Hello! I am Tucker and I am a Maltese. Gigi was a naughty, naughty poodle this week and I get to do the intro because she was bad. I will tell you what she did. Our novelist was harnessing us up to go for a walk when Gigi attacked me for no good reason. Our novelist hurried to pull her off me. She squatted down and lost her balance, and her head went into the door and she pulled some muscles in her neck. She got very mad at Gigi and scolded her and told her she would not be going on a walk that day. So, I got to go on a walk with our novelist without Gigi. It was a lot of fun. Also…
Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce my…
No, no, no! You were naughty.
Yes, well…I might have had a momentary lapse of reason but…
No, you were naughty! You attacked me and you hurt our novelist!
And for that I am truly ashamed, but it was an accident…
Also, it was our novelist’s birthday this week!
I was supposed to say that! That was my line!
You were naughty. Here is our novelist!
Firstly, I’d like to remind you to celebrate the holidays my novel Chicane about a race car driver forced to speed through a Colorado blizzard will be FREE on Kindle from Thursday, December 16th until Sunday December 20th. It is a short winter novel written with a fast pace and I hope you get a chance to enjoy it!
Secondly, this week I thought it would be fun to write down a list of ten outstanding television comedies to binge watch over the holidays and where they’re streaming. Next week I’ll do a list of ten dramas. Here we go:
FLEABAG (Amazon Prime)-Based on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s play this show won every award out there and for good reason. A savvy young woman known only as Fleabag hilariously attempts to navigate through her thoroughly screwed up life in modern day London in her ill-fated attempts to run a small restaurant, tolerate her nut-ball family and find a man…or many men. Both seasons are outstanding but let me advise you this is an exceptionally explicit and very dark comedy. You have been warned.
THE END OF THE FxxxING WORLD (Netflix)-Based on the graphic novel by Charles Forseman both seasons of this British dark comedy are superb. Introverted teenager James (Alex Lawther) thinks he is a psychopath and sets out to murder annoying fellow classmate Alyssa (Jessica Barden). But to his dismay he falls in love with the straight shooting sardonic young lass instead. With his mother dead and his father an unbearable ass James and Alyssa decide to run away together but they find that independence can become extremely dangerous amazingly fast when they break into a college professor’s house to spend the night.
THE IT CROWD (Netflix)-Why this wildly funny show never made it on air as an American comedy is beyond all comprehension. Young computer illiterate Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson) lands a management job at Reynholm Industries where she thinks she is at the beginning of a beautiful career. But instead, she is sent to the basement by CEO Denholm Reynholm (Chris Morris) to oversee the Information Technology department comprised of computer techs Roy Tenneman (Chris O’Dowd) Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade) and goth obsessed Richmond Avenal (Noel Fielding). As the techs teach Jen to become more computer savvy Jen in turn assists them in learning how to become human beings. Matt Berry joins the show in later seasons as Denholm’s whack job son Douglas.
SILICON VALLEY (HBO)-This spot-on comedy about the tech world by Bevis and Butthead and Office Space creator Mike Judge is a well-cast comedy that revolves around a handful of talented programmers trying to develop the next big computer company. Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middlemarch) is a shy nerdy klutz who happens to be a genius. He works for the big Hoolie tech corporation run by megalomaniac Gavin Belson (Matt Ross). When he creates an algorithm with an extraordinary ability for compressing computer files Richard establishes his own start-up called Pied Piper. With the help of loud-mouthed drug addled former whiz kid Erlich Bachman (TJ Miller) Richard joins Bachman’s incubator to nurture the project with fellow techs Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Star) and Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani).
FRASIER (Peacock)-A lot of people are fans of binging older NBC shows like Friends and The Office. But for me Frasier is the real standout. One of the finest classiest spinoff series of all time the story circles around astute psychiatrist Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammar) from the show Cheers. After his divorce from the stoic Lilith, Frasier leaves his ex-wife and young son Fredrick behind and returns to Seattle, Washington to start a new life as a dial in psychiatrist for a radio show produced by the sardonic Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin). But his younger and more fastidious brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) puts a wrench in Frasier’s plans when he dumps their widowed wounded ex-cop father into his hands to take care of. Reluctantly, Frasier moves his grumpy earthy father in with him and hires a beautiful physical therapist Daphnie Moon (Jane Leeves) whom Niles becomes hopelessly smitten with. All eleven seasons are well worth the watch.
