TV: Did You Think I Stopped Watching? Network Finale Wrap-Up

TV:

May sweeps came fast and furiously with most shows wrapping up their seasons.  Instead of going over each one in detail, I’m just going to provide some random thoughts on this season for many of the shows I watch: 

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC):  Wow, a huge explosion and fire at Seattle Grace (or whatever its not- so- new name is) and no one died.  It’s a first for the show that is known for its disaster finales that always entail big deaths.  We did have one doctor leave the show because of the fire but I didn’t care for that character so no big deal.  I am amazed at how this show just keeps chugging along.  I’m in for the long haul as well as the love triangle that the season finale set up for next year.

Scandal (ABC):  It’s a good thing Scandal is ending next year.  It has gotten to be so far-fetched that it spends most of its time in the world of the absurd.  Nellie as President – really? Not in our lifetime.  Olivia as a power-hungry manipulator in the white house?  I’m afraid the foundation for that plotline was loosely laid.  Fitz off to a quiet life in NH?  If true, he’d certainly be in the best place of any of them but I doubt it will last.  Olivia’s mother is back….pleez…don’t they have any new ideas?  Certainly, not for Quinn who is pregnant with who knows whose kid.  Ugh…. a show that started off so fantastically is well beyond its prime.  Wrap it up!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC):  Somehow, this show actually got renewed for a 5th season.  I didn’t love this year with the AIDA killing everyone and the alternate universe where Fitz is a baddie and his relationship with Simmons on the rocks.  I can’t say as I followed who exactly were the bad guys and how next season was set up but I suppose I might eek one more year, maybe, out of this show.  I don’t think it will last for more.

The Blacklist (NBC):  Another show where I have invested years and they aren’t exactly paying off.  To have to wait 4 years to confirm what everyone had pretty much figured out from the beginning (that Reddington is Liz’s father) was so anti-climactic as to be a “who the heck cares any more” moment.  I was sorry to see Mr. Kaplan go but am intrigued enough by the “bones” headed toward Liz to tune in next year.  If they drag out that mystery too long, however, I’m out of there!

Mary Kills People (Lifetime):  This is not the most intellectually compelling show you’ll ever see but it is well done and I hope it will be around next year.  If you missed it on Lifetime, catch up this summer.  Not only is it shot beautifully, the acting is good (particularly Caroline Dhavernas as Mary) and it is written and directed mostly by women.  Each episode moves quickly with the requisite amount of suspense and the subject matter is compelling.  And, despite its compelling subject matter, there is humor which is needed to break up the death scenes.  Hopefully there will be a Season 2 because the show deserves it.

Jane the Virgin (CW):  I love, love, love this show and it never disappoints.  The characters are amazing and have so much heart that the viewer is emotionally attached to each and every one.  This season has primarily revolved around the central theme of love or in Jane’s case, her re-entry back into the world of dating after coming to terms with Michael’s death. Her parent’s relationship deepens and ends in marriage and even her grandmother finds love.  The finale introduces us to Jane’s probable new love interest for next season and I can only count the days until this show comes back in September.  Jane is a tough show to catch up on as there are approximately 23 one-hour shows per year and there have been several seasons but if you have missed it, and have “binge” time this summer, try it out.  You won’t be disappointed.

The Flash (CW):  I thought the Flash this season was a bit too morose and dragged out Iris’s death interminably.  Barry’s disappearance at the end of the season should be short-lived next season and I assume we will be back to the creature of the week with an overall super villain story-arch.  I like what they did with the Killer Frost character in the finale by not having Kaitlin go back to normal with no ramifications.  It keeps that character complex and interesting.  Hopefully next season will recapture some of the “lightness” the first two seasons had as this one was just a little too dark for me.

Supergirl (CW):  Supergirl is destined never to have a lasting love interest and this season was heartbreaking for her as her Daxamite boyfriend Mon-El can no longer exist on earth and is sucked into a black hole in space.  On the plus side, Supergirl kicked Superman’s ass and Cat Grant (Callista Flockheart) was in the last two episodes and yes, she does know who Kara is!  Bring this woman back full-time!  We were introduced at the end to next season’s villain – a blood sucking kryptonite who was also launched from the planet as it was exploding to what I only assume will be a landing on earth.  Supergirl and Flash are my antidote to watching Rachel Maddow in the hour before them.  They take me away from it all!

