Monday, August 26, 2013

C (S) U Later

It is with heavy heart (and backpack) that I inform you of the beginning of CSULB's fall 2013 semester, meaning that I will be unable to post daily on this site, and most likely not very frequently at all. I'm taking five classes, TAing a sixth, on the board for the GSA, and working so I'll barely have time to watch movies, let alone write about them.

I'm gonna do my best though, and I know this is hard on you so I've made you a little back-to-school present,

10 TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Instead of Doing Homework

30 Rock (2006 - 2013)

Seasons: 7
Time Wasted: 2 days 2 hours 36 minutes

OK, so the seventh season technically isn't on Netflix yet but it will be soon! If they answer my prayers.

30 Rock is a witty behind-the-scenes comedy that is a not-so-veiled look at Tina Fey's life as the head writer of SNL. She plays socially inept Liz Lemon, a woman on a quest to balance work, love, and having it all. And eat as many sandwiches as she possibly can.

With Alec Baldwin as her boss (a man as conservative as he is wealthy) and mentor, providing 30 Rock's core, the show survived way more seasons than the ratings should have allowed by always remaining as sharp and clever as the very first episode.

Also featuring Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan, and Jane Krakowski.

Scrubs (2001-2010)

Seasons: 9
Time Wasted: 2 days 18 hours 44 minutes

A screwball comedy set in Sacred Heart Hospital, Zach Braff plays J.D., a young intern on his way to becoming a doctor. Chock full of fast-paced gags, creative fantasy sequences, and a surprising amount of heart, Scrubs is so good that you won't even notice that the last two seasons mostly suck. 

Also featuring Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, and Sarah Chalke.

Arrested Development (2003-2013)

Seasons: 4
Time Wasted: 1 day 3 hours 35 minutes

Quite simply one of the funniest sitcoms ever. The story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son (Jason Bateman) who had no choice but to keep them all together, it's... Arrested Development.

Full of structural humor, bizarre in-jokes, and zippy punch lines that keep you on your toes, this show bombed in initial ratings, leading Fox to cancel it after three increasingly short seasons. Netflix picked it up for a fourth. Reviews were mixed, but the new season returns to the characters with as much zeal and wild experimentation as ever.

Also featuring Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, and Michael Cera.

How I Met Your Mother (2005 - Present)

Seasons: 8
Time Wasted: 2 days 19 hours 28 minutes

With one season not yet on Netflix and another (its last) in production, HIMYM still has some crackle in it yet. Although the main premise, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) telling his kids the tale of... how he met their mother has long since worn thin, the show is kept alive with a brilliant ensemble cast - the first show since Friends to truly succeed with the "twentysomethings hang out in a place" formula.

Also featuring Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, and Neil Patrick Harris.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005 - Present)

Seasons: 8 (with a ninth on the way)
Time Wasted: 1 day 10 hours 28 minutes

The simple story of a bunch of self-centered lunkheads who own a bar in South Philadelphia is a pitch black comedy starring Charlie Day. Mostly improvised and never tame, It's Always Sunny panders in filthy humor, shrill arguments, and the hilarious antics of truly awful people.

In the second season, Danny DeVito joined the cast as the disgusting Frank Reynolds, a role he was clearly born for.

Also featuring Rob McElhenny, Glenn Howerton, and Kaitlin Olson.

Undeclared (2001 - 2002)

Seasons: 1
Time Wasted: 6 hours 14 minutes

Judd Apatow's college comedy and spirit sequel to his cult classic Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared is the story of Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel), a nerdy kid trying to reinvent himself in his first year of college. Perfectly capturing the drama and the magic of freshman year, Undeclared will have you looking back fondly on your first college friends, overbearing RAs, and the time when Adam Sandler was still relevant.

Also featuring Seth Rogen, Charlie Hunnam, and Monica Keena.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2003)

Seasons: 7
Time Wasted: 4 days 12 hours

Buffy is Joss Whedon's ultimate cult classic. Taking the horror trope of the Final Girl and turning it on its head, Buffy stars a butt-kicking Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Chosen One of Sunnydale High, defending the world from vampires, demons, and creatures that go bump in the night.

Also featuring my lover David Boreanaz, Alyson Hannigan, and Nicholas Brendon.

Twin Peaks (1990 - 1991)

Seasons: 2
Time Wasted: 23 hours 18 minutes

Twin Peaks is David Lynch's surreal masterpiece of small town intrigue. Kyle MacLachlan stars as Special Agent Dale Cooper as he searches for the answer to the question on everybody's lips: Who killed Laura Palmer?

Also featuring Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, and Dana Ashbrook.

Portlandia (2011 - Present)

Seasons: 3 (so far)
Time Wasted: 9 hours 54 minutes

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's sharp satire skewers Portland, the hipster capital of the world. As with most sketch comedy, it's sometimes a mixed bag, but it is always insightful, hilarious, and full of weird celebrity cameos.

Also featuring Kyle MacLachlan, Chloë Sevigny, and Aubrey Plaza.

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (2010 - 2012)

Seasons: 2
Time Wasted: 4 hours 24 minutes

Simultaneously uproariously funny and oppressively dark, Todd Margaret is an acquired taste. Starring David Cross as a bumbling corporate employee sent across the pond to sell a putrid energy drink, this BBC comedy is crass, sophisticated, wry, and exceedingly British.

Also featuring Will Arnett, Sharon Hogan, and Blake Harrison.

And because I have my super anticipated horror class today, I would be remiss if I didn't include

BONUS: Five Horror Films to Watch on Netflix Instead of Writing Your Essay

Dead Snow (Død Snø) (2009)

Time Wasted: 1 hour 32 minutes

A bitingly fun Norwegian zombie comedy that pays magnificent homage to the gore pictures of yore.

Featuring Jeppe Beck Laursen, Vegar Hoel, and Charlotte Frogner.

Read my full review here.

The Evil Dead (1981)

Time Wasted: 1 hour 25 minutes

Essentially the movie Dead Snow pays homage to in the highest, The Evil Dead is Sam Raimi's gleefully gory, somewhat campy (the outrageously slapstick humor of its sequel is not present, although the film does have some comedic elements) zombie flick that isn't really about zombies.

Candarian demons are released by an accidental reading of a passage from the Book of the Dead and attack five unwitting college students spending their break in a secluded cabin in the woods.

Featuring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, and Richard Demanincor.

Re-Animator (1985)

Time Wasted: 1 hour 26 minutes

What can I say? Netflix is really on top of zombie movies. Re-Animator is the tale of med student Herbert West, whose experiments with a serum to bring the dead back to life go terribly awry.

Read my full review here.

Featuring Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, and Barbara Crampton.

The Host (Goemul) (2006)

Time Wasted: 1 hour 59 minutes

This Korean monster movie has it all. Monster kidnappings, shoreline mayhem, and a surprising vein of  good humor and family satire.

Featuring Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, and Hae-il Park.

The Initiation (1984)

Time Wasted: 1 hour 36 minutes

How could I not include a slasher movie? The Initiation is the story of a sorority hazing gone very wrong. I'll cover this one on Census Bloodbath before you know it, but I'll call it now. It's one of the top 5 films of the year.

Featuring Daphne Zuniga, Hunter Tylo, and Vera Miles.

Have a good day at school, everyone! (And screw you, UC people!)
Word Count: 1323

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