November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013

Hulu Originals

I was reminded during a brief Twitter conversation with friends of blog M and D that Hulu is a wealth of original/exclusive programming these days. As if you didn’t have enough to watch between television, film, and the crazy show being put on by the dude across the street. (That last one applicable only to urban apartment dwellers.) We’re living during the best age of entertainment since bread and circuses. (GLADIATOR!)

But back to Hulu. They dipped their toe in the original programming pool with Battleground, a series I enjoyed a great deal. It was about politics. It was set in Wisconsin. Friend of blog M worked on it. And so on. This was a series that radiated quality, despite the fact that it aired on a website and not a network. (These days, they’re becoming the same thing.)

And Hulu’s been purchasing and airing various British productions, including Spy, Whites, and QI—some of which you may be able to find on YouTube elsewhere, sure, but still. Spy is a bit like a British version of Chuck (or so I assume, having only the vaguest idea what Chuck was about). Same with Whites and Kitchen Confidential. QI, short for Quite Interesting, is a panel show that teaches me more in 30 minutes than some of my college classes taught me in a semester. Word.

Currently, two Hulu shows are tickling my fancy.

Behind The MaskThe first is Behind the Mask, which follows the lives of four mascots at different levels: high school, college, semi-pro, and professional. They’re scattered across the country, from Las Vegas to Pennsylvania. Some of them are just doing the job while it’s convenient. Others have made it a life calling. I’m pleased to report that the dude who plays Bango (of your humble blogger’s very own MILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLWAUKEE BUCKS!) is not only amazing at it; he loves doing it.

Not as much of the show is dedicated to logistics, but they’re definitely in play. Those costumes are hot. Block your sightlines. Make it even harder to do cartwheels, or slam dunks, or whatever crazy routine you had in mind to pump up da crowd. Plus you’ve got to come up with dances and stunts, get along with the players, keep the peace with your parents/spouse/children…cripes.

In this era, when every profession under the sun has its own reality show, it’s refreshing to get a series about a job I’m actually interested in. Nothing against loggers, truckers, fishers, cupcake artists, duck call makers, beauty pageant contestants, or the Kardashians. But still.

The Wrong MansBut let me also mention The Wrong Mans, about two lowly municipal government employees pulled into a Jack Bauer kind of day. The main character played the sidekick on Spy, so don't keep asking where Tim is (as I did), because they're different shows entirely. It's set in Britain, and chock-full of comedic misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and general incompetence. Think David Brent pretending to be James Bond. I believe it's limited to six half-hour episodes, so the entire time commitment is barely three hours. You know you've wasted more time on movies that weren't half as deserving.

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