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Kyle and I have been secretly watching "Wicked Single" on VH1.  It was my idea to watch it in the first place, but then we got invested, and we kept saying to each other during episodes "But it's not like Jersey Shore, this is totally different," though we could never really articulate how or why.

This evening as we're catching up on it, Chubbs (a character name, sure, shut up, whatever) is being blocked from a door and his roommate says "no, you cannot pass here".  Chubbs respond "Who do you think you are, Gandalf the Grey? THOU SHALT NOT PASS!!!"

That. That right there is how it's different than Jersey Shore.  They're just really drunk nerds.  And that might explain why we like it.....

 
 
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So today I decided to start taking advantage of this new Amazon Originals thing. It's a pretty clever idea-- Instead of just trying to sell pilots to networks, they can be sold to Amazon.  After watching a pilot, you the viewer give feedback, and based on that feedback (presumably), the powers that be will decide if the show gets made.

I started with "Those Who Can't". 

What It's About: Three extremely juvenile teachers in a fairly average high school setting.  There's Loren Peyton, the Spanish teacher ("Dude, nobody talks like this" "Uh, Dude, people in Spain talk like this ALL DAY LONG") who seems to be the center of the group.  He's got a thing for Abby the librarian (LOVE her, and love that the school librarian isn't some stereotype with a bun on her head shushing kids) and keeps checking out books to impress her. ("Wow, you read all those books in one night?" "Yeah I did.  Those books rule. High five literacy, am I right?") There's Ben Shoemaker, the history teacher who taped a sign that says "The People's" next to the "History" sign on his door. He's married with a kid, and covered with tattoos, including two sleeves and his 10 year old son's name on his collar bone. ("I came up on the streets." "No you didn't, you go those tattoos with student loan money"). In the opening scenes, Ben is teaching kids how awful sweatshops are by locking them in the classroom, cranking up the heat, and allowing no one to use the bathroom. Finally, there's the PE teacher, who ironically is the nerdiest of the group.  Andy Fairbell seems incredibly un-athletic and it's kind of perfect. At one point, Andy tries to peg the nemesis popular kid with a dodge ball in the hallway and hits the principal in the back of the head instead. I just about spit my drink out at that.

The plot of the first show revolves around our 3 main characters trying to get revenge on the biggest douchebag in the school, Bryce Turner, star lacrosse player. 

Thoughts: I really, really, really loved this pilot.  It reminds me of Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but instead of running a failing bar, these 3 are teachers in a failing high school.  I loved the multiple lines about keeping their jobs (shout out to real life problems!) but I also loved how over the top and unrealistic it was.  I mean, you can't swear at students, and you can't go out and purchase drugs to plant in a kid's locker, no matter how many times he's pissed you off and toilet papered your home. But it would be awesome if you COULD, and I think that's kind of the point of the show.  I've got a lot of experience in the teacher department, and I think it's safe to say that every now and then, we'd all really love to see that jerk on the football team taken down a peg or two.
Frankly, it's sort of like watching what school might be like in modern times if teachers were allowed to behave as they did in the 50s and 60s and teenagers still behaved as they do today. 

Favorite Scene: The three get called to the principal's office, and as they're waiting, they're getting glared at by Tammy, the secretary.  As the phone rings, Loren finally goes "Are you gonna get that Tammy?" and she picks up the phone just to hang it back up.  She proceeds to scold the men for behaving like children and makes a comment about how children shouldn't be in charge of children.  Loren responds with "Tammy, did I ever tell you I value the opinion of a Chili's waitress more than the shit that comes out of your face?"
Tammy LEAPS up from her chair and picks up this giant "hello" sign that sits on her desk and clearly threatens to beat them with it, shouting "OH, HELL-LOO".  They appease her, and then Principal Barry Quinn comes out to the waiting room and says "Ok, you 3, my office, now". 
Tammy: "The Principal will see you now."
Loren: "You serve an invaluable function at this school, Tammy." *sarcastic thumbs up*

Favorite (and MOST inappropriate joke): 
Loren: What can't lacrosse guys do?
Andy: Play baseball?
Ben: Have consensual sex?
Loren: Both good guesses, but the answer is drugs.

I died laughing.  So far over the line. 


Overall: God I hope this gets made into a series.  It's been a while since a new show was able to make me laugh in a pilot...usually they're not funny til a few episodes (or even seasons--see Parks & Rec season 1 for example) and this was laugh-out-loud funny. 

Sit Com Rating: 9/10
TV Rating: 7/10

What Others are Saying: (From Amazon Reviews)
I really hope this show gets picked up so we can see where it goes. ”Zach Wotruba  |  205 reviewers made a similar statement
Very funny show, great writing and great acting. ”Ryan A  |  186 reviewers made a similar statement
I definitely look forward to seeing more episodes! ”R. Lesher  |  98 reviewers made a similar statement 



 
 
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Watching: Elementary, the American Sherlock Holmes. 
Thoughts: Kyle and I watch this every week, and while it's not one of those shows whose schedule we actually know (I think it's on Thursdays? Maybe? Thank God for DVR), it is something we always watch first when our DVR list is long.  Lucy Liu is lovely, the guy who plays Sherlock is wonderfully British, and it combines humor and crime solving in an almost perfect equation.  It's like watching some combo of SVU and Psych, some sort of happy medium.  Both are shows I adore, and this one is no different. 
This week's episode delivered the normal amount of satisfying crime solving while also advancing the plot of our main characters. Sherlock has been sober for a year and is reluctant to get his sobriety chip.  My favorite sentimental moment comes when his sponsor Alfredo points out that receiving the chip is not just about him--it's about everyone else, about helping those around you.  When they see you receiving the award for sticking to their sobriety and making it through the ups and downs, it makes them realize they can do it, too. I thought it was very sweet, and it was something I'd never thought about before.  I appreciate when anything, be it a TV show, a movie, a book, a conversation or even just a poster or a sign, makes me think of something differently, or makes me look at situations in a new light. 
If you're not watching Elementary yet, I suggest you start.  But probably from the beginning.  It'll be more satisfying that way. 
Show Rating: 8/10
Episode Rating: 4/5