Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Good and the Sort-of-Alright TV I'm Watching

Finally some inspiration has come to me and I can write an update. That's only mostly true, though. Thing is I do have a lot of posts in mind but never get around to writing them because of, you know, the crippling laziness and oh there's always so many other things to get distracted by on the internet. But I'm gonna make a special effort (yay me!) and write about a topic that will get me babbling like nothing else in the world will: television. Specifically, what I'm watching lately. I went back into my archives and found out that I'm particularly amused by my rants on shows that I loved then but hate now (Heroes is the main one) and rants on shows that are I'm still obsessing over (damn you, Lost). So maybe in a year or so I can get back to this entry and crack myself up again. It's easy to do that.

So let's usher in a long-delayed update on Stuff I'm Watching. As usual, this will be both about shows that I genuinely love because they're quality TV,and (mostly) about shows that I'm slightly embarrassed to be watching. And then there's a couple that I'm kind of disgusted about liking. And there'll be a little on shows I know I should be watching and might get around to eventually.



Final season, people. And this bastard has kept me hooked from episode one (the only other show I've ever been so loyal to was The West Wing) so I'm not about to give up now. I almost did a couple of seasons back. But it's kept me going and we're finally getting some closure; which is a good thing, considering how much of a brainfuck this show can be. Anyway, it's down to the last six episodes or so, and I'm digging it. Aside from the massive amounts of time being wasted on filler (the alternate timeline has some significance, I'm sure, but it's still boring) the show's been nicely balanced between some great action pieces and great character moments. I specially like that Kate's had her stupid ass kicked into irrelevance on the show. It's not quite as good as having her die altogether, but I'll take what I can get. And it's ALMOST OVER. It's pretty damn exciting and I can't wait to go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing over (I've watched most episodes only once) once the pressure of an ending is gone.


Because I'm a sucker for musicals and Jane Lynch. There's really no need for further explanations. This show's just so damn happy and infectious...when it wants to be. It has some problems. It does kind of get bogged down in the drama sometimes, and it suffers from the fact that the supporting characters are far more entertaining and interesting than the protagonists. It's a shame, really, as I think it would be the perfect show if it weren't for the near-constant focus on Finn and Rachel, who can get tiring pretty quickly. The other downside is that some of the songs have become so over-produced that they're hard to watch without feeling a little embarrassed. These kids have amazing, beautiful voices, and the insane auto-tuning and plastification (does that make sense?) of the songs for no other reason than it might sell more records is just irritating and completely out of place. The show is great when it's in that outrageously campy, happy place and the songs sound authentic--and whenever Jane Lynch is on screen. I just hope the supporting characters get more of a chance and the auto-tune gets dialed down.

I'd also like to add just how incredibly angry it makes me that FOX decided to move the show from Wednesdays to Tuesdays. Not only does it clash with Lost (so that I have to watch it online the next day) but it leaves Wednesdays without anything decent to watch (more on that later). It'll be better when Lost is finished, I think, but it's still a dickish move.


The Office
I just don't know about this show. The first three seasons were brilliant. Then the fourth season just kind of sucked a little bit and the fifth was pretty damn terrible. The sixth started out beautifully, and the wedding episode might've been one of the sweetest moments in TV history. I've watched it three times and cried three times. Because the show had finally gotten somewhere, and it was the perfect place. So now...what? Pam and Jim had a baby, but Jim is back to being a salesman with no real future prospects. Michael is still the same asshole he's always been, and while that might've been tolerable at the start, the fact that he hasn't changed at ALL even after all the shit that he's been through is just beyond ridiculous and implausible. NO ONE can remain such a horrible, clueless person for so long. Not after all that's happened to them. So the fact that nothing's really changing in this little world (which admittedly might be the real case in small offices but just doesn't work as well on TV) just keeps the show meandering forever, and it's just not very interesting television.

I stick with it mostly out of fierce loyalty and the knowledge that there's still gems hidden in every episode, but I find myself just barely able to watch Michael, which is just not good when he's so prominently featured in every episode. So, I don't know. I just don't love it nearly as much as I did, and it makes me sad. I think the show desperately needs an end-date. Maybe one or two more seasons, with real development and top-notch writing. And it needs to back off Michael. I really can't take much more of him anymore.

30 Rock:
I really like, but not love this show. It's good, and sometimes great, but it's not something that I can obsess about. Sometimes it's just there. Something to watch on Thursdays that's light and occasionally hilarious.

Project Runway:
I missed the last season of this show, so I think one of the main reasons I'm really enjoying this season (the 7th) is because of how much of an improvement it's been compared to the borefest that was season 5. That one had the Horrible Kinley and the Boring Leanne, who won the entire thing because everyone else was terrible.

This season's had some pretty fun contestants and really pretty dresses, with some incredibly talented, original designers on board. Of course it was also full of the mediocre and boring, the most glaring example of this being Emilio Sosa, whom I just can't stand but whom the judges love because he makes pretty and safe things. My pick for the winner is Seth Aaron who really rocks it out and has made some really awesome designs this season. Plus I can never get enough of Tim Gunn, and this season had Anthony, whom I want to take home and keep around as my best friend. There was a moment where he screamed 'ALL OVER YOUR RHINESTONES!' at a clown in the circus in his hilarious Georgia accent and I almost died from how wonderful it all was. I keep yelling it all over the house.

But the show has problems. The time restrictions on challenges are always a problem, because how can you expect these people to really rock it out with so little time available to them? Then you yell at them for sucking, but it's really your fault for rushing them? It's annoying and takes away what's really great about this show: that these are people with genuine talent who have to use it to win. But with the time restrictions all you really get is people trying to be less sucky than someone else there. And that's cheap.

So I still like this show but it'll never be as good as it was the first two seasons. I don't really know how it could improve except by changing the rules of the game. But I'll keep watching.


Check back next time, where I'll cover The Embarrassing Stuff, The Truly Horrible Stuff and the Stuff I Should be Watching and Will Someday.


Sin said...

dude, alternate timeline? i'm guessing that is exactly whats going to happen at the end. why else show it? maybe i'll be proved wrong, but i'm betting that time gets reset at the end and, well, you end up with people's actual lives...

Lizzie said...

What about ANTM, figgy?! ;)

Figgylicious said...

Lizzie: heehee! I think we both know where ANTM falls...