Broad City

Image: Comedy Central

Dear ladies and gents,

it’s been difficult to find comedy shows that I truly love (obvs I have my tried and tested UK comedies, but sometimes you just want something new, you know?) Last year it was Parks and Recreation, then IT Crowd, but that is about it. It is not that all comedy shows are SO bad, it just that they lack that little bit of extra me thinks? And are too formulaic? Does that make sense? If I get a couple of giggles out of any given show, I consider that success.

Then an article about Broad City popped up in my reader. A couple of days later, it happened again. And again. So I was like okay, let’s see what that is about.

Broad City was created by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and it was originally produced as a web series. Then Amy Poehler got on board as the executive producer and the series got commissioned by Comedy Central.

Broad City is about two ladies – Illana and Abbi. They are in their 20s, they are best friends and they live in New York. They are kinda broke, they are kinda odd and they are well funny.

Like remember when you were in your twenties and you had a friend who just got you? Like really (REALLY!) got you? And you did silly things just because it seemed like a good idea at the time? Well sorta (hindsight and all that)? Yeah Abbi and Illana are kinda like that. And I love them for it. It took me about two episodes to get into it, but I found myself snorting with laughter episode after episode.

And to get it out of the way – even though the show is about ladies who are friends and who are living and dating and getting by in New York, Sex in the City it ain’t. And it’s all that much better for it. TRUST.

So yes, give Broad City a go, me thinks you will like it. On a side note – second season has already been commissioned.

Of chapped nose and stomach bugs

For illustrative purposes this was me last week.

Dear ladies and gents,

between a stomach bug thing that has been dodging me ever since UK and a god awful cold last week*, I couldn’t muster the strength to do anything but veg out. A few things that kept me sane (stuffed nose and all).

Parks and Recreation

Yes, totes late to the party on Parks and Rec. However better late than never, right? Anyhow. I love Leslie Knope, but she is killing me. I am behind on every single TV show I normally watch (even *shock horror* Supernatural), because I am unable to switch the damn thing off. I tried to cleanse my palate yesterday with the Good Wife, but gave up after 5 minutes and switched Parks and Rec on again. Love Leslie and her gang from Pawnee.

Marian Keyes

Started with This Charming Man and finished off with the Brightest Star in the Sky. Yes, the covers look like chic lit, oh but I assure you the books are anything but. It is impossible to put the damn things down (and I mean this in the nicest way possible).

Mo Hayder

Started with the Birdman and now I’m hooked. And there are 6 books in the series (always a good thing).

Sherlock

Teaser trailer dropped this weekend. #sherlocklives. Duh. A date would be nice *cough* BBC! If I had to take a guess it will either be Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Tom Hiddleston dancing

I swear if you need an instant cheer me up, there is nothing better than Tom Hiddleston dancing. No, seriously. I laughed so hard I almost choked. It’s all kinds of wrong, but I’d totes go dancing with this guy. Also – Loki made Thor 2 so (SO!) much better.

* FYI – if you turn into Rudolph the Reindeer when you have a cold like I do, I cannot recommend this stuff enough. No, it’s not an affiliate link or a sponsored post (although Boots is one of my happy places). It is the only thing that will make your chapped nose feel better. And yes, I know it says it’s ointment for baby’s bottoms, just ignore that. It works.

I watched so you don’t have to (Part 2)

Dear ladies and gents,

here are a few new series I watched so you don’t have to.

The Goldbergs

The Goldbergs is based on the childhood of the series creator Adam F. Goldberg. Adam videotaped his family while growing up and the show is based on those videos. Obvs this might be mandatory watching for anyone else who grew up during the 80s. Predictably enough I thought it was funny. It wasn’t hilarious, but funny enough for me to catch the next episode.

