What to watch when you’re recuperating

I was discharged from hospital on Tuesday morning. I was only in for a day, which seems pretty good for a complete shoulder replacement. I am fighting against the urge to describe myself as “post-op” even though the use of such a tacky and obvious double-entendre is part of this blog’s mission statement.

I am under strict orders not to lift anything, drive anything, carry anything, move anything, wave my hands in the air like I just don’t care, perform the Haka or engage in that classic schoolboy activity of simulating flatulence with my left armpit.

The hospital have provided a veritable pick’n’mix bag of painkillers, which have been a blast. I can’t work out whether my current tendency to blub like a GURL is because they’re not quite strong enough to deal with all the pain, or some sort of emotional side-effect. I’m going with the former (because I am a manly-man). It is a total coincidence that I had a particularly bad “twinge” yesterday … after flowers and a card were delivered courtesy of my employer.

I have one or two rituals whenever I’m ill, and this enforced convalescence is no exception: I’m flaked-out on the sofa, on a TV-series/DVD-boxset marathon.

In these circumstances, certain TV shows make for better viewing than others. Much as I want to catch-up on Dexter and Breaking Bad, they don’t really seem like suitable viewing material when you’ve just had surgery and are popping prescription drugs. Instead, I am right at the other end of the gore-scale: I’m watching Better Off Ted.

Better Off Ted was a tragically short-lived (only 26 episodes) sitcom. It centred around the R&D department of a faceless, greedy, incompetent-rather-than-evil megacorporation. If you’re a fan of Community, Parks and Recreation, Scrubs, or The Middleman then you’ll feel right at home. The episodes are less than half-an-hour long, and each is largely self-contained – there’s a few plotlines that run throughout, but on the whole you can watch episodes in isolation, in any order.

This makes it ideal for watching when ill, and a great fallback when you’ve not finished unpacking from your recent housemove and can’t find your ‘Allo ‘Allo collection.

Better Off Ted is extremely snappily-written, surreal and engaging programme. It is a terrible shame that it was cancelled as early as it was. Commentators at the time blamed poor advertising – most people just didn’t seem to know it existed!

This issue of poor distribution is echoed if you want to get hold of it now. Only the first series made it to DVD, and then only in the US. Otherwise, it’s only available from iTunes (£20 for the first series, and £25 for the second) or possibly Netflix.

I have no advice to offer on other ways (cough) of getting hold of it, though I suspect anyone who knows their Peer-to-Peer trickery will have little problem.

Anyway, if your TV viewing is a bit lacklustre at the moment and you want a short series to cheer you up for a few evenings, then I can heartily recommend it. Though laughing too much is causing me quite a lot of pain …

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posted in Diary by Oddbloke

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