The Doena Journal | Diary of a TV Junkie

RED 2 (2013)


Sep 1st – €9.97 @ Amazon.de

Collection no. 1162

Where the Heart is (2000)


Sep 1st – €5.97 @ Amazon.de

Collection no. 1163

Fifteen & Pregnant (1998)


Sep 1st – €6.98 (£2.30) @ Amazon.co.uk

Collection no. 1164

The Olsen Gang (1968 – 1981)
(Olsen-banden)


Sep 11th – €94.99 @ Amazon.de

Collection no. 1165 – 1177

The Olsen Gang is a Danish crime comedy movie series that produced 13 films between 1968 and 1981 and one re-union movie in 1998.

Every movie follows pretty much the same pattern. The head of the gang, Egon Olson (Ove Sprogøe) is released from prison and he has a new ingenious plan that is impossible to fail. Naturally, at the end of each movie he goes back to prison. ;)

Here’s one scene (I couldn’t find a better version) where the gang uses opera music to cover their noise. It compares the original Danish version with the Norwegian remake. But the scene is understandable without words. ;)

That’s the trailer for this movie:

The Big Bang Theory: Season 7 (2013 – 2014)


Sep 12th – €21.44 (£16.11) @ Amazon.co.uk

Collection no. 12769 – 12771

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Welcome to Sweden @ Wikipedia
Welcome to Sweden @ IMDb

Synopsis: This series is modelled after some of the experiences of Amy Poehler’s (Parks and Recreation) brother Greg.
Here Bruce (Greg Poehler) is an American celebrity accountant who moves to Sweden with his girlfriend to her home country of Sweden and suddenly he is the foreigner in a land with different customs and languages.

My Opinion: Since the US seems to live in the binary system of a show either being a drama or a comedy this falls into the latter category.
It is actually not that funny if you ask me but I still like it nonetheless.
Why? Because you have countless jokes based on “foreigner from country X comes to America” in many different shows and movies but this time it’s the American who has to adapt and learn that life is different in other countries.
It’s a fish out of water story for both the main character and (I assume) the American audience who (like previously established on shows like Heroes) also have to adapt to people actually speaking Swedish half the time (with English subs of course).
I really do like it, I’m just not sure I’d qualify it as a comedy.

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Sep/14

14

Extant

Extant @ Wikipedia
Extant @ IMDb

Synopsis: Molly Woods has returned from a months-long mission in space.
This whole trip she was alone. Yet when she returns she is pregnant.
At home her son is waiting for her. Except he’s not technically her son but a synthetic being trying to behave like a real human.

My Opinion: This is one of the rare occasions where I turned off halfway through the pilot and never bothered to tune in again.
The main reason for this was: I was bored by it.
The secondary reason was that this pilot felt like it tried to cram every subject ever brought up by science fiction into it.
You have the Pinocchio and the discussion what makes someone human. What is a soul.
You have a pregnant woman who didn’t have sex.
She also sees dead people without being Haley Joel Osment.
It was just too much and boring at the same time.

The Leftovers @ Wikipedia
The Leftovers @ IMDb

Synopsis: One day, one normal day as the normal day before it, 2% of the world’s population just suddenly disappear without a trace.
Two years later. The world has changed. Some think of it as a biblical event, some have just learned to accept it and some have joined cults and groups.
No one knows what truly happened that day and if it will happen again.

My Opinion: I watched the pilot but not more.
The whole setting just couldn’t get me interested.
Maybe I couldn’t relate to it because it is centered around a small mid-western town and the reaction to that event is in all aspects very “bible belt American”. At least it feels like it. And that’s a world I usually don’t tend to bother with.

Young & Hungry @ Wikipedia
Young & Hungry @ IMDb

Synopsis: Gabi is a food blogger who gets hired by the young tech millionaire Josh to be his personal chef.
It gets really complicated when Gabi and Josh get drunk and sleep together – because Josh is engaged.
Gabi has to figure out a way to keep her new job without blowing up Josh’s wedding.

My Opinion: As far as comedies go, this one is pretty harmless.
But I still enjoy it because of the characters and how they’re portrayed.
Though quite honestly: You don’t miss anything if you don’t watch it. ;)

Sep/14

10

The Flash

The Flash @ Wikipedia
The Flash @ IMDb

Synopsis: No, not that one. ;)
The Flash is a spin-off series of The CW’s Arrow where it started as a sort-of backdoor pilot until it got an actual pilot episode.
In Arrow‘s second season police lab technician Barry Allen visits Oliver Queen’s home town Starling City and actually meets the vigilante.
Back in his own town an experiment in a nearby research facility goes horribly wrong and puts Barry into a coma.
When he wakes up, his body is going into overdrive, allowing him to move and heal at incredible speeds.
But the accident changed other people as well and not all of them are such decent citizens as Barry.

