I know that this is Filmthusiast, but every day the line between movies and television becomes more and more blurred. Even the difference between movies, television, and something like a web-series is a little wonky. Wouldn’t a Netflix show technically be considered a web-series? What would you consider something like BEASTS OF NO NATION that got its major release on Netflix as well? A web-film? A webbie? I have no idea! My point is that we at Filmthusiast are dedicated to the art of filming. Television shows are filmed and therefore should get a little love on here as well.
Here are a few recent shows that have caught our wandering eyes…
I know what you’re thinking. How can the constant airing of a 1996 Coen Brother’s movie constitute as a television show? Here’s the thing. You’re wrong. It’s not the movie. It’s a show based on the movie, but not even really that. It’s a show based on the general tone of the movie, but the whole story is re-imagined as an episodic television show. Even crazier? This is the second time they did it! This is the second season and it’s a prequel to the first one. This time they have Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, and Bruce Campbell as Ronald Reagan running around in the 1970s! My mind is being constantly blown by this and then re-imagined into an enjoyable and riveting FX original series.
MASTER OF NONE (Netflix)
I’m actually a little reluctant to post this show on the list because its title is a bit misleading. MASTER OF NONE makes it seem like the show isn’t going to be very good or important when it happens to be both of these things. MASTER OF NONE is pretty much a master of showing what it is like to be in your late-twenties/early thirties. It’s a hilarious and heartbreaking examination of what it means to be a person and to exist in the modern era. It also has a diverse and wonderful supporting cast that elevates the material to extraordinary levels. It’s almost crazy how much this show “gets it.” And you know what I mean by “It.” You know. I know you do.
RICK & MORTY (Cartoon Network)
Yeah, it’s a cartoon. Get over it. Yeah, it’s kind of a take-off on the main relationship in BACK TO THE FUTURE. Get over it. Yeah, it’s definitely written by active drug users. Get over it. Yeah, it’s at worst a really enjoyable show and at best a devastating masterpiece that absolutely understands the human experience and is able to convey the emotions tied to the feeling of being a tiny spec in the grand scheme of the universe. Get over it. Or better yet… Get INTO it.
LAST WEEK TONIGHT (HBO)
If you are anything like me, your favorite part of high school math was the ‘cumulative review.’ Teacher would put together a study guide for all the recent stuff that we had learned and then follow that up with a little quiz. I’ve often hoped that the same thing could be done with comedy-driven news just without the quiz portion. My prayers have been answered. HBO got a British person to come over and tell us how messed up our political system is and how upsetting many of our social issues are. I swear though, it almost sounds like he’s asking us to tea. Crikey!
THE FLASH (CW)
I was surprised to learn that THE FLASH was not the sexually explicit sequel series to THE SLAP, but despite it’s last of full-frontal male nudity, I’ve come to really enjoy the show. There is this young guy who gets hit with matcha infused lightning and can run at the speed of Starbucks. He is constantly drinking coffee and running at, with, and away from other people who are super-fast. Plus that guy you like from that thing is in this. Hopefully they cast that lady you like from that other thing soon. I’ve been missing her on my television screen.
SOUTH PARK (Comedy Central)
What is this, the past? Why are you telling me to watch SOUTH PARK, Dave? It’s not the 90s. My parents aren’t in the other room getting loaded on Zima… First of all: Yes, they are. Second of all: The show is in a renaissance. They’ve clearly seen full seasons of shows like BONES and NCIS: MIAMI and thought to themselves “We could be trying harder.” So now they are making seasons that kind of make sense and follow a narrative through-line. Just like THE VAMPIRE DIARIES! I know!
THE LEFTOVERS (HBO)
What started out in development as an animated series about what happens to your leftover food when it’s sitting in the fridge after your fourth drunk microwaving of it has actually turned into a really great, character-driven show about what happens to a bunch of nut-jobs after a bunch of people disappear in a rapture-esque event. I’m going to spoil something for you: It doesn’t involve a whole lot of smiling. Recently they’ve actually moved the show to Texas where there is a lot more smiling, but each smile holds a secret. Oh damn! That was pretty great! I should really be writing log-lines for these shows…