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Five television mashups we would love to watch

Five television mashups we would love to watch

Boss meets The Wire:

What the city of Baltimore might be under the tightly controlled reigns of mayor Tom Kane? We can only wonder. But if The Wire ever met Boss, we’d pay good money to see this show. Especially, the epic showdown scene between Stringer Bell and him.

Southpark meets Archer:

A secret mission where super spies Archer and Lana set out to foul the evil plans of the Russians. Enter Eric Cartman and some of his token destruction. Plan foiled! Godammit Cartman! Also, more scope to kill Kenny in ways more violent? Bring it.

Modern family meets Full House:

First of all when DJ, Stephanie, Michelle and Uncle Jesse’s twins get together with Haley, Alex, Luke, Manny, Lily, you don’t just get a Full House, you get a house that bursts at the seams. Also we get the feeling that if Stephanie Tanner got into contact with the destruction minister Luke, she’d probably “how rude” herself to death. Come to think of it, Kimmie Gibler would fit right in with the Dunphy Gang. Maybe they could adopt her and take her away from the Tanners. Gibbler doesn’t deserve that kind of life, the poor thing.

30 Rock meets Parks and Rec:

The ultimate women in comedy, the crazy and borderline gross, Liz Lemon meets the ambitious nut job, Leslie Knope. Ron Swanson meets Jack Donaghy. Donna Meagle meets Tracy Jordon. Tom Haverford meets Jenna. Chris Tregar meets Kenneth Parcel. Boom! Boom!

Breaking Bad meets Arrested Development:

The Bluth family can achieve what no one can. Our bet is Walter White shoots himself out of sheer frustration of dealing with the crazy family. Although, it would be great fun to see Jesse and Gob do their magic.

“The King stay the King”- D’Angelo Barksdale: A tribute to David Simon

“The King stay the King”- D’Angelo Barksdale: A tribute to David Simon

If you haven’t watched The Wire, a series that first aired on HBO in 2002, here’s some advice. Don’t. If you do, television will be ruined for you forever. The Wire created by David Simon and Ed Burns is indisputably the most intelligently written, insightful, brilliant television series in the world. Think I’m being gushy? Tell that to the academics who are responsible for having the show used as a legit college course in over four American universities.

Behind the genius of the show, which deals with different faces of the city of Baltimore through a complex web of unforgettable characters, is David Simon, a crusty, opinionated, mouthy journalist turned writer. (Side note: Journalist turned writers are the best. They make me dream of the days when people will say, “Sheena? Yes she had a pretty good byline. Damned if I knew she’d be getting the Pulitzer some day.)

The show ran for five seasons on HBO. Of course it had a strong plot, great characters and unbelievable dialogue, but lots of television has that. What makes this one stand out? It is really the story of a city, the story of terribly flawed post-modern institutions in every civilised democratic society. It explores what these flaws mean to you – no matter which team you play for – the police force, government, education, the drug racket, even the media- you’re doomed before you start out. The Wire was created, by Simon’s own admission, along the lines of a Greek tragedy. Only the vengeful Olympians were the government, the media, your high school, and the helpless mortals were protagonists who were “confronted with a rigged game and their own mortality.”

This is why I admire David Simon, based on what I’ve seen in countless viewings of The Wire.

First of all, he has something to say and he found a way to say it so that people would listen. A story is just a story but the stories that stay with you are the stories with subtext. The Wire is a great story with incredible subtext but as powerful as you find the subtext now, if Simon had to sit you down and start a five part lecture on the pitfalls of government and failings of capitalism, you’d be yawning your head off in a minute.

Second, the characters. Not only are they a million of them but each of them is painstakingly sketched out, down to the way they speak, act and think. In this interview with Nick Hornby, Simon explained how he spent years “gathering string” on politicians, drug dealers, cops and school level kids. Details are everything. Oh and here’s the other thing about his characters. None of them, not the incredible Stringer Bell, whistling Omar or the cheery Bubbles, take precedence over the plot. Characters, well loved ones, are killed sometimes, because if they had to be in a similar situation in real life, they’d die. We deal with it as viewers because we’re so drawn in by the plot, we say, “Well, he had to die. There’s no way he could have survived.”  And that’s good writing.

