Two new comedies on IFC (although old hat to fans of the BBC not living in the U.S.) have had me watching and in stitches for a few weeks now. One features Moz, a drug dealer, the other Moss, an IT guy at a corporation.
Ideal is set mostly in the apartment of Moz, a low-level drug dealer. A succession of bizarre characters, including a guy named Cartoon Head (who has a cartoon head), parade through, seeking a fix, or sometimes something more dangerous. The series is dark humor at its finest–truly hilarious but you have to adjust to the vibe of the show. I watched two episodes, decided I hated it, but watched a third anyway. Then watched a fourth and it suddenly all clicked into focus for me. It’s hard to explain just how funny (and at times disturbing) Ideal is, except to say that when the next door neighbor admits to necrophilia it’s a laugh-out-loud moment, or that when Moz, trying to comfort her says “don’t go down on yourself” when he means “don’t get down on yourself” it’s worth a huge chuckle. No, this show isn’t for kids, and it’s gloriously tattered, decaying around the edges, realistic in its approach, foul, and yet hypnotically watchable. Moz makes it work because even though he’s a drug dealer, he’s much more sensible, sane, and moral than anyone around him. There are also odd moments of sweetness mixed in. Although I’ve included a clip above, I don’t know if any single clip can really convey how the show works, because it’s almost a cumulative effect. More clips here.
The IT Crowd, on the other hand, is sillier, and not as darkly funny. It’s instead just outright hilarious beyond belief, as Moss and the other members of the IT department at a seriously screwed up company get entangled in mess after mess. In a favorite episode, Moss develops the perfect bra for his boss, except it has one flaw: it tragically overheats. In another episode, a fire breaks out and Moss methodically goes through various processes to fight it; when the fire extinguisher doesn’t work, he starts typing an email for help while the flames are blazing all around him. For anyone who’s worked in an office or with computer, this is a must-see. More clips here.
Finally, I’ve bought a lot of CDs recently, but the one that’s stuck with me is the new Arctic Monkeys, which I wouldn’t have expected. I’ve liked their prior material, but not loved it. On this CD, however, they deepen and darken their sound, and create additional texture that really appeals to me. It’s a rewarding CD that only gets better with repeated listens. Of course, the single is a little closer to their prior material, but at least it gives you a taste.