Thursday, September 02, 2004

TiVo Season Passes, Part 3

23) Carnivale
One of the myriad of interesting HBO dramas, Carnivale had a really cool premise, a ton of cool actors, and an great setting.

Yet the folks involved managed to put together an exceedingly boring show. It wasn't bad; in fact, the show was really interesting. Interesting enough for me to hang in there and catch the entire season.

It's just that Carnivale was so damn slow. Horrible pacing. Pacing can really make or break a show. It killed Carnivale. That being said, I'll probably check out the second season.

22) Da Ali G Show
Very funny, very clever show. Very repetitive show.

The Borat segments were usually comedy gold, but the whole schtick wears a bit thin after a few episodes. One of those shows you TiVo, read a review online, and check out the really funny parts - like the Borat character getting an entire bar to sing along to a song about metaphorically throwing the Jewish people down a well.

I find offensive stuff funny. Sue me.

21) Entourage
The newest HBO show, this half-hour comedy is about a group of buddies in Hollywood who hang out with their friend who made it big as an actor. It's not terribly funny, it's not terribly interesting, but it's so damn engaging. Entourage is an object lesson that creating compelling, realistic, and fun characters can be enough to take a mediocre show over the top.

The show really hit its stride about midway through the season - it's worth catching one of the times when HBO replays it 42 times a week.

20) Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
Penn. Teller. Debunking myths and half-truths in a very similar way to The Daily Show - by letting the people who propogate the lies make fools of themselves.

19) Curb Your Enthusiasm
By now, you either get this show or you don't. CYE is one of the few shows that could make an entire season as a parallel to The Producers where the big hit/flop is actually Larry David starring in The Producers. Meta-comedy at its best.

18) Dead Like Me
One of the few reasons to have Showtime. Lots of people compare it to Six Feet Under, since they both deal with death. To me, it's more like Buffy, which is the highest praise I can give a show. It takes the show's theme - a teenage girl dealing with dying and becoming a grim reaper - and uses it to turn metaphors about death and dying into theories on life. All without being preachy.

And it's insanely funny at the same time, just like Buffy was.

Next time, we'll touch on the best show on TV, what might be the second best show on TV, and a show that shouldn't even be here since it's already been cancelled.


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