Ellen’s Summer of the Binge

Summer gives us some great movies, but the television is bit limited (other than Big Brother and SYTYCD, of course).  While some may bemoan this, I celebrate it by using this time to watch a whole lot of shows that I don’t always have the time to get around to during the regular TV season.  My bingeing is greatly aided by the fact that I can watch while I am at work.

I thought I would run through the shows that I have been watching this summer, in particular order.  Unless, “the order that I remembered them” is considered an order.

chuck-box5Chuck (First Time) – As mentioned in last week’s Crush of the Week, I fell pretty hard for both Zachary Levi and the show itself.  It can be a bit corny at times, but overall, I really loved it.  Fun, funny, and heaps and heaps of sexual tension.

Buying & Selling (First Time) – I definitely prefer the original Property Brothers or the OG PB as the cool kids call it.  Of course, this didn’t stop me from watching a lot of it.  I think my main problem with this version is that the buying is my least favorite part of OG PB.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Re-Watch) – Much like the other Fey/Carlock joint, the rewatchability factor on this is high, there is just so many hidden gems that come out on repeat viewings.

Spaced (Re-Watch) – I feel the need to bust this show out every now and then because I just love it so much. This time around, I watched each episode, then again with the original commentary, THEN AGAIN with the guest commentaries for the special edition DVD. Fun bit of trivia: My first post for this site was about Spaced.  I just love it that much.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (First Time) – This one may warrant it’s own post, so I may not say too much here.  Much like the OG WHAS, the humor here may not be for everyone but I have a major soft spot for David Wain and Co.  Even if the brand of humor is not for you, the cast alone may be enough reason to watch.

The X-Files (Re-Watch in Progress) – This show was on every Sunday night in my house growing up because my mom was a huge fan of both the show and David Duchovny.  I figured that I should give it a re-watch in preparation for the new series.

Rehab Addict (First Time) – Another show that is not my favorite, yet I watched all of it.  While I do like her design style and dedication to restoration, Nicole gets on my nerves and it drives me nuts that it takes multiple episodes to get through one house.

Flip or Flop (First Time) – The reason I don’t like Rehab Addict is the reason I like Flip or Flop.  Tarek and Christina are by no means my favorite, but I like that they get through a whole flip from buying to selling in only 20 minutes.

HFXUP105_BTS_Johanna-Chip-Muscles_v.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.822Fixer Upper (First Time) – BY FAR my favorite of the HGTV genre.  I love their houses, I love the format, but mostly I just love Chip and Joanna so much.  That being said, I wish Joanna was out of the picture so that I could marry Chip and run a renovation company with him.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (First Time and then Re-Watch) – I lost track of how many times I watched this show because when I was really obsessed with it, I would just put it on in the background.  Just because.  If you want more of my thoughts on this one, go here.

The IT Crowd (Re-Watch) -I watch a lot of these shows while I am working, so it is nice to have an easy comedy that I can not pay a lot of attention to and still enjoy thoroughly.  Very British and very silly but so funny and Chris O’Dowd is so cute.

Love It or List It (First Time) – You might be able to tell, but I went on a bit of an HGTV bender this summer.  This is yet another that is not my favorite, but it was mindless entertainment for a couple days at work.

Derek (First Time) – I wrote a lengthier review of this one after I had watched all of it.  I’m really surprised that it took me so long to get to this one being the fan of The Office and Extras that I am.  It is very sweet and melancholy in the same way as those shows.

catastrophe-sharon-horgan-rob-delaneyCatastrophe (First Time) – If you are a fan of funny yet realistic romantic comedies then this one is for you.  The chemistry between the two leads (Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney) is very sweet and grounded and made fall in love with Rob.  I dare you to watch and not do the same.

RuPaul’s Drag Race (First Time) – Honey, you better work.  This show is just fabulous and eleganza extravaganza.  Shantay, you stay on my DVR list because honey, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love someone else.  Can I get an Amen?  (This review is brought to you by the catchphrases of RuPaul)

Inside Amy Schumer (First Time) – This has been deemed as the Summer of Amy Schumer by media outlets, so I figured I would get on board and watch her show.  I was not disappointed.  Like most sketch shows, not all of the skits are amazing, but there is a lot of joy to be had from the good ones (my favorite being her Friday Night Lights spoof)

snowGame of Thrones (Catch Up) – I had fallen behind on this one and catching up seemed like an insurmountable task, but that’s what summer is for.  Some of my experience was tarnished by spoilers I had learned through the grapevine, but this show is still pretty nuts.

Silicon Valley (First Time) – I will always support the comedies that get nominated in the Best Comedy category that are actually, you know, funny.  I was happy to discover that this is one of those shows, which is not surprising when considering the people behind it and the cast.

Justified (Catch Up) – This is a show that I love but fell behind on when I didn’t have cable.  This one is a really great drama that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  Also, I will never be mad at Timothy Olyphant in a hat.

