Get Boxed In This Christmas
Well that was one fast year! What’s that you say?! You’ve finished the list of DVD box sets I had here about twelve months ago! Well fear not, here’s a fresh batch of telly boxes to mention to nearest and dearest in the hope that they will oblige this festive season! And since the weather outside is frightful and not likely to be delightful for the foreseeable, arm yourself with a few of these along with your stash of bottled water and canned goods, and I’ll see you in the Spring!
Dexter is that show that you’ve been hearing everyone talk about. So let’s talk about it! Starring Michael C. Hall (he of Six Feet Under fame) , it turns the good guy-bad guy premise on its head, as the “hero” is a serial killer, albeit one with some version of a heart. He follows a code (only kill other killers) and works for the Miami Police Department as a forensics technician, which is very handy. There’s the usual good dollop of mystery that you get with most detective shows, along with some deliciously dark humour by way of Dexter’s voiceover. Miami has also never looked better – I’m such a sucker for all the art deco stuff, if there wasn’t so much killing going on, I’d probably move there! But how can you root for a serial killer, I hear you ask. Good point, normally I wouldn’t think of myself as being pro murderer, but in this case … I think I am! And everyone else must be too, because Dexter is in its fifth season and still going strong.
Check out the opening sequence, that was enough to hook me!
What’s better than a plot-filled family drama full of marital twists and turns? Well, one with three families maybe?!
Big Love features a polygamist Mormon (Bill Paxton) and his three wives, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin and the always brilliant Chloë Sevigny, along with, I dunno, about ten kids… it’s hard to keep track of them all. As if it wasn’t hard enough to keep three wives and a football team of children happy, this family struggles to live their polygamous lifestyle while keeping it a secret from the outside world. Stressy! Then there’s the in-laws, one of whom is the leader and self-proclaimed prophet of a compound, who cause all sorts of trouble along the way. The three wives are the real stars of the show, though fans of Ms. Sevigny circa If These Walls Could Talk 2 may be shocked at the transformation!
Regular readers here will have already heard about United States of Tara, but let me remind you anyway! The show follows the life of a woman with dissociative identity disorder, in the first season she deals with having three personalities as well as her own. So far, so hilarious, but wait! It stars Toni Collette, and we love her! We get to see her already impressive talent blossom as she expertly portrays a retro housewife, teenage ne’er-do-well , and a gun-toting Vietnam vet (handy explanation for why he has no wang – it got blown off in the war!) Also notable is Keir Gilchrist, who plays Tara’s gay son Marshall, a devotee of classic movies and fashions of the 1940’s. There should be more teenage style icons like him!
An oldie but a very goodie, here’s one I’m promising myself I’ll watch again over Christmas, because it is just so flippin’ funny. Arrested Development revolves around the members of the Bluth family, perhaps the most dysfunctional crew ever to grace the small screen. Son Michael (Jason Bateman) tries to keep the whole family together after their business does an Enron, supported by his son George Michael (Michael Cera), and mostly hindered by everyone else.
Shot like a documentary and narrated by Ron Howard, it is one of those rare things, an American sitcom with no laugh track (apart from your own!) I defy you not to guffaw on introduction to such characters as The Literal Doctor, Barry Zuckerkorn, Gene Parmesan, J. Walter Weatherman, and my favourite, attorney Bob Loblaw (say that one out loud!) Everyone has a star turn, but special mention must go to Will Arnett as Gob and Portia de Rossi (de Generes?) as Michael’s flamboyant and materialistic sister Lindsay.
She has some of the best lines…
Lindsay: [reading an article] “Lindsay’s a combative, entitled princess”? I should hire someone to kick your ass for that!
Michael: [about his girlfriend] It’s like we finish each other’s…
Michael: Sentences. Why would I say…
So, don’t ever say I didn’t get you anything for Christmas! Let me know what you think of these, and if you have any other suggestions, as always, please do share!
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