Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TV Series I've Been Watching - Part 9

It's time for the list of TV series that are wasting my precious time. I only do this so you don't have to. I know, I know, you are so grateful, but that's me: a beacon of hope, goodness and humility.

Let me start with the shows that I've already talked about before:
  • Doctor Who has entered a darker era, with the arrival of The Silence, a race that has you forget about them the moment you don't see them anymore and that have lived on the Earth since forever and of The Flesh, a programmable biological material that can take any shape. Initially used as a way to build cheap avatars, it will become much more when infused with the memories and personalities of its users.
  • Torchwood has started again, season 4 now. The show was the more cliché of the Doctor Who spin-offs so it was bought by the American TV channel Starz. It now features big U.S. actors like Bill Pulman, Mekhi Phifer and Lauren Ambrose. It is still weird enough to enjoy, but the first two episodes were not very bright.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures. It started for a while, time in which I noticed that the main character, played by Elisabeth Sladen, was a bit off, she was starting to look her age and a bit tired or confused. Later on I've learnt of her death to cancer. She was not in her fifties, I had guessed, but 65 years old. I do not know what the fate of the series is.
  • Eureka just started again, the second half of the fourth season. I haven't had the chance to watch any of the episodes, but it can't have changed much.
  • House MD got even stranger and harder to watch than before, but at least that annoying self righteous bitch was replaced by Thirteen again. As for the script, medically all characters are brain dead.
  • Criminal Minds has ended its sixth season and we're waiting for the seventh. It lost some of its oomf, but at least it still has potential. Suspect Behaviour, the spin-off, was rightfully cancelled.
  • Dexter hasn't started yet, but the hints and teasers are promising. Dex would return to his murderous roots and leave behind all that suburban emotional dad crap. Or will he?
  • Big Love has ended with its fifth season. While I did enjoy the first four, I still could not force myself to watch the fifth season, not one episode of it. I believe I will leave it to braver men than I to comment on its ending.
  • Fringe is undying. A lot of experimentation (pun not intended) with the show, including a partially animated episode. Still watchable at the end of a tiring day, but nothing else worth mentioning.
  • True Blood's fourth season has started in force, with panther people, witches, shapeshifters, an amnesic Eric, a Bill that is king of Louisiana and a Tara that is bisexual. It has lost a major part of its charm though and I am only watching it to see what else they invent.
  • Still waiting for Californication's sixth season. While it too lost a big chunk of its initial charm, it is still interesting in a lot of ways.
  • V was cancelled by ABC and fans are petitioning Warner Bros to continue it. I feel it was a failure and it needs no renewal. If you consider that it is I who is suggesting cancelling a sci-fi show, then you should know that there are serious reasons for it.
  • Men of a Certain Age second half of the second season has started and it's still great. Who would have thought that a lot of the police, fantasy and science fiction series would become family dramas while a show that has started as a drama would be interesting and educational, as well as fun?
  • Weeds' seventh season has started rather well. Hot Nancy is pardoned from jail because someone has killed Esteban and the state wants nothing to do with her, while her family returns from Denmark when they find out she is out. Transactions with grenades for Afghan kush and the usual craziness come next, but I think they dialed down a notch all the stupidity and the onslaught of pointless American culture. Just a notch.
  • The Good Wife is still a nice show, combining personal issues with court cases in a pleasant and intelligent way.
  • The Walking Dead has not had its second season start yet. I have high hopes, despite the rather boring first season.
  • Haven's second season has just started. I haven't seen any of it, though, which talks about my elevated interest about the show. It's a more localized and less sciency Fringe, so it falls into the same tired brain category.
  • Royal Pains has ended its second season and just started the third. I have no idea what is going on with it as I stopped watching it and not even the wife seems to want to.
  • Lost Girl, a sort of Canadian Sookie with more violent tendencies, has not started its second season yet.
  • Nikita latest season has not started either.
  • A Game of Thrones. Oh, this needed a section of its own. Short story: the first book of the series was turned into a 10 episode season. Why only ten? Make them at least 13, as it is customary. With only ten episodes a lot of the book was left out and when I say this, I don't mean the facts, but the interaction and relationships between characters. I know, you are thinking: Who is this guy? Where is Siderite? If he talks more about the relationships of characters in TV series I'm gonna switch blogs! The only comparison I can give that would give justice to the important part of the book that is missing from the series is Dune. There was a Lynch version of Dune, which had almost nothing to do with the book and there was a mini series version that followed the book line by line. I liked the Lynch version better. The feeling that you get reading the book you can't get from this series, which is, otherwise, very nice and well done.
  • Better With You was cancelled, thank you!
  • Falling Skies. I would call it a response to The Walking Dead. Earth has been attacked by aliens, defeated utterly, and the last remnants of humanity are fighting a resistance war. But practically there are a bunch of guys with a lot of attitude, trying to survive while being attacked by zombies aliens. I like it, but it is presenting the same idealistic people that fight "the good fight" while having ample opportunities to demonstrate how that is better than being evil and stupid. No real character development, no complex situations, only the good, the bad, and the stupid in between. Get it together, people!
  • Endgame was boring, stupid and had nothing to do with chess at all. It felt more like that ridiculous show about a guy that gets tomorrow's paper every day and then tries to change the headlines. I refuse to watch it when I have real chess videos around.
  • Southpark is going to a rough patch I think. The last episode ended in a very ambiguous way, with Stan's parents deciding to leave Southpark and Stan itself feeling distanced from his friends by the debilitating disease "being a cynical asshole". I still don't know what is going on.
  • Season four of Breaking Bad just started. Haven't started watching it, yet.

