Sometimes a show should only last one season. No matter how entertaining the premise, some concepts can only be stretched so far. Revenge is turning out to be one of them.
The fun of show was watching Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) seek revenge against the people that led to her father’s wrongful imprisonment and death. The main targets were the Grayson Family, led by matriarch Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe). They orchestrated the framing of Emily’s father so clearly they needed to suffer the most.
Without spoiling the first four episodes of season two of Homeland, I just wanted to take a moment to praise the fearlessness of the writers and producers.
Years of watching television has trained the viewer to expect events to occur at a slower pace than they would naturally. A show must stretch its drama out over the season so, while it can be frustrating, sometimes you have to accept that all the major events won’t happen until the finale. This season of Homeland has thrown those expectations out the window.
The ends of the last three episodes could have served as season finales and everyone would have been satisfied, anticipating season three. The creators of Homeland, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, are throwing caution to the wind. Everything is happening at an unusual and unexpected pace for a U.S. television series.
This could turn out to be a huge mistake. The show could fall apart like a marathoner who uses all their energy early in the race. I have no idea what’s going to happen next but I can’t wait to find out which is the most exciting feeling a television viewer can have.
8:30 pm: Community (NBC; 10/19) I have no idea to expect from this season. In the Dan Harmon Era, this would be a good thing. With him gone, are the new showrunners going to try to continue with a watered-down version of Harmon or take the show in their own direction? Neither seem particularly appealing.
9:00 pm: Fringe (FOX; 10/28) Another final season. I’m glad that this show gets to go out on it’s own instead of this show being cancelled and not knowing how the show was meant to end.
8:00 pm: Last Resort (ABC, 9/27) Shawn Ryan (The Shield) on network TV? I’m in. Having Andre Braugher doesn’t hurt either. It’s a shame that this probably won’t last past the first season in this absolutely brutal timeslot.
8:00 pm: The Big Bang Theory (CBS; 9/27) It’s not as funny as it used to be (too much Jim Parsons but an Emmy will do that) but last season’s emphasis on the three female characters as a separate group – Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Balik) – gave the show new life.
9:00 pm: Modern Family (ABC; 10/26) The show is getting more hit or miss as it ages. The characters who were breakouts – Phil (Ty Burrell) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) are now becoming overwhelming. Also, the way the writers make the two wives – Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Claire (Julie Bowen) – increasingly shrill is borderline sexist.
10:00 pm: Nashville (ABC; 10/10) My most anticipated new show this season. Why? Connie Britton. After her performance as Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights, I would watch any show that she starred in. Speaking of which…
10:00 pm: American Horror Story (FX; 10/17) I watched the first few episodes because it starred the aforementioned Britton but it was just too silly. Then I heard all the buzz after the Halloween episode aired and came back. I don’t regret watching it but if I had missed it, I think I would have been okay with that. I’m actually curious how this will work with some returning actors playing different characters in a different story.
10:30 pm: Key & Peele (COM; 10/26) I’m hoping the consistency of the skits improve in season two. The funny skits are hilarious and stayed with me. The bad skits, however, have this insular quality like you can tell they are the only two people who would find this funny.
9:00 pm: Happy Endings (ABC; 10/23) I think Happy Endings has taken over Modern Family‘s spot as ABC’s funniest show. The way I feel about this show now is how I used to feel about How I Met Your Mother in the good days (seasons 1-4)
9:00 pm New Girl (FOX; 10/25) Zooey Deschanel is still the weakest link in this cast but she improved as the season went on. Well, she didn’t necessarily improve. She just meshed better with her castmates. She’s about to lose this show to Schmidt (Max Greenfield). I haven’t seen a secondary character hijack a show from it’s star like this since Urkel.
8:00 pm: How I Met Your Mother (CBS; 9/23) There isn’t a show on television that needs an end date more than HIMYM. I’m just about ready to quit this show. I don’t need to see Lily and Marshall as parents. I don’t need to know how Barney ended up marrying (spoiler). Just knowing that they do get married is enough for me. Just give us the mother and everyone can move on.
8:00 pm: Bones (FOX; 9/17) Bones is a bit of a guilty pleasure. I don’t feel like I need to watch it consistently. I can pop right in whenever I want. I generally hate procedurals but this is one of the few exceptions where I haven’t gotten tired of the repetitive formula.
I’m going to try something different and break my annual TV post by day. This way, it might be easier to digest
8:30 pm: Bob’s Burgers (FOX; 9/30)
The only Fox animated show I enjoy. It’s not always laugh out loud funny but it’s always interesting. This is one of those shows I wish were more popular. Maybe Seth McFarlane can attach his name to it.
9:00 pm: The Good Wife (CBS; 9/30)
I’ve been trying to take advantage of my “free time” and catch up on this show. I’m halfway through season two and think I’ll be able to finish (if this pesky wedding doesn’t get in the way). I’ve never been a big fan of Julianna Margulies but I’m warming up to her. She’s almost shows emotion in this show.
This post contains spoilers for the first two seasons of Game of Thrones.
I should preface this post by saying that I have not read A Clash of Kings, the second book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire & Ice saga. I made the decision a few months before the season started that I would read each book after the corresponding season. While I did enjoy the first book, A Game of Thrones, I would rather be surprised by the HBO show than the books. I would rather care about what’s on the screen than constantly be thinking about what’s different and what they left out. I don’t want to hear, “It makes sense in the book.” The show should be able to stand alone.
While the second season had a lot of strong episodes and performances, I don’t think it was better than the first. The last two episodes, “Blackwater” and “Valar Morghulis,” contained the best and worst of the series. Spending all of “Blackwater” in one location for Stannis’ (Stephen Dillane) attack on King’s Landing was a wise decision that led to a tense, well-plotted episode. I think the price of that great episode was paid for in “Valar Morghulis.” That episode was a mess, bouncing from place to place in five to seven minute bursts. Even the extra ten minutes didn’t help as everything still felt rushed. I kept hearing that A Clash of Kings was the worst book. I didn’t believe it until I saw that last episode. The reveal of the White Walkers at the end wasn’t enough to salvage it.