Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shows you may have missed

Some shows get hyped and some squander in obscurity until someone whose opinion you trust comes along and writes a blog post about it. Hey, I get it. We've all been there.
Pushing Daisies—A modern-day fairy tale, magically rendered. Part romantic comedy, part noir crime drama, this show lasted two seasons before being hastily wrapped up. Still worth every gorgeously shot frame.

The I.T. Crowd—Few shows have actually brought me to tears from laughing. This is one of them. The show follows two I.T. techs and their manager as they deal with all of us corporate idiots on the other end of the help line. Recent seasons of the show have fallen off a bit in quality, but the first two seasons are essential viewing.

Party Down—This show only lasted 2 seasons, but it was essentially a smarter, funnier, more brutally honest companion piece to the glitz and glamour of shows like Entourage. The show follows would-be actors and writers as they work their catering day jobs.

Undeclared—The only show I ever wrote a letter about to try to save from cancellation. Alas, Judd Apatow’s foray into College life was not to be. While it lasted only one season, it still left quite an indelible impression on me and still holds up after all these years.

Extras—By the creators of The Office (UK), this show was constantly surprising and excruciatingly uncomfortable. A parable for the almost famous. The guest appearances by Sir Ian McKellen and David Bowie are priceless.

Flight of the Conchords—Some people I know still haven’t seen this. Ridiculous. Two New Zealand musicians come over to America to make it big. They don’t.  While Brit and Jermaine are good, Murray and Mel are the true stars of the show. And the songs are pretty catchy, too. The creators intended the show to only last two seasons and, despite becoming a hit, kept their word.

Firefly—A western set in space. By Joss Whedon. Often intense, sometimes chilling, constantly thrilling and always fun, the show lasted one season and a movie before riding off into the sunset.

Veronica Mars—A snarky, wise-crackin’ high schooler with a knack for solving crimes? I’m as surprised as you are. The first season is great, the second is okay and the third just doesn’t hang together.

The Venture Brothers—A spoof of Johnny Quest, this animated show wanders into some uncomfortable territory. Often. But the writing is sharp and Brock Samson is a force of nature.