The Taser's Edge


New Pleasant Ways to Destroy Your Mind

That’s code for “New Television Shows Worth Watching.”

1. Raising Hope (Fox): If you liked Malcolm in the Middle, this has the same kind of energy. It does have some troubling depiction of poor white ‘trash’ that I’m still struggling with.  And if you are a new parent, it might make you physically ill.  Otherwise, it’s hilarious.

2. Outsourced (NBC): There’s going to be some controversy here for awhile, around issues of culture, ethnicity, race, religion, globalization.  The trajectory is not clear yet, but the foundation against offensiveness is that every character is well-formed (which is not mutually exclusive with ‘stereotypical’), the ensemble cast is great, and American culture seems to be the ultimate butt of every joke.  Finally, how many prime time comedies sandwich a reference to Glengarry Glen Ross between a penis joke and a joke about fake vomit?  This is not a dumb show.

3. Running Wilde (Fox)–So Arrested Development got cancelled, and then people started watching it.  Fox got its creator and half the cast back for the alternately somnolent and vomitous animated Sit Down, Shut Up.  Some AD fans (like me) found some sanctuary in following Portia de Rossi to the similarly quirky and similarly musically scored Better Off Ted, which also got cancelled.  And now I think some of our hope muscles were too tired to be excited for another Hurwitz show.

Thankfully, it is pretty great (although some questionable race stuff in the first episode or two with the South American tribe).  Strangest fact about the following trailer from May of this year?  Two principal actors were replaced doing the same lines sometime between the trailer and the airing of the actual show (Will Arnett’s Latino chauffeur, Migo, and Keri Russell’s eco-terrorist boyfriend, now played by still another AD alum David Cross).