Monday, October 4, 2010

TV Talk

Ack, another post of no vintage, what's my problem.  Alright, the new TV season is in full swing, and there are some promising new shows and some not so promising, but these are my brief (well not really brief)thoughts on my favs:
Chuck (2007)
I have been a faithful Chuck watcher from the very beginning.  This show is honestly like  a geek haven.  It is a spy show, but with a sci-fi twist.  Chuck is kind of a loser.  He was super smart but got kicked out of college and is now working a dead end job at the nerd herd at a Buy More...basically the geek squad at Best Buy.  He gets sent this computer file called the intersect and he opens it does some computer magic and downloaded super important government secrets into his brain.  Now he can flash on evil people he sees and can automatically pull up information on them.  In later season, he gets more abilities as well.  When the government finds out about him, he gets two handlers that use him to help them on their cases.  There is Casey, Adam Baldwin from Firefly, who is the one in love with guns and fire arms and is more of a shoot first ask questions later, and Sarah who Chuck automatically falls in love with.  She is super smart and a fabulous spy in her own right.  This show is filled with fabulous characters, hilarious moments, and family drama.  I never miss an episode.  A+
  The Event (2010)
There isn't much to say about The Event yet, other than it reminds me of Lost, without the characterization.  The first two episodes have been good at ending with cliffhangers though. So far, there has been a man who was on a cruise with his girlfriend and she mysteriously disappears.  Then, somehow he gets on a plane which disappears into thin air and crashes in the desert.  He survives and ends up in a hospital where he is accused of murder.  He gets the police to go to the site of the plane crash and everyone of the survivors is dead and scattered outside.  And somehow, there are these mysterious people that are not quite people...they might be aliens....and they know things that we don't.  It's all very confusing, but so far I like it.  B
Castle (2009)
Castle is kind of awesome.  Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame stars as Richard Castle, a very famous and successful novelist.  He is writing a new series called Nikki Heat, and as a favor from the mayor, is given permission to tag along at the police station to get inspiration for this series.  He is teamed up with Detective Beckett and becomes a thorn in her side.  She grows to like having him with her, but at first they butt heads too much because she is way too by the book sort of girl, and Castle is more of a go with the flow type of guy as long as he is allowed to be involved.  Their interactions are hilarious, and the cases they solve are of the heightened reality sort.  At home, Castle lives with his hilarious alcoholic mother and adorable teenage daughter, Alexis.  It is so great to see a positive father daughter relationship on TV.  Alexis is also one of the most realistic portrayals of a teen I've seen. A-     
 No Ordinary Family (2010)
No Ordinary Family is a cute show about an ordinary family who survives a plane crash.  A few days after the crash, the start to develop these super powers...super speed, strength, telepathy, and brilliance.  I like family dramas, as if you couldn't tell, and this one has promise.  It needs to get over the cliches and find its own footing, but I have hopes for this one.  B-  
 Glee (2009)
I think it is no secret that I have a hardcore love affair with Glee.  If you have been reading me for a while, you know that I dig deep into episodes of Glee and can write pages and pages dissecting exactly what went on.  That being said, I think Glee needs to focus on better writing and better story lines and make the songs fit the story instead of making the story fit the songs....For example the much hyped Britney Spears episode that was on last week was the worst episode yet.  The plot was practically non existent.  Most of it was nitrous oxide induced dream sequences of recreating Britney's music videos.  It was the first time I thought Rachel sounded awful on a song.  Those kids did not grow up on Britney Spears music- I grew up on Britney Spears music.  Mr. Schuester wanted to do adult contemporary songs, but everyone wanted to do Britney Spears songs he finally gave in... what a push over. You are a freaking teacher.  Get with the program. Kurt yelled at him in class and while most critics are lauded him for standing up to Mr. Schue, did people miss the fact that Kurt was completely being disrespectful to him and he deserved whatever he got.   And then Mr. Schue actually let them sing Toxic during a school assembly... umm has anyone read the lyrics to that song.  That would never be allowed in high school, and then with Mr. Schue singing it and dancing with the kids....awkward and disturbing. However, I do like all of the new characters so far, especially hot Carl aka Uncle Jesse.  Yeah!  B+  
  Life Unexpected (2010)
Life Unexpected is a really sweet show that hearkens back to the good old days on the WB.  Back when they had family based dramas (like Everwood or 7th Heaven) not  upper class teen driven unattainable to relate to trashy dramas.  This show revolves around Lux, a 16 year old orphan who tracks down her biological parents so that she can become emancipated.  She gets denied her request and instead, is court ordered to live with both of them now, even though they are no longer in a relationship. The rest of the episodes focus on the trials and strife the two parents face as they try to fill roles they have never had to fill, and Lux has to adjust to living with two people she has never met.  This is a very very sweet drama that I wish more people would watch.  A-
 Parenthood (2010) 
  Do you sense a theme with the shows I like.  Parenthood is basically the quintessential family show.  I'm not going to go into detail about everyone because honestly it would take a book to write.  It has some stereotypes like the loser younger brother, the flighty older sister, the older brother everyone turns to.  I love the kids on these shows because they actually have a purpose to the plot and are well acted.  And I love that they are bringing to light issues about Asbergers.  I like how they are handling it, how the parents are getting help.  How the parents put up a united front and it isn't disintegrating their marriage like is stereotypically shown.  And, I like how the show shows how their older daughter is handling her little brother having Asbergers, despite her having a bit of a typical teenage attitude at times.  A-
