what i'm watching: dylan moran, simon pegg, bad cable packages

Zip finally sent us "Hot Fuzz"... and it was damaged and wouldn't play. I won't say that's typical, but I will say it didn't surprise me. We wait again.

Last night we watched "Shaun of the Dead," which Simon Pegg wrote several years before Hot Fuzz. I've wanted to see it since it came out, and I'm glad we finally did. It's very funny.

Good comedies are hard to come by for me. Most of what's out there and supposed to be comedy just doesn't make me laugh. Or, it doesn't make me laugh enough. A few chuckles is not enough payoff to sit through a whole movie. Shaun of the Dead was funny throughout. It's occasionally disgusting, but none of the violence is believable, and most of it is hilarious.

We cheered when Dylan Moran, an Irish comedian, appeared in a supporting role. We loved Moran's series, Black Books, which he wrote and stars in. One season was on Comedy Central in the US, late at night, never promoted. We couldn't believe how funny it was - and then it was gone.

That happens to us all the time. The comedies we love disappear, and the ones we hate - or at best, are indifferent to - run for years on every channel. Will someone please run Black Books or TV Funhouse? Why is my TV clogged with 12 episodes a day of Everybody Loves Raymond but no one can bring me a single episode of Dr. Katz? There are at least three nostalgia-themed stations, yet not one shows re-runs of Get Smart.

The Wikipedia entry for "Black Books" tells me it's related to Simon Pegg's series "Spaced", and that several actors have appeared in both shows. Now we'll have to try to see "Spaced", too. The family trees of British comedies are often worth pursuing.

We'll eventually have to buy Black Books, or we'll never see it again. Meanwhile, I recommend Shaun of the Dead.

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