More Television 2010

The Armando Iannucci Shows (2001)

Sadly there was only one season, but I guess he tackled every major issue that humanity faces in these eight episodes (Time, Reality, Work, Twats), so why make more? Aired in September 2001 so I imagine it could have been overlooked. I have no idea if it was, though, since here practically all British television is overlooked. I sought this out after loving Iannucci’s In The Loop. Still looking forward to The Thick of It and Time Trumpet.

All vaguely thematically-tied sketch comedy, a la the first two seasons of Mr. Show, mostly (but not limited to) starring Armando as himself, or his stand-up persona.

A poem from the show:

As she grimly walked away
“I’m leaving you,” she said
And I had nothing new to say
Like the second album by Portishead

30 Rock seasons 3 & 4

Remained funny/good over two more seasons. Less stand-alone-episodic, more season-long plot threads. Until netflix gets more episodes, there’s no other show we can easily agree to watch together – contenders have included Parks & Rec, Louie, Slings & Arrows and Arrested Development.

New writers & directors: Steve Buscemi (!), Todd Holland (director of the Fred Savage classic The Wizard), Ron Weiner (writer of one of my favorite Futurama episodes), Tricia Brock (made a 2004 Fred Willard movie), 15-year SNL writer Paula Pell, and the show’s music composer directed an episode.

Oh, the guests!
The cast of Night Court, Oprah (my favorite guest spot), J. Aniston, Steve Martin, Peter Dinklage, John Lithgow, Alan Alda, the Beastie Boys, Jon Glaser, Betty White, the voice of Gilbert Gottfried, Al “should not be allowed on television” Gore, Buzz “ditto” Aldrin, James Franco, Will Ferrell and Matt Damon, and semi-regulars Elaine Stritch, Salma Hayek, Jon Hamm, Michael Sheen and Juliane Moore.