Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Requisites: Summertime TV

Even more so than during the regular season, summer TV is a reality wasteland. And after consulting Entertainment Weekly's "Summer TV Preview" issue, there's not much promising new stuff debuting between now and September. So, in addition to the slim pickings being broadcast, I've added some essential shows available on DVD.

New Stuff:

"The Office" webisodes This is probably the most interesting new programming and it's not even on TV. Last year's webisodes gave the accountants a chance to shine. I'm curious as to who will be the focus of the new ones.

"Fear Itself" (NBC, June 5) A horror anthology on network TV? Yeah, chances are it won't be all that great, but I'll give it a shot.

"Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (Showtime, June 16) This British import had me at its name.

Summer Olympics (NBC, August 8-24) The Winter Olympics are superior (all hail the Curl Girls!), but these games aren't too shabby. Added bonus: this year you only have to plan one party if you want to celebrate both the closing ceremonies and my birthday.

"Shark Week" (Discover Channel, ???) Always reliable, remember to clear your calendar when this airs.


"TV Funhouse" When this first was broadcast, I thought it was so wrong...and funny. It finally hits DVD next month. I'm glad I didn't splurge on those ebay bootlegs so many years ago.

"Spaced" I've only ever caught clips of this BBC show on YouTube, but I am extremely excited about this series from Team Pegg/Wright/Frost. I'm planning on calling in sick to work when I get this and devoting several days to fanboy hilarity.

"Stella" A goofily surreal sitcom that arose from the ashes of The State, this show isn't for everyone. But in a perfect world it would be. I'm honestly surprised that it lasted ten episodes.

"The Tick" Speaking of failed sitcoms, this was a brilliant take on the superhero genre. Patrick Warburton was perfect in the title role.

"Undeclared" Judd Apatow is the shiznit nowadays, so why don't you (re)visit his one-season wonder about college life? I recently watched the entire series again and I think it's hilarious. Below is an entire episode for your evaluation and/or enjoyment.

"Truth or Dare" Part I:

Undeclared - The Complete Series - Truth or Dare: Part 1

"Truth or Dare" Part II:

Undeclared - The Complete Series - Truth or Dare: Part II

"Flight of the Conchords" I've pimped this show enough. Watch it, dammit.


Maggie Moo said...

I LOVE shark week!

spydrz said...

If you want "Secret Diary" it's on my external HD in the BBC folder.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe TV Funhouse took this long to come out on DVD! Finally, Triumph's anipals will take their throne on my DVD shelf. Micah, make sure to check out Wondershowzen if you like outrageous, "taking it too far" comedy.

Make sure to turn all of your friends on to Spaced. Especially now that the US version is DOA. I have had the UK DVDs for several years now, and the show is fantastic.

spydrz said...


Micah said...

mags - Who could not?

spydrz - Cool beans. Not sure if I'll get to it anytime soon, though.

mehrdad - Last year a friend turned me onto "Wondershowzen" and I thought it was twistedly funny. I even bought both seasons. I'm about halfway through the second one. That redhead kid on the "Beat Kids" segments kills me.

And I came very close to buying a region-free DVD player earlier this year just to buy "Spaced." Then, miraculously, the R1 release was announced, so I scrapped that plan. I understand people are concerned if all of the music will be intact. Hopefully, everything will get ported over from the R2 DVDs.

Anonymous said...

Actually Micah, when I said the US version was DOA. I was talking about the US remake of this show. They were going to do what the Office did, and then decided to shut out Pegg and his collaborators, and "wing it" themselves. This didn't sit well with the geeks in the blogosphere, and a hate mail campaign ensued. Last I heard they were just going to shelve the whole thing.

Micah said...

I should've been clearer. I knew about the Americanized pilot and that fans were up in arms because Pegg/Wright weren't even consulted. I didn't know about the status of it, though. Thanks for the links.

I know NBC was going to Americanize another BBC show that I've heard good things about, but never seen: "The IT Crowd." They shot the pilot - starring Joel McHale from "The Soup"! - but it wasn't picked up.

My favorite time the networks did this was when NBC took a BBC show that cloned one of it's own properties and then made their own version of it: "Friends" (US) -> "Coupling" (UK) -> "Coupling" (US). And it sucked. Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

LOL, yeah I remember the Coupling fiasco. Hollywood is the only place on Earth where incest is encouraged.

It's a shame about the IT Crowd. Joel McHale is funny, and that show is great. Oh well, it was probably just not coming together in the way that they wanted it to.