Premiers:

So, with all those finales, you must be wondering whether I saw any new shows and unfortunately, I did.

Bloodline (Netflix):  The first season of Bloodline was “bloody” fantastic.  One of the main reasons was Ben Mendelsohn who was just plain spectacular.  Unfortunately, he died at the end.  Season two had Mendelsohn in flashbacks but it just wasn’t the same and the show was not good.  Season three (the final) dropped last week on Netflix and because I am a glutton for punishment, and a perverse side of me wants to see all the Rayburns rot in hell, I watched the first episode.  The whole thing took place in the dark and I couldn’t even see the characters.  It was extremely irritating.  The most obnoxious thing, however, is that I am going to have to watch it again to have any understanding of what happened.  It seems like a high price to pay to have to watch an entire season of this just to see them all get their just rewards but I can be a masochist especially during the summer when there isn’t much happening elsewhere on TV.  If you haven’t seen this show, don’t get involved with it!!!!!!

Note:  I still haven’t caught up on DVR with Billions, Genius and Legion but now that things are calming down, I intend to do some catching up!

 

TV: More Fall Shows: Easy, Westworld, Pitch, Timeless, Transparent, and the Flash

 

New Premiers:

Easy (Netflix)

Easy is a series of eight one-half -hour mini films that recently premiered on Netflix. A few of the more minor characters appear in multiple episodes but the two biggest stars (Orlando Bloom and Malin Ackerman) are only in one episode. The stories are primarily about couples and love and range fairly significantly in quality. Several are quite good and a couple are not so great. The good news is that even the worst of them only last 30 minutes.

My favorites were:

  • “Brewery Brothers” (Episode 3) starring Aya Cash, Dave Franco, Evan Jonigkeit and Zazie Beetz. This is a story about two brothers reconnecting and starting an illegal brewery business. It concludes in an almost as good “Hop Dreams” (Episode 8) with the same cast and explores what it means to be in a family and how that impacts a relationship when there is a different agenda.
  • Orlando Bloom and Malin Ackerman star in “Utopia” (Episode 6) as a loving couple with a baby who realize they missed out on the “Tinder” era and decide to explore what it would be like to have a ménage et trois.  Instead of it culminating with some stranger from Tinder, they explore with a close female friend. This is one of the most upbeat of the episodes and it is hard to take your eyes off of the genetically perfect Bloom and Ackerman.
  • “Chemistry Read” (Episode 7) is a heart-wrenching story about a relationship that is ending as the two individuals explore whether it is better to be single and free or together and wanting something better.
  • The others are just ok except “Art and Life” (Episode 5), which I just found very boring and paid little attention to it.

Overall, I’d rate the series at about a B-. By all means, go in and watch Episodes 3,6,7 and 8 and if they intrigue you, check out the others if you have the time/interest. You won’t miss anything if you don’t. 

Westworld (HBO)

I was so looking forward to Westworld and then the reviews started coming in – they are definitely mixed. On one point however, almost every critic agrees; the pilot is hard to follow. For 75 minutes, we are introduced to a multitude of characters and the overall workings or the park. It is unclear which beings are human and which are artificial intelligence (Hosts). There were groundhog-like reboots which were confusing until you realize the character being killed multiple times isn’t who you thought he was. I am definitely going to have to go back and watch the 75 minutes again to try and figure out everything which is a bummer because the pilot wasn’t all that great.

Westworld utilizes a lot of violence including rape in this first episode to a degree that is beyond necessary to move the plot forward. It is disturbing just how many shows of late are using this plot technique and I’m not convinced that this show needs to do it. Westworld has an impressive cast of producers/executive producers and a troubled history getting to the premier. It isn’t amazing like the Leftovers or Game of Thrones and the question in my mind is whether it can get to that level. There are some seeds that could bear fruit and some intriguing notions of where it could go that give me some hope. No show should be judged on its pilot so I’ll give it some more episodes before I decide one way or the other. As of now, I’m afraid it is going down the path of Vinyl rather than the Leftovers. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the great cinematography which is the best thing going for it at the moment (excluding James Marsden of course!). 

