If you have turned your TV on anytime this summer (in the UK) you will have noticed that there is a distinct lack of quality TV of any kind currently on. Now I know what you are saying ‘but BM23 (not my actual name btw) networks don’t produce TV to come out in June and July because people are away on holidays and stuff’ but should it really matter what time it comes out?
TV viewing patterns are changing so much to the extent that viewing the program at its scheduled time slot is no longer a necessity or for many people even the norm. I personally never watch a TV show live because what is the point? I get to skip through adverts (which are generally rubbish), I can watch it when I feel like and I don’t have to watch it in one go if I don’t want to. The only thing I would naturally watch live is sports but I’m not writing about sports I’m writing about TV shows so it isn’t really relevant.
It does confuse me that one channel hasn’t taken the risk of putting a strong summer line-up on as surely they would dominate in the ratings because their opposition would be replays of Porridge or whatever pish ITV shows on a regular basis. This isn’t a post about the lack of quality television programs that are currently being produced in Britain (it is very poor currently) but rather the lack of a line-up that they have put on for this summer.
A great example of this situation is that usually I record around 20 or so shows a week, a fortnight ago I recorded Seinfeld (a repeat on Sky Atlantic of a 90’s American show), The Borgia’s (another American show on Sky Atlantic), Louie (the second season of an American show on Fox that has now finished until autumn) that’s it. Ok it means I can go outside more which I guess is a good thing but what happens when it’s 4 in the morning I don’t think I’m going to be going for a round of golf (unless I want stabbed) so I need something to watch.
It has gotten better with Dexter, Top of the Lake, Falling Skies and Ray Donovan (only one partly British produced) but I wouldn’t call either Falling Skies or Dexter (not anymore anyway) as must see TV and the other two shows are new it’s not great.
Who knows maybe I am naïve and I am totally ignoring a handful of great TV shows that are showing currently, but I just don’t see it. I’d appreciate a message pointing me towards other shows that are showing currently on TV that are actually worth watching. I do not want to hear about shit like the Big Bang Theory or New Girl but rather something that isn’t as weak as piss, let me know because I don’t want to be stuck watching the Women’s European Football Championships…..I really don’t.
First off I’d like to say that I am naturally behind the curve because Louie has just started showing in the UK in the past few months and rather than watching the show on the internet I decided just to watch them as they came out in the UK. I had read a lot about Louie and had seen that the show had received critical acclaim, with some people calling it the best TV comedy out there. Naturally I entered into season 1 with high hopes that I was going to be watching something special and instead came out disappointed and dejected that Louie (season 1) had in no way fulfilled those expectations. I am aware that Season 2 is meant to be the better of the first two seasons, so here we go.
What I loved.
- I love how they film Louie, it has a great independent cinematic feeling to it and that is a nice change of pace for TV.
- Theme song.
- Brother Louie is the perfect song for the show to open with
- His kids.
- Kids are hard to write for on TV, it is really hard to make them not only realistic but also likable and I feel Louie does a really good job of doing both.
- Episode format.
- The way that Louie episodes play out is very clever. Instead of needing a story arc (which I generally think is important) Louie goes out its way to produce every episode as a standalone piece. It allows for a greater feeling of real life for the viewer and allows us to connect more to Louie’s fractured lifestyle (because of being a comedy).
What I liked.
- I like the character Louie, he just seems like he’s a nice guy. He may be a loser but he is the sort of guy that you look at and go ‘I’d like to be friends with him’.
- She just seems cool and hot, so there isn’t really anything to dislike.
- Christians against masturbation.
- What isn’t funny about this?
- I thought that this was probably the best episode of the season despite the fact that I am not a huge Joan Rivers fan.
- It delved into the issue that comedians and writers suffer from all the time, once you get recognition are you selling out or are you just playing the system?
- Duckling was an unusual episode because it is not often a TV show will take you to a country like Afghanistan for a USO show and show it as anything but everything is going well there is nothing to worry about.
- The one major issue I have about this episode is that everything was a little too friendly at times (like with the group of Afghan’s who are farming) but it’s television after all.
- Pamela leaves.
