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  • Showing only topics with the tag "comedy". Back to normal view
    1. I realize I'm behind the curve on this one, as it made headlines a full year ago, but I just watched Nanette, which is a stand-up comedy performance by Australian lesbian comic Hannah Gadsby. I...

      I realize I'm behind the curve on this one, as it made headlines a full year ago, but I just watched Nanette, which is a stand-up comedy performance by Australian lesbian comic Hannah Gadsby. I don't love stand-up comedy at all, but the person who recommended it to me knew this about me and encouraged me to watch it anyway.

      I'm glad I did.

      And a big part of that is because her show isn't really stand-up. It starts out that way, and I legitimately enjoyed her humor, but about halfway through she shifts from telling jokes to more serious monologuing, and the show moves from being funny and incisive to become a flat out emotional sledgehammer. I cried through a good portion of it.

      She tackles a lot in her hour, and it's given me a lot to think about--most of which I haven't really had adequate time to digest yet. I found it remarkable that so much of her story was so similar to my own. She framed aspects of myself in ways I needed to hear. I think what she has to say has resonance for everyone, but I think it's especially relevant for LGBT people, and especially for those of us that grew up in environments that were toxic to us.

      I just wanted to see if anyone else here has watched it and, if not, put it out there as something worth your time--even if you don't usually like stand-up.

      10 votes
    2. My previous recommendations: Person of Interest Psych So, I just finished binging all five seasons, and I think I can safely recommend this series to an audience that enjoys adult humor and series...

      My previous recommendations:

      So, I just finished binging all five seasons, and I think I can safely recommend this series to an audience that enjoys adult humor and series that juggle between the very funny and very serious.

      BoJack Horseman is a series that starts slow and doesn't really seem to truly find itself until Season 3. I personally didn't enjoy the first half of Season 1 at all (got very bored). The second half of Season 1 got me to keep watching purely on the humor and the gags, which pretty consistently increase in quality as the show continues.

      I especially got drawn in on all the "animal" gags. The series at some point early on becomes very comfortable going all out on visual&storytelling gags based on the animal playing them (BJH is an otherwise-normal universe where a significant part of the population is half-animal half-human). The humor is pretty high quality, I would easily compare it to the humor in Arrested Development (early seasons).
      It is a series that makes fun of itself, without relying too much on gimmicks or breaking the fourth wall too much. With that said, Seasons 3 and 4 introduce more experimental episodes (including an entirely mute one, similar to the excellent Hush from Buffy, as well as another that only consists of a beautiful entire 22 minute monologue). None of them bored me. I was always extremely impressed with the execution and the quality.

      What really gets me to recommend this series is its later seasons. Seasons 3 and 4 are of exceptionally high quality and the show becomes… very dark. But not without losing its humor. BoJack Horseman made me cry three times. I'm not talking about tearing up, I'm talking about the full waterworks like I've done only a couple of times in my entire adult life.
      It's a show that punches you in the gut not by having grand romantic storylines; not by having heroic moments with epic music; not sympathetically by having manly characters tear up; not even by killing off beloved characters like Game of Thrones. It's a show that hits you because it's too fucking real.

      In many ways, I would say that I enjoyed BJH for similar reasons that I enjoyed early GoT: It's unforgiving to its characters. But I don't want this to put anyone off from watching; it's a unique series to which I have a very hard time finding parallels. Its humor sits between Arrested Development, Futurama and Rick & Morty and is very much its own thing. Very reminiscent of Adult Swim.

      BoJack Horseman is available on Netflix. Come for the gags, stay for your own reasons.

      24 votes
    3. I watched this conversation between Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant today, and learned of Farrell’s film The Lobster, which features him and Rachel Weisz. I really enjoyed it, it is an absurdist,...

      I watched this conversation between Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant today, and learned of Farrell’s film The Lobster, which features him and Rachel Weisz. I really enjoyed it, it is an absurdist, distopian, and surreal love story which tickled all of my favorite sensibilities. I highly recommend it.

      Has anyone else seen this? Did you enjoy it? Do you have any other modern films to recommend along the same lines?

