Category Archives: TV

Hawaii Five-O, Oh, How You Tease

Last fall I heard a lot about the new reboot of Hawaii Five-0 and I was pretty excited to check it out – I had read good reviews, heard how this reboot was way better than other reboots, and it just looked cool (cheers, marketing team).  I missed the pilot (which would have helped explain a lot, but oh well), and in October I watched the second episode, “Ohana.”  I was not disappointed.  There’s cyberterrorism and bad guy Serbians, a kidnapping, some awesome fighting, explosions, hilarity, and a great ribbing of the original Five-O‘s catchphrase, “Book ‘Em Danno.”  I’d never seen the original, but I got the joke.  Overall, I enjoyed myself and got excited for my new show.

And I’ve continued watching Hawaii Five-0, but now I occasionally wonder why.  It’s certainly not bad.  In fact, it remains quite enjoyable.  It just hasn’t always lived up to it’s original promise of awesomeness (particularly see #5 below).  You think it’s going to be great and then you reach a moment of such ridiculousness (as particularly exemplified by February 7th’s episode, “E Malama,” see #’s 9 & 10 below).

However, I am going to keep watching and keep enjoying.  Hell, ridiculous can be fun!  I’m just going to file the entire thing firmly in the Guilty Pleasure category and call it a day.

Here are 10 Reasons Why:

5 Good Things About Hawaii Five-0 (Reasons It’s a Pleasure)

1. Scott Caan as Danno

As all the reviews say, Scott Caan is the reason to watch this show.  He really brings the humor and shoulders pretty much all of the engaging emotional and personal connection responsibility (I’d rather see stuff with his family than McGarrett’s, at this point anyway).  He’s fun and makes each scene he’s in fun to watch.  And you really notice his absence from those other scenes.

2. Beautiful island setting

It’s just pretty to look at and that’s nothing to knock.  Yaaaaaaaaay escapism!

3. Fun & unique plotlines

These guys are not solving your typical serialized-show murders (which get pretty interesting and diverse themselves nowadays).  Or at least the writers get some more interesting options due to the awesome setting – the witness can run through the jungle! the kidnapping can take place on a boat! sharks! tsunamis! luaus!  I also think they are doing a good job of making storylines with slightly higher stakes to justify this Special Task Force.  These problems are not just what the regular ol’ police get to investigate.  They’re a little more sinister.  A little more of state or national importance.  And with more explosions.

4. Good fights

I have recently taken a lot of stage combat classes.  I don’t at all claim to be an expert (nowhere near, in fact), but I have learned a thing or two and I do know what to look for.  I know a good fight when I see one.  In the second episode “Ohana,” Kono (Grace Park) fights Nadia, the secret Serbian bad girl agent, and I was very excited to see, not only an awesome fight, but an awesome girl fight!  This wasn’t just hair pulling or pulling punches.  It began when Nadia grabbed a knife and I noticed that she swung as if she was really going for it, trying to kill Kono with each swipe.  Which is how you would actually fight in such a situation, especially if you’re the bad girl.  Trust me, having that aspect of reality can be hard to find.  This was both fun and real, so from the beginning the combat has been promising. 

5. It’s Bill! (again!)

In the same episode, Martin Starr appeared as Toast, the perpetually stoned hacker genius who helped out with the high tech aspect of the problem-o’-the-episode.  I had high hopes (hehehe) he would be their go-to tech guy, but alas he was only in the one episode.  Why???  It was an awesome casting choice and a fun role.  And provided this choice line about Toast’s state of mind: “Baked…as a po-ta-to.”  Bring back Toast!

[As for the rest of the team, they’re pretty okay.  I like Grace Park as Kono, though I couldn’t necessarily tell you why and I think her shirts are always about to fall off.  And Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly seems just fine, but see #8 below.  And while Alex O’Loughlin is very earnest as McGarrett and seems to be trying very hard, I agree with a review I read that called him “wooden.”  I’m sorry, dude, but we need a little more energy, not just gruff-voiced shirtlessness.]

