Telly Talk #3 – 19th Oct 2017

I’m back again with another instalment of Telly Talk. This time I will be sharing my thoughts on the following shows; The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Rick & Morty and Big Mouth.

Big Mouth

I’ll start with Big Mouth. The word crass springs to mind immediately. The animated adult comedy’s whole premise revolves around sophomoric humour, making light of the angst and terror that comes with puberty. Some of the comedy includes a teenage boy’s hormonal state personified as a monstrous tempter, as well as parents who have a tendency to overshare about their bedroom activities. I don’t feel like I laughed once for the duration of the single episode that I watched, and I have not been intrigued enough to want to watch another. I do however remember cringing a great deal. Oh, and rolling my eyes a lot too. There were quite a few sighs as well.

The Good Place

This sitcom is right up my street, corner and alleyway. After I first discovered it I had caught up with the show in about 2 weeks. It had me hooked and dangling from the edge of my seat. Not only is it funny, but the story progresses in each episode substantially and you actually feel as though you’ve got your time’s worth. That is rare for a 21-minute comedy, but it works. The episodes are short and sweet. Cliff-hangers are picked up from seconds after they were left in the next episode which makes for great binge-watching, as well as when it comes to trying to remember what happened in the previous episode. All in all, it is a great watch; the characters all compliment each other well, there are lots of twists and turns that keep you on your toes, and as I already mentioned, it’s very funny. I love the concept of the show which takes place in the afterlife and explores what would happen if someone was mistakingly sent to the ‘good’ place if they were not a particularly model citizen (or does it 😉)

Bojack Horseman

On paper, this show shouldn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried to recommend it to several people and they usually end up looking at me like this:

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But somehow it does. Somehow you find yourself relating to a washed-up, self-absorbed, depressed TV star from the 90s, who also happens to be a horse. And the show also features interspecies relationships, including a labrador and a human woman. It sounds ridiculous but it is a great show. I love the sarcastic humour, the exploration of negative emotions and how being depressed can affect those around you. It explores the ups and downs of fame, politics, society as well as relationships between family, friends and lovers. It honestly is a fantastic show and I’m gutted that I am all caught up and have to wait until next year for more Bojack!

Rick and Morty

I’m 5 episodes in and I am still yet to see what all the fuss is about for this show? I don’t find it funny, the characters are not likeable, and worst of all both of the main characters’ voices are SUPER annoying. Rick is always burping and slurping and dribbling and just sounding and looking like a mess. While Morty is always whinging and stuttering and whining. The show is basically Family Guy meets Back to the Future and I might give it one more episode before I call it a day. I also don’t like the way the characters are drawn – especially the pupils of the eyes for some reason. I would rather they were just plain black circles as opposed to whatever scribbly shape they are.

That concludes this instalment of Telly Talk. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and check out the shows for yourself! Remember to follow me on Twitter as well @ChrisCultureUK

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Telly Talk (#2) – 8th Sept 2017

As I’m sure I have mentioned in the past, I have a very short attention span so I can’t really copiously consume episodes of TV shows like we are encouraged to do in today’s society. Well, not unless I am extremely invested in a show, and that is rare. However, I have been watching a couple shows since the last time I made a Telly Talk post; these are: That 70’s Show, Suits, Game of Thrones and Insecure.

That 70’s Show

I had always heard about this show growing up but I had never really been drawn to it. It was recently recommended to me and I gave it a try. I am only around 5 episodes in, and while I’m not exactly blown away, I do think it’s an enjoyable show. It’s ironic as it was intended to be a throwback to the 70’s when it began airing in the 90s, and now two decades later I’m watching it. The show is character-driven rather than plot-driven which is typical of a sitcom, and while the characters are still being developed in these initial episodes, I’m not particularly drawn to any one character, and I’m still yet to get a belly laugh moment from the show. But it is still early days, and I do think it has the potential to make me laugh out loud so I’ll stick with it a little while longer.