      IMDB

      Edit: it’s also a comedy, at least for two of us.

      12 votes
    4. Needing a down weekend, the spouse and I settled in to watch TV, and discovered that Starz' series, Counterpart - spoiler warning, is one of the better series we've seen in quite a while, let...

      Needing a down weekend, the spouse and I settled in to watch TV, and discovered that Starz' series, Counterpart - spoiler warning, is one of the better series we've seen in quite a while, let alone among science fiction stories. Though The Expanse wins for sheer SFX pyrotechnics and breadth of technical scope, it's wonderful to sit in for a deep, thoughtful drama like Counterpart. The series focuses on character, story, world-building, plausible plotting, and avoidance of the usual alternate universe cliches. Counterpart is a genuine Cold War Noir spy thriller which happens to occur in a science-fictional setting, and the writers have managed to avoid or refresh the tropes of both genres in ways that ask interesting philosophical questions. It's quiet, slow, and meticulous in a way that most current television writing seems to have abandoned. There's tense action, but no primary colored-supersuits, no scary aliens, no gaudy laser beams, just... a split of history that leaves two distorted mirrors, reflecting each other.

      J.K. Simmons' performances in the roles of Howard (Prime) and Howard (Alpha) are mesmerizing in a way that outmatches Tatiana Mazlany's Orphan Black characters. There's a slow unveiling of the respective parallel worlds' history, with continuing evolution and interplay of characters and relationships, which brings to mind the best of series like The Wire or The Americans.

      To the extent that Counterpart borrows from literary canon, the most significant underlying influences are John LeCarre's find-the-mole games in the Smiley series, China Mieville's The City and the City, and Philip K. Dick (particularly, The Adjustment Team).

      The really guilty pleasure, and the lightweight pressure relief from the grimdark of Peaky Blinders or Counterpart, was a spit-and-giggles Canadian production called Letterkenny. I didn't have high hopes, but the 22-minute episodes are exactly what my brain needed to get over the daily doses of blah.

      The opening credits of each episode refer to the fictional rural Ontario town of Letterkenny as follows:

      There are 5,000 people in Letterkenny. These are their problems.

      The plots are barely coat-hangers, with most of the comic tension spent on interactions among the Hicks (farm people), Skids (creative-but-disaffected Internet subculture wannabes), hockey players and Christians - a/k/a small-town tribes recognizable anywhere in North America. The portrayals are caricaturized enough to be both humorously offensive and humorously sympathetic simultaneously. [Could be some toxic racial/gender meta, but mostly, the treatment of women and minorities is in keeping with the setting.]

      The banter, and the utter Spock-like deadpan of Wayne (the toughest guy in Letterkenny)'s Hick character are the stars of the show. Some people have complained that the rapid-fire use of heavy dialect in the dialogue is impenetrable; that actually helps with comic timing. When your brain catches up to what was actually said, it's like receiving a two-by-four between the eyes of funny. I've got a bit of home-team advantage in the midwestern North American dialects area, and usually get it on the first run, but it's good enough to re-watch happily if the spouse needs a do-over. Transcripts are available, but watch the show before looking.

      We now have a new battery of in-jokes and gag lines to add to our secret spousal language - "Hard no.", "That's what I appreciates about ya", "...and he was never the same after that."

      There's really nothing quite like Letterkenny, and it's exactly smart/dumb enough to make fantastic comedy. Two seven-episode seasons are currently available on Hulu.

      6 votes
    5. Link to Google doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Hc-Ti6Pff_qUZLAfzzL7WjhFNh2m_XPvMkdYBL6mLzI/edit?usp=sharing I created this document a while back and update it every couple months....

      Link to Google doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Hc-Ti6Pff_qUZLAfzzL7WjhFNh2m_XPvMkdYBL6mLzI/edit?usp=sharing

      I created this document a while back and update it every couple months. There's an Introduction tab with guidance on how to browse the spreadsheets, which I've copied below for reference:

      (1) This document outlines various TV shows and is broken up into 3 tabs: Watched, Watching, and Want to Watch.

      Watched: Shows I've completed through series finale or given up on. Some of these were canceled early.

