I’ve always maintained that the greatest strength of iZombie is its stellar ensemble cast. Every individual main character on the show feels like they are strong enough on their own to maintain any story they find themselves in. They’re all very different people that happen to work very well together, but once they’re off doing their own thing I can’t help but think “Whoa, I would watch this show!”. Liv Moore is a great protagonist (with an appropriately punny name), but unlike creator Rob Thomas’ other famous heroine Veronica Mars, she isn’t her show’s greatest weapon. That distinction belongs to the cast itself, and this article is about how each of them are strong enough to helm their own TV spin-offs because of that strength. Here are five examples to illustrate what I’m talking about.
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When people reference shows starring (purposely written) horrible people, they inevitably bring up the Always Sunny in Philadelphia gang. The Reynolds family (along with Mac and Charlie), are self-centred, egotistical, and emotionally immature nuisances who often star in episodes where they take their unpleasantness into the outside world, damage the lives of the people they interact with, then get rejected and forced to find comfort in the awful safe-space that is the bar that they own. On Transparent, much of the same thing happens with the Pfeffermans, a family very much like the Reynolds, but with the only difference being that their awful actions have lasting negative repercussions on the people around them and themselves. While Almost Sunny operates on a cartoon logic of everything more or less reverting to how things were before by the start of the next episode, Transparent forces its narcissistic characters to sit with their bad decisions for the remainder of their sad and empty lives. The comedic fallout of their actions are so dark at times that it almost veers into dramatic territory, but the heightened nature of everything reminds the audience to laugh at what has transpired. It’s shocking how little punches this show pulls, even with its transgender star Maura Pfefferman, who also happens to be a mostly awful person. Much like Frank Reynolds on Always Sunny, much of her role seems to be as the one financing the bizarre behaviour her kids seem to get into, and the fact that the show can make us feel be both sympathetic and angry towards her is a grand feat. Once again like Frank, she has a kid that is an honest to God sociopath, but less in the popcultural serial killer sense and more in the toxic presence that routinely hurts those close to her. Ali, along with her two siblings Josh and Sarah, are really who are at the centre of the show despite it being ostensibly about Maura coming out as transgender. Those three siblings are the beating rotten heart of this show.
Continue reading “How Transparent is Like a Darker Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
The much beloved CBS drama The Good Wife ended yesterday, so I’ve decided to dedicate a brand new mind spill to this once great series. A lot has happened throughout the show, a lot happened in the finale, and now is the time to get some stuff off my chest to address them both.
Continue reading “Mind Spill: The Good Wife Edition”