This show has a lot of stuff that I dig, starting with a strong female lead (played by the gorgeous and talented Emmy Rossum) and William H. Macy. Based on a UK series it’s about the Gallaghers, a family of 6 kids with a runaway mom and a drunk dad, and how they push to survive through poverty, their parents’ poor judgement and the number of bad decisions and hardships they all have to overcome as individuals and as a family. With some help from their friends, a spoiled rich guy who is bored of high society and wants nothing more than to be a part of this crazy life and family, a particularly well portrayed agoraphobic mother (Joan Cusack) of a crazy promiscuous daughter, a pair of sexually deviant neighbors who make a living bar tending and making porn and a family of very disturbed miscreants with worse parents than the Gallaghers.
Now while all of this sounds horrible, and it really is hard to watch sometimes, it is absolutely heartwarming. Coming from a life that is not nearly as rough but still pretty bad I can very much relate to a few of the situations these folks get themselves into, and the constant struggle for money is something that I (and I’m sure many many more out there) can wholly identify with. I mean, I’ve watched it twice through, back to back so I’m clearly hooked. It’s like beautiful poetry about a train wreck in slow motion hitting a pile of baby animals… so well written and well acted that you just can’t help but love it.
I was having a craving for something new and nerdy. I hit up my usual methods of internet scouring and came across a show called Level Up. The title screamed gamer and nerd, so I gave it a look. It’s still in it’s first season, but quite a ways in. 20 episodes to be exact. I’m on episode 7 and I just can’t stop watching! I’m actually watching as I write…
A QUICK WALKTHROUGH
Level Up is about a group of high school gamers that inadvertently unleash a horde of online enemies on their quiet little hometown of Daventry Hills. After figuring out that their online personas, who are all part of the same clan in the game, all go to the same high school IRL (that’s ‘in real life’ for all non-gamers out there). They don’t run in the same circles (as TV writing law dictates) with one being a typical nerd, one a slacker and one a jock. As you would expect they don’t get along at first, but eventually band together and figure out how to get these otherworldly animated baddies back to their circuit boards.
SO WHAT DO I THINK?
The show is cute, quick-witted, and cheesy as hell. The weapons they use from the game to dispatch the video game “leaks”, as they call them, seem like they come from some sort of WOW/Ratchet and Clank/Team Fortress 2 hybrid, which is pretty cool. It’s well written, geeky, rediculous, and reminds me of some of my favourite shows. There’s just one thing… I figured there would be more monsters, fighting, and butt kicking. The pilot/movie had a bit more of it than a lot of the episodes, but it’s still holds up.
As I said, I can’t stop watching. It’s like a live-action kids cartoon for online gamers. Almost all the main characters seem familiar although I’ve never seen them before… and it kinda makes me crazy that I can’t put my finger on who they remind me of. I am really enjoying it though, and give it an overall solid.
There is a pretty big library of different space adventure style movies and TV shows that float around in my head. I especially love Cowboy Bebop, a Japanese anime about bounty hunters in space, called cowboys, and very much done like a modern-day western. (See image below) The story was deep, the characters and story lines were beautifully written and it tugged on my heartstrings in all the right ways.
I BRING THIS UP BECAUSE…
Firefly really does bring back a lot of those feelings. Almost immediately I got a really similar vibe and said to myself “like a live-action Cowboy Bebop. Sweeeettttt…” I love that I recognize a lot of good actors from other shows I like, such as Adam Baldwin (also in Chuck), Alan Tudyk (also in Suburgatory), and Gina Torres (also in Suits). Now please don’t think me that stupid, I know Firefly predates these shows. I also just never got around to watching it. I kinda can’t believe it myself.