He also takes time with his narrative. The shape of Simons writing for the show unfolds like a novel in that he’s in no particular hurry to rush through the facts and get you from point A to B. I can’t help but compare this to what he said in his lecture on the Audacity of Denial, about the four ws and one h of newspaper reporting. “A four year old can tell you when, how, where and when. It’s the why that’s important.” In his storytelling, it’s the why that takes centre stage.

But all this is neither here nor there. The point is, David Simon wrote about a world I knew nothing about, a world that never touches any part of my life, stays outside my social, professional and personal life, never reaches my news papers or my computer, and he still drew me in and forced me to stay.

– Sheena 

The best men on TV

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The best men on TV

It’s that time of that year again when most of my shows are on break and I’m trying to watch and get interested in the midseason shows (Girls, Veep).

But mostly I watch reruns and make lists. Here is one of my 10 favourite men on Television.

Steven Hyde from That 70s’ show

Curly hair, sideburns and boots; Steven Hyde is the epitome of Zen. His life’s philosophy is “whatever”. He has a streak of anti-establishment that makes him utterly hot.

P.S – Jackie and Hyde forever!

Dr John Dorian from Scrubs

JD is an insecure, compassionate and validation-seeking doctor with dreamy eyes. He has a constant inner monologue and frequently creates dream scenarios to make real life more like TV. No, I don’t identify with him at all. What do you mean?

Also, try getting this brilliant ode to Zach Braff out of your head (I don’t care what you say, in a non gay way, I love Zach Braff, Zach Braff).

Marshall Eriksen from How I met your mother

What kind of cold-hearted bitchasaurus rex would not love a grown man who believes in monsters, ghosts and calls the Loch ness monster, “Nessy”? He has a good job, he is funny, he wants to save the environment, he can fight when he has to, he makes adorable songs (Lily made some crème brulelelelele, you just got slapped woahohohoho); Marshal Eriksen is the perfect husband.

Dr Gregory House from House MD

Oh, Dr House is so manly. He is brash, he is in pain and he handles it like a man. An angry, crazy man. House is so hot; I want to cut my arm off so I can meet him. I want to be closed and intriguing so he wants to know me. I want to sit on his lap. I want to be Wilson so he can be best friends with me. (Just to clarify, I know he is fictional)

Matt Albie from Studio 60 on the sunset strip

Matt is the head writer of Studio 60. He is incredibly witty, smart and intelligent. He is an award-winning writer but his struggles with writing, depression, addiction and religion is so endearing, you just want to give him a hug. He is also incredibly hilarious.

 

Don Draper from Mad Men

I have only seen half of one Mad Men season (yes, yes, I should be hunted down and my head should be shaved) but that’s enough to fall in love with Don Draper. He is a smoker, drinker, womanizer and suit wearer and his eyes can cut though ice. I don’t think I’d really survive in 1960 (dresses that end tightly below your knees are uncomfortable) but Draper is a man that will stay hot in every decade.

Troy Barnes from Community

You know what’s great about Troy Barnes? He likes no-no juice, he can pop and lock like a champ, he has a talent in plumbing, he is distracted by shiny things and cries very easily. Also, he is the best friend anyone can ever find.

Stringer Bell from The Wire

Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell is the second-in-command of Avon Barksdale’s drug organisation. He is intelligent, ruthless, he has rock-hard abs, he takes business classes and owns a copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Rock-hard abs. Rock. Hard.

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

“I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?”

– Phil Dunphy, ex-cheerleader, peerent.

Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreaction

“The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

As much as I’m in love with Ben Wyatt, Ron Swanson is THE man on television. He eats meat, he drinks scotch, he is a woodworker, he hates the government and he has the bushiest moustache in the world. He is also secretly a jazz player, Duke Silver.

Trivia: Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson is married to Megan Mullaly who plays Ron’s crazy ex-wife Tammy 2. 

Other Contenders: 

Ben Wyatt and Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation, Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock, Blaine Anderson from Glee, Neil Caffery ranfrom White Collar, Steely Booth From Bones, Richard Castle from Castle, Cameron from Modern Family, Omar from The Wire, Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock, Jeff winger and Abed Nadir from Community, Mark Sloane from Grey’s Anatomy.

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