This Is a Blog: TV You Should Catch Up On, Part 1

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TV You Should Catch Up On, Part 1

(Part 1 of 2, in alphabetical order)

Arrested Development - I really did not want to like this show. I thought the premise was dumb and the title was even dumber. It just seemed so smug and purposefully funny. Yes, it is all those things, but as with anything, if done right, it can be completely brilliant. It's telling that Michael, the most normal of the group, our window into their world, isn't normal at all. He's just the closest thing to normal the Bluth family could ever achieve. The level that these characters' narcissism and cluelessness reaches goes beyond explanation. If you like to laugh, hard, you will love this show.

Boy Meets World - It's like “The Brady Bunch" coated with a healthy layer of absurdity. The show covered everything from divorce to cults to slowly losing one's mind. These wholesome elements let the writers have a little fun with the premise. When unimportant side character – little sister Morgan – disappears for a while only to return as a different actress, they call it right out, even adding in the joke, “I've been in my room a really long time." And then there's Mr. Feeny, played by John Adams himself, William Daniels. Feeny evolves from their teacher to principal, to a weird guy who follows them to college so he can keep teaching them, all the while adding a level of gravitas Mr. Kotter could only dream of having.

Gargoyles - It's a show about racism. Not only are these creatures fishes out of water, they're so monstrous, they can't possibly find acceptance in the world of humans. This racism isn't glossed over, the show delves into issues like oppression, revenge, resentment, greed, etc, etc. And oh yeah, it was a Disney afternoon cartoon. Pile onto that more Shakespeare references than any child would ever understand and you get a show that far transcends the genre. My fingers are still crossed for a live action movie.

Saved by the Bell -
People still don't believe me. When I say I love this show, I mean I love it without a sense of irony. It's just so simple and so goofy, it can never be repeated.

Scrubs - John Guare's “Six Degrees of Separation" talks about the great modern tragedy being the death of imagination. What I like the most about this show is its celebration of just that, imagination. It's like one leap beyond M*A*S*H. The doctors deal with the death around them by delving into ridiculousness. The characters have built up around themselves such a lush fantasy world that it bleeds into their real lives. They run around the hospital playing games and getting caught up in their little dramas, until the moment comes that they have to accept that they're doctors and try to save a life. Daydreams keep us sane, and this show encourages us to do more of it.

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