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Not as Great as People Say
This show is getting almost universally good reviews, and I'm not sure why. The writing has been pretty poor, though the acting has been good. The quirkiness seems pretty forced, and the main character is a total jerk! (By comparison, George -- from the far superior "Dead Like Me" -- has a bad attitude, but you can see a good person underneath it.)
Now it's been canceled, and the fans are up in arms. I watched all four episodes that aired, and if it had continued I probably would have given it at least four more episodes to hit its stride. But I can't get worked up over the cancelation, except to say it's another example of a network not giving a show much of a chance. Still, just because it got canceled doesn't mean it was another "Freaks and Geeks" or "Sports Night." It just wasn't that great.
The Edwardian Country House (2002)
Smartest Reality Show Ever
"Manor House," as it was called in the U.S., is without a doubt the smartest, classiest, best reality show ever produced. You may think that's not hard -- and you'd be right -- but I was amazed at how well-done this show was.
It was interesting, educational, dramatic and funny. How many shows can you say that about? The interactions between the servants and the family were just fascinating. Some of the people -- especially Mr. Edgar, the butler -- were absolutely amazing in their sincere efforts to play their roles properly.
The show is now available on DVD. If you enjoy good reality TV (such as PBS' earlier show "The 1900 House"), rent it. You won't be sorry.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Delightful, funny and smart
I could not have loved this movie any more if it had had dancing monkeys in every scene! (OK, actually, that probably would have been distracting.)
"Bend It Like Beckham" is a wonderful incarnation of a very familiar story -- young athlete comes of age and follows his/her dream. Even though the plot is far from unique, the acting, the script and the direction put this film in a league of its own.
This movie deserves to be a major breakout hit, like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." (It's about 20 times better than "Wedding," too.)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Scary and funny
"Dawn of the Dead" is the best of George A. Romero's living dead trilogy (preceded by "Night of the Living Dead" and followed by "Day of the Dead").
The social satire is lively, especially when you consider that this film was made in 1978, at the height of American consumerism (as if it has declined since then). Most of the film takes place in a suburban shopping mall overrun with zombies, with the survivors holed up inside J.C. Penney and going on daily shopping sprees.
"Dawn of the Dead" is also genuinely scary, especially at the beginning. The scenes in the housing project teeming with the undead are especially squirm-inspiring.
There aren't many movies out there that are really scary and really funny, but this is one of them. It's definitely worth a rental.
My Hero (2000)
Cheesy and fun!
I love "My Hero." It's cute and silly and lots of fun. I absolutely disagree with the other comments on this page. "My Hero" is very entertaining.
Ardal O'Hanlon is delightful as the superhero who falls in love with a normal woman. "My Hero" may not be quite on the level of Britcom classics like "AbFab" and "The Vicar of Dibley," but it has its own special charm.
Pink Lady (1980)
The horror ... the horror
Pink Lady and Jeff is widely considered one of the worst shows ever made for
television. I didn't think anything could be worse than "That 80s Show," but Pink Lady is.
The sketches are horrendous; as we sat around watching the DVDs (a gag gift
my friend gave his brother), we argued about whether they had actual writers, or the performers made it up as they went along. My best guess is that the writers had a big bottle of tequila and a bunch of funny cigarettes in the writing room.
File this one under "so bad it's funny." I can't imagine watching it alone, but if you're with a bunch of friends who want to make fun of it, the DVD's worth a
Nine Months (1995)
It Felt Like At Least Nine Months
This movie wasn't even entertaining enough to justify seeing it in the summer in order to enjoy two hours of air conditioning. It was immature and lowbrow, and relied way too much on slapstick (Tom Arnold and Hugh Grant fighting in a toy store; Julianne Moore's wheelchair plowing into a wall; etc.)
Why can't there ever be a movie where someone who doesn't want children at the beginning STILL doesn't want them at the end? Why is "I don't want to be a parent" seen as a character flaw to be overcome, rather than a personal insight to be trusted?
Lame, lame, lame.
