On Netflix

Borderline is a Lot of Office-Like Fun

Most of the time when my husband and I try a new show on Netflix that we’ve never even heard of until we spot it in some suggestion list, it’s not very good. If it’s not a Netflix original or something I’ve caught wind of in some way during my personal quest to stay informed of entertainment industry happenings, I tend to be hesitant to even give it a try.

“Borderline” was a show like this. The premise sounded fine, but where did it come from? Should we dare?

Well worth the risk…

It turned out well for us this time. Because this show is surprisingly awesome.

Not to be confused with the dark drama-thriller “Bloodline” (which I recently reviewed here), “Borderline” is a mockumentary-style comedy. It’s essentially “The Office” set in the border patrol section of a fictional British airport. Except, this show takes the mockumentary aspect a step-further by actually having a narrator, in addition to the interview-type format we’ve seen in “The Office.”

There’s a female boss, who feels a little reminiscent of Michael Scott (though maybe not quite so much as the chick in “Parks and Recreation”). There’s a will-they-won’t-they couple not terribly unlike Jim and Pam. And there’s a couple of weirdos who are fairly unique in their own right.

One of those weirdos is named Clive. He’s my favorite, probably especially once I racked my brain to figure out where in the world I had ever heard that name before and realized it was in Clive Staples Lewis – that’s right, our dear C.S. Lewis shared a name with the weirdo in this show (#funfact). The Clive of “Borderline” is a truly hilarious conglomeration of the pathetic, the weasel-y, and the innocent. And totally one of the highlights of the show.

The characters, on the whole, are chiefly what make this show good, though I was also impressed with its ability to take plots that start out as severely mundane (again, like “The Office”) and frequently turn them into compelling comic gold.

Moral Concerns

There was an entire episode we decided to skip because it seemed to revolve almost entirely around a joke about male genitalia (it might have let up after a while, but we decided to just skip it pretty quickly near the start…) . Considering the one season available on Netflix streaming is only twelve episodes long, I supposed that does drastically lower the ratio of good-to-dirty content. But the rest of the show was really not bad: a little innuendo, implications that two characters were having premarital sex, and I *think that was about it.

*Confession: I often check my own memory of moral issues in shows and movies against the “Parents Guide” section for a show/movie on imdb.com (especially if it’s been a while since I’ve seen it). This show is actually so little-known that it has no information in the parents guide!

Over All

That short single season was kind of a bummer. We weren’t paying attention to what episode number we were on, so the end of it snuck up on us. And made us sad. I’d say, sadness that it’s over is as good a sign as any that you’ve been watching a good comedy.