Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mid-Season Review: My Thoughts on 6 TV Shows

So we are about 1/2 way through the current television season and I just wanted to share my thoughts on some of my favorite shows - some exceed expectation, while others disappoint...

1. The Vampire Diaries -From my previous posts you know that TVD was my second favorite new show last season (following very closely behind Glee). Well, luckily season 2 is still going strong. The dialogue is still witty, the pace is still blink and you'll miss it, the plot is twisted and surprising and the characters become more complicated with every episode. So much has happened already - it is almost hard to process. Seriously, in one episode Damon snaps Jeremy's neck (and we discover that Jeremy is now immortal - with the help of a special ring. However, the question remains whether Damon knew this before he "killed" him with such ease) and Caroline is turned into a vampire (kudos to Candice Accola for her heartbreaking portrayal of this transformation). Other major plot points that have occurred during this season already: Mason (Tyler's Uncle - played by the super hot Taylor Kinney - score another point for the amazing casting director) comes to town and reveals that he is a werewolf - then gets his heart ripped out (literally). Tyler then accidentally kills someone (causing his own werewolf transformation - again kudos to Michael Trevino for that scene - amazing). Katherine is back - revealing her big secret - she never loved Damon (ouch that must hurt) AND she is actually still in love with Stefan (I still don't buy it) and is now officially locked in the tomb that she was originally supposed to be locked in. There is the mysterious "moonstone" which holds the key to vampires being able to wonder around in the daylight (and I think werewolves turning on non-full moon nights...right?). oh and Elena and Stefan pretended to break up then they really broke up. There is a bunch more but I think you get the point - it doesn't let up. I don't think there has been a boring episode yet. Another highlight for me is Nina Dobrev fantastically portraying both Elena and Katherine effortlessly allowing for believable "doppelganger hi jinks." I love that in the Masquerade episode they point out the obvious (Katherine has curly hair, while Elena's is straight). They also consistently infuse the show with humor like when Stefan tries to be funny by saying that the Lockwoods could be "ninja turtles" or when Caroline remembers what a dick Damon is and tells him "you suck". The biggest compliment that I could give this series is that it finally fills the void that Buffy the Vampire Slayer left behind. (side-note: As hot as Paul Wesley is, I am worried for his health....he would be just as hot with just a little bit of meat on his bones)

2. Community - The absurdity continues. Let's see...where do I begin? First, there was an episode that revolved around our favorite college study group getting trapped in a KFC space machine. Then, the Halloween episode was about zombies. No really - everyone turned into zombies. Oh - next came a very solid episode when they searched every one's bag (and souls) for Annie's missing pen. Top all that off with one of the most genius 30 minutes of television ever - a stop motion animation Christmas themed episode (sure to be a television classic). Besides the absurd plots - there is also consistent, reflexive and hilarious dialogue. Soooo many quotable lines I don't know how to narrow down my favorites but I will try:

*Police Officer: Fact: In 100% of all fake gun shootings, the victim is always the one with the fake gun.

*Shirley: Jeff, you don't have a bag?
Jeff: I could never deprive the world of the portion of my chest the strap would cover.

*Abed: Troy, make me proud. Be the first black man to make it to the end.

*Britta: Guys go home and make socks with your name on it.
Annie: If a guy wants to make a puppet of me, that's hardly your concern.

3. Desperate Housewives - this show should officially be cancelled. It is on it's 7th season and it had a good run. It used to be one of my favorites, but it gets worse and worse every year. I loved a few years ago when they jumped the show forward (although a tired plot device - it infused a whole new dynamic into the series) but it is already getting stale - the show needs something "big" in order to thrive again (and not tornado big). Who really wants to see Terri Hatcher cleaning in lingerie? Seriously...who? And the whole "feel bad for me because I am poor" would be a great twist to her character if it were true. Being on a budget doesn't make you poor it makes you normal. And did you see the "horrible" apartment she lived in? And the furniture? Not exactly the Ikea discounted furniture that actual poor people would be grateful for. I'm not really a fan of Vanessa Williams (she over-acts) and I am not really feeling her arrival on the show. In my opinion subtle bitches are more effective than loud and obnoxious ones (like Dana Delany). I hate that she had an affair with Lynette's husband (Tom - love him!) because it is completely out of character for him. I know it is mean but I find the relationship between Bree and Brian Austin Greene to be completely unbelievable. They have zero chemistry (and the fact that in reality he is banging the hottest woman on the planet makes it a little hard to believe he would find Bree hot – just sayin'). The Felicia Tillman/Paul Young plot is an interesting storyline to bring back – but so far it has been predictable – of course his new wife was Felicia’s daughter. Did that really surprise anyone? The only interesting storyline is the switched at birth story – how awful would that actually be. Especially when you see more of yourself in your actual daughter than the one you have been raising. It is heartbreaking to watch and I have to give credit to Eva for her performance this season. Overall - just another disappointing season so far.