Suits

I have a funny relationship with this show. I started it around this time last year as you can see from this post. But I haven’t got very far with it. This is not because I do not enjoy the show, as I really do. I find it very gripping and entertaining; especially an episode I watched recently in which Harvey and Mike bonded and let their hair down together, something which was unexpected but 100% necessary at that point and time in the series. I am just not a fan of 45 minute long episodes as I can’t bear stay watching for that long. However, I do make exceptions if the episode was particularly interesting. For that reason. I tend to watch the show in bursts, and I can go away for months and come back. But, pitifully, I am only now just coming to the end of Season 2, and I have 6 more to go. Wish me luck! At this rate, I should be caught up by the year 2020!

Game of Thrones

I succumbed to the mainstream and started watching Game of Thrones a couple of months ago. I do enjoy it and it is gripping and unlike any show I’ve watched, however, once again the episodes are very long. Though, in the show’s defense a lot of the time I find myself so engrossed that when I find myself at the end of an episode I’m shocked that an hour has passed. So much happens in a single episode that you feel like you got your time’s worth. This is what I need to be happening if I’m going to spend an hour watching a show. I don’t want suspense suspense suspense only for nothing to happen! The show can be gory at times, but it doesn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the show. Although I can already tell it will take me forever to catch up. 😩

Insecure

I’m a fan of this show. I can gladly say that I am up to date! Probably because, while it isn’t a sitcom, the episodes are only half an hour long. Now that’s what I’m talking about! The show is definitely more explicit both in language and sexual content in its current second season, and the choices that the characters are making this time around are very sketchy and questionable, but makes for an intersesting storyline. However, with only one episode left, I am very interested to see how the writers will tie all of the loose ends together as there are plenty of questions I have that need answering. The most important being what kind of miracle will it take to bring Issa and Lawrence together again? Because right now they seem very irreconcilable!

 

Telly Talk (#1) – 30th July 2017

I am dipping my toe into new waters and I’m going to try something different. Hopefully, I can keep up with it, but I plan to regularly group together shows that I have been watching once a month and give them a short review/recommendation. This month includes; Broad City, Star Wars Rebels, Modern Family and Friends from College.

Broad City:

I had heard about this show previously and planned to watch it, but it wasn’t readily available and I couldn’t be bothered to search for it. But low and behold, one day it appeared in the box sets section of my Sky box and I took it as a sign to give the show a try. And I was not disappointed. The show boasts moments of extreme wackiness, endearment and cringeworthiness. Ingredients of a fantastic comedy. I love the contrast between Ilana’s free-spiritedness and Abbi’s bashfulness.  I managed to speed through the shows three seasons in a matter of days and I’m currently suffering from withdrawal symptoms. However, my suffering won’t be long as the show is coming back soon!

Star Wars Rebels:

A year ago, if you told me I would become a Star Wars fan, I would have laughed. But after watching all of the movies (in order to get some pop cultural awareness) I found myself hungry for more Star Wars related content. Now I’m an avid player of the Battlefront game on Xbox one, and I discovered the Rebels series. Yes, for you die hard fans I know it’s sacrilegious to watch Rebels before Clone Wars, so sue me (I’ve started it now). I have thoroughly enjoyed the series, although it took me a while to get through the first season. I love how the show explores the wider Star Wars universe by bringing back characters from past movies and shows, as well as exploring the contrasting morality between the Jedi and the Sith. I’m sad the show is ending next season, but I appreciate the show and I’m sure there will be a new Star Wars series released soon, or so my prowling around the internet has informed me.

Modern Family:

When I would see this show advertised when it first came out I thought it would be another corny sitcom that I wouldn’t find funny in the slightest. Fast forward four seasons and here I am still finding myself laughing. The show is just the kind of humour that I like; dry. I love the contrast of the sarcastic Pritchetts versus their partners and I think the show is one of the more realistic portrayals of family life that I have seen on television since as long as I can remember, even if it does become hyperbolic occasionally. I have grown to love the dynamic of the cast and I can’t wait to see where the show will go in the remaining series that I have to catch up with.

Friends from College:

I stumbled across this show on the home page of Netflix and I thought I would give it a try. It was interesting at first; we had an affair going on between a two married people who were part of a recently revived group of now grown up college friends. I got through five of the eight episodes before I felt like the show was losing its steam. I wanted to enjoy what I was watching but I don’t think the show blended the humour with the drama effectively. When it chose to be only dramatic, it was great and vice-versa with the comedy. But both elements did seem to clash at times, especially in the last episode I watched when they all got drunk at the vineyard. I think a lot of the characters in the friendship group were too similar and so they didn’t contrast each other well. Maybe I will give the show a chance and watch the remaining episodes just to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I’m not in a hurry to.

