Autumn is always an exciting time in Cairo: the weather starts to lose the heat of the Egyptian summer, the nights get longer and bring with them the sophistication of dressing up for winter. For fans of television, it also means that there is a whole slew of new TV shows to watch. Even if we don’t get CBS or FX on our satellite TVs, the internet allows us to keep up-to-date with the latest shows from the US and Europe. Say hello to good entertainment, and goodbye to your limited bandwidth quota.
Alan Davies stars in this British comedy about a fine dining chef struggling with past relationships and brushes with Michelin Guide recognition. The show’s characters are colourful and funny in their own right, ranging from the detached and slightly insane restaurant owner to the dysfunctional waitress.
There are moments of The Office-like awkwardness, but mostly the humour comes from the intelligent interplay of characters, almost always pairing up the straight man with the buffoon. This is comedy for foodies without the food porn.
Donal Logue, the lovable obese pothead from Tao of Steve, takes centre stage as a recovering alcoholic and former police officer-cum-private detective in Ocean Beach, California. The show’s opening theme is reason enough to watch the rest of the show, which holds your attention by introducing short-story arcs and identifiable moral dilemmas for the main characters.
While there are elements of comedy; Terriers is, at its heart, a show about dealing with loss and change, and ultimately; making amends.
Comically touted as 'the new Friends' in an episode of 30 Rock (also on NBC), Outsourced revolves around Todd, a young American executive sent to Mumbai, India to take over a customer service call centre. While there are references to the wide-eyed American’s marvel at the Indian culture, it is more about the Indian employees adapting to the American culture foisted upon them by their new boss. Hilarious turns by Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) and a mostly Indian cast make this show worth watching.
When a reality TV fan dates a foodie, there is only one show that they will end up agreeing on watching together: Top Chef. While this spinoff of the popular series does not have the beauty of Padma Laksmhi or the gruff presence of Tom Coliccio, it does have the sarcastic effervescence of Gail Simmons, editor of Food and Wine Magazine. Watch her as she presides over America’s up-and-coming pastry chefs concocting new ways to end your meal.
Bravo is a network that does competitive reality shows well, as fans of Project Runway will attest, and Top Chef: Just Desserts will instil a newfound respect for pastry chefs as more than just sugar spinners and bakeaholics.
Just starting its second season, Community is often overlooked to the detriment of fans of good comedy. The premise of the comedy revolves around a study group of misfits at a sub-par community college (a phrase that is almost redundant in and of itself). Each character brings zany humour and quick-fire one-liners to a group that society would deem as total losers at the game of life.
The first season of Community is highly recommended; so that you can get in on all the inside jokes and self-referential humour.
From the popular twitter feed springs a television show. How the show was born is not important– we’ll take any excuse to see William Shatner as a cantankerous old man trying his best to shut out the outside world. These attempts consistently fail after his youngest son moves back in, bringing a whole new slew of changes from which there is no escape. Will Sasso (Lower Learning) is particularly hilarious as Shatner’s eldest son that is almost incurably cheerful and excited.
This is recommended viewing for sure; but this TV show doesn’t seem to have the staying power to last more than a couple of seasons.