Movies and TV you had a low opinion of going in, but were pleasantly surprised by

Having taken one look at the Kuzco plushies for The Emperor’s New Groove, I decided beyond a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t want to see it. My sister Ellie saw it, loved it, and told me I’d love it, too, if I gave it a chance. I finally caved about a year after it came out, and… I was in stitches the whole time. It became one of my favorite movies of all-time.

She did the same kinda thing with me and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I had no interest in watching it, but she forced me to at least give the first disc a try. At the time, we didn’t have cable, but the first two seasons had come out on DVD. We rented them, a disc or two at a time, from the Blockbuster I worked at, and I eventually bought the complete series box set.

I’ve since learned to trust my sister’s judgement when it comes to movies and TV.

That’s easy. Schitt’s Creek. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one out there who didn’t watch it specifically because of Chris Elliot. But after it had been on for a few years I finally gave in and watched the first episode…and then binged up until wherever it was at the time, probably around season 4. Since it ended, I’ve watched the entire thing, beginning to end, at least 3 or 4 more times. Though sometimes I skip the finale. Too much of a tear jerker.

As it turns out, instead of using Chris Elliot to play some over the top weirdo, they somehow managed to downplay the eccentricities you normally see in his characters, play up his strengths (and ability to be somewhat ‘normal’) and give him just enough screen time that you don’t get sick of him. Plus Dan Levy, Annie Murphy are amazing both individually and together and those two plus Emily Hampshire and Noah Reid…you couldn’t ask for better chemistry.

I watched Ides of March today, hoping it to put me to sleep for a nap, but it kept me away and was pretty “good”. I dunno. Politics and stuff don’t interest me, but it was pretty good.

Believe it or not, Seinfeld. I lived abroad for most of the '90s and saw only one episode (the one with Susan’s doll) when a coworker’s parents brought it to her on videotape. I didn’t find it funny at all, probably because I knew nothing about the characters or the show’s format (there’s always at least one story for each character). After I relocated to Canada, I figured I’d better watch a few episodes just to get a handle on all the catchphrases it spawned. I quickly got hooked on it and can now identify each episode after watching the first few seconds. (My daughter, on the other hand, saw a few when she was studying film in college and hated them. I’ve tried explaining to her that you have to know the backstories to appreciate the humor, but I can still get her only to watch snippets of the show.)

My opinion of sitcoms in general is so low nowadays I have to be really tempted to try a new one. I was surprised when I found myself liking Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, and Corner Gas, which I originally expected to be quite lame.

Mine is Two and a Half Men.

I was not on my radar during its early years and I never sought it out. Then Charlie Sheen had a series of ridiculous behaviors that made me never want to hear his name or see his face. All I knew of the show is that it was relatively raunchy.

I don’t know what eventually led me to watch it, but it can be funny as hell, with wicked smart one-liners and very well-written and acted minor roles to fill in the edges.

Note that I have not seen a single full episode of the post-Sheen version.


Trust me, you don’t want to. :face_vomiting:

For me, it was Buffy: the Vampire Slayer. I’d seen the movie, and thought the show would be the same. One year just after the fourth season had ended, I caught the last few minutes of an episode of Angel, the one in which he locks all the lawyers in with Darla and Drusila.

That was bad-ass enough I wanted to see more of Angel, and how he got to that point. That summer, the Canadian sci fi channel Space got the rights to show all of Buffy and Angel leading up to the debut of Buffy Season 5 in the fall, so I ended up watching them all over the course of a few months.

The original Paul Veerhoeven RoboCop. The ads just made it look dumb (and super-violent). And, besides, hadn’t we seen lots of robots-as-cops shows before? Like Holmes and Yoyo, and Hymie on Get Smart?

So I was ready for this to be abysmal. Then I saw it. Wonderful dark satirical comedy, with nods to C.M. Kornbluth’s The Marching Morons and other SF. Wonderful special effects and makeup. A nice little twist set up and played out.

Ignore the sequels and especially the remake (which shows what you can do with great CGI but no wit).

Agree about RoboCop. I remember seeing the trailer in the theater and people were laughing at it, it looked ridiculous. Then when the movie came out and actually got some decent reviews, I went to see it with a friend and we really enjoyed it.

The Emperor’s New Groove, for sure. And it became one of my top ten favorites of all time.

I’m actually not a movie person and need to be dragged to see just about anything, so this happens a lot. I remember being made to go see a movie with my mother when I was about seventeen, and I was just so annoyed at having to go do this horrid boring thing, and the movie turned out to be Rain Man. Which is of course, a terrific movie.

