Television (Review): Gravity

21 06 2010

Always interesting, sometimes cheesy, and slightly abstract are some ways to describe Gravity’s strong points. Gravity is a little show nearing the end of it’s first season on Starz. For those of you this may come as a shock… Firstly, Starz is a real channel… Secondly, they have their own programing. You’ve probably seen a promo or two for one of their other series, Party Down, which follows the exploits of a catering crew (and toted Glee’s Jane Lynch as a regular member for season one and Will & Grace’s Megan Mullally in the current season) or heard of their series Crash, which deals in the same subject matter as the identically named movie.  Anyway, back to the subject at hand: Gravity details a group of suicide ‘dummies’ – a ragtag group of suicide attempters who have been forced into a support group. The show centers on the budding relationship of Lily and Robert, as well as the exploits of the rest of the group.

While this show could do much better on a different network with better funding (see the success of other quirky shows on well known premium networks, like HBO’s ‘Six Feet Under’ or Showtime’s mildly-accessible ‘Dead Like Me’), the oddball cast shines through the sometimes poorly written scripts and generally confusing plot-lines. The cast literally covers a wide range of stereotypes for those on the verge of suicide: A successful ophthalmologist who lost his perfect wife, a daddy-issue-toting lonely beauty, a washed up spokes-model, a stepford wife who has a perfectly boring life, a teenage misfit, a former baseball player who lost the pennant, and a construction worker with a small penis. [Okay, the last one isn’t exactly cliche…] I forgot to mention an obsessive, overly-forward, yoga-practicing, gambler of a detective who seems drawn to the beautiful female protagonist, Lily. I can honestly say that I love all these characters equally and they are beautifully performed by their respective players.

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Television outlook: The first season of Glee, and how there’s no way in hell this show can continue beyond 2 more seasons

5 06 2010

Next Tuesday, America’s favorite edgy broadcast network will show the season finale of a teevee show that (understandably) grabbed the attention of the nation by providing questionable covers of your favorite pop songs while providing witty and quirky storytelling. America finally got its own Degrassi, only with more music, and less drug abuse and abortions… yet.

I’m looking forward to this finale, but I’m also going to be disappointed. Not just because I’m going to have to wait a couple more months for the show to continue.

It’s because we are one season away from the end of a show that cannot sustain itself for more than 3, if not 4, more seasons. Not without jumping the shark and infuriating the still-infant fandom of Gleeks.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Glee. I love how it combines so many faults to create something that simply works. The absolutely preposterous (yet spot on) caricature of American high school life, the strengths and flaws in the characters (a likable, yet man-slutty Mr. Schuester; the love-to-hateable Sue Sylvester with a mentally handicapable sister; absolute bitchy Jewish-American princess Rachel Berry who you can’t help but to cheer for), and the earnest After School Special life lessons and discoveries the characters make.

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