October 14th, 2008

Tom Lehrer is Smug

(no subject)

This week I watched the entire first seasons of Eureka and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, two shows I had never watched but heard mentioned in passing. I enjoyed Eureka's premise quite a bit (a small town where all the brightest scientific minds in America are secreted away so they can perform their research and experiments in ... relative ... peace) as well as the sci-fi concepts presented with the episodes (non-linear time, AI, death rays, that kind of thing) but sometimes I didn't think they took those concepts as far as they could, so as to focus more on the traditional television relationships of the rebellious teen and her father (who happens to be town sheriff) and the will they? won't they? relationship between the sheriff and the cute Department of Defense liaison. Ah, well, I guess since part of the series' driving point is that this 'outsider' is bringing human solutions to crazy technical problems, we get to deal with the people.

Except for his AI-driven smart house who pitches a fit when he considers moving out. That was a cute premise. Still, I wish the guy who'd gone and messed about with tachyons had remained stuck in time, fluctuating between staying ahead of us or lagging behind us (dialogue would've been fun to write for that) but hey, his storyline was sort of pushed to the side after the pilot until the season finale, when it was needed again. All in all, though, I'd like to start in on Season 2 when I can. The characters are fun enough, even if Matt Frewer (Matt Frewer!) slips in and out of his Australian accent a bit.

Sunny has been described around me as "Seinfeld on crack" and "funnier than Arrested Development" and I'm willing to concede that it's darn funny and darkly surreal when it's On, it just doesn't hold up to AD's writing. For one, Sunny will always Go There, often for the sake of just being shocking. Well, okay, some of the times it works great, but other times, it feels like it's trying too hard. The four main characters are all loathsome in their own right and that helps you feel better when they get their moments of humiliating comeuppance, but AD had sympathetic characters to balance that out as well as writers who knew a good way of balancing lunacy, That's Just Wrong and generally good moments all together. I hear the series picks up in the second season when Danny Devito joins the cast, but I'll wait a bit before I watch it again.

And that's all I got to say about that.