Kether Donohu is everything.

It’s unclear at what point in this week’s You’re the Worst did the FXX comedy’s season-and-a-half’s worth of similarities to Bojack Horseman, Netflix’s animated horseplay romp, boil over into something approaching the subversive . . . or at least distinctive. Edgar’s descent into the world of the improvisational arts plays out as a rerun of Todd Chavez’s, but with perhaps less wry contempt. How about when Jimmy’s meeting with the big media execs reminded us all yet again that Hollywood is a dark, sun-drenched space of corporate synergies and that the stories we want told will always entail “imagineering” more “literary pollination” than we’d hoped for? Perhaps the best Bojack-y element from this episode was the Hollywood sign being a potential target of alphabetic castration. But Ollywood Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out? may have to wait.

Still, how does a series that is, whether intentionally or not, the slower moving (humans and cable television are simply at the disadvantage here) version of a series we already love, find distinct footing when there’s an animal-riddled alternative readily available? Both shows are overtly about ennui and the big city dwelling almost-adults that have forced the term into the think-piece word banks of our times. And both shows are implicitly about the same big city and, in being about Los Angeles, explore materialism and privilege and the encroachment of media in the ways all Hollywood productions do but we don’t care to notice until the Kardashians are involved to signal that we should have strong feelings about this stuff one way or another.

This week’s episode of You’re the Worst is in many ways lackluster and unfulfilling, like many episodes of Bojack would be if you had to watch one at a time, but what it does an excellent job of highlighting is the difference between the two otherwise indistinguishable comedies. While Bojack is about individual adulthood, with a hearty underbelly of masculinity, You’re the Worst explores, more than anything, romantic relationships. (Whoa don’t get too excited. The very heteronormative sort. Sit down gays.) There’s a tremendous amount of overlap between the two, which leads to several shared thematic threads, e.g., Angeleno sidekicks with hearts of gold and traumatic histories are always not-too-brown Latinos. But if You’re the Worst can in one episode break our hearts following the girl who runs away, then subsequently break them again when it holds onto the boy who stays, it can recycle all the Hollywoo jokes it wants. There’s a thoughtfulness in its humor and its underlying drama, that breathes life into its visibly retreaded premise. Gretchen and Lindsay literally studying for a Bechdel test would be ingenious whether it was live action or animated or both. There’s clearly a space for smart-dark laughs. Apparently, at least two nearly identical spaces. And if Jimmy had picked Bones over NCIS to novelize, which was certainly an option on the table, I would’ve enjoyed the David Boreanaz jokes all over again.

So yea, tldr; if you love one show give the other one a shot. Basically that was the point of this. #explicitpointstoarticlesnow


You can't cancel a smile like that

FOX (the network) has finally decided to give up on the struggling Terra Nova, while FOX (the studio) remains optimistic for an afterlife, continuing to shop the series around town, according to TVbytheNumbers.

Reports have surfaced that the late Cretaceous period (that’s just fancy dinosaur talk for ya’) may still find an amicable TV home in the future. Netflix has shown interest in adding the newly defunct series to its original content master plan. Currently the streaming service features the lonely Norwegian American drama Lilyhammer, which seems appreciated by critics more for its innovative delivery than what it offers content-wise (a lackluster tagline reads “a New York mobster in Norway” but really just says ‘we had to start somewhere, shrug‘).

Netflix’s prospective programming becomes a bit more ambitious with upcoming additions of a Kevin Spacey starred political drama, House of Cards, and the alleged return of comedic golden child, Arrested Development (forever a skeptic until I see the return of the guy in the $4,000 suit… Come on!) The future promises television sprouting freely from the interwebs and the reanimation of network cadavers on a variety of screen sizes. Small screen purist may be a bit distrustful of the new kid on the block. But it seems, at least now, that there’s an undeniable benefit here. Terra Nova is still cancelled without the need for a half-hearted rescue campaign. Netflix has the resources and apparent willingness to house the tired, poor, huddled masses seeking refuge from the Nielsen box despotism of “real” television.

The primary impetus for the production of TV properties remains the same, altruism and charity and artistic expression, clearly, but the times call for using resources available to expand in new and inventive ways, not just hashtags for #everything, but some consideration for the conversations going on surrounding the hashtags. Terra Nova was a relative beast with the DVR numbers, that’s something traditional television metrics may not be ready or willing to embrace and consider, despite the tweets and likes on Facebook. So Netflix and similarly ambitious ventures, tossing the old model, potentially represent an expansion of TV as a whole into a more genuinely interactive space… almost like the WebTV devices of the 1990s, except not at all and Netflix actually doesn’t suck. Ha! Remember WebTV?!

  • In other news, The Walking Dead has arguably reached its meme zenith (or nadir, depending on where you stand). via Reddit
  • The crew of Alcatraz saved a woman’s life in the Bay, but surely no one was watching. via

  • And watch The Finder simply because you like Bones but it’s not on – FOX