I’ve always been a Letterman man. I mean, Carson was king, but he exited the game when I was 14 years old. Even when Carson was on the air I watched him because I knew Letterman was on afterwards. Letterman was relevant, irreverent, and goofy; Letterman was hip because of his un-hipness. I’ve always felt Leno was a complete bore. Similarly, I find Fallon, while at times slightly endearing, painfully hard to watch. I was sad when Letterman announced his retirement—I mean, we knew it was inevitable, but still, an era was coming to an end. When the announcement came earlier this year that Letterman’s replacement would be Stephen Colbert, I must admit I was sceptical. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Colbert fan, however, the record of new hosts successfully taking over established late night shows was not good, at least by my count. I was worried Colbert’s “personae shift” would not work, I was worried expectations were too high, and ultimately, I was worried I would have to re-evaluate my opinion of one of my comedic heroes. Luckily, after having watched the first week (4 episodes) of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, I realized my worrying was for naught.
There are few shows I’ve found as immediately gratifying despite a wildly inconsistent, sometimes downright disappointing, first season as Unsupervised. In its inaugural season, Unsupervised found its footing only a few times but it was a goofy underdog that I’ve been rooting for from the start. The reason for my immediate enjoyment is that (and this is likely an unpopular view) I’ve always found myself far more fascinated by what makes kind people kind in the face of evil than what makes evil people evil in the face of kindness. It is easy to make a character like Hannibal Lecter exciting to watch because he’s so different from “normal” people. But when a show or movie can make nice characters interesting, I get very excited. It is refreshing to see a show that knows exactly who its characters are right from the start even if it doesn’t always seem sure what to do with them. There are few characters on TV like the ones on Unsupervised and the show manages to make them nuanced and fascinating in their own right without changing their underlying, unswaying kindness and love. Anger is easy, happiness is hard. Continue reading
Finding a new TV show is a very tall order and I’m picky. I don’t mean to be. But If I’m going to invest time, emotion, and thought into a group of people throughout the course of 2, 3, 4, sometimes 5+ seasons I need to be able to connect with them. I want to worry about them when they are in trouble, laugh at their silly mishaps, and happy-cry when everything goes the way it should. Yes, I realize that a TV show is made up of more than just its characters, but if I can’t make a connection with somebody then it’s usually on to the next show. And let’s be honest, it’s fun to be picky. Where exactly will I find my next Roger Sterling, Stringer Bell or Annie Edison?
Maybe Girls? My friend Mike (who I consider a TV expert) highly recommended this show to me so I’m going to give it a try. Here is what I know going in. The show focuses on four 20-something woman living in New York City. It is a coming of age story starring, directed, produced and written by a lady named Lena Dunham and executive produced by Judd Apatow. (Creator of one of my all time favorites, Freaks and Geeks.) So already I think it could be a winner. Continue reading