Saturday, October 27, 2012

Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia review

Its Always Sunny in Philapelphia is certainly one of my favorite comedies on TV right now. They have just started airing the 8th season and I can't wait for it to air every Thursday. I enjoy this show so much that I usually re-watch each episode the next day. I don't think I have ever done that before with a TV show (maybe a few times with Breaking Bad but that is a drama).

The show follows a small group of bar owners as they get into ridiculous situations. They each have unique characters but they all share the same traits of big egos and being scheming, selfish liars. This makes for great viewing as they try to get one over on each other and the supporting cast. They scheme and cheat for their own benefit. It rarely ever works out for any of them. But that doesn't stop them starting a new scheme next week. It is a relentless barrage of entertaining TV.

Some may find the jokes crude or too out there. Personally I think it is genius. Each character is loveable whilst also having their dark sides. Frank, played by Danny DeVito is often disgusting and loves to instigate trouble. Charlie is the self proclaimed "wild card" who can be naive and almost innocent with his schemings. Mac is the "bouncer" of the bar and fancies himself as a karate tough guy who should be a movie star. Dennis is the ultra arrogant and self centered "pretty boy". Dee is the only girl of the group and regularly suffers verbal abuse from the guys.

If you are a guy between 18 and 40 you need to watch this show. Others may also enjoy it.

My rating 5 stars out of 5. (as close to comic perfection as is possible)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Seinfeld review

Seinfeld review
This blog wouldn't be complete without a Seinfeld review. This is the granddaddy of sitcoms and an essential buy for any comedy fans. Jerry Seinfeld is the star and he plays himself with close friends Elaine, George and neighbor Kramer. There are a whopping 9 seasons with each containing 20+ episodes, so this is one to keep you busy for a long time.

The comedy is excellent with little mini plots each week. It makes very easy watching and there are times when I must of watched 10 22 minute episodes in a day. On the other hand it can feel a little tame sometimes with the same characters doing the same sorts of jokes. For example George saying something silly which ruins his job or a relationship. You can't fault the quality and consistency though.

In terms of laughs, this is more of a chuckle program rather than one which will have you laughing uncontrollably. But every episode is crammed with entertainment. I can't think of a single bad episode or dull moment. The jokes just keep on flowing, even if they aren't always hilarious Kramer will pop up and do something weird and wacky. Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm is a producer/creator of the show and fans of his more recent series will love this. 

My rating 5 stars out of 5.

For some reason I can't embed any of the Youtube clips for this show, so here is a clip from one of  Jerry's live shows (which you get clips of in the sitcom episodes):

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wilfred review (US version)

Wilfred review US
Wilfred was originally an Australian show. It was highly acclaimed and got a big budget remake in the US. So far I have only seen one episode of the Australian version which wasn't as polished and well acted as the US version. I will get around to watching and reviewing it at some point, but so far the US version has been a much easier watch.

Wilfred is a unique concept. The lead character is played by Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings fame. He plays a slightly messed up bachelor struggling to deal with the realities of his work and social life. His neighbor has a dog (Wilfred) and only he can see a human version of this dog. To everyone else it is a normal pet. The two become friends and Wilfred gets him into all sorts of trouble.

The first season is very entertaining with good acting, story lines and lots of "dog jokes" like Wilfred uncontrollably running after a laser pointer. I would highly recommend season one to any comedy fans. It is a nice slice of something different. Season two was a big let down for me. It was more of the same but the theme felt worn. Basically Wilfred continues to get "wimpy" Elijah in trouble and it is the same old tussle between the two. I found the second season tedious and far less fun to watch.

My rating 3 stars out of 5.

note: I'd give the first season a solid 4 stars and the second a poor 2 stars.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The League Of Gentlemen review

The League of Gentlemen review
The League Of Gentlemen is a British comedy of epic proportions. Like most shows from the UK, it only ran for a short time (3 seasons) with a low amount of episodes each time (6). It is the creation of four very talented individuals, 3 of whom star in the show. They each play a variety of odd characters in the fictional small town of Royston Vasey.