Pitch (Fox)

It took me an extra week or so to catch up to Pitch, a new show on Fox that is about a female African American pitcher who is the first woman in major league baseball. I hesitated at first to check out the show as I really dislike baseball but the reviews have been so positive I reconsidered. Pitch is good. It uses a little plot twist in the first episode which is unnecessary but overall, the acting and writing are well done and the characters interesting. Kylie Bunbury is quite good in the lead and apparently has had to learn how to throw a ball which can’t be easy. I have very little knowledge of Baseball but even I realized that the San Diego Padres (her team) are in the National League and pitchers have to hit in that league. The show entirely skipped this little fact in the episode and it’s hard for me to believe that a female in the major leagues is going to be able to hit the ball decently. The show runners might have been smarter to put her in the American League.  I have seen two episodes and the show has promise although I wonder if the plot can be sustained through a full season of episodes.

Timeless (NBC)

Timeless premiered this week and I tuned in as I’m a bit of a sucker for time-travelling shows even if though I’m not always great at following the timelines. This one was pretty good. I actually understood what was happening  – it wasn’t a Donnie Darko which fries my brain. I love Abigail Spencer in Rectify and she does a nice job on this show. I hope that if Timeless is successful, she will still have time for her 6 episodes of Rectify a year. The other leads are also good and there is some diversity in the cast, which is always welcome. Again, it is hard to make a determination about a show based only on the pilot but I’m hopeful that this show will be a keeper. 

Returning Series Premiers:

Transparent (Amazon)

The Pfeffermans are back for a third season and they are as dysfunctional as ever. This is the only family that will make even the blackest sheep in your family look pretty good. There were some lovely moments like the flashback to Shelly and Maura’s childhood showing how they got together and the finale where Shelly sings Alanis Morissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” in one of the most moving sequences in the history of the show. Judith Light shines in this moment of self-actualization.

As for Maura, she decides to continue her transformation through surgery only to find out her heart is not strong enough for the various operations and she is faced with living the rest of her life in her male body. Jeffery Tambour is just brilliant in how he conveys the range of emotions Maura faces as she deals with this obstacle. Maura also ends her relationship with Vicki and I’m sad to see Anjelica Huston leave the show. As is typical with completely dysfunctional people, by the end of the season, all the Pfeffermans are single except for Ali (Gabby Hoffman) who is in a very tenuous relationship.

There is also a crisis of faith theme as Rachel struggles with still being in love with Josh while she attempts to hook up with a guy she went to seminary school with. This does not end well and she visits a mikvah (ritual bath) to restore her purity. It doesn’t help that Sarah attempts to enlist Rachel to help her become an active participant in the Synagogue’s hierarchy as she attempts to find meaning in her life through religion. Unsurprisingly, there is not a successful outcome for either one of them.

In addition to religion, finding one’s true identity and meaning in life, there is also a death theme this season as Rita, the woman who sexually abused Josh, committed suicide and Josh has difficulty coming to grips with it. In the end, he spreads her ashes in a moving finale that finds the Pfeffermans on a cruise ship as the journey from life to death is explored through symbolism, which includes the boat.

If all of this makes you wonder why Transparent is classified as a comedy, you have every right to question this assignment! This year’s comic relief comes by way of a pet turtle that escaped when the children were small and which hides safely behind the walls of the Pfefferman ‘s home for 30 years. His discovery by the family puts its existence in peril, which solidifies its position as a true Pfefferman. I binged through this season in two days and now am ready to take a break for a year but I’ll be back next fall for more.

The Flash (CW)

We revisit Barry after he has kept his mother from being killed by Thwane and reset history in an alternative timeline. At first life is good, Barry is living at home with his mother and father and keeping Thwane as a prisoner. However, there are some changes in this universe and Thwane warns Barry that he has “birthed a fiction that will end us all”.

The new world has Cisco as the richest man in the world; Barry has to court Iris who doesn’t know him; Joe is a drunk detective; Kidflash is Iris’s brother Wally and Barry begins to have painful flashes every time he thinks of the past. In addition, every time he uses his speed, his memory erases some and   the alternate timeline is becoming more “set”. A reversal to the original timeline ensues but with additional issues.