- I liked this for several reasons, firstly because she rejects Louie (because she is way better looking than him) and secondly the waving scene. It is funny because she is saying something to him and he assumes she is saying what he wants her to even though he knows she isn’t actually saying that but forces himself to believe it anyway.
- It is funny because I know that people do this in real life and that is good writing.
What I disliked.
- Louie’s stand up bits.
- Is Louie’s stand up funny?
- The answer is no, somebody should tell the audience at his sets.
- The thing is I don’t know if they are meant to suck because that is part of the character but I get the feeling that they are meant to be funny but just aren’t.
- I don’t need a laugh track to tell if something is funny either, I’m smart enough to do that on my own.
- Hit and miss.
- Too many of the episodes are hit and miss, one week I’ll watch one and go that was good and then the next week I’ll watch one and be like meh.
- Where are the laughs?
- Louie quite frankly isn’t that funny. It isn’t that I dislike the show but I am indifferent to it. What concerns me about Louie is that it is meant to be a comedy and honestly it just isn’t very funny at all.
- I don’t understand this either because it is written by a comedian and received critical acclaim for being funny but it isn’t.
What I hated.
- Louie and ladies.
- Look and Louie and now look at the ladies he is apparently getting, tell me if you see a problem there.
- Ah you did see it
- Louie is a fat, bald, ginger and ugly middle aged gentleman who is also lacking in personality among other things.
- They are generally attractive yet have a thing for people that look for Louie.
- Not hard to spot the problem
- At times Louie tries to be really realistic (which I appreciate) but Louie and the ladies that he gets with is just so unrealistic I instantly know that this is a TV show because in real life this wouldn’t happen.
- Louie’s movie.
- This sounded like one of the worst openings to a movie I have ever seen, yet the people in the room are eating it up as if this is an amazing idea. I don’t get it. Maybe that is why people keep letting Adam Sandler make movies (he sounds like he would fit into this one).
There you go Louie season 2, did I like it? Meh, and for me that’s the problem with Louie for me, it is just meh. At no point do I watch Louie and go ‘wow this is really funny’ instead I think it is just a nice show that I watch but if I never seen it again I wouldn’t be too bothered. Maybe I was expecting too much from Louie because it had received very high critical acclaim (people even saying it was better than Curb Your Enthusiasm [it isn’t]) and it is always hard for a TV show (or anything) to live up to those expectations and Louie did not.
Another thing that bothered me was the idea that Louie was a ground-breaking comedy, well it isn’t, many other shows (maybe not American but shows are made outside of America) have done the kind of realistic comedy genre that Louie runs in and although I think the filming side is original (for TV) the actual comedy part of the show has been done before.
It is said that season 3 is the best of the seasons Louie has produced so far and I hope it is better than what I have seen from season 1 or 2 because otherwise Louie will fall into the overhyped category.
Anyway let me know what you think about Louie season 2 or Louie as a whole (if you so wish) and feel free to leave a comment whether positive or negative I accept all. Thanks for reading.
I can tell you right now that usually I don’t watch documentaries (unless there are animals and David Attenborough involved) and I also had no intention of watching Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night (on BBC2) but this is one of most engrossing, well-handled and produced documentaries of a tragic event I have ever seen.
For those that don’t know Piper Alpha was a gas/oil platform based in the North Sea off the coast of North East Scotland. The disaster took place in July 1988 and took the lives of 167 of the crew (around 100 still alive but stuck inside when the rig sunk), with only 61 surviving.
The documentary is split into three different views, firstly from pictures of the time, then from reproduced imagery for the documentary and then from one on one interviews with those involved on the day of the accident. It is really moving to see a group of survivors (many of whom are from the North of England and Scotland, traditionally hard men areas) deal with the emotions on camera as they recount the traumatic events the unravelled in front of them on the longest night of their lives. The reproduction of scenes for the documentary were beautifully done and really allowed for you to feel the sort of panic and desperation that the men on the rig would have been going through as they battle with their own mortality. It is the sad fact that these sorts of events must take place for those in the future to live in a safer world.
I really cannot do the documentary any real justice but it really does handle one of the largest workplace disasters (the largest worldwide offshore oil disaster at the time of events) in the UK’s recent history incredibly well. Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night really is worth watching and again is an incredibly well produced documentary of the most dreadful event in Scottish offshore oil/gas production history.