My Opinion: They basically re-used the idea that Smallville had when Clark’s arrival on Earth did not just bring Clark but also the meteor shower that caused mutations and gave Clark enemies to fight against.
But that’s not such a bad thing. This way you don’t need to explain where suddenly all these people with weird powers come from, so that the Flash has something to do week after week.
I also enjoyed the cameo casting of John Wesley Shipp who used to be the Flash in the 1990s (also Barry Allen*).
To be honest I was a bit sceptical when Barry appeared in Starling City because I thought he looked a tad bit too young.
But over the course of these two Arrow episodes and the pre-released pilot episode of The Flash he already grew on me and I will be tuning in when it actually begins.

*The person carrying the moniker “The Flash” is not always the same person, just like there are different Green Lanterns. There were at least for people who used that name: Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen. Smallville‘s version of the Flash (who went by “Impulse” in the early days) was Bart Allen.

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Deadbeat @ Wikipedia
Deadbeat @ IMDb

Synopsis: Kevin (Tyler Labine, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil) is a slacker who prefers to get stoned over going to work.
But he also is an actual medium, he can see ghosts.
To get by Kevin helps ghosts to pass into the afterlife in any way he can.
That doesn’t go over to well with a famous TV medium who is actually a fraud and feels threatened by him.

My Opinion: There’s some weird humour in there which you either enjoy or you don’t.
I don’t think there’s much room in between.
I enjoyed it. ;)

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Silicon Valley @ Wikipedia
Silicon Valley @ IMDb

Synopsis: Unlike AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, HBO chose to do a comedy based on today’s Silicon Valley.
While working at a Google-like company and living in a start-up incubator, Richard almost accidentally develops a new super-compressing, lossless audio algorithm.
And now he has to make a choice: Sell it to his employer for a fixed sum and be done with it or go with an investor and create his own success story.

My Opinion: Unlike The Big Bang Theory this is not a laugh track comedy and it doesn’t expect you to laugh or even just smile after every sentence.
The characters are funny just the way they are and I really enjoyed this whole first season.

Interesting side note: The Weissman score which is used on the show like a scoreboard of the home vs. guest team was developed just for this show. But it was developed by actual computer scientists at Stanford University and is currently adapted for the real world.

Gavin Belson: "It’s weird. They always travel in groups of five. These programmers, there’s always a tall skinny white guy, a short skinny Asian guy, fat guy with a ponytail, some guy with crazy facial hair and then an East Indian guy. It’s like they trade guys until they all have the right group."

;)

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Halt and Catch Fire @ Wikipedia
Halt and Catch Fire @ IMDb

Synopsis: Set in the early 1980s this is about three employees of a IBM PC clone manufacturer company who want to build a new kind of PC.
They start off reverse engineering the IBM BIOS and then go from there.
These three people are very different and yet excellent at what they do.

My Opinion: The real life’s history of the show’s name can be read on Wikipedia.
In the beginning I was a bit hard for me to actually care about the characters.
They appeared to be cardboard cutouts for Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Apple and an Angelina Jolie’s Acid Burn from Hackers thrown in the mix.
But after a few episodes they really grew on me and towards the end of the first season I truly wanted them to succeed.
And it’s very nostalgic to see them fight over every kilobyte of memory whereas nowadays? “8 gigs are too slow? OK, put in 16 gigs!” ;)

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Undateable @ Wikipedia
Undateable @ IMDb

Synopsis: Danny’s (stand-up comedian Chris D’Elia) old roommate is buried, err, married now and he’s looking for a new one.
That’s when he invites the Black Eyes Bar owner Justin to live with him.
Except that Justin is not what you’d expect when you think of someone who owns a bar. He’s very shy and serious and Danny on the other hand is a man-child.
Now it’s Danny’s mission in life to teach Justin and his lovable loser friends the art of speaking to women (and in one case, to men).

My Opinion: I like the guys. Even though they are portrayed as weird and losers, they are not the butt of the joke. They are just different.
They are not nerds but they do remind me of the early seasons of The Big Bang Theory.
I didn’t even remember that until I rewatched the pilot yesterday evening but this sitcom does come with a laugh track though I think it’s not as loud and obnoxious as with other shows.
I still don’t get why this concept hasn’t abandoned yet. I decide when I think something’s funny or not, I do not need a sarcasm laugh sign.
But maybe it’s because you can’t completely mute it out since most shows like this are recorded in front of an audience – but then I’m wondering why they are laughing after just about every sentence, funny or not.

One of the female characters is portrayed by Briga Heelan who’s acting in another small comedy series I really like, Ground Floor.

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