League of Gentlemen, Season 2 Episode 4 “Death in Royston Vasey”

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Television, 2000

League of Gentlemen is a show I’ve heard mentioned here and there over the years, most notably a few back when the Kids in the Hall reunited to produce a miniseries that was said to be a weak xerox of it. But that’s selling the Kids in the Hall short, as League of Gentlemen clearly owes much to their original work as well. “If Kids in the Hall made Twin Peaks” is how I’ve been pitching it to people after having made my way through half the series over the last few weeks. As much as it owes to Kids in the Hall (the limited male cast portraying a wide array of characters including cross-dressing for the women, the rapid fire nature of sketch comedy, the off-beat sense of humor) it owes equally to Twin Peaks, with its recurring cast of oddball characters populating a small town, the sagas and mysteries of which continuously spiral forward, often ending up in very dark places. The place where those two distinct flavors, humor and horror, clash is where the show draws much of its power, as you’re often left to wonder, as you’re watching something absolutely ghastly or downright viscerally terrifying unfold, “How is there a laugh track on top of this?” But the loose and dangerous structure of the show, in addition to being an ideal vehicle for the creators’ wild imaginations, showcases intricately structured, and unexpectedly emotionally intelligent, storytelling.


Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, Episode 4 “Naked Beach Frenzy”

Television, 2003

While the “Adult Part Cartoon” rehash of Ren and Stimpy in 2003 may have failed to recreate the lightning in a bottle that was the original Ren & Stimpy, the undeniable talent of John Krisfalusi still shines through. There are enough good, classic cartoon style gags and great drawings here to keep you entertained, but I think working within the limitations of a children’s show, not to mention the more tactile looking animation being produced in the 90’s, worked better for this show.

The Walking Dead, Season 1 Episode 1: “Days Gone By”

Television, 2010

I pretty much agree with everything Sean T Collins says about this episode here. Namely, the slow burn of the pace and the music being good, but the cheesy coma effect and music cue at the end being bad to the point of distraction. Gotta say though, I think they nailed it. 3.5