Archive for Netflix Pick of the Week

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Netflix Instant Pick of the Week


TV Show: Louie

Target Audience: Fans of cringe-worthy comedy

Time for week two of our Netflix Pick of the Week. On the spotlight this week: FX’s comedy Louie starring comedian Louis C.K. Netflix has recently added season two of the comedy which brings the total to 27 episodes, each around 20 minutes long. For those who have not delved into the strange and sad mind of Louis C.K. you can check out his comedy special: Chewed Up, which is also available on Netflix Instant Watch. C.K. has been around for quite some time, making his name through the comedy world and TV world as well. C.K. landed on HBO in 2006 creating and starring in the dark humor sitcom: Lucky Louie.

Enough background, let’s jump right into what makes this show great. C.K.’s brand of humor in his stand-up is extreme self-deprecation, sprinkling in some hilarious observations and thoughts on the world in general. The show follows the same lines, a comedian father of two young girls goes through daily life, but in a hilarious and semi-sad existence. He pursues his love interest Pamela (played by Pamela Adlon, who acted in Lucky Louie, and was the voice of Bobby Hill in King of the Hill), gives us snippets of his live stand-up routines, and interacts with many of his comedy friends. Included familiar faces are: Jim Norton, Nick DiPaolo, Todd Barry, Ricky Gervais, Jay Leno, Sarah Silverman, and the always-entertaining Chris Rock.

One of the amazing aspects of this show is that C.K. pretty much has complete control of the project, all the way down to what music is played. When great minds are given free reign to create their product usually they come out with something fantastic (ex. Vince Gilligan and Breaking Bad). The cinematography in many of the episodes is wonderful, and noticeable immediately. But it is in the actions of Louis C.K. himself that makes this show. The character of Louie appeals to the pathetic side of us, the lazy side. He struggles with his weight, his eating habits, his excessive masturbating. He can’t catch a break, can’t get a date, and still tries to be the best father he can be to his daughters. Sure, many of his jokes are offensive to some, but in most of those jokes are deeper meanings and thoughts that haven’t been said before. The best comedians are those who tell us what we already know, but in a way we never thought of.

It may take a few episodes, it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Louie is a great show if you give it a chance. Think of it as Seinfeld on crack.

Ben’s Rating: Four and a Half Stars out of Five

By Ben Simpson

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Netflix Instant Pick of the Week

TV Show: Luther

Target Audience: Detective show fans/gritty drama fans

Time to start our weekly segment of Netflix Instant Watch pick of the week! Each week a show or movie will be picked, one that may be flying “under the radar.” For this week the Netflix show “Luther” gets my recommendation. Luther stars a fantastic television actor in Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire, also in the new flick Prometheus) as a troubled black detective, DCI John Luther, in London. The cop drama has been redone and remastered over and over again the past few decades, from “snarky 0ne-liner detective”  (Sean Spencer from Psych) to the “defective-detective” (Adrian Monk from Monk) to even more modern and recent the BBC’s Sherlock (another fantastic show, Season 1 is also available on Netflix) Basically what I am trying to say is clearly a troubled detective is nothing new. Also I am a sucker for these types of shows.

What separates this show from any other, the basic reason to watch, is not only the intense cases and killers covered but the relationship between the always-angry Luther and Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson, Princess Betsy in the new Anna Karenina movie coming out this year). Morgan *Spoiler Alert* is believed to have killed her family in the first episode of the series, which Luther is able to deduce relatively quickly. The two continue the rest of the series to have one of the most complicated and compelling relationships I have seen in television. Many times I found myself yelling at my computer screen, “Why are you talking to her dude?! She’s a murderer!” But the two form a pretty deep bond which I can’t really go into without spoiling more of the show. Also Alice is slightly attractive, in a weird sexy serial killer type of way.

Season 1 spans six episodes, with each running about an hour and a half. Season 2 is finally up there as well, which lasts a short but action-packed four episodes. Those with short attention spans may want to stay away, especially with the British accents sometimes making it difficult to understand what is going on. I find that after a few episodes of going, “What the hell did he say?” the accents will become less hard to understand and soon will not faze you one bit. Other characters include Luther’s ex-wife Zoe (played by Indira Varma, who played a big role in the failed Fox thriller Human Target, as well as many Indian flicks) who is getting involved with a new lover Mark North (Paul McGann of Doctor Who fame). Also Luther’s trusty partner DS Justin Ripley (Warren Brown, who actually played one of the mercenaries in The Dark Knight Rises) is a fun character to root for. Loyal to a fault, Luther’s respect for Ripley grows as the show goes on.

In summary, if you enjoy dramas such as Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, or Boardwalk Empire you should enjoy this show. The formula may not be different, but the execution is quite successful.

Ben’s Rating: Four and a Half Stars out of Five

By Ben Simpson