Friday, September 6, 2013


Shows Too Good for the World – You Monsters!

So hey, I just finished Terriers on Netflix and after adding it to my list of shows TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD YOU MONSTERS I got to thinking about some of the other shows that are REASONS WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS – WHY BATMAN, WHHHHYYYY!? So here's a couple of shows canceled too soon (that aren't Firefly I promise) that you might have missed because they're TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD, YOU FILTHY ANIMALS.

This is a modern detective noir that ONLY GOT ONE SEASON (YOU INSENSITIVE JERK MONKEYS) and a brilliant one at that! Hank Dolworth (Donal Logue), a retired cop and recovering alcoholic, and Britt Pollack (Michael Raymond-James), his ex-thief partner, are just trying to make ends meet. How? By solving cases nobody else wants with only their wits, street smarts and smooth-talk. Each of the episodes has twists and turns, there's a constant cavalcade of complex characters, and it always has a downer or bitter-sweet-at-best ending. It's noir at its most interesting and funny. The best part is seeing Hank and Britt get themselves out of situations in ways you'd never consider. In one case, they break into a highly guarded safe by setting off the alarm and then posing as the alarm repair technician! 

Action is in short supply. There are barely any shoot-outs, car chases or fistfights, but there are tons of mystery and intrigue. It helps that there's a larger mystery involving a big corporation (that thankfully gets wrapped up so the only season doesn't end on a cliff-hanger), making Hank and Britt the only fuck-ups trying to save their little town from certain doom. It's a great show, funny, with great acting and a damn good example of modern noir. If you enjoy Justified you should check this out!

This at least got two seasons, but was still cut in its prime. Ned (Lee Pace) has a gift that lets him revive the dead for one minute, but if the risen individual lasts longer than that, something of equal value will die in its place. And if he touches it again, it will die forever. Charloette 'Chuck' Charles (Anna Friel), the love of his life, is one of those people he's touched, meaning he can never touch her again. Together with detective Emerson Cod (Chi McBride), they use Ned's powers to solve mysteries! It's a unique premise made all the more unique by the fantastical art direction, incredible script and dialogue, wonderful theme music and, oh yeah, it's NARRATED BY JIM FUCKING DALE YOU RAT BASTARDS HOW COULD YOU!? 

I can't think of a more unique show, there just aren't any that look or feel like this. It is just SO lovely and heart-warming and funny and silly and fun! UGH. This is one of those shows that is too unique to be on network television. I really wish Netflix had revived this because it’s just so good and it tries to wrap up every cliffhanger on the very last episode and they keep saying there's a comic but it's just not as good as 2 more seasons. Emerson Cod's suits alone have more unique style and flair than 75% of the shows on TV right now. They always go to incredibly strange places, like beehive corporations, or eclectic cook-offs, or a company that makes cars running on sunflower seeds, or a monastery in the hills, and they're all such colorful places with colorful characters and you should just watch the damn show.

Ted (Jay Harrington) is an executive working in a company called Veridian Dynamics, which makes all manner of things from food to office furniture to military weapons. Ted narrates the various adventures he has with his boss Veronica (Portia De Rossi), co-worker and love interest Linda (Andreas Anders), and scientist friends Phil and Lem (Jonathon Slavin and Malcom Barrett). This show is what would happen if Apeture Science ran The Office. It's stupendously ridiculous. Veronica will come to Ted saying how "the company" has a certain problem (she regularly talks about "the company" as though it's a sentient being) and Ted will try to have his scientist friends fix it, leading to ridiculous office adventures. 

Favorites include when Linda makes Lem into an animal mascot but is afraid the company will take away her idea, and when the company gets cheaper light and door sensors that don't pick up black people, and when sexual assault is labeled a disease, leading to sexual adventures running rampant through the workplace. These are interspersed with ridiculous and slightly creepy commercials from Veridian Dynamics talking about how much good they do and how, really, they're looking out for you, and why don't you love them and buy their products more? WHY DIDN’T YOU LOVE THIS SHOW MORE YOU HEARTLESS SYCOPHANTS?! And it's all pulled together by Ted's good-natured narration, making him sound like Don Draper's good twin. It's a fun, lighthearted show you should check out!

THIS SHOW WAS WAY TOO CREATIVE TO BE CA- actually, you know what, this one I'm not too sad about only getting one season, but I still think it's interesting and elusive enough to include on this list. After a serious car accident he still can't fully remember, Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) is split between two realities: one in which his wife died, and one in which his son died. He goes to bed in one and wakes up in another, and for the life of him he can't figure out which is the dream and which is real. It's an interesting premise, seeing how his life is different in both realities, and having him just barely decide one is real before switching and being thrown into indecision again. He's a homicide detective, and he regularly uses clues in one reality to solve mysteries in the other. In one reality, he gets a new partner because there's some argument with his old one, and in the other, he's still with his old partner. Sometimes it's not even a question of which is real, but of which he would rather have. 
His partners are different, his shrinks are different, his lives are different. It's really interesting to watch, as they manage to go to some weird places in the one season they have. It ends on a weird note that I won't spoil, but I will say it ends nicely and if it had gotten another season, I'm sure they would have found some more interesting ways to play with it. My favorite is the two different psychiatrists, who each have their own theory of why the other reality is the dream and theirs is real. They even get to hash it out with each other at one point later in the season, accusing each of being a figment of his imagination, which is something I was waiting for the entire season. It's a strange little show and one you should definitely check out. 

There are plenty more shows I have stowed away because YOU PEOPLE JUST DO NOT KNOW A GOOD THING WHEN YOU HAVE IT YOU LUNATICS but I think that's enough to try out for now. Have a great weekend!

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