Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fall Finales

Where did this Fall Finale idea come form anyway?  Since when did we wrap up shows way before Christmas - some before Thankgiving and have to wait way into January to find out what happens?

The one bright spot is that some shows had a delayed start and are doing a more normal schedule in November and December.  Mike and Molly and CBS's Thursday night line up are in this group. We have also had an early winter premiere or two - the weird Switched at Birth Christmas special and Hart of Dixie.

I found Switched at Birth weird because it didn't make any sense at all.  Of course it was fantasy but there should have been some reason to what happened.  It followed that Regina might never have gotten sober without the switch but Bay's family made no sense at all.  Why was not having the girls switched any sort of catelist for Catherine being the business woman and for their marriage to be so bad?  Not my favorite episode at all.

The best Fall Finale goes to Nashville.  Of course, we knew Rayna and what's his name weren't getting married.  We had seen her in her wedding dress. Even when they tried to say she had bought a different gown, we had still seen it before she was walking down the aisle.  The audience seeing the bride in the dress before the wedding isn't just bad luck it means a no-go.  And thank goodness.  Never have two characters had less chemistry or reason to marry than these two. I will say that the actor playing whats-his-name (truly I can't remember.  Is it Luke?) did sell me on the idea that he really loved Rayna at least a little. I still think this was as much about business for him as love.  Early on I thought he was a spy for Jeff Fordham.

Layla is gone.  Oh well, so sad.  We were just beginning to see some positives in Layla but certainly not enough to invest in the girl.  It's fairly easy to see where this is going.  Jeff is going to expect the mayor to help clean up his mess in exchange for not revealing Teddy's relationship with a call girl.

The reason I particularly liked this episode is that we did get a wedding, the surprise wedding of Avery and Juliette, my favorite couple.  I'm not sure how much of Juliette we will be seeing depending on their filming schedule as Hayden Panitierre just had her baby in real life and congratulations to her!  She is still my favorite character and singer on this show.  And her involvement with Avery has finally shown the primetime world what Jonathan Jackson has to offer.

The Good Wife gave us the best fall cliffhanger. Will Carey go to prison or is there some sort of last minute reprieve?  It isn't looking good for him.

Madam Secretary finally upped the pace and reduced the emphasis on the predictable crisis-of-the-week drama in favor of the overarching story.

Forever also had a fine Fall Finale but have they given us too much info too soon?  I'm not seeing long term series here but I do like the ride so far.  Everyone is just a little too quick to stand by Henry though if you ask me.  I'd be highly suspicious despite the handsome, charming exterior.

Modern Family had a particularly fun finish for 2014.  They have been doing a lot of episodes where the family doesn't blend and just have their own dramas and comedies within their respective households.  I think this makes more sense but they are far funnier when they mix it up.  I love how Gloria was instigating trouble for Claire.  And the whole 'where babies come from' with the younger kids was hilarious.  Lily can sometimes be a bit much and this episode had her more balanced with the other children.

The Big Bang theory had a lovely 'ahh' moment with Sheldon and Amy.  There were so many 'why didn't they just...' moments with the bird in the clean room but then if they had, we wouldn't have been laughing so hard.  I'm sympathetic.  Just the other day, I accidentally let a bird in the house.  My husband easily caught it and released it outdoors in minutes.  

So what to watch for the next few weeks?  I have some shows on DVD and I'm trying to spread them out so there will be plenty to enjoy as it looks like it will be at least mid-January before we are in full swing.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Luke is back, sort of, and Sherlock's Understudies

On GH, Tony Geary is back! How wonderful to see Luke on the screen again and looking well.  Actually we saw 3 Lukes in the last few days.  I was hoping this story was wrapping up though I'm not that surprised that it isn't.  Just because we have been strung along with listening to people talk about Luke for months on end doesn't mean that his portrayer has had the opportunity to enjoy creating and playing these characters.  So I'll give them a little leeway.  Still I hope this wraps up by Christmas.

The big tipoff I think that Luke wasn't Luke yet was that Helena let Alexis just go on into Luke's room and take him out.  You know it wouldn't be that easy.  I think Fake Luke has something to do with the experiments at Crichton Clark and the blood Jerry got to make his radiation poisoning cure.

My heart did a pitter patter this week when I saw Johnny flash his beautiful smile at Sonny - or well, at us lucky viewers at home.  Why can't we spring Johnny so we could see him far more often?  And I miss Anthony, too.  He was a fantastic villian.  I don't think they should bring him back after all the time we viewers spent watching Heather hauling his corpse around. You just can't sell everything.  Then again we loyal viewers have had to buy a lot lately.