Galaxy Quest. “Sci-Fi spoof comedy starring Tim Allen” frankly sounds like the worst direct-to-VHS premise ever. I don’t even remember what compelled me to rent it originally instead of putting the box back on the shelf. Like many here, turned out to be one of my favorite movies.

My 80 year old mother loved Two and a Half Men. I would be sitting at her house reading the paper and it would be on her tv and I could not believe my ears! But I warmed up to it, the first couple seasons were hilarious.

As for movies, way back in the 70’s my friends insisted I go see a movie all the rage about boxing. Boxing! I said, no way! but we went to see it, and of course we loved it! (The whole theater exploded into applause at the end, never heard that ever again.). ‘Rocky’, the first, the original.

I had no idea what Tucker & Dale vs Evil was about but found it hilarious. Wanting to laugh and scream at the same time – the young man accidentally dives head first into the wood chipper – is a great feeling.

And yes, once again I’m crowing about Selfie. A sit-com about cell phone texting? As if. Karen Gillan was adorable and John (Star Trek re-boot) Cho was rock solid and just as the show was finding it’s footing – gone!

Another one for me. IT Crowd (British Version). I honestly didn’t know anything about it and didn’t really care to watch it. However (and this happens to me more often than it should), I happened upon a youtube clip of “IT Crowd Bloopers”*, which led me down a rabbit hole of Best of Moss, Richmond’s Best Lines, Funniest Jen Moments etc. After I felt like I watched, literally, more than half the show in youtube clips I figured I should watch it. Ended up loving it.
For those that haven’t seen it. It’s sorta kinda similar to the office, but very, very easy to digest. No big story arcs and most of the jokes are right there in your face. It doesn’t even attempt to be smart or clever and there’s little to no ‘sappy’ parts. I guess it’s more like Reno 911 than The Office.
Also, I heard the American version is awful.

*For some reason, when I’m interested in a show, I’ll sometimes check out bloopers online first. Not only does it give you a feel for the show without really spoiling anything, it gives you a good feel for the chemistry between the actors.

My sister was living with me in the early 90s and she would stop at the video store on Fridays and rent several movies. She would just grab whatever covers looked interesting to her and she ended up watching a lot of crap. One day she started watching something and I could hear it from the next room. After about five minutes I went in and asked her what she was watching because it sounded funny. She offered to start it over, and that’s how I ended up watching and loving “Tremors”.

A few years later, my mom and I took my nephew to some movie, I don’t remember which one, and they were showing a trailer for “Babe”. My mom said it looked cute and I said it looked dumb. A few months later, after we saw “Babe”, I conceded that she was right and I was wrong. She cherished that admission until the day she died.

Cougar Town, due to the name and starring Courtney Cox from Friends (which I don’t like) I had no interest in it. But the Abed character on Community liked it so well that I gave it a shot.

Like Parks & Rec, the first season is a little uneven but it’s actually a really good lightweight show with a great cast, sort of like King of Queens.

Also the Harry Potter movies, they always seemed childish to me and there were a lot of them, I didn’t really want to commit my time to them. I went to Universal Studios FL and they did such a good job with the Harry Potter sections that I then wanted to see the movies and learn what everything was about, and I enjoyed the movies a lot.

I’m going to assume you know this, but for people that loved Community and never watched Cougar Town, Abed was in the scene he said he was in, and it played out just like he said it did.

I’ve never seen Cougar Town, but for some reason I thought they did a similar things with Community, but I could be misremembering.

I had an injured friend and snatched up a bunch of videos to entertain him. We watched the first one – Home Alone – I fell asleep. Could not keep my eyes open. Then with no expectations we started watching Tremors, and I was laughing so hard I was wide awake. Just when I wanted to go to sleep!

For me it was Scrubs. Based on how NBC promoted before it aired, I thought it looked like it was going to be silly and dumb. But since it was the days before streaming when you had to watch whatever was on, I watched it just because it was on after Friends or whatever it was that was on before it at the time, and it turned out to be really good.

More recently I had pretty much the same experience with The Orville. Based on the promos Fox was airing, it looked like it was just some stupid Seth McFarland comedy that just happened to be set in a Star Trek like universe. But then I heard other people talk about how much they liked it, so I gave it a try, and it turned out to be much better then I expected. Rather than the straight up comedy Fox made it made it out to be, it was more like an homage to Star Trek, with a little bit of comedy thrown in.

Yes, I loved that bit of meta meta, a fictional character in a sitcom talks about being in the background of a real-life show, and he actually was on the real-life show.

And yes, Travis and Laurie from Cougar Town had a tiny appearance together in one of the Community paintball episodes, IIRC they were standing together in a crowd but it was clearly them.