Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Weekly Buffet: Fall Into TV

[One of those final summer days under the sun - adventure to Whidbey Island, Wash.]

It's September y'all!

That enthusiasm may be flowing throughout my body now, but cut to me a couple days ago and it would be a different story.

Unbeknownst to this here gal, since for some reason I don't look at a calendar on the regular, Sunday was the last day of August. I didn't realize that fact until about 11:32 PM.

There were 28 minutes left of the last day, of the culturally agreed upon last summery sounding month. Upon this epiphany, I soon had a twitch in my eye and a slight panic brewing in my brain.

Quickly, I racked through all the past events of summer and only came to terms with this tragic development once I had officially calculated that summer and been successfully crammed with fun in the sun.

Fall is coming and I am alright with that. I do love fall after all, especially with the thought of new exciting media consumption on the horizon. This week has definitely been about embracing all that is on the verge - whether that be in the form of rumored casting, a new to you find on Netflix, or a popular show filling a seat with a fresh face.

Rumor Has It

The CBS comedies may solidly have a hold on high ratings, but there was no other show more discussed earlier this year than True Detective.

Avid fans were pulling together their own clues in attempts to solve the crime, there were popular podcasts digging deep into the meaning of each episode, and people were reading (gasp!) old books in order to gain insight on "The Yellow King".

Once a second season was announced and we dealt with the fact that Rust and Cohle would not be returning, the internet blew up with speculations on who the new cast would include. With that #truedetectiveseason2 was born, linking together a wide variety of hilarious pondering over spectacular casting choices. Basically, if two people, objects, or animals were ever in a photo together, they were bound to be placed in the leading roles.

But let's get serious - who IS going to star in the new season? No one can say for sure yet. However, there has been some talk on the topic. My heart knows better than to trust rumors, but if the latest news is actually true, all y'all better hold me up before I faint southern debutante style onto a fancy ass chaise lounge.

When names like Taylor Kitsch, Elisabeth Moss, and Colin Farrell get thrown around in the same sentence I automatically think I've started to read an essay of my own creation. Some sort of Friday Night Lights meets Mad Men fan fiction where a dreamy Irish man shows up?

Anyway, this isn't the case - actual news sites have been declaring these three fine actors as possible chosen ones. Marvelous! Let's hold on to hope that Tim Riggins will soon be sharing the screen with Peggy Olson.

Ricky Gervais - Creator of Sweetness?

Leading up to Emmy time, I sought out those nominees that I had yet to watch. Out of the ones that were available, I decided on what I thought would be a nice comedy shake-up. Ricky Gervais in his Emmy nominated comedy leading role? Sure!

What I found after watching one episode of his show Derek was shocking. Gervais, the king of British sarcastic meddling,that some find intolerable, is also a fine actor. I was also surprised to be brought to tears not from laughter, but from quite the opposite - genuine, heartfelt storytelling.

I got completely swept up in each episode and rapidly proclaimed to everyone I knew that to my surprise, Gervais has crafted the most (honest to god) sincere, and dare I say, sweet, show in the television medium.

Knowing absolutely nothing about the plot of the show, I tuned in for some sort of crude comedy and quickly took back any previous expectations. The fact that the show is based in a nursing home should have been a tip off that the story would be more evolved than tawdry one-liners. Don't worry though, all of Gervais is not lost. There are still a few dirty jokes flown about and his general sense of outrageous humor is still grounded in the characters.

Jokes aside, I was continually impressed with how Gervais decided to tell a story (he created and writes the show) about people not normally featured on television or movies - the elderly and regular everyday people who spend their days selflessly in the depths of working an under-appreciated job. I think Derek entirely struck new ground.

Each episode revolves around the workers and the tenants of the nursing home. Like Downton Abbey, but with more realism. People are moving in, being cared for (with much hijinx), and then, as you'd expect, some residents pass away.

Some might take the things I praise and even instead think that Derek is too sweet, enough to cause a cavity. Maybe, "Gervais has cast himself as the cutest bunny", but I admire the uniqueness of this show too much to take that more pessimistic viewpoint.

Anyone looking for a show outside of the typical comedy or drama should consume this one immediately. After you're finished, let me know which side you stand on.

(Both seasons of Derek are available to watch instantly on Netflix.)

Just A Girl On The Voice

There was a time when reality competition shows were my jam - couldn't get enough of 'em. In more recent years though, I have completely lost interest in watching an endless line of singers audition on a stage for a group of judges.

There was a time and place, but it lost its charm, and seemed to be too repetitive. Plus, you really want me to commit to two-hour episodes one night combined with a results show on a different day? No thank you. I've got other more interesting ways to spend my time...or really...just better things to watch.

Now NBC has found my weak spot - childhood/teenage nostalgia mixed with a singer I still admire.I'll always be that seven year old girl bouncing around my room to Tragic Kingdom.

Now that Gwen Stefani has joined The Voice, do I really have any other choice but to watch? Curses!

Until next time. 

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