So I've written about the first two seasons of the semi-improvised-grocery-based-situation-comedy 10 Items or Less previously (here and here), and the short verdict was that it's a show more people should be watching. A show I'm genuinely surprised that people don't rave about that often. While I'm not one for raving (I can't get the froth to come out of my mouth like the experts do) I have been trying to address this criminal situation by writing about each of the seasons of 10 Items currently available to watch.
The third season has one major change from the previous two seasons, Amy Anderson (Jennifer Elise Cox) has left both Super Value Market and the Greens & Grains after being indited for tax evasion during the second season. She's gone from the title sequence and remains little more than a memory of bad hair, ranting, crying and the occasional funny moment. Her role as chief antagonist and threat to the livelyhood of the Greens & Grains crew has been taken over by one Mercy (Kim Coles) a replacement who's not afraid to ham it up to the levels of sheer cartoon villainly. She's quite incredible to watch on screen, vibrating between relatively normal and bond villain levels rapidly.
I do miss the slight attraction/tension that the Amy/Leslie relationship had, it was a lot of fun to watch Leslie lusting after the very woman who was seeking to take him down, and Mercy isn't really at the same level. She's a little bit too over the top at times, to almost cringeworthy levels.
That aside the third season is the best one yet, just about every single episode is comedy gold. But my personal favourites are Turkey Bowling (yes, seriously), The Whistler, The Milk Man and the unbelievebly awesome episode Star Trok which manages to give us the feel of an episode of Star "Trok" while still being inside the setting of the store. Jolene Blalock (Enterprise) also guest stars as herself in the episode.
In addition the whole stable of recurring characters make an appearance; including my favourite Don 'The Bag' Bagley (Tim Bagley), but also the lovely Evie Peck and Daniel Parker as Chet the Cop.
As for the main cast, performances are raised right across the board, John Lehr and Bob Clendenin remain the most consistently funny - their experience and comic timing showing through in just about every scene. But I've also come to enjoy watching just about every single member of the Greens & Grains, all of them get their own story to shine in.
Also, quite frankly, I've developed a bit of a crush on the sweet Ingrid (Kirsten Gronfield) who's just so lovely, mixing a kind of naive innocence with a bit of a saucy bent and an (occasionally) level head. She's like a bright and bubbly breath of lemon scented air and I can quite easily put her up on the hallowed 'my favourite women on television' table alongside such lovely and talented women as Lucy Porter, Tara Summers, Jenna Fisher and Katey Sagal. (Just to name a few).
In all honesty there's so much to like about 10 Items or Less and I can't recommend it enough. The show has moments where it reminds me of classic American sitcoms such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development while also retaining a charm all of it's own. It's a meager twenty one episodes long, with a total running time of approximately seven hours - but it's a shopping trolley filled with laughs, awkward moments and exciting action. It's certainly more fun than semi-professional masturbation, so go ahead! Give it a shot! You don't want to be called a w****er do you?