Ah, the joys of television. I’ll admit it: I’m a TV junkie. Which is kind of amazing, considering that I manage to read 100+ books per year. Hmm… I may need to get a life…
… but in the meantime, I thought I’d talk about some of the shows that I’ve been watching lately. Season finale season is here, but already several shows have wrapped up, so I wanted to talk about THOSE first before I get into the ones wrapping up between now and the end of May.
So, if you’re interested in hearing about the following shows, keep on reading! No spoilers, I promise! 🙂
Continuum, season one
Cougar Town, season four
Homeland, season one
Justified, season four
The Walking Dead, season three
Continuum, Season One (SyFy)
I’m a fan of science fiction. I’m a fan of time-travel. I’m a big fan of Rachel Nichols since her stint on the last season of Alias. So when I discovered this Canadian show was being imported to the US? I was off-the-walls thrilled. Continuum was must-see viewing on Monday nights, because both my hubby and I are a fan of the actress, and the show’s pretty solid. You’ve got your SF future, the time travel from there to here-and-now, and you get procedural elements on top of it. I found I really enjoyed the format of the show: most episodes would be framed by the future, some event that happened in Kiera Cameron’s past (which is our future) that would define or illuminate whatever the episode was about in our present (Kiera’s future). The cast was a lot of fun, and I really liked the way Kiera interacted with various people, Alec especially. Some elements of the show are probably a stretch, like Carlos’ quick acceptance of her in the pilot, but even when her flimsy cover gets blown, Alec finds a perfect way for her to “be herself” without Kiera having to say, “Yeah… I’m from the future, and I’m tracking down a terrorist group FROM THE FUTURE so they don’t screw things up for us…. and also, I’m trying to get HOME…. ”
It’s a good show, with some solid character-building, and you can bet that when season two premieres this June, I’m on board. 🙂
Cougar Town, season four (TBS)
We almost didn’t keep watching. Season three ended on a really satisfying note, and with the show’s move to TBS for season four and beyond, my hubby, who doesn’t quite enjoy the show as much as I do, thought maybe we should drop it from our roster. I agreed… until the premiere date got closer, and I wanted an excuse to drink wine while watching a comedy. 😉 Season four was fun, a lot of what fans know and love about the show, with a few additions that made it obvious the show was now on CABLE instead of NETWORK television. Like a few points of cursing, or the episode where Jules and Grayson decide to have “naked day” in the house, and even they make fun of the fact that everything in their house is designed to cover their naughty parts. It’s still a fun, enjoyable show, and this season further explored the potential for romance between Travis and Laurie, as well as introducing a legitimate love interest for Bobby. Fun times, all around. TBS renewed it for season five, so come January, I’ll be there, wine in hand. 🙂
Homeland, season one (Showtime)
The hubby and I bought this on BluRay during the Black Friday sale on Amazon last year, and we had a weekend where not much was going on and we wanted something to do. So I suggested we start watching Homeland. So we watched the first episode. Then I said, “Let’s watch another,” so we did. Then I said, “Let’s watch the next one,” and before we knew it, we pretty much had the whole 13-episode season wiped out in a weekend. IT WAS SO AWESOME. I’ve always heard great things about the show, and obviously, it’s the new awards-darling, but what I didn’t expect was the constant level of tension that permeates each episode. What I didn’t expect was how little action (as in shoot-outs and chases and booms, etc) there would be, yet how captivating the show would be nonetheless. I didn’t realize that Carrie (Claire Danes’ character) and Brody (Damien Lewis’ character) really don’t have a lot of scenes together on the show. Sure, they get to interact — and when they do, it’s just awesomely awesome — but yet the show works better for not trying to contrive a way for Carrie and Brody to interact each and every episode. Watching this show kind of cast all of our other dramas in a brand new light, and that light was NOT flattering. The acting (oh, Mandy Patinkin, I love you!) was superb, the writing MADE SENSE, and the whole season was just awesomely satisfying. I hear that season two isn’t quite as strong, but believe me when I say, come Black Friday this year? We’ll be pouncing on that sucker. 🙂
Justified, season four (FX)
Homeland may have cast some of my other dramas in an unflattering light, but not Justified. Justified is unique and of itself in that, sure, it’s a procedural, but by focusing on the Marshal service and the South (particularly Kentucky, and particular Raylan Givens’ hometown of Harlan), you get something that’s got far more flavor than anything CSI or NCIS has to offer. And the best part about the show is that it perfectly encapsulates the dark humor of the South, while perfectly respecting those folks that, if you met them in real life, you’d dismiss them immediately, thinking them uneducated hicks. But the writing, the characterization, the way people interact, and oh, the humor of this show is just wonderful, and season four’s big mystery instead of a big bad ended up working beautifully, with a really fantastically satisfying finale that really threw our hero, Raylan Givens, and his nemesis and anti-hero Boyd Crowder, in sharp relief. The parallels between these two characters, one a lawman, the other an outlaw, are just too wonderful for words. If you aren’t watching this show yet, and you want something a little different, you gotta give this a go. I can’t wait until season five. Also, watching this show makes me want to read the Elmore Leonard’s short fiction, on which this show is based. One day, my friends… one day….