The first season is my favourite. It is jam packed with the best characters and jokes. The second season gets a little more story based with the introduction of new characters. The third is a mixed bunch as the creators try to keep things fresh with individual stories in each episode. The one about the arm transplant is perhaps my least favourite episode in this final season.

There is also a selection of additional material available including a Christmas special which is similar in format to the third season. Then there is the movie which is a fantastic concept where the characters realise they are in a TV programme and their world crumbles. There are also 2 live shows available on DVD which are excellent. The pantomime format is a brilliant light hearted concept.

This is a classic comedy and one of the best I have ever seen. The writers deserve credit for creating something which is completely unique and groundbreaking. Although it isn't perfect, especially in the latter parts, the characters are amazing and the comedy hilarious.

My rating 4.5 stars out of 5.


The League review

The League review
The League is a show about a group of guys in their late 30s who indulge in their own fantasy football league. As a Brit who knows nothing about American football I found that the "sport talk" didn't need to be understood. This is a comedy show, so it is unlikely that the football is meant to be an essential part.

There are one or two familiar faces in the line up. The characters are all kind of middle of the road. By that I mean this is neither a silly or extreme comedy show. Some viewers may find it a bit tame. It doesn't really pack a punch and I feel like I have already forgotten most of the stories. Nevertheless it is a decent watch.

This is a semi-scripted TV show which explains why the comedy isn't flowing like in FX's other hit Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia. In fact the reason I started on this s because it was on the same channel as Its Always Sunny. Unfortunately there are no similarities. This gets a pretty average rating from me, perhaps American football or fantasy league fans will enjoy it more?

My rating 2.5 stars out of 5.

Better Off Ted review

Better Off Ted reviewBetter Off Ted was a good idea for a show and it was excellent for the first season. However it soon became apparent that the idea was limited and the second series became tedious. The show has now been cancelled.

Better Off Ted is set in the headquarters of a large company who brings innovative products to the world. Ted is the main character and he plays the staff manager. He deals with the big boss who is played brilliantly by Portia De Rossi from Arrested Development fame. He also deals with the geeky scientists and others.

"the first season was a great watch, the second an effort to get through"

It is a quirky show and quite lightweight in themes. This makes it an enjoyable, easy watch. The lack of variety is ultimately what let this one down. My advice is to certainly watch the first season, but skip the second.

My rating 2.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Trailer Park Boys review

Trailer Park Boys is the first Canadian comedy series I have watched.  This review gets the site off to a good start as I rate this very highly. It follows a group of guys who live on a poor trailer park. They are followed by a fly on the wall camera crew (like in The Office). These guys are drunk, jobless criminals. They battle with the trailer park supervisor over silly issues. Each episode sees them get into a new scheme or situation.

Trailer Park Boys review
The stories aren't what make this a great TV show. It is the excellent characters which are realistic and well observed. Although it is an exaggeration of real life, it does feel quite real, which is enhanced by the filming style.

The main stars are Julian who is quite level headed and Ricky who is basically a meat head. Ricky brings most of the laughs, especially when he insults the likes of Mr Lahey, the park supervisor. Ricky often talks to the camera too which can be hilarious when he gets his words wrong (see the clip below). Julian's recurring jokes is that he always has a drink in his hand, even in action situations. I don't know why but that joke just never wears off.

After season one the character Bubbles starts to get more and more air time. This is great as he is amusing and his level headed vibes allow Julian to go off the rails more. Mr Lahey also gets a sidekick in Randy, the shirtless assistant park supervisor with a big beer belly. There are plenty of supporting characters who all do a good job too, especially the white rapper J Roc.

The show is full of silly little plots which work brilliantly in the fly on the wall documentary style. It looks very low budget which is fine. The specials and movies aren't as good as the actual show itself. However once you have watched all of the episodes you will surely be ready for more. With plenty of material to watch, this show is a winner. It doesn't have the polished quality of something like Seinfeld but it is still essential viewing.

My rating 4 stars out of 5.