dirtiest lawyer in New Mexico is long and weird. Saul’s battle is an internal one, facing foes like time, patience, conscience, and a weakening finger grip on his desire to live a life above-board. On the outside, he’s up against bureaucratic foes, underworld rats, and an invisible hand whose emotionally charged reveal left me feeling betrayed. Oh, and you get to see him as a bottom-feeder con-man. That’s worth the time investment alone.
Bonus thought: Some people feel like Mike Ehrmantraut’s background story undermines the character as it existed on Breaking Bad, which I can see. But for those of us who watched that Shakespearian tragedy of a show, seeing Mike in his vanilla life is actually pretty funny. Watching him do a job while bathed in blue light is utterly riveting. And watching him emotionally unravel with his daughter-in-law brought me to tears. Sure, anyone watching Saul without Bad might not feel that emotional investment, but for us millions, it’s one of many things we’ve been waiting for.
My plan when summer vacation hits is to get back on the keyboard as much as possible. I’m planning on writing a book (which has been in progress, but also halted once school became too much to handle), as well as regular updates to this blog. I’m planning a new column about wine, and I’m investing in the construction of an iron flyswatter so I can torture Whovian Gwenhwyfar into writing more words for me. Additionally, I’m anticipating the beginning of Untitled.TV, a new tv blog that will knock your socks off when I throw my finger vomit up there.
I have to go back to my regularly scheduled life. Please enjoy the David Hasselhoff video up top. It’s half dork adventure and half toxic masculinity, with a mullet haircut and keytarist that looks like Weird Al Yankovic. I think we’ve officially hit the top limit of how much nostalgia we’re allowed to revere, and I’m ready to say “thanks for constantly revisiting the memories, guys, but it’s time to look at the future again.”
Thanks to any of you reading. See you soon, I hope. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter if you want to know what’s coming across my screen.