5 RIDICULOUS Things About Hawaii Five-0 (Or Reasons the Pleasure is Guilty)

6. I’m confused.  Who is McGarrett and why is he there and WHY is he in charge?

I realize that I missed the pilot and that’s where all backstory setting this up occurred.  I know that it is a special govenor Task Force; that part they repeat and make very clear.  I know his dad was a cop and he’s a Navy Seal.  And he dangles people off of buildings, so is therefore a badass.  And…something-or-other, plot device, now he’s a cop…ish.   Is he?  I honestly don’t know.  Is he allowed to arrest people?  Is that why he needs Danno?  In a recent episode, I swear they were repeatedly reminding us that McGarrett is not a cop (or so I gathered from the banter with Danno), so then how is he allowed to do all of this stuff?  The immunity, sure, but this issue keeps coming up and keeps seeming strange to me and I would like that explanation to exist in more than just the pilot.  Then again, maybe this all comes from the original 1968 version of the show* and I should just sit back and not fight it.

7. The height differential between Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan.

Ahem.  I don’t want to, but I definitely keep noticing that a. Scott Caan is a little short (but we love him and who could be so petty as to care, right?!) and b. Alex O’Laughlin is very very tall, so c. when they stand next to each other they look…disparate.  I don’t want to care, I really don’t, but at times it does seem a bit, well, ridiculous.

8. The lines they have Daniel Dae Kim say.

Chin really gets all the rough ones.  Which makes taking him seriously…difficult.

9.  McGarrett is doing WHAT in the middle of the jungle???

In recent episode “E Malama,” an important witness in the trial of a gang leader goes missing after her federal protection is killed by hired hitmen.  Chin and McGarrett go looking for and find her in the middle of the jungle, though they know the hitmen are also there in hot pursuit.  McGarrett sends Chin off with the girl so they can get back in time for the trial, while he goes very Man vs. Wild and begins to hunt the hitmen with only what he has in the jungle at his aid.  This is where things go a little off the rails.  One moment they’re all business, not to mention this moment is intercut with scenes of Danno’s B-Story involving his ex-wife and daughter back in town.  Then we’re back in the jungle and we suddenly see McGarrett, face painted, creating a crude battering ram with vines and a log!

Suddenly we are in the mash-up lovechild of Rambo + Swiss Family Robinson + Home Alone!

(I was pretty proud of the Home Alone realization…he’s sitting there setting up traps and it immediately made me think of the paint cans tied on the stairs!)

And then…

10.  … in the middle of all that McGarrett TAKES A PHONE CALL!

I get that they need to stay in touch, but when the hitmen could be anywhere nearby, he’s in the middle of holding a heavy log in the air, and the entire operation depends on surprise, I couldn’t believe that McGarrett took the time to try to talk Danno out of fighting with his ex-wife’s new husband.

Clearly, there are some crazy moments.  Then again, these sudden and surprising moments of…let’s call it whimsy, shall we?…are also what will keep me coming back for more fun.  Even if it’s only the fun of coming up with more strange movie combination lovechild references!

*I am super amused that the way to differentiate the shows (and this is backed up by both CBS.com and Wikipedia, so it must be true 🙂 ) is that the original was spelled Five-O, with a capital letter O, and the reboot is spelled Five-0, with a zero.  You’d need some way to keep it straight, right?  I wonder if it’s a copyright issue…cause that would really be funny…

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Random Observation: Rizzoli & Isles…Please, consider your vowels!

Is it just me, or is Rizzoli and Isles the stupidest title for a show you’ve ever heard?  Who the hell picked those names and put them together???

I would like to make it clear that I am not at all saying that complicated names are a problem.*  Not at all. 

What I’m saying is that you should try saying them out loud AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, TOGETHER before slapping them on every poster and filming your commercials.  Naming is important and, unless you’re doing something biographical, writers have a choice.  And trust me, we do put a lot of thought into it.

So how the hell did this happen??? 

Seriously, try saying it out loud.  It’s all the vowels – “Rizzoli,” ending in I, then “and” starting with A, and then another I.  What’s wrong with you people???  Every time it is announced it has to be said like that.  And it won’t just be your paid narrator person for TNT always in control, if you want any sort of other publicity.  Just think how the talk shows are going to butcher it!  And no, making it an ampersand does not actually help at all.

