Summer has come and summer has gone here in Greece. The idyllic islands, the long sandy beaches, the beautiful sunsets, yeah, we know all that. But for some of us who should get a life with time in our hands summer is important for one more thing: Reruns of comedy television series on Greek TV.
In other countries cable and streaming networks thrive to produce mind-blowing series even during the summer heat. But not in Good Ol’ Summer TV Wasteland Greece. I watched plenty of them. Here’s what I learned.
The Business Side Of Things: In almost every comedy series there is a large company that nobody can figure out exactly what they are selling. It is just ‘a firm’. The CEO is a middle age hick straight out of a used car commercial who makes bad jokes with the young executives and hits on the younger ladies like a crocodile on an impala 6 months after his last meal. He never works. Ever. His secretary probably thinks that Adelaide is the Emir of Dubai, needs a seminar on how to put through ‘line two’, engages in cringing, beyond awkward dialogue(with her, you know, boss), but they all laugh along anyway.
The Mother: The dominant force in the family. She has a deluxe pass at her daughter’s property (the doors are always unlocked like in Friends), where she invades unannounced to play housewife, marriage counselor, financial advisor and read excerpts from the book ‘How To Destroy A Marriage In 10 Days’. Her husband is usually a spineless pensioner with an unenvying ability to chalk down insult after insult. He spends his time growing plants in the garden and is the king of guy that you would meet at a Synaspismos rally (before they became SYRIZA and all that).
The Couple: The man is usually a bona fide douchebag ,who studied IT at a University in the buckeyes of nowhere but is too lazy to get a real job. The daft fiancée supports him, always falls victim to kindergarten-like trickery in order to give him some pocket money to go get wasted with his friends, but if he promises dinner and a movie her ovaries explode. When they do go out they only visit one lousy restaurant, where the lanky,nosey waiter inserts himself into the conversation about anything, from the color of the bathroom curtain to tips on how to improve their sex life, if any.
The Children: Think of those show-stealing , adorable, adopt-material kids on Stranger Things. And then think again. The kids in Greek comedy series are obnoxious, loud, foul-mouthed and can’t act to save their lives. They always go ‘wise head on a young shoulder’. You’re a kid. Be sweet and innocent. You’ll have plenty of time to be a prick to everybody when you grow up. The fact that their parents are usually portrayed as something that would make Forrest Gump look like a brain surgeon doesn’t help either.
The Neighbors: Forget Alexis vs Krystle in Dynasty or Frank Underwood vs Raymond Tusk in House of Cards. Your neighbor is your mortal enemy, one that must be obliterated at all costs. You play nice with them occasionally, but you wouldn’t throw a rope if they were drowning, you’d probably go for a selfie to celebrate the occasion. And for no apparent reason. Just pure, unadulterated hatred.
With cheap shots that never looked so cheap and revenge plots from a bad high-school play.
Binge watching, you said? Binge, please.