Friday, April 25, 2014

A Little TV Report

I'm so glad Netflix put up that final, unaired season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was a good amount of stuff, but you can tell the cancellation kind of took them off-guard. But that final arc--with Yoda learning about the true nature of the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force--was beautifully done, and not a bad note to end on. I like that even Yoda didn't know everything about the Force. That's been one of the most fascinating things about this Prequel Era to me: the idea that the Jedi had become so overly sure of themselves that they were now limited in their ability to access the Force and in their understanding of it. Hell, they didn't even detect that the Sith Lord was in their midst the whole time until it was too late. It's been a fascinating cat-and-mouse game to watch unfold. That arc also totally redeemed the rather high-handed way Yoda acted in the Prequels.

I do love this show, and I'm sorry to see it go. Like I said, it's not a bad note to end on, even though I suppose it means no official closure on what Darth Sidious' plan was for Darth Maul. And I guess it means the Prequel Era is now over, since the next show deals with the interim between Prequels and Original Trilogy, and we've got Episode VII looming. So there'll be something else for the haters to go after now, I guess.

I'm a little wistful. I really did love the Prequel Era, this show in particular. It gave me one of my all time favorite Star Wars characters in Ahsoka Tano.

Thanks for that, Lucasfilm, and on to the next era.

(And yes, I know you hated it, I just don't care. You're never going to make me hate it and I don't really give a shit if you think I'm stupid because I do. But hey, at least I feel so bullied by hateboys--can't call you "fanboys," really, since fanboys actually like the thing they're fans of--that I can't post this without bracing for the usual nonsense. So, you know, congratulations on making the world a less likable place.)

:: Hell's Kitchen is on again. Did you not realize that? They kind of sprung it up out of nowhere. Does anyone even watch it anymore? I do, but I keep forgetting it's on. Hell, I forget it's on even as I'm watching it. Same routine.

:: Boy, usually a series finale leaves me with something to remember fondly. For as much as I didn't like it, I've forgotten all about the How I Met Your Mother finale. In fact, I've forgotten about the season. There's no hole on Monday nights where it used to be in my usual routine.

Damn, show. You really made yourself inconsequential to me. I don't even hate you, I just forgot about you. And I have the first three seasons on DVD.

:: Loved the Parenthood finale. I really hope it comes back. This season was a bit of mess, but it was also the first time I watched it live (I binged the first four seasons over the summer on Netflix and Hulu). They didn't wrap up the divorce storyline. Honestly, I'd like to see Joel and Julia get divorced. It introduces a different dynamic into the show. Here's something that bugs me about it, though: remember back in the first season when Joel was still stay-at-home dad and that other parent kissed him and he didn't tell Julia until later because he shut it down and it meant nothing? Julia didn't flip out and start screaming that it was time for divorce back then. They talked it out. Same thing happens to Joel and he refuses to even talk about it; he just moves right out and traumatizes the kids. It makes it hard to like Joel.

Oh, and this whole Drew and Natalie thing? I think the producers think we like Natalie way more than we actually do. At least, more than I do. Not a fan. After the surprising, drunken chemistry they had, I was kind of hoping Drew and Berto would do something together. What, you think only girls experiment in college?

Still needs more Jasmine. That's my main complaint. Jasmine is wonderful.

:: Seriously, watch Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge. The creativity on display is amazing.

:: Okay, okay, Dance Moms just had a midseason finale. But I need to know when it's coming back. Don't make me wait through the summer, Dance Moms!

:: It was nice to see Tsai Chin out of nowhere on Agents of SHIELD. Always like her, never see her.

:: Gawd, Nashville, either air an episode or don't, but spare me the concert-laden recaps. I dig the show, but I'm afraid it's not got much of a future. How many shows that I like will be canceled this season? I fear for at least four of them.