4. Modern Family - Did anyone else notice the weird coincidences between Modern Family and its biggest award show competitor Glee? First, they did a show about religion the same week Glee did. Then they did a flash mob mall scene (which Glee did last year) using the 90's En Vogue song Free Your Mind (which Glee did a mash-up of in the same week this episode aired). WEIRD. Anyway, that being said...I still enjoy this show. It keeps me laughing every week. The kids have really shined this season- especially Luke (who is actually a genius in real life - which makes him even more hilarious). I loved when he avoids getting hurt during the earthquake but then walks into a wall. I also cried when Luke admits he would choose to live with his dad if his parents divorced - his reason "he would need me more". OMG. Heart breaking. I also loved the flash mob scene (although stale) only because Mitchell killed it, while Cam painfully tried to dance along. Favorite quote so far? It’s like they say…sometimes, when God closes a door, he closes it so hard that your wife can’t get out.- Phil.

5. Fringe - Season 3 of Fringe has been FAN-freakin'-TASTIC. It is exactly what JJ shows do best – reinvent themselves. We are fully thrown into the alternate universe that the season 1 finale introduced us to. I love Altivia (or Fauxlivia if you prefer...). I love that John Noble is just as fantastic at not being crazy (his alter ego is completely sane). I love that they got Pacey and Altivia together (I hated the thought of Pacey and Olivia together because I love their brother/sister relationship that they have) but it works now because it’s not really the true Olivia. And now that Olivia returned to her correct universe – her relationship with Pacey is officially tainted (I mean he had sex with someone that is exactly like her but not her). This show has truly become the next Lost. It is the only show on television that you actually have to pay close attention to. Two universes are literally at war with each other – how much more epic can you get right? I got chills when Pacey receives the phone call telling him that the woman in his bed is not really Olivia. I love how he outwits Altivia in the end. Joshua Jackson has done a fantastic job in the most recent episodes, expressing the pain he is in for making such an egregious error (a perfectly acceptable yet unforgivable error). He has created a very solid character - I might have to stop calling him Pacey and learn his characters actual name (Will? John? I have no idea...). It still continues to focus on "fringe" cases while keeping the bigger picture in the background - like with the super creepy "Marionette" episode. It also continues to be eerily similar to Alias - the pieces that have to be put together (the vacuum device thing) is reminiscent of the Rombaldi device. Should I start looking for the number 47? I am broken hearted that the show has been moved to Friday nights and that it was ignored by the Golden Globes. If this show gets cancelled I will seriously throw an all out hissy fit.

6. Gossip Girl - Another show that has had its day. Time to move on. It has been nothing but predictable. Does anyone believe a thing that comes out of Georgina's mouth? Of course that baby wasn't Dan's! Although he did have the funniest line of the season so far (Do you know how hard it is to keep a baby alive?!). I am happy they got rid of raccoon eyes (Jenny used to be such a great character!) but then they kept bringing her back for random revenge plots. I am not a Katie Cassidy fan (she sucked on the reboot of Melrose Place) but she was better on this show. I was intrigued by her mysterious plot - but then they just dragged it out for fooooorrreevverr. It became mind numbing and pointless. And there was zero payoff. I enjoyed Chuck being nice for all of 2 seconds - but I am happy it didn't last. They should just cancel the show and do a Chuck and Blaire spin-off. Speaking of Blaire....are they seriously going to hook up her and DAN? For reals? She can do better.

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