Sitcom

7 posts

What to watch after Fleabag

So you’ve finished watching Fleabag and kind of, sort of, gotten over the Hot Priest. After you’ve come down from the absolute genius that is Fleabag you’ll be scouting around for your next “dark and dry” to keep fuelling the fire if your inner unexpressed angst. 

I don’t know about you but I am grieving the end of the show and miss it like a beloved friend has moved away. Which is silly because it’s *just* a TV show. Right?

Here are some shows that you can watch next:

This Way Up

I love a post breakdown recovery series. Irish comedian, Aisling Bea, has created a very witty series called This Way Up about getting your life together in your thirties.

Back to Life

what to watch after fleabag back to life

By the producers of Fleabag, Back to Life is about a woman in her thirties returning to her hometown after serving a jail sentence. 

Pure

This is a little hidden gem, Pure, tackles some huge, unexplored issues such as sex addiction and intrusive thoughts. Be warned: it gets pretty real.

Crashing 

This is Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other show but Crashing didn’t quite grab me. You might like it though.

Game Face

what to watch after fleabag game face

A hilarious, modern look at being a hot mess in your thirties. Not a unique TV premise but I can’t get enough. Can you? Tell me what you think of Game Face.

Finding Joy

what to watch after fleabag finding joy

Finding Joy is about a woman struggling to get her life together in her thirties… I mean, you get the idea, right?

Okay, I should rename this post from what to watch after Fleabag to ‘shows about women in their thirties’ but that’s not as fun. 

Not sure what to watch next? Read the television blog.

Why Women Kill

Why Women Kill tells the story of three relationships (and more) across three separate decades.

Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin) is the perfect doting nineteen sixties housewife, Simone (Lucy Lui) is an eighties socialite and Kendall (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is a modern day feminist in an open marriage. 

why women kill tv show

This is not a podcast cum documentary like the title would suggest but a camp dark comedy that looks at infidelity and negotiating romantic unions throughout time and how each woman, in her own ingenious way, deals with it. And sometimes with fatal consequences. But not without rediscovering who they are and what they truly want out of life. 

Infidelities, which sprout in their own ways with their own meanings pertaining to each couple, are revealed early on, so it’s clear the TV show is not about how infidelity spells the end of a relationship. In fact, this show depict how it’s the start of every good story.

why women kill tv
Photo credit: Jessica Brooks/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc.

All tied together by one house, Why Women Kill is like Desperate Housewives (both were written by Marc Cherry) mixed with Mad Men but on a heap of sugar. And the outfits are off the hook. It even has fun episode titles like I Killed Everyone He Did, But Backwards and in High Heels.

Should I watch Why Women Kill?

Yes, it’s super fun.

On Becoming a God in Central Florida

This dark comedy, set in the heart of the early nineties, explores the predatory and cult like nature that are multi level marketing schemes.

Forced to take on her husband’s downline (upline? I don’t know, I’m confused how it works) Krystal (Kirsten Dunst) has to keep up the constant hustle just to make ends meet. After realising that resisting isn’t getting her anywhere, she dives straight into the con herself like only a broke Florida housewife can. And hopes—and works hard— for the riches and fame that the company undyingly promises. 

on becoming a god in central florida

Dunst is exceptional in this. You are on her side from the very start and will spend every bit of your TV watching energy rooting for her to win (but also find a way out of the cult that is the featured MLM that sells cleaning products). 

This show is as much about Krystal’s fierceness and continuous resourcefulness as it is explicitly exposing every MLM that has ever existed. Not surprisingly, it taught me a lot about cult psychology and how MLM companies will take advantage of anyone, no matter how much they are struggling. Whilst the premise could certainly be true, it doesn’t appear to be based on any real life situation. However, the New York Post speculates on the likeness between the show’s company and Amway.

Another highlight of On Becoming a God in Central Florida is the epic eighties and nineties soundtrack.

Should I watch On Becoming a God in Central Florida?

Most definitely. It’s very satisfying.

You’ll like this if you like:

  • Why Women Kill
  • Lodge 49
  • Glow

Bless this Mess

Watch on iTunes

The classic tree change sitcom, written by and starring Lake Bell, is a new comedy on the screen scene called Bless This Mess.

A fed up New York couple— a therapist, Bell, and music journalist, played by Kristen Bell’s husband, Dax Shepard— moves to Nebraska. In search of a simpler and possibly happier after they’ve purchased a farm. Upon arriving, they realise it’s actually a dilapidated and unworkable property (who buys before checking it out, seriously?). Nonetheless, they are committed to making it work. Of course, nothing ever lives up to the fantasy. And as a farmer’s daughter, I can confirm that farming is glorified by those who have never done it. Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have a story.

