HBO’s Angry Boys: Part Comedy, Part Drama

 

HBO’s latest comedy, Angry Boys, is their second go around with Australian comedian Chris Lilley. The first of Lilley’s series’ to appear on HBO was 2007’s Summer Heights High, which became wildly popular in Australia and the United States, but for whatever reason still is wildly underrated. Where Summer Heights High was entirely focused on one Australian high school and some of its funny/strange/interesting characters, Angry Boys really has no boundaries. It’s two main characters and Daniel and Nathan, two twin brothers struggling with adolescence in the middle of nowhere Australia. Nathan is deaf and his mother and soon-to-be stepfather decide he needs to go to a boarding school for hearing impaired children. Hearing this, Daniel plans to throw a wild going away party for Nathan. This is where we get the substance of the show, with Daniel trying to get their favorite celebrities (from their infamous “Wall of Legends”) to make appearances at the party to send Nathan off in style.

I know this sounds like a pretty silly premise, but it is what it is, and Lilley’s shows are never really about the story, they are about the characters. The aforementioned Daniel and Nathan are the focus of the show and played by creator Chris Lilley, but what is so impressive is that the rest of the main (and diverse) characters are also played by Lilley. For those who haven’t seen the show the rest of the main characters are as follows:

S.mouse

S.mouse is an awful rapper, who many are speculating is molded after real life “rapper” Soulja Boy. S.mouse has had one huge single, which is titled Slap My Elbow, and since then has not been able to produce anything of substance. His popularity is waning and he begins to become disconnected with his record label and family

Blake Oakfield

Blake Oakfield is a former legendary surfer who got in a nasty accident which resulted in the removal of both of his testicles. He is a member of Daniel and Nathan’s “Wall of Legends” and began running a surf camp for fat kids. His biggest issue is that he cannot let go of his past and move on with a more relaxed family life with his wife and child.

Jen Okazaki

Jen Okazaki is an overbearing mother for her young Japanese-American skateboarder son Tim Okazaki. To make him more popular and unique she promotes him as being gay (which he is not) and creates an entire brand around this idea called “GayStyle Enterprises”. Tim resents this and is a very conflicted kid due to his mothers constant pressure and manipulative ways.

Ruth “Gran” Sims

Gran is Daniel and Nathan’s loving grandmother. She is a guard at an all boys juvenile detention center, and her brute, hard-nosed ways actually resonate well with these troubled youths. Her main role in Daniel and Nathan’s lives is to try and round up the members of the “Wall of Legends” to attempt to sway them into coming to Nathan’s party. She has a strange affection for guinea pigs, but uses them to help the boys maintain some normalcy in their lives.

Looking at all of these diverse characters, it is pretty evident that Lilley is a unique talent. There have been complaints and criticisms all over the internet that Lilley is too much of a one trick pony with these mockumentary style shows with him starring in multiple roles. Those people need to relax. The guy found something that he is good at and has been successful so why wouldn’t he produce another series win that style. Summer Heights High and it’s characters were incredibly funny and honestly it would have been stupid for Lilley to hang it up after that show. He is a smart guy and a good enough writer where he had to try and recreated that success with another show, and although Angry Boys is nowhere near as funny as Summer Heights High, it is a good series for other reasons.

This may sound stupid and weird, but I think Angry Boys is a good show because of the dramatic side to it. Each character is conflicted in such a way that it brings a more serious message to the viewer than was seen in Summer Heights High. I probably seem like an idiot for saying that a silly show like this is impressing me due to the dramatic side and the characters issues, but that is really how I feel as I watch this show. There are stretches where I go 5-10 minutes without a laugh and that is not because I’m bored, it’s because these characters have real issues that countless children encounter and the show is presenting it in an effective manner. Yes, there are a bunch of hilarious and awkward moments, but the real success of the show should be its ability to capture the struggles of different adolescents.

Daniel, who is fed up with his deaf brother getting a lot of attention and struggling with his fathers death, acts out to try to get attention of his own. Tim Okazaki dealing with the pressures of his crazy mother and millions of rabid Japanese fans. S.mouse the young rapper who attained success at too young an age, pissing it all away, while pissing away every meaningful relationship he has ever made in the process. Blake Oakfield, struggling with the realization he has to grow up and is no longer a teenage surfer. All of these characters have struggles, struggles that tons of kids, and even adults, encounter all over the world and Lilley does a great job capturing them with these characters.

Don’t get me wrong, this show is a comedy at heart, but it uses its comedic elements to bring out the real issues that the show presents. On the whole, I enjoyed Summer Heights High more than I have been enjoying Angry Boys, but both shows have been impressive work by Chris Lilley. I’m interested to see how the show wraps up and to see if each of these characters will eventually end up at peace with their problems, or if they will just continue living their lives with their respective weight on their back.

