Office Space

  • Directors: Mike Judge
  • Producers: Daniel Rappaport, Michael Rotenberg
  • Writers: Mike Judge
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Diedrich Bader, Gary Cole, Stephen Root, John C McGinley

The film is centered on a group of software engineers working at Initech, a company plagued by excessive management. Much of the film’s plot involves everyday annoyances of office work in a cube farm setting evocative of the Dilbert comic strip.

Peter Gibbons is a disgruntled programmer at Initech. Peter spends his days “staring at his desk” instead of reprogramming bank software for the then-expected Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar, who is annoyed by the fact that nobody can pronounce his last name correctly; Michael Bolton, who loathes having the same name as the famous singer, whom he hates; and Milton Waddams, a meek, fixated collator who constantly mumbles to himself (most notably about his workmates borrowing his favorite red Swingline stapler). All four are repeatedly bullied and harassed by management, especially Initech’s callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh. The staff are further agitated by the arrival of two consultants, informally known as “The Bobs” since they share the same first name, who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing.

Peter is depressed, bored, and pushed around at work. He attends an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his girlfriend, Anne. The obese hypnotherapist, Dr. Swanson, suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter wakes up the next morning and ignores continued calls from Anne (who confesses to cheating and leaves him) and Lumbergh (who was expecting Peter to work over the weekend). Peter announces that he will simply not go to work anymore, instead pursuing his lifelong dream of “doing nothing,” and asks out Joanna, a waitress who shares Peter’s loathing of idiotic management and love of the television program Kung Fu. Joanna works at Chotchkie’s, a restaurant that plays on TGI Friday’s interior decoration and uniform standards (Joanna’s hatred for her occupation eventually culminates in an argument with her boss and her being fired after she gives him the finger).

The last scene of the movie shows that Milton has made his way to a resort in Mexico with the money Peter left in Lumbergh’s office.

True Blood

  • Directors:
  • Producers:
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
  • Actors: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Mehcad Brooks, Anna Camp, Nelsan Ellis, Michelle Forbes, Todd Lowe, Michael McMillian, Jim Parrack, Adina Porter, Carrie Preston, Michael Raymond James, William Sanderson, Deborah Ann Woll, with, Lynn Collins, Lizzy Caplan, and, Lois Smith, Stephen Root

Following the creation of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a telepath and waitress at Merlotte’s in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), a shapeshifter—though this secret is kept hidden. One night, Sookie meets Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old vampire who has returned to Bon Temps following the death of his last remaining relative. As she cannot hear his thoughts, she finds it easy to be in his company and over the first season, the two become romantically involved.

The main mystery of the first season concerns the murders of women connected to Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten). First Maudette Pickens, then Dawn Green, and Amy Burley, are all strangled shortly after having intercourse with Jason. Though the town sheriff suspects Jason is the killer, Jason and Sookie’s grandmother is murdered shortly afterwards. At the end of the season it is revealed that Arlene Fowler’s fiancee Rene Lenier is actually Drew Marshall with a fake Cajun accent, who has been killing women he considers vampire lovers.

In addition to the murders, the first season concentrates on Sookie’s relationship with Bill, and Sam’s relationship with Sookie’s friend, Tara. Bill explains the rules of being a vampire to Sookie and, after he finds himself killing a vampire to defend Sookie, he is forced to sire a young girl, Jessica, as punishment. In the last episode of the season, the new vampire is left with Bill. After Maudette and Dawn’s murders, Jason becomes addicted to vampire blood, “v-juice”, and has a short relationship with another addict, Amy, which ends when she is murdered by Drew. At the end of season one, Jason joins the anti-vampire movement Fellowship of the Sun and seems to be clean.

The second season has several overlapping plots. Lafayette is imprisoned by Eric, Jason joins the anti-vampire Church of the Fellowship of the Sun, and Maryann causes mayhem in Bon Temps. Meanwhile, Jessica inadvertently causes conflict between Sookie and Bill.

Leatherheads

  • Directors: George Clooney
  • Producers: George Clooney, Barbara A Hall, Grant Heslov, Casey Silver, Jeffrey Silver, Sydney Pollack
  • Writers: George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Duncan Brantley, Rick Reilly, Stephen Schiff
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: George Clooney, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Root, Wayne Duvall, Keith Loneker, Robert Baker

Clooney plays Jimmy “Dodge” Connelly, captain of a struggling professional American football team during the 1920s, the Duluth Bulldogs. Dodge is determined to save both his team and pro football in general when the players lose their sponsor and the league is on the brink of collapse. He convinces a college football star, Carter “the Bullet” Rutherford, to join the Bulldogs, hoping to capitalize on Carter’s fame as a decorated hero of the First World War (like Alvin York, he singlehandedly captured a large group of German soldiers).

In addition to his legendary tales of combat heroism, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed and skill on the field. As a result of his presence, both the Bulldogs and pro football in general begin to prosper.

Zellweger provides a romantic interest as Chicago newspaper reporter Lexie Littleton, who becomes the object of the affections of both Dodge and Carter. One knows but the other doesn’t that Lexie has been assigned to find proof that Carter’s war heroics are bogus. Indeed, Carter confesses that the surrender of the Germans was a lucky accident and in no way heroic.

Meanwhile, Dodge’s attempts to legitimize pro football start to backfire, as rules are formalized, taking away much of the improvisational antics that made the game fun for many of its players.

With his own playing career near an end, Dodge gets to play in one last big game. This time it will be against Carter, who has changed sides to the Chicago team. Their rivalry for Lexie’s affection spills over onto the football field for one last day.