Television watched mid-2015

“TV is a nickname, nicknames are for friends, and television is no friend of mine.”

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 1 (2015)

Started out very funny and got into a nice groove, without ever becoming less weird. Looking forward to more seasons.

I know Kimmy from the restaurant framing story of They Came Together. Roommate Tituss Burgess is from Queen of Jordan, landlady Carol Kane from Scrooged and Annie Hall, employer Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock and boyfriend Ki Hong Lee of The Maze Runner.

Appearances by Jerry Minor and series creator Tina Fey as shitty lawyers, Tim Blake Nelson as Kimmy’s stepdad and Jon Hamm as Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne. Surprisingly few 30 Rock writers on staff (I count three), plus Allison Silverman (Portlandia, Daily Show), Meredith Scardino (SNL, Colbert) and Emily Altman (Inside Amy Schumer).

Inside Amy Schumer season 1 (2013)

Watched episodes right before and after seeing Trainwreck (making the film seem kinda tame in comparison). Outstandingly funny sketch show. Appearances by Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Jon Glaser, show writer Tig Notaro, Amber Tamblyn, Rob Schneider, Dave Attell.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: season 2 (2012)

Loud and ridiculous. Guests: Alan Tudyk, Kimmy Schmidt, Bob Odenkirk, Bill Hader, Ray Liotta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob and Aziz.

Review season 1 (2014)

In which Forrest MacNeil (Andrew Daly of Delocated and The Informant!) gives star-ratings to life experiences as suggested by his viewing audience. The reviews destroy his life (sample questions: “what’s it like to get divorced?” and “what’s it like to run from the law?”) and tax his modest abilities (“what’s it like to be the life of the party?”). The show starts to get sour and depressing as Forrest sacrifices his well-being for the show, but you can’t take it too seriously, since he also sort of kills Fred Willard in space. With Megan Stevenson as his co-host, Jessica St. Clair as his (ex-)wife, James Urbaniak (American Splendor’s Crumb) as his producer, and appearances by Rich Fulcher and Lance Bass. Review highlights: road rage, orgy, pancakes, aching. Remake of an Australian show. Daly’s now in something called The Spoils Before Dying, which has an impressive cast.

also rewatched The Mighty Boosh season 1 and season 2, which seems to get better with repeat viewing.

Television from the last few months

30 Rock seasons 1 & 2

So apparently I like sitcoms now. Katy and I enjoyed this a lot. I don’t want to talk about TV shows (“remember that one episode?”), so instead I looked up the credits.

Writers with movie connections: Tina Fey and Kay Cannon (co-producer of Baby Mama), along with veterans of Norm, Animaniacs, Just Shoot Me, Spin City, The Weird Al Show and Futurama

Directors with interesting credits: Dennie Gordon (Joe Dirt, What a Girl Wants), Don Scardino (lead actor of Squirm), Gail Mancuso (lead director on Roseanne), Beth McCarthy-Miller (Demetri Martin’s show, 200+ eps of Saturday Night Live, the superbowl halftime show when Janet Jackson took her shirt off, Nirvana Unplugged), Michael Engler (Sex and the City episodes), Scott Ellis (an upcoming movie from the writer of Untamed Heart, he hopes), Adam Bernstein (It’s Pat: The Movie), Juan José Campanella (oscar winner The Secret In Their Eyes), Richard Shepard (The Matador) and Kevin Rodney Sullivan (Barbershop 2).

Oh, the guests!
Paul Scheer (as the head page) and his Human Giant costar Rob Huebel, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Buscemi, David Schwimmer (as “Greenzo”), Kristen Wiig, Edie Falco, James Carville (yay), Andy Richter, Matthew Broderick, Conan O’Brien, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Reubens (as the last of the Hapsburgs), Isabella Rossellini, Charlyne Yi, LL Cool J (as “Ridikolus”), Wayne Brady, Nathan Lane, Molly Shannon, and hundreds of TV people I don’t know.

The Mighty Boosh season 1

I didn’t care for this at first, but oh boy did it grow on me. I’d like to thank Fumi for insisting for years that I watch it.

Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) started out on Edgar Wright’s Asylum, which I really must watch now that I’ve found a copy. He and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) were in the seemingly popular Nathan Barley and the barely-known-to-IMDB Unnatural Acts together. Naboo seems to have only ever been Naboo, which is fine by me because he is a perfect Naboo.

Director Paul King made a darkish Gilliam-esque movie called Bunny and the Bull with some Boosh cameos, and worked on a promising-sounding show called Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes (2008, Jon Ronson)

A fascinating look through Kubrick’s research with glimpses into his working methods and various obsessions (like collecting stationery, and having a location scout photograph every single doorway in a certain neighborhood, only to have Kubrick end up creating the doorway in a studio). Can’t say I was enthused by Ronson’s role as gleeful narrator, but I’m thankful for his valuable work peeping at Kubrick’s private life and showing us the results (especially dug the rapid-fire location-photo montages set to the music from the Clockwork Orange sex scene). Lots of talk about Eyes Wide Shut and a couple never-completed projects, so I wonder why there wasn’t a single mention of A.I.. Ronson wrote the book The Men Who Stare At Goats was based on, and he hopes he’s written the book Edgar Wright’s next movie will be based on, but he shouldn’t hold his breath.