I don’t watch much TV, but here are a couple I’ve seen this year:
Patriot on Amazon is a stylized spy show about a soulful, burned-out CIA assassin, like if Bourne or 24 were made by Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel). It’s a curious, fairly original combination of odd stuff. Whether it’s more a comedy or a drama, I’m still not sure.
The showrunner Steve Conrad doesn’t believe in doing research, he believes writers should just make stuff up. Thus the hero has a cover job working for a giant Milwaukee multinational corporation in the piping industry, an industry that I’m still not sure actually exists. Much of the dialogue during the office scenes consists of engineering gibberish about “retrowashing splurve joints” and the like, which I presume is made up, but who can tell?
Okay, here’s Kurtwood Smith of That 70s Show:
So, yeah, it’s made up.
For another example, in one episode, the hero needs a gun in France to shoot somebody. But the gun control laws are so strict over there that there is only one gun in all of France, a famous antique solid gold gun once owned by Napoleon that’s in the Louvre. So they break in to the Louvre, Ocean’s 11 style, and steal it.
The showrunner admitted that after the episode aired he got an email from a Frenchman pointing out that, actually, you can buy a hunting rifle at most sporting goods stores in France. He replied, “So what?”
(Or something like that. I could have researched what Conrad’s actual anecdote was, but instead I just made one up for him.)
Peep Show is an old (2003-2015) British sitcom on Hulu that is hilarious. It’s about two flatmates in London, one a talentless musician in the Nigel Tufnel mode and the other an MBA yuppie who’d rather be a military historian (a little like Ricky Gervais), who suffer through the indignities of various Lucky Jim-like English microaggressions, while in return inflicting poorly thought-through mesoaggressions. It’s a pretty normal sitcom other than the gimmick that it periodically switches to a point of view shot through the main characters’ eyes (thus the title) and you can hear their inappropriate thoughts.
Here’s David Mitchell explaining why Peep Show was not a good title:
They only made 54 half-hour episodes of Peep Show over 12 years, so the quality of scripts is quite high. In one recent list, it was ranked the 13th best British sitcom ever. Number 1 on the list was Fawlty Towers, of which only 12 episodes were ever made.
There is not much to say about Peep Show other than it is extremely funny.