Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tube Time

America's guilty pleasure: the television.
The best writing is here, folks.
Fall shows have debuted and here are few random thoughts:

1. Boardwalk Empire. This HBO original is on fire right now. Know when a show reaches that creative high point? That's where this show is right now. Watch it or miss some incredible characters.

2. Weeds. This season just finished up and it's time for this once clever and funny show to say bye-bye. The whole season's storylines were weak, pointless and just a rehash. Even the actors seemed bored.

3. Unforgettable. Poppy Montgomery has superior autobiographical memory, but can this gimmick be a compelling reason that brings back viewers? Methinks not.

4. Breaking Bad. I keep waiting for this series to begin to show signs of age or the storyline to become stale. It hasn't and every episode leaves you wanting more. Superb acting, twists and turns- watch the damn thing, ok? You're missing out. "Better call Saul."

5. Survivor. Every year when this starts, I feel like poor Sisyphus and his damned stone. "Now, I'll have to get used to another 16 castaways." What keeps this from extinction is the obvious: people are ultimately interesting to watch, even when they behave very poorly. Or in this year's case, when they begin to unravel mentally.

6. Two and a Half Men. Aston Kutcher is spot-on as a dim witted, billionaire, sex god. Charlie who?

7. Glee. Dullsville. Where's the humor? Where are the fun covers of rock songs? Dancing? The endless touchy-feeliness of teenage angst has become tedious. Yes, we know Kurt is gay and gay is ok (except when he's too gay by his own admission. Whatever the hell that means.), but having to be endlessly reminded of that fact is bordering on OCD. Yes, Rachel was born for Broadway. So let her go there and shine like the annoying. shallow theater nerd she really is. The best part of this show is the evil Sue Sylvester, but ratings have dropped because the show is trying out storylines that we aren't interested in.

8. Desperate Housewives. I find that my mind has been wandering, drifting in and out for about two seasons. It's time for this ham fest to be over. Everyone and everything about this series seems tired and way past its bedtime.

9. Kitchen Nightmares. Talk about formula. Ramsey comes in, acts courteous, tastes the food, it's horrible, then the spanking begins. Why then don't I get tired of the obnoxious, bottled blond, F-bomb dropping, Scotsman? Because the guy, after all his success and undoubted wealth, still gives two shits. You can't fake sincerity (unless your name is Johnny Velvet) and Ramsey acts as if its his restaurant that's on the line. I don't understand that level of commitment. I would have opted out to a private island and spent my days playing guitar in a hammock, but that's why he's a dynamo and I have a loser blog.

What's always interesting is the resistance Ramsey encounters when the delusional owner(s) come to realize that they have been, indeed, fucking up everything along the way.

10. The Playboy Club. No one decided to watch this Mad Men copy with the conviction that the show was going to have some substance amidst the bunny tails. I'm not saying this show has quite caught fire yet, but (spoiler alert) with the Mob, murder and political ambition set against the Hef pleasure dome, they are off to a pretty good start. Now, let's rev it up a bit. Ratings weren't great, but the party's just started.

11. Prime Suspect. Maria Bello has the chops to pull off the hardass female detective type, but I don't yet see anything that distinguishes it from the crowd.

12. True Blood. Some funny moments, some dramatic moments, but then it all feels like a cartoonish sitcom. Must everyone in Bon Temp have magical powers? How absurd. Look! The plot just turned into a bird! Or is it a werewolf?

13. Pan Am. Mad Men ripoffs without good stories never leave the runway. Also, a stewardess is going to be a spy? Good plan. Does anyone smell desperation?

14. Rescue Me. Despite its attempts in the last season to honor firefighters lost on 9-11, Rescue Me has been flat for the last two seasons. I really liked this show for a while, but it forgot its own strengths and when to pack it in. This last season rolled by with few highlights. It's bad when you notice the actors acting. Case is point was the big wedding day. That was amateurish. Not a good way to end a series that had such greatness.
15. Game of Thrones. This had some really good moments and then there were moments when I felt like I was watching a video game. It made me miss HBO's Rome. Come back Titus Pullo, all is forgiven. Kudos to scene stealer Peter Dinklage.

16. Fringe. This X Files copy was a little slow at first and then hit its stride and then some moron decided it was time to invent an alternate universe. Pleeeeease. Here's the alternate universe I'm up for: turning the channel.

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