Staff Picks – January
TV Series | Archer
By Patrick Wright
Very few well established and popular TV shows completely flip major plot points around, but that’s exactly what happened on the new season of Archer, all because program creator Adam Reed got bored. No longer spies at ISIS, Archer and the crew turn to slightly less “legal” activities, and if the preview clip for the season at the end of the first episode last week is any indication, the new direction is going to be refreshing and just as insane as the last four seasons have been. With changes like this, Adam Reed should be bored more often.
Film | Drinking Buddies
By Phillip Malzer
The best films are the ones that do as little as possible, and even though Drinking Buddies was one of the forgotten films of 2013, it ended up being one of the most insightful films of that year. Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson star as friends working in a brewery in Chicago, dealing with issues between themselves and their partners played by Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. Drinking Buddies does not need any fluff or gags because it gets the little things right. The film puts real, charming people in real situations and the result is the most charming film of 2013.
TV Series | Elementary
If you saw 1995’s Hackers and thought the lead opposite Angelina Jolie would make an awesome Sherlock Holmes, you’re probably alone on that one. But, interestingly enough, actor Johnny Lee Miller portrays the beloved sleuth laudably in the current CBS show Elementary. Hardcore fans of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories may not appreciate a flashy TV cop show approach to Sherlock Holmes, but nevertheless will find the character instantly likable. With the lovely Lucy Liu lending a female Dr. Watson—the juxtaposition for Holmes’s unorthodox antics—the show adds its own unique sexual tension. When the NYPD, a recovering drug-addict Sherlock, and an equally likable cast of supporting characters come together, entertaining television happens.
TV Series| Community season 5
The prodigal showrunner Dan Harmon has finally returned to his beloved brainchild, and Community has never been smarter, funnier or more eccentric than the first portion of its fifth season. Featuring bold and distinct characters, unmatched wit and an out-of-the-box narrative style, Community has triumphantly bounced back for the debacle season four turned out to be, returning to its charming original form. Season five promises to deliver the uproarious laughs from the first three seasons while breathing new life into the ever diluted medium of broadcast cable, trumping nearly every television comedy currently on air.
TV Series | Brooklyn Nine-Nine
If you haven’t started watching this funny newcomer, you better start. The second half of its first season picked up again last week, and it is as funny as ever. If you didn’t know, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is brought to you by Parks and Recreation masterminds Dan Goor and Michael Schur. It definitely has a similar style and feel as Parks, but set in a Brooklyn police department. Oh, and in case you need some more convincing, Brooklyn Nine-Nine just won Golden Globes for Best Comedy Series and Actor in TV Comedy Series for Andy Samberg’s role as Detective Jake Peralta.