I have no segway into this so I'll just jump into another show - Elementary.  Last week, Joan took the week off as she was in Copenhagen with her boyfriend.  It was a brilliant move on the director and writers part as it sold me on Kitty. Seeing her interact with Sherlock without Joan to compare her to, let me really start to like her and value her as a part of the team.

This week they were all back together.  I do like the cases of the week so while I'm enjoying the development of Sherlock and the fantastic job Johnny Lee Miller does with the character, I don't want to lose the weekly stories.  This week's case was weak in my opinion.  I knew the instant we met the young woman that she would be the killer.  Her characters always are.  Plus they should have figured out the reason behind the murder far sooner than they did.  So the overall story arc is being handled very well.  The case of the week though needs more creativity.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's not OK

While I'm thankful this week for all the good television I enjoy these days, I'm also noticing a few things they are selling that I'm not buying.

The first of the week was the idea that Alicia's note about knifing Grace's teacher was a joke and a supposedly funny joke.  I certainly don't believe Alicia would ever assault anyone other than slapping Peter which she is encouraged to do.  I just can't see that it was the least bit funny. And it was incredibly stupid to write this threat down.  It was idiotic of Grace to take it to school. And it was beyond ignorant to leave the principal's office without getting the note back!

I'm not sure what kind of point the writers are trying to make with this story.  If a candidate did that in the real world, their campaign would be over.  There is just no coming back from that in my opinion.  Even if she did mean it as a joke, she is joking about serious violence.  That disqualifies her as a serious candidate.  I suppose this was all meant to lighten the mood of the episode and it failed miserably.

We never really knew how Carey was going to come out. One thing this show excels at is keeping cast changes under wraps. I'm assuming Carey will be written out but then I wonder if there will be some sort of last minute reprieve when they return in January.  If he goes, Christine Baranski should be very worried.  I believe that the direction here is for the law firm to be written out altogether. Alicia will win her election, Diane will hopefully get a judgeship if she doesn't die of some terminal illness, Kalenda will be written out we know already.  There's no one left.  We've already lost Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox), Colin Sweeney, and the always entertaining David Lee. I miss these characters and don't think their stories were done.

It is after all The Good Wife not the good lawyer so this is a viable direction.  I just think it has become about supporting Juliana Margulies roll at the expense of great characters.  Everyone has noticed how she and Archie Panjobi are never in a scene together anymore.  I'm all about a show's characters growing but I think this is an overhaul that is unnecessary.

The Millers is gone.  There are far worse things that should have proceeded them off the air.  The biggest mistake was the addition of Sean Hayes character.  If he were on occasionally it might have worked but they forced him into every scene as though he suddenly fit into these people's lives without them batting an eye.  And the biggest mistake - he isn't funny!  He was in Will and Grace as I remember but then again he was my least favorite on that show.

My biggest beef though is how they could include the bit about beheading in the last episode shown.  It was beyond insensitive.  That should have been known when it was filmed but to air it only days after an actual killing was truly awful.  That part could have been so easily edited out.  Again, not the least bit funny and really offensive.

To round out the unnecessary violence, on General Hospital today Anna said she couldn't possibly compare what Duke did (give Sonny and alibi) and what she did (try to keep Faison in a hole in the ground for a year.)  I can, what she did is torture.  She is a police commissioner.  She is sworn to uphold the law. She broke it and all the faith in the justice system.  Anna was one of the best of the characters they brought back for the 50th but I'm pretty much through with her at this point.  She and Duke are both wrong and two wrongs don't make a right.

The good point of the week came when Luke walked into the Q's Thanksgiving pizza party courtesy of 'Natasha.'  (Oh, why does one character get to have two lovely names?)  I kept searching for signs this was the fake Luke but I really think he is supposed to be the real one. Surely Tracy will give his beard a tug just to be sure.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What happened to Sam and GH Friday

I so thought I was going to be right.  Early on in How to Get Away with Murder it was just as I expected.  Annalese and Sam have a fight and she leaves.  Rebecca shows up to get the data and Sam is after her.  Here comes Michaela with the trophy or maybe they were in the other order.  No matter, I had the players in the right place all set and then Michaela calls Wes and everyone is there. Soon though Sam goes over the bannister courtesy of Michaela so I had it right.  But wait!  He isn't really dead yet and Wes is the one to bash him with the idol.  So close.

