Summer 2014 TV

Without the podcast, TV doesn’t get discussed in the world of Berserk Hippo nearly enough anymore. Let’s rectify that with some thoughts on some more recent shows.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Although both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have been around for quite some time, there are no doubt people who haven’t ventured into the waters of this polictical satire and ridicule. Politics aside (and a person’s appreciation for this show is no doubt affected by personal politics) this is a hilarious look at current events from the week, and causes numerous laugh out loud moments from the host and the vignettes throughout. Oliver seems to strike the right balance between self deprecation and cockiness and touches on many different topics from both sides of the political fence. Being on HBO awards some freedom those on Comedy Central don’t have.

Drunk History

An inventive concept that may or may not still be funny 10 episodes from now, but at the moment, it’s gold (and has already produced 2 seasons totaling 18 episodes). The premise is that the creator of the show interviews someone with a strong historical knowledge of a particular subject, which the person then tells the story of, but the person with the knowledge is flat out wasted drunk. The cherry on top though, is that the entire story is acted out in a separately recorded video, complete with costumes, and generally with reconizable faces playing the roles (Laura Dern, Jack McBrayer, Johnny Knoxville, Martin Star, Jesse Plemons, Patton Oswalt and Jack Black have already showed up in season 2). The characters acting out the scenes even mouth the dialogue provided by the storyteller including all the mistakes, noises and slip-ups that are made. Anyone that enjoys silly humor and history will love this.

Married

One of FX’s two new comedies, the pilot episode was rough, and smart people stayed away until episode 2. The show is finding it’s footing a bit, and the underappreciated Judy Greer is trying her best to make this one work. Nat Faxon plays her husband, and Brett Gelman, who was one of the few high points of the NBC show Go On, plays his friend. The premise is just a middle aged couple trying to keep the spark in their marriage as they muddle through life. Think a less funny TV version of This is 40. The show is somewhere between OK and Good at the moment, but has potential because Greer and Faxon have good chemistry.

You’re The Worst

The other new FX comedy, this one features Aya Cash, who some may recognize from season 2 of The Newsroom, and Chris Greene, and English actor from parts unknown. Cash and Greene are too pretty awful people who meet at a wedding, hook-up, and then enter a relationship after hitting it off in their own way. Both of them are incredibly awkward, and bad at their jobs1, and seemingly even worse at life, yet go well together. Not only does it seem like the kind of thing that has been done to death, but it’s hard to see where this show goes because it’s not very deep so far. It’s not horrible, and has enough raunchy moments to make it entertaining, but it’s worse than Married.

(What about?)

  • No The Leftovers, sounded too depressing.
  • No The Strain, ew, no thanks.
  • No Tyrant, bad reviews and no buzz = bye-bye
  • Not caught up on Masters of Sex or The Bridge, but nice starts so far.
  1. But like most TV shows, they still don’t seem to have any money issues []