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The Filthiest Show On Television

The Filthiest Show On Television

It ain’t South Park.  Or Californication.  Or any other ironic cartoon program that I’m not cool enough to have seen.  It’s way down there on your guide, on BBC America.  It’s a British high school comedy called The Inbetweeners.  And if it was a motion picture in the US, even with the bleeping, I’m certain the MPAA would saddle it with an NC-17 rating for language and content.

The rare cringe comedy not shot in “mockumentary” style, The Inbetweeners involves four friends’ quest to get laid and raise their collective social standing.  The characters are stock: briefcase-carrying nerd, lovestruck nerd, stupid nerd, incomprehensibly offensive nerd, mean schoolmaster.  The insults are pretty raw, but accurate in the area of how youngsters (at least in my day) spoke of their desire to have intercourse with their friends moms.  Of course, usually that was just rhetoric, but here the kids are often speaking about specific parts of the main character’s mom.  She’s not Sophia Vergara, but still, we are talking about Britain here, let’s be realistic.

Surprisingly, there are not a lot of good pics of Belinda available, but, trust me, she's much better than the average mom.

The show is pretty humorous, but also educational: I’ve learned tons of new slang for female anatomy (most of them seem to end in “-ge”, I’m thinking of creating my own.  Maybe, “slunge”?).  I’ve also learned that being “fit” is a high compliment.  And, when casting a teen series in the US, casting directors seem to seek out actresses who will inspire debate about “are our teens too thin?”  In the UK, the casting directors are apparently going more for the “our teens: do we have bras big enough to contain them?” debate.   Check it out, it’s available on BBCA On Demand, too – you may not love it, but you will probably be offended by something.

90210 producers, take note: this is what you should be striving for.

In other news, I have been quite busy of late, so postings have been on the sparse side.  I’m trying to unravel my tax records, which should be pretty easy.  Except for the fact that in mid-2008 I inexplicably said “fuck it” and stopped keeping my own records.  That had worked fine in the past; my old broker, despite being less technologically advanced than Suretrade in 1999, provided extremely detailed info on option trades in the 1099 package.  (Option trade information doesn’t go in the 1099 that goes to the IRS, so it’s up to the trader to keep the records and make sure his taxes aren’t fucked up.)  But then I switched to a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000x better trading platform in early 2009 – that’s where the problems begin.  They list every trade in their year end info pack, including ones that weren’t taxable events.  So I’ve had to go and back those trades out and try to get it all to sync up with my own records.  And I don’t have a fucking printout of the 2009 trades because it’s 116 pages long.  Fuck me.

In other2 news, I went to SO’s friend’s birthday party in Brooklyn on Saturday.  The usual, drank too much, got wine spilled over 80% of my body, ate a lot of cheese.  When we got back to NYC, we were out of water, so stopped at the corner store to get some.  (For the record, this corner store is the anti-Gristedes: the listed price of a 20 oz Diet Coke with Lime is $1.50, but they let Chilly have them for $1.25.)  When there, I realized that I didn’t have my phone at the same time SO realized she didn’t have her purse.  Chaos ensued.  I started yelling about leaving shit in the cab and how SO needs to pay more attention, SO had the corner store guy call her friend in Brooklyn (at 4:00 AM) to ask if our stuff was there.  Full on debacle.  Still bitching and yelling when we got back home, I was startled to see my phone on the counter – a fucking miracle!  I was using it to check the Final Four score in Brooklyn (those fucking hipsters never have TVs) and somehow it teleported back!  Starting to rethink my position on religion and the supernatural…when SO realizes her purse is there, too.  Apparently we BOTH forgot that we stopped at home and then went to the store.  Morons.  Alcohol, while tasty and delightful, makes you stupider.  The funny part is, the corner store guy could not tolerate that our friends in Brooklyn weren’t answering their phone – he called them 300x until she picked up.  It’s good to have a solid corner store guy.