Still here? Hellllooo... lloooo... looooo... looooo? Time for the new TV shows:
  • King - Canadian show about a gloriously sexy woman that... solves police cases. She is actually a cop. Her name is King. The action was mellow enough, the episodes plot boring, even a tall red-head with beautiful legs could not make me watch it. It is the average cop TV show with a lead character, only slightly shifted towards women.
  • The Killing has received great reviews, but unfortunately I could not find the time to watch it.
  • Mortal Kombat Legacy. Remember about a year ago there was a trailer for a new Mortal Kombat movie, when Sub Zero was used by a cop to find Scorpion? It all looked realistic and reinvented and modern. That didn't go well. Instead they changed the theme a little and brought it as a web series. Is there any word that sounds more stupid than webisode? Well, they used those to present the characters. Some were good, some were bad, but overall I think it deserves a shot. Nothing fancy, mind you.
  • The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Teen Wolf are two idiotically tweeny series that try to capitalize on Twilight and the such. I've watched the pilot episodes groaning at each good looking gelled hair idiot teen that turns into a cat/wolf while bad people are after them. Vomit inducing.
  • Alphas is the new X-men series. Different powers, less cool, different professor, no X-es in his name, different bad guys. The pilot was not especially bad, considering you have Mutant-X as a reference, but nothing special either.
  • Switched at Birth had an intriguing synopsis: two baby girls are mixed up at birth and they find out about it only 16 years later. The interaction between the two families should have presented an interesting experiment of nature vs. nurture. The pilot was not bad, but it was too family oriented for me to enjoy. Also, I think I am becoming slightly allergic to bouts of teenage angst. I understand most teenagers are dumb and selfserving, but they are not all clichés!
  • Suits is the male equivalent of courtroom series. If The Good Wife is trying to attract more female audience by using a woman as the lead and presenting her in the midst of family issues, Suits shows cool bachelors finding all kinds of technical solutions to problems. I mean the boys are studs, one of them is a rookie that can remember anything he reads or sees, while the other is a cocky flashy lawyer that takes the noob under his wing. There are even technical discussions about race cars! It is not without flaw, but it produces an easy going feeling that I enjoy in my series.
  • Camelot. This was recommended by a friend, one that usually has good tastes in TV and movie matters. Well, he was wrong. This is the King Arthur version of Hercules. The only people that die are those who make it harder for the screenwriters to continue the story, Merlin is the guy from Flashforward, with magic issues instead of alcohol, the same irritating frown and self righteousness and with no hair. Arthur is an infant that played in Harry Potter and Twilight. The only good parts here are the women: Eva Green as Morgan, Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere (after a lot of rumours she was going to play in Game of Thrones) and Claire Forlani as queen Igraine. Claire, could you play some sexy and open minded person next role? Your beauty is wasted on stuck up obnoxious do gooders!
  • Wilfred is a new show stolen by the Americans from Australia. The story is that one guy sees the neighbour dog as a human being dressed in a dog suit, talking with Aussie accent and smoking bong all day. The dog teaches the wimpy human how to live. The show is both intriguing and annoying. I did watch it until now, but I am having conflicting feelings about it. I am curious about what will happen next and have no problem starting to watch an episode, but I always regret it afterwards. It's a kind of guilty pleasure, I suppose.

There is something to say about future projects, like Once Upon a Time which sounds promising, but I haven't really researched the future plans of TV networks yet.

Until the next time, have fun!