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Author Topic: Doc Martin on British Telly..  (Read 1411 times)


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Doc Martin on British Telly..
« on: March 16, 2011, 06:24:26 pm »

I admit to having an unusual sense of humor. I recently discovered Doc Martin on BBC and can direct stream it from Netflix!

(I also like Mr. Bean, Red Dwarf, Father Ted and Black Adder)

Anyone else want to admit to the quirky sense of humor?
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.  Jefferson

"The universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on government contract." Heinlein

Klapton Isgod

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Re: Doc Martin on British Telly..
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2011, 07:16:13 pm »

We love Doc Martin.  Great show.
"I got things under control, that's why people call me an extremist.  I'm autonomous.  I understand that I declare my independence every day."  Ted Nugent

"It is the conservative laissez- fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, 'Limit yourself'; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian."  Murray Rothbard


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Re: Doc Martin on British Telly..
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 09:44:20 am »

Check out the criminally under-seen series Ideal, if you haven't. I consider it one of the masterpieces of television. My review:

" Is It One Big Thing Or A Lot Of Little Things?"

One of the best things in life is, oddly enough, being proved wrong. While it may smack and sting the ego a bit, you most often discover that with the crumbling of what was a certainty, an entirely new path to approach the world has been opened up.

Years back, I decided that I’d seen everything possible that could be done with the half-hour sitcom format. Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Seinfeld, M*A*S*H. I’d seen the format tackle everything from SF, to historical revisionism, to a pleasant nihilism and slapstick physical comedy transformed into an escalating ballet of frustration. After the above mentioned examples, I was sure that the gleam had worn off, the best had been achieved, and there was nowhere to go but down. And, for most of those years, every sitcom I encountered simply added to that certainty.

But a couple months ago, I was proved wrong. It took only a few moments of viewing to know I was wrong, and the proof of my mistake — far from annoying or angering me — filled me with glee and that incomparable feeling of seeing something really freakin’ cool for the first time.

The proof was an episode of Ideal, a sitcom written by a mad-genius named Graham Duff*, broadcast on BBC 3, and probably made on a budget about a quarter of any of the stalwarts I mentioned above.

Ideal takes place mostly in the Salford (Manchester, England) apartment of one Moz (Johnny Vegas, in an outstanding performance) — a man in his early thirties who earns a subsidence living as a small time dope-dealer who (from moral standards and simple interest) deals only with hash and weed. His best friend, a police constable, supplies him with confiscated drugs, Moz sells ‘em and they split the money and stay constantly high. Moz is fat, crude, slovenly and lazy — but he’s also possessed of a rapier wit, a surprising amount of sexual magnetism, and a truly honorable streak of loyalty to his friends and neighbors. Much of the intrigue of the show is in Moz’s school-boy like inability to stick to one woman, even though he actually loves the woman he’s with. It’s just that he, well, loves all the rest of them too.

Even when the show ventures out of Moz’s apartment, it never (in over six years) moves further than the upper floor of his apartment building. Part of the genius of Duff and his collaborators is that, despite that fact, the show never feels claustrophobic or limited. Partly this is because of the sheer technical skill those collaborators possess: Ideal is shot like a stylish film, edited with skill and grace, and directed at an often frenetic pace. The many, many characters (most of them Moz’s friends, neighbors and customers) move in and out of his life like the tides of some mysterious sea — bringing word of a distant and rather frightening outside world. And inside that inner world, even the strangest of things seem possible. The show, though mostly a comedy, doesn’t shy away from real human emotion, drama and even tragedy. What’s more, there are deep seams of fantasy and horror to be found within the overall narrative — fantasy and horror of a distinctly sophisticated and mature type. This isn’t a show for people who want to zone out and giggle, it requires thought and memory and attention to enjoy the puzzle-like unfolding text to its fullest. Small details from one episode return to loom large in another, far down the line. What you think is a minor character is revealed to be of the utmost importance to a plot you didn’t even know he or she was involved with.

The show flirts with absurdity but, refreshingly, never dives over the line. Within the bizarre universe Duff constructs, patently absurd characters not only make sense, but attain pathos and become people you actually care about. A major character is a low-rent hit-man named Cartoon Head who lives with a cartoon mouse mask super-glued to his face and is never seen to talk onscreen. His right hand man is a low-voiced former drug dealer named Psycho Paul who threatens his many enemies with a Phillips screwdriver. There’s a recovering necrophiliac named Judith next door, who falls in love with Moz after he slips into a coma from overdosing on psilocybin mushrooms and she takes advantage of him. There’s a lovable woman who is so damned stupid that she exits stupidity to discover a strange wisdom. There’s a pretentious duo of electro-art rockers called The Silicone Valets, the lead singer of which may very well be the returned Messiah. And the less said about the masked, agoraphobic vicar named The Fist the better.

Absurd, yes — but these actors and this writer pulls them off somehow. You actually find yourself involved with these grotesques and freaks, concerned about the trouble they’re constantly getting into, hoping their fleeting relationships could last and work.

Ideal began in 2005 and has run in typically short (8 episode) British style series since then. There’s a seventh series coming this year and I find myself looking forward to it more than any other show. Ideal gets in your head and under your skin — and you don’t want it to leave.

If you have Netflix, and want to try something new and different, add this to your queue. One episode will be enough to know if you love it or hate it. Like many of the best pieces of art, there’s very little middle ground.

* Graham Duff, in addition to writing and producing almost every episode, also co-stars as one of the funniest and most compelling characters: the wildly promiscuous, quite flaming Brian. Showing up at Moz’s door with an un-ending parade of ’scrummy’ new boyfriends, Brian is also the person who cares most about Moz and his troubles, giving usually good advice and counseling against the many daft plans his dealer gets involved in. Duff has risen quickly to become something of a hero of mine, a multi-talented auteur who marches to his own drum and has managed to carve out a distinct vision in one of the most indistinct mediums an artist can work in. At this point, I’d watch anything with his name on it.
"We got a warrant sworn for attempted murder for them that tried to kill the boy who's laying over there at the Doc's, trying to stay alive. Swore out another one for them that murdered the big fella you had in your cell. Only ours ain't writ by no tin star, bought and paid for, Marshal. It's writ by us, and we aim to enforce it."

-- Boss Spearman , Open Range

"I see as much misery from them movin; to justify theirselves as them who set out to do harm." - Doc, Deadwood
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