The big reveal though came at the end.  It would have been so easy for ABC to have done a promo on the ending.  "Wait until you see the last 30 seconds" kind of thing but they didn't and I'm glad.  Leading up to that I had a few questions anyway. Why would Bonnie leave the guy at the hotel to chase Asher down?  Now I assume that Annalese called her and told her to keep Asher away from the house at all costs.  She probably said something like, "You want your job back. Here's what you do."  Bonnie knew better than to ask questions.

So Annaliese was in the house during the murder hearing Asher trying to get in or she returned soon after and Wes filled her in.  Either way, she couldn't have him come back because he would not participate in the cover-up.  He had no reason to.  The others are protecting their own involvement.  The other thing that puzzled me was Annaliese's long message to Sam.  Why would she want him back?  Well, now we know that was just another part of the cover.

Scandal wasn't quite as surprising.  I thought the VP was in on the bombing from the beginning.  He made a point of going to talk to the kitchen workers.  I also figured the gun Olivia picked up wasn't loaded.  I've always thought all these stories are tied together. There were plenty of good moments (Mellie telling off Liz) and entertainment nonetheless.

The biggest surprise of the night is that none of these great shows on Thursday will be returning until January 29th!  I knew they weren't coming back until the new year but why wait so long.  Oh, yeah, could it be Thursday night football?  Silly leaving viewers hanging and forgetting for over 2 months.

Fortunately GH will not be off that long only the Thanksgiving weekend. We had a surprise Friday there as Anthony Geary is back.  It was anticipated but I'd read nothing about when he would return so I was happy to see him back on the canvas not just because we need to move the Luke story forward but because this means he is recovered or at least recovering from what sounded like a difficult surgery in the spring.

I think Larry is the fake Luke and I still don't think Anna is telling the real story of what happened to Faison.  She was too quick to come 'clean' about where she and Robert hid him and how did they keep him quiet down there?  How did they sneak over to an island unseen and feed him?  Why would she spill this story and implicate Robert?  No, I think something else is going on.

This coming week I assume we will see another Q Thanksgiving.  The house is filling up and Michael has no idea that he is trading one kind of crazy for another.  Pizza, anyone?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TGIT: Who Killed Sam

Here's my theory for who killed Sam on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder - or just Murder if you, like me, get tired of the long title.

Michaela.   Why?

Michaela has been the most upset about the murder since the very first flashforward.  She is the one huddled in the corner who has to be talked into every move.  She keeps saying she murdered someone.  Yes, I know this is obvious but there are some far less obvious things that have floated down.  And I think I can build a scene where she is the killer.

First, we know that Asher and Bonnie are otherwise engaged.  We don't know the timeline exactly so Bonnie might have committed the murder and then climbed into bed with Asher but I don't buy it.  She cares for Sam and Annaliese and she just couldn't be that calm even if she often is the Ice Queen.

Wes, what's his name that keeps using sex to solve every case, and Laurel are together at Wes' apartment and are going over to the law practice after Rebecca who is trying to steal info from Sam's computer or phone with the flashdrive given to her by the suspended detective.  They are all far too pulled together in the flash forwards to have committed a murder imo.

So Michaela is alone and she has the murder weapon.  She has to be going to the house otherwise the trophy could not be the murder weapon. I think she is either searching for her fellow students to try to become part of the study group or more likely she wants Annaliese to review the prenup.

My theory is that she arrives just before the other three but after Rebecca is on the scene.  Sam has caught Rebecca trying to get information electronically and is assaulting her (based on a brief scene in the previews).  Michaela jumps into action and hits Sam on the head with the trophy.  The other three come in and the coverup begins.

Simple, maybe too simple but it is my theory.

Part of the reason I suspect Michaela is also that we found out something about her in the last episode we didn't know or at least I didn't.  Michaela is poor.  She dresses nice, acts like she is entitled but according to her maybe-soon-to-be Mother-in-law she isn't.  Michaela talked about her bespoke Vera Wang gown that she had bought.  She wants to be rich but apparently she isn't.  Just because she is poor doesn't make her capable of murder but it gives her a mystery that might reveal a past which could be used in her defense later on.  Again, I'm relying on them using some stereotypes and I hope they don't go there but it is my current theory.

Whoever is the killer one thing I do know, the show is well-done. The fact that it could conceivably be any number of people and we just don't know yet is a testament to the writing, directing and acting of this ensemble.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Not the sum of its parts

I enjoy watching Nashville.  I like the cast, I love the music.  I like the setting and the pace.

I just wish the storyline writers were as good as the songwriters.  The end result is that this show just isn't as good as the sum of its parts.

