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Sunday, May 17, 2009

TV Series I have been watching - part 5

I haven't watched too many movies recently because I've mostly switched to TV series. They're more comfortable as they last under one hour, I don't have to waste a lot of time negotiating with my wife which film to see and they're regular. Bottom line, they're like soap operas for old people. And I am, inevitably, getting old. There should be a whole blog post about that, though, so back to the subject at hand: the list of TV series I have been watching.

This is a bit depressing, almost everything I have been watching is either at the end of the season or the end of the series. The economic crisis and everything, I suppose, or maybe people have finally started to move off TVs and switch to computers, as I have, and the income for any TV production has decreased dramatically.

So Stargate, both SG1 and Atlantis, has finally ended. A new Stargate Universe series in on the way, something a little darker, so something like the Deep Space Nine of the Stargate franchise. That should probably be the best series, and yet I predict the worse TV ratings. And that's because people are morons. Not to mention that at least a quarter of the original Stargate fans (those that weren't in the gun battles) were watching the series because of the green scenery on alien worlds.

Battlestar Galactica 2003. A brilliant reinvention of the old BSG concept, with a fantastic first season, faltering second season and abysmal third and forth seasons. This series has ended as well, and in the worse possible way: "God did it!". There is a spin off prequel, though, called Caprica. The pilot was released already and it was decent enough, although the religious crap is there from the very beginning.

Doctor Who 2005. Another remake of an old classic. Weird and ... weird. I can't stop watching it, but I also can't say why I do. It's a sci-fi, supposedly, and it's British :). Not to mention Christopher Eccleston played as the doctor for the first season, accompanied by beautiful Billie Piper as the female sidekick. This series has not ended, but it is on hiatus, one that will only end next year :(

And since I mentioned sexy Billie Piper, here is a non sci-fi series for you: Secret Diary of a Call Girl, where she is a call girl. Based on a book written by the infamous Belle de Jour, it is funny, honest and not so full of bullshit. And it's British :) Ok, enough with the British smiley, but you have to admit, being the second class citizen as TV series are concerned makes room for a lot of ingenuity and originality. The series has two seasons already and a third on the way, after Billie recovers from her pregnancy.

Eureka. Another sci-fi I am watching only because it is sci-fi. A wonderful concept, where a small village is actually a think tank of all the most brilliant scientists America has to offer. Of course, this would have been a fantastic show if made by the Russians. But being as it is, it is mostly a comedy, with the science put there only as comic prop. The say a fourth season is planned for mid 2009, but with TV series dropping like flies, who know.

Regenesis. Canadian show. Had 5 seasons then it died. Interesting topic, about an international team tasked to prevent and fight off disease outbreaks. It was pretty nice in the beginning, then it went all sci-fi and then it just collapsed. Think of it as 'Doctor House works at the CDC'. Too bad they had to abandon all pretense of reality. As we can see, disease outbreaks are as real and present as they can be these days.

And speaking of House MD, I am watching it, too. Only this time it's all because of inertia. My wife likes it, and I prefer it to romantic comedies. With the fifth season ending with House being taken to a psychiatric hospital, who knows if there will even be a sixth season. The medicine was gone from the show a long time ago, anyway.

Jericho. The US is nuked. And not just once, but a nuke in every major city. What will the average small town American do in a time of chaos and lawlessness? Great concept and a great first half season. Then it all went south. It was still decent, although infected with the Lost bug, when they cancelled the show. Fans were outraged, media companies did not care. As usual. And they wonder why they are losing money and audience like the Titanic took on water.

Numb3rs. Started great and it is still decent at the end of the fifth season. I will continue to watch it, even if the math has gone from it and it basically is now a police procedural series. What I do like about it is that the dynamic of the characters is very well designed. People really are people in the show, not just cardboard characters. It could turn out to be a show about nothing, and I would still watch it. Good job, Scott brothers!

Lost. This is a show I hate with all my heart. I am not watching it, my wife is, enough said it starts with some people crashing on a deserted island and now people die and get resurrected from episode to episode. J. J. Abrams, I hope you die a quick death and roast in hell forever! This horrible thing has reached the end of the fifth season and people still want more, so it will probably get to season six. Meanwhile, all shows have begun having pseudo mystical crap mixed in with simple scenarios and having big booming sounds whenever some crisis of absolutely no magnitude is born. Lost has invented the sound effects for dramas just as some show invented laugh-over for comedies.

Grey's Anatomy. Beautiful looking doctors that are always in some crisis or another, all of them emotional, while trying to avoid showing anything about actual medicine. Wife watches it, I stay away. Season five just ended and the show is going strong.

Private Practice. A Grey's Anatomy spin-off!! Second season just ended.

Ugly Betty. After three seasons of tortuous mental ineptitude, even my wife can't watch that crap anymore. That doesn't mean it is not high in the ratings.

Prison Break. I actually watched the first season and I thought it was nice. I could barely watch the second season and somewhere in the middle I just stopped. It's a show about absolutely nothing. Fourth season just ended (or is about to).

