TV- Watching Right Now
Jun
18th

Veep

(Clip has a bit of colourful language, so NSFW-ish)

I’m not a hugely political person. I don’t often watch shows that revolve around politics, I don’t engage in political debates, I don’t read a lot of political news articles. This is due to a number of reasons, reasons that are, I suspect, fairly boring, so I won’t go into them here. But as a die-hard Seinfeld fan, and a fan of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, when I heard about Veep a couple of years ago I was intrigued. I really liked Louis-Dreyfus’ show The Old Adventures of New Christine, which I think I’ve only seen the first series of, and I knew that a show about her as the Vice President of the USA would have a different tone, so I wanted to at least give it a shot, despite my aversion to politically-themed things.

Season three has just wrapped up, and it was a corker. The first season was good, the second season was better, and this third season was really great. I don’t always understand the US political jargon, but I get the gist of it, and watching Selina Meyers’ office screw up time after time and have to save face in a number of hilarious ways is really, really entertaining. It really highlights how two-faced politicians are. The Veep’s inner circle of staff are brilliantly incompetent and simultaneously underhanded at getting Selina where she needs to be in the public’s eyes and it’s really well done.

It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s worth a look.

The Crazy Ones

I’m a Buffy fan, so I’ll check out anything the cast is in these days at least once to see if I like it. I was interested in this project because I was curious to see how Sarah Michelle Gellar would fair in a TV comedy up against Robin Williams. It’s not that I don’t think she can be funny, it’s that I think she isn’t the most obvious choice for something like this role.

The show is about father-daughter advertising execs (Williams and Gellar) and the inner core of the creative team they work with. It co-stars James Wolk (creepy short-shorts Bob Benson from Mad Men), who is very, very funny in this role, and Hamish Linklater (from The Old Adventures of New Christine), as well as Amanda Sefton. It took a little while for this show to pull me in, but once they found their feet, the writing and timing seemed to click into place. As much as I love Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar isn’t the strongest part of the cast. It’s Wolk and Linklater that really shine as buddies and co-workers, and Amanda Sefton really impressed me as the season wore on. Robin Williams is, as you’d expect, Robin Williams-y, which is fine, but he’s a little more toned down, so it’s bearable and funnier than I thought. The show works well with the ensemble cast, despite the many implausible storylines, but it’s a nice, light watch that will have you giggling more often than not.

Mom

This is a Chuck Lorre show. I really, really do not like Two and a Half Men, but I somewhat enjoy The Big Bang Theory, so when I heard about this show starring Anna Faris and Alison Janney, I pushed my ambivalence to the side and gave it a shot because I quite enjoy both of those actresses. I’m really glad I did, too. It has the markings of the show’s creator, but it feels different, maybe because it’s a showed centred around women? Granted, I’m only halfway through the season (because for some reason channel 9 and Go or Gem or whatever pulled it from scheduling about two weeks ago), but I’ve read that the second half of the season gets stronger and stronger.

The show is about Christy (Faris), a recovering alcoholic and addict who is a single mother with two kids. Her teenage daughter is pregnant and Christy is coming to terms with being sober, being a grandmother and reconnecting with her own recovering alcoholic mother (Janney). The show is funny, and while it is a sitcom, it also has some quite sweet moments between Christy and various family members. Alison Janney steals the show, though. She’s brash, blunt and something of a cougar, which means she gets the best lines. So far it’s been quite funny and sweet, and the writers seemed to figure out quickly which parts of the show didn’t work as well and scaled them back to focus more on the better plot lines. I’m really hoping this pops back up on TV soon. And I really hope they bring back Justin Long’s character – I love that guy!

Silicon Valley

http://youtu.be/4zYWyXwKrHg

(Clip is very NSFW due to the subject matter and language) Also, HBO seems to be ALL OVER IT when it comes to people embedding their videos, so I can’t embed this clip in my post. But take a look – it’s very, very clever.

I didn’t start actively watching this. Rather, my husband recorded it and I happened to be sitting there watching it in the evenings while I was on my computer. Eventually I realised I was actually watching the entire episodes and I put my laptop away to focus on the show. It’s not the most obviously funny show in the world, but if you settle in and listen you’ll start to enjoy it as much as I did.

The show is from Mike Judge (of Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill and Office Space fame), and it’s about six guys who found a start-up company in Silicon Valley. They’re creating an app called Pied Piper, and while there’s a bit of techno jargon in there, ultimately the show is about six very dorky, but very talented tech guys. The writing is really great, and the cast are just perfect. I didn’t recognise any of them except Martin Starr, but they are each so wonderfully shy and brilliant and snarky. The last couple of episodes of the short eight episode season where they attend the TechCrunch competition are excellent and very, very funny. This show is definitely one to watch.

Happy Endings

I saved this one for last because it’s definitely my favourite new discovery, despite it being a show that’s already been cancelled (BOO). I’d head about it a few times in the last year or so, and happened to be browsing the Foxtel guide on the day they started replaying it from season 1, so I quickly hit record. The show only went for three seasons, and it is a damn shame, because it’s one of the better comedies I think I’ve seen for a while.

The premise of the show is centred around Alex (Elisha Cutherbert of 24 fame) leaving long-time boyfriend Dave (Zachary Knighton) at the altar and the fall out that occurs afterward between them and their larger group of friends. This is definitely a show where all the characters are equally as good as each other. The writing is super snappy and the cast all play their parts perfectly, separately and as a whole. I haven’t enjoyed a show as much as this in a while, and I think it’s largely because the writing is so spot-on, culturally speaking. The references to pop culture and society are so snarky and well-observed that I often have to rewind to listen to things again because the delivery is so quick and understated. Of all the shows I’ve written about here, this one is my top pick to check out. The clip I’ve used for this is probably one of the best episodes I’ve seen so far. Over IT!

What are you all watching at the moment? Anything good?

Until next time,

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2 comments on “TV- Watching Right Now

  1. Natalie

    I watched the first season of Veep but couldn’t stand it. JLD is great though. I’ve also watched a bit of the Crazy Ones and didn’t mind it.

    I ADORE Happy Endings though.

    Reply
    1. JuliaJulia Post author

      Yeah, Veep is defnitely not for everyone. I didn’t love the first season, but I think they improved a lot in season 2 and 3.

      Happy Endings is the best. THE BEST.

      Reply

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