TV

Better Off Ted

If you haven’t yet submitted to the mania of Santa Clarita Diet, I suggest you get on it.  The Netflix comedy has me in stitches and I’ve watched it through more than once by now.  Which is why it came as no surprise to me that the show’s creator,  Victor Fresco, is also responsible for one of my favourite lesser known sitcoms, Better Off Ted.

I was introduced to this parody of office culture while nuts deep in a ridiculous office job selling “smart solutions to optimize efficiency.”  Buzz business words that business people don’t think are funny were my jam, so this show hit the sweet spot.

This quick witted comedy focuses on Ted, a VP at a parody of a multinational conglomerate in charge of research and development.  The single father narrates us through his attempts at managing his career, child and love life.  It’s as quick witted as you’ve come to expect from SC Diet, to the brim with quoteable one liners and back and forth.  The cast absolutely excels in their delivery of the ridiculous dialogue while all managing to be charming.  On top of that, it is absolutely silly and over the top and calls out all those weird office tropes that your colleagues seem to think are normal.  (We are all Linda).

This 2 season show is somehow still not on Netflix, so let’s start the campaign to get it there, considering SC Diet seems to be doing pretttty well.  Also, the fake company commercials are so good as a standalone mini series.

Great if you liked: Santa Clarita Diet, Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, Community, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Archer

Dead Set

So I have had Black Mirror teed up for a great TV edition for a while now, and, suddenly, to my delight, Netflix revived the British series and suddenly everyone is talking about and has seen the amazing sci-fi anthology series of which I can’t get enough.

Charlie Brooker is nothing short of brilliant in his anthology of short films about the dangers of technology.  So, what do I do now that it’s no longer the obscure?  Suggest to you an earlier Brooker work: Dead Set.

This 5 part series answers the hypothetical of what would happen in the Big Brother house if a zompocalypse happened.  (I know you’ve been wondering).

Dead Set has the grittiness and… Britishness… of 28 Days Later with the unpredictable story of the Big Brother house, which, honestly, seems like a pretty solid place to hole up. *Changes Zombie Apocalypse Contingency Plan*

It’s a really great addition to the zombie drama.  It’s also low key brilliant since the Big Brother house is likely populated by specifically selected characters to create big drama, kind of like the characters of movie would be, particularly in a zombie or cabin in the woods trope film.  So seeing the fictional cast of a would be reality show interact in an apocalypse is welcome and a lot of fun.

It’s also 5 episodes and one season which makes for a nice light binge without having to commit to 40 seasons of new zombie drama (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead).

Great if you liked: 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, The Walking Dead, Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Black Mirror, Big Brother

So you liked “Making a Murderer”…

Making a Murderer is all the rage right now. The true crime doc Netflix series is tearing up the bandwidth of seemingly everyone on social media.

But you blew through the 10 short episodes on new years day and you’re looking for more.

I got you covered with these true crime docs you probably haven’t seen.

The Staircase

If there’s one thing I learned in law school, it’s that The Staircase is a pretty solid documentary.  This 8 part doc by Academy Award winning Jean-Xavier De Lestrade, follows the high profile murder trial of Michael Peterson.  Peterson is accused of murdering his wife after she is found lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of their home’s staircase. If you thought the twists in Making a Murderer were good, oooh wait ’til you hear about the e-mails!

 

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

 

This is the first part of a trilogy, which also includes Paradise Lost 2: Revelations and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.

This doc/ these docs chronicle the trial of the West Memphis Three, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin for the horrific murders of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Much like our pal, Steven Avery, the West Memphis Three assert their innocence and this is another instance where the justice system appears to fail an accused.  The “townspeople” interviews are just as bone chilling as the interrogations from Making a Murderer.  This high profile case was also the subject of West of Memphis, a documentary released at Sundance 2012, and the subject of the 2013 drama, Devil’s Knot starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth which tells the story from one of the victim’s mother’s POV.

Fun Facts, the first instance of Metallica allowing their music to be in a movie, and Johnny Depp is pals with Damien Echols.

The Central Park 5

This 2012 documentary by Ken and Sara Burns chronicles the story of 5 black and latino teenagers who are convicted of the rape of a woman in Central Park.  The 5 spent years in prison before another man confessed to the crime.  Another tale of the miscarriage of justice and the motivation to skewer those accused for a sensational news story.

 

 

 

Happy viewing.