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.