Monday, September 1, 2014

What I'm watching (HuluPLUS edition)

We got back from vacation to find that HuluPLUS had added a shit ton of new British comedies and dramas.  So we've been immersed in shows from across the pond for the past couple of weeks.

I bought the first two series of Lead Balloon on Amazon Instant but I don't have to buy the last two because they're now streaming on HuluPLUS.  This comedy is written by Jack Dee who also stars in it.  He plays Rick Spleen, a fading stand up comic who clings to any piece of showbiz that will  have him.  In addition to trying like hell to keep his career alive he has to put up with his smart ass writing partner, his successful agent girlfriend/life partner, his slacker teenage daughter and her even more slackery boyfriend, his morose odd eastern European maid, and the guy who runs the cafe down the road from his house.  Spleen is a put upon guy who takes any kind of credit he can while trying to shift the blame for any failures he generates, in short, he's the perfect sitcom subject.  These four series are near perfect, the fact they're only six episodes each is huge plus, if there had been more this show would have worn out it's welcome.  I highly recommend this one.  

 Stella is a comedy drama about a working mother in Wales.  She's got a three kids by two different guys, suitors, a pretty odd extended family, and a tiny town full of oddballs to put up with.  Ruth Jones plays Stella and she does a hell of a job of it.  I've probably written it here before but here goes again, Jones is exactly the type of actress who would never ever be allowed to anchor a show like this if this one were made in the USA, she's too overweight to suit most all American producers, but she's a knockout.  All involved with this deserve a round of applause.  It has it's melodramatic moments but it has it's laugh out loud funny moments too.  It's kind of like life in that regard.  The first three series of this show is now streaming on HuluPLUS.  Series four will be shown on British TV in 2015, so it will be awhile before it hits here.

Julia Davis is a comedy genius.  She was the brains behind the incredibly demented twistedly funny Nighty Night.  This series is a twisted retelling of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.  We're only two episodes in and already I can see this one is a keeper.  I will warn you, this one is grown up funny, it's not a punch to the crotch SNL catch phrase funny.  You have to have a good amount of education to appreciate the humor in this show. I can't recommend this one highly enough.

And now, because I can, I'm going to end this post with a photo of one of my pretend British comedy girlfriends, the lovely Raquel Cassidy.  

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