On a comedic note to wrap up the post, every single time that Daniel is trying to get Nathan’s attention I laugh:

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Thoughts and Deliberations from Monday Night Raw 1-16-2012

Last night on Raw, some interesting and dare I say major events transpired. First and foremost, former Hardcore Champion and all around favorite of mine and many wrestling fans, Mick Foley made his triumphant return to the WWE Universe. He came out and plead his case for a spot in the upcoming Royal Rumble. The crowd went nuts, and I was pretty pumped too…only to have Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis shut the idea down almost immediately. As much of a dope Laurinaitis is, he has been making me laugh the past few weeks and is actually growing on me. CM Punk proceeded to come out and endorse Foley’s case for Royal Rumble, but Laurinaitis wasn’t having any of it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on this one, but I really hope Foley makes an appearance at the Rumble.

There was also a huge match in which the United States Championship was on the line. Zack Ryder, who held the belt going into Monday Night, was viciously and brutally attacked by the Big Red Monster Kane last week. Ryder was hobbled by a back injury and was forced to go into a match with Jack Swagger…with his championship on the line. Naturally with his back in the state it was in, Ryder didn’t stand a chance against the bigger Swagger. Swagger targeted Ryder’s back from the start and brutally beat Ryder to take the belt and become the new United States Champion, a title fitting for a man who is known as the All-American American. Personally, I used to love Ryder when he was working his way up the ranks, and in recent weeks I have grown frustrated with who he has become. I hate his pairing with Cena and am getting a little tired of his gimmick. Until he changes things up a bit, I don’t see Ryder getting a big push anytime soon.

Image from WWE.com

On a totally different note, Brodus Clay had another fun, yet short match, this time matching up with JTG (WHO?!). Honestly, at first I was not a huge fan of Clay and his new alter ego, “The Funkasaurus”, but now I am loving it. The WWE didn’t need another generic big, fat, power wrestler. Brodus Clay as The Funkasaurus is something different and something fun and I am liking it. I wonder how long it takes for him to start getting some real matches, matches that last longer than a minute and a half. His goofy dance moves both in his introduction and during the match are awesome, and although he isn’t the most talented wrestler, he is huge and his power moves are impressive. I wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a run at the Rumble in two weeks.

Last but not least on my thoughts from the latest edition of Raw is the phenomenon that is Chris Jericho. The guy returned a few weeks ago after years of absence from the WWE and his return was met with great crowd reaction and excitement from fans all over the world. Hell, #Y2J was the number one trend on Twitter! However, the crowd eventually went sour towards Jericho. He just came out and went nuts for between 5-10 minutes, running around, screaming, pumping the crowd up…but never once picking up a mic and never performed a single wrestling move. He has continued this gimmick, and last night the crowd in Anaheim was excited because they thought he was going to be featured in the main event match, a 3 man tag match featuring Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler & David Otunga  against Chris Jericho, CM Punk & Daniel Bryan.

I was real pumped too not gonna lie. Then, when I believe Punk tagged Jericho, Jericho ran in the ring and proceeded to run around and pump up the crowd for a few seconds. Again, he didn’t perform one wrestling move, slapped tag partner Daniel Bryan on the chest for the tag, and walked down the ramp and went backstage. And that was that. Henry, Ziggler and Otunga ended up winning the match, but the real story continues to be Jericho, his arrogance and his insistance on not saying or doing anything week in and week out. How long will this last you may ask? That is a question I simply don’t have the answer to, but I have a sneaking suspicion it will play into the Royal Rumble, a mere two weeks away.

Any thoughts you have from RAW or just the wrestling world in general, feel free to let us know in the comments!

So…Breaking Bad is Really Good

I know that I am probably extremely late to the punch here, but Breaking Bad is really, really good. It is a show that I have wanted to watch for years, but just have never got around to. Watching too many things at once, getting too caught up in one show or any other random reason has kept me from watching this incredible show for too long. I have had Seasons 1, 2 and 3 on DVD for a long time and am finally getting going with it and all I can say is wow.

If you aren’t an idiot like me, you probably already watched this show. As of this moment, I am about a quarter of the way through season two and am already so impressed by every aspect of this show. The story is awesome, although far fetched at times, and it continues to take twists and turns you’ll never expect. Vince Gilligan, the creator of the show, has really solidified his place as one of the great ones. Although his previous experience really is limited to The X-Files, a show I’m not crazy about, the fact that he is the mastermind behind Breaking Bad in enough for me.

The main reason I felt compelled to write this is how amazing of a character Walter White is. Bryan Cranston had been out of the spotlight since Malcolm in The Middle ended in 2006. Then he took a job for a role that was the polar opposite of what he had been accustomed to, a role that was risky to take on. In 2008 there was no guarantee that a show about a meth cooking science teacher would ever succeed on AMC. Of course the show ended up becoming huge, and a large part of that is due to Cranston’s performance.

