Archive for February 12, 2009

Things I’m Watching When I Should Be Working Instead

Posted in Television on February 12, 2009 by thelasthonestman

I don’t watch nearly as much television as I used to, and I definitely have trouble these days following any show in a consistent fashion.  My schedule has always either been too busy or too inconsistent to block off a portion of the same day every week to dedicate to the tube (that, and once baseball season kicks in, with the Extra Innings Package I pretty much have a game on non-stop nightly from 6:00 CST to midnight);  I thought getting a DVR would help me solve that issue, but I find I just don’t use it the way I’d envisioned I would when I first got one (though my wife has completely taken to it).  The last show I tried to watch on a religious basis was The Sarah Connor Chronicles last year, and while I managed to make it through most of the first season, I missed this year’s entry entirely.

Most of my TV viewing tends to now be things I can catch repetitively on a nightly basis, usually a show I missed the first time around that’s now made it’s way to syndication.  That doesn’t mean, however, I don’t still try to sample the occasional new offering when I can.  One of the shows I’m trying to make an effort to check out is Important Things with Demetri Martin, which premiered on Comedy Central Wednesday night.

Martin’s style of comedy isn’t going to be for everyone, but I thought the first show went pretty well, all things considered.  The comedian is probably familiar already to regular watchers of The Daily Show — but to those who haven’t seen him, the comic I thought of when I first saw him was Steven Wright (who Martin has cited as a major influence on his work) — so if you enjoy a dead-pan style of comedy, Martin will probably be to your liking.

I don’t know how his show will end up faring; stand-up success doesn’t always translate the same on the small screen (remember what a disaster Frank TV turned out to be?).  I hope to not be disappointed, and at least for one week, I haven’t been.  Clips of the first show can be seen here on Comedy Central’s website.

Another show I’ve been trying to keep up with has been Flight of the Conchords, currently in the middle of a very-abbreviated 2nd season on HBO.  Again, for those who haven’t seen it, the show follows the struggles of “Formerly New Zealand’s 4th most-popular folk comedy band” as they try to make it big in the Big Apple.  The show is filled with dry humor that, like Martin’s approach, isn’t going to hit the right chord with everyone.  Personally, I found the show to be different than anything else you can find on TV now — and that alone made me an early fan (the aforementioned Martin’s appearance in the first season’s finale is one of the show’s highlights).  While the 2nd season has been a little disappointing so far (the Conchords themselves have had fewer musical numbers that have been solely theirs), the show still has been a must watch for me on Sunday nights and better than a lot of the usual, “safer” fare to be found on the dial.

For a good selection of their musical numbers, you can check out their MySpace page — or, you can watch this hilarious video taken from one of their first season episodes.

I hope to catch them live in concert this year (they’ll be touring the U.S. this summer) — if I can tear my wife away from the DVR, that is.