Monday, May 18, 2009

Television Shows You All Should Give A Watch Pt. 1

I've always been a huge fan of television, given my job it sort of comes with the territory, but I don't know if anyone really understands the length I tend to go to for my work in terms of research, I tend to work as hard as I can to be the best at what i do, and as a critic, I tend to believe in the idea that if you don't pigeon hole yourself into certain genres, and more so, if you don't limit yourself to what you can find just on your television, then you can be a fair judge of programing and content, what I mean is, just about anyone can watch a tv show and say it stinks or is good, but if you spend your time, researching, watching, studying what everyone around the world is watching, why they're watching it, what trends are hot in what country, stuff like that, that makes you a great critic, that knowledge... with that said, I would like to share with you all afew television programs from around the world that I feel alot of you might enjoy, if you aren't enjoying them already...

Alright, ready? set? Lets go..

Name: Reaper
Country: USA
Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Airing Status: Ended
You can find the Downloads: here (missing Eps. 1 and 2 for some reason)

Reaper is probably one of my favorite shows on television at this moment, its a playful, sometimes goofy, sometimes dark and twisted but always funny with just enough drama to keep the people that want alittle of that with their comedy happy. Its the story of Sam Oliver, unwitting retriever of souls that escape from hell. Sam's parents made a deal with the devil, and their end of the deal was, on Sam's 21st birthday, his soul would become property of the devil. On his 21st birthday the devil appears to Sam and explains to him that he will be a "bounty hunter for hell" or sorts, Sam refuses, and the devil explains to him he has no choice, Sam excepts this fact and with the help of his friends Ben and Sock, and eventually his girlfriend Andie, Sam goes about capturing which ever soul he's assigned to catch, as the show progresses you learn more about Sam's connection to the devil, about demons that live among the living, and the hole balance between heaven and hell. The real key to the show's success though, is definitely The Devil himself, played by the amazingly talented Ray Wise, a brilliant choice for the role, and he makes the devil the perfect mix of hilarity and pure evil. He alone is worth watching the show, though in truth the whole core and extended cast are brilliant as well. Plus with the almost certain cancellation at the end of this season, its one of those shows you should get on board with before its too late to find it anywhere.

Name: Dollhouse
Country: USA
Genre: sci fi action drama
Airing Status: Ended
You can find the Downloads: here

Dollhouse is one of those shows that is a huge hit with its target demographic, but seems to be missing anyone outside of that, which really is a shame, the show is great. The concept is this; the show focuses around a place called The Dollhouse, a place inhabited by these people called "Dolls". What a doll is basically, whatever a human be. The people that run the dollhouse are paid for their service, a doll is selected, and then they are put in a machine where everything they will need for the job they were hired to do, they are set out to do the job and then brought back, the information, and the incident are then wiped from their mind, the dolls think they are sleep the entire time and are unaware of what they've done. Its really the ultimate idea for an action / drama hybrid. If you've not seen it yet, you should give it a look.

Name: Survivors
Country: UK
Genre: Sci Fi Drama
Airing Status: Two Series, Third in the works.
You can find the Downloads: here

Survivors, for me, is a favorite, I grew up watching reruns of the original 1970s series and I always loved it, but also, I'm a huge fan of its creator, the late great Terry Nation, the sci fi master who helped define Doctor Who and though literature and television helped mold modern science fiction into the brilliant tapestry that it is today. The concept of the show is as follows; a super virus that starts out exactly like the flu, starts in england, and with in the course of less then a week, decimates the entire planet, leaving somewhere in the area of about 99% of the planet dead, the remaaining percent were naturally immune to the virus, or in the case of lead character Abby Grant, she was sick, but her body built an immunity do it, leaving her the only known person to recover from the virus. The show follows Abby and her group of survivors as they do their best to build something out of whats left of the world, they encounter others who survived, some good, some bad, some who just wish to be left alone. Its an incredible series which doubles as a great social commentary on just how civilized we humans really are.

Name: Dead Set
Country: UK
Genre: Horror
Airing Status: Ended
You can find the Downloads: here

Every now and then, you need to shake things up abit, and what better ways to do that then to soak up some trash reality tv show or a zombie movie... or, even better then that, a reality game show that becomes a zombie movie! now THAT is the ticket. Dead Set is just that, a special event made for halloween 2008, this five part story of what happens when everyone in the united kingdom that isn't locked inside the Big Brother house slowly gets turned into zombies, and how those locked inside the house try to get themselves out. Oh sure, its really nothing more then a joke on the whole crowd that watches reality tv of that nature like its a religion, but still anyone thats ever watched anything big brother related will get a huge laugh out of the brit-host getting herself turned into a zombie and how she dies, I know i stood up and cheered. And I think thats the point of the mini-series, to have some scary fun at the expense of something that many people see as a plague on humanity. It still doesn't make me wanna watch Big Brother, but it does make me wanna laugh at them.

