tv

Bit TV Review: Misfits (2009 – 2013)

I had heard many people comment on Misfits, and especially how good it is. I had never seen it prior as it never seemed interesting to me. I decided to give it a go and watch the first ever episode on Demand 4, and ended up binging the first series. The show began with a group of young offenders doing community service, and I thought that it would be a show in which these young offenders realise their mistakes and become a part of society, and everyone lives happily ever after. However, the show was nothing like I expected. Basically, through a mysterious event our characters find themselves with superhuman powers, although they are not the only ones.

The show features around five young offenders: Nathan, Simon, Kelly, Curtis and Aisha. Each of these characters have different backgrounds and fit into different cliques but they don’t all come together because they work out their differences and become best friends. They witness something and cover it ultimately forming a secret pact. The first series is about how they cover up the incident and keeping it a secret. Whilst the plot sounds serious, the show itself is funny and full of emotional and heartfelt moments. I didn’t even plan on watching the first episode but ended up getting hooked and binge watching the first season.

The cast are excellent, all show both comedic and dramatic qualities. It is shot to an incredible standard, the editing and the music are both brilliant as well. It’s a show that is hard to explain why, but it is addictive. I binged the entire boxset, and found myself asking ‘Why is it being rebooted?’. The original is brilliant and doesn’t need a needless reboot, so watch the original whilst you can.

Bit Review: Drawn Together (2004 – 2007)

Today, animated comedies are limited to family sitcom formats meshed with random cutaways. Shows such as Family Guy and The Simpsons have adapted this type of format. However, Drawn Together is a show that attempts to subvert this typical format in every way. Years ago, I remember seeing the show Drawn Together on MTV but had only seen it once on late night TV. Lucky for me, it had come up on my Amazon Prime feed and I of course binged the first and second series.

The show itself is about eight different cartoon characters placed in a house, similar to a Big Brother format, and the show follows them and their tasks. The eight characters are all different parodies on cartoon characters in media, beginning with Captain Hero, a sociopathic, perverted, pansexual spoof of Superman. Toot Braunstein, a counterpart of Betty Boop who is seen as overweight and bipolar. Foxxy Love, a counterpart of Valerie Brown from Josie and The Pussycats, ghetto and more like a caricature of a black woman in the 70s. Princess Clara is a counterpart of any Disney princess, she’s extremely religious, racist and homophobic. Wooldoor Sackbar is a parody of both Spongebob and Stimpy, being an annoying cartoon who chameleon’s different jobs and types. Xandir, who starts off as the muscly, lack of clothes hero who wanted to save his girlfriend, similar to Zelda and Link, or Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. As the series progresses he realises he is gay and most of the jokes centre of jokes referencing this such as his lack of gag reflex due to bulimia. Ling-Ling’s counterpart is Pikachu from Pokemon, but a more psychopathic and aggressive version. His comedy is more based on Japanese stereotypes being mocked. The final cast member is Spanky Ham, an original character with no counterpart, but is a crass internet download.

The show is full of pop culture references and parodies, such as the constant appearance of cartoon characters such as Daphne from Scooby Doo and Speedy Gonzales from Looney Tunes. Donald Trump, and The Apprentice (US Version) is mocked as he is portrayed as a boy child. In the first episode, “Black Chick’s Tongue” is a musical parody of Disney Aladdin’s “A Whole New World”. It’s honestly not like any other animated comedy on TV, extremely adult even compared next to South Park, or Family Guy. It covers extremely sensitive topics and uses extreme stereotypes to highlight and satirise topics in society. The show isn’t afraid to openly mock topics that are considered taboo, such as racism and homophobia. Of course, now we have shows like Rick and Morty, but Drawn Together was outstanding. I believe the show is clever and funny, but can be crass at times which makes the show seem less intelligent that it is. The show only ended up being three seasons, as it was cancelled, but they did release a movie afterwards. It’s definitely an animated comedy that has a unique perspective, and an original take on the genre.

 

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Bit TV Review: Allo Allo! (1982 – 1992)

Every time I used to visit my Grandma; she would always have ‘Allo Allo! in the background playing. As I grew older, I almost forgot about this old comedy gem until one afternoon switching through the channels and finding it on BBC 2 as part of their ‘Afternoon Classics’ during weekdays.

Growing up I didn’t really understand the humour and I didn’t know why it was so popular. As an adult, I can begin to see some of the humour that they try to attempt. The format of the show is based around a simple, unappealing café owner Rene who tries to remain impartial to his surroundings; which is the Nazis occupying France during the Second World War. Rene becomes an incidental war hero and ladies’ man through being dragged into helping the resistance through various attempts and schemes to get home two British soldiers who are stuck in France. The majority of the series resolves around a similar format in which he reluctantly helps but becomes the hero.

