Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The two best shows not on American television

"EZ Streets"
This unfairly shortened masterpiece ran on CBS for 8 episodes from 96-97, detailing urban & police corruption in a nearly surrealistic, decaying city vaguely reminiscent of either Detroit or Buffalo (since it takes place near the Canadian border). Admittedly pretty dark stuff with a running conspiracy plot that seemed to be a hallmark of Paul Haggis, the creator of Due South and later working on the also unjustly-neglected "Michael Hayes". It remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time; the abandoned landscapes alone are marvels of beauty and possible infiltration. Fortunately, the folks at Trio have been running it sporadically, along with an unaired 9th episode; track it down forthwith.

"This Is Wonderland"
This legal dramedy appeared in Canada in 2004 and is coming back for another go-round. It takes place in Toronto, and lovers of that city should have no trouble with the landmarks, particularly Old City Hall where it takes place. It follows Alice into the rabbit hole of the legal system, as she valiantly attempts to deal with the polyglot of petty criminals laid at her feet. Dizzying, silly, well-acted, particularly buoyed up by Cara Pifko as the heroine, it would sink like an EZ Streets were it to be shown here. Here's another website.

NP: The Fiery Furnaces--"EP"


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