TV Reviews

You all are no doubt already watching some amalgam of TV shows like The Office, 30 Rock, Daily Show, Colbert, Simpsons, Family Guy, Dexter, Curb, Weeds, Big Love, Science & History Channel Programs, classics like Fresh Prince and Family Matters, as well as everyones' favorite show: sports.
I'd like to talk about three shows which you may not have come across in your travels, and perhaps might enjoy.
I'll begin with my favorite of the batch of new programming. Now in its second season, The Big Bang Theory chronicles the lives of genius physicists Sheldon Cooper, PhD. and Leonard Hofstadter, PhD., their friends, namely Howard Wolowitz, M.Eng. and Kunal Koothrappali, PhD, and their apartment neighbor, Penny, who served in the first season as Leaonard's romantic foil.

I managed to luck out in having come across the show early, just as it was beginning to air. I gave it a chance over the internet, and I have watched the show sequentially in its entirety. It is funny! The characterization of the characters is methodical and hilarious, and they have managed to keep the story line fresh into the second season, by way of Penny and Leonard taking separate romantic pursuits, while delving deeply and even darkly into the too too funny Sheldon Cooper's psyche.

The noteworthy thing about the show, off the bat, is the fact that the wonderful young couple from TV's Roseanne, Darlene and David, or, rather, Sara Gilbert and Johnny Galecki return to the small screen together, here. Galecki does so as central figure Leonard, and Gilbert as Sheldon's arch-nemesis and Leonard's sometime flame Leslie Winkle.

But the show succeeds beyond its pedigree, and it achieves an intelligent banter that one does not expect to see from sitcom television on 8pm Monday nights. That being said, shows like Big Bang, The Office, 30 Rock, and some others fly in the face of my general theories on the quality of network programming.

The Big Bang Theory is excellent, and you would do yourself well to purchase or illegally download season 1, and catch up here in season 2.

In a recent issue of Time magazine, I read a review of NBC's Kath & Kim that was downright brutal. It may have been one of the harshest critiques I've read about a new show ever. I'm going to look it up....

You may have seen this show, since it is wedged into NBC's Thursday night line up between Earl (a great show that I always miss these days) and the Office/30Rock. The American take on the Australian original is dumb, I'll give you that, TIME. But still, it is an indulgence worth digging into, and it is so obvious that with such a strong cast the show would come into its own. That has certainly happened, with the cast taking over for the scripts' weak points, and the scripts strengthening over time. "Ensemble cast?" you say?? Molly Shannon, Selma Blair, John Michael Higgins, and that's about it. Michael Day, the fourth "star" of the show, is top notch, as well.

HBO's Life & Times of Tim is a quality show in its own right. I also enjoy the Summer Heights High show, and I have yet to watch Little Britain USA, somehow. I will probably watch them all at once sometime.

But The Life & Times of Tim I have caught on numerous occasions, and I enjoy its dry, slow, absurdist style, and I like Tim's low-key, mellow reactions to the calamity around him. Delivered in 15 minute episodes, two in a row, a la Adult Swim, the show plays on Tim's inability to avoid simple problems, which then balloon into major calamities and disappointments. Delightful.