Criminal Minds. This is a police procedural about a crime unit tasked to profile serial killers and find them. It shows at least in principle how the mind of the killer works and it is not solely focused on the law enforcement agency. Most episodes are just watchable, but some are really nice and make everything worthwhile. The last good episode was about a guy killing people in red cars because his wife was killed in an accident involving a red car. By the end of the series we find out that the killer was driving the red car at the time and he suppressed the memory.

Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The Terminator has evolved from hunky Schwarzie to liquid Robert Patrick to manipulative bitch Kristanna Loken to teenage girl Summer Glau. Lucky for us, the new Terminator Salvation movie is not about a child Terminator. Or is it not? Actually, this Terminator series was quite decent. Not good, but definitely watchable. So guess what? Low ratings! The show was cancelled after only two seasons.

Southpark. This animated parody series was brilliant when it started and it is still brilliant after 13 seasons. Usually an episode is a parody to a movie or a real life situation, all involving 4Th grade school children in a backwater town called Southpark. Sometimes they get to use too much toilet humour, but more often than not, the Southpark episodes are great.

Dexter. Oh, this is a show that I just love. Psychopathic killer Dexter Morgan is a Miami police crime scene technician and his policeman father, recognizing his mental persuasion, has taught him "the code" or "how to kill only serial killers and not get caught". Based on a book that I found worse than the show, the show has reached season 3 and I can't wait for the fourth season to start.

Big Love. This is a strange one. It is a series detailing the life of a Mormon family, one guy, three wives. As this marital arrangement is both illegal and controversial (since one major religion embraces it) there are all kinds of interesting developments. I for one think it is a very brave thing to do to make a show like this and Tom Hanks is one of the executive producers! The third season just ended, but I think the quality of the show is starting to go down as it turns more and more to cheap and unrealistic drama.

Fringe. J.J.Abrams again. He takes X-Files, adds a mystical twinge to it and the infinite puzzle of starting story arches and taking them nowhere and he creates Fringe. I am not watching it anymore, but for the episodes I did watch at least half the credit is due to John Noble, interpreting Dr. Walter Bishop.

Eli Stone. This was crappy to begin with. And it ended in a shameful cancellation after only two seasons. Imagine a lawyer that is also a psychic. Actually, he is a prophet of God. Geez!

Heroes. "Oh, you have to watch Heroes, it is so cool!". After my initial fear of starting to watch something about super heroes, again!, I got convinced by all the people telling me to watch it. Unfortunately, that only has proven I keep stupid company. The show is not only bad, it is beyond stupid. Third season has ended, the fourth is on its way.

Legend of the Seeker. Well, when I heard the people that made Xena and Hercules were doing another show I thought I would never enjoy it. But I do. It is still rather idiotic, but at least it doesn't turn battles into comedy scenes. People really do die, even if in the most clean ways. What a good horror series this would have been. The first season is close to its end and I suppose it will have a second season at least.

True Blood. I had to see it to believe it. Vampires in a small American town in which everybody actually behaves like in a small isolated town: they are superstitious, bigot, stupid, sneaky, mean. The story is a bit weird, but I allow it :) Second season is set to start on the 14Th of July.

Californication. Oh, oh, oh! David Duchovny has just become my personal idol. His character is a writer, intelligent, middle aged and totally cool. A bit too sexually active, but that plays well into the cool description. This is just one of those shows I can't not love. I can barely wait for the third season, sometime in late 2009.

Breaking Bad. I can't really relate to the main character, but the show is sound. A chemistry teacher finds out that he has terminal cancer. In an attempt to make a lot of money quickly in order to leave his family with a decent life, he starts cooking methamphetamine and selling it with the help of a local pothead. It is a show both funny and scary. His family doesn't know a thing, which adds to the tension. Not as good as Dexter, but pretty close. Can barely wait for the third season to start.

I am also starting to watch Entourage. Mark Wahlberg is playing a young actor "making it" in Hollywood. At least this is what I have read about it. It already has 5 seasons and I wonder if there is going to be a sixth. But I have still to start watching it and telling you what I think.

And at the end, last but not least, the anime series: Naruto Shippuuden and Bleach. I only started watching Bleach because of a friend liked it. I think it is barely watchable. I do read the manga, though, and that has gone way further than the anime. Surprisingly enough, though, the anime has some mini story aches that are not found in the manga. Licencing issues? Of Naruto I have already spoken of. I think it is pretty nice, although only at an emotional level. The manga is also way ahead and both manga and anime have story arches the other doesn't have. Both these series are shounen, meaning the type of story where the male character goes through increasingly difficult challenges which he overcomes, mostly through strenght of will and not something real like lots of work and exercise :) They still feel good, though, to immature males such as myself.


And that was it. Hopefully you will forgive me for not providing links. Just google it! :)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

House MD. e un serial bun, din pacate devine repede rutina.

Esha said...

I have been a House fan since it began. I met Hugh Laurie in 1997 in England and he is a very nice guy. I have collected as much of his old tv shows, movies, photos ect.

download house episodes