Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doctor Who: Series 6 Trailer!!!

I waited until today to watch the trailer for Doctor Who Series 6.  Yesterday had enough joy in it, I need to save some for today.

Apparently we are going to get some forward momentum on the River Song storyline.  I for one welcome this; I would hate for the show to take forever with the coy little I-Know-You-But-You-Don't-Know-Me game that River's got going on since that would inevitably lead to annoyance and disappointment.

Did anyone else see what looked like creepy walking dolls?  Now there is the potential for a really terrifying episode, at least for people like me who are frightened of old-time-y dolls.

And finally, I believe that we are to have the impression that Amy shoots someone.  I'm sure she has a very good reason.

April is going to be an exciting month.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Internal Debates: Art Versus Artist?

Okay, so I haven't been writing because I haven't really been watching anything.  Don't worry, I get back to Lazyville (my couch) soon enough.  But for now...

I'm sure we have all heard all about the big drama drama going on over Season 5 of Mad Men.  You haven't?  Well:

EOnline!-Mad Men Delay

EOnline! - Twitter Outrage (?)

In all fairness, I should say that I don't watch Mad Men.  I watched S1, started S2 and always meant to get back around to it, ya know since everyone and their grandmother thinks it's just brilliant, but I never really wanted to.  The pace made me want to gouge my eyes out, every time I saw Vincent Kartheiser I thought "Connor!" which for all you Angel fan out there you know is not a good thing, and for all that Jon Hamm is an extremely handsome man I found Don Draper to be an unbelievably ugly character.  I have no personal stake in the result of these negotiations; if Matthew Weiner get 30 million or 30 cents it make no difference to me, and I will continue on without much though to it if Mad Men runs another 2 seasons or another 10.

That said, sounds like a lot of money to me, maybe somewhat disproportional to the audience of his show.  It doesn't make me think well of him, and that got me thinking more about something I think about on and off: does it matter if we think that a show's creator/executive producer/show runner is a good person?

I ask myself the same kind of question when I look at Picasso, or read Tolstoy, or watch Katherine Hepburn, and as yet I really don't have a good answer.  I'll give you 3 cases in my TV life: Joss Whedon, Ryan Murphy, and Kurt Sutter.  (I do not know any of these men  personally, I am not attempting to present anything but my own opinion, I am simply giving my thoughts on the public impression they make.)

In my head, Joss Whedon is Santa Clause: a really nice man who just wants to make people happy and therefore continually gives them presents.  Is this a projection onto him of my love for his shows? Yes.  Have I ever read anything to the contrary? No.  I hope that he really is as nice in real life as he is in my head, but barring his turning out to be a murderer or something along those lines, my love to too longstanding to be shaken.  I would still watch Buffy and Angel even if he should give an interview that makes him sound like a jerk.  I would still cry a bit when Wash dies even if rumors were to surface that Mr. Whedon was a demanding boss or difficult to work with.  For me, Joss Whedon has created a body of work that is humorous, thoughtful, and honest.  His contribution can stand on it's own should be some sad turn of events I were to find out that he is less than the ideal of kindness that he is in my head.

On the other hand, it made me even less inclined to like Glee when Ryan Murphy started lashing out at musicians who didn't want to license their songs for his show.  My low opinion of Glee (such a shame, such wasted potential) dropped even lower as Mr. Murphy's comments displayed an (apparently) inflated ego and uncharitable disposition.  More than that, his attitude seemed to me so self-defeating, it made me think he wasn't very bright.  (It's possibly a bad tactic to encourage people to work with you by the implicit threat of "I will drag you through the mud if you don't.")  When Mr. Murphy had his little hissy-fit at the Kings of Leon, all I could think was "of course someone who makes a show that is that self-indulgent and inconstant would say things like that."  The public persona of the creator affirmed, what I see as, the underlying arrogance of the creation: the exaggerated bafflement that different people hold different opinions could have been a speech given by one of his cartoonish characters.