I also just think Isles is almost impossible to say after anything.  Try it!  They’re obviously going to call themselves by their last names because they’re associated with law enforcement.**

“Hey, Isles!”

“This way, Isles.”

“The girl was DOA, Isles.”

Okay, that criticism applies especially if the word preceding ends in an A,E,I,O,U or Y, but I still think it’s just really hard to say.  Period.  And therefore one of the worst titling jobs ever.

Also, a cop and a medical examiner?  A tomboy and a girly girl?  Seriously?***

*Or complicated names with various ethnic backgrounds.  Somehow, I’m really worried someone will take offense here.  That’s not what I am saying at all.  I am just talking vowels in separate words being placed back to back.  In a work of fiction where you have control over these things and should consider how the title will read.

**Obviously.  Is there any other way?

***Looking at their website EXTREMELY briefly to confirm that “medical examiner” was the official description, I ended up watching the video about the show being based on a series of popular novels.  If that is the case, then I say “seriously???” to that author.  Someone is to blame for these stereotypes and names.  And even if she wasn’t planning on it being a tv show, readers would say the names in their heads and the title would still be impossible to pronounce.  In your head.

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90s Child Star? Join the party!

I know I said I wasn’t posting videos here, but this is just too much.

I don’t believe I watched this show, Camp Cucamonga, but I certainly watched ALL of the shows that ALL of these people were subsequently on.  Ech, just don’t mind the grammar there and watch this –

Yes, that’s Steve Urkel RAPPING.  And DJ Tanner.  AND Winnie Cooper.  Apparently this was THE place to be to then star in a family sitcom in the 90s.  And to be curious, furious, excited, and delighted.

And when I looked it up to try to figure out if it was just a weird rap video with actor wannabes who eventually made it or an actual form of entertainment, I learned that Jennifer Aniston is apparently one of those hot girls in an inner tube.  Or no, wait, a counselor.  Whatever.

Wow.

Oh, and Breckin Meyer’s in there too.

I know, right?

And no, you didn’t really need to know that, I suppose.  Ah well, welcome to my world!

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10 Great Characters Entertainment Weekly Missed, or I guess I don’t really understand the parameters of your list at all…

Last week’s Entertainment Weekly had pretty much one HUGE feature article: “The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.”  I had fun flipping through the list and then, at dinner the next night with my boyfriend, it turned into a really fun game, with him trying to guess who was on the list and me trying to remember what I had read at 2 am.

We quickly learned that it’s a fun guessing game because of the parameters.  The magazine has been celebrating its 20th anniversary, which I believe prompted the time limit.  But as we both scanned our brains for great characters, we realized that there must have been many more rules to help with the selection.  You have to narrow it down somehow.  Otherwise you could just have every character from The Wire listed as numbers 25-100 and call it a day.

First of all, I really appreciate that the list is about characters.  Not the best acting performance, best movie, or best story.  But that brought up questions of what the heck were they considering made a character “great.”  Why this guy over that guy……….Best character arc?  Most memorable?  Largest influence on our popular culture?  Coolest in the eyes of whoever was in charge of compiling this thing?  Most recognizeable?  A game-changer?  I think that some of the influence/recognizeable idea could be ruled out, or a lot of really annoying, flat, not thaaaat creative characters, but ones that are still quoted now and had a huge influence in their heyday, would have been on there (i.e. I thought of Steve Urkel). 

So we started guessing the rules and found ways to rule out our many good ideas.  However now, looking back at the magazine with the list in front of me…I have no idea how they chose to do it.  Our parameters, what seemed logical to us and made sense based on those I could remember, are all broken by the magazine.

First problem: that time period.  20 years gets confusing because there are so many remakes, sequels, and movies made for the first time from much older books that came out during that period. 

Our parameter: The character had to have been first created between 1990 and 2010. 