The problem I believe is that the storylines don't intersect.  This is real life but it doesn't make for good TV.  The characters cross paths in brief one or two line scenes and then go off for their own stories - so many stories where with all the music, there just isn't enough time to tell them all.

The most interesting story is Juliette and Avery.  But then Juliette has been the most interesting character from the beginning. Her backstory and personality give her a rich character you can do almost anything with. Plus Hayden Panitierre is the best of a great ensemble. Jonathan Jackson has finally been given the scenes he deserves.

The dullest story is Gunner and his new found son but then Gunner has been the least interesting character to me since the beginning.  He was briefly watchable when his brother turned up but mostly he is just boring.  Add in Zoe and you get more than twice the boredom.  I have less than zero interest in the child or his mother.

Scarlett is the most out of touch with the rest of the cast even her uncle whose house she lives in.  Why did they keep her on if they weren't going to really do anything with her regarding the other stories?

Rayna's hard work at keeping her career alive, her record label afloat, and satisfying her family is engaging enough.  The issue here is that I don't care for Luke at all so I'll be happy when their relationship blows up.  I have no confidence in a wedding ever taking place especially since we saw her in her wedding dress prior to the altar.  That is always a sign no wedding will take place,

When the season started, I thought they had a great story with Will.  Would he come out?  Would he be outted? How would this affect his career?  I don't know that this has ever happened in country music so I was anxious to see where it would go but it is going no where.  Now they are trying to make us like Layla - another character we could be rid of.

Hopefully Deacon's girlfriend-on-the-road is gone.  I don't remember her name.  I don't care.  The fact that I almost forgot to talk about Deacon - the heart and soul of the show - at all is indicative of the issues with the show.

Someone needs to review all the characters and stories and get this show on track. You have a great concept, cast, setting and musical talent.  What you need is good showrunner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coming clean

The last couple of weeks of General Hospital has brought some important storylines to a climax.  What has surprised me are the people who seem to be coming clean about what they knew.

I found Franco's reveal delightful.  Carly has used Michael as a reason for every selfish thing she has ever done.  She reminds me of Maura West's character on ATWT also called Carly.  She is supposed to be considered a good mother but I think she is far from it.  Today she said, she 'just cared about her kids.'  If that were the case, she wouldn't have covered up what Sonny did.  She puts herself in jeopardy of going to jail and where does that leave Josslyn - who is already one step from juvie anyway.

Kiki confessed and with her, Morgan had no choice but to come clean to that they had known Sonny killed AJ for about a month.  Finally, Rosalie admits why she was hanging around Michael so much.  And Rosalie is the one Michael chooses to forgive.  Is it because she didn't go as far as she was being blackmailed to do or was she just convenient?  It was a cliche I could have done with out - getting drunk and sleeping with someone to ease the pain.  A poor end to an otherwise well done story.

Franco really didn't commit a crime as far as I can tell unless it is a crime to tape someone without their knowledge and I guess that depends on the state.  We are back to bad Franco and I enjoy him more this way.  He's helping Nina for now.

Watching Michelle Stafford, Donna Mills, and Maura West has been the biggest treat of all. There scenes were amazing.  GH has done some great casting.

Speaking of, I think the new Jason is a treat to watch as well.  I'm suspecting we will have two new/old Quartermaines soon.  I predict that Michael will take the Q name and Jason's memories will return of some of his early life.  I don't see them fitting Jason into Sonny's world as Sonny has plenty of other problems right now.

Disappointed to learn than Felix is now dropped to recurring.  I love his character and he deserves so much more than being Sabrina's sidekick. Mercifully Sabrina has been absent for days.  She can return to Puerto Rico anytime she likes and I'll just forget she ever returned and tried to make Ava miscarry. Really, no one would really notice.

The Luke reveal seems to be stalled in a slow detour with Ned's father who I really care nothing about.  Why do we keep revisiting these characters apparently long time viewers barely remember?  I've heard nothing of when Anthony Geary will return.  I hope he is alright. His 6 months should be up and putting him back on set.  Perhaps there was a delay and this is part of that delay.  Personally, I'd rather Tracy just think he has disappeared and get her pulled into another storyline until Luke can return.

While GH has such a wonderful cast, I do wish they would use just a tiny bit of money for the set.  That hotel style room was supposed to be Monica's?  It wasn't the least bit feminine or personal.  The office sets are obviously from decades ago.  A few upgrades should not be that expensive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kate and Debra deserve better

Kate Walsh and Debra Messing deserve better. Much better.

