The Glass Teat, or 'Television'


I watched the final of survivor nz live and it was fantastic. Obviously I’m going to have to spoil it a bit, but I figure if I start the post with survivor and spoilers it’ll give anyone a chance to look away.

So, my friend won it. What’s of particular interest to us here is that she’s a board gamer (in fact she runs our Friday night group), she’s a member of boardgamegeek, and it just goes to show that a skinny, nerdy librarian board gamer can go on and win a game that combines physical endurance and social skills. I honestly think she is a real champion for people like us.



wtf did I just read?


The Sinner, on Netflix. Jessica Biel leads the cast in a psychological murder mystery; it’s not a mystery who the killer is, but rather the motive behind it. Creepy religious not-so-undertones included, free of charge.


Condor. I’m not really sure I’ll be watching any more than the first episode, unless someone knows better? I really didn’t think much of any of it, very generic and focus-tested, not a patch on the original or the likes of Rubicon.

New Girl. Only just discovered this. Warm, amusing, gentle.


My wife and I love New Girl.


Wife and I enjoyed New Girl for a while too. Like maple syrup - warm and sweet, till you’ve had too much of it and now your pancakes are soggy and fall apart and you wonder why you didn’t just make the healthy choice and eat Cheerios instead.


The last season or so a character on New Girl would act like an insane person just so they could have a plot . It would be someone different each time. No one acts like this. It would conflict with what the character had done before. Needless to say, I watched all the seasons.


Revisiting Bored to Death. Jason Schwartzman as an amateur private detective is basically perfect; I’ve been in love with his comedic turns since Rushmore, and this is no different. Danson’s debonair man about town and Galifianakis’ slobby comic artist make a nice triangle of neuroticism with Schwartzman, and there’s always joy in seeing how any one of them copes with noirish situations where they are completely out of their depth.


Castle Rock, two episodes, for the watching of. Thoroughly ungripped.


Trailer Park Boys. The daily misadventures of a group of lowlife idiots has just enough comedy and stupidity to keep me watching. The crimes are committed with enough realism and ambition to be interesting, when they’re not so completely inept as to be depressingly believable. There’s a heady mixture of friendship and desperation between the characters which makes it compelling; they have enough integrity to stick together in the face of adversity, some of which they bring on themselves.


The Purge. Never have I seen such a promising setting pissed away. After four dire films, and one good Rick and Morty episode that was better than all of them put together, we now have a TV series. Early days yet, but none of the characters are that interesting, none of their stories are intriguing, and I can’t see it improving. How is it possible for such a good premise to be wasted so consistently.

American Horror Story. The gleeful horror continues as the world is consigned to nuclear oblivion and a surviving group of misfits corralled by a secret organisation enjoy misery in a secret bunker. Hysterical, hilarious, accomplished. The AHS routine is strong and well-established, mixing humour, gore, horror, perversion and any number of silly twists.


Maniac. A slightly more serious role for Jonah Hill, alongside Emma Stone, as a pair of fuck ups in a drug trial for an advanced psychological therapy. Set in an odd retro-futuristic Dickian dystopian America, it packs the full arsenal of humour, from physical comedy to dark moments of existential hilarity, and plays them straight. Wonderful series so far, halfway through.


The end of The Originals. Goodness me, but that was shoddy writing of the highest order. I actually quite liked the elegiac tone of the season, but the finale tried for completely unearned emotional notes and missed all of them.

Bodyguard, after the rest of the country finished raving about it. Happy endings all round, the wicked got their just desserts. Any programme that has a full-on bomb-disarming scene in the final episode and have that not be the climax has to be applauded. The deep cynicism about British political life was unfortunately bang on.


The deep cynicism about British political life was unfortunately bang on.


Joe Pera Talks With You. ‘A premature grandfather talks to you about things’ is how I’d describe this, but while that’s accurate, it doesn’t really communicate how gentle and beautiful it is, a more elegant comedy for a more civilised age, which is silly nostalgia, but the series is still wholesome and nice and at odds with large swathes of modern comedy.

The Eric Andre Show. At the other end of the scale, we have the absurd, surreal, energetic, and violently transgressive mockery of a talk show. As close to Jam as I’ve ever seen, there isn’t much in the way of straightforward humour, just about everything in each episode is more or less wrong in some way, which only makes it funnier.


Only seen a few episodes of both shows, but they sound like very apt summations.


Started watching Maniac when it showed up in my Netflix feed, but more because I’d remembered @OhBollox mentioning it. Very Black Mirror-ish, dystopian future stuck in the early 80’s. I f’ing love this so far, three episodes in.


No I don’t fucking love Balderdash, Balderdash is bullshit.”


Speaking of Black Mirror, hoping to catch up in time for the premiere. Heard it will have an interactive element, sounds very cool.