January 18th, 2011

Television

do as I say

First, I reinvigorated my dormant book twitter. It's @wendylibrarian. If you are interested in what I'm reading, then that is the place to see it!

Second, I want to talk about two TV shows that I LOVE and that you probably aren't watching, but should!

The first is "Episodes," with, yes, Matt LeBlanc. It only is seven episodes long and two already have aired, so I urge you to catch up QUICK! I feel almost like I should put this bit in all caps, so I will: IF YOU ARE A WRITER, YOU MUST WATCH THIS SHOW.

The general plot is about two successful British TV writers. An American producer lures them to LA to create an Americanized version of their most successful British show. Once he has them here, he, of course, demands that they change everything. (Example, he's insistent that they hire Matt LeBlanc to play the lead, a role originally played by Richard Griffiths.)

The show is about the couple dealing with living in LA (their run-ins with the security guard who mans the entrance of their gated community are HILARIOUS), dealing with a cranky producer who regularly lies, a support staff trying to protect their boss (Writer: Are you saying he's never seen our show? Assistant: I am not saying that. Writer: Has he ever seen our show? Assistant:...no.), trying to create a show they can be proud of, negotiating marriage, and...dealing with Matt LeBlanc who is HILARIOUS (and basically playing himself.)

Also, the title credits are laid over a graphic of a script, which flies away and becomes a bird. It winds it's way through the sky until...it's suddenly SHOT, and pages flutter to the ground. It's so creative and hilarious and PERFECT for the show.

It is an absolute SCREAM.

The second is "Men of a Certain Age". Here's the wiki description:
The series follows the bonds of friendship among three life-long friends – Joe, Owen and Terry – who are now in their late 40s. Joe (Ray Romano) is a slightly neurotic separated father of two (Brittany Curran as Lucy, and Braeden Lemasters as Albert) who had hoped to become a pro golfer but now owns a party supply store, and has a gambling addiction. Owen (Andre Braugher) is an overstressed, diabetic husband and father, who works as a car salesman at the dealership owned by his father, a former NBA player. Terry (Scott Bakula) is a struggling actor, working temp jobs to make ends meet and usually dating much younger women. The friends are aware of each other's life struggles and show typical male reactions to life issues.
It is extremely well done. The characters are complex and flawed, and you feel for them even when you don't want to. It also feels very REAL, like it's all things actually happening out there somewhere.

I originally resisted watching this show because it looked kinda boring. But it's NOT. And though there are some funny bits, it's not at all a comedy. The acting is superb, it seriously is the role the three leads were born to play. (And, in fact, Andre Braugher won a 2010 Emmy for his acting on the show.)

The theme song also is PERFECT for the show: When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) by the Beach Boys

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I really hope you'll watch these shows, they're awesome and different and well written and and and...YES.
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Quote of the Day

"Cooking can be one of the most satisfying things we do in life. It's a chance to make things with our own hands, nourish and give pleasure to people we care about, and choose exactly what we eat and make part of ourselves."
--Harold McGee