Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TV Series I've Been Watching - Part 16

It's the middle of autumn again and more and more series are making their entry into the list. But there are a lot of shows that I carry around from post to post without actually watching them. I've decided to remove them from the list until that time comes.

Let's start with the already described ones:

  • Doctor Who - Math Smith has left the show and the new doctor is an actor which I really like, Peter Capaldi, who you might remember from The Thick of It. Unfortunately, he will be very polite in Doctor Who; I would have loved to see him as irreverent, sweary and Scottish as in his other role.
  • Dexter - season 8 of the series has just ended (disastrously) and thus the show. It was a good run, I guess, even if the last seasons were quite ridiculous.
  • True Blood - I am becoming conflicted about this show. On one hand some of the storylines are very interesting, while on the other the multitude of stories, one more over the top than the other, shown in parallel in every episode, make it all feel like one supernatural soap opera. The ending of the season, with the invasion of the zombie vampires, also left me deflated.
  • The Good Wife - the fifth season just started, but I haven't got around to it. I think the show continues to be good, but they probably should wrap it up and do something else before it too dissolves into pointlessness.
  • Haven - the fourth season has just started. I will probably watch it with the wife, she seems to enjoy it.
  • Falling Skies - the third season was just weird. It's difficult enough to justify an almost medieval human resistance while being caught in an interstellar war even without having incompetent writers, which unfortunately the show has.
  • Southpark - Southpark is still running hot at season 17. The Butters episode in which he becomes a DMV witness was delicious.
  • Suits - Suits started fun, I really enjoyed it; for stupid reasons, but I did. The third season showed me that even those reasons are quickly fading. Everybody acts over the top and with almost no connection to real life. It's like a movie made by advertisers.
  • Breaking Bad - I started watching the first episode from season 5 only to realize I don't understand what the hell is going on. Did I even watch the fourth season? Unclear.
  • Homeland - season three starts with Carrie being thrown to the wolves as she goes more and more insane. Having a similar situation in the family doesn't make it easy to watch.
  • The Walking Dead - the fourth season just started, but I didn't get around to it, yet.
  • Game of Thrones - there was a lot of outrage on the Internet linked to the Red Wedding episode. It's the first true test of the show. If people will continue watching it even after blatantly killing some of their favourite characters, then the show will go on until Martin stops writing (or maybe not even then). I am afraid it might not happen that way, though.
  • Mad Men - does anyone remember this started as a movie about advertising people? Right now it seems to be more about the "mad" part of the title, as Don devolves more and more into a crazy person.
  • Continuum - Continuum continues, even if it got kind of weird in the last season. Everybody is related to everybody and makes deals with all. It's becoming an intertemporal high-school drama.
  • Copper - Copper started as in interesting show about Irish policeman in Five Points, but after the second season it got cancelled. The last season was pretty confusing and less and less having to do with the job and more with the personal. I did not like that.
  • Longmire - who killed the killer of madam Longmire? Was it sir Longmire? No. Was it Lou Diamond Philips? No again. Was it the killer hired by Lou Diamond? No, because he wasn't a killer. Does that mean people will stop worrying about it? Definitely not. I really want Longmire to retain that authentic countryside sheriff feel; the screenwriters seem to feel otherwise.
  • The Newsroom - drama, politics, revenge, more drama and finally, some drama. All over the top and on high speed. No wonder the city never sleeps if everybody is overactive.
  • Arrow - new Arrow season, with tales of bringing more superheroes into the story, like The Flash. Will this become the testbed for Playstation and XBox game scripts?
  • Elementary - the second season started with some interesting episodes. One even features Lestrade, as a celebrity addict. Funny, that.
  • House of Cards - this show is the first to be launched on Netflix (and produced by them as well). This means the entire first season was launched on the same day. No more waiting week after week to see a bit of the show, but how much time will it pass now until the next season? It's almost like releasing 10 hour movies.
  • Father Ted - I watched almost all episodes of this very old and obscure show, basically just because it was old and obscure. It's a laughing-track comedy about two idiotic priests on a small remote island in Ireland. Supposedly ireverent to religion, it's just a very silly show.

New shows:

  • The Tomorrow People (2013) - this remake of a really dumb old series just started. I haven't started watching it, but I've read a review that seemed to praise it. It stars beautiful young actors with superpowers, though.
  • The Legend of Korra - the second season has started with a transparent nefarious plot that only the dumb female avatar doesn't seem to get. Her character is so annoying!! Ugh!
  • Atlantis - I expected Atlantis to be a sort of Rome or Spartacus. The bronze-punk science fiction would have made a great show. Unfortunately it seems to be more a kind of a Hercules/Xena kind of show. There is this modern guy who gets into Atlantis through a portal, meets Pithagoras and Hercules, who are both different from the myths, and runs around with swords.
  • By Any Means - I could barely survive through the first episode. This is a British show about a group of people that are hired by the police to bring people to justice. Why doesn't the police do that directly? Because this group uses illegal and imoral acts to achieve their goals, then rationalize them by them being "the good guys" and acting all cool and funny. The show was basically offensive to me.
  • Hostages - a show about a doctor who must opperate on the United States president. Her family is taken hostage to force her to kill the president. Yeah, like that could happen. It has good actors and an intriguing plot, but it could go both ways. I've watched just the first episode.
  • Ironside - another show about a cop. This time the cop is black and in a wheelchair, even if he continues to strong arm suspects and his team with impunity. I found it pretentious and yet another show which is trying to force feed us vigilante justice from charismatic characters.
  • King and Maxwell - a show about a detective agency run by former Secret Service agents. At last a detective agency not run by complete amateurs that got bored. Rebecca Romjin is one of the pair, which makes the show nice to look at, at least. Now, the first episodes felt a bit silly, like a comedy, so I didn't continue watching it, but it could become better.
  • Low Winter Sun - TV series starring two less known, but nevertheless good actors: Lennie James and Mark Strong. It's very dark, with corrupt policemen and rampant gangs, but I can't say I enjoyed it much. Probably because it seems to miss a point.
  • Ray Donovan - something that stars Liev Schreiber and John Voight should be better than this, but the show is not bad. There is this guy that acts like a sort of damage control expert who has to contend with his father getting out of jail and being a dick. Control that damage, if you can!
  • Rewind - it is the season of shows about people playing God. This time they are not policemen, thank you, but an agency that uses technology to go back in time and "fix" things. All seemed straightforward until the end of the first episode, which promises a longer story arch and maybe even more interesting action.
  • Serangoon Road - another Australian show about private detectives, this time placed in Malaysia. Chinese, Australians, Javanese, British and Americans are all dancing around each other, trying to win the jackpot in this country torn by civil unrest and government dissolution. An interesting show, which I continue to watch.
  • Siberia - I almost want to ask "What is Siberia?" in a Matrixy sort of way. It is a series that starts as a reality show, only to have the contestants meet strange phenomena until the entire premise explodes and they find themselves stuck in Siberia, with no contact to the outside world and in mortal (supranatural/scifi) danger. The problem with the show is that it is pretty inconsistent and difficult to watch. It's like it doesn't know what it wants to be: a reality show, a Lost rip-off or something else.
  • Sleepy Hollow - Sleepy Hollow the movie was a masterpiece, combining a moody atmosphere that hinted of the supernatural with a main character that used logic and science to prove that it actually wasn't. The Sleepy Hollow series is the complete opposite, with a clear supernatural storyline involving good and bad witches, demons and Ichabod Crane, a civil war soldier who has found himself in the present and now helps (of course) the police deal with the rise of evil. It could have been good, but I really don't like any of the actors or characters, except maybe the sheriff, but he dies.
  • The Blacklist - I really wanted to like the series, because it stars James Spader (an old and bald one), an actor which I really liked in the past. But it's a confused mess. Spader plays the role of a rogue FBI agent that surrenders after 20 years only to help the FBI find catch the "truly bad" guys. He enlists the help of a girl FBI agent who probably is his daughter, even if he doesn't say it out loud. She is basically a clone of the FBI agent from Haven, while Spader's character is an arrogant prick. Impossible to empathise with anyone and even harder to see a point of this show.
  • The Bridge - an American remake of the Danish/Swedish series Bron, it involves a murderer that leaves a body on the exact border of Mexico and the US, forcing the creation of a joint taskforce. Beautiful Diane Kruger plays the functional autist American agent, while Demi├ín Bichir plays the complex Mexican policeman. There are other characters, but some are even detrimental to the story, in my view. The show is solid and has some interesting and good acting. I hope it stays that way.
  • The Crazy Ones - just so you don't say I don't watch any comedy shows, this stars Robin Williams as a crazy and inspirational ad man, helped by two equally crazy guys and his daughter, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. It has its moments, but it isn't really my style. Why can't they make comedy that also seems real, rather than completely over the top?
  • The Originals - oh, what a bunch of pretentious crap! a (too) late comer in the vampire TV show business, it even tries to reuse the vampire aristocrat variation. The only modern take of this soap opera like show is that it also adds witches to the mix. This is they year of the witches, after we got tired of vampires and werewolves and zombies didn't quite catch on.
  • The Psychopath Next Door - not an easy show to watch, it's full of psychological violence. It features a young very attractive female psychopath and how she deals with the world. Being a British show she really acts like a sociopath, shows no remorse and does the most atrocious acts just to get ridiculously unimportant things, rather than help the police catch bad guys or whatever :) A really good beginning and a fascinating glimpse in the mind of a true psycho.
  • Under The Dome - when in doubt, use a Stephen King story. Alas, I usually don't like King's writing it tends to drag on. Making a TV series out of one makes a rather boring watch. This is a sci-fi show about a transparent and impenetrable dome that completely isolates a small community from the outside world. The situation quickly devolves because of the people there, as primate tribes are wont to do when consequences disappear.
  • What Remains - British show, I just started to watch the first episode. It seems to revolve around human remains, discovered a long while after the crime (if it was one) and how people lives are affected by the investigation. Could be good.
  • Witches of East End - told you this is the season of the witch. This show is about a family of witches, incredibly good looking ones. The mother is Julia Ormond, her sister is Madchen Amick and one of the daughters is this hot and curvy brunette. Of course good looking guys and evil witches appear soon after. It seems a typical teen show, with drama coming exclusively from social situations, people who are romantic interests or/and are trying to kill you.
  • The Last Witch - The show just appeared and I haven't had the chance to watch it, but it's about witches, which validates my view that witches are the new vampires. At least this show is British.
  • Blackout - a faux documentary British series about a fictional British power blackout that lasted for more than a week. Kind of hard to watch because it's made like a montage of different camera shots taken by different people on handhelds and phones.

Well, it seems that removing the shows that I am not actively watching makes this list more manageable, but it also means you will have to look at more "TV Series I've been watching" blog posts to get an overview.


Skandalouz said...

more recommendations:
-Top of the lake
-Orange is the new black :)

Siderite said...

Thanks! I've downloaded Top of the Lake, but have not seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

Dear Siderite,
Hope you're well. Godspeed :)