Monday, June 6, 2011

What I'm Watching: TV Done Ended!

Back when I was writing Fox Valley Geeks (it's still out there, if you want to hunt for it, but it's not being updated any more) one of my favorite things to do was the run short updates of what I was watching.

Why? Dunno. But I tended to get people talking back to me about them. Mostly about semi-cult shows that people didn't want to die before their time.

Of course, they generally did.

I haven't done a full-on What I'm Watching in perhaps a year now. So here goes.

American Idol

I considered doing another big ol' recap of the show to put a cap on the season, but I can't say that I care all that much.

But, in short:

James: Sad to see him go, but losing him fell well into my, "Being in the bottom three can be good for you" theory pretty well. I suspect everyone else thought he'd win, and didn't get him the votes he needed.

Still, good dude, and I see good things for him in the future.

Haley: I was so happy to see her go, even as I saw her FINALLY seem to get what she was good at, which is a kind of classic rock/blues hybrid. Fact of the matter is, her low range was just about worthless, she's got a bad attitude, and you could see it on her face when she got cut. The look on her face didn't say, "I'm sad," it said, "I'm better than all of you and I deserve to be the queen. THE QUEEN!"

Lauren: They'll turn her into the next Miley Cyrus, and she'll do all right. Good for her.

Scotty: I said if James didn't take it, I'd be good with Scotty getting it. And though I called it for Lauren (as the Idol people really seemed to want her to win) I was happy to see Scotty take it.

Granted, I don't care for country music all that much, but he really seems to know what he's doing, and people seem to love him. And he seems like a nice dude. Hope he stays that way.

All in all, Idol is a pretty middle-of-the-road show you can watch with your whole family, and if you enjoy a good pop song (and who doesn't) it works. It's sports for theater dorks. So, you know. Fine.

My wife wants to watch another season, and I'll probably tolerate it. But I won't be jumping up and down about it.

Speaking of sports for theater nerds:



I've said in the past that the only way the show works is if you pretend everyone on the show is a moron. That's still the case.

But, you know. Fun performances. Some good stories here and there. Good acting, mostly. In particular, the very short subplot wherein Emma finally gets some medication for her OCD was nice.

Mostly, I'm curious to see what happens as we hit the end of season 3 and the class graduates. I figure they'll pull a Degrassi and keep a few old faces around through failure to graduate, and maybe as a class mentor or something.

I just hope they can get back to a point where the characters make sense. In some alternate universe there's a place where everyone owns the box set of a TV show called Glee, that only made it 13 episodes, and ended on a perfect note.

For the record, dumping Sue would help. Her character is like an extra limb at this point. Interesting and kind of entertaining at first, and now just getting in the way.


The only show I'm losing this year, much to my surprise. After a so-so first season, it got into a really, really odd second season, and ended by killing off almost the entire cast.

A gutsy move that might have made for an interesting third go-round. But I kind of doubt it.


A friend of mine and I spent hours talking about what this sixth season might be. Once everyone in the cast has died a couple of times, and stopped the apocalypse a couple of times, what's left?

You know, they pulled it off. It's been a lumpy season, with fewer great highs and no real lows. I'm calling it a win, especially now that they have a season 7 coming down the line, with a big, big, big problem they need to deal with.

The Vampire Diaries

You know what? Go out and get the first season on DVD, and then the second season when it comes out. Get past the first five.

The rest of the series flies. I promise you, you will stay up late nights watching "just one more" episode.

My good buddy wants to know what's going to happen to Supernatural next year. Me? I want to see if Diaries can keep up its totally relentless pace.

The Big Bang Theory

You know? It's a sitcom. Sometimes, it's a well-thought-out one. Sometimes, it's kind of dopey.

But more often than not, it makes me laugh. So I'll stick with it a while.

Modern Family

Sometimes, I find it scary how much this mirrors the world I live it. But I appreciate that. At its best, it's a wonderfully honest portrayal of a family that really cares about each other.

And that's nice to see.

South Park

My favorite thing to do is read interviews with the creators of South Park, because they all start by explaining how they thought they'd be canceled after six episodes.

200 episodes later...

As funny as it used to be? Probably not. But every once in a while they hit a cultural nail to precisely on the head that I'm reminded how much I enjoy having the show around.

From what I've read, the show is coming to a close in a couple of seasons. I'm good with that. I think you'd have to be crazy to argue that it didn't get its due...

How I Met Your Mother: Seasons 1-5

I've long considered doing a big, fat, write-up of my thoughts on How I Met Your Mother. I've even started writing one. But I can probably sum it up in a few short lines...

1. Ted is the worst character on the show, which is a pretty big flaw.

2. This is the hardest working show on television, hands down. It goes for broke every week, and tries so, so, so hard to find new ways to tell stories. That's to be applauded.

3. The only problem is, because they're trying so hard to break the mold, a lot of the time they fall short of greatness.

4. That said, when I finished up season five, and got my hands on season six, I wanted to dive right into it. The show CARES, and that makes it worthwhile.

For the record, though, the only truly great episode is Slap Bet.

But I don't care. I'll take a B on a show that's really trying over an A on the show that doesn't care any day.

And, finally:

Degrassi: Season 10 - first half:

You know, I'm a hardcore Degrassi lover. Started watching with the old series three years ago, and then plowed through EVERY season on DVD in an attempt to catch up.

Degrassi has always been a show that cared - one that talked about the world, and more importantly, remembered what happened from week to week. There are no "best friends" who appear in an episode, die, and make everyone think for 30 minutes.

No. The people count, and so do the storylines.

I will say, in Season 10 they've finally done the big conversion, and turned a lot of the show into Soap Opera. But it's a soap with a long memory, where everything that even happened can come back to haunt the characters later.

It used to be brilliant. It isn't any more. But it's still somewhere in the very good range most of the time, and that's more than people seem to expect from "Children's TV."


Speaking of TV for kids. You know all those old sitcoms that used to run on Friday nights? The writers work on iCarly these days.

So if you missed those, tune in. And if not, well... Try something else.

No comments:

Post a Comment