Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Television Roundup #3

It's that time again! What shows have I been watching that I can offer opinions on or that you might like to check out?

This time I look at Better off Ted, Breaking Bad, H+, Hustle and ReGenesis.

Better off Ted

I need to not GUSH about this show. I’m trying to be cool. It’s not possible to be cool because it’s not possible to praise this show enough. Better off Ted is one of the funniest American comedies I have seen in a long time. It finished up a couple of years or so ago and this just makes me sad, especially in light of shows like the American Officer getting so many renewals. I have watched its brief two seasons many times and have recently tried to impose it on a friend which is why it makes this list. This show never gets old; it’s brilliant.

The lead character Ted is the head of a department at a soul sucking company called Veridian Dynamics. His boss Veronica is wonderfully snide and petty as played by Portia de Rossi. He has a couple of scientists up his sleeve in Lem and Phil who are hysterically funny and an awesome daughter Rose. Ted’s workplace love interest Linda is a pretty dork with a mean arm for throwing bagels and a habit of stealing creamer to protest the company’s policies.

Each episode starts with an advertisement put together for Veridian Dynamics that sports the kind of dry corporate humour that will resound with a lot of people in office jobs.

Easily a 5 Star show!

Breaking Bad

I know I am late to the game on this one and I have only watched a season and a half so please no spoilers but Breaking Bad is a pretty fantastic show. I am not yet sure if it’s nearly as good as so many people inform me but it’s definitely worth watching.

Walt has cancer and in order to pay for his treatment starts cooking crystal meth with a street urchin, Jesse. As the show continues the unlikely duo find themselves in increasing amounts of trouble and making some pretty intense decisions. Walt’s downward spiral is harrowing to watch and Jesse is just a wonderful character who offers so much to the story and to Walt’s character development.

I feel kind of sick when I am watching this show though; partially because of the content but mostly because of the clever pacing and the claustrophobic way it’s filmed. It’s bordering on fantastic though we shall see how good it gets because I am definitely going to make time to stick this one out!

4 Stars


You might not have heard much about H+ as it’s a web series with many small segments coming out over time. A friend of mine waited until a bunch had been released and watched them all before telling me about it. I have no idea how much more might be out there, I have to go have a proper look again, but at this stage I have watched about 30 of these webisodes and everything that I have seen has left me desperate for more.

H+ stands for Human Plus; human beings being implanted with technology to help them do more. This is all fantastic until a virus is uploaded that drops out the technology and kills people across the world simultaneously. The series jumps backwards and forwards in time divulging how H+ was created and what it was originally used for, how the virus first hit and what has happened to the human beings who survived the virus. It is riveting viewing only hindered by the tiny 2 to 5 minute chunks that we get information in.

I am really hoping that this web series is made into a show because it would benefit from longer episodes and more opportunity for character development. The concept is fantastic and the filming is top notch; not what you might expect for a web series. It might also work in comic form but the point is that excellent things like this get to exist because of the Internet and I really wish bigger networks would pick them up and give us some proper shows to watch.

BTW. Alexis Denisof is totally in it!

4 Stars


I recently began a re-watch of Hustle; the British television series that has inspired the likes of Leverage, The Real Hustle and now American Hustle the film. Hustle straddles a line between humour and seriousness, while it takes itself much more seriously than Leverage ever did it has a lighter edge than the new film seems to have.

Michael Stone is the best long con artist around and recently out of a stint in jail for an unrelated crime; assaulting the man having an affair with his wife. Out to prove that he still can play the long con, Michael assembles a local team of his best and brightest; Stacey Monroe, Ash Morgan, Albert Stroller and reluctantly Danny Blue. Together the team navigate conning rich people who have it coming and work to their own code while facing the trials of life as a family.

Hustle is good for the kinds of entertainment you want when you are taking a break from heavier shows like Breaking Bad and wanting a laugh and some fun!

3.5 Stars


ReGenesis is a Canadian show that I first watched about 6 years ago or more while holiday in Vancouver. I became addicted very quickly, but once at home found getting the series to watch very difficult.

Now trying to re-watch and complete the series finally I am loving falling in love with the characters, the science and the mystery once again.

ReGenesis is a different kind of Sci-Fi show in that it looks at biological science in the present world (in a similar vein to CSI looking at crime) and a team of people who discover and develop antidotes to viruses, biological agents and other serious diseases. Their world is overshadowed by political games, terrorism of a different kind and their personal dilemma’s. I enjoy watching the characters study the affects of contagions and try to decipher how to stop worldwide pandemics.

David Sandstrom the team leader is a narcissist and a genius, smashing his way through his life, solving puzzles long before House ever became a household name and ruining relationships. Played eloquently by Peter Outerbridge, he is not the kind of character that you can see yourself sympathising with which makes him so good.

This is also one of Ellen Paige’s earliest shows and she is brilliant in it. Long before I started watching her in films I discovered her in this show and am not surprised that she had a long and illustrious career ahead of her. She plays Lilith, David’s daughter who spouts all the attitude and fire that the daughter of David Sandstrom ought to. She is well and truly up to the challenge of disobeying her father, loving and supporting him and calling him on his BS when she needs to.

Awesome concept, awesome support case and a great show to watch if you are lamenting the lack of good science based shows around at the moment.

4 Stars

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