I lasted 20 minutes into Debra Messing's new show.  Her husband or ex-husband, whatever, was on the Firm and also deserves better.  The twins are just unwatchable as is everything about this.  I really should have stopped after the first 5 minutes as the opening was just ridiculous.

I lasted through two episodes of Bad Judge though I tuned out for the last part of the 2nd episode.  There again I should have shut it off after the opening sequence where the judge grabs and ax and takes out an obnoxious driver's front tire.  Judges don't get away with that kind of thing.  This show is just Bad.

I can't believe Debra Messings show has been picked up for the season.  It shows how little NBC has going for it.  I like Kate but I won't stick by her on this.

Is it a coincidence that both of these are on NBC?  I think not.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Four weeks in

Four episodes in on most shows, I'm impressed, puzzled, and cruising along.

As for new shows, Forever, How to Get Away with Murder, and A to Z stay on my playlist.

Madam Secretary goes - well goes to the back burner.  I will watch it if I have nothing better to do,  The problem with this show is the monotonous plots.  Every week, she faces a crisis and every week she comes up with some last minute idea to resolve the issue.  She is the superhero in a suit and high pointy shoes.  There is an overarching story here but we know little about it.  In the 4th episode, we finally find out that the previous Secretary of State has enemies but we know very little else about him.

What would fix this show are flashbacks.  Show us the relationship between the Secretary and the CIA agent who was killed.  Why should we care about him or trust his theory?  Show us the previous Secretary of State - how he handled his job, his relationship with the President and his staff.

This is exactly what Forever does and why the show has done well with viewers and with me.  I agree with my husband.  The lead actor is a ham, but I adore his assistant, enjoy his relationship with Abraham and find the flashbacks interesting and not overly done.  Plus, and most importantly, he hasn't died and popped up in water since the second episode.  They resisted the trick.

I know that A to Z on NBC was one I wasn't originally going to watch beyond the prereleased Pilot.  I didn't like the supporting cast.  They are growing on me.  I don't yet like them but I find them funny.  This show is saved by the details - lots of little details that tie into the plot each week.  It's cute and sweet and most importantly funny.

How to Get Away with Murder is great fun to watch. I've read a lot of criticism and nitpicking on all the ways this show isn't 'realistic' apparently from people who were just dropped here from another planet and have never watched a television program before. Unrealistic situations, coincidences and sometimes downright magic are the glue that hold most plots together on just about any show.  The super detectives on Law and Order: Criminal Intent just happened to be called to crime scenes with high powered victims or suspects even before anyone knew who the victim was!  No baby on TV is ever born in a hospital or at least not one that has power or without some lifesaving procedure necessary.  A drama is dramatic!  And 'Murder' is doing a great job of dramatic.  I still don't know which characters I like and which I don't and that is part of the fun of all this.

As for returning shows, Scandal is getting better and better.  My only concern is this week's case once again involved the White House.  It is at its best when there are cases that don't all revolve around the President.  Of course in the coming week, all we will care about is getting Jake free.  Fitz is so easily manipulated; if he were president, I'd definitely fear for our safety.

The writing on Nashville has improved a smidge.  If only the writing for the characters was as good as the music.  Although this year there hasn't been nearly as much music. I don't think there was anything last week.  That gives us more time for storytelling but I am going to miss my music.  I suppose there is a bit of a time crunch as I'm assuming Hayden Panetierre will be going on maternity leave before the end of the season so they have to move along through Juliette's story.  I'm delighted that Avery (Jonathon Jackson) is getting so emotional material. This is where he shined on General Hospital.

Revenge seems very repetitive to me. I'm so tired of this show yet I can't stop watching the train wreck it became 2 years ago.  Maybe they can just wrap it up early and be done with it. Will anyone still be left anyway?

In sad news, Kalinda will be gone from the Good Wife at the end of the season.  The actress has a pilot she will star in.

I don't think having a pilot, that may or may not be picked up, is enough to announce this early that you are leaving. I think she is leaving because of how they have cast her character aside after that hideous storyline involving her husband.  Kalinda was a major character early on.  She was the mystery and a big part of the success of the show.  Now she is almost an extra.  Never is she the center of a story.  I'm sad for the actress.  She is very good at what she does and it is a waste of a great character as well.

They have so written her out they have to come up with unreasonable ways to give her screen time.  In last week's episode, Eli was all worried about Kalenda and Peter's one night stand what 6 years ago or so?  Who cares? Peter has certainly done far worse.  What does that matter even if it came out?  Normally everything on the Good Wife has a purpose but dredging this up only resulted in an awkward scene with Eli and Kalenda not even saying anything.  Give her character a story!