Helena-Tatian-Maslany-in-Things-Which-Have-Never-Yet-Been-DoneOrphan Black (Catch Up) – If you caught a whiff of the excitement around Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy nomination and wondered why everyone was making such a big deal, watch this show and you will totally get it.  I had already watched the first season but needed to catch up on the 2nd and 3rd.  I know that the 3rd has gotten some mixed reviews, but I will always love getting more Helena.

Humans (First Time) – There wasn’t a lot to binge here because it is fairly new, but I did watch all episodes one Saturday a couple of weeks ago.  I found this show quite interesting and hope that more networks start picking up British imports.

I know.  I have a problem.

Ellen

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Run-On Sentence Review: The World’s End

The-Worlds-End-2I will forever love anything involving Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and/or Nick Frost because I love Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz THAT much so it is hard for me to be impartial in this review so I just won’t be impartial and say that I loved this movie and it may not have the perfection of Shaun of the Dead but it was still awesome and hilarious and I loved seeing Pegg and Frost play such different roles from their others in the Cornetto trilogy and Martin Freeman will always be a welcome addition to anything for me.

Verdict:  If you haven’t seen Shaun or Hot Fuzz, see those, then go see this movie!

Grade A, Choice Picks: TV Bromances

Ah, the love between two straight men.  Isn’t it bromantic?  It seems like TV is rife with these special relationships and I love it!  There is something so fun about seeing these guys be unabashed about their love for each other.  Believe me, I had a heck of a time whittling this down to only five.  For the sake of whittling, please note that I disqualified any bromances between actual brothers (sorry, Sam, Dean, Stefan, and Damon).  With that said, let’s get to it!

5. Bret and Jemaine – Flight of the Conchords: Look, Bret and Jemaine have had their squabbles over their band, girls, and shared apartment.  But they always find a way to muddle through, usually through the gift of song.  For the best example of this, watch the video.

4. J.D. and Turk – Scrubs: Probably the most unabashed pair on this list, J.D. and Turk make no ifs, ands, or buts about their love.  Any wife or girlfriend who ever came in the mix just had to accept that they were getting a two for one deal.  Perhaps, the theme song of “bromances”, I give you “Guy Love”:

3. Troy and Abed – Community: Let’s set aside any pillow vs. blanket battle royales and face the facts: Troy and Abed are tight.  Tighter than Inspector Spacetime and Constable Reggie.  But that’s what happens when you have a morning talk show together, hang out in a Dreamatorium, and bunk together.  A great moment in their friendship was when they wanted to ask out the same girl:

2. Tim and Mike – Spaced: Yes, Tim is somewhat responsible for killing Mike’s dreams of joining the ranks, but that didn’t kill the mood for these two.  The chemistry between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is obviously real and true because it has carried on into every other project they have done together.  Just look at how wrecked Tim is over Mike’s FAKE death by paintball.

1.  Shawn and Gus – Psych: They left me no choice.  Between the nicknames, the screaming, the shared childhood memories, and the way they always have each other’s backs these two are the best bromance on TV and that bromance is pretty central to the show.  Finally getting Shawn and Juliet together  didn’t have the “Moonlighting effect” because their romance is not the the central relationship of the show.  That honor belongs to the boys.

What do you think? Agree?  Disagree?  Who should have been knocked off?  Who should have replaced them?  Believe me, I had a long list of runners-up.

Ellen

Anglophiles Anonymous: Spaced

For our inaugural post, we decided we needed to write about something very dear to us.  Something that is an essential for fangirls and fanboys, for that matter.  It is for this reason that I am going to try and convince you to watch Spaced (available on Netflix Instant).

Spaced is written by and starring Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible: Ghost Prots, Shaun of the Dead) and Jessica Hynes née Stevenson (Son of Rambow) and directed by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead).  Now, in my opinion, all of that should be enough to convince you, but I’ll keep going.

The show centers on Tim (Pegg) and Daisy (Stevenson), two aspiring artists, comic book and writer, respectively, who lie about being a couple to get an apartment.  The initial premise becomes less important as we follow them and their friends on their crazy exploits.  The “crazy” comes less from what they are doing and more from what happens when this group does them, as is evident in the following clip where Tim and his friend Mike (the awesome Nick Frost) explain “male telepathy” and what happens when Tim and Daisy are set upon by a group of ruffians:

The best thing I can equate Spaced to for us American audiences is Community (six seasons and a movie!).  Both shows aren’t afraid of genre-bending here and there, they both find time to focus on the relationships amidst the chaos, and both are aware that we as a society use our shared experiences of movies, TV shows, etc. to communicate.  Take, for example, this clip from the premiere of series 2 that aired the summer after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out:

When I sat down to write this post, I was struggling to find a way to sway you readers into watching.  The reality that I had to face is that not everyone is going to love Spaced as much as I do.  Should they?  Yes. But can I make them?  No.  It’s a quirky little show that makes obscure references.  But it is for these reasons that I love it.  There is a moment near the end of the series that references the obscurest of my favorite movies.  I’m talking about Bugsy Malone.  This movie is so far off people’s radars that when I meet someone who has seen it, we become instant friends.  That’s how I know Spaced and I have formed an unbreakable bond and I think that if you watch, you too can find your Bugsy Malone reference.  .

– by Ellen