And then somewhere in the middle lies Kurt Sutter, and for those who don't know that name, he is the man behind Sons of Anarchy.  I follow Mr. Sutter on Twitter and I read his blog.  This (admittedly slim) public record does not give me the impression of a super friendly happy-go-lucky guy, but rather someone who is direct, opinionated, acerbic, and maybe somewhat proud of himself for coming off like a jerk, but also someone who holds himself to the same standards he holds everyone else to.  As a friend can attest, I initially found Mr. Sutter's straightforward-ness on  Twitter somewhat distressing and from what I can glean, if he and I were to sit down and have a long chat about politics and religion we would most likely have significantly differing opinions (or more likely I would be to frightened to say anything at all).  The more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder what I was looking for in a show: was niceness or truth more important to me?  Do we really do anyone any favors if we smile while he correct their error or do we only compromise the sincerity of our beliefs in the name of politeness?    The beauty and brutality of Sons of Anarchy wouldn't be enhanced if Kurt Sutter (appeared to be) a swell guy to have a beer with.  The subject matter doesn't necessitate tact, it necessitates integrity; so while Mr. Sutter (seems) to lack the former, he has not betrayed by his public declarations that he lacks the latter, therefore as yet my view of the show is essentially unaffected by the figure from whose mind it sprung.

But now I have to ask myself if I'm the hypocrite?  Am I easy to forgive if I like the show and quick to scorn if I don't?  Or is this whole problem a result of the information overload of our age and would I have no dilemma if I just stayed off the damn internets?

Too many questions.

The TV Girl

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fringe: Now I Know Not to Drink Tea in an Alternate Universe

(3.17, "Stowaway")

Frakking brilliant!

Walter is ecstatic to have his old lab buddy William Bell back from the dead, even that means Bell is occupying Olivia's body, but don't worry Bell has made sure that Olivia's consciousness is just taking a nap, and it'll be like 2 weeks before that does any damage to her.  (Pause for incredulous chuckle, since this is Fringe after all and their plans always work out so well.)  Broyles gives them 48 hours to find a suitable host body for Bell, Peter tries to avoid trowing up looking at his girlfriend's possessed body, and Astrid mentally catalogues Bellivia's inappropriate advances to cite in her sexual harassment lawsuit.  Luckily, everyone gets the distraction of a case.  A suicide counselor, Dana Grey (Paula Malcomson), whose unable to die keeps appearing at suicide incidents, and Agent Lee of the DoJ (yaya for alternates!) has been tracking her since she should have been murdered along with her entire family 18 months before.  Through plucky investigative work, Peter and Lee discover that she was struck by lightening twice, which accounts for why her molecules refuse to separate, therefore preventing her from dying.  Desperate to be reunited with her family, she decides not to prevent an explosion on a train, perpetrated by a disturbed man she didn't try very hard to keep from offing himself, but Peter manages to talk her out of it, and she finally dies in the explosion, but she is the only one.  Agent Lee goes back to his regularly scheduled job, but with a funny look on his face.  Attempting to have a late night heart-to-heart with Peter about fate and such, Bellivia is ousted out of power and Olivia asserts herself in her own body, but only for a second, causing Bellivia to remark that the present situation may be more "complicated" than supposed.  YA THINK?

I watched this episode Saturday and I'm still a bit in awe of it.

First of all, kudos to Peter for convincing a woman not to allow a train to be blown up.  Peter gets a gold star for professionalism; doing his job so well in spite of the fact that his personal life turned into a freak show.

Of course, we have to address the issue of Bellivia's voice.  At first it was pretty hard to take the whole thing seriously when Bellivia sounds so silly.  It almost sounded like Olivia was doing a James Cagney impression (for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, rent "One Two Three" or "White Heat").  But as the episode went on, and as he/she continued to cock his/her eyebrow as if nothing was wrong, the total creepiness settled in.  The longer Bellivia talked the clearer it became that Bell feels no remorse, not even any shame, in what he's doing to Olivia, and the jarring voice highlighted the unnaturalness of current events.   Add that to how well Bellivia's smug cheerfulness contrasted with Peter's horrified revulsion, and by the end your skin was crawling.

But your brain should have also been working overtime.  Let me try and work this out.  If I'm remembering correctly at the end of last season, when the Fringe team crossed over to the Other-Side, as they were trying to escape the alt-Fringe Division, Nick Lane (empathy-murderer boy!) recognized Agent Lincoln Lee, right before the later shot the former.  (I really need to get S2 on DVD, I've only watched it once and I can't keep all this shit straight.)  So, that means that at some point Over-Here Nick and Lee met, which might explain why Lee wasn't too too hesitant to share his theory that Dana couldn't die, and therefore his cute little bafflement in Walter's lab over all the crazy shit there was a bit of an act, but also means that he really did kind of give Peter a "we-will-meet-again" look when they parted ways.  So is there another Fringe-type team working within the US government?  Is there only one Lee, going back and forth between sides?  Is he another of the Cortexephan kids?  Am I searching for a conspiracy where there is none?