BBC’S THE OFFICE (Amazon Prime)-The one that started it all. Darker and more profound than its American counterpart (which is also excellent) this original mockumentary gem brilliantly written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant is about an embarrassingly inept but lovable boss named David Brent (Ricky Gervais) and the fascinating ordinary people he oversees at a boring paper merchant in the heart of middle England. His workers include the odd and childish Gareth Keenen (Mackenzie Crook), the pretty and complex receptionist Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis) and likeable everyman Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman). At times shockingly hilarious and at others brutally poignant it is a wonderful look at everyday office life in the modern day. Make certain you do not miss the two-part Christmas show finale at the end of the second season. It is a classic.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (Netflix)-Originally on Fox this wacky show about the bizarrely dysfunctional Bluth clan is laugh out loud funny. Scumbag real estate developer George Sr. Bluth (Jeffrey Tambor) has landed himself in prison and it is up to the only sane person in the family, son Michael (Jason Bateman) to deal with the shambles of the estate. Michael must manage not only dad’s dwindling finances but his eccentric family members including his manipulative miscreant mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), con-artist and magician wannabe older brother George Oscar Bluth II (Will Arnett), his spoiled promiscuous twin sister Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) and over educated mama’s boy younger brother Byron “Buster” (Tony Hale) as well who can’t seem to realize they are now broke. At the same time Michael struggles to be a father to his only son, teenager George Michael (Michael Cera) who constantly lusts over Lindsay’s daughter, his first cousin the sardonic and resourceful Maybe (Alia Shawkat).
AMERICAN VANDAL (Netflix)- A mocumentary comedy/mystery set in a high school, known prankster Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is expelled for spray painting a parking lot full of faculty cars with phallic images…but did he do it? Sophomore Peter Maldonato wants to know and proceeds to film the story interviewing different students and faculty members to get to the truth with side-splitting hilarity and unexpected twists and turns. In all good conscience I cannot recommend the second season of this show. But if you have never seen the first season you absolutely must.
COBRA KAI (Netflix)–A while back I dedicated a whole post to this show which started out as a YouTube Original and I’m going to pimp it again because this thing is pure television crack and I dare you to watch just one episode. Thirty-four years after losing the All-Valley Karate championship to Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai phenom Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is down and out living in a cheap apartment, working as a handyman and drinking a whole lot of Coors Banquet beer. But when a high school kid named Miguel Diez (Xolo Maridueña) moves into the apartment across the way and witnesses Johnny lay out three jerks from his class, he wants to learn the way of the fist enticing Johnny to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo. To complicate things, Miguel meets and falls for LaRusso’s teenage daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) and Samantha in turn strikes up a friendship with Johnny’s estranged teenage son plucky Robby Keene. Season three comes out in January on Netflix.
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (Netflix)-Originally on The CW this is the one you’ve got to see to believe. I have no idea how they pulled this off. A comedy/musical/satire about a brilliant but certifiably insane young female lawyer named Rebecca Bunch (the remarkably talented Rachel Bloom who created the show) is still madly in love with some random guy named Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) she met and had a micro fling with at a camp when she was in high school. On the verge of bagging the job of a lifetime at a major law firm in New York City she chucks it all away and moves cross country to West Covina, California where Josh lives and hunts him like Elmer Fudd tracking Buggs Bunny only to meet a likeable but shy underachieving bartender named Greg Serrano (Santino Fontana) who becomes smitten with the misguided loon.
You can check out my books Chicane (which is FREE on Kindle from Wednesday, December 16th until Sunday December 20th) and the first two books in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby! and Musicology: Volume Two, Kid! on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. Musicology Volume Three, Twist! will release this January 2021. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will will Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK-FARGO-Amazon Prime & Netflix
In January of 1996, a little film about a pregnant police officer who finds herself working on a case involving a couple found shot dead in their car along the roadside came to theatres. The film went on to be considered one of the best movies of all time. Set in 1987 car dealer Jerry Lundeguaard (William H. Macey who is outstanding) finds himself in a boring loveless marriage to a woman whose father is a wealthy ass. Jerry goes to the father with a business proposition but is shot down in short order. Determined to make his dream come true Jerry hires a couple of thugs, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and psychopath Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Sormare), to kidnap his wife and demand a ransom from his father-in-law. Things spin quickly and violently out of control as whip smart Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand in her fantastic first Oscar winning performance) works to put the pieces together and stop the madness surrounding a little bit of money.
SMART MOVIES FOR SMART KIDS: GARFIELD SPECIALS (1991)-Amazon Prime
This collection of nine of the Garfield specials that aired in the mid 1980’s thru 1990 is a lot of fun. The Halloween Special is for some reason not included but the Thanksgiving one where Jon invites Liz over for dinner and the Christmas one where Jon, Odie and Garfield all visit his parents’ farm are as well as the off-beat Garfield’s 9 Lives and Garfield’s Feline Fantasies. Terrific for both younger and older kids as well as nostalgic adults.
SCREENWRITINGU FREE CLASS FRIDAY: The Layers of DEAD TO ME
You can sign up for the class here which is on Friday, December 11th at 12:00 noon PST. This is a teleconference on your phone.