5 Great Shows to Watch on Netflix

This summer I made it my duty to get acquainted with a plethora of new shows as all of my go-to’s had come to an end for the year. So lo and behold, I logged into Netflix and found a bunch of shows that I hit it off with. They are; Stranger Things, Community, Master of None, Archer and Power. One look at that selection and you can confirm that, yes, I am an eclectic person with a diverse range of tastes. That’s why I wanted to make this post, because each show is completely different and caters to different audiences, so there’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy here.

Stranger Things:

Stranger Things

I had heard this show described as a ‘horror’ show, and that had put me off, because the horror genre to me is what repellent is to insects; we just don’t go. However, I gave it a try and I was not disappointed. I would call it a thriller/sci-fi show more than I would call it a horror show. There are suspenseful elements but there isn’t anything explicitly gory and sickening. So it’s a good watch.

It’s set in the 80s and draws from other films of a similar vein, think The Goonies and E.T. Stranger Things is set in a suburban town where people are going missing, there are sightings of peculiar creatures and a strange girl with special abilities appears from nowhere. The show is very atmospheric and ominous and is paced very well. The kids are great actors who command the screen with abilities far beyond their years, and the show will easily have you  wondering whether you have time for ‘one more episode’. It’s definitely a 5/5.

Community:

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Community has the vibe of comedy that I like; meta, self aware and satirical. It doesn’t force the funny, and that’s what makes it funny. Community follows a group of culturally diverse people, varying in age, in their adventures at Greendale Community College. Initially, brought together as a study group for their Spanish class, they begin to form an unlikely family unit and begin to help each other with everyday life issues.

The show is very creative and hybridic, especially with its stop motion, puppet and animated special episodes. My only critique is that the bickering within the group can become a bit too frequent and slightly irritating. Other than that it is a great watch. Especially if you are a fan of Parks and Recreation or The Office. I give it a 4.5/5

Master of None:

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This show was surprisingly entertaining. I say surprising because the only other reference I had to Aziz Ansari’s acting abilities were from his role as the loveable, but juvenile, Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation. Although he does bring elements from the character into this show, the character of Dev is much more developed and multi-dimensional.

Master of None follows Dev, a thirty-something year old, in his attempt to navigate through life, despite not knowing what he really wants to do with his life. The show is fantastic because despite being comical, it also covers some interesting topics including race, sexism, appreciating our grandparents, as well as deciding to follow your dreams and the effects that it may have on others. Another factor that gives the show merit, is that Aziz created the show, and even wrote and directed most of the episodes. It is a breath of fresh air, and I have never seen a sitcom, if it can be called that, like this. Therefore, I’m rating it 5/5.

Power:

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Power can be a difficult pill to swallow, mainly due to the fact that most of the main cast is made up of morally ambivalent characters, with less redeeming factors than it takes to go as far as to say you like them. But you can see what drives each character to behave they way that they do, and I guess that is what makes them relatable; because you can understand them, even if you don’t like them, per se.

The show follows Ghost AKA James St Fitzpatrick in his efforts to turn from his rogue ways and become a legitimate business man after selling and dealing drugs for most of his life. As you can imagine, it is not as easy for James to shed his ‘Ghost’ persona as he first thought. A gritty and griping drama which progresses and improves as it goes along, although I’m not happy with the shows creators for that death. 4/5.

Archer:

Archer.jpg

Finally, we have the animated comedic stylings of Archer. This series is a spoof of spy dramas like James Bond, and follows Sterling Archer, a spoilt, ‘Mama’s boy’ spy who is severely delusional about his skill level in the field. He is arrogant and quick to deflect blame from himself; attributes, that if anyone else possessed, would make them unbearable, but in Archer’s case makes him endearing, in a cringe-y sort of way. I love the writing on the show, it is very witty and quick. I would rate the show 4/5.

That just about wraps up this post. Do tell me what you think about my picks and feel free to suggest any other shows I should start below in the comments!