Sunday, August 11, 2013

TV Report: Summer Viewing

I lose track of television over the summer, generally. Not because everything's bad or something like that, it's just that the summer has always drifted lazily for me and I spend more time with the TV off than I do on (which is not how I grew up, actually).

It's nearly the middle of August now, and I'm actually trying to struggle to remember some of the stuff that I was watching back in June.

Let's see. Some of the shows I've watched this summer.

:: Hell's Kitchen came and went, as ephemeral as ever. I never remember or care what happened after a round of that show is over, but this particular round lost my attention an awful lot and really got dragged out. Sometimes I would forget about it while I was watching it. I wonder if this show is ever going to get exciting again, or if it's just become so routine that I shouldn't bother with it anymore.

:: Loved Hannibal, loved Defiance. I've stopped watching Under the Dome. Maybe I'll catch up one day, but despite some good episodes I was unenthused by the announcement that it was renewed. It was already heavy on gimmick episodes and now I just foresee a lot of frustrating dragging out of drama to manufacture excitement and things going like that season of Lost I particularly hated. Hey, maybe I'm wrong, but as a one-summer event, it seemed exciting. As another American TV show that gets dragged on and on to perpetuate itself, I'm a lot less interested. Yeah, I know how TV works, but I don't have to care.

:: Orange Is the New Black was pretty wonderful, I thought. Can't wait to see more. I hope it doesn't get as awful as Weeds did. That show was really great in the beginning, too. No tunnels to Mexico this time, please.

:: I have to admit, I keep forgetting that Futurama is even still on.

:: Only eight episodes of The Venture Bros. this time around? Damn, guys, we waited years. And I'll wait more. This show is worth the wait. Absolutely loved it.

:: True Blood is a lot better this season than it's been in a while. We're finally streamlining all of those goddamn storylines and getting rid of some of the characters. Sookie is still the absolute worst, but it's still fun junk food television and some of the twists this season have been fun-stupid instead of just stupid.

:: Tuesday nights still remain my favorite this summer: Pretty Little Liars and Dance Moms. Not sophisticated for the "Golden Age of Television" (ha ha), but whatever, I enjoy them.

:: This is the point in the season of MasterChef where things start.... dragging.... out... interminably. Is it so much to ask that your summer series actually be over by Labor Day? They're doing a really bad job this year in hiding their scripted twists and turns, and the schilling for Walmart's nasty food is out of control now. Yeah, guys, how about you serve Walmart steaks in your own restaurants and we'll see how you feel about it then? You guys ever looked in a Walmart meat department? It'll put you off eating meat for a while. And the judges, particularly Gordon, are especially pissy this year. Yes, Gordon, sorry I "disrespected Japanese tradition" by not making the best California roll, the most authentic Japanese cuisine. (I actually just hurt myself a little with the force of my eye-roll.)

:: I always like getting caught up in a show on Netflix, and right now I'm watching Mad Men. I didn't like it at first, I have to admit, but when I really started catching on to what the show was about, I found it very compelling. Not necessarily likable, but compelling. The show's main theme is one of the things I'm going through in therapy right now: getting caught in the depressing schism between what life is and what we think (and are told/sold) that it should be. I'm surprised just how dark a show it really is.

I'm going to be wrapping up the third season today. Very pleased to see Jared Harris on this show; I always really like him. Also, someone I love on the show and didn't even know was on it is Bryan Batt. Sadly, he seems to have been unceremoniously dismissed, but he's been excellent and perfectly understated. I loved him back in 1995 in the movie Jeffrey, and I don't think I've seen him in anything since except an episode of TV here and there. Of course, he's been in the theater and I've been in college/farm town, Illinois. It's been nice having this time to enjoy his work.

Very, very interesting show. Gorgeous to look at, of course.

See? I get to things eventually.

:: Very excited that Breaking Bad is back tonight. I can't wait to see how this thing ends. My Mom just ended up watching the whole series last month on Netflix, so we're kind of nerding out about what we think is going to happen.

And there's my exciting life in TV right now. Trying to figure out what to watch when I catch up on Mad Men.

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