Friday, November 8, 2013

What I'm Watching: Sweeps Begins

I’ve been trying to get back to writing for National Novel Writing Month, and so far that’s been an utter failure.


I did reread what I wrote on my last vampire novel, and I was happy to find that it’s really good, and know where I want to go.


But I’ve been drained.


So I’m just gonna do this blog post, just to try and get in a writing mode, and we’ll hope for the best.


The Walking Dead:


This is new – I’m actually all caught up for the first time in pretty much forever.  I even watched the most recent episode the day it aired, and…


It’s all right.


I want to like it more, but I feel like I’ve been getting ahead of this show for a while, not because it sticks to the comics any more, but because it’s trying to get away from it and mostly succeeding.


There has been much talk about the surprises coming this year, and I think that’s what inevitably leads to letdown for me on this show.  They’re trying to surprise me, but they don’t really have anywhere else to go, shock-wise.


As much as I might like various characters on the show, I also am well-aware that killing them off or otherwise injuring them is really the only trick this show has.  Oh, they’re setting up plotlines, like the illness, but if you think abuot it the illness is just the zombies all over again.  It’s taking out redshirts until we get further in the season, when they’ll finally kill off an actual face we like and/or care about.


The comic went all-out (don’t read if you don’t want to know) and ended the prison stay with the death of Rick’s baby.  That’s a pretty brutal place to go, but at this point it wouldn’t really be a shock.  For the majority of the audience of the show, it’s been done already.


They could kill Rick, but why would they?  He’s not all that well-liked.


And of course, they don’t have the guts to take out fan favorite Daryl.


What does that leave us?  Probably with the death of Glen and/or Maggie at some point this season.  There’s enough of a shock there for it to work, and it doesn’t have the problem of wiping out someone we don’t have enough information about to care about all that much.  I mean, I guess they could off Maggie’s sister, but that’s a minor shock at best.


I’ll say Glen.


Oh, and also that little girl is feeding rats to the walkers.  Duh.  Try harder, show.




The storylines are a bit spread out now, and bringing to show around to its main point (closing Hell, dealing with the angels) is taking a lot more time than I expected.  That said, I’m laughing hard, I’m enjoying the moral dilemmas of secret keeping enough to let them go from week to week (because there is at least a point to the kept secrets) and moments like Dean getting ready to shoot a pigeon are pure gold.


Easily my favorite show.


Agents of SHIELD:


Man, this show gets a lot of abuse from critics.  I’ve read probably a half-dozen “here’s how to fix this show” articles these last few weeks, and you know what?


Man, let it go.


I realize I try to fix shows all the time, but this show has only just gotten started.  Yes, the characters are generic, yes, it’s still very monster/case of the week, but I feel like because this is a Whedon show everyone’s gotta shove its nose in the carpet and tell it that it’s a bad dog.


You know what?  I’m liking it.  It’s a little X Files, it’s a little Marvel, and the show is having fun.  I laugh more at this show than I do at most sitcoms.  The action scenes are well-shot.  We’re getting little bits of personality from the characters, and yeah, it’s taking some time to shake out, but guys, it’s a new show.


Give it time.  It’s getting there.


The Originals:


This is the one show I’m still way behind on, and I’m not quite sure how the little threads are really going to weave into a full season.  In fact, that’s probably my biggest issue – it’s a big setup that Vampire Diaries would probably burn through in four or five episodes, but it appears they’re on track to drag it out.


So I’m reserving judgment on this one, for now.


South Park:


Um… what to say?  They took a longer break before bringing us these ‘sodes, and I think it pushed them out of the groove a little bit. 


There are laughs, yes, but we’re zipping along through these episodes and usually, by now, they’ve had at least one very good episode, and instead they’re all just passable.


I don’t know if they’re just having an off season, or if, perhaps, it’s time to hang it up after more than 200 episodes.


Modern Family:


I’m not sure why I keep talking about this show, because I don’t have a lot to say about it.  Ultimately, it’s a sitcom, and it makes me laugh.


And… I’m out of revelations.




When we last saw Revolution, it was a big fat mess with a bunch of people I didn’t care about.


This season it’s… less of a mess.  They’ve spun the characters out and they’re trying to sustain this good guy/bad guy dynamic, but…


But things got fuzzy, a little too fast.  Some folks got bombed, which should up the stakes but mostly just made people sad.


The US Government is now back on American soil and trying to take over and “restore order,” but since they don’t seem to have a real plot aside from “eventually be the government again,” I have a hard time rooting against them.  I suppose the argument is, they’re bad and they nuked a bunch of people, but given the harshness of conditions and the fact that pretty much every “hero” on the show has killed dozens, if not hundreds, of people, it’s hard to give them the moral high ground.


The show is fun sometimes, but it could be more fun.  (Also, my wife is starting to hate these people, so… they need to do something, and do it quick.)


The Vampire Diaries:


The season started off with a bang, and it seems to be clipping along nicely.  Bonnies death has, I must admit, been hard to watch, as I’ve lost two friends to cancer this last year and watching these characters mourn has really set me off emotionally a few times.


Ultimately, of course the show can never quite maintain the crazy.  And that’s fine.  I’m happy with it, and as a bonus no one is being stupid and the random “witches can do anything unless they can’t” thing hasn’t intruded too much.


A good time for all.




So they finally got through the Finn thing, and now… now it’s pretty much Glee, with the random emotions and some nice musical numbers.  You can tell the budget’s been cut based on the fact that they don’t have A and B list actors, they’ve got two people who are about a year away from Celebrity Apprentice, but, eh.


I did not spend this week’s episode banging my head against the wall.  Winner!


The Big Bang Theory:


You know what I forget sometimes?  This show can be really charming.  Especially when they do something like the Bernadette song.


Musical episode people.  I think it’s time.

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