Monday, May 16, 2011

TV Report

:: First thing: I'm really on pins and needles about tonight's season finale of Castle. It's crazy. I've heard rumors about a character dying, and I think it might be Captain Montgomery coming down with a case of retire-ony. I don't want to see that happen. Also, please not Esposito. It's a great ensemble, and I hate to see it broken up...

:: The whole twist in Zoey and Ted's relationship and the reason they broke up on How I Met Your Mother might possibly have meant something if it the writers hadn't been telegraphing it all season. I still love the show, but Ted's quest for love is still the least interesting aspect of the show.

:: I think the real value of a show like 16 and Pregnant is that it shows you the total failure of our abstinence-only sex education programs. Every week, the pregnant girl, shame-faced, admits that she and her boyfriend weren't using birth control. This is where denying reality gets you: grandparents at age 38. Enjoy it, America!

:: Not much to say about these shows, but still loving Modern Family, Cougar Town, and Hellcats.

:: Parks and Recreation is just outperforming every other show I watch on NBC. I look forward to it the way I used to look forward to The Office, before it became terrible. One more episode of The Office to go... it has become an insufferable chore, and I won't be sorry to let it go. And even 30 Rock, over the past half-year or so, has become fairly routine. I love Tina Fey, but every time I watch the show now, I just sort of let it play and don't get very involved in it. I feel like they're just going through every possible permutation of the same plot now. I know it was just renewed, but if they were to suddenly announce at upfronts this week that they'd changed their minds and were canceling it instead, I don't think I'd feel too put out. Next season my Thursday viewing could easily just be Parks and Recreation and The Big Bang Theory.

:: Regarding The Big Bang Theory: I'm still not feeling the tension in the Leonard-Priya-Penny love triangle. Penny and Leonard just aren't an interesting couple to me, and even though I don't care much for Priya, I don't really hate her, either. Her big sin really just seems to be not fitting in with the whole group because she's not a geek... but isn't that a big part of the reason Leonard and Penny broke up, anyway? That's why I never liked them as a couple, because she got so annoyed with his geek stuff and treated it like a bunch of childish sidelines instead of his actual hobbies... and having been in that exact situation once in my life, I know it isn't fun. I love Penny, but as a girlfriend for Leonard? Meh. The only thing Priya's done that I have a real problem with is when she asked Leonard not to hang out with Penny as a friend anymore. I understand why Priya would be threatened by an ex hanging around, but you don't issue ultimatums like that to people you care about.

Also: even more Bernadette. As much as possible. It will never be enough.

:: I'm surprised how excited I am for the return of MasterChef. I will apparently watch Gordon Ramsey do anything.

:: Boy, I used to love the shows on Disney Channel... now I only watch Wizards of Waverly Place, and even then the episodes sit on my TiVo forever... it's been a fun decade, Disney. Call me when you get rid of the fucking Sprouse twins and have something better to offer than Shake It Up and Good Luck Charlie.

:: Any goodwill I had towards Ed Helms as a comic actor has been destroyed by The Office, which made Saturday Night Live a bit of a chore this week, too. I don't understand why I'm supposed to think he's funny. Some people hate Will Ferrell, I hate Ed Helms.

:: I haven't said much (anything?) about Game of Thrones, but oh man, do I love it. It's bringing back to me everything I loved about the books, but without having to wade through George R.R. Martin's exhaustive exposition and the family histories of people only tangentially related to the plot.... I'm actually looking forward to the next book in the series, Meanwhile, in the Free Cities, the companion to the last book, Meanwhile, in Dorne. Seriously, are there plot threads anymore, or just stuff happening? I'm cynical, yes, but I'm also excited to finally have the new book and continue the stories of my favorite characters, pretty much none of whom appeared in the last book...

But I love the series. I'll probably have a lot more to say about it in the future.

:: And then there's Doctor Who... and so far, this new season, I'm just not feeling it. Of course, I'll always be grateful to have new adventures with the Doctor, and I'm always, ALWAYS glad to see River Song, but... well... I don't know, this season feels a little routine and a little... uncreative. And like it's trying to take on too much at once. Granted, it's hard to judge a new season of Doctor Who barely a third of the way in, but even with a couple of mediocre episodes, I much preferred the tone of the previous season to this one. It's like the dismal third season right now, and I hope it pulls out of this.

