The new BBC America and Netflix adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently books became available on UK Netflix this week. The books follow the surreal adventures of Dirk, a private detective who believes in the interconnectedness of all things. In Dirk’s world, murder cases aren’t solved by deduction, they’re solved by finding lost cats and discovering the secret behind eccentric professors’ magic tricks.
I think you would like the sci-fi TV drama Orphan Black. It’s made by BBC America in Canada and was originally aired on BBC Three in the UK, distribution has since been taken over by Netflix, where the fourth series has just concluded. I only realised after 8 episodes had already been released, so had the luxury of binging on the majority of the fourth series in a matter of days. Can Netflix do no wrong? (Apart from the Adam Sandler thing, but let’s pretend that didn’t happen.)
Garfunkel and Oates is a Netflix comedy show in which the comedy-folk-music duo Garfunkel and Oates play a ukulele, a guitar, and fictional versions of themselves.
I recommend the sitcom Arrested Development. And that’s a pretty big deal, because it’s an American sitcom, and I’ve long held the short sighted view that American sitcoms aren’t worth bothering with because they’re inferior and boring and full of irritatingly perky, unnecessarily attractive, lightning-toothed gimps, served with a side dish of canned laughter. Arrested Development is not inferior and boring and full of irritatingly perky, unnecessarily attractive, lightning-toothed gimps, served with a side dish of canned laughter. It’s really very good actually.
I’ve only seen the first two episodes of The A Word at the time of writing, but I’m not going to let that hold me back. It’s a six-part BBC drama series about a family wrestling with the A word in question: autism.
This is the second half of my Fortnight of Culture. I have been putting together a schedule of music, film, television, literature and more, for my friend Chris who has two blissfully free weeks in need of filling. “How odd,” you might say, “to post this, the second half of your Fortinght of Culture, on a Tuesday rather than on a Monday, which is, after all, the start of the week.” Have you ever attempted to curate an entire Fortnight of Culture for a man who’s only ever seen the film Cool Runnings? I thought not. You ingrate.
I recommend the BBC sitcom Detectorists. It was written and directed by Mackenzie Crook
and stars Crook and Toby Jones as Andy and Lance, a hapless pair of metal detecting enthusiasts in the fictional town of Danebury.
I recommend the 2005 Channel 4 sitcom Nathan Barley to those who, like me, may have missed it. It was released ten years ago now, and ten years ago those of us who are now 21 were 11. That’s just maths. I don’t recommend it to 11 year olds. Sorry, but you just won’t enjoy it.
I recommend the TV series BoJack Horseman to anyone who’s got Netflix – because that’s the only way you can watch it. I probably only recommend it because his big horsey face has been plastered all over the NME for the last couple of weeks and I’m a sucker for advertising.
It’s an animated show about a washed up horse actor who is now a rich alcoholic living in the hills of LA. The premise could work if shot in live action – if all the characters were human– but by Arthur the Aardvarking it, the show can have darker themes hidden beneath the sillier (in a good way, being silly is a good thing) aspects of animation. The show has more in common with Arthur than it does with Family Guy or The Simpsons. It’s not cartoonish in style and doesn’t have the bombast that Homer and Peter tend towards.