Path Chosen (For Now, At Least)

Path Chosen (For Now, At Least)

Other titles considered: “I Forked Myself”, “Robert Frost Was Not A Capitalist”, “I Am Not A Practiced User Of Or Really Any Free Version Of Photoshop.  (It’s Pretty Complicated.  Seriously.)”  So I said “fuck that noise” to that potential banking gig.  They were looking for me to “take a year back” – which essentially means to pretend I did not work 10.7 months at a better firm (actually a much worse firm, but a better group in terms of participating in and executing deals in the space) in 2008.  I also didn’t really think jumping on something imperfect just because it fell into my lap was prudent, have fallen for that before.  Also, I’m pretty lazy.

After leaving the gym last night, was visiting a different Gristedes grocery (stunningly, the one closest to me no longer carries Arriba Hot Salsa, just Medium and Mild.  Despite all my consumer activism specific to this product and store.  Dammit.) and while walking between 8th and 9th Avenues happened upon the movie premiere for Brothers.  It’s an upcoming wife-cheating-on-soldier-husband-with-soldier-husband’s-brother movie or something.  So anyway, covered in sweat and looking forward to the four pound quesadilla to come, I’m suddenly about 12 yards from Tobey Maguire.  Between us there was about 6,000 people all snapping 18 megawatt flashes right in his grill nonstop while he walked twenty feet to his left.  It didn’t look like that much fun – thank goodness for the anonymity of the internet.  Would hate to have to go through that every time I posted something.

This was after they ran the flash gauntlet
This was after they ran the flash gauntlet

Official Kudos to Two Television Programs That Just Concluded Their (Too Short) 2009 Seasons

Mad Men –  Extra rough patch for the Draper.  Took him some time to start getting his Draper on and even then received some pretty consistent bitch slaps from the various ladies in his life.  Some of the story arcs were slow developing, but the payoff in the last three episodes was excellent.  Mostly season three was about the maturation of the female characters: Joan finally coming out swinging, Betty plotting, Peggy standing up for herself (when not laying down for herself and a former colleague).

Mad Men is the only program I can recall depicting someone getting his foot cut off by a runaway lawn mower at an office party.   Love Sally, love Joan, love Roger, love the bizarre look Draper has whenever something horrible is happening to him.  Exquisite work by the cast and the writers, as usual, and further demonstration that “unknown ensemble” is the way to put together a strong dramatic cast (see Wire, The).

Curb Your Enthusiasm –  We’ve seen the formula for what, seven seasons now?  Larry gets agitated by something/someone, it escalates into an altercation and the whole thing later comes back to bite him.  (This was pretty much the Seinfeld formula as well).  Each season also has a broader backdrop – donating an organ, separating from his wife, conducting a Seinfeld reunion to get his wife back, etc.  Wait, what?  Seinfeld reunion?

I’m actually pretty surprised how little hype this got, as there was effectively a half hour Seinfeld imbedded in the season of Curb.  Fucking spot on, the premise for the reunion was funny and tied in with the meta storyline perfectly.  I’m convinced they could crank out another ten seasons of the Sein if they wanted to, without sacrificing much quality.  Not really much need to, though, as CYE has assumed the mantle for no-hugs, curmudgeonly humor.  Eager to see what season eight has in store (although given the long wait between seasons on HBO, it will probably be 2014 or so).

The Exact Opposite of Kudos (2 Thumbs Jammed Straight Down Into My Eye Sockets) To FlashForward

