Almost immediately following the posting of Episode 1 of TV Happy Hour I already had a slew of updates to get started on for the Episode 2. I will be getting into it shortly, but I started and finished the first season of Wilfred, witnessed the mid-season finale of Breaking Bad, finally caught up with the entirety of Community Season 2 and went out in search of a TV show that I had previously missed and now want to check out. With the abundance of TV on every single day I have plenty to pick from but for Episode 2 I have decided to go with a British TV comedy that you can check out at the end of this post.
Since this is only the second incarnation of the newly formed TV Happy Hour I would like to reiterate my current format while also warning that it could change at any time. What I decided on initially is discussing a show from any point in my past that no longer airs new episodes and relive the ups or downs of that show. From there I will go through all of the shows that I currently watch and doing so as spoiler free as possible (if I end up spoiling something there will be adequate warning). Lastly, I highlight a show that I have not yet watched and add it to my consciousness in order to update on the next Episode of Crummy TV about rather or not I will continue to watch it. So, we already have a shakeup that for now will serve as the format for subsequent Episodes where I will talk about the new show I decided to check out, followed by the discussion on a show from my past, on to updates on currently running shows that I watch and ending on the new show that I haven’t seen that I will check out for the next Episode. With that out of the way, on with Episode 2!
Previously on TV Happy Hour…
When I last updated I made the decision to start watching the FX Comedy, Wilfred. As fans know, this show follows a former lawyer, Ryan (Elijah Wood), who in a depressed state attempts and fails at committing suicide. Afterward he encounters his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann), that appears to him as a man in a dog suit that speaks, drinks and smokes weed with him, but everyone else sees and treats him like a plain old dog. Wilfred and Ryan embark on a series of ridiculous pranks and small adventures from standing up to a porn addicted neighborhood psycho, a peanut butter soaked dog rapist and a particularly funny escape involving a fender bender and a stuffed giraffe.
I have to say that while I do plan on checking out the next season of Wilfred, I didn’t find myself compelled to watch several episodes of this in a row. The show is made watchable based on Jason Gann as Wilfred who is often laugh out loud hilarious when delivering actual jokes and by acting out the perceived thought process of a dog. I couldn’t help but be charmed over by Wilfred when he’s dumbfounded by a laser pointer or the fact that he can’t help but constantly hump stuffed teddy bear- in several different positions no less. Elijah Wood on the other hand is okay, I can’t say he is the draw to the show because the secret weapon is Gann, but Wood does have a few moments to shine here and there. I got a lot of chuckles from side characters like Chris Klein as the over excited jock and boyfriend of Wood’s neighbor, but I think the two funniest guest spots came from Ed Helms as a dog watcher that creepily loves to spread peanut butter on his genitals for Wilfred to clean off and Jane Kaczmarek as the woman Ryan gets in a fender bender with and Wilfred insists that he hit on and have sex with her in order to avoid paying for the damage.
So, my final impression for Wilfred is that I think it is a show worth sitting down and checking out and has plenty of laugh out loud moments, but is not as memorable as I’d hoped and wouldn’t be something I’d revisit on a regular basis. I will give Season 2 a chance at some point, but not as enthusiastically as with most shows I find enjoyable.
Pushing Daisies – I often find it depressing when I’m able to find a show that I love right from the first episode only to realize there’s a finite number of episodes. In the case of Pushing Daisies that number was ever present when I knew there were only two seasons and with each one that I watched that brought me closer to the end I grew angry that the show had such a short lifespan. On premise alone this show sold me as it follows a boy that early in his life discovers that he has the ability to bring dead things back to life. However, to add to the interesting nature of the show there are stipulations to his power where if he touches the person or thing he just brought to life again it dies once again, but permanently. It doesn’t stop there though because once Ned, the main character, brings the dead back to life and does not touch them again then something else within the vicinity of the dead thing he brought to life drops dead. The premise opens up tons of great humor and darkness to the very quirky tone of the show which also makes it so much fun to watch.
The set up outside of the central conflict that Ned has to deal with is great as well as Ned is the proprietor of a popular pie shop in which he uses dead fruit for his pies that as soon as he touches them they are then fresh and delicious thus making phenomenal pies. Beyond that he also befriended a private investigator that takes advantage of Ned’s gift by having him bring a murder victim back to life for 60 seconds in order to interrogate them about the circumstances of their death so he can then collect money from his clients that they split between one another. Within the first couple episodes Ned also finds a lost love from his childhood that he brings to life and can’t bring himself to kill again, but as their relationship grows he has to avoid touching her again for fear of losing her forever. Add all of that together plus plenty of other side plots this show has great replay value and in my personal opinion even though it’s a show cut down too early you’d be doing yourself a favor to still check it out.