Or is it just Agent Lee Over-Here's fate to meet up with the gang since his alternative counterpart did?  I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets a bit nervous when the word "fate" comes up on a J.J. Abrams show.  Fringe is so good because it isn't based on fate/destiny/bullshit, it's based on choice and consequence.  I'm not saying that anything on the show has denied the possibility of unifying principle or intelligent design, but as soon as Fate (and I'm capitalizing that because that is how it is meant) got mentioned a strange amalgamation of Ron Rifkin and Mathew Fox floated through my head, which is a singularly unpleasant experience.  Please spare us all from the pandering to Lost fan who can't just get over it.

And just as an aside, Paula Malcomson, you can attempt to leach off my despair anytime you want.  I was really hoping that somehow when un-dying chick died they were going to be able to use her body as a host for Bell, and that way Ms. Malcomson could stay on the show.  Doesn't she deserve some kind of awesome new job since Caprica got unfairly cancelled?

See you this Friday on the Other-Side!

The TV Girl

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Current Obsession: Top Gear

I live alone (sort of, but that is a long story) and I have a tendency to talk to myself, so to curb that habit (because it makes people think your crazy when you accidentally do it in public) I usually have either music or the TV on.  The default TV station varies, I go in phases: for months the Cooking Channel and the Food Network accompanied me as I washed dishes and (attempted) to edit papers; a couple of weeks balancing my checkbook and paying bills with Fox News and CNN in the background just about gave me a stroke; you would be surprised how much you can get done to the sound of Benson and Stabler (thank you TNT and/or USA).

My current obsession is turning into an actual one, and it kind of concerns me.   I cannot stop watching Top Gear.  This is particularly strange and disquieting, because I do not have a driver's license,  don't own a car, don't come from a family of mechanics, don't date a Volvo salesman, am constitutionally unable to understand the existence of NASCAR, and did not have a hand in legislating Cash for Clunkers.  I am about as far from being a car person as it is possible to be without being Amish.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, Top Gear is a talk show from the UK (there are franchises in other countries, but I watch it on BBC America, so they show the original) in which hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond (so listed by me in order of descending height) test drive new cars, discuss automotive current events, participate in challenges (like races, building their own cars, and deciding what is the best car to own if you're in the mafia) both a home and abroad, and take a timed lap with celebrities in a segment called "Put a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car."

This show from start to finish is purely joyful, and that joy is infectious, even if, like me, you have no clue what they are talking about at certain points.  The dialogue is all British snarkiness, and the product reviews are honest sometimes to the point of brutal, so there is nothing sweet or cloying going on.  But there is a genuine love at the core of this show; a love of craftsmanship and engineering, of spirited competition, of beautiful creations that push the boundaries of possibility.  The added bonus for me is that it's really fun to watch people who enjoy their jobs so much, considering that all one hears this side of the pond is doom and gloom about the employment environment.  

I think that a part of the reason I like this show so much is my friend Charlie.  He is a car guy plain and simple.  He love cars, knows all about them, participates and places in races, and just before Christmas I was privileged to be a passenger in the car that he drove from Leominster to Boston (about 60 miles) in SIGNIFICANTLY less time than Google Maps suggested.  In general his personality is very childlike and innocent, so watching a show where grown men make a living having Hardy Boy type adventures and driving really fast gives me a strange hope that Charlie too will get to be an adult without having to grow up.

Jason told me the other day that there are seasons available on Netflix Watch Instantly.  I did not know this.  I am a tiny bit afraid that if I allow myself to go down that road I will never return.  

The TV Girl

I don't know yet how this picture came about, but I intend to find out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fringe: Olivia Your New Name Shall Be Pincushion

(3.16 "Os")

I'm supposed to be sending in job applications, but I need a little break from that.

In short: Peter and Olivia are a couple and all cute and happy.  Walter is trying to find the answers to protecting our world in William Bell's old research, and he is obsessed with the idea of bring Bell's consciousness back through "soul magnets" which will draw the energy of his consciousness into a new host body.  An aerospace scientist (guest star Alan Ruck) is trying to perfect a heavy metal serum that allows the human body to float by testing it on MD patients, in an effort to facilitate a way for his wheel-chair bound son to walk.  In talking to the scientist, Walter realizes that the laws of physics are disintegrating on our side the way they are on the other side, making him all the more desperate to get Bell back.  Peter tells Olivia that he killed the shape-shifters, and shows her the research he has done on the data cards he harvested from them.  Walter figures out the trigger that will call Bell's energy to his new host, which (sadly) is Olivia.  Cue creepy voice and tears.

