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New to Your Queue

Scene Staff Report | Monday, April 23, 2012

 

“Rescue Me”

This show, equal parts comedy and heartwrenching drama, follows Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin, a New York firefighter dealing with his life in the aftermath of 9/11. The show does not shy away from issues created by the tragedy, showing the ruined families, relationships and psyches of the men who went into the buildings when everyone else was trying escape. But Leary, a comedian at heart, keeps the show from getting too down, and makes for an entertaining combination of emotion and humor you can’t stop watching.

 

“Workaholics”

For being a fairly-simplistic concept that seemed likely to be cancelled at its launch, this Comedy Central show has maintained a high level of hilarity. The show is about three recent college grads and world-class slackers that work at a telemarketing company and, not surprisingly, hate their jobs. Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm of YouTube’s “Mail Order Comedy” all star in the show and do most of the writing. They essentially play themselves, and the realness of the characters and writing make for consistently funny television.

 

“SpongeBob SquarePants”

Relive your childhood and check out “SpongeBob.” The show needs no introduction for most, but for those rare few who missed out, head to Netflix immediately. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea, he’s absorbent and yellow and porous, and he’s full of nautical nonsense. The show is still running on Nickelodeon, but early seasons are available online. It’s a great chance to catch up on the adventures of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy and of course, Gary the Snail.

 

“Sherlock”

The second season of “Sherlock” is just around the corner, premiering on PBS on May 6, so there is no better time to check out (or re-watch) this BBC hit. “Sherlock” updates the classic stories of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective to the 21st century, where the titular investigator must utilize cell phones, computers and other forms of new technology to solve his cases. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (“War Horse,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (soon to be seen as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit”) as Dr. Watson, this fresh new take on Sherlock Holmes keeps all the integrity of the original stories, while updating the mysteries with style and ease.

 

“Hot Tub Time Machine”

While this film isn’t exactly the most thought-provoking ever made, it is good for laughs. The science-fiction comedy follows the story of four adult men who travel back in time to the 1980s, thanks to a time-shifting hot tub. They relive some of the moments that defined their boring, unfulfilling lives and, of course, emerge from the situation with a new, positive outlook on life. The plot may be trite, but with a cast that includes Chevy Chase, Craig Robinson and Crispin Glover, the movie definitely has its worthwhile comedic moments.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New to Your Queue

| Monday, April 16, 2012

 

“Portlandia”

It’s probably antithetical for hipsters to be “in,” but this IFC Channel hit ¾which both lovingly mocks and praises uber-hipster behavior ¾proves hipsters can indeed be cool. It is on IFC, and therefore not mainstream, so making it totally acceptable. Created by and starring “Saturday Night Live” star Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of the band Sleater-Kinney, “Portlandia” is a sketch comedy show about the people of the Oregon city. Addictions to “Battlestar Galactica” and run-ins with crazy mixologists are just a few of the situations that have made “Portlandia” a hit. Catch up with the first season on Netflix now.

 

“Archer”

The over-simplified synopsis is this ¾it’s “James Bond” meets “Arrested Development” in cartoon form. Featuring many of the voices from the latter, including Jessica Walters, Judy Greer, David Cross and Jeffrey Tambor, “Archer” follows a group of international spies and their support-team back home. While the plot is all “Bond,” the dialogue is “Arrested,” and the characters parallel those of fellow-FX show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The situations they find themselves in about are as ridiculous as you can imagine. Check out the first two seasons on Netflix now.

 

“Louis C.K.: Hilarious”

Louis C.K. is one of the most respected stand-up comedians of his generation for a reason ¾he’s hilarious. But his comedy goes beyond jokes for the simple-minded. His stories are often about his own life, touching on his experiences with jobs or his wife and kids, and this makes him one of the most relatable comedians performing today. His 2009 stand-up special in Milwaukee is one of his best, and like most of his shows, makes you think as much as it makes you laugh.

 

“Ghostbusters”

This 1984 film featured something of an all-star team of 1980’s comedic geniuses, and was one of the greatest films and comedies of the decade. Directed by Ivan Reitman, written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis, and starring Akroyd, Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and the infinitely-great Bill Murray, the movie follows a team of disgraced parapsychologists on their quests to fight ghosts in New York City. Hilarity and absurdity ensue.

 

“Glee”

Want to relive some of “Glee’s” greatest performances and moments? Netflix has the award-winning show’s first two seasons online so you can rediscover how it all began. From Rachel and Finn’s relationship to their amazing Journey, Madonna and Britney performances, if you have never watched this show, now is the time. “Glee” is a must-see.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New to Your Queue

Scene Staff Report | Monday, April 2, 2012

“True Grit”

This superbly acted remake of the John Wayne classic is definitely worth the watch. The Coen brothers’ film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and although it didn’t end up winning any, the film was still very impressive. Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of Rooster Cogburn pays homage to John Wayne’s character and yet, he makes the role entirely his own. The Coen brothers rarely make a bad movie, and “True Grit” doesn’t disappoint.

“Take Me Home Tonight”

This isn’t “The Artist.” It isn’t even “Hot Tub Time Machine.” But this tribute to ’80s culture is a fun and hilarious – if not very smart – comedy. Topher Grace graduated from MIT and now is out of college and not sure what he wants to do with his life. He and his friend Dan Fogler embark on a night-long journey of debauchery that leads them all over Los Angeles, helping Grace discover himself in the process. While the plot sounds cliché -and is – it’s still a decidedly funny movie.

“Trainspotting”

Before he made “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours,” Danny Boyle made a name for himself in Britain with visually intricate films that captured the tragedy and, often, the majesty of nitty gritty ’90s life. Following the exploits of a group of aimless drug addicts in Edinburgh, “Trainspotting” stars such future successes as Ewan McGregor (“Moulin Rouge!”), Johnny Lee Miller (“Dexter”), Robert Carlyle (“Once Upon a Time”) and Kelly Macdonald (“Boardwalk Empire”). The film is equally funny and serious, uplifting and depressing, heavy and light-hearted, but always features Boyle’s eye for capturing the nuances of life through visual style.

“Waiting For ‘Superman'”

This documentary about the state of the education system in America is a moving story outlining the gaps students face and improvements that need to be made. Masterfully shot, produced and edited, the film focuses its attention all over the United States. It follows students in lotteries for charter schools in Los Angeles and New York City, Interviewing big names like Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the D.C. public school district, and Geoffrey Canada, an education reformer in Harlem, N.Y. The film provides an inside look at the failures of the American public education system, meant to energize and accelerate the change needed.

“Never Say Never”

Netflix has perfect timing when selecting and submitting their new movie arrivals to their website, and this week’s picks are no exception. With his new single “Boyfriend” just out, what better movie to watch than Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” documentary? The film recounts his story and path to stardom while listening and watching him perform some of his most popular hits in his sold-out concert in Madison Square Garden. For all of you Bieber fans, this is a must see.