The Big Bang Theory was as funny as ever last Monday night with the girls in Vegas and the guys trying to concentrate and avoid their many distractions.  I look forward to the return of the Millers - another over the top show but one that is as a comedy should be - funny.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

GH - Then and Now

I really missed the boat by not writing about General Hospital from the 50th anniversary through the 51st. The storylines were interesting, well written, and beautifully acted.  I liked most of the returning characters and felt they were given just the right amount of material.

Lately though, I've not been enthused.  The entire story around Crichton Clark clinic was ridiculous.  I know that most of these people don't really die; there are ways to bring them back, but let's keep some sense of reality.  And now, no one recognizes Jason.  The old Jason's eyes would have been enough to draw in all the lovely women of Port Charles who were entranced with him and a few that weren't.  What about his voice?  Surely someone recognizes his voice?  Plus there is enough of him visible, unbandaged so clearly not operated on that you should be able to tell who he is.  Enough!

We have one story of mistaken identity that has already gone on too long.  Now I know that Anthony Geary is on leave and I certainly don't want to rush his recovery.  But we don't have to set up scenes that imply people are going to figure this out weeks before he is even due to be back on screen. If his leave is the full six months, I don't expect to see him until at least mid-November - a good month away.

Another story that was just awful as everything to do with Levi.  Of course this spilled over to Crichton Clark.  Everyone hated Levi.  We didn't love to hate him; we just plain hated him in every way.  And I gather that longtime viewers were scratching their heads and trying to jog their memories for Peter Harrow.  New viewers are certainly forgetting already.

I said that I liked most of the returning characters.  The exceptions are Scott and Lucy - most particularly Lucy. When she volunteered to go with Levi in place of the girls, I cheered "yes, yes, take her!"  They could have all disappeared never to be seen again and I would have been quite happy.  I don't think I've ever known a more annoying character than Lucy who was supposed to be liked.  She is useless to the storylines.

Scott has his moments but mostly I could do without him as well.  His only good scenes are with Franco.

The best Franco scenes are of course with Nutty Nina.  Michelle Stafford plays this character perfectly.  Nina awoke from a coma after over 20 years.  So she is in her early 40's physically with the maturity of a 19 or 20 year old.  When she was going on and on about what she used to call an "App" was priceless.  It was exactly the type of thing a young woman would brag about - irritating her mother - and also showing how she has missed 20 years of technology.  I also got a kick out of Rosalie correcting her from saying she wanted to 'gaggle.'  "You mean Google."  "Oh, like that makes more sense," Nina replied.  So perfect.

So we have some hits and misses.  It is still fun to watch.  I will tune in Monday to see who Tracy, Sam and Patrick meet in the cafe - not coffee shop for sure.  I know it won't be Luke.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Shifting the Schedule

Now that I've seen all the new and returning shows I'm interested in, something has to give.  I prefer about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of TV per evening.  These 3, even 4 hour marathons are way too much.  So some shows can easily be watched later in the week or skipped altogether.

Usually I watch 60 Minutes depending on content  I think it has been 20 years since I've had an 8 p.m. Sunday night show.  With Madam Secretary at 8, Good Wife at 9 and Revenge at 10 that is 4 hours of TV!  Way too much for my attention span and my back.  So Madam Secretary can easily be watched at later in the week, say Tuesday when there is nothing and has been nothing on from 8 to 10 for oh probably 20 years.

Revenge is a show I should have dropped in the 2nd season but like a train wreck - and it is one - I can't look away.  My husband said all along in season 1 this should be a one season show.  No I insisted.  It was too good.  I told many friends how good this show was.  I hope none of them actually listened to me because season 2 was almost unwatchable - again, train wreck.  Season 3 was a little better and even wrapped things up so that it really should not have come back.  At this point I'll probably watch it through because I feel sure this is the last season,   The star seems to want it that way.  But I certainly don't have to stay up late on Sunday to watch it.  The show has so dropped off everyone's radar that there aren't even spoilers to avoid if I delay a week or more.

Forever is still interesting.  It is a decent procedural.  While the overarching story is interesting it is obviously going to be very slow moving.  I've seen this compared to Castle which I've never watched but I know enough about it to 2nd the comparisons.  An easy one to put off a few days, maybe Friday nights which have absolutely nothing on I want to watch.