First of all, I think Alan Ruck might be one of my favorite guest stars ever.  He was on a few episodes of Greek as an academic dean, in a wonderful send up of 80's college movies, as well as on an episode of Justified as a mob-accountant turned dentist.  I think he was underused on this episode of Fringe, but the case-of-the-week story really was secondary to Walter's story line, so there was only a limited amount of stuff for him to do.  A parallel of "what would you do for your child's happiness?" and an instance of creating the very problem that you were trying to fix.  But I was still glad to see him.

Obviously what we can really take away from this episode is that there is a certain point when parents should take a hands off approach to their children's lives, because trying to protect their happiness will inevitably destroy it.  In the case of the scientist, he just hadn't accepted that his son was happy, in Walter's case he was expressly trying to shield Peter's currently contented condition, so you knew from the get go that something bad was going to happen.  In a way, Walter is a tragic hero: his determination is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and despite Nina's brave choral warning, he pursued the wrong path for the right reason.

And again, who suffers? Olivia! Seriously!  What experiments have not been performed on Olivia?!?  (Sorry for all the exclamation points, I'm just a tad put out.)  She already had someone else's memories implanted in her and now she has to play roadside motel to a dead guy.  This girl just cannot catch a break.  She made the decision to be happy, she chose something for herself instead of reacting to the series of unfortunate events in her life, and it really wasn't outside the realm of possibility for her to think "I doubt there are any more secret/illicit experiments that have been performed on me that would impede my having a functional relationship."  The whole concept of regathering the energy of your soul into someone's body after you have died is deeply wrong, but to use Olivia as your host is just unbelievably cruel.

Maybe Peter-the-sometimes-killer can enact some revenge on her behalf.  On whom, I'm not sure.

The TV Girl

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fringe: So, Alcoholism Runs on Both Alternatives of the Bishop Family

(3.14, "6B" and 3.15 "Subject 13")

I had a dream last night that I had a long conversation with an alternate version of myself.  When I woke up, instead of being frightened by the amount of sci-fi I watch, instead of pondering whatever deep psychological stress is causing me to have such a dream, instead of anything else (like work, Lent, laundry), I remembered that I was an episode behind on Fringe and immediately after my shower went about rectifying my error.

So, because of involvement with a woman whose grief for her husband is so great that it shreds the bounds of reality, Olivia has decided to give it a go with Peter, but low and behold, they have been together since childhood!  What the what show?

I really wanted "Subject 13" to be a good episode, but honestly, I'm really unhappy about it.  Am I the only one who thinks "young" Peter and Olivia were just a bit too old?  Those kids didn't seem like they would just forget everything that happened to them.  I don't think that it's plausible that Olivia would trust Dr. Walter enough to confide in him about her abusive step-father and then when she was an adult be shocked to find out that he experimented on her.  Did she later receive some sort of head injury from her step-father (we know he didn't stop abusing her because eventually she shot him, and quite frankly, Walter did a terrible job of trying to protect her) that erased all her memories?   Peter wasn't hoodwinked one bit that he was in the care of the correct set of parents, and at the end of the episode it was quite clear that Peter was choosing to accept that he would be staying in this world and willing to participate in the deception that he had not been kidnapped but was in fact Walter and Elizabeth's natural son.  This episode calls into question every slow reveal, every uncertainty, and every struggle over the last 2 1/2 seasons.  Either we are supposed to believe that Peter lied to himself so well that he believed the lie to be the truth and that Olivia was too traumatized to remember her time in Jacksonville, or we are supposed to ignore all of this and pretend that those kids were much younger than they looked and behaved.  Plus, why give a new explanation for why Walter did the Cortexephan research?  It has made perfect sense thus far that Walter and William were trying to conjure up some psychic army to protect us for thems fiends over there.  It is totally unnecessary to now say that Walter was really trying to get Peter back to the other side.  Walter is a beautifully human and sympathetic character, but here it's like they flattened out all his complexity and approached him like he's just a nice guy trying to do the right thing.  I was waiting for him to say "ah shucks."

I get what this episode was trying to do thematically: trying to establish an epic-ness to Peter and Olivia's relationship, (because they instantly bonded the moment the laid eyes on each other a children and understood each others art and she can change the weather, blah blah blah), and at the same time trying to establish the similarity between Walter and Walternate as that of love being their truest motivation.  I also understand that this episode failed, on both fronts.  More than failed.  Last season's "Peter" filled in the details of what we already knew, and was an exceptionally well done episode.  "Subject 13" tried to fill in the details of one storyline (how did Peter adjust to his new home) with another completely separate one (what was Jacksonville like for Olivia), and in doing so botched both of them.  This is why flashback episodes are such a tricky thing to do, and should probably be avoided, because you run the risk of detracting from, or possibly ruining, what has taken place on the show.  (Angel ended up with this problem and The Vampire Diaries is in great danger of doing the same.)