      Watching: Shows I'm actively watching day-to-day or shows in between seasons that will air new episodes in the future.

      Want to Watch: Shows I haven't started and want to watch. Many of them are recommendations I jotted down to avoid forgetting, so this list will sometimes be unalphabetized.

      (2) Certain columns of information were exported directly from IMDB, and the page for each show is linked in the rating from the IMDB column.

      (3) On the Watched and Watching tabs, there are columns for Recommend? and Notes to provide background that will help decide what to watch. Don't let any of my negative comments stop you from watching a show you're interested in.

      (4) The Recommended? column is divided into the following categories: Must Watch, Yes, Maybe, No. These are all based on personal opinion with extra discussion/information in the Notes column.

      (5) I've shared this with most people using View Only permissions, so download the Excel file (or copy to your Drive account) to filter columns by genre, rating, and personal recommendation.


      Disclaimer: not everyone will have the same tastes as me - that's okay. I welcome any disagreement about how I've rated shows and hope to get some discussion going.

      • What shows have I missed that I need to watch?

      • What shows did I strongly recommend that you didn't like?

      • What shows did I give up on too early?

      I expect to take some heat for quitting Brooklyn 99 around season 3.

      • What shows haven't come out that I should keep an eye out for?

      Like Jack Ryan which debuts this month.

      • How can I improve the document?

      I considered including a column with the show's network or where it can be legally streamed, but this is pretty tedious given the nature of broadcast rights.

      35 votes
    6. This is just a fun little part of a story I put together a little while ago. Might go somewhere later, but probably not. The symbols looking like: [^1] are footnote links. (Pandoc's format, a kind...

      This is just a fun little part of a story I put together a little while ago. Might go somewhere later, but probably not.

      The symbols looking like: [^1] are footnote links. (Pandoc's format, a kind of extended Markdown).

      Edit: It may be easy to read as rendered html


      A leaf was slowly falling towards their face.

      It was golden, three-tongued, and burning with fire.

      Last one wasn't hyperbole.

      Unfortunately.

      It was all sort of their fault.

      But then, everything always was.

      That's why everyone called them Slag.

      The trees hadn't always been on fire, but they had been on fire before.

      That had been their fault too.

      Being the smallest Ork in a tiny Orkin village, reporting to a tiny Orkin warlord who somehow believed he had the brass balls of a god, Slag wasn't exactly well cared for.

      Their name was their job. They were an Ork, after all.

      The blacksmith beat the metal, made the weapons. Tossed the slag in a pile.

      Molten metal twisted and smouldered, and Slag would grab it by the handful, and toss it into a cauldron of water, and when that was full, kick it down the hill into the dumpsite.

      When the dumpsite was full, Slag would summon the demon, who would demand some strange price, then vanish with the lot.

      The demon's prices weren't helping their standing with the rest of the tribe.

      Like today.

      Slag craned their neck, looking up at the red fiery, and rather horned creature, "Say again?"

      The deep earth-rumbling voice laughed, "I want you to sing! Sing like a girl! Like a tiny little human girl!"

      Slag winced, "I am a girl, demon." [^1]

      The creature blinked in surprise, "You? Little squelchling?"

      Slag shrugged, "I'm a girl. I don't got tits... I ain't pretty. But I am."

      The demon winced, "Figure out which god cursed you little girl... After you sing."

      Singing? An Ork?

      Orkcakes.

      The demon would go, and she'd be blamed there was no room in the dump, and then the Orklord would be in her face. Again.

      Then threaten to marry her to his son. Again.

      She blanched.

      The demon laughed, "Last chance, little orkling."

      She coughed nervously, and then a squeaking voice emerged, singing a quiet rhyme she'd overheard one day.

      Something about stars and diamonds. Humans were weird. [^2]

      Unfortunately, her voice was less like a starlet, and more like diamonds scraping across sandglass.

      The demon shreiked and disappeared back into their realm.

      Without the slag.

      She winced, glancing towards the village, "Orkcakes."


      A hand like iron clasped her head, "Slag."

