Staff Picks Category: TV series

Bored To Death []

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Jonathan Ames casts Jason Schwartzman as his alter-ego “Jonathan Ames” in the comedic, sleuth series Bored To Death. Ames is a young author from Brooklyn with motivational issues struggling to complete his second novel. One evening he turns to famed pulp writer Raymond Chandler for inspiration. After completing Farewell My Lovely, he proceeds to take out an advertisement on Craigslist boasting his reasonable rates and unlicensed detective services.
Each episode follows Schwartzman on madcap cases, painful romantic encounters and surprisingly tender buddy-buddy moments with brilliant co-stars Ted Danson and Zack Galifiankis. The show also features cameos appearances from John Hodgman, Patton Oswolt and Kristen Wiig.

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Doctor Who: The Awakening []

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Peter Davison stars as the Doctor with the cricket inspired get up and celery stalk fastened to his lapel. You’ll have to wait until Davison’s last appearance however to learn the purpose of the mysterious vegetable! Regarding this particular shorter story, the Doctor promises to reunite his companion Tegan with her grandfather in her present time of 1984.

If it were only that simple…
When they arrive at the quaint village of Little Hodcombe, they are greeted by people with long flowing beards in suited armor on horseback. The Doctor and his companions are led to believe the townspeople are taking part in some sort of reenactment of a famous civil war battle from 1643.

We soon discover that they have actually landed in a time parallel between the years 1643 and 1984 due to an underground beast who is also warping the minds of Little Hodcombe’s citizens and projecting humans from the 17th century in their reality. Confused yet? Check it out for yourself and enjoy this entertaining two-part Doctor Who adventure.

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Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang []

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As a Doctor Who nerd and an admirer of several of the lead actors in this long running science-fiction series, it is difficult to come up with a favorite episode or story. One finds much of what is discussed on various websites, television programs, magazines, blogs… or real life conversations for that matter tend to fall under the categorizing or ranking of books, films, music, athletes, politicians, restaurants, etc. Is this need for placement really all that necessary? Must our filing cabinets extend throughout all of space and time?

Let’s just say, that the The Talons of Weng-Chiang from the Tom Baker era is a story that I really, really enjoy.

Robert Holmes, who was one of the more prolific and humorous writers of the Doctor Who enterprise, scripts an exciting adventure taking place in Victorian London. Our time traveling protagonist called “the Doctor” and his assistant Leela find themselves mixed up an other worldly, underground cult, battling a giant sewer rat and dealing with a scary looking puppet (I know, right?!!). The episode has a Sherlock Holmes motife: the vested Doctor is fully equipped with a long herringbone overcoat, a deerstalker hat and cravat. Furthermore, Holmes (this time I’m talking about Robert) playfully throws in several references to Conan Doyle’s writings.

The Talons of Weng-Chiang is an excellent introduction to Doctor Who if you’re unfamiliar with the series. The script is dynamite, there are memorable, comedic supporting roles and it ABSOLUTELY STARS THE GREATEST ACTOR TO PLAY THE DOCTOR. Busted… caught ranking, categorizing and picking favorites. I guess it’s just what we do.

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Jeeves & Wooster []

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Starring the incomparable comedic duo of Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, this British TV series is an adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. The actors embody the upper-class goofball and his omniscient valet perfectly, and the free-flowing wit and rampant silliness are irresistible. Fry’s eyebrows say it all.

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Burn Notice []

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This action-packed TV series stars Jeffrey Donovan as agent Michael Westen who receives a burn notice or termination notice. He wakes up in Miami with no money or identification, trapping him there until whoever burned him decides otherwise. While trying to figure out who is responsible for his burn notice, Michael helps people in trouble, using his unique skills gained as a spy. Co-stars include Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) and Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey).

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