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"Family Tree" - Christopher Guest's new show on HBO


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#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:38 AM

I almost forgot to set a timer for this one last week. Boy, I'm glad I didn't forget.

 

In the spirit of Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, Christopher Guest has given us "Family Tree". Critics are indicating that it will take a few episodes before it really gets rolling, but all the promise was there in the first episode.

 

This show gently mocks, but also subtly respects, those who are led to pursue their genealogy by the accidental discovery of just one ancestor they didn't know know had existed.

It's a half hour a week of pure amusement for those who love Guest's work. From one review:

 

Employing some of the same comic tone of his work on memorable mockumentaries (“This Is Spinal Tap,” “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind,” “For Your Consideration”), Guest has assembled a worthy and adept ensemble of oddballs.....

 

Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”; “Girls”) stars as Tom Chadwick, a Londoner who is compelled to start looking into his family history when a great aunt he hardly knew, Victoria, leaves him a box of random keepsakes — mostly rubbish — after her death. Tom, who’s been recently dumped by his girlfriend and downsized out of a job, finds hope in the idea that these objects mean something. This is always the soothing discovery of the genealogy nut, who realizes the weight of history. Generations come and go, and our biggest problems and griefs are just a mere stitch in the tapestry.

 

Tom’s father, Keith (Michael McKean), lives in the suburbs and obsessively watches old sitcoms — one of the best things about “Family Tree,” at this stage, is its deft lampooning of British TV...

 

The pilot is repeated Sunday prior to the airing of episode 2.


"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
A GEEZER who remembers watching TV in 1951 and was an Echostar customer from 1988 to 2008, now a Dish Network customer.
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#2 ONLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:08 AM

I set a Series Link for it but haven't started watching yet. With lots of shows ending this week I'm sure I'll have the time now.

 

Chris O'Dowd was awesome in "The IT Crowd" so I would have been recording it even if it weren't a Christopher Guest show, that's just icing on the cake.


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#3 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

Chris O'Dowd was awesome in "The IT Crowd" ....

That's one reason I was looking forward to this show. Guest seemingly finds the perfect talent for understated comedy.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
A GEEZER who remembers watching TV in 1951 and was an Echostar customer from 1988 to 2008, now a Dish Network customer.
My AV Setup
My Slingbox Pro HD Experience
My Blog: The Redwood Guardian


#4 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:05 PM

I was looking forward to this.  But unfortunately, as with almost all HBO original comedies IMO, I don't like it at all.  Very boring.


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#5 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:13 PM

Did you see any of the movies Guest did that phrelin mentioned? Hated them, too? I'd be curious to know if there's a correlation, even a negative one. 

 

I am setting a recording now, as I loved those flicks.

 

 


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#6 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:53 PM

No I haven't seen any of them.  Though if the movies are like this show, I probably wouldn't like them either.  But in the interest of fairness, if I notice them on a channel I'll give them a viewing.  At worst I can sleep through them!!  :)


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#7 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

It's also being shown numerous times prior to Sunday- both of the first two eps. 


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#8 OFFLINE   swyman18

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

No I haven't seen any of them. Though if the movies are like this show, I probably wouldn't like them either. But in the interest of fairness, if I notice them on a channel I'll give them a viewing. At worst I can sleep through them!! :)


His movies have very understated humor, and use a mocking tone. "A Mighty Wind" is one of my favorite movies, but I can certainly understand someone tuning in and wondering what the heck it's all about.

This is Spinal Tap is a classic.

"But... this one goes to eleven".

#9 ONLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 05:19 PM

"But... this one goes to eleven".

 

"No, no, no...  don't touch that.  In fact, don't even look at it."


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#10 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:28 PM

Fred Willard appears in most of the movies- maybe all- that Guest has directed. Y'all may recall he was in the news not long ago. A favorite quote:

 

“I love Fred Willard,” Albert Brooks wrote after Willard was caught in a compromising position in a Hollywood film theater. “He's a great guy. For his birthday I'm getting him a den and a computer.”


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#11 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 01:18 PM

I was looking forward to this.  But unfortunately, as with almost all HBO original comedies IMO, I don't like it at all.  Very boring.

Humor is a very personal thing and I understand that this show isn't going to be for everyone.

 

What I've learned over the years is that a comedy show can be very popular but I don't get it - it just doesn't strike my funny bone. And on television, this occurs in cycles when I feel like I'm completely out of synch with our culture. I like Guest's stuff, but I do understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea.


"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
A GEEZER who remembers watching TV in 1951 and was an Echostar customer from 1988 to 2008, now a Dish Network customer.
My AV Setup
My Slingbox Pro HD Experience
My Blog: The Redwood Guardian


#12 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

Well, to underscore part of what phrelin says, I will state, perhaps confess is a better word: I cannot stand the Three Stooges. There. So shoot me. The slapstick of Chaplin and some others of that era is, for me, not even close to being in the same boat; i.e., I loved much of it. 


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#13 ONLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:04 AM

Guest's comedy is for those of us who appreciate some "thinking" with their comedy.  It's an acquired taste.


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