      She smiled weakly up at her father, and at his one eyes staring out from a bushy grey beard. [^3]

      The warrior released her and spoke gruffly, "Was that you singing, again?" [^4]

      She blushed, looking down in shame, "The demon's price."

      The old man groaned and reached for a whip on the wall, "Please tell me he took the slag."

      "I don't lie, father." She answered. [^5]

      He winced and glared at the doorway, unravelling the whip, preparing to hit the next person who came in. "Go to you room, Slag."

      "It's my honour." She crossed her arms, pretending not to notice that her chest didn't show any bigger, "I want to defend it."

      "Now, Slag." He growled through his tusks.

      She turned and moped away into her bedroom.

      She couldn't fight, all she could do was listen to the glorious blood-curling screams as the emissaries dies. [^6]

      Slag picked some metal from beneath her fingernails and flung it into the wall, pinning a fly by one wing. [^7]

      It wasn't fair.

      She wanted a real fight.

      Why did boys get all the fun?

      The guts and the murder?

      All she got was... Slag.

      An axe blade broke through her wall briefly, before being pulled back quickly, followed by a strangled sound.

      She rolled her eyes and flopped onto her straw bed, staring at the ceiling tiredly.

      Humans made life look so simple.

      Find a man, get pregnant, take care of the litter until you died.

      Just cooking, singing and cleaning.

      She licked the edge of her tusk, yawning. This was going to be another, she must get married because she's useless argument with the Orklord. Which would inevitable lead to my son is too stupid, fat and ugly to possibly get married, and then... Ew.

      She didn't want the bastard.

      He certainly wanted her though, all drooling and slurping.

      She wanted to be a Knight. [^8]

      That was it. All of it. Her only dream.

      A glorious warrior, protecting the weak, hunting the monsters that pray on people in the dark. [^9]

      Her sword would have a name, and glow with power when evil was near. [^10]

      She would yell out it's name, and light up the dark.

      Then she'd kill the bad guy, cut off his head, and ride home with it, and stake it to her wall. [^11]


      [^1]: Really? Wow. Never would have guessed... But orks are always hard to apply gender to.

      [^2]: Understatement. What other species looks around themselves in wonder and decides blowing stuff up is the best way to get something out of the ground?

      [^3]: Stories on exactly how he lost his eye vary. Most involve a dragon, a bet, and a gallon ale. And perhaps a wet, old sock.

      [^4]: Oh gods. She'd tried to sing before? Had birds died?

      [^5]: Not strictly true. She did lie, but only about unimportant stuff. Like what she wanted for dinner. Or what job she wished she had. Or who she wanted to marry. Nothing big.

      [^6]: It's an Orkin thing. Send some messenger to die when your upset with your opponent, and then turn up when their bloodlust was sated. Good way to not die.

      [^7]: She was a practiced hand at this now. Sociopath, or bored teenager? Let the public decide! Blast her in this week's Orks magazine!

      [^8]: ... Should someone tell her human knights usually hunt down orks?

      [^9]: So... Hungry orks. Seriously. Someone should tell her.

      [^10]: So, it would always be lit up. Because you're on Ork, girl.

      [^11]: Oh geeze. Are you the hero, or the villain, Slag?

      4 votes
    7. For me, its Arrested Development and South Park. I love AD for its meta-humour and inside jokes. However, I liked only the first three seasons. Here is a great video explaining what makes AD...

      For me, its Arrested Development and South Park. I love AD for its meta-humour and inside jokes. However, I liked only the first three seasons. Here is a great video explaining what makes AD different. South Park for great satire and taking the humourous approach on complex topics. This video explains better than I could.

      So, which are your favorite comedy tv shows and why do you recommend them?

      18 votes
    8. It's a good time to have Netflix if you need some quirky original comedy in your life. Both seasons look like they'll be split in half, which means we'll have more to look forward to later in the...

      It's a good time to have Netflix if you need some quirky original comedy in your life.

      Both seasons look like they'll be split in half, which means we'll have more to look forward to later in the year too!

      Only sad thing is that it looks like this'll be the last season of Kimmy and who knows about more AD - but let's not be sad, let's be happy that we are getting what we are!

      5 votes