Ethan passes out invitations to the Jarlewski Annual Chuckshot, a celebration in honour of his late maternal grandfather. "Grampie Chuck" was with the police department and, every year, in his memory...
It's Bree's 29th birthday and she loves the video card that Ethan, Cowboy and John Doe have made for her. When Steve sees it, he wonders why the Podsters are singing "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow" ...
First off, some other comments seem to miss some key ideas behind the show. First off, the "lack of originality" alluding to various parallel plot devices in the movie "Everything's Gone Green" is misconceived. jPod was released as a novel prior to said movie, so the apparent lack of originality in the series seems more of a reflection of poor timing when optioning a book for a series right after making a movie that uses similar elements from the book.
As for the series itself, I find it far more enjoyable than the actual novel jPod, mainly because the novel donned the mantle of its predecessor, Microserfs, which differed quite a lot. While the characters seemed annoying and almost purposeless in jPod as a book, which may or may not have been an attempt to contrast the world of 1995 (Microserfs) to the world of today in the tech industry, the characters nonetheless come across as entertaining on television. When I watch the show I no longer try to correlate jPod to Microserfs, and I therefore lose the biggest hangup I had about jPod.
The plots that occur in each episode are absurdly unrealistic, even for Douglas Coupland who manages to weave together great tapestries in his novels revolving around chance, coincidence, and philosophical insights into mundane objects and foods. But as long as someone isn't looking for a plausible story in each episode, it will be far easier to enjoy the series. I'd hate to really toss out such a misnomer, but this show is probably the best example I can think of for a great situational comedy that doesn't revolve around the same old characters who live in the same drab world and fall victim to the same cliché'd plot lines.
Whether or not there is a sense of verisimilitude in the reflection of the game industry is somewhat irrelevant to me as I am not in the industry. But considering I've known people who have worked at Electronic Arts (they're all disgruntled ex-employees) can attest to similar working conditions of being pieces of a massive company that takes pleasure in overworking and underappreciating their employees--which easily reflects in their turnover rate. As for the interactions between the actual co-workers in the Pod, I doubt it's realistic but how entertaining is an average day working for a video game company? Even if the characters aren't believable employees I think they fit the role quite well for what's needed to be translated to television.
While this review is poorly written and disheveled, I maintain that this is an excellent series to try watching if you enjoyed Coupland's books, or the movie "Wonderboys" (or the book it was based on by Michael Chabon), or just happen to enjoy an entertaining movie that brings almost a Seinfeld-like attention to some of the things and situations in life that most of us overlook or don't even think about.
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