The Walking Dead, season three (AMC)
Fact: The Walking Dead, both show and comic, has its ups and downs. Fact: in the comics, the Governor/Woodbury story arc is one of the most electrifying stories in the whole series. Fact: I don’t mind when the show deviates from the book. Fact: season three was a bit of a mess that really didn’t have a satisfying finale. That being said: the episode, “Clear,” was the best damn episode that show has ever produced, and a future Hugo-nominee for sure (seriously, Hugo voters? Just go ahead and put this on the ballot for next year’s “Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form”). And in terms of highs, once the writers finally figured out what to do with Michonne (which happened in, you guessed it, “Clear”), one of my favorite comic book characters finally got to come into her own. But one of my other favorite comic book characters, Andrea, was just a pitiful, mouthpiece of a mess this season, and her arc was, well, they tried, and they tried hard. That’s all I can say about that. Seriously, if I weren’t already a fan (and a somewhat frustrated fan, come to think of it) of the comic, I’m not sure I’d still be watching this show. Because when it’s good, it’s freaking fantastic. When it isn’t, it’s rough. And for the most part, this show is rough. Really rough. That being said, of course I’m tuning into season four. The departures made from the comic are what keeps this show fresh and interesting for me as a viewer, and I’m curious to see where it goes. Yet The Walking Dead is one of those shows I genuinely forget about and really just watch out of habit when it’s on. Some people love this show, some people hate it. I’m one of those annoying apathetic people in the middle, so yeah.
This week brings LOTS of season finales, so by mid to late May, I’ll put up part two of this post, which will discuss shows like The Following, The Americans, Parks & Recreation, Once Upon a Time, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, New Girl, Community, The Office, and maybe even Vikings if we catch up on the DVR backlog!
6 thoughts on “It’s Couch Potato Time!”
Yay another Homeland lover. S2 isn’t as great, but it’s still quite a bit better than lots of other things. I’m going to use this post as an opportunity to calmly rec (absolutely not ‘scream at you about’) ‘Prisoners of War’ the Israeli drama that Homeland is very loosely based on. It’s got a much slower pace but I found it gripping and Sky showed S1 so I imagine it must be available somewhere in the US.
I knew it was based on that series, though I don’t know if I’ll ever have time to check it out. We’ve got a lot of viewing (and catching up to do) on our plate, and right now it’s baseball season, which suddenly takes precedence over television shows, as my husband is obsessed with the Braves. 🙂
Continuum: I enjoyed S. 1 last year, and I’m looking forward to S. 2 – Agreed, some story-lines require a little suspension of disbelief, but no so much that our enjoyment of the tale suffers from it. And there are some twists and unusual narrative choices that speak clearly of the writers’ will to push the envelope a little.
Homeland: S.2 just ended here, and I’ve enjoyed it just as much as S. 1 – yes, it does not have the same level of tension, sometimes, but still it kept me glued to the screen. Mandy Patinkin keeps shining brightly (he’s my favorite character) and the last episode ends with a close-up on his face that speaks volumes.
Are you in Canada or the US? I think Canada is already viewing season two of Continuum, but the US gets it in June!
Can’t wait until I can get my hands on the Homeland season two BluRay….
I’m in Italy, and I’m waiting for my local satellite platform to get hold of Continuum S.2. Maybe soon….
I’ve been luckier with Homeland-2 because they aired it recently: it ended its run a couple of weeks ago.