Eventually I'll have do so something about Elementary and Downton Abbey.  Elementary is due to resume in late October on Thursdays at 10.  I fear for them competing with How to Get Away with Murder.  But then they used to be on opposite Scandal so I've always watched this one on a delay.

And speaking of Thursday, TGIT is a fine concept but 3 hours!  Too long for me.  Grey's is the casualty as my husband doesn't watch it.  I only started watching this show a couple of years ago starting with season 1 on DVD.  This is the first year I could watch it live and now it doesn't work for me.  So this one is going to be delayed a day at least in viewing.  I didn't think it got off to a great start last week. This week's episode was much better.  I'm glad I didn't know in advance that it would be all Maggie.  Her character surprised me in that I like her a lot.  I like her to the point where I can see all the things I don't like about Meredith coming out.  Very well done in getting her to interact with everyone, tying up one of Cristina's loose ends, and showing how she may be technically fantastic at her job she does indeed have her flaws.

I look forward to next week's Greys - just not on Thursday.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Returning Fall Shows - the first week

Several favorites returned this week. We had eagerly awaited the return of The Big Bang Theory and Scandal.  Let's see how they all did.

The Good Wife
While it was difficult at times to watch, the storyline was the most surprising.  Carey's arrest came out of nowhere.  I'm always amazed how these people avoid spoilers.  My prediction is that Carey will stay in lockup for a couple more episodes so Alicia and Diane can merge the firms leaving him even angrier when he is free that he wasn't in on the decisions.  I think that when Will's murderer comes up for trial, Carey will want to represent him having experienced what it is like to be in jail and knowing how the kid could snap.  Maybe Alicia will be State's Attorney by then and prosecute the case herself.

Big Bang Theory
Hilarious as always.  A great double header.  This show continues to do a 'bang up' job incorporating their growing cast and developing their characters.

The Middle
There is nothing really new here this year but it is still funny.  Eden Sher is so unrewarded by the acting community for the fantastic performances she gives year after year.  Maybe this year and Emmy or at the very least a nomination.  If only all the nominations weren't gobbled up by...

Modern Family
While still funny, this show is getting to the most predictable and at times tedious of all.  I hate to say that because it was so fantastic early on.  The problem is that the same characters interact week after week and you can easily see how they are going to behave.  Cameron goes overboard on the romance and Mitchell is embarrassed by it.  How many times have we seen this?  Bring on some new characters and shake things up!

Ok, this was also predictable but I still enjoyed it.  I knew Juliette would be pregnant.  They set this up last season and Hayden Panitierre is pregnant IRL so they had to go there.  I knew Rayna would not pick Deacon else the show would be over for her character.  I knew Scarlett would return mainly because there were no spoilers than the actress was leaving.  I still laughed at the road trip. I was still happy for Juliette who got the part in the movie.  I even still wondered just for a minute if Rayna would choose Deacon.  It is a good ensemble and the music is always great.

The best storyline is Will's and little happened here but I'm sure more will be coming along on this.  It is unprecedented for Country Music as far as I know and I tune in to see how they are going to deal with his sexuality.

Grey's Anatomy
Is there a technician's strike in Hollywood that I don't know about?  Otherwise how do you explain the horrible - dial back to the 1970's - special effects???  Grey's is better than that.

I also thought that the fighting between Meredith and the sister she doesn't know she is related to was forced.  I'd have like to see more on the fight over the board seat.  Alex is my favorite character so I'm glad Meredith and he are developing an even closer friendship but he needs his own storylines and life apart from her.  And Bailey hardly got a word in the entire show.

I was disppointed in that this is my first season watching them realtime.  Watchable but they have done better.

Fantastic premiere!  It is like they hit the reset button and we saw all the players move back into position except Abby.  No one was where I expected at the beginning except Liv being on an island.   There was a little teaser about that. I like the development of Quinn from the little mouse into the one person who brought everyone back together for Harrison's funeral.

I also applaud Shonda Rhimes for taking care of business.  She doesn't let her actors off with bad behavior.  The NFL and the NBA could learn from her.

Mellie is such fun to watch.  She is going through an awful time yet she makes it entertaining to watch and she is completely in control of her breakdown.  She isn't going to jump off the Truman balcony but if she keeps hanging over the edge someone is bound to notice.   I never noticed until this episode how much she and Abby sound alike.  I think they need to be related.

Best of all we had a case of the week.  Let's keep those coming.  You can do that and still have the overarching story.

So a good start to the season.  Tonight Revenge returns for hopefully the final season.  And if CBS will get their act together we can get Mom, the Millers and Mike and Molly back.  Oh and Elementary - that is sometime in late October I think.  That is a show I like more and more.