Proof: For example, there were no Lord of the Rings characters,*** but that seemed to make sense because the book came out much much earlier.  This helped explain the absence of John McClane (Die Hard) because the first movie came out in 1988, though the others all were in the right time period.

EW’s Stance:  No.  See #33 – Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 (specifically listed as coming from the sequel).  I call bull s**t.  Sure she changed a lot by the 2nd movie but her character was created in 1984 in the original The Terminator (not to mention who knows when the idea occurred to James Cameron knowing his storymaking time schedule, but then that’s not how this is being counted either).  Why include her but not any of the other amazing characters whose sequels came out after 1990?  And The Joker from The Dark Knight?  I suppose I can see how it’s such a different creation than previous Jokers, but that character has been around forever.  And Tony Stark???  No way!  Iron Man, the character, debuted in 1963!

Second problem: many great characters in one project.

Our parameter: Only one character allowed as representative of a show/particular actor/specific world to help maintain diversity. 

Proof: It seemed they were trying to spread the love and that made sense.  While stories with one great character often had many more, you had to choose so that you could have a broad diversity in every sense of the word.  One Pixar representative (Woody from Toy Story), one Joss Whedon creation (Buffy), one Friend (Rachel Green), one from Seinfeld, one from The Wire, one Christopher Guest-universe character, one from Lost, one from The Office, I could go on and on.  Why not others from some of these masterpieces?  “Great” must mean “best.”  I thought it was a rule. 

EW’s Stance: Eh, not so much.  There are two Johnny Depps (Edward Scissorhands and Jack Sparrow – the only actor repeat, not including voices of animated characters), two J.J. Abrams creations (Felicity, and Sidney Bristow from Alias), and two Tarantino’s (Vincent and Jules from Pulp Fiction and The Bride from Kill Bill).  I suppose there are no two from one piece of art and maybe that’s it.

And while I love the diversity of genres they had – besides movies and tv shows, they drew from plays, books, and video games, and include cartoon characters as well, making it truly about the search for a great character – they may have taken it a little far trying to fill the slot of a certain “type.”  Maybe this was to please their various readership (something for the teens – Twilight, I’m looking at you, for the old ladies, for the guys, etc…).

In the end, maybe there were no rules, and maybe it’s just a matter of taste and I just did not agree with all of their choices.  I’m sure they’re receiving tons of e-mails telling them who they forgot.  I’m thinking of writing one myself, however, I was going to try to stay within their parameters.  But as #13 once said of the rules, “They’re really more guidelines.”  To that end, here’s who the boyfriend and I would have added if repeats are fair game (though I still think the time period thing is crap and all of ours were publicly released between 1990 and 2010).

1. River Tam or Mal Reynolds, Firefly (2002) & Serenity (2005)

2. Some combination of Nemo, Marlin, & Dory, Finding Nemo (2003)

I also thought Wall-E should have gotten his own spot, not just in a sidebar of other couples below the chosen Noah & Allie from The Notebook (WHAT?).

3. Amélie Poulain, Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain or Amélie (2001) 

I wanted more internationally created characters (ones that did not start in America).  There were very few and Amelie was only to be found in the notes below Jerry Maguire because Cameron Crowe was asked for his five favorites.  That needs to be rectified.

4. Lola, Lola Rennt or Run Lola Run (1998)

5.  Either Joel Barish or Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

6. Bubbles, The Wire (2002)

They could all be on here, and I was very glad with their choice of Omar, but Bubs was the other one we wanted to see and guessed immediately.

7. Yorick, Y: The Last Man (2003 – graphic novel)

8. Nancy Botwin, Weeds (2005)

9. Olive, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

I would also accept Grandpa or brother Dwayne.

10. Adrian Monk, Monk (2002)

How, HOW???!!!!, was he not on their list???

Admittedly, my choices are certainly influenced by me, my taste in entertainment, my desire to see more women on the list, etc…

I guess it just depends on what you think makes a character not just good, but great.

I can’t link to their whole list (here’s the most you can get online, I think you’d have to buy the magazine*)**, but who would you like to see on there?

*And because I know you’re wondering, on their list, #1 is Homer Simpson and #2 is Harry Potter.  You’re welcome.