The “fish out of water” theme in Bless This Mess is still a lovable approach to watch. Who doesn’t relate to getting judged for wearing their activewear to the corner store? But it’s hard to forgive the irritable nature of the main characters. Especially because as the neighbours point out, ‘you don’t just decide to be a farmer.’

Bless this Mess review

Bless This Mess is quite cliché but it’s redeeming in that the main characters are charming and naively enthusiastic and have a great, respectful relationship. Until the cracks in their marriage start to appear as their ill purchased house begins to crack.

Bless this Mess review tv
Image credit: Fox News

However, the side cast (think Lennon Parham from Parks and Rec and David Koechner from Anchorman) are much more interesting and funny. Albeit stereotypical small town views and narratives. 

Still very early on in its life, I’ll be disheartened if this gets renewed for more than two seasons and genius, relatable comedies like Alone Together didn’t. 

Should I watch Bless This Mess?

Yeah, I guess. Just lower your expectations. A lot.

New Girl and writing tips

New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel and created by Elizabeth Merriweather, has a team of talented writers (11 during the first season and 15 during the second season) and each episode can take a few weeks or more to write and ‘…as the show’s jokes rely on the actors’ performance instead of perfectly constructed punch lines…’ the actors are encouraged to pitch story ideas. 

new girl writing

What I learnt from New Girl

  1. Just write about what and who you know and make it something you are proud of.
  2. Let people help. Collaboration can make your project better – especially in writing for TV.
  3. Don’t write a joke for the joke’s sake (especially a runner – an ongoing joke), make sure it fits, step back and view the whole piece to see if it works.
  4. Story lines and processes can be messy and organic – it’s more realistic.
  5. People hooking up always creates great conflict and audience interest. It’s not always the resolve of a situation but can be the start of one.
  6. Walking is great for remedying “writer’s block”.

You may also like Breaking Bad writing tips.

Four Netflix things to watch

Sometimes, no matter what you try, you can’t seem to shake a bad mood. It happens to the best, and chirpiest, of us. But here are four Netflix things to watch that will almost certainly pull you out of a bad mood and have you sparkling again.

The Good Place

the good place on netflix
Ted Danson in The Good Place

A delightful and wholesome comedy that will help alleviate your existential angst, whilst teaching you about philosophy. In an afterlife where you can’t swear that was created by a character played by Ted Danson, a pleasant omniscient computer in human form called Janet and a protagonist played by everyone’s favourite Kristen Bell, there is a lot to love about The Good Place. 

​Jim Gaffigan – stand up specials

On Australian Netflix there are five Jim Gaffigan stand up specials: Obsessed, Mr Universe, Beyond the Pale, Cinco and King Baby. His jokes are gentle and unoffensive (except, maybe, to vegans) and it’s a refreshing change from all the shouty, frustrated white man comedy that dominates the stage. Gaffigan gets bonus points for never making fun of “being too PC”.

Schitt’s Creek

schitts creek tv series
Dan and Eugene Levy. Image credit: Getty Images

Created by and starring charming father and son duo, Dan and Eugene Levy (those eyebrows!), this surprising comedy relies on the vigour of all the well crafted characters. As well as the absurd setting that the Rose family have found themselves in. Schitt’s Creek is a “fish out of water” tale that is cringe worthy without being painful. It’s also rewarding when we get to witness vapid characters experience personal expansion.  

Now You See Me

now you see me movie

Perhaps I’m swayed by my love of magic and illusions but this heist movie (and its sequel) is one of the most pleasurable movies to watch on Netflix. The Now You See Me cast is so robust with Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and more. And the ongoing tricks, mystery and sense of theatre are thrilling and unpredictable. Great if you like movies like the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy.


​Watched them all and need more Netflix things to watch? Why not try Pine Gap?

parks and rec tv show

Five writing tips I learnt from Parks and Recreation

Watch on Stan

parks and rec stan australia

There are a lot of lessons that watching plenty of TV can offer particularly when it comes to writing.  Parks and Recreation is one of my most beloved sitcoms and I have spent years falling asleep to its obnoxious “doot a la doot” theme song.

​Here are four things I learnt from the writers of Parks N’ Rec. What I learnt from Parks and Recreation

  1. The character of Lesley Knope was already formed in creator, Amy Poehler’s head, she just needed to write the TV show that would fit around her and refine how the world and responded to her.
  2. Fart jokes are always funny.
  3. Write the lines for the characters, not for the audience.
  4. A writing project is just like any other project and a project needs a good leader – either in a team or a part of yourself.
Stan TV series

Catch all seasons of Parks and Recreation on Stan.