Friday, 24 June 2011

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.

Many thanks to FrostyC for recommending this show to me in the comments. I told you guys i would check them out! ^_^ 

So, the show. Just wow. I found this show highly amusing and highly painful to watch. Like seriously, i was hurting from laughing and cringing. Todd Margaret has the worst luck/judgement on earth. Where do i start? I suppose i'll start where the show starts. In the courtroom. Every episode starts with poor Todd on the stand and the judge is reading out the numerous felonies Todd is being charged with. Then the show flashes back a certain number of days to show the events leading up to the prosecution. Which starts out as his boss giving him a promotion to head of the thunder muscle campaign. He has to sell energy drinks to the British. Easy, right?

So here is a sneak peek at how the show starts. 

And this is where making increasingly poor decisions can get you. In an earlier episode, Todd lied about a peanut allergy to Alice, a cafe owner who puts up with way too much of his shit because she feels sorry for him.. This lie has come back to haunt him in this clip :)

You might recognize actors David Cross and Will Arnett from Arrested Development if you're a fan. The show was co-written by Cross and he plays Todd Margaret so perfectly that it grates my soul. And Will Arnett is such a bad ass boss, so funny. I'd also like to mention  Blake Harrison as "Dave", Margaret's only employee when he gets to London. He is a dapper chap, always smiling and i can't help thinking he is up to something. Apart from the painful parts, it's the little nuances in these character portrayals that hooked me in the end. I just need to know what the hell will happen to/for/because of them!

I also like the clash of American and British accents. Following a painfully American salesman on his journey through London bought an almost documentary type feel to the show. Todd is a charicature walking through a cliche. The show has finished its first season and has been commissioned for a second. Can't wait to see how this wraps up :)

I recommend this show because it keeps you literally writhing in your seat until the end. Hope you're into that. 

I've been pretty busy lately due to exams and assignments and stress. I will try to post a bit more frequently in the future :)

As always, thanks for reading :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011


We travel to the other side of the globe now, where men are men and sheep are scared.

Brotown is pretty much the best cartoon to come from New Zealand since Footrot Flats. It follows a self-proclaimed gang of five adolescent boys (four Samoan Pacific-islanders and one indigenous Maori) and their adventures in Morningside, a town in Auckland known for its huge polynesian population. Auckland in general is quite a popular destination for immigrants from surrounding island countries. Due to this, the show has a LOT of references to cultural differences and lower-class-specific humour. About the bubbling controversy surrounding this show when it first aired in 2004, the creators said "we aren't being racist, we're making fun of everybody." Which is awesome. I will never forget the first time i watched this show and one of the boys visits a white persons house for the first time. He's walking up the driveway and two poodles run up to greet him. "What th-... These dogs have been fed!" *shock*

I laughed a lot.

Also, these guys are cameo whores. The cameo list includes but is not limited to:

  • Helen Clark, former Prime minister of New Zealand.
  • Scribe, a rapper, also from New Zealand.
  • Lucy Lawless, formerly Xena Warrior Princess, from, you guessed it, New Zealand.
  • Ol' Charles, Prince of Wales, has also made a cameo appearance on the show, no shit.
  • Rove McManus, Australian TV Host.
  • Fat Freddy's Drop, an NZ band whose music ranges from dub, reggae to soul and techno.
Actually here's a song by them. It's pretty good. 

But back to Brotown. The show is probably aimed at the young adult demographic and wonderfully combines meaningful topics, like racism, sport or girls, with poop jokes and pop culture. Here's one scene where the two brothers Vale and Valea are being investigated by child protection services because of complaints about their drunk father (who is hilarious i might add).

And here's another scene, Pepelo Pepelo, father to Vale and Valea, is driving them to a school on his forklift. They are going on a field trip to a Maori village in the country to learn about Maori culture. On the way, Pepelo decides to give his boys a lesson on Maori culture because he learned all about it in prison. How handy! Thanks Dad!

So, im trying to think of a show to compare this to and i guess Boondocks comes to mind if you've seen it. But saying that, i didn't really like Boondocks, i felt it was a bit cliquey. It has a local feel to it. Not being from the America's and all. But this show couldn't be any more New Zealand if it tried. One side of my family is from New Zealand, so i can appreciate most of the jokes in this show. And (most of the time, unfortunately) i can relate to far too much of the show's content. So i realize that some people will not see its appeal or just plain think it's shit.

It should be noted that the creators of brotown are a live comic group, The Naked Samoans. Personally, i think their juvenile-style humour is far better portrayed in cartoon form but you can see more of them here if you like.

If you can appreciate the lighter side of racial stereotypes, this is a good show. The show is 4 seasons in length so far with a 5th in production. With all the progress the show has made, it has also changed a lot and i have to admit, i like their old stuff better than their new stuff. So i really must stress, start watching from the first season onwards if you're a new viewer. By the third season, they're starting to edit in a lot of mainstream music that doesn't fit the show and it gives it a weird vibe. But the animation, voice acting, (sometimes) plots get better over the course of the 4 seasons and it's fun watch the show find its legs.

If you already know you will hate it, you probably will. But if you still think you might dig it, check it out. It's a pretty fun, harmless show.

Here's one more clip for the road if you're still on the fence about it.. It's drunk Pepelo sputtering nonsense about Australian culture and Aussie beers. Thanks and stay tuned for more recommendations :)