Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Television Tidbits


So, first on my chopping block this fall? Mom.  I watched two episodes, even though I really thought the first one was pretty weak.  The third one that was sitting on the DVR got deleted, along with the auto-record.  I’ve probably mentioned before that comedies are not my favorite, and I don’t know that I have a real good idea of what it is that makes one work for me, but it’s pretty easy to tell when one just isn’t going to click.  In this case, there was nothing subtle about the show—big, broad, loud characters, stupid one-liners, predictable situations and outcomes.  All pretty typical and over the top, which is almost always a deal-breaker for me.  (Almost always, but not always always, as we’ve currently got Two Broke Girls bucking tradition.  If you really break it down, there’s really nothing particularly good about that show, but it still makes me laugh.)

Homeland continues to be intense, intriguing, and satisfying.  I am often annoyed that cable programming gets so much more positive press than the network offerings, but there’s no denying that sometimes it’s just totally excellent.

This past weekend, I finally started watching some of this past season’s Covert Affairs (yes, I had the entire summer season still taking up space on my DVR), and I was disappointed to see a change in their opening.  Or, more accurately, a departure from their opening.  I used to really enjoy the opening sequence and thought it was really good looking and creative, but now it’s all gone.  Just a flash of the title and that’s all we get.  I have already bemoaned the passing of opening sequences, and now there’s even one fewer to enjoy.

Also this past weekend (long weekends are made for marathon television sessions), I caught up on another USA show, Graceland.  I was really excited about it when it premiered this summer, but I only managed to keep up with the first few episodes before my schedule just overwhelmed me.  So, I watched the rest of the season, and I found it to be pretty solid.  Brian thinks it’s too dark to be enjoyable, and there’s no doubt it’s a departure from the typical USA fare, but I still liked it.  But I do have one complaint (spoilers ahead):  The premise of the show is a newly minted fed is put into a group house filled with other undercover feds, but he’s put there to investigate one of the roomies.  We went through about the first half of the season not sure whether the one being investigated was actually a bad guy or just a good guy with his own peculiar set of rules.  Then, we found out he really was a bad guy, but still something of a good guy.  Then, we find out he’s even more broken than we knew, and for good reason, so we get a little bit of sympathy for him.  And, then, finally, he executes what seems to be the perfect cover-up of all his wrong-doings and suddenly everything is back to normal for him.  Which leaves me wondering, now that his “brokenness” has been addressed—and avenged to some degree—are we to believe that he’s done being a bad guy and he’s just going back to being the good old FBI agent he used to be?  Or, is he going to continue working both sides of the fence, forcing us to continue believing that a house full of top-notch federal agents, trained to recognize deception and criminal activity, can be continually kept in the dark about his double identity?  Either way, I’m likely to be annoyed.  I do have a lot of faith in the ability of creator Jeff Eastin to develop a great deal of mythology and character motivation, so I’m not giving up yet, but I’ve got some concerns.  We’ll see what the next season brings.

And, speaking of Jeff Eastin, the most important thing this week is that White Collar returns in just a couple of days.  In fact, 48 hours from now, I will likely be basking in the glow of the season premiere and settling in to watch the encore presentation before heading off to bed.  (Yes, I often watch it twice on the same night.)  The network has been blanketing social media with teasers for the upcoming premiere, but I’ve been strong and stayed away.  It’s been hard, because I’ve really missed spending time with Peter and Neal, but there have been so many snippets, I was afraid I’d feel like I’d already seen the whole episode and it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.  And, the best part?  It’s fall break at school, so I will be home to watch the premiere live.  Brian does not see the benefit of that, as it means putting up with commercials, but I am ecstatic about the scheduling.  I need to find one of those countdown clocks and keep track of the minutes. 

And I think that’s about it for this week.  But, like life, the great thing about TV is this week always rolls over into next week.