The Walking Dead – Of the most recent shows I’ve caught up with The Walking Dead is one that I literally just finished. I crammed Season 2 of this series into just a couple days watching it nonstop when I wasn’t at work and my wife was off being a responsible adult. I wouldn’t have done such a thing if I didn’t enjoy it and to honest I really do love this show- in such a way that it really confuses me when I hear some people hating on it with every fiber of their being.
As a fan of horror I feel lucky to have something so massive in scope on TV and with such a phenomenal look, not to mention how gruesome and visceral it can be in its darkest moments. Sure a lot of the drama feels a bit tacked on and I can’t imagine having some of the conversations that some of the characters have in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, but at the same time I’m not currently in a zombie apocalypse so who am I to say what I would and would not do.
Some of the characters here do get on my nerves, Andrea and Laurie in particular- though neither appear to have much to contribute to the proceedings but stir the pot and gets the guys all worked up. T-Dog at this point felt to have been forgotten in the script and the writers realized too late so they just told him to show up and get in a few lines whenever he felt the moment was right. I loved Shane’s character far more this season because I felt the show needed that little push toward conflict outside of zombies and the plausibility of him losing his mind, becoming jealous of Rick were immensely entertaining and frightening. All in all I can’t wait for Season 3 and I am hoping to be able to stay up to date on it instead of waiting for DVD and having a nightly cram session of episodes.
Dexter – When I last updated I was in the midst of watching Season 6 and I’m here this time to inform you all that I finished Season 6- did I like it? The short answer is, yeah I guess I kind of did. I will say that this season has been the weakest, which makes me nervous because I had similar sentiments about Season 5 so I’m really hoping the trend does not hold steady on Season 7- thought I’ve seen the trailer and I think it looks great.
I loved the buildup of the season and the concept of a Doomsday Killer, but it’s the execution that dropped the ball. The casting of Collin Hanks was easily the worst casting decision of the series- I find Hanks to be a subpar actor and as a killer he has the intimidation tendency of a newborn puppy except not as adorable. I loved the return of Dexter’s brother in his visions not to mention an episode in which Dexter travels to Nebraska- though I still don’t know why everyone in the entertainment industry assumes EVERYONE in the Midwest talks like a southern hick. Of the beat moments in the season I would put the ending as one of the best in the series, though it’s an ending I think should have been explored in an earlier season. On the other hand I HATED the direction the writers were trying to take with Deb’s relationship with Dexter. As a whole the season is worth a watch, but is easily the weakest of the bunch.
Community – Over the course of Season 3 of Community I remember being cold on the first few episodes until the multiple timeline episode reeled me back in and then things got busy and I had trouble tuning in on a weekly basis. Then of course the drama about NBC putting the season on hold, starting rumors that it would be cancelled and then eventually they brought it back and the season concluded with some of the strongest episodes in the series history including my personal favorite, the 8-bit videogame episode.
Once the season was over the rumors were still circulating about its cancellation especially after news came out of Season 4 being shortened to 12/13 episodes and moving its time to Friday nights. The rumors intensified and show runner Dan Harmon was relieved of his duties as the show runner. I lament the possibility that the new season could be losing what makes this show so special in spite of the fact that Season 3 is not short on episodes I probably won’t watch ever again. When the show is clicking it was really something special and as a whole Season 3 has some incredible episodes and remains one of my favorite shows on TV. I really hope the new showrunners can capture what made Harmon’s vision so unique.
Breaking Bad – The time has come- the year long wait to the concluding season of Breaking Bad is upon us and it is going to be a long year. I disagree pretty strongly with a lot of the nitpicking I’ve heard about the season so far and how characters have been behaving and really believe that this season has been far more riveting than the first half of the shows previous seasons. In my personal opinion the buildup so far, while accelerated due to where they were leading to during the midseason finale has been fantastic. We are so used to slow brooding buildups that take place barely over a few days that the sudden jump months ahead of time may seem sudden and jarring, but at the same time I find it necessary and a refreshing change of pace.
Breaking Bad has been one of the best shows on TV for a while and sometimes it borders on excess when it comes to how slow the buildups in previous seasons can be and considering this is to be the last season, a lot of ground needs to be covered if we are going to have a satisfying conclusion and closure on the series as a whole. I won’t spoil it, but I LOVE the cliffhanger at the end of the midseason finale as it’s something fans I’m sure have been waiting to see happen and the moments leading up to it were tense and then the sudden realization before cut to black was fantastic. Now I need to be pointed in the direction of a time machine to fast forward a year or someone needs to find me an easy time killer to get me through this break.
The Inbetweeners – My choice for the next Episode of Crummy TV is a show that comes to us from across the pond. The British TV show The Inbetweeners is a comedy about a group of high school students that spend the majority of their time talking about and trying to get laid. Nothing over complicated about this and given my current brain overload of TV shows that’s exactly what I need.
The Inbetweeners has two seasons on Netflix Watch Instant and a movie that hit limited theaters not long ago. So of you want to play along for the next installment get on and check this out and feel free to share your thoughts with me as well.