It’s good to watch decent TV shows again. When it comes down to TV, I’m really critical as to what I watch. This led to me not watching any shows for several years. The show to break my apathy was Firefly. Quickly followed up by Dexter. And the end of the spell was finalized by the time I got to see Breaking Bad.
Then I got back to a position where I didn’t have a PC, no secure PC access, and my only portal to TV shows became Dutch cable television. A world where Law and Order can call itself sophisticated, and where most decent shows don’t get the treatment they deserve.
One good thing came out of it though. I saw several episodes of Community. Enough to make me want to see the rest. Unfortunately, it’s on Comedy Central here. And Comedy Central tends to rerun episodes right into the ground. One episode of every show in their catalogue every day, not counting the reruns of the previous day at earlier hours. Random show marathon on the weekends. Within a month’s time, you’ll have seen the same episodes of the same shows fly around at least five times.
Even South Park doesn’t have enough episodes to last this treatment.
Seeing Community in such a schedule didn’t really appeal to me, so I decided to just wait until I could watch them in my own time. It was worth the wait.
Originally, I caught one episode of Community and didn’t think much of it. It was the Dungeons and Dragons episode on some stream service or another. Without any understanding of the characters or the dynamics of the show, the episode just fell flat. I liked how they somewhat played Dungeons and Dragons right, especially in comparison to other TV series, but that’s as far as my appreciation went.
The show that got me hooked on the concept was one of the earlier episodes. Jack Black played this outcast guy trying to weasel his way into the Study Group. It was early enough for the show to not just run rampant with the material and characters it had already gathered, and made the show accessible enough to enjoy.
By the time I got back to the Dungeons and Dragons episode, I could actually enjoy it this time around. Chang going as far as dressing up as a Drow, Pierce being excluded and bursting into the game to derail it, Abed just… being Abed. It all made a lot more sense with context to put these characters in.
As much as I really love Community now, I can understand how, despite it being a really great comedy, it’s currently struggling to stay on the air. Comedy shows that just run into different directions with their concept tend to have problems staying on the air, compared to the more clear-cut easily defined sitcom that reuse the same concepts nine out of ten times.
Fantastic as the more complex comedy shows are, they’re harder to get into unless you already know the base dynamics. Unless you come in from season one, or watch several episodes later on, you just won’t get in. Most people are lazy, especially when it comes to their entertainment. And even when the border isn’t put that high, there’s more than enough people who will lock themselves out of something good just because they don’t immediately understood the first 20 seconds.
Before I move on to my other pick, I want to commend Danny Pudi for his role as Abed. Especially with the pop culture representation of asperger’s syndrome as a tool for easy laughs at stupid nerds in The Big Bang Theory, this was a much-needed respectful twist.
Variety is the spice of life, and as much as I would have liked to marathoned all of Community in one go, I decided not to and switch back and forth between it and something completely different. Burn Notice.
I’m going to be honest here, I only wanted to watch it for one reason, and that’s Bruce Campbell. To me, he makes this show. I’m not a fan of Michael’s actor, and although Fiona has her moments, I don’t really consider her anything special.
Spy settings are a weakness to me though. The completely over the top amount of shadow organizations, drug smugglers, kidnappers, spies, and human trafficers working side-by-side in Miami is ridiculous, cheesy, and downright stupid, but it makes for an amusing show to just switch off to and see what they’re going to come up with next.
I highly doubt I’ll end up watching all of it, but for a quick diversion it did its job well enough.
Right now I still have several shows lined up ahead of me. I haven’t been able to keep up for too long, and there’s a lot I still want to watch. Breaking Bad Season 5, Arrow, and Revolution are at the top of my list right now.
It’s good to be able to catch up with decent television again.