While you are waiting for the season finale of Mr. Robot (postponed because life keeps imitating fiction — I’m not going to spoil it by saying how), watch something that won’t give you nightmares.
May I suggest the following comedy shows? Like my beloved Playing House, they aren’t going to set anything on fire but if you like watching Louie and then feeling that you need to maybe kill yourself, that’s your deal. (Full disclosure: Of course I watch Louie. I’m not an animal. But afterwards, I usually feel pretty bad and that’s not why I watch TV. I can feel bad on my own.)
Comedies That Don’t Hurt:
- Impastor. I love this new show on TVLand. The premise makes it sound racier than it is: A small time hood sort of accidentally murders a gay Lutheran pastor and steals his life. The reality is that Michael Rosenbaum has the kind of face where you’d be happy to let him murder you. It’s the eyes. Plus, this show features Sara Rue (neé, Sara Forbes Schlackman) a stellar comic actress who is gorgeous without looking as if she’s barely survived a recent famine. Which means this show stars two of the hottest Jews on TV. An added bonus if you care about such things. Speaking of racy, you have to stream the opener of the latest ep because TVLand freaked out and cut a sex scene that shows Rosenbaum’s naked bum. And cutting the scene renders most of the plot of ep 7 senseless.
- Kevin from Work. Skip the pilot and start watching around ep. 2. That’s when the cast starts to gel and you get to meet more astoundingly hilarious characters, such the lead’s sister and his stalker — both hysterical comic actors. Not to be sexist, but in spite of the man-centric premise (A guy tells his work crush he loves her because he thinks he’s moving…then doesn’t), this show is so much more than that thin logline because it’s helmed by a woman. The female characters, even the Beloved from work, are fully drawn human beings. The best laughs always ensue when they are organic and come from fleshed out characters tormenting each other, the way we do in real life.
- Vicious. Season 2 is here and it’s a kinder, gentler season, according to the creators. It’s just a bit of fluff in the British tradition of silly sitcoms but why not? I’ve only seen ep. 1 of Season 2 but I’m finding it even more enjoyable than Season 1. If you can forget the utter predictability and revel in getting to watch these venerable thespians romp, you will too.
Some That Do Hurt:
- Lest you think that I will watch any old cheaply-made sitcom with a hot guy on it (see Impastor, above), I am giving a firm thumbs down to Significant Mother. I tried two different times, two different episodes, and it is beyond awful. Skip it.
- It pains me to say this because NOBODY loves Jim Gaffigan as much as I do, except maybe Mrs. Jim Gaffigan. I think his work is fantastic. I have literally seen his bit about hot pockets over a dozen times because I’m incapable of turning off the TV if he’s on it doing stand up. Even though I have seen him say it over and over, I still die laughing when he says “hot pockets” in that voice. And almost nothing makes me laugh. I’m obsessed with comedy, but I’m a bad laugher. I appreciate when something is well-written or a joke is clever, but I’m physically incapable of laughing at most things. Jim Gaffigan just gets me — every time. But his show doesn’t. I can’t explain it. I like the way they eat at Katz’s Deli (my favorite deli on earth). I love that comedians pop up on there all the time. I even like the actor who plays his wife. But it’s not working for me. I even had to turn off one of the eps before it finished.
- Blunt Talk. Jonathan Ames’ Bored to Death was good fun so I tried. I want to like this show. I love it when people make fun of Hollywood and who doesn’t love Patrick Stewart out of character? Me apparently. I find this show unwatchable and I have tried more than once because you can’t judge a show by the pilot. There’s too much pressure to stuff all of the backstory into a pilot which can ruin the balance.