Top Ten TV Shows To Catch Up On Over Spring Break
Liked Ricky Gervais making fun of celebrities at this year’s Golden Globes? Then you’ll love his show that makes fun of his friend, Karl Pilkington, known for his involvement in Ricky Gervais’ podcasts. Karl has had little experience in travel and doesn’t enjoy the finer things in life. His view of things is much like Ebenezer Scrooge at the beginning of “A Christmas Carol.” In this show, Gervais sends Karl to become more cultured at the Seven Wonders of the World. Catch this show online, if you don’t have the Science channel.
“Idiot Abroad” airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. e/p on the Science Channel.
“Community” is in its second season, and if it's not one of your weekly study breaks on hulu already, it should be. The show, about students of all ages attending Greendale Community College, stars Joel Mchale (“The Soup”) and Chevy Chase (“National Lampoon’s Vacation”). The real star, however, is Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir. He is a zany film lover, who always has a pop culture reference or song handy. Guest stars include John Oliver (“The Daily Show”) and Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”).
“Community” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Before Judd Apatow became famous with comedies like “Superbad,” “Anchorman” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” he made a show about college students with a few of his actors from “Freaks and Geeks.” The show lasted less than a season (17 episodes), but it deserved more viewers. In retrospect, it's fun to see young Jay Baruchel (“Tropic Thunder”) and Seth Rogen (every Apatow movie, basically) in action as freshmen roommates at their fictitious college (filmed at USC) learning about drinking, midterms and credit cards.
“Undeclared” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
7. “Eastbound & Down”
Since many people, myself included, do not have HBO, it's difficult for us to watch the shows on that channel. It would be a shame for anyone to use this as an excuse to miss Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, a failed ex-major league baseball player, who has returned to his hometown in “Eastbound & Down.” McBride (“Hot Rod,” “Pineapple Express”) finally gets to shine in a starring role, and it's well worth the wait. The show is produced by Will Ferrell, who also guest stars as local car salesman Ashley Schaeffer. “Eastbound & Down” has been renewed for a third season.
“Eastbound & Down” airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.
6. “Freaks and Geeks”
Another Apatow classic canceled well-before it should have been, “Freaks and Geeks” lasted just a season. The show aired in 1999, but took place in the early ‘80s. The freaks include Apatow favorites Franco, Segel and Rogen along with lesser-known stars, Linda Cardellini, as main character Lindsay Weir, and Busy Philipps, as Franco’s tough girlfriend. John Francis Daley and Samm Levine are the geeks, but no one is as entertaining as Martin Starr’s portrayal of Bill Haverchuck. Starr, better known as the guy who couldn’t shave in “Knocked Up,” gets more storyline toward the end of the season, no doubt a reflection of the producer and audience’s love for him and his character. “Freaks and Geeks,” although not appreciated when it first came out, has received commercial and critical praise years later.
“Freaks and Geeks” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
5. “Veronica Mars”
Although Kristen Bell has been in some horrible movies ("When in Rome," "You Again") after “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” she plays a convinving intelligent and sarcastic teen in “Veronica Mars.” Although the premise – a girl who solves mysteries for and with her private eye father (Enrico Colantoni) – is likely what lost its viewers and a fourth season, the show, created by Rob Thomas, was way too good to be aired on UPN and the CW. “Veronica Mars” has familiar faces with Tina Majorino (“Napoleon Dynamite”), Alyson Hannigan (“American Pie”) and Amanda Seyfried (“Mean Girls”), as Veronica’s best friend who was mysteriously murdered prior to the first season. Bonus? All three seasons of “Veronica Mars” are on Netflix watch instant.
“Veronica Mars” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
4. “Party Down”
After “Veronica Mars,” creator Rob Thomas crafted a new show about cater waiters trying to make it big as actors or screenwriters. “Party Down,” named after the catering business the waiters work for, stars Adam Scott (“Step Brothers”) and Lizzy Caplan (“Mean Girls”). Other characters from the show can be seen from “Veronica Mars,” as Thomas tried to work some of his past show’s stars into his new one. This time, Thomas’ show was aired on Starz. Unfortunately, this station proved even worse than the CW for his ratings, and he was canceled again. “Party Down” only lasted two amazing seasons, which are both available on Netflix watch instant.
“Party Down” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
3. “Summer Heights High”
An Australian mockumentary about three characters, all played by writer Chris Lilley, “Summer Heights High” was on HBO for a whopping seven episodes. During these episodes, we learn about Mr G., a drama teacher obsessed with putting on a controversial musical, Jonah, a Polynesian slacker who is often seen in the principal’s office and Ja’mie, a popular girl who transferred from a prep school for the semester. If you enjoy “Summer Heights High,” look out for his new series, “Angry Boys,” which is scheduled to come out at some point this year.
“Summer Heights High” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
2. “That Mitchell and Webb Look”
Since “Saturday Night Live” has gone downhill, it is time to look for a new sketch show to watch. That show is “That Mitchell and Webb Look.” Named for creators David Mitchell and Robert Webb, the show features recurring sketches like “The Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar,” where a homeless man thinks he is Sherlock Holmes and tries to thwart his enemies’ plots with the help of his sidekick, Ginger, and “Numberwang,” which features a fake game show that makes little to no sense. Unlike a lot of series, the pilot of “That Mitchell and Webb Look” is perhaps the funniest episode of the show’s four seasons. Unfortunately, only seasons one through three are available on Netflix, so this is all we can watch until the fourth one appears. Luckily, the first three seasons, only six episodes apiece, are all watch instant.
“That Mitchell and Webb Look” is available on Netflix.
1. “Arrested Development”
Although a lot of people have already watched “Arrested Development,” I think it’s about time that you watch it again. The show follows Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and the rest of his family after his father (Jeffrey Tambor) gets arrested. David Cross (“She’s the Man”), Will Arnett (“Blades of Glory”) and Michael Cera (“Juno”) are standouts in this series, which has a wit not seen in most television shows at this time. Another reason to watch this series? “Arrested Development” announced in its final episode that it would be made into a movie. Mitchell Hurwitz (writer, creator and director of the series) will team up with James Vallely (co-excutive produver of the series) to write the film. Unfortunately, according to imdb.com, the two are still working on the script. Until then, the three seasons of “Arrested Development” are watch instant on Netflix.
“Arrested Development” is available on Netflix and Amazon.
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