Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gimme Some Good Old TV

Apart from being a notorious reader and a self-proclaimed movie fanatic*, I indulge myself in a wide plethora of TV shows. I watch pretty much everything from pointless comedy shows [I had a thing for Samantha Who?] to medical dramas [Private Practice anyone?], but what I am utterly in love with are the wicked, in-between and daring shows, which flip the bird to rules and morals and just go with it.

I start with United States of Tara. Multiple Personality Disorder is an attractive psychological disorder** and it was high time, someone did something memorable with it. Spielberg spotted the sheer brilliance in this disorder and now we have Toni Collette as an artist-mom off her meds, altering between the personalities of a horny teen party girl, a 50s model housewife and white trash redneck***. Written by Diablo Cody, United States of Tara is about the modern dysfunctional family, the meaning of having MPD and how it affects the lives around you. It is endearing, funny, dramatic and intense. The cast is strong and the second season picks up the ante and quality of the storytelling.

Nurse Jackie. Where do I start with Nurse Jackie? Jackie is a drug addict. Jackie cheats on her husband. She hides that she has a family from her medical staff. Jackie loves messing up the life of Doctor Cooper, a freshly baked doctor from university. All in all, Jackie is not saintly and most of what she does is appalling, but damn, Edie Falco is mind-blowing. Nurse Jackie is not a good person, but I continue to root for her, feel for her, hope she doesn’t get caught as she snuffs her dose. And I am completely against addiction and infidelity. Yeah, Falco is that good in her role. But the full experience comes after meeting Brit chick and fashion victim Dr. O’Hara, mean faced head nurse Eucalyptus, fidgeting and goofy Dr. Cooper and the weird nurses. It’s superb.

Ugly Americans comes last, because this is a fresh show from Comedy Central with only four episodes so far, but has proven to be much entertaining. It’s an alternative NYC with monsters and other creepy crawlies all living along. Hell is an easily reached destination, an escalator away, and NYC needs social workers to help ‘others’ integrate into society. Enter Mark Lilly, the very human social worker, trying his best, though futile, to help. Social workers in general have a tough life, but Mark has to watch out from becoming a snack for his zombie roommate Randall, mind his behavior around his aggressive demon girlfriend and immediate boss Callie and help unfortunate ‘others’ along with his always drunk wizard Leonard. This is bizarre to the point of addiction.

* Minus the excessive trivia, which I sometimes envy in individuals.
** And for the love of god, this is not schizophrenia. Get your act together, people.
*** You know, the truck driving, beer drinking variety.

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