**UPDATE: I just discovered the list recreated here, if you want to see who made it! – http://mix1041.radio.com/2010/06/02/the-top-100-character-of-all-time-so-says-entertainment-weekly/

***UPDATE #2:  Okay, I’ll admit I was wrong.  They do have Gollum on there.  So who the hell knows what they were doing.  I still say that if you say it’s from 20 years, then stick to those 20 years.  John McClane, people, come on!

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Hamish Macbeth, Ballykissangel, and the Fountain of Youth

That’s right, I have found the fountain of youth…

…and her name is Shirley Henderson.

This is very random, I know, but I felt the need to share when I realized all of this.  I recently watched Hamish Macbeth (yes, you read that correctly), a BBC small-town cop series that takes place in the Highlands of Scotland.  It is a lovely series, if a little odd (okay, sometimes downright strange), but that’s mainly because they often work the mysticism of Scottish folklore into the mystery/crime of each episode.  It was especially exciting to me because of my trip last year to Scotland.  The fake town of the series is comprised of shots from two real towns, one of which I stayed in on my way to the Isle of Skye – Shout out: Kyle of Localsh, woot WOOT!  And the 2-part finale all about the Stone of Destiny (which I learned about and “saw” in Edinburgh Castle) was filmed on the Isle of Skye!  I recognized it because they were hiking right over the Trotternish Ridge around the Quirang, which was one of my favorite places on the island and the hike where I got trapped on the side of a mountain in a monsoon.  It felt very cool to be able to recognize it.

Hiking the Quirang

Annnnnnnnyway, the series stars Robert Carlyle (he of The Full Monty) as the titular police constable Hamish, amid the usual cast of small town archetypal characters.  I say “usual” because I discovered that these people seem to be approximately the same on all of these shows.  This may not seem like that much of a revelation (I know there are archetypes and yes, I am a writer), but it felt like one because I was seeing the comparison so clearly illustrated.  Around the same time, I also started watching Ballykissangel (as I waited for the next Hamish Netflix disc to arrive…I had to fill my need for small town, strong-accent BBC television somehow!).  Ballykissangel is a series about a small town in Ireland, though the main character is a priest instead of a policeman.  Both shows involve the main character using untraditional methods to deal with the quirky personalities of the local populace and give a glimpse of what it’s like to live in a small, rather secluded town. 

I began to notice that the supporting characters were made up of a very similar smattering of local “types.”  There’s the publican (that means pub-owner, I looked it up because I couldn’t tell if they were talking about politics or religion or what), the shop-owner (who runs the only place to buy any food, which looks rather like a NY bodega), the businessman/handyman (willing to try anything/try to scam anyone to make a little money), and his henchmen who do the dirty work.  They are both very enjoyable shows and I highly recommend them, though I should warn you that watching nothing but these shows for two weeks had me starting to think in an accent (it wavered between Scottish and Irish).  I consider this a fun side effect, but then I’m turning into a self-professed anglophile.

Again, I digress…

Hamish’s love interest and soul mate end’s up being the town reporter, Isobel Sutherland, played by Shirley Henderson.  Whom I recognized and that got me started doing a little math…

Hamish Macbeth ran from 1995-97 at which point Shirley was a perfectly age-appropriate 30.  I have finally seen Bridget Jones’s Diary, so I recognized her as one of the friends (Jude, in fact).  Again, age-appropriate in 2001.  But what I really know her from, and since it is so much more recent it blows my mind a little, is Harry Potter!!!

No, she is not one of the teachers.  Shirley Henderson is MOANING MYRTLE!  Now I’m sure it’s a bit tacky revealing someone’s age like this, and Ms. Henderson, I really like you and your work and I hope that you don’t hold this against me, because I say it out of amazement and wonder and envy at your versatility as an actress.  She’s playing a 16-year-old, albeit a dead 16-year-old, at age 40!!!  Now that’s awesome!

She could do anything next, absolutely anything.  Her range seems unlimited.  What a thing to have as an actress.  I’m impressed, and jealous, and, mainly, just a bit floored.