The Millers

The Millers is about Nathan Miller (played by Will Arnett), a TV reporter who recently got divorced. Upon hearing the news, his father Tom (played by Beau Bridges) decides to leave his wife of 43 years and move in with Nathan’s sister. Meanwhile Nathan’s mum Carol (played by Margo Martindale) decides to move in with Nathan. Now the Millers were super funny in my opinion. I know, I know, I’m the idiot who laughs at the fart jokes, but who can resist a show that does a super creepy Dirty Dancing scene?

Hello Ladies

Hello Ladies is produced by HBO and stars Stephen Merchant (who you might remember from the Extras) as Stuart, an English web designer living in Los Angeles. Stuart considers himself a bit of a ladies man and well… nothing can be further from the truth. Stuart attempts to chat up the ladies are omgpleasestopyouareembarrassingyourself, but you know at least I can give the guy the credit for trying. And then again that’s what makes it funny. I’m sure this will get better as it goes along.

Sean Saves the World

Sean Saves the World is about a divorced gay dad whose teenage daughter moves in with him after her mum accepts a new job somewhere (that bit wasn’t explained in great detail, but then again I only watched one episode). Anyhow, Sean has a demanding job and wants to be there for his daughter, but obviously things are off to a bit of a rough start. If you are fan of Sean Hayes, you might want to give this one a watch. It is a bit confusing NOT seeing him do his Just Jack routine, but Sean Hayes is made for sitcoms, so me thinks this one will get better as it goes along.

Ironside

Ironside is produced by NBC and a remake of a 1960s series of the same name. It’s about a tough NYC detective Robert Ironside (played by Blair Underwood) who got injured in the line of duty and is in a wheelchair now. I like Blair Underwood (I thought he was great in In Treatment), however I’ll be honest with you – I switched this one off after about 15 minutes. Harsh, but true. It seems I am not the only one as it is the lowest rated drama to debut this fall. I think if you are into police procedurals there are better offerings available at the moment.

The Originals

See I didn’t know that the Originals was a spin-off from the Vampire Diaries (if it is not obvious, I haven’t watched a single episode of the Vampire Diaries). Anyhow the story is about the original vampires the Mikaelson siblings and they are in New Orleans and some shit with witches happens and whathaveyou. Again, I gave up after 15 minutes. Sorry, not all that into vampire anymore.

Super Fun Night

Super Fun Night is written by and stars Rebel Wilson. She plays Kimmie Boubier, an attorney who keeps a video diary of somesort. Anyhow, Kimmie has a long standing tradition with her 2 friends – each Friday night is Friday Fun Night when they get together and well… have fun. After Kimmie gets a big promotion at work, she decides they need to get out of their rut and try new things. I found Super Fun Night a bit well… flat (this coming from someone who laughs at fart jokes). Rebel Wilson is talented, I’m sure she can do better than this. Also – the singing? I am not a fan of musicals so the musical numbers were a bit what the what? It’s just a tad bit too whimsical for my taste.

I watched so you don’t have to.

Dear ladies and gents,

I watched so you don’t have to. Also if you saw something great, do let me know, I hate to miss out!

Hostages

Hostages is about Dr. Ellen Sanders (played by Toni Collette), a surgeon who is scheduled to operated on the President of the United States. On the eve of the surgery her family gets taken hostage by Duncan Carlisle (played by Dylan McDermott), an FBI agent who wants Ellen to kill the President during the operation.

Ok this show is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and obviously he has plenty of hits under his belt. And while I found it interesting how they started to deconstruct the characters in the first episode, I am a bit baffled what’s the long game here. Obviously these people cannot stay hostages forever. So I think this show might play out as Prison Break type of situation, if that makes any sense.

Watch if you liked Prison Break.

The Blacklist

The Blacklist marks the return of James Spader to our screens. In Blacklist he plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, a fugitive off FBI’s Most Wanted list who made his living by brokering deals for criminals. His nickname was “the Concierge of Crime”. He turns himself over to FBI and stipulates he will co-operate only if his liaison is Elizabeth Keen (played by Megan Boone), a rookie FBI profiler. He will help them hunt down terrorists FBI doesn’t even know about (the so-called “super-duper terrorist”*), in return he wants immunity, constant security and Elizabeth as his go-to person.