Can I just ask: it is supposed to be a joke or was it just a terrible oversight that Walter's wife and Peter's mom is named Elizabeth Bishop?  I have to think it was just a huge mistake, because they never say her full name.  It seems to me that the reason to do another episode set around the events of Peter's kidnapping would be to learn more about Elizabeth, but essentially, we didn't.  We learned she snoops around on desks she comes across and that she drinks when she's upset.  (Note to Fauxlivia: your baby is predisposed to becoming an alcoholic based on both his father's nature and nurture.)

But the 80's-fied opening credits were cool, so that's something.

The TV Girl

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Internal Debates: When Do You Give Up?

Why am I still watching Supernatural?

Two weeks ago Jennie, Emily and me gathered to do some catching up on the episodes we'd missed.  The move to Friday nights this season hasn't worked out so well for our watching as a group.  We soldiered through "Like a Virgin" and "Unforgiven" before packing it in and saving "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning" for another night.  Somewhere in the midst of dragons, Purgatorial mommy issues, spider-people and slutty-Sam, I began to wonder (and tweet) if enough was enough?  As much as I enjoyed 'The French Mistake" neither it nor "And Then There Were None" has made me think I'm being totally insane.

When do you stop watching a show that you once loved?

I give up on shows all the time.  I give a show a couple episodes and if it doesn't hold my interest I move on without a second thought (Sons of Tucson).  I watch a whole season, take a step back, realize I don't think it's very good, sometimes advise people against it (Californication), and then find a better show.  Scheduling conflicts cause me to push a show off until it comes out on DVD and sometimes by that time I don't bother (The Office S6).   But in the majority of these types of cases, though not all, I'm not attached to the show.  It wasn't something that I loved, that I've invested YEARS of my life in.

Supernatural is a show that I loved, a show that friends and I watched, debated, and bonded over.  I want so badly to have again the amazing show that I had a few years ago, and in light of the weekly disappointment of either a really terrible episode or a somewhat descent episode that doesn't seem to matter all that much, I wonder if I am so attached to the routine of watching Supernatural that even though I know the quality has declined, I can't imagine not watching.  There is a routine established that now has in some way little to do with the particulars of the episode.

The worst part is that the show doesn't have to be so bad; there are elements that could be put together in a humorous and meaningful way, but for some reason just aren't.  So Gramps Campbell is a total bastard who was willing to sell-out his grandsons in exchange for his daughter being brought back to life, therefore he should be set up as the antagonist for the season and Eve (the Mother of All) should be a backdrop against which the familial conflict plays out.  Instead we meet Grandpa Ass-Hat, he betrays Dean and Sam, we don't see him for a while, then he's dead.  Waste of storyline potential.  On an episode-level even more waste.  Bile rises in my throat as I write this, but "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning" could have been less terrible if a) instead of talking about themselves the entire episode Sam and Dean has actually discussed if people have a right to be saved or if there is some justice in the act of a vengeful spirit (like they would have seasons ago) and b) there had been even a pause between "the sister has a kidney from the murdering spirit" and "so now the sister is dead too."  Maybe knowing that improvement is possible (if not probably) is kindling false hope in me, preventing me from severing my ties.

There are only six episodes left this season, so having come this far it's a fair bet that I'll finish it out.  I don't often hope for shows to get canceled (okay, that's not true, but I never thought I would hope for this show to get canceled) but that would absolve me of the responsibility of making this decision.

I stopped watching Bones when the self-righteousness and the complete awfulness of Dr. Brennen's personality pissed me off so much that I was in danger of forgetting that I ever liked the show in the first place, and I think that is when I'll know it's time to walk away from Supernatural: when I cease to be disappointed, it will mean I've forgotten that the show was once excellent, and then it will be time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011



Such a beautiful word. And a beautiful concept.  While my boss and her family are on a week vacation in the Caribbean, KP is currently sitting in her parent’s home nursing a mouth full of freshly drilled cavities.  For some reason, she thought that her vacation time would be well spent getting (much needed and long overdue) dental work done. 