Apparently, we all need to start drinking whatever she’s having.  

Maybe this means I need to learn to like Scotch.

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Welcome Back! Exciting Things are Afoot!

I’m back.  Thank goodness.

Thank you to anyone who has stuck with me through this dry spell and to everyone who told me that they kept checking back here hoping to see something new.  You’re awesome.  I like you too.

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to start up again without making too much of a fuss about how there has been a four month hiatus, how I wasn’t being very good about posting to being with, and how this blog had sort of devolved into random video posting there for awhile.*  And I think the best way is to just jump in and get wet.  So break’s over, you’re awesome, and here we go.**

And what better way to get going again than to share with you… (please picture a Ten Commandments booming voice here)…

5 EXCITING THINGS -INGS -INGS -ings -ings -… :

(5 Things About Which I am Excited just sounds silly)

1.  Party Down is back!

That’s right, season 2 is upon us.  Prepare thyself.

Don’t remember what I’m talking about?  See: New Favorite: Party Down.

Season 2 begins April 23.

2.  Iron Man 2

Have you watched the trailer for this???  If not, do yourself a favor and go here.  Believe me, it warrants three question marks.  This is gonna be swee-eet.

Opens May 7.

3. George Lucas’s new book Star Wars: The Making of the Empire Strikes Back

I love his movies with a passion, but am not the biggest fan of George Lucas, the man.  Well, really of George Lucas, the writer (see: all dialogue and some storylines in the new Star Wars movies).  I’d say that maybe he just wants to make more money with this book, but the behind-the-scenes photos from Empire Strikes Back in last week’s Entertainment Weekly are amazing and there are great quotes too.  This looks like it’s going to be a labor of love about a movie everyone loves.  Awesome. 

Out in October.

4. The return of Glee

It’s true, I’m one of them.  I love it.  It’s a smart show, done well.  It’s a lot of fun, while still telling some cool stories and not pandering to/about high school kids.  Sure the production numbers are polished with a capital P and some things may not be believable, but it also had the most well done coming-out scene I’ve ever seen, handling the topic so maturely and showing such beautiful humanity.  It’s like it’s a guilty pleasure without too much guilt.

And in the part 2 of this season (can you believe it only started this year?), we get to look forward to some awesome guest stars (Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth is back, and, of course, Neil Patrick Harris) and, even better, lots of Jane Lynch singing and dancing!!!  Yaaaaaay!

Returns April 13 (yeah, tomorrow).

I am obviously not going in chronological order here at all.

5. What’s next for Mad Men

(Carrie, don’t read this til you’ve watched the rest of season 3)

I just finished watching Season 3 on DVD, and, while I thought it all got a little weird there in the middle and a little too much was left to silent symbolism without being explained, they ended on a great note.  I love the set-up in all good stories- the gathering of forces, preparing for battle, training sequences.  The Plan.  And the final episode was one awesome set-up for what’s to come.  It’s a new dawn on pretty much all levels for our flawed hero.  (hee hee, unintentional pun***)  As they mentioned in the commentary, hell, they’re going to get a whole new physical set.  It was the end of an era, but the gathering of the essentials of something new; all the characters you want to see more of are there, gathered together in one room, ready for the next step, the new company.  Things getting too confusing and not going where you want?  Cut ’em all out and start over.  I am very excited.

Season 4 starts in July 2010 (though I’d have to have working cable by then to watch it as it’s happening).

Okay, I only have a list of five for you, because that’s all I could think of right at this moment and I wanted to start this ball rolling.  Get things moving.  Shakin’ and bakin’ and- Okay, it’s time for bed. 

Many many more posts to come. 🙂

*Random videos, those you used to find in the side bar, are now all being sent to my tumblog of things I find funny and/or awesome.  I hope you’ll check it out — Gareth Keenan Investigates!

**I almost wrote, “and we now return you to your regular programming,” but what had become “regular” for this blog was complacency and laziness.  And even that was anything but regular.  So instead, welcome to the new and improved programming.  Ooh, that’s Exciting Thing #6!

