By Paula Hendrickson
What’s fun about TV these days is the sheer depth and breadth of programming on cable, satellite and online. It’s not a stretch to say there’s a show for everyone. Often, the trick lies in actually finding the shows.
To simplify the conversation, we won’t get into the plethora of web series available on the Internet, just shows that air on TV, even if it’s something you have to watch later online because you don’t get the channel it’s on.
IFC has a new half-hour comedy, Maron, that’s built around comedian and podcaster Marc Maron. While I wasn’t familiar with Maron’s podcast, an IFC executive I spoke with about it last year was so excited that they got my attention. Knowing Denis Leary is an executive producer also intrigued me, and should alert viewers to the fact that although the humor may be coarse at times, there’s also good chance the humor will be insightful at times.
Some critics might claim Maron is riding on the coattails of FX’s groundbreaking Louis, starring Louis C.K. To some extent, it’s true. Both shows have comedians playing heightened versions of themselves. Louis uses stand-up routines to tie things together, and Maron uses his podcast to do the same thing. But the shows differ because C.K. and Maron both have unique comedic voices.
I was more surprised to see another celebrity being himself on TV. I’d seen the title Live From Daryl’s House on my cable company’s programing grid, but envisioned some sort of Wayne’s World I’m-taping-a-show-in-my-basement kind of series.
Last week, on an episode of This Old House, of all things, they had a segment touring Daryl Hall’s rambling 18th-century home in upstate New York. (Yes, Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates fame.) After Norm Abrams told viewers the kitchen might look familiar to fans of Live from Daryl’s House, everything finally clicked.
I didn’t have to wait long until an episode was on. Why? Live From Daryl’s House — which originated as an award-winning web series — repeats on Palladia almost constantly. (Palladia is Viacom’s high-def music channel.)
I was never what you’d call a Hall and Oates fan, but you can’t deny the duo was responsible for a lot of pop hits over the years, and Hall’s voice is among the most familiar of his generation. Guess what? The show was also kind of cool. Each week, Hall invites a noted musician or band to his home, they play music, cook, eat and play more music, all while sharing stories about their songs and careers.
If you take a few minutes to scan the channels, it’s amazing what you might find. Try it, and let me know what programs you discover.
Maron airs Fridays at 9 p.m. (Central) on IFC.
Live From Daryl’s House airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. (Central) on Palladia and repeats episodes almost every day of the week.
Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Follow her on Twitter at P_Hendrickson and send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the May 15-21, 2013, issue