Walter White is a character unlike any really on television before. Yes, there are plenty of great characters who are conflicted between good and evil, between work and family, but White finds himself in even more precarious situations. He always seems to have good intentions when he is doing something and if any other individual was doing what he was you would feel no sympathy for him. That is the magic of this show. Walter White kills a guy and you feel bad for White, not the victim. He cooks meth and puts himself in dangerous positions and you worry for his well being. It is pretty insane the connection you feel to the “villain” in the show.

Being that I’m not even halfway caught up to where the show is now, this blog had no real point, but I felt the need to get my appreciation and respect for Breaking Bad, Walter White, Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston. I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a show since I started watching The Wire. Here’s to hoping it finishes just as strong as it started.

Gillian Jacobs, Hot or Not?

Gillian Jacobs, or better known amongst nerds like me as Britta Perry from Community (bring the show back for God’s sake!). There are episodes of Community where Britta is the hottest girl on the show, which is saying something because man-killer Allison Brie is also a star. Then there are episodes where you see Britta and you wouldn’t even look at her twice. Really mind boggling stuff here. I have a soft spot for her, and maybe that’s just because I love Community so much, but my first inkling is hot.

Then comes the game changer. The movie Choke. Choke is a little known movie starring Sam Rockwell about a sex-addict/con artist. That really doesn’t matter though, the only thing you end up taking from this movie is that Gillian Jacobs shows a little bit more skin than she does in her other roles…and by a little bit more, I mean a lot. If you haven’t seen Choke, might wanna check it out!

All things considered, Jacobs is a cute girl, a girl who is really funny on Community and seems to have a bright future ahead of her. There are moments that really make you wonder if she is hot and then moments where there is no doubt in your mind that she is a total fox. In my mind, Britta…I mean Gillian Jacobs gets the vote of HOT! Final answer. You can voice your opinion in the poll and comments section below.

F…K…M

As the HOT or NOT debate continues, and I personally continued to click HOT, I began to wonder which one I actually thought was the hottest. This brought me back to one of my favorite games growing up, Fuck, Kill, Marry. For all you kids that are stuck to the video games, put them down for a minute and enjoy one of the great games ever FKM. The rules of the game are simple and go as followed- The person you pick to kill, obviously is dead to you. The person you pick to fuck, is a one time bang-but mind blowing, best of your life, nothing will compare. EVER! and marry is being stuck with that person forever, having all your friends see them with you and having a sex life- but that of a normal married couple. The inaugural FKM is going to start off with the ladies from one of the funniest television shows to air in a long time- The Office. There has been a group of ladies that have come in and out the cast but the three hottest that stuck out to me were Pam(Jenna Fischer), Erin(Ellie Kemper), and the old character of Karen(Rashida Jones).

https://i2.wp.com/www.celebritydietdoctor.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/jenna-fischer-weight-loss1.jpeg

PAM 

Ellie Kemper  Actress Ellie Kemper arrives at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 29, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

ERIN 

https://i0.wp.com/guestofaguest.com/wp-content/uploads/wppa/post_thumbs/Rashida_Jones.jpg

KAREN 

Kevin Na doing his best Tommy Bootz impression, shoots a 16 on 9th hole.

FORE!

October 2010, Galloping Hill golf course in New Jersey, Tom Rudolph shoots a 16 on 1 hole. Lets fast forward.  April 2011, TPC San Antonio in Texas, Kevin Na shoots a 16 on 1 hole.

Kevin my boy, if you want some pointers how to be horrible at golf just follow me on twitter or something, or take lessons from Dommy Fettuccine Alfredo. I wonder at what point during this hole

Kevin realized ESPN will finally show highlights from a golf tournament that Tiger Woods  didn’t participate in.

(Sorry for the short blog entries lately folks, spring break starts at 650 pm today for me, I’ll be blogging like a mother fucker until the 27th when it’s over, full with drunk rants)

Childish Gambino is the Next Big Thing in Rap

I don’t know if this post is too late, but I don’t really care. It is not very often where a rapper can make me stop listening to a lot of other music and just listen to his stuff. I first heard of Childish Gambino maybe a month or so ago, and never really thought much of him. Then more recently I began to listen to some of his songs and got some of his mixtapes. Let me tell you, if you haven’t listened to him yet you are missing out. He is amazing, some of his lyrics seem funny at times but just take it for what it is and you will enjoy it. For those that do not know, Childish Gambino is actor Donald Glover’s rap name. Donald Glover is the actor who plays Troy in the NBS series Community (which is awesome, and if you don’t watch it you’re an idiot). It is clear he is one of the most talented up and comers in the entertainment industry, because not only is he hilarious in Community, he is an awesome rapper, but he also writes for 30 Rock and some Community episodes. The guy does it all! He got his start on the comedy website Derrick Comedy, and really began being noticed in the now famed “Bro Rape” video which is still funny to this day. If you haven’t seen Bro Rape which is extremely unlikely check it out here.  They even produced a movie Mystery Team in 2009 which was supposedly really good. But for all of you who haven’t heard Childish Gambino spit rhymes check out the two videos posted here, two of my favorites, and if you like them leave some feedback and download some of his other stuff.