Name: Afterlife
Country: UK
Genre: Horror drama
Airing Status: Ended
You can find the Downloads: Here

Afterlife is to me, the greatest show I have ever seen, it tells the story of Allison Mundy, a lonely, emotionally and mentally traumatized woman who spends her life keeping to herself as much as possible and trying to not draw alot of attention to her secret, that she sees dead people. She would have continued her life this way until she meets Robert Bridge a professor and part time psychologist who works at a local university who teaches a class on how fake physics and mediums are, after a case where one of his student's dies, he starts to question his idea on those in her field after she states something to him that no one else could ever have known but him and his ex-wife. He decides to study her and eventually write a book about her, the series tells the story of their journey together, right to the ending that punches you in the stomach and continues to do so till you cry.

Name: Trailer Park Boys
Country: Canada
Genre: Comedy
Airing Status: Ended
You can find the Downloads: here (pick all 7 seasons and extras one at a time or together, your call)

Is it possible that the greatest comedy series of all time, is the ongoing story of a trailer park full of petty criminals trying to make a fast fortune by coming up with these seemingly hair brained schemes and spending their down time drunk, swearing and smoking way to much weed? Is it possible that the greatest comedy of all time is really that simple of a formula? I could argue that it is, because thats the general concept of Trailer Park Boys, a low budget filmed on location outside of Halifax Nova Scotia in what is now an abandoned trailer park, the show is shot "reality show style" where the cameras follow around everyone in the park like its some reality tv show, and tells you the story of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles, and sometimes their friends from around the park in their apparently never ending fight against the ever drunken Mr. Lahey and his shirtless companion Randy. Each season normally revolves around the main plot of some big scheme or another, and all the little snags that get in the way, and each season normally ends with atleast one member of the cast going to jail, and the following season picking up when they get out. It seems pretty simple enough, but what really sets the show apart is the characters, the entire cast right down to the secondaries and rare appearance people are just amazingly well thought out and well acted, infact its in there contracts that whenever they appear in public or are spotted, they have to be in character, to kind of make it feel like they really are the people they are playing. Its a brilliant show, just, if you have an issue with lots of drinking, drug use and ALOT of swearing, skip it, if not, give it a shot, you'll love it.

Name: Satisfaction
Country: Australia
Genre: Drama
Airing Status: Third Series starts late 2009/early 2010
You can find the Downloads: here and here

Satisfaction is for me, what I like to call Guilty Pleasure TV. Sure its the "down under cousin" to the UK's hit Secret Diary of a Call Girl, by cousin i mean they have the same kind of premise, not that the shows are connected. Satisfaction follows the story of an upscale brothel in Melbourne called 232 and the girls that work there and those who come in and out of their lives. Sure, one could go on about the nudity and sexual content of the show, but i figure every other person thats ever written about it does that, I figure I'll focus, as i always do, on characterization, the entire cast is well thought out, well written and seem comfortable in their roles, alot of times in shows of this nature, you see little hints of uncomfortable in the faces of the actors or actresses, and it always takes sway from the whole feel of the show for me, but not so much here, i like that. Sure, some could say its just trash tv thats no better then the dregs American and British night time dramas give you, but hey, name me one person that doesn't have afew guilty pleasure tv shows they watch.

Name: Fringe
Country: USA
Genre: Sci Fi Action Drama
Airing Status: Airing Second Season
You can find the Downloads: here

This is one of those shows that when you look at it, at first it seems like some sort of X-File retread, but I assure you, its far from it. Based (and filmed on location in) Boston Massachusetts, Fringe tells the story of a group of FBI agents working on whats referred to as "cases of fringe science" meaning all the super science things we deem as "science fiction" by the general public, the show focuses on the team led by the beautiful yet always angry, Olivia Dunnum, which consists of herself, former con man Peter Bishop, Peter's father, the brilliant and completely insane Walter Bishop and Walter's "babysitter" Astrid. They work out of a lab in the basement of one of the older science buildings at Harvard University. The episodes range from things like Bank Robbers using sonics to walk though safe walls, to a form of LSD that causes hallucinations that kill you, and much more, they really do a good job trying to stay away from the normal sci fi subjects that shows of this nature seem plagued with. The real reason to watch the show though, is Walter Bishop, I have said this over and over again, the character is the greatest new character on television in recent years, and thats a very tall order to fill, that means beating out both Rose Tyler and Donna Noble or Doctor Who, Gwen Cooper of Torchwood, half the cast of Heroes, Allison Mundy of Afterlife, and countless others, Walter is the right mix of Doctor Frankenstein and that science teacher we all had who was insane but awesome because of it. Be it talking calmly about creating a time travel device so he could go back in time and ask a dead chemist a question but instead invented a teleporter by mistake, or stopping mid sentence to watch a unicorn run through his lab then continuing where he left off, or testing home made LSD on caterpillars for some unknown reason, Walter is a joy to watch, if you've not seen Fringe you seriously need to get on that.

And thats where I'm gonna end this part, I'll be back soon with more, just gotta dig up some images and some other stuff, damn netz... lol anyway, back with part two soon...



  1. I have got speacilly interested in the "survivors", "fringe" and "trailer park boys". Going to try them. Thanks for the reviews and tips BC, awesone as always:):)

  2. I have them all if you wanna get them off me Lylian :D

  3. i have been watching Fringe this week, i'm enjoying it a lot. Saw episode 8 yesterday, the one Walter Bishop has to come back to hospital for a while, it's really great stuff!