One of the funniest things about the show is definitely the French and German accents that the mostly English cast do, of course it is exaggerated to comedic effect but successfully. Another key area of humour for ‘Allo Allo! is when the English guard undercover in France attempts to do his own French accent and the rest of the cast cannot understand him.The show is essentially making light of a horrible situation that happened in history, and the show lasted almost 10 years constantly on air and was incredibly popular. Whilst it may not be as popular as other wartime comedy Dad’s Army; it was a successful sitcom and rightly so. Even if the laugh track may tend to get annoying at times.

TV Bit Review: GLOW (2017)

GLOW follows a group of young ladies, mostly aspiring actresses, who are cast as wannabe wrestlers attempting to give male wrestling a competition. The show debuts the entirety of its ten episodes on Netflix on the 23rd of June. It is led by Alison Brie, who plays Ruth Wilder, who is your typical struggling actress who yearns for a meaningful part. GLOW is based on the women’s wrestling show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which integrated wrestling with colourful characters. It has powerful women, and provides a strong message for women, that they are badass!

GLOW has a variety of interesting and engaging characters, the cliche sleazebag b-movie  director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron), the spoilt rich girl who rebels Melrose (Jackie Tohn) and the Indian-American girl Arthie (Sunita Mani) who seems to be constantly studying. Despite these stereotypes, as the show progresses the characters begin to develop more round personalities and we see every possible depiction of women in every shape and form. It has a variety of women from different backgrounds and different sizes. Once, the characters become more familiar, and the stereotypes begin to become more blurry. By episode five, I found myself enjoying the show a lot more and even Alison Brie begins to annoy me less. Full of great 80s moments, such as slow motion walks with power ballads, pop culture references and montages with badass music.

I was disappointed in the beginning half of series, but mainly because of Brie who I was looking forward to seeing her in her first solo role as a main character. I felt that she let down the whole show, as her character was neurotic, needy and annoying. Brie is going in a direction that seems a typecast of the same recycled role. Her character in GLOW is extremely similar to her character in Community and How to Be Single just to name a few. Once Brie finds her wrestling persona, she becomes an entertaining character and more likable. Other than Brie’s character in the beginning, which is bearable by the end of the show, I did enjoy the series. I expected more comedy than drama, but the drama and the serious moments surrounding the rest of the cast, including the newly single mother drama with Betty Gilpin’s character Debbie Eagan, did make the show more heartfelt. The trailer advertised more of an 80s comedy, but the comedic moments were hit and miss for me.

I love films and shows set in the 80s, because I’m a sucker for the music. I was highly disappointed with the beginning half of the show, but by the end I found myself hoping for more. If you choose to watch GLOW, be patient. It gets good, but it takes a few episodes to establish itself. GLOW begins a solo story about Alison Brie, but moves towards an ensemble which is where it finds its niche. I would’ve preferred it beginning as an ensemble but I would definitely love a second series.

 

 

 

 

Bit Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

A Wonder Woman movie is something that seemed impossible a few years ago. The era of female superheroes movies such as Elektra (2005) and Catwoman (2004) stumped the progression of female superhero movies. Wonder Women (2017), perhaps the most famous female superhero of all time only has had success in comics and animated movies, and the only live action adaption that was remotely successful was the TV series, of the same name, (1975 – 1979) starring Linda Carter. A failed pilot a few years ago, and a script by Joss Whedon seemed to be the closest that fans would get to a movie.
 
That was until Patty Jenkins had found the perfect Wonder Woman in Gal Gadot. The film which initially faced criticism before even being released from audience members both DC and Marvel fans. However, Wonder Woman is unlike any other DC film before it. The film has something for everyone, it has the historical aspect of the First World War for history buffs, the mythological and fantasy bits, the smart wit and power of females for feminist and female empowerment and the use of equal representation in the film to provide inspiration for everyone.
 
I was unsure of Gal Gadot’s casting when it was first announced as I believed Wonder Woman, Aka Diana of Themyscira, was supposed to be a more athletic and taller woman. However, after her cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) I was suddenly turned around and excited for the film. She is the perfect casting, beautiful, smart and bad-ass. Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor and he is just as incredible as her, making me question who is the best American Soldier named Steve, Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers (Captain America) and Steve Trevor. The ensemble are fantastic too, as the comic sidekicks are bad-ass in their own right, and the love and comradery from their group of misfits is heartwarming and shows that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, that in the end we are humans and should stand together.
 
I found myself wanting more as I finished, during the two hour run I was not bored once and found myself at a loss when it ended. I was devastated their wasn’t a post credit scene, but that just left me wanting more. I hope that their will be an extended director’s cut when the film is released. The main Wonder Woman theme by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL is just perfect and encapsulates everything of Wonder Woman. I cannot wait for the sequel, and The Justice League movie and I hope this is a start for female superhero films. With Joss Whedon’s own Batgirl predicted to start pre-production soon it raises hope for fans of the comics and and a source of inspiration for young woman who want a role model in the form of a superhero. Now, let’s hope the Gotham Sirens is gonna happen. It’s time for a trio of hardcore and cool women from Gotham city to take over the screens. I think we’re overdue for a sultry Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn possible romance.