Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 5 fictional TV shows

List by Danielle, Natalie and Tosca

"Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover."
~ Homer Simpson

Danielle: The inspiration for this list came from a New Books list find, Paul Hornschemeier's Life with Mr Dangerous, a slice-of-life graphic novel about getting your creative mojo back that includes an homage to a surreal little cartoon called 'Mr Dangerous'. I got to thinking: what other meta-fictional TV shows might we have known and loved in our reading & watching? Thanks to Wikipedia, I have an incomplete but very entertaining list, which includes some of our choices below.

The Truman Show
TV show: The Truman Show
Truman doesn't realize that his hometown is a giant studio set run by a visionary producer/director/creator, that the people who living and work there are Hollywood actors, and that even his wife is a contract player. Gradually, he discovers the truth, and develops his own response to the discovery.
Tosca: My mind was blown by the thought of what it would be like to find that your entire life was an experiment, to be massively betrayed by a secret reality tv conspiracy. A great idea for a movie - even Jim Carrey (insert rude noise) couldn't wreck it.

Life with Mr. Dangerous : a cartoon / by Paul Hornschemeier
TV show: Mr Dangerous
Somewhere in the Midwest, Amy Breis is going nowhere. Amy has a job she hates, a creep boyfriend she's just dumped, and a best friend she can't reach on the phone. But at least her (often painfully passive-aggressive) mother bought her a pink unicorn sweatshirt for her birthday. Pink. Unicorn. For her twenty-sixth birthday. Gliding through the daydreams and realities of a young woman searching for definition...
Danielle: There's a lovely, heartfelt scene where lonely, self-loathing Amy winds up in a near-empty ice-cream shop on her birthday, and, inspired by the willingness of the man behind the counter to actually talk to her, ends up on an impassioned description of her favourite cult show, Mr Dangerous. Ice cream boy's response: Wow, sounds interesting - not really my kind of thing though. This graphic novel should be dedicated to all of us who have had a mad (and overly-talkative) jones for one show or another.

Magic for beginners / Kelly Link (short story from Pretty monsters)
TV show: The Library
Weird, wicked, spooky and delightful, Pretty Monsters is a book of tall tales to keep you up all night. Blending fairytale, fantasy, horror, myth and mischief in a delicious cocktail, Kelly Link creates a world like no other.
Danielle: Kelly Link write fabulously quirky, genre-defying short stories, and this is a classic tale (and not just 'cause of the library connection). If you've ever obsessed over a show with friends, try out this tale of a renegade TV show which has no schedule and where the actors routinely swap parts, starring duelling librarians, wizard-pirates and Forbidden Books! But wait, it gets weirder...

Futurama
TV shows: many, including The Scary Door, Single Female Lawyer and Everybody Loves Hypnotoad
Natalie: The Scary Door was a satire of The Twilight Zone. The best thing was the very seriously read introduction: "You are entering the vicinity of an area adjacent to a location. The kind of place where there might be a monster, or some kind of weird mirror. These are just examples; it could also be something much better. Prepare to enter: The Scary Door."

Daria
TV show: Sick, Sad World
Natalie: Sick, Sad World was a spoof of vacuous television in general. It was rare to actually see any part of an episode of Sick, Sad World on Daria, all we saw was the ads for what was coming up next. Some of my favourites were "Are bats sneaking into your neighborhood disguised as cute flying squirrels? Rabid Rodent Rip-off, tonight on Sick, Sad World." and "Could a family of ghosts be living in your house, rent free? Freeloading Familial Phantoms, next on Sick, Sad World."

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