Archive for November, 2010

As I prepare to watch this week’s installment (S02E03) I thought I would make this quick recommendation. Watch Misfits. It mixes genre better than most shows; supernatural/drama/comedy.

Based on a simple premise ( a storm gives a a rag-tag bunch of late-teens special powers) the show has blossomed into a very enthralling and original look on youth and young adults. Each power a character received reveals something about who they perceive themselves to be or wish to be; invisibility, the ability to turn back time, the ability to read-minds.

And if that sounds too dark and existential never fear. The humour is rich, especially emanating from this Ficus’s favourite character: Nathan, who though crass, is undeniably a comedy genius.

More interesting than Skins, more deliberate than Heroes, Misfits is the best show you’re not watching.

Recommended for: Ages 15 + and people who like…good television

Keep watching Your Screens.

-Ficus Out

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WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW…


 

I am a big fan of Dexter. That is, Dexter Morgan. That is, the main character on Showtime’s hit series ‘Dexter’. He is a fascinating character depicted by the wonderfully talented and multifaceted Michael C Hall.

From season 1 where we learn about his bloody past to season 3 and season 4 where he meets his match…then kills his match…and then the alien from 3rd rock from the sun kills his wife…it has been a great ride. The tension builds as the season progresses, as Dexter gets ever closer to his final kill. We know he will prevail, albeit sometimes with collateral damage…one example stands out like a dead wife in a bath-tub…

Season 5 has been (to this point) a let-down.

There are 10 things….well 3 things….I hate about this season.

1. Eli Stone is the major antagonist. I mean…doesn’t Dexter know this bloke has a brain tumour? Doesn’t he know that George Michael keeps showing up and serenading this poor dude? Wouldn’t that drive us all to be a bit of a deranged deviant? Seriously though, when compared to the characters portrayed by Smits and Lithgow…Johnny Lee-Miller is a light-weight.

2. The story is very slow. I get it. The writers are going for the ‘slow burn’ this season. However, the show has too often been sidetracked. This week’s episode concerning an abusive step-father is just one example.

3. The B-story/Minor characters are mundane. This criticism is, in this ficus’s opinion, what stops Dexter from being a classic show. Do we care about Laguerta and Angels’s marriage? Do we care about Deb’s….Deb? MCH should be on screen 99% of the time.

The good news is the season is not finished. The writers can still salvage the season by tying the loose ends together quickly and stop being sidetracked.

Update:

Well the season has now ended. Dexter Prevailed. Stiles left. It was a very disappointing season.

The scene on last week’s Community where the web of conspiracies and double-crosses (?) finally unraveled brought me back to this gem of a scene from the promised land of the modern sitcom era: Arrested Development.

George Bluth, Sr had, employed a one-armed man to teach his kids lessons; to leave a note etc. etc. The lesson was taught when somehow the man’s prosthetic arm went flying off to the shock off Michael/GOB/Buster/Lindsay. George would then say “That’s why…”

In this scene Michael and GOB intend to teach George Sr, to stop trying to pit them against each other. The scene it wonder4fully executed whereby the several double-crosses are revealed, each more ridiculously hilarious as the last….It’s truly a wonderful scene.

Season 3 episode 8: ‘Making a Stand’.
The scene begins from about the 18 minute mark.
Enjoy.

So, I guess maybe once a week I will discuss something I have been watching on DVD or blu-ray or betamax which I recommend….and maybe 1 thing I say to stay away from…

I bought the Complete Series on DVD on Amazon for $99. Great bargain.

It isn’t really a show which makes you laugh out loud, but is rather a more nuanced self-critique of fame and the notion of celebrity. Gary Shandling stars as Larry Sanders a self-obsessed, neurotic, late-night talk show host. Jeffrey Tambor stars as ‘Hey Now’ Hank Kingsly, his sidekick (both on and he wishes off air). Read more possibly true info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Larry_Sanders_Show

Anyway, this post is more about the extras the DVD set comes with…

This ficus was both startled and enthralled (a lot like Sunil getting a boner watching Survivor on In Treatment). The dvd features a series of ‘personal visits’ where Gary Shandling meets upĀ  guest stars which appeared on his show. He essentially goes to their houses and has natural conversations with them; Jerry Seinfeld, Sharon Stone, Alec Baldwin etc.

The first thing I was struck by was how old Shandling looked…balding and a little unwell…alot like me except for the old and balding part.

It was certainly strange though, there Shandling was eating breakfast with The Basic Instinct discussing his commitment issues…or with Linda Doucett, who appeared for 3 seasons on the show, a women who apparently sued him for sexual harassment, discussing how “I wanted a baby but he gave me a job”.

It was painfully authentic…though the kind of painfully authentic a ficus can live with…like being crushed by a pair of natural breasts.

The more I watched the more I came to the conclusion that the LSS may very well have been a self-portrait for Shandling…which I guess isn’t all that surprising.

Anyway, it was highly compelling viewing which is why Ficus Recommends: The Larry Sanders Show Complete Series on DVD.

Until next time, Keep Watching Your Screens

Mr Ficus.

Greetings from Mr Ficus

Posted: November 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

This is the Misanthropic Ficus’s blog. I wanted to give you my full name- slightly misanthropic ficus…or the misanthropic slightly ficus but the wise people at wordpress dictated that this would lead to the end of the world….Then again, in a world where reality television rules the airwaves and the most popular scripted shows are those like Grey’s Anatomy, has the world not already ended?

Yes, this is one ficus that uses an abundance of elipses…for my thoughts drip out…like a defective penis.

Anyway, If anybody chooses or is forced to read this as some sort of very enlightened form of torture, I should let you know that I may never post again.

If I do I will probably drip out some thoughts on those gems which currently occupy 50-70% of my thoughts.

These shows include Community, Fringe, Big Bang Theory, Friday Night Lights, In Treatment and the 15 or so other shows that I watch.

Until next time, Keep watching your screens.

Mr Ficus.