***  Ooh ooh!  Best marketing campaign ever??!!  With a picture of Draper – “A New Dawn.”  This is just rife with possibility.  I’m a dork.

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New Favorite: Party Down

I’ve been recommending this small TV show (a Starz original) to everyone recently, and now I am recommending it to you.  I’d been hearing about it a lot, so when it suddenly came up on Netflix Instant Watch I instantly checked it out.  And just like that I was converted.  Not that I was against it in the first place or anything.  I was convinced.  Enchanted.  Whatever, people, follow me blindly!

For those who haven’t heard of that of which I write, Party Down is a show following a catering company and it’s small band of heroes, all of whom are, of course, really trying to be actors, writers, and otherwise employed in the entertainment industry.  That is, except for their fearless team leader, who just wants to be the best team leader out there…and to get through a night without puking, getting caught with his pants down, or offending the client.  And to open a Soup N’ Crackers.  What can I say, it’s a dream.  Each episode follows one self-contained and clumsily-catered party, and the roster of special guests is pretty awesome, on top of the already awesome cast.  Oh, and 5 or so episodes are directed by Fred Savage.  Yes, this is what he’s been doing since Daddy Day Camp.

Besides the fact that that paragraph alone should have you reaching for your computer and Netflix account, here are…

10 Reasons You Should Totally Check Out Party Down!

1. It’s Bill!!!!!

That is to say, it’s Martin Starr, also known as Bill from Freaks and Geeks.  I am sad to report that it took me something like two and a half episodes to realize why I knew this guy, but when I did, I shrieked with joy!  It took my friend Carrie about two and half seconds.  Shut up.

Anyway Martin Starr is always amazing and hilarious, plus his character is the cater waiter struggling to be a screenwriter, so maybe I’m just excited because I got all of his jokes.

2. Jane Lynch is amazing and…wait for it…different!!!

Jane Lynch is always pretty amazing, but I feel that she often gets pigeonholed into the same type of roles – the lesbian dog-training, Cheerio-coaching, slightly agressive and psycho roles – for which she has become known and loved.  But I know she’s more than that and she proves it in Party Down.  She’s not only really funny, but refreshing.  And not just “Jane Lynch,” but her character.

3. The rest of the cast is amazing as well!

That may not sound like the most exciting section heading, but it’s true.  With such a strong core group, they can throw them into truly crazy situations, and all of them are really talented comedic actors.  And the cast includes that girl from Mean Girls (all growed up and pretty) and that guy from Wet Hot American Summer (it also took me a few episodes to realize why I knew Ken Marino). 

4. Amazing guest stars too!

Over-usage of the word “amazing?”  You decide.  And yes, that so totally was the brother from Wings playing a Russian mafia soldier recently released from a murder sentence…with a lazy eye. 

5.  Tight episode structure.  Tight writing.  Tight…um…shirts (sometimes).

6. They go there.

It’s Starz, so there’s leeway for some swearing, indecent references, drugs, a porn star awards show party, and way too much puking.  But I swear it’s all well done, including just the right amount to be fun.  Well, maybe there’s a little too much puking.  Mostly done by Ken Marino.  Poor Ken Marino.

7.  If somehow you are not gathering this from what I am writing, let me say it again – It’s funny!

8. It made me think of all the things that are good about The Office.

It’s filmed along the same vein, but not as a mockumentary.  Which is not to say I don’t like a good mockumentary, just that it’s not exactly the same.  No cameras following them, but it is reminiscent of the style of The Office.  Plus, now that I’m thinking about it, it does have a cute girl and guy couple (whom you want to get together) being the voice of reason, while surrounded by a bunch of crazies.  So there’s that too.

9. Did I mention Fred Savage directed this?

10.  Short and sweet.

I was in the process of writing something here about how one good clean season is better than a long stretched-out storyline or a sophomore slump, when I discovered that our raggle taggle crew is going to be back for more!  So, instead, my point will be that when you finish the show in love and wanting more, as I know you will be, there will be more episodes coming soon.  Bring on Season 2!

(also, may I point out that I just used “raggle taggle” in a sentence?  Word!)

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