Television watched early 2016

Master of None season 1 (2015)

We watched this in mourning for the end of Parks & Recreation, and it’s fantastic – a very successful comedy-drama mix with hot issues (most notably racism and immigrant-parent stories) mixed into its relationship drama. I love how there’s an ensemble cast but each episode gets to tell its own story without roping in superfluous characters just because their actors are listed in the opening titles. Aziz, returning from Parks & Rec and the great Human Giant is a struggling actor, having been cast in (and cut from) an awful-looking movie called The Sickening. His on-again girlfriend is SNL’s Noël Wells and his friends are the giant Eric Wareheim and Lena Waithe (a writer on Bones and producer of Dear White People) and Kelvin Yu (Bob’s Burgers writer, in Milk and Cloverfield), with appearances by usual suspects Todd Barry and Jon Benjamin.

Great editing and music, widescreen cinematography – TV comedy is reaching new levels. Eric and Aziz directed episodes, along with Lynn Shelton (Laggies, Humpday) and James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now).

Rick and Morty season 2 (2015)

Not as revelatory as the first season, but just as high quality.

Featuring Key & Peele as testicle monsters, Jemaine Clement as a psychic cloud-being named Fart, Christina Hendricks and Patton Oswalt as hive-minds, Matt Walsh as Beth’s new bisexual husband Sleepy Gary, Stephen Colbert as a Rick-like scientist inside the car-battery microverse, half the Mr. Show cast in minor roles, and Dan Harmon as Ice-T.

Veep season 3 (2014)

In which Selina is running for president, Amy and Dan compete to be her campaign manager, and Jonah bounces between campaigns while running a DC insider blog. Also in the presidential race are defense secretary Isiah Whitlock Jr., senator(?) Randall Park, MLB coach Glenn Wrage, and some normal-looking white guy who I forget who he is (Paul Fitzgerald). Unbelievable ending, as Veep’s losing on the campaign trail, but becomes President anyway after her boss steps down. I’m guessing it won’t last long.

Presidential debaters:

Veep Daughter Sarah Sutherland in front of the strategy board:

Trip to England:

And rewatched The Mighty Boosh season 3

Two Post-Wire Comedy Series

A couple of TV shows I watched after finishing The Wire but before starting The Prisoner

Time Trumpet (2006)

It’s one of those stupid look-back-at-a-certain-year half-hour entertainment-news shows – but set in the distant future, “looking back” into our near future, and created by Armando Iannucci. Brilliant. Talking-head interviews with Charlotte Church, Tony Blair, and “an increasingly erratic Tom Cruise.” Surprisingly good visual effects throughout. Highly enjoyable, even to a non-Brit like myself who missed more than half the references. An IMDB reviewer warns that it’s “an enquired taste.”

Look, Dean Learner!

Human Giant season 2 (2008)

What a great show. I miss it already.

Huebel is on Childrens Hospital now, Scheer on NTSF:SD:SUV and The League, and co-creator Jason Woliner (who was on Shining Time Station as a kid) on Players and Eagleheart. Must watch all of these.

Look, Omar!

Human Giant season 1 (2007)

“They say the hardest part of rollerblading is telling your parents you’re gay.”

Finally, a post-Mr. Show sketch comedy show that I love. Did Paul recommend this one? I think he did. Thanks, Paul.

Ringer guests include Brian Posehn, Jon Benjamin (as Bruce Willis), Patton Oswalt, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kristen Schaal (of Valentine’s Day fame) and Jay Johnston.

Written by the main dudes plus Jon Glaser (not Jon Glazer) and some Funny or Die / Drunk History.

Maybe I should also check out: Parks & Recreation, Childrens’ Hospital, Players, and possibly The League though that one may rely on over-my-head football jokes.

Is it just me, or did a late episode repeat entire sketches from an earlier episode?