Uncomfortable viewing

So… how was your week?

The reason there was no Video Vulture column last week is that I was in the hospital having kidney surgery. So now I’m out recovering and eager to get back to the business of watching ridiculous movies for my amusement and for yours.

It occurred to me that I am now in a unique position to appreciate films of the very lowest quality. After 60 hours wearing a catheter how bad is a bad movie really going to seem to me? What an opportunity to jump onto the very crappiest entertainment available so I can gleefully report “This is so much better than having an enormous plastic tube shoved up my urethra! I am delighted by the amateurish acting which is certainly better than I can accomplish while on a morphine drip and by the sluggish pacing which seems like a lively roller-coaster ride compared to the eternity I spent with a rubber hose up my pee-hole.”

So it was with a jittery childlike glee that I plopped myself down to watch Hyenas (2011) a terrible-sounding monster movie about shape-changing fiends who transform into hyena-like creatures in order to feast on human flesh. I was genuinely excited. Perhaps what I would write about Hyenas in my newly forgiving mood would even make it onto the posters! So much better than 60 hours with a foreign object invading my penis! — John Tebbutt; FFWD Weekly.

After about 20 minutes of Hyenas I decided that I didn’t like it and turned it off.

Oh my God. I turned it off! What an incredible feeling of power! The movie wasn’t that terrible — nothing torturous about it at all certainly not in the same league of suffering that I experienced in the hospital… and yet I callously ended the experience simply because I wasn’t really enjoying it very much. This is what I needed to do today! To arbitrarily bring a stop to something that I didn’t like! I feel like a king!

In the hospital I couldn’t really put an end to my unpleasant experiences without harming my own health. Wearing a catheter isn’t as painful as it sounds but the realization that you can’t take it out is maddening. Just imagine if it were as easy to stop as a crappy monster movie.

Bzzt! “Oh nurse! I’ve been wearing this uncomfortable hunk of latex up my dong for a while now and I’m not really digging it. Can we stop?”

“Certainly sir. Just press the ‘Stop’ button on your remote control.”

“Huh. That sounds simple. I’ll justAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Whoa! Hah! Oooooohhhh man that is so much better! Thank you! Okay I’m gonna do some stuff I’ve been wanting to do for a while like get up walk around pee in the toilet… maybe look at my untethered junk in the mirror. You might hear singing.”

“Certainly sir. Call if you need anything else.”

So I abandoned Hyenas and other crappy movies of that ilk and just watched whatever the hell I felt like watching on Netflix. Lots of Community some Futurama I even watched Prometheus (2012) again (totally worth it).

But mostly I watched a brand new Ricky Gervais series exclusive to Netflix called Derek (2012) and it deserves to be recommended. If you’re used to Gervais’ amusingly appalling characters from Extras (2005-07) and the original British version of The Office (2001-03) you’ll be shocked to see him play a genuinely nice and decent person here.

Derek (Gervais) is a slow-witted kind-hearted employee at an old age home. The question of whether or not the character is mentally handicapped is raised but pushed aside as irrelevant as the sweet-natured dimwit sincerely throws himself into the business of improving the lives of the elderly while remaining as socially awkward as any of Gervais’ other characters. Longtime Ricky Gervais punching-bag Karl Pilkington ( An Idiot Abroad ) is hilarious as the long-suffering caretaker Dougie and their loathsome friend Kev (David Earl) provides lots of uncomfortably disgusting laughs that keep Derek from becoming too schmaltzy.

Of course if you’re not in the mood for schmaltz at all you should probably stay clear of a show where the cast members often die of old age leaving their caregivers emotionally crushed but even I found the series completely addictive and raced through all seven episodes in no time. Check it out.