It has been quite a while since my last Watching Lately post and I’ve watched quite a lot of stuff since then so, errrm, prepare yourself. I’ll try and keep these mini-reviews as short and sweet as possible so we’re not here all day!
1. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
I’ve been meaning to watch this for years (literally) and I’m so glad I finally got round to it. SO GOOD. Out of all the many TV shows I’ve marathoned, I’ve never devoured one so quickly and obsessively as this. Nine seasons in two and a half weeks… it’s a skill. The show follows four self-involved, narcissistic, arrogant, immoral friends (and Danny DeVito) who own a run-down bar in Philadelphia. They’re terrible people but you can’t help but love them and their ridiculous, mundane exploits. The humour is pretty non-politically correct, but it’s more than witty enough to pull it off. Hilarious. If you only watch one thing from this post, make it It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia! I love all the characters, but Charlie has to be my favourite (I just about cried laughing at this scene and then immediately made it my Tinder bio. Thanks Charlie).
I love Episodes. It’s easy to watch, funny and pretty different to most other TV shows around. Series 3 just finished showing on the BBC, but you can catch up with the first 2 seasons on Netflix. British couple Beverly and Sean (Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan) have a successful and much loved TV show which gets bought by a Hollywood network and they have to travel to LA to re-write the show for an American audience. Their charming programme soon gets ripped to shreds and becomes a typical high school sports comedy with Matt LeBlanc horribly mis-cast in the lead role. I love Matt LeBlanc playing himself (albeit a very fictionalised version) in this and the humour is dry and witty throughout.
3. Short Poppies
Starring Rhys Darby in most of the major roles, Short Poppies is a mockumentary series which follows journalist David Farrier on his quest to find the real, small-town heart of New Zealand. Think of it as Flight of the Conchords meets Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends. This wasn’t quite as funny as I had hoped it would be, but it was nicely understated with funny moments here and there, and Rhys Darby was adept at single-handedly creating a cast of bizzare but loveable weirdos. Good as something to watch in the background whilst you’re eating your dinner or whatever, but not something I’d go out of my way to watch again.
4. Whatever It Takes
I was pretty confident I had watched every single late 90s/early 00s teen movie ever made, but then I stumbled across Whatever It Takes on Netflix one evening. This was a fairly generic boy-fancies-girl, girl-doesn’t-fancy-boy, boy-does-everything-to-get-her, then-boy-falls-in-love-with-his-best-friend-instead kind of story. Nothing special but I love teen movies way more than I should, plus the cast was pretty great – a very young James Franco, Aaron Paul AND Colin Hanks? Hiya. Not the best film I’ve ever seen, but an enjoyable hour and a half nonetheless.
You wouldn’t think a story about how the vibrator was invented (all in the name of medical science, of course) would make a particularly good rom-com, but I kind of loved Hysteria. A little bit period drama, a little bit romantic comedy – but not too much of either. It didn’t take itself too seriously and was a pretty fun and lighthearted watch. Young doctor Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) develops a device for the treatment of “hysteria” for the well-to-do ladies of Victorian London, at the same time as falling in love with his boss’s daughter. I also now fancy Hugh Dancy a lot and would, errrm, let him treat me for hysteria any day. Only with those dodgy Victorian sideburns though. Swoon.
6. The Giant Mechanical Man
Aside from being unable to get over the fact that it was DANNY CASTELLANO and PAM BEESLY in the romantic lead roles, I really loved this little film. It was one of those “offbeat indie romantic dramas” which was sweet without being sickly. The film followed Janice and Tim, two thirty-somethings having a bit of a mid-life crisis. Both are just drifting along, not really sure what they’re supposed to be doing with their lives when by chance they end up working at the same place and become friends. The storyline and characters felt genuine and relatable, and the inevitable happy ending didn’t feel at all forced. A lovely little film to watch, especially if you’re feeling a bit lost.
Oh and before I go, a very quick mention for Orange is the New Black and Fargo. I’ve mentioned them both in previous posts (here and here) so I won’t say too much, but I have been watching both avidly and they are brilliant!
What have you been watching lately?