Friday, January 13, 2017

Now on Netflix: Borderline (2016)

Borderline (2016) - Directed by Matt Jones; Written by Chris Gau, Michael Orton-Toliver; Starring Liz Kingman, David Avery, Jackie Clune, David Elms, Jamie Michie, Guz Khan, Sunil Patel.

By Kenny Howell

It's tough to separate Borderline from what has come before, specifically The Office.

The British show is a workplace comedy with a very approachable cute girl who is in love with a guy she is really meant to be with, who make fun of a dweeby co-worker while their boss who really wants to be liked by everyone tries to keep it together. There are also a bunch of other oddballs on the team.

It's a shame the similarities are so on the nose because the cast is quite good, especially Liz Kingman, and the show does generate quite a few laughs.

The workplace here is the Northend Airport where we follow the border control team. It is a small regional airport, so not a lot happens there, so you deal with some team members that take everything too seriously, and the other members that kind of roll their eyes at the whole situation.

Chief among those eye rollers is Andy, short for Andrea, played by the aforementioned Kingman. She is perfect for this style because she has a natural reactionary style that works well in the straight man role. Her buddy is Tariq (David Avery), a wannabe DJ who doesn't want to be there as much as Andy. Their boss is Proctor (Jackie Clune), a hard drinking, desperate to be liked woman who mangles some basic managerial tasks. Chief weirdo is Clive (David Elms), a squeaky voiced squirrel of a man who desperately wants to be a policeman as much as he wants everyone to be his friend.

There have been plenty of mockumentaries throughout the years, and the original The Office kind of set the modern trend for it in TV. The ones that have worked have separated itself with their characters. Parks and Recreation was very similar to The Office in setup, but really had unique characters, and very funny people playing them.

Borderline has those funny people, but it is so close to The Office that it is hard not to get distracted. The series is directed by Matt Jones, who some people may remember as playing Badger on Breaking Bad. I would love to see him assemble this team again, and mix it up a bit, because I am sure it would be quite good. Still, Borderline is worth checking out if you just want a few laughs.

Borderline is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2

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