I thought the Blacklist wasn’t too bad, although there was a predictable moment that made me groan (in short FBI got the information a general’s daughter will get kidnapped. They collect her in order to transfer her to a safe house. Of course there is an oil spill on the road and OF COURSE it is really an ambush by the terrorists. O RLY?! You’d think they’d take that into consideration that any type of diversion on the road might be an ambush. It’s like these people don’t watch TV at.all.) Me think it will be a formulaic show – there probably will be a terrorist of the week story and a season long story arch that pertains to Elizabeth and her connection to Red.

Watch if you like Person of Interest.

The Michael J. Fox Show

To preface this by saying a) I loved Michael J. Fox since I was a kid so I’m biased and willing to let him slide even if the show was horrific. And b) my grandad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s (he was diagnosed much later in life and it was the early stages. He passed due to unrelated complications).

So. The Michael J. Fox Show marks Michael J. Fox’s return to our screens. It’s about news anchor Mike Henry, who after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, quits his job to concentrate on his health and to spend more time with his family. But after 5 years his family is getting a bit restless with his family-orientated ways. Mike decides to return to work to a) get out of the house and out of his family’s hair and b) to show people there is life after such a diagnosis.

I liked the show. It wasn’t super hilarious, but me thinks there is potential there, they just need to find their footing. For the pearl-clutching brigade (and there are bound to be a few of those types around, since the show is about an illness after all) – I didn’t think it was particularly non-PC about what it means to live with Parkinson’s. Yes, it pokes fun out of the disease, but it’s more about how people react to Mike/Michael (all emotional/huggy/whatnot which I’m sure I would do, if our paths ever crossed).

Watch if you like anything with Michael J. Fox.

The Crazy Ones

The Crazy Ones is about a Chicago advertising executive Simon Roberts (played by Robin Williams) and his agency that caters to some huge clients. The partner in the firm is Simon’s daughter Sydney (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), who, as it turns out, is a complete opposite of her father – he is a bit of a genius and an eccentric, while she (although talented) prefers to plan things out and take the safe route.

Now I love me some Robin Williams. He is probably the only man on TV who can make laugh so hard there might be a chance I’ll pee my pants. And he can do deep/troubled/sad well. But I thought the Crazy Ones were a bit uneven and again, it seems it will take them a few episodes to find their footing. The series was created by David E. Kelley so me thinks it is only a matter of time.

On a side-note – the Crazy Ones did much better in the ratings than the Michael J. Fox Show (15.6 million viewers vs 7.2 million). However they did have the lead in with the Big Bang Theory (18.3 million viewers for the season premiere).

Watch if you like Robin Williams

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I loved Avengers so this is a no-brainer for me. And it seems that’s the case for a lot of people because Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a huge ratings success for ABC (holding its own against NCIS which is the most watched show on television).

It sets up the S.H.I.E.L.D. universe well, there are some interesting characters (hello agent Coulson!) and it does that Avengers thing well – there are plenty of fast talking characters with witty one-liners playing off each other. While I didn’t find it riveting, I thought it was solid enough to see it again in order to see how it will play out.

Watch if you like the Avengers.

Mom

Mom stars Anna Faris as Christy, a single mum with two kids. Recently sober Christy works at a restaurant at Napa Valley as a waitress and is attending her AA meetings determined to move forward with her life. However her recovery is put to a test after her estranged mother Bonnie (played by Allison Janney) decides to make amends and get more involved in Christy’s life.

Mom is produced by Chuck Lorre, so obviously CBS is banking on another hit. Again like with other sit-coms on the list, I thought it was a bit uneven, but both Anna Faris and Allison Janney do have some comedic chops, so I’m not giving up until I see a couple of more episodes.

Watch if you like Roseanne (well sort of me thinks, Roseanne was much better obvs).

*Obvs I invented that term.