Ten Things That I Hate About FlashForward

  1. The constant “I just found out my mom’s dabbling in internet pron” look on Joseph Fiennes’ face.  Dude, just go ahead and start crying if you need to.  Let it all out.
  2. Joseph Fiennes’ “I will now channel Christian Bale’s Dark Knight” voice
  3. The complete and utter lack of any chemistry on the part of any two characters, on either a romantic or platonic level
  4. The inane focus on the main character’s potential future relapse into alcoholism, when he’s also going to be sought out by masked men with laser-scoped assault weapons in the future.  The latter seems a bigger problem to me, not to mention the fact that his fucking partner is going to get fucking murdered
  5. The ABCentric lesbian subplot.  Seriously?  In every one of your dramas?  At least the ones in FF are pretty hot, unlike the dogfest that apparently wasn’t a fan favorite on Grey’s Anatomy.  (Disclaimer: I do not watch Grey’s Anatomy, but have been exposed to it and therefore suffer some longterm effects)
  6. The nonsensical prioritizations/decisions – “I’m trying to extradite this Nazi to the US, but let me take this 15 minute phone call from my AA sponsor, could be important.”  “I realize you are the director of the LA office of the FBI, but please allow me to make you Director of Homeland Security.  I am the President.  Or you could not take the job and senselessly blackmail me for a small favor instead. Seemingly i would grant that favor sans blackmail since i just offered you a preposterous promotion, but go ahead with the blackmail if you feel that’s the right thing to do.”
  7. No one is actively trying to bone Nicole.  (Since the first episode, at least).  She thinks she’s gonna die, she’s probably down with just about anything.  Morons.
  8. The writing is god awful.  Terrible dialogue and a lot of convenient coincidences that allow the heroes to immediately decipher needle-in-haystackesque clues.  Speaking of heroes, Heroes season one was roughly 38x better than this.
  9. The protagonist’s wife is super-duper annoying, generally bitchy to everyone and vacillating on whether the visions are to be believed or not.  (Apparently she was on Lost or something, am not eager to dig into another ABC science fantasy program after this trainwreck.)
  10. Myself, for continuing to watch.  Why?  I’m certain that a two minute recap on Television Without Pity would be just as satisfying without wasting so much time.

Three Things I Can Tolerate About FlashForward

Peyton is apparently not just a boy's name
Peyton is apparently not just a boy's name

  1. Nicole.  If your Venn diagram with Mad Men is only going to contain one person, Peyton List is not a bad way to go.
  2. John Cho and Jack Davenport, better known as Harold and Steve (Coupling) are the only ones not mailing it in, actingwise.
  3. The general premise is pretty cool, and I guess what keeps my dumb ass going back.  The show itself acts somewhat as a time travel device, because after drudging through twenty minutes worth of an episode, I invariably feel that I’ve put in about 57 minutes.


My Early Take On The New TV Season

My Early Take On The New TV Season

The fall television season is now in full swing, and after thankfully getting back into the drinking/tv watching zone following my period of being a good family member, I’m here to offer some guidance to you good souls who have too much work to do to sort through everything yourselves. (/run-on sentence)


Robarney - get it?  I put them together like Bennifer.  Awesome.
Robarney - get it? I put them together like Bennifer. Awesome.

How I Met Your Mother – Maintains the hilarity even while introducing Robarney as a couple.  As pointed out somewhere else, Ted is devolving a little bit into a straight-up Ross impersonation, which is lame.  Or ghey.  I predict that he pulls out of it.  The other members of the ensemble continue to bring it.  Rating: Strong Buy.

Gossip Girl – I really love what they are doing with the Chuck/Blair storyli – I do not watch GG.  Rating: Not covered.

Heroes – Season 2 sits on our DVR, unwatched, perilously close to being deleted.  I need to hear proof that they’ve unfucked themselves before I get back into it.  Rating: Hold (Speculative).


Crunches should do the trick.  Couple dozen sets.
Crunches should do the trick. Couple dozen sets.

The Biggest Loser – Haven’t really watched it yet, but the contestants don’t look as fat at a glance, so might not be that great.  Rating: Hold.

(Not a lot of tv watching on Tuesday, just wait til you see Thursday though.  And this isn’t all inclusive)


We get it - still hot!  Got it
Consider your point made, ABC.

Cougar Town – Would have been a much better vehicle if they just had Courtney Cox walk around in her underwear for thirty minutes.  The weaker than weak sauce storyline doesn’t provide the appropriate framework for her walking around in her underwear for only 12 minutes.  (We get it, CC is still hot.  I’m pretty certain that, even devoid of fame and riches, she could still score plenty of dudes of whatever age group).  Rating: Strong Sell.

