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Long Live the Job Wheel!
on August 1, 2006
This is still one of my favorite shows ever: roommates Curtis (whose dislike of leaving the house and attachment to TV have reached the point of being mental health issues) and Nathan (with anger management and anal retentive issues of his own) barely manage to co-exist in their Kensington Market apartment. In the first episode, the arrival of Nathan's newly-homeless girlfriend Hope coincides with an incident that pushes Nathan over the edge and takes the show in a very different direction from what I had expected. I hesitate to say anything else, because if you've seen the show you don't need the plot described, and if you haven't seen it, I don't want to ruin any surprises.
The show takes characters that some people would dismiss as slackers or losers and makes them sympathetic. It's not that it excuses their behavior or makes it appealing, but the viewer does come to understand what's going on inside their heads and lives that drives Curtis to double-rent every square inch of the apartment and Hope to agree to live in a closet. Bruce McCulloch is great as slightly menacing Rex Reilly, whose Jerry Springer-like talk show is the "high" point of Curtis' day. There's also a parade of new roommates, most of whom don't even last a full episode due to either their own issues or their inability to deal with the issues of Curtis.
The second season is not as strong as the first, in my opinion. After the opening episode, which focused on Nathan's struggle to adapt after his conviction, the second season was more over-the-top. It's still good television ("Klan Bake" in particular cracks me up every time) but the pathos that worked so well in the first season wasn't there. Bruce McCulloch was also replaced by Mark McKinney, who played Rex Reilly in a completely different manner; I understand why, but still preferred Season 1 Rex.
There isn't really a category to describe "Twitch City". It's definitely not a "dramedy" although it's got both hilarious and tense/sad moments, it doesn't have a laugh track, it's not afraid to get bizarre. If you've got a darker sense of humor, you should definitely check it out.