Before I get to my topic this week, let’s get one thing straight: Last week’s column wasn’t advocating for the cancellation of “The Office,” and I certainly wasn’t saying the show now sucks, as so many people seem to think I was. I was simply trying to point out the show is in a dry spell, and that it’s headed in the wrong direction. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch the developing “Pam applying for new jobs” storyline. Could the fact that New York has the best art schools possibly have anything to do with Jim’s position as Ryan’s replacement in the city, if his drug problems force him out of corporate? Yeah, I think so too. With a one-hour season finale scheduled for Thursday we should learn a lot about the future of the show, so let’s just take the Ron Burgundy approach and agree to disagree until something big happens.
If the preceding line was the first you’d heard of the season finale, you probably hadn’t realized that virtually every show you watch is ending its season this month, leaving a gaping need for some summer entertainment. Personally, I plan on cuddling by a fake fireplace with a glass of chocolate milk and every column I’ve ever written, but in case that doesn’t appeal to your definition of entertainment, here are a few quality shows that have released seasons on DVD recently, or will sometime this summer.
Aside from being told I was either totally right or totally wrong, I also had a lot of people ask me this week if the British version of “The Office” was worth checking out on DVD. It absolutely is, and while we’re on the topic I figured I’d dedicate a few hundred words to some quality TV-on-DVD choices. God knows I wouldn’t want any of you to spend the summer watching “Last Comic Standing” or “America’s Got Talent.”
I’ve touched on “Seinfeld” a couple of times in this column, but honestly I don’t even think it’s co-creator Larry David’s best creation. After years of writing “Seinfeld,” David took his unique brand of observational humor to HBO and created “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a show any “Seinfeld” enthusiast will fall in love with.
David uses “Curb” to touch on all the mundane aspects of life most of us would never even think about until we saw them on TV – like dealing with pants that tent up to resemble an erection, or using his mom’s death as an excuse to get out of commitments.
Speaking of HBO shows, you’ve likely been told you should watch it, and I’m absolutely positive you’ve heard it quoted – whether you realized it or not. So why not jump on the “Flight of the Conchords” bandwagon? “FOTC” has a cult-like following and this summer, when conditions are perfect and there’s nothing good on TV, it’s business time – or at least time for you to get acquainted with the Conchords so you can join in when your friends have the Jermaine vs. Bret argument.
If neither of these shows seems like something you would watch, I’d suggest trying out the raunchy but brilliant “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” or if you’re looking for a more mainstream comedy, give “How I Met Your Mother” a try. It’s pretty corny at times, but if you ask yourself “What would Neil Patrick Harris do?” before making any decision, you’ll love it.
If a spring full of beer pong has ruined your stomach muscles so it hurts when you laugh, then there are plenty of good options with dramatic shows, starting with the opportunity to spend your summer getting “Lost.” Even if you’ve been with the survivors since the beginning, things have gotten so confusing it wouldn’t hurt to go back and check out some old episodes, with the added bonus of Kate showing some serious skin at least once a season.
If you have surgery or get in a car accident, I’d suggest pounding through a season of “24” in two or three days, as nothing takes your mind off your own pain better than watching Jack Bauer kill five or six people an hour. Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest all of you give “Friday Night Lights” a try. Trust me, you’ll thank me later – even though you won’t be able to find me as I spend the summer trying to find the episode where Kate goes swimming under a waterfall.