Archive for the TV (Prime-time) Category

Death in Venice

Posted in Review, TV (Prime-time) with tags , , on March 26, 2016 by Timothy Parfitt

Flaked, the new Netflix series starring and created by Will Arnett, is a show about identity issues with a host of its own issues. It tells the story of Chip (Arnett) a recovery alcoholic who cruises around Venice, California on a bike because he lost his license after he killed someone drunk driving. Chip presents himself as ten years sober, but seems to use AA mostly as a way to find and hit on young women and sneaks sips of wine out of a Nalgene labeled “Kombucha” at any chance. Continue reading

Downton Abbey 4: TEA COZIER

Posted in TV (Prime-time) with tags , , , on January 6, 2014 by Timothy Parfitt


Last night was the U.S. premiere of the fourth season of Downton Abbey.  I watched it in a group, and there was a lot of faux-gasping (mostly on my part) and explaining (for the one guy who had only seen one episode). “Who’s that?” “The sister.” Who’s that?” “The other sister, the ugly one.” “Wait, who’s that?” “The butler, the evil one.”

The whole affair was enjoyable, even if I took offense at shameless smushing together two one-hour episodes and calling it a two-hour premiere.  The stiff and formal characters were rigid, the paterfamilias was patriarchal and condescending (“Leave Lady Mary alone, she’s too grief stricken to bathe/breath/think/eat/poop!”) and Maggie Smith dispatched with her requisite zingers. Continue reading

Rob Thomas Getting Another Chance at “Party Down”?

Posted in JAGP, TV (Prime-time) with tags , , , , on August 26, 2010 by Jared Parmenter

Rejoice, Tim!  /Film is reporting that Veronica Mars and Party Down creator Rob Thomas creator is moving to NBC with a new TV project dubbed “Temps.”  It’s revolves around the lives of recent college grads, struggling to find livelihoods in the post-bust economy (a subject I have a special affinity for) and the hilarious, deadpan hijinks that will certainly ensue.

Currently, the pilot has been greenlight by NBC and is in production.  Hopefully, the wider audience, national attention, and critical success of his previous projects will catapult “Temps” into new territory for Thomas – although, as /Film points out, the change from Starz to the more lowest-common-denominator-pandering NBC likely means the rehash will have to lose some of its ascerbic wit… and maybe some of the family-unfriendly drug use.  Let’s hope the ratings meet the acclaim at least halfway, this time around.

We’ll call it the IWA jinx: Party Down canceled

Posted in TV (Prime-time) with tags , , on July 5, 2010 by Timothy Parfitt

Starz has just announced that they are not renewing the excellent “Party Down” for a third season.  Perhaps it is fitting that a show that dryly observes failure amidst success would become critically acclaimed, only to be summarily canceled.  I tried to describe it in my previous post on the show, but “Party Down” had a unique tone, one born from seeing the character with their dreams of fame and success, confront constant reminders of their shortcomings.

Jane Lynch, who returns for the last episode of the second season, has the closest thing to a catch-line on the show (besides the main character’s career stifling light-beer ad jingle).  Feeding off of her character’s eternal optimism, she spouts “It’s like a miracle!” at ironic, if not totally depressing, moments.   Rather than mock her and her quasi-delusional worldview, however, “Party Down” celebrates it.  In a town where everyone is trying to make it, “Party Down” is about foot soldiers, minor victories, and maintaining your dream in a world of assholes.

Is Party Down the funniest show on television?

Posted in Pick of the Week, TV (Prime-time) with tags , , , on June 9, 2010 by Timothy Parfitt

“Party Down”, now on its second season on Starz, follows a group of actor/caterers in L.A., as they pursue their dreams of stardom and get generally humiliated in the process.  Each episode focuses on a single event staffed by the Party Down catering company, giving the show a neat set of limitations, as they are forced to explore the characters on company time. Continue reading

Accepting Defeat: Friday Night Lights, Season 4

Posted in TV (Prime-time) with tags , , , on June 4, 2010 by alexandrathesister

At its best, “Friday Night Lights” is about failure. The original basis for the television show was Buzz Bissiner’s non-fiction book along with Peter Berg’s movie version that trace the defeat of the powerhouse high school football team, the Permian Panthers, in 1988. When Berg brought his movie to television, he had to dilute the emphasis on crushing defeat. Even if viewers might tolerate a bleak drama, losing would require the show to end. Continue reading

Why good people do bad things: Breaking Bad, season 3 premiere

Posted in Pick of the Week, Review, TV (Prime-time) with tags , , on March 24, 2010 by Timothy Parfitt

“Breaking Bad”, the twisted and criminally under-watched AMC show, debuted it’s third season last week.  Judging from the first episode, “No Mas,” Bryan Cranston, Vince Gilligan and co. haven’t mellowed out.  Surreal, paranoid and funny, the show basks in its own bleakness. Continue reading