 Caprica (2010)
Caprica is not anywhere near the exciting fast paced mysterious realm of Battlestar Galactica.  It is more of a character study and family drama.  But, anything to do with the Battlestar Galactica universe, I'm there.  The end. B+
Undercovers (2010)
Undercovers was created by JJ Abrams, another sci-fi genius.  And, you would think spy genre genius as well since he also created Alias.  Alias was filled with serious plots,  a little scifi injected into it, great romance and sharp writing.  Undercovers: Alias, you are not.  I tend to like spy shows...Chuck, Burn Notice, Under Covers to name a few.  I had high hopes for you, but honestly I can't call you more than glorified fluff.  I want an over arching storyline for each season, not self contained episodes.  I want funny snappy humor, not cliche driven dialogue.  C+
Bones (2005)
Bones is a procedural about a forensic anthropologist who teams up with a guy from the FBI to solve crimes.  I like this show a lot, and that's saying something for it being a procedural. I don't think I would like this show if it didn't have the actors that are playing each character.  Each one is perfectly cast, especially David Boreanaz (Buffy, Angel) as the FBI agent.  Each episode is self contained so it is easy to miss a few episodes and not get lost.  The character's relationships with each other is the best part of this show.  B
Vampire Diaries (2009)
Vampire Diaries is sort of fantastic if you like the vampire genre.  At first I thought it was going to be a cheap Twilight or True Blood rip off, but it has come to have its own fabulous and intricate mythology that keeps getting more and more interesting.  The basic premise is pretty simple and common for more Urban Fantasy book or tv show series.  Human girl (Elena) meets super hot but sweet and accessible otherworldly boy. (Stefan)  They fall in love.  But that's not the end.  Said otherworldly boy (Stefan) has smoldering hot older brother (Damon) who is also not of this world aka vampire.  Usually in situations such as these (kinda like True Blood) younger boy who girl originally falls in love with becomes the one that everyone (the fans) hates and no one wants them to be together anymore.  Instead, they want poor weak human girl to fall madly in love with hot, rebellious older brother who is way more interesting and is given way more personality  by writers of said show than about everyone else combined. Not so in this case.  Damon and Stefan are each given their own very unique personalities, struggles, plans, etc. and I can't wait to see where Vampire Diaries leads everyone next. A+
Fringe (2008)
Fringe was never really must see TV for me until the second half of the second season.  Fringe is a scifi show, also by JJ Abrams.  It revolves around Olivia, a FBI agent who works on cases caused by unexplained phenomena.  In order to uncover truths about these fringe science happenings, Olivia works with adorably insane but freaky genius Walter, who at the beginning of the series was institutionalized, and Walter's  super genius son Peter, who basically becomes his father's caretaker.  John Noble (Walter) played Denethor, Steward of Gondor if you are a LOTR freak like me, so it makes me like it even more. A-
Nikita (2010)
Nikita is another spy series that is actually a remake, or continuation of sorts.  It all started with the French movie, La Femme Nikita, in the early 1990's.  Then there was a Canadian tv show for 5 years based on the movie.  The new show is about Nikita  after she breaks away from Division, the secret government agency that trained her to be a spy/assassin.  I never watched the old TV show, nor have I seen the movie, so I am looking at this series from a fresh start and I absolutely love it.  It's fun and serious at the same time.  Each episode is different but working towards the end goal (aka over arching theme).  Shane West  (A Walk to Remember) is Michael, who used to be Nikita's handler and I'm thinking lover.  There's a lot of tension in their random meetings.  Nikita is trying to bring down Division because they kind of do some not very nice things.  If you like spy shows at all and like character development then this is the show for you.  A-
 Supernatural (2005)
Supernatural is my very favorite show ever created.  Ever.   The end. You may read about my thoughts on this show here if you wish. A++
Dexter (2006)
Well what can I say about Dexter?  Hmm.  Well, he's a sociopath/serial killer...but he's a good serial killer I swear.  He only kills people that he feels have gotten away with doing a crime and were never brought to justice.  When Dexter was very young his mother was killed in front of him, and he was found in her pool of blood by a police officer who then adopts him.  Dexter's father brings him up in a very precise way, teaching him how to interact with people, he also pounds into his head a very precise code to follow.  He does his homework and studies the person, slightly stalks them before he decides to kill them and has a very methodical way of murdering the person.  He makes sure that they are truly guilty. Yes you are being asked to identify with a serial killer.  A serial killer that struggles with having and showing proper human emotions.  He also works as a blood spatter pattern expert for the Miami police, where his younger sister Deborah also works.  It is Dexter's relationship with Deb, as well as his girlfriend and her 2 kids that complicate his life further.  This show is not for everyone.  Obviously being on Showtime, there is some sex and nudity, though no where near the amount as HBO shows, and not in every episode.  The language is kind of atrocious, but the violence is no where near as violent as it could be.  Most of it you know what is happening but they don't really show it.  A+

So what are you watching this TV season?  Any shows you want to try but haven't yet, or have you given up on TV watching all together?

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