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Fall 2014 TV

With almost all my shows being renewed, I really don't need to pick up a lot for the fall of 2014.  Still, I'm tempted to try a few new shows.  Here is what I've tried and what I think of them so far:

Forever (ABC)
Since I rarely care for science fiction or the supernatural in any form with the occasional exception such as Early Edition, I had not planned to watch Forever at all. The built-in gimmick overrode the really hot guy.  Then I heard last week that the pilot was on-line.  So why not?  Not much else to watch.

My husband and I watched it together and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I loved Elana De La Garza on Law and Order.  Judd Hirsh plays the ah, well, I won't tell you since it would spoil the story.  He is in the sidekick role and there is a real kick to his character's placement in Henry's (the lead's) life.  The pace is just right and the characters are not just likeable, but people you want to get to know - something sorely missing from so many shows. The pilot did an excellent job it seemed of setting us up for the 2nd episode though they really seemed to skip all that when the 2nd episode rolled around.  The overarching story is engaging and it is a good procedural. Some people hate procedurals but I miss them. Shows like Scandals started with a story of the week and then completely abandoned the concept so much you can't figure out how these people could possibly stay in business.

The only issue I have is Henry's gimmick of dying and then popping up in water naked.  Doesn't sound like that would be a problem to watch but it is a gimmick and any gimmick overused will kill a show or at least my desire to watch it.

Another show I had no plans to watch was Blackish.  The previews just didn't make it seem funny.  I was persuaded by the excellent reviews.  Should have listened to my instincts.  This show may have some important social commentary.  I don't really know.  What I know is it is a comedy and I only laughed - lightly - once.  Why can't ABC find something to follow Modern Family and give Nashville a decent lead in?

A to Z
Another pilot I watched on-line.  I like the main characters.  Didn't like the supporting cast at all.  Plus it is on NBC and I watch nothing else on NBC, a network that can actually manage to screw up a Michael J. Fox show, so why bother?

After watching the on-line pilot, I thought I might tune into this.  I enjoyed it more than expected.  It is better than its previews.  The problem with it is they told the entire story in the pilot.  I'm not expecting this one to hang around too long.

Madam Secretary (CBS)
I love shows about the presidency.  This one on Sundays prior to the Good Wife showed promise in the previews.  My husband labeled in predictable after we watched the first episode.  I agree though there were one or two unique takes.  It is watchable and a good time slot as The Good Wife is often late so having something to watch earlier is nice.  I'll just wait and see if the episodes get more engaging.  I do like all of the cast except for the two silly young assistants.

Scorpion (CBS)
Another show I had no intention of watching based on the previews.  My husband wanted to watch it and for some reason CBS has it slotted at 9:00 p.m. on Monday.  That alone is enough to really irritate me.  The Good Wife desperately needs to be rescued from its slot post football, 60 Minutes, Madam Secretary that can range anywhere from 9 p.m to a 10:30 start.  Why not put it on Monday at 9 if you suddenly want to air a drama at 9 p.m.  Or what about Elementary that has been put off until late October thanks once again to football?  The most logical thing would have been to bring on some of the regular comedies - the good ones like The Millers and Mike and Molly (though this needs some fine tuning to get back to what it once was but that is another issue).

So Scorpion is taking up much needed airtime and for what?  The most ridiculous story I've ever seen in something supposedly based on real life events.  Tell me did an amateur driver really go 200 mph down a runway with someone popping out of their sunroof to plug a cable into a plane buzzing above.  Just land the plane!!! I've read that 'the runway was too short.'  Well geniuses, you are at LAX, find a longer runway!  This program was completely absurd.

Now I know the only thing I've liked so far is a show about a guy who can't die.  In that case though and in other science fiction, you know what you are getting going in. What I don't like about Scorpion is they want us to swallow this nonsense as possible even reasonable.  No, I will not be watching this again.

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
The one show I truly wanted to add to my viewing for the fall is the new Shonda Rhimes show following Scandal.  Actually it was developed by someone else.  It definitely did not disappoint!

An overarching mystery - really two of them - that is promised to be solved by the end of the short season, a case of the week, a very complex female lead, and loads of mystery ensure that this drama will be around for the season.  We were talking about it first thing this morning with theories on who did what.  That is the sign of a good show for sure.

I haven't decided if I like these characters yet but I'm definitely interested.  There are plenty of layers to reveal.

So I have one definite watch in How to Get Away with Murder and two maybes in Forever and Madam Secretary.