The Hiatus Is Over — We’re back!

Why hello again, all!  ::hides:: It’s been a while, I know. Please forgive! Such is life and such are the priorities that every now and then we’ve got to reevaluate them, and so my actual writing took precedence over my blogging for a while.  The truth is, it still does, but it may be possible that I’ve uncovered a way to fit my love for discussing serialized television with all you fine people (yes, all three of you) into my surprisingly busy little schedule.  Now — just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching. Oh no no, not at all. In light of this, here’s a taste of what I’ve been up to lately and my thoughts:

BoredBoardwalk Empire
I have a rule which you may or may not recall.  I will give a series 7 episodes to win me over. It might be slow. It might be cheesy. It might be badly acted even. But its my belief that all those things can be resolved with a little elbow grease and talent, if the premise and character intention is good enough. I thought this to be the case with Boardwalk Empire, a series I was immensely excited about for oh so very long. But alas, I could barely sit through Episode 6 and had to terminate my viewership within the first few minutes of Episode 7. The funny thing was I refrained entirely from reading any reviews or viewer reactions on the show while it aired so as not to bias myself away from the honest fact that each episode was unbelievable painful to sit through. I didn’t want to know if others felt differently because, in truth, I feared there might be something wrong with me. How could HBO and Martin Scorcese and the Sopranos people let me down like that? And so, when I finally read the many positive reviews on that it got, I realized there was indeed something wrong with me. Yup, the problem was this: I was a female. Afterall, every positive review was coming from some middle-aged white guy anyway. What an absolute shame to have alienated a female audience the way Boredwalk has from the very beginning. Now, by this I don’t mean that there weren’t enough women characters in the show (trust, I am an OZ and The Wire fan through and through regardless of their male-dominated environments). The problem lies in the show’s tone and conflicts and historical references taking such effort in appealing to and reeling in the male viewership with their gangsters and gritty set design and hookers and dancers and murder and drinking — but no heart. A bunch of degenerates and a couple of mildly ambiguous guys and, worst of all… no stakes! I saw more stakes on plates than in conflict. NONE. What was ever an actual worry or threat here? I never feared for the well-being of anybody worth carrying about on Boardwalk Empire. Maybe the single mother in the pilot episode but… who else? Did any of you?  If you love it or continued watching it, tell me why. I personally could not.

Big Love
I always felt I was the only person watching this show.  It never maintained particularly high ratings or reviews of the kind HBO is accustomed to but it ran for five seasons and had its finale last month the way all shows deserve to, regardless. For those that watched I’d love to hear your thoughts because I’m still kind of confused on how I feel about it myself. (I cried, yes, but that’s not hard to do during a finale when you’ve watched these characters for years and so it doesn’t say much about the story, only about the characters and the always tragic feeling that you’ll be saying goodbye forever.) HERE’S A SPOILER WARNING: Did you think that the show went way too feminist in its finale by offing Bill, considering its positive portrayal of the patriarchal system of plural marriage practiced by the Henricksons all along?  Yes, Barb’s calling for the priesthood was leading us in that direction, and the sister wives were never submissive, but it never seemed to be that important of a theme for the show to me. Suddenly, Bill is gunned down on the street and these three women go on to live their lives “married” to each other for what is presumably forever — except they aren’t gay (“not that there’s anything wrong with that” ahem). Yes, its very sweet and quite interesting but beyond the finale, let’s get real, these three beautiful and strong women are suppose to never going to remarry or leave one another? It was like it didn’t tie in with the grittiness of the series in the way I expected it to. It was too dreamy and fantastical. I didn’t hate the finale, but I didn’t love it either. What I did sure love was the show, and I found its final season to be my favorite with its multiple twists and turns in each episode more than ever before. It was worth sticking through this one and I’ll miss the Henricksons.

Friday Night Lights
I’m not a football fan. Let’s be clear about that. (Did I just lose a few readers?) But man oh man this show just knocked me flat on my face. I didn’t see it coming! Comparing the success of something like the failures of, for example, Boardwalk Empire, is not much of a stretch when you consider the testosterone-heavy implications of a series about football and series about 1930s mobsters. Where that show failed for me, FNL seemed to get it all right. It wasn’t just a show about football or about men or about small towns despite all of these factors being vital to the theme and concept of the show. What FNL managed to do so marvelously was to pull so much heart and universal truth out of their stories and their characters that even when at times you thought you’d seen a similar storylines on 90210, you knew this was not Luke Perry and this was not Beverly Hills, this was Matt Saracen and Dillon Texas, dammit! The final season aired on DirecTV’s 101 channel this winter, however they will air the same season on NBC sometime this summer as well, so if you haven’t gotten on this show yet, do yourself a favor and catch up in time to watch the final season on NBC. Coach Taylor will make you a better person. Promised.

Luther
Oh my! Just finished this one today and I’m obsessed. It’s a BBC series, only six episodes, only one season so far. It’s been picked up for a second round this year and I personally cannot wait to live in his world again. It’s more miniseries than TV show but the procedural elements and bad-guy-of-the-week structure keeps it in a realm somewhere in-between. The serialized storyline between Luther and a certain red-headed she-devil is where the show shines. Idris Elba (Stringer Bell of “The Wire”) is a force and if this show were American he’d have run off with the Emmy hands down. HBO must be dying for having let this guy go. I haven’t seen a single character carry a show on TV like that since — pffft can’t even remember. A close contemporary might be Michael C. Hall’s on Dexter, another anti-hero — but even then, the Luther character runs circles around Dexter. No internal monologue voice-over necessary here. It’s all on Netflix Instant View. Do it.

Californication
Jumped the shark. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Veronica Mars
If you were ever a true Buffy fan, you’re aware of the gaping whole that series left in your heart when it ended. Veronica Mars is the girl you need… or maybe not. It only got three seasons and ended so abruptly that it hurts to think about but, it filled that void for a strong, intelligent, and witty female character and her friends that I’ll always search for outside the Whedonverse. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but I can’t think of a good reason why not. A detective, a bad ass, a smart ass, and easy on the eyes to boot. Also on Netflix Instant View in it’s entirety.

The Killing
This is the newest show on AMC and very much worth watching. I will be following up this post with a review on the first five episodes after Sunday night’s airing. It’s Twin Peaks meets Law and Order SVU meets 24. All episodes are available on he AMC website. Stay tuned!

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2 Comments

  1. Time
    Posted May 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hey cool, you’re alive again.
    You never reviewed the last episode of Mad Men :P

    Why did Californication jump the shark?
    And I LOVE Veronica Mars <3 !!!

  2. Time
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Or are you..

TELL ME ABOUT IT, STUD.

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