Modern Family – My favorite new show so far.  I’m a sucker for people being randomly shot with BB guns though, it was funny in A Christmas Story and it’s funny now.  Plot in a nutshell: Arrested Development-esque look at a family consisting of a dad with a majorly hot and much younger new wife and (sensitive) step kid, and his two kids: a daughter with a husband and several kids and a gay son with a newly adopted Vietnamese kid.  Hilarity ensues.  Rating: Strong Buy.

The New Adventures of Old Christine – JLD continues to bring the funny and I love the supporting cast.  It’s fascinating to me that JLD’s dad is a French billionaire – he must be pretty cool to tolerate the humiliation JLD certainly suffered climbing the comedic ladder.  Rating: Buy.


I predict a little misty-eyedness, even though this isn't real life and Jenna really recently got divorced
I predict a little misty-eyedness, even though th is fiction and in real life Jenna recently got a divorce

The Office – The writers have done a good job so far integrating the Jam relationship, hopefully this week’s wedding won’t signify a shift in this trend.  Continues to be a bright spot and somewhat reflective (if through a funhouse mirror) of what office life is like.  Rating: Strong Buy.

Parks & Recreation – Jury is still out on this one for me.  I like Amy Poehler but not sold on the Leslie Nope character.  I do think the Indian guy is pretty funny, and Rashida Jones is always a plus.  Storylines have been pretty weak.  Doesn’t capture the essence of small town beaurocracy the way The Office captures the feeling of working way-too-closely with some oddballs.  Rating: Hold (Speculative).

Community – It’s well documented on this site that I am a huge Joel McHale fan.  I love The Soup and think the dude is funny as shit.  However, I’m not digging this show as much as I’d originally hoped.  JM can bring the smarm/jerkiness just fine, but I’m yet to buy the whole concept: JM, a successful attorney, has to go to a community college to get his degree since he lied about having one.  His study group, consisting of the normal mix of hot chicks, nerdy chicks, eccentric old dudes, and hilarious Indian dudes (what is up with all the hilarious Indian dudes this year?) will help him graduate and also, in a very special episode, learn something about himself.  I think it will come together, but hasn’t so far.  It is pretty funny though seeing McHale channel a young Chevy Chase, alongside tha actual old Chevy Chase.  Rating: Buy (Speculative).

Grey’s Anatomy – Hork-hork-hork-hork.  (Sound of cat vomiting)  Rating: Retardedly Strong Sell.

Flash Forward – My first ever viewing of an ABC drama.  It might get there, but I wasn’t overwhelmed off the bat.  The pilot wasn’t nearly as compelling as (this is now hard to say) the Heroes pilot two years ago.  I’m a little concerned that the main character is so concerned about his wife potentially cheating when it appears the apocalypse is right around the corner.  And why is John Cho’s character named Demetri?  Isn’t he Korean?  Rating: Hold.


I don’t fucking watch TV on Friday – I’m 40 not 83.


See above, it’s fucking Saturday.


You gotta get up in that ass, Larry.
Birds of a feather

Curb Your Enthusiasm – LD remains a genius.  Leon Black might be the funniest character on television.  I’m sure the Seinfeld reunion will be well done, but just the average episode of this show is better than 99% of other programs.  Rating: Strong Buy.  HBO does a great job, except for…

Entourage – WTF happened to this show?  This season has been painful to watch.  I know that the shooting schedule forces some dated references, but I’ve seen Wings re-runs that are more current than some of the stuff here.  Drama, once the best character, has become too much of a caricature.  I realize the show is about the entourage, not Vince, but E’s storylines are boring unless he’s dealing with Ari.  Ari’s shtick is wearing thin.  I like the evolution of Lloyd and Turtle, but those are tertiary storylines that can’t sustain the show.  Rating: Sell.

On a non-related note, there’s a great read on the Marc Dreier saga in Vanity Fair.  If you haven’t read it or any of the many Madoff pieces in VF, I highly recommend them.  Some chilling stuff in there re: BM.  Carve out some time though, a couple of hours of good reading material there.