However, this leaves her with plenty of time for her favorite activity.  While you were toiling at work and then rushing home to watch Glee, I’ve decided to take full advantage of Netflix Instant Watch, which is a far better use of time and more bang for my buck.

For those of you with no subscription to Netflix, I suggest: 1.) Get one right now; they are fairly cheap and worth it and 2.) Check back next week when I stop being lazy and actually write about something. 

For those of you with Netflix, I figure I’m doing you a favor by scrolling through the endless pages of TV to Watch Instantly and highlighting a few noteworthy shows, a few guilty pleasures, and even a few surprises. (A side note: A few of those shows, I realize,  are not that worthy but if you can watch them in their entirety without commercials, there’s no harm in trying, right?)

In no particular order and not nearly all of them:

Eli Stone (Complete Series avail)
Scrubs (Complete Series avail)
Battlestar Galactica (Season 1-4.5 avail)
Firefly (Complete Series avail)
Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-4 avail)
Better Off Ted (Complete Series avail)
Dollhouse (Complete Series avail)
24 (Complete Series avail)
Dexter (Seasons 1-2 avail)
Prison Break (Complete Series avail)
Reaper (Seasons 1-2 avail)
Parks and Recreation (Seasons 1-2 avail)
30 Rock (Seasons 1-4 avail)
Party Down (Complete Series avail)
The Riches (Complete Series avail)
The Office (Seasons 1-6 avail)
The Cosby Show (Seasons 1-8 avail)
Bones (Season 1-5--although in my opinion, only 1-3 is worth it)
Pushing Daisies (Complete Series)
Brotherhood (Seasons 1-2 avail)
Psych (Seasons 1-4 avail)
Samantha Who? (Complete Series avail)
Dr. Who (Complete Series, I think? I confess I’ve never seen this show but heard only good things so it’s on this list)
Buffy (Complete Series avail)
Robin Hood BBC version (Complete Series although you shouldn’t waste your time with Season 3)
Mercy (Complete Series--give it a shot)
Weeds (Seasons 1-5)
Fawlty Towers (Complete Series)
.........................and a plethora of reality shows and multiple seasons of SNL....sorry I’m getting distracted by all the stuff I want to watch now.

Did I mention all the Law and Order: SVU that one could possibly handle?

Happy Watching.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Being Human (US): Not Nearly As Bad As Some SyFy Shows

So I have been watching Being Human (US).  I'm enjoying it.

Do I think it's the best thing ever?  My new BSG to fill the sci-fi void in my life?  Nope and that's what I have Fringe for.  But there is a time and a place for certain shows in your life.

Monday is my ridiculously long work day.  I mean long.  I have to go in early to make sure everything is set to start the week off right, I have to stay late because the last patient is chronically running behind.  I get home around 8:30 PM, sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later and honestly I'm dead by then.  And into this mix of exhaustion, hunger, mild curiosity and dread (of the next day) Being Human has just kind of slipped into my routine. It's a show that doesn't take a great deal of effort on my part: easy plots to follow, easy awkward moments to chuckle along with, easy voice overs to remind you of the point if you happened to drift away.  In a way, that's what you need sometimes.

Even the premise is easy!  (And borrowed from a UK show by the same name.)  In an effort to live "normal" lives, a vampire named Aidan (Sam Witwer), a werewolf named Josh (Sam Huntington) and a ghost named Sally (Meaghan Rath) share the house Sally died in, renting it from her (supposedly) bereaved fiancée Danny (Gianpaolo Venuta).  Not all that hard right?  Monsters are just like us and we are just like them.  So far the dialog is a little clunky and earnest, the characters are underdeveloped, and the tone is somewhat unclear, but so be it.

A few problems does not a disaster make.  Evil overlord vampire Bishop (Mark Pellegrino) is sufficiently menacing.  Bishop is a man with a plan; he wants to take vampires out into the open, which doesn't sit well with former protégé Aidan.  They are two people with a long history and obvious disappointment: the subdued hostility of their interaction is one of the stronger elements of the show.  Josh's love interest Nora (Kristen Hager) is a prickly and skeptical person, so even though she doesn't (yet) know that Josh is a werewolf, she is a nice antidote to the dippy-girl-who-falls-in-love-with-evil-but-not-evil-creature type that permeates pop-culture currently.  The core trio has a comfortable familial dynamic that doesn't completely consist of important conversations about their particular existential difficulties; sometimes they dig at each other, sometimes they joke.

I don't know that Being Human will ever be better than it is, but I don't have a problem with that.  Sometimes things just are what they are, and what they are is good enough after a full day.

The TV Girl