Hello Ladies (Season 1)

stephen-merchant-shines-as-desperate-casanova-in-hbo-comedy-hello-ladies

Roze-Verdict: If you’re a fan of Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant projects then this awkward, cringy-worthy piece of comedy will find a place in your heart.

Hello Ladies follows Stuart Pritchard an Englishman hoping to find the woman of his dreams in the city of Angels, only problem is that his standards maybe too high for his own good.

Starring;

  • Stephen Merchant as Stuart Pritchard
  • Christine Woods as Jessica Vanderhoff
  • Nate Torrence as Wade Bailey
  • Kevin Weisman as Kives
  • Kyle Mooney as Rory

I was pretty psyched when I came across this show on the world wide web, finally a show where Steve Merchant isn’t cast behind Ricky Gervais’s shadow (despite his height). Seemed like it was a bout time that he got a chance to star in something as the lead. Merchant has this typical British brand of humor which I can’t get enough of, he’s charismatic and incredibly witty which comes through in this comedy. Although maybe not as confidently as his British shows, which is fair enough due to a new target audience. It would be completely understandable if an American was to hate this show because this form of awkward, cringy, comedy with and anti-hero is quite unusual. I just hope it gets the chance for at least a second season.

It’s more than just a comedy, it has a lot of sad moments due to its relatable theme. We get a lot of moments where we might think “I’ve been there”, I mean we all get lonely and this show brings out a lot of those unpleasant memories. Luckily we get the chance to repress these memories during scenes where we can think at least it wasn’t as bad as that (Merchant having to buy drinks for a group of strangers in his efforts to pick up a girl, ouch). I find the sad scenes quite humbling at times because I can reflect off it ultimately turning into something I value a lot in the show.

The jokes are smart and sometimes slapstick, very rarely cheap which is refreshing to see. I quite like cheap laughs because I laugh at almost anything involving genitalia so I don’t complain but when you laugh at something which you either have never seen or rarely see, it makes it a lot more funnier and you feel good about it after. At first during the first couple of episodes I didn’t quite like that combination of comedy and drama within a show but when you accept it then you enjoy it for what it is.

As for sub plots and other characters, they hold up well and have a lot of potential if season 2 does go through. I wouldn’t say they were all engaging in this season but if there’s laughs then a comedy is a success in my eyes. Of course we all have different tastes in comedy, but if you’ve never heard of Steve Merchant and you want a good “what not to do” guide to dating then this would be a good place to start.

Archer (Season 1-2)

Archer_partyingRoze-Rating: Give it a go

I find it hard to start watching series regardless of how good it may be because it’s quite a big commitment. It may seem like I’m over thinking it but I know that once I’m hooked, I’m totally HOOKED, and watching 50 odd minute episodes when there’s 4 or more seasons just seems too intimidating. Which is why I tend to watch comedy series only cause I know I can get three episodes in within an hour without feeling guilty and unproductive, even if I am a lazy ass, it’s still nice to think otherwise (sigh).

Anyways, I scoured the world wide web for a new series to watch which was guaranteed to be funny and entertaining and found Archer. It had pretty good responses and I’m a big fan of family guy and south park so animation wasn’t a problem. Although when I checked it out on youtube I was almost put off because the animation seemed odd compared to other animated comedies, but after watching it I have gladly retreated from that opinion. I think it’s hard to rate a series because it’s all down to an individuals taste, and once you watch an episode you can decide if it’s for you or not, unlike a film where once you’ve committed to it, you will most likely watch it all, especially if your in the cinema. It would take one shitty movie for someone to walk out after spending all that money. Good thing I lived in a country where the cinema wasn’t expensive at all, because I would have been pissed if I spent 17 NZ Dollars (5.300 OR) on “Blonde and Blonder”, last time I will let my penis pick the movie.

So I’ve managed to get through two seasons of Archer within a week with the third one to go, and I just had to review it and somehow show my support because I don’t think enough people know about this series, and it is a god damn injustice to this piece of comedy gold. I don’t understand how show’s like “Mad Love” get 8 odd million viewers per episode in America, and Archer only gets 1 million. Don’t get me wrong, those typical sitcom’s with live audiences can be some of the funniest crap on TV but I think they are making sitcom’s for the sake of it now. Yes back to Archer, it ticks off all the boxes for a good comedy series and as the series progress there are significant changes with every episode which improve on the last. Which is a testament to the creators I think for noticing its faults and making it even better than before.

So it’s about a secret agency ISIS which is no where near it’s prime, employing people which other agencies would consider liabilities. The agency is run by Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), mother of the protagonist Sterling Malory Archer (Refered to as Archer), code name “Duchess” (H. Jon Benjamin) who is an alcohol addicted, sex crazed, cocky, mommy’s boy. The craziness ensues as a result of Archer’s actions or at the behest of his sexual active mother. Of course to aid the already hostel environment that the mother-son relationship provides, we have a group of ISIS employee’s who are just as crazy as the next character. With some big names playing the characters, there’s little that can go wrong. We have Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell) a comptroller for ISIS who is perceived as a pretty normal character at first, but just wait, those first impressions will change immensely. Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer) a… well she’s into some crazy shit and doesn’t have the intelligence to hide it like other closet fetish addicts are. Doctor Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates) is one of the more mysterious characters as it takes awhile to figure him out and what kind of “crazy” he is. Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) definitely one of the sanest characters and the best looking, it’s amazing how cartoons can look sexy, maybe that’s the pervert in me, but she does have some nicely animated… assets. Anyways her ambition and jealously towards Archer’s special treatment from his mother get the best of her at times. Lastly we have Pam Poovey (Amber Nash) who is probably one of the most weirdest and sickest characters you will see on television, but it’s hilarious in the best of ways. She prides herself for her incompetent ability of keeping secrets and having no feminine bone in her. The one thing each character has in common is that they are all unhealthily addicted to sex, but it’s not the worst addiction to have, waaaaay.

A good description of Archer would be if James Bond and Maxwell Smart made a baby and that baby was put in an environment similar to “The Office” while keeping the threats and thrills of a 007 agent. At first you will criticize the series for lacking in the James Bond-esque action and situations, but by the time you get into the second season you will notice how much its improved in terms of action while staying true to its humor. The animation also adds to the charm of Archer, and really backs up the dialogue where most of the humor comes from of course. It’s also quite unique and sets itself apart from other animated comedies, it gives it a darker and cruder side, which a lot of the humor ends up being. If you haven’t seen Archer, it’s definitely worth a watch. Enjoy.