:: Has anyone seen Fargo on FX? It's kind of amazing. I didn't know what to expect, but damn, it sucked me right in. A friend of Becca's thought she's like it because "It's like the Coen Brothers decided to do Twin Peaks." I'm actually watching Twin Peaks (finally) on Netflix. so that was an easy sell for me. Really, really digging this show. Both shows!

:: Boy, Saturday Night Live's really in a race to the bottom these days, even for them. What is this Colin Jost shit? Pass. If they had to co-anchor Cecily Strong, I would have rather they tried Jay Pharaoh instead of Blandy McBlanders.

:: On a final note, I just want to acknowledge Jack Gleeson. He's a great kid, and he did a fantastic job for years of playing the most hate-able little psychopath on Game of Thrones. The character was the worst person who ever lived, but it took a truly talented actor to bring that to life in a way that was often casually callous. That takes real talent. Good for him. I don't know if he still wants to act, but if he does, I'd love to see him in something else.

Maybe as a nicer guy this time.


Semaj said...

I didn't watch all of the seasons of The Clone Wars, but I freaking loved the Netflix season. The Yoda arc finally clears up two aspects of franchise I felt were left unexplained

-The Dark Force area Luke enters was actually full of power and NOT projected by Yoda as it almost seems to be implied in Empire

-The discussion between Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda via the force. It answered pretty much everything about threads with those two. (now we know for certain that that was Jinn saying "no!!!" in Attack of the Clones)

I also loved the Order 66 story stuff as it answers all the mystery stuff from Attack of the Clones that was never answers in Revenge of the Sith.

I skipped the Jar-Jar episodes, but I just loved the season.

Roger Owen Green said...

There was a report last year (NYT?) about how much more women sleep around in college, like men do, than in generations past. And that was Natalie. Don't think you were supposed to like her. But our relatively moral Drew was supposed to redeem her with his relative virtue, even as he disappears for weeks with his HS GF. More BECAUSE he disappeared, which meant that she's miss him, end her wanton ways, and embrace monogamy.

In any case, there is room for only one gay couple per show, and Hattie and her GF are it. Apparently - I don't read the mags - lots of folks were upset that she'd all but written out of the show.

SamuraiFrog said...

Semaj: I thought that Order 66 arc was really riveting, like a Hitchcock movie. Maybe I'm just too trusting/naive, but somehow, I'd never considered that the Kaminoans were in on the whole deal. I think that's another thing that we'll never really get to see explored, although it's almost all there for anyone to connect: just how far reaching Palpatine's plan was and just how long it had been going on.

I don't know what you have and haven't seen of the previous seasons, but if you haven't seen season 5's last arc, with Ahsoka Tano wrongly accused of terrorism, I recommend that. It's sort of the final, damning commentary on how truly ineffective and thoughtless the Jedi Council had become.

Roger: I guess what I really mean is that I just was never invested in the potential of a Drew/Natalie pairing. I guess I'm supposed to he happy he finally got the girl he was pining over all season, but I'm just not into the whole thing.

I've been reading the AV Club reviews of every episode; one of the few things still worth reading over there any more, because Todd VanDerWerff is a particularly insightful writer. At the end of every episode this season, he's been asking "Did anyone mention Haddie, even tangentially?" It didn't bother me that she was gone--I didn't think we'd follow her to college--but I did find it a little weird that she was almost never even mentioned this season. I was waiting for Parenthood to follow in the footsteps of so many other shows and just forget she existed.

I think one of my favorite moments on the finale, though, was Adam talking to Haddie's girlfriend and finally realizing that there was a lot of subtext there. I knew he'd figure it out. You know, eventually.

Will said...

"After the surprising, drunken chemistry they had, I was kind of hoping Drew and Berto would do something together."

This is what I've been saying. Natalie and Drew is a no go.

Seems to me Ben should win Henson Creature Shop easy.

SamuraiFrog said...

It is nice seeing a reality competition series and not actively hating any of the contestants... I really dug Ben's and Melissa's bird from a couple of episodes ago. I had a marionette bird when I was a kid and when they were given the movement challenge that was my first thought: bird.