Invader ZIM (2001)
Too Funny to Last
I just got hooked on "Invader Zim," and then I found out Nickelodeon cancelled it months ago. I'm soooooo mad!
"Invader Zim" is sick, twisted and hilarious, but I'm not surprised Nick canned it. It would be much more at home in Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim."
Catch Zim while you can. It's a scream!
Greg the Bunny (2002)
Great show, so they'll probably cancel it
As I write this, "Greg the Bunny" is a prime candidate for cancellation. What a shame! This is a funny, original show, and I think it would build an audience if Fox gave it a chance.
The characters -- humans and puppets -- are a scream, the concept (that puppets are living, breathing individuals) is totally new, and the humor is both sophisticated and crude. What's not to like?
Fox pulled "Greg" for May sweeps, replacing it with "Bernie Mac" reruns. That can't be a good sign.
That '80s Show (2002)
They Expect Us to Laugh at This?
The difference between "That 70s Show" and "That 80s Show" is that the former has characters, situations, and stories we can care about and laugh at.
"That 80s Show," on the other hand, just trots out 80s fads like wine coolers, punk, and Madonna, and expects us to laugh at them. The dialogue is stupid, the characters are vapid, and the stories are non-existent, but ha-ha-ha, that girl is trying to dance like Pat Benatar. Tee-hee, cell phones were huge, clunky and expensive. The boys are wearing hair gel -- I'm rolling on the floor laughing. Or not.
Typical Hollywood, thinking the reason "That 70s Show" succeeded was just the 70s trappings. It couldn't possibly be because it's well-written and well-acted.
The New Show (1984)
Poor man's SNL
I remember watching "The New Show" when I was in high school. It seemed mildly funny then. The only sketches I remember are one in which guest star John Candy played a Russian visiting ailing Yuri Andropov (he was the head Soviet honcho at the time) in the hospital, and another one in which a couple sees a doctor/therapist about the strange things they do every day, such as becoming unconscious for 8 hours at a stretch (sleeping) and sitting on a chair in a little room several times a day (going to the bathroom).
Was it funny? Probably not. With talent mostly drawn from SCTV, it might have gotten better if it had a chance, but the network (I don't remember which one) pulled the plug after one season.
The Minus Man (1999)
This film was billed as a psychological thriller. It was psychological, but not particularly thrilling. At the end, I wondered what was the point. For a movie about a serial killer, it really didn't have much of a plot. If you want an aimless look inside the mind of an amiable killer, rent this movie. If you want an actual story, look elsewhere.
Hotaru no haka (1988)
A beautiful, heartbreaking film
This is a film that could have been live-action, but I'm really glad it was done as anime. The visuals were beautiful, and the characters were more compelling than they could have been in live action. I couldn't have felt more strongly for Seita and Setsuko (the children in the film) if they had been my own. Even if you're not an anime fan (I'm not particularly), this one is very much worth seeing.
Cute, fluffy, family-friendly
"Murder, She Purred" was a cute movie, combining elements of several of Rita Mae Brown's Mrs. Murphy mystery novels (though mostly it used the plot of "Rest in Pieces"). The animals (a cat and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi) were lots of fun to watch, and the human actors weren't too bad either. Not great art, but a fun little family movie.
Bad movie! No fish treats!
This is a horrible movie. Even with the MST3K gang riffing on it, it's barely watchable. I can't imagine watching it without Crow, Servo and Mike to help me retain my sanity. Why do people make movies like this?
Family Guy (1998)
Animation not always funny
Of all the current animated sitcoms ("Futurama," "The PJs," "King of the Hill," "Dilbert," "The Simpsons," "South Park," "The Family Guy"), only one stinks. It's "The Family Guy." The stories are stupid, the characters are one-dimensional ripoffs, and the animation is flat and uninteresting.
The megalomaniacal baby and the hyperintelligent dog are both ripped off from Dogbert, and they are the only characters that have any personality at all. Unfortunately, the baby is merely annoying (and majorly so).
Hopefully Fox will cancel this stinkeroo soon and put the far superior "Futurama" back in its cushy 8 p.m. Sunday time slot.