Also, I'm not sure I really give a shit about Amy and Rory. Rory's okay, despite how much Steven Moffat seems to like making him a punching bag, but Amy is becoming a real twat.

We'll see. Hoping for the best. Or at least better.


Caffeinated Joe (Wings) said...

I am loving Parks & Recreation now, too. It has grown so much. Along with Community, I think those are two of the best comedies on right now.

And Ted on HIMYM is SOOOOooooooooooo boring!

Anonymous said...

Do you watch Community? I remember you saying that you really couldn't stand the meta-ness of the first couple episodes, and that's really a common complaint among everyone, even the people who legitimately enjoy the show.

I think if you gave it another shot and tried watching from the 4th episode on, you might really like it. I think you're familiar with television production and tv tropes, as well as having an extensive knowledge of film, so you may actually like it.

I agree what you've had to say about 30 rock. Last season is next season, declared Alex Baldwin.

Jaquandor said...

I love Gordon Ramsey, but I wish Hell's Kitchen would come back before MasterChef, which I really didn't like as much last year as I wanted to. (Mainly because of that bald guy.)

SamuraiFrog said...

Wings: I don't understand the fans of HIMYM who just demand that the show get back to telling us about who the mother is and when Ted's going to find her. It's the least interesting aspect of the series!

James: It wasn't just the meta aspect, either; the tone, the characters, it just really irritated me. I may give it another chance some day, but probably not any time soon.

Jaquandor: I didn't like the other judge, either, the guy with the bowling shirts. I just like Gordon. I think I still need a break from Hell's Kitchen after the last round.

Bob said...

So glad to know there's someone else who couldn't care less about Amy and Rory. Either one would be fine with me as a solo companion (not that I object to the Doctor having more than one -- I liked that there was a whole cadre in the first two episodes), but I feel like all the couple stuff is forced on us, and it's not at all natural.

I also agree that the first three episodes were ... a bit dull. But "The Doctor's Wife" was pretty dang good, IMO. (I admit my opinion of it went up after watching the Confidential episode -- something I don't normally do, but getting the writer's perspective on his story was definitely a bonus for the episode).

Drake said...

Doctor Who has been "off" this season and one my friends agreed with from the start of this season (i'm guessing it's the Moff's grand design for the this season)but the Doctor's Wife finally felt like classic Who. I hear scuttlebut that Amy and i guess Rory will be leaving this season.

Sheldon has Leonard (who i bet will get his heart broken again) moving out and Raj moving in, Sheldon,Penny and Raj i think could make a nice group.

John Seven said...

I'm very surprised about Doctor Who ... I think it's been lots of fun and in the last season and the new episodes finally feels like a kids show again, thank goodness.

SamuraiFrog said...

Bob: Yes, forced on us. Good way to put it. I just don't care about their couple problems, which seem basically to stem from Rory being a beta male and Amy being a bitch... I still can't figure out if she's really in love with him or not, and I don't think she deserves a man that dedicated. Doing the CPR in "Doctor Who of the Caribbean" or whatever it was called almost felt like she'd finally earned him, but she gave up on that, too...

I hadn't seen "The Doctor's Wife" when I wrote this post, but I watched it yesterday and loved it. First episode of this season that I really got into.

Drake: I think they've gone too dark and murky this season, and it's left the show slightly unfocused. But "The Doctor's Wife" shows you what a writer like Neil Gaiman can do with Matt Smith's tremendous portrayal. I hope he writes more of them.

John: I adored the last season. This one's been slow going for me. But I agree that it finally feels like a kids show again, which is more than welcome. I loved how fairy tale-like last season was.

John Seven said...

Glad you enjoyed the Gaiman one - I am not a fan of his across the board, but he did a wonderful job on The Doctor's Wife ... and Matt Smith nailed The Doctor in ways David Tennant couldn't conceive ...