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For years we, Croatian audience, are being spoiled with quality sitcoms from USA and UK. For years, as well, we've been exposed to various attempts to recreate foreign stuff adapted to specific Croatian mentality. None of them succeeded and "Odmori se, zasluzio si" is no exception. Hell, I could do this speech to introduce every single Croatian sitcom but there are few reasons I'm doing it for this particular one.
First reason is that I actually had some expectations for this one. While I usually give up on watching right away, I gave this one a chance because of an amusing title (roughly translates as "Give yourself a break - you've earned it!"), good cast (all of them either legendary veterans or promising young actors) and most of all screen writing talent behind it (Goran and Snjezana Tribuson have some successful cinematic achievements behind them).
Turned out this family comedy/drama was a complete turd. Starting with opening song, similar to "Just a Gigolo", sung by an actor from the cast and obviously too much in love with his gruff voice.
Before there's any action you notice how cinematography is screwed. Filmed on Digital Betacam the picture has been digitally processed to look more like a film. However this has been done rather poorly, and it turned out blurred, burned and smeared, with big dark blotches around dark areas. Interlace was also screwed up so it's constantly flickering. And no, it's not because Croatia is poor country with backwards technology (Final Cut and Macs are preferred weapons of choice), it's because there are some inept people out there doing post-production.
The lyrics of the song and the synopsis are about a poor, underachieving patriarch who just can't have his moment of peace, due to his family and neighbors, aging and intimate insecurities. Sympathetic and promises comedy in vein of "Married With Children". However, the actor playing him (Ivo Gregurevic) delivers an absolutely hateful character without a shred of comedy or sympathy. The wife (boring and uneasy on the eye Vera Zima) is not nagging enough, neither are his grown up children. They are played out like okay people, neighbors too, and it's hard to decipher what is the cause of grief for the title character. So it seems like either a missed concept or missed performances from supporting cast.
The direction is another problem because it is too slow and doesn't accentuate what funny moments there are. And there are some because the script isn't a complete turd. It's just that the humor is in dialog only and very scarce. The way it's been acted and directed the whole thing leans heavily to drama instead to comedy. The laughing track would be an asset here.
Another reason why I'm taking it out on this sitcom specifically is because currently its reruns are being aired before the reruns of "24", so I have to endure at least a couple of minutes of this to make sure I don't miss the start of my favorite show (when it comes to timing on national television - better safe than sorry). I came to have given a new name to "24" as well - it's "Give yourself a break from 'Give yourself a break, you've earned it', you've earned it".
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