Sunday, December 18, 2011

TeeVee

With regular football season wrapped up, and only a collection of meaningless bowl games, important to alums of the school and no one else, of which I can't afford to go to my school's (*sobs uncontrollably*), I'm turning my attention to the crop of new shows that premiered this fall that I've been watching. Because...well, what the hell else is there, really?

I also am not currently full of holiday cheer. This is shaping up to be a miserable Christmas season (though recently partly saved by a card from my dad so my mood is improving). So you don't get your "YAY! Christmas!" post. At least not until I get blind drunk in an Irish bar and listen to Fairytale of New York on constant repeat and get over the fact that I, as a native of the city I live in, can't escape my family at the holidays.

So: TV!

1. Grimm.  Dark, creepy, set in "Portland" (British Columbia), a cop discovers he is descended from the not so mythical Grimms and has to hunt/interact with a bunch of creepy mythological but very real creatures both as an heir to being a hunter of them and as a police officer. The lead character is a bit...bland. Your standard TV pretty boy. Though that's not really a complaint. And his journey of self discovery needs to hurry the hell up, as well as what the consequences are of what it all mean. (I'm fully expecting them to kill off the fiance ASAP, something that was alluded to in the first episode, and because of this I am anxious whenever she is on screen.) There's the boss who is obviously connected in this whole myth somehow and larger pieces of the thematic puzzle need to fall into place/be a lot more fully developed because right now you have a police procedural with a mythological twist. Which also isn't a complaint. I like it. I just wish there was more. I adore the werewolf sidekick. Plays quirky without being weird or annoying. It's on Friday nights, which doesn't really bode well for its chances of survival. Which is about par for me liking something.

Bland, pretty boy lead with quirky sidekick. I'd prefer to be/am already quirky sidekick role.

2. On the opposite end of the mythical spectrum: I watch a lot of stupid shows that I know are stupid and yet I can't help watching them anyway. Once Upon a Time is one of those. On the upside, I'm not alone, as Linds and I had an in depth conversation about the storyline recently. It's stupid. STUUUPID. As soon as they go off to far far away land, it's akin to bad community theater. It feels as if Disney, as the corporate parent of ABC, has way too much of a stake in this one and is directing those fairytale scenes. The prince and princess characters talk just like the dressed up characters do to small children in Disneyland. In fact, while pretty, I was so annoyed with "Prince Charming"'s acting, I wanted to see what sort of resume gets you cast on a soapy fairytale (yeah, that's what it is...a soapy fairytale. Who knew?). Turns out our fair prince spent a large portion of time in the Royal Shakespeare Company. Uh. Really? Never would have guessed. Ginnifer Goodwin is playing lonely and sad which seems to be what she always plays now. And the evil queen is not just evil but so very very bad at the acting. And not even compellingly evil. I expected to be torn on the whole good v. evil thing, an area that I love mined in literature and film, but there's absolutely nothing redeemable or even interesting about her.

Here's what REALLY bugs about the show: I've been watching since episode 1. And at no point in the myth building did the story indicate that evil queen/mayor KNEW that all the fairytale people had lost their memories. And suddenly in the last episode (which was also painfully predictable, to me, at least) she has magic powers in not magical land? Wha? This is what Linds and I spent time discussing. In depth. On the gchat. So I hate this show and yet will not stop watching it/obsessing over plot. I did finally gave up Gossip Girl so I feel like this is maturity.

Does this look like a show you could ever take seriously? No. Not in the least.

3. Prime Suspect. This show is apparently already dead, which is unfortunate. It is the most realistic cop show I've watched since Denis Leary's short lived The Job. I never watched the original BBC Prime Suspect so I can't, and won't, make comparisons. But for an American police procedural? This one slays. Maria Bello's character is a ball busting, badass whose male co-workers respect and fear her. She doesn't mince words, isn't easy to get along with, and is clever. She doesn't put up with shit. She's messy and complicated and imperfect. Just like *gasp* REAL WOMEN! (Jezebel even posited that her unlikeableness is what killed the show. I don't agree, as I actually found Bello's character really likeable, but it's an interesting theory.) The asides, in-jokes, and general banter that all the cops make are very very very much like the banter I am used to hearing around every police station I've been in. Which is several. Because that's how I spent my not cool teenage years: hanging around far too many cops. This also includes the time a NYPD detective took my dad and I around 1 Police Plaza in NYC and I saw how East Coaster's bantered. (Same as us.)

4. Pan Am. More soapy ABC crap. I can't resist. Here's the deal: I have a fairly active imagination. So when I do watch TV (often), I want to be thoroughly entertained by something fun and fictional (I do not do "reality" TV at all) and imagining being a Pan Am stewardess in the late 60s, one of whom is a CIA courier? That's kinda awesome. The show is thoroughly whitewashed and everyone is oh so pretty but it's fun the way it intertwines the history of the time with the characters. Though we're certainly not giving it points for accuracy. It's the far less existential version of Mad Men. Far. And it's set in places I don't get to visit often/ever. I mean, pretty people gallivanting around falling in and out of love? This is why TV was invented, people. (It was actually invented to sell you stuff, which makes sooo much sense. But pretty people is a close runner up. Because it still sells you stuff. "If you looked like this and bought these products, you're life could be amazing too!")

5. I already touched on this one but: Hart of Dixie. Classic fish out of water story: what happens when snobby NY doctor ends up as a general practitioner in Alabama? Hilarity and life lessons ensue, for everyone. And Jaime King wears too much mascara. As someone who basically lived that (except I was an undergrad and from the West Coast), it's a little bit relatable. Obviously over the top for TV but I get it. And, forgive me for this, it really does have heart. (Yeah, sorry, I cringed too.)


About the previous Hart of Dixie mention: Linds and I were talking about the Twitter run-in and she said, "It just goes to prove: even pretty, seem to have it all, Hollywood actresses have their own insecurities." Word, sister, word.

6. On for the next four weeks only, requiring an HBO subscription (or illegal hookup which I do not in any way endorse /disclaimer): Flyers/Rangers 24/7. Hockey hockey hockey. And the super saturated colors of HBO. And hot hockey players. And a kickass score. And hot hockey players. (It bears repeating.) I mean, there's no Brooks this year, but Dan Girardi isn't exactly hard on the eyes. Watch this or we're not friends.

Dan Girardi
Funny to think a year ago this doc was the impetus for what has become my own hockey obsession. I had only the vaguest notion of what the sport even was then and now I keep trying to learn more and did a double take when the aforementioned imaginary hockey boyfriend was suddenly on the first line for tonight's game with Ovi and not the 4th line. Life's funny sometimes.




Gratuitous Brooks picture because I can. And it's Christmas related. Thematic!

The do not endorse list:
Any "comedy" that came out this season. 2 Broke Girls? No. Is rasssist, not funny, and while the Kat Dennings character is relatable on some level for us mid/late/just out of 20s girls, it's just...no. Whitney? No. I watched the first 3 episodes somewhat hopefully. Every last one had a rape "joke".

You will see no mention of CBS dramas on here because that channel is for old people.

Oh. Forgot one: I do kinda like The New Girl but I don't know why and I kind of wish I didn't because...just because. I don't like them constantly trying to change Jess when there's very obviously nothing wrong with her.

So this is how I am surviving the holidays apparently. With lots of TV. What's your plan?

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