Helping Me Help You: Working our way through the Strike

November 12, 2007

With the Writer’s Strike now threatening to destroy civilization as we know it (or, in an ode to Veterans’ Day and our beloved veteran Hem, with the strike threatening to yentz, [“To cheat, to swindle,” from the Yiddish, taboo, yentsn “to copulate” “to have intercourse”;] us out of all our shows), the YS brain trust has decided to do something to sate our fellows. To that end, I have assembled a list of promising, yet hastily canceled, FOX shows whose DVDs are verily available and sublimely entertaining. This way, you will not only have something to occupy your time in between Damon Lindelof op-eds, but you’ll also have more shows with open-ended plots and unresolved conflicts.

1) Profit. Sometime in the nether period between Top Gun and Heroes, Adrian Pasdar starred in Profit, an office drama loosely based on Richard III. Profit probably had one of the best pilot episodes in TV history; at the very least, it was three or four times as satisfying as The Accidental Tourist, with, at the very least, three or four times the amount of incest (step-mother, so it’s ok for TV). It’s a cliche to say that the show was pushing the envelope, so I will instead say that Profit was ahead of its time, and probably ahead of our time as well. (Although it’s remarkably tame when compared to, oh say, Oedipus or the Bible. lhavdil.) Very few episodes were ever aired with a couple of extras on the DVD.

2. Undeclared. Though not quite at the level of the much beloved Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared was funny. It was also occasionally charming and winsome. Bonus points for featuring the writing talents of the young Seth Rogen and the incredible acting talent of Jason Segal, aka Marshall from vi azoy ikh hob zikh getrefn dayn maman (How I met your Mother), whose Eric is hilariously over the top.

3. Action. See: here. This post was written before the re-discovery of capital letters, originally created by the Phaiakians.

4. Get A Life. This show is not for everyone. Chris Elliot stars as an adult paperboy who gets into zany adventures, usually in the company of Brian Doyle Murphy. Episodes alternate between brilliant and horrible (actually, minutes of the show alternate between hilarious and horrible). The show has been canonized in pop-culture by the band Handsome Boy Modeling School who took their name from the pilot episode to Get A Life and occasionally sample Mr. Elliot.

5. The Loop, season one. The Loop somehow earned a season two, only to have its episode commitment cut in half and the episodes burned off in quick succession over the summer, so it still counts for our list. That said, there was a lot to like here. Mimi Rogers is still the vixen at age 90 and most of the work-place humour was funny (especially the Asian secretary), although the show was highly formulaic. SPOILER ALERT: Every episode involved Sam saving the day after having placed himself in an impossible situation sometime around the conclusion of act 2.

6. Kitchen Confidential. The curse of Freaks and Geeks continues! Another show felled by association with that much loved, little watched classic. There is nothing very original about Kitchen Confidential, but there isn’t really anything bad about it either, and jokes have at least a 40% success rate, about 2 standard deviations above normal (at least according to the most recent regression analyses). John Cho shines, proving again that he should be the accountant to score with not-really-ugly Betty, and not that cheating Mr.smug-know-it-all Henry! Harold and Kumar 2 can’t come soon enough…

…and speaking of H and K alums, it really is quite unfair that Dr. House keeps hiring people who were not applicants for the fellowship, while good actors like Kal Penn and 13 have to fight it out for one or two spots. Besides, how are we really to evaluate the work of that CIA doctrix who didn’t even treat the patient last week? All she did was allow House to mess up three or four times before he finally lucked into the solution (re: the standard House formula in action—this time with spies!). YS demands satisfaction!

2 Responses to “Helping Me Help You: Working our way through the Strike”

  1. theciceronian Says:

    This rhetor finds it highly unlikely that the Phaiakians invented capital letters for two reasons 1) they failed to see Odysseus for the liar he was, and hence gave us the Odyssey, and 2) Poseidon dropped a mountain on them. But that is indeed beside the point. Carry on, fine Sir!

  2. […] prime time every night is not a bad idea. It just has to be, you know, funny. That or bring back Profit. Posted by dailysalad Filed in Games, Movies Tags: Avatar, Conan, Leno Leave a Comment […]

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