The Flash is back and it’s wonderful. It has heart, great characters and humor. The superhero stuff is secondary to the characters and unlike many of the other shows out there, you don’t have to know the comics to understand and enjoy it. Can’t wait to see where it goes this season because Barry is in deep trouble right now!

 

 

 

TV: The Network season ends on whimper, not a bang

 

Finales:

Mr. Selfridge (PBS) – Harry crashes and burns for the final time (Series Finale)

Mr. Selfridge ended its four-season run this week. While it proved to be a fascinating look into the history of the founding of Selfridge’s and its impact on the modern day department store, it was not a happy story. What Harry Selfridge did to the world of shopping was amazing – like Amazon in it’s time.  He made extraordinary changes that included how merchandise was bought, sold and displayed along with what he did for employees (particularly women) in the work place. . One of the most creative minds of his time, his own demons destroyed him. I visited London for the first time a couple of years ago and because of this show, Selfridges was a stopping point.

While this wasn’t the best Masterpiece series ever done, it was good enough for me to stick with it for four years. Jeremy Piven was excellent as the man behind it all and the supporting cast was very good as well. I wonder what I’ll do with my Sunday nights next winter/spring without Downton and Mr. Selfridge. Hopefully there will be something worthwhile in their place.

Grimm (NBC) – Diana the She-Devil spawn (Season Finale)

If Grimm was on any other night rather than Fridays, I probably wouldn’t watch it but there is nothing else on that night and it takes place in Portland (although I think it is filmed in Vancouver) which is always fun. Skyline Drive is frequently mentioned along with other places of my childhood. The weekly monsters are amusing although they aren’t supposed to be and the backstory of the Royals trying to conquer the world is a bit silly. Nevertheless, the characters are reasonably compelling and the writers even managed to have us like Adeline this season and she was a very hated villain.

The two-hour finale hopefully ended the Black Claw plot and it now remains to be seen how the Chief deals with Nick. Renard and Adelind’s daughter Diana is clearly the most powerful person on the planet and I believe that Juliette is back to her former self with Eve gone forever setting up an interesting love triangle with Juliette, Nick and Adeline. Also, how will Juliette’s transformation back impact Adelind with whom she shares more than some blood. If I were Nick, I’d stay the heck away from Adeline given her little she-devil offspring’s tendency to murder anyone who comes between her mother and Renard. I’ve been waiting for Rosalee to get pregnant so now that we have this subplot it will be interesting to see what species of Wesen she spawns!

I’ve seen the Friday fall schedule and it’s clear that once again, the only remotely interesting show will be Grimm so I’ll be back to see how Portland copes with it’s disproportionately large Wesen population again.

The Night Manager (AMC) – Tom Hiddleston passes his audition for the next James Bond

The 6-part mini-series concluded this week in a tense and fast-paced finale. Hugh Laurie was spectacular as the evil international arms dealer Richard Roper. His steely blue eyes portray a master villain at every step along the way.   But even knowing that he won’t hesitate to kill anyone at any time, there is some goodness and depth to him as a father along with some other roles in his life. If nothing else, this show proves that we need Hugh Laurie back on television full-time as soon as possible!

Tom HIddleston as the ex-British soldier, who gets sucked into the illegal arms world by a beautiful woman in Egypt during the Egyptian Spring, is great as well. He has to disappear from Cairo and hides out in a mountain resort where he meets the nefarious Mr. Roper and his girlfriend. Using a different name, he goes undercover for an investigator played by Olivia Coleman. As he manages to penetrate Roper’s circle, he also begins a relationship with Roper’s girlfriend – not a smart move. He gets deeper and deeper in as the walls close in around him but somehow he prevails, Roper is defeated and the good guys live happily ever after. Apparently this is different than the book, which is more nuanced with the good guys not having such a great end. The TV show could have used a little more of that complexity and nuance.

This mini-series was fine but it doesn’t come close to the brilliance of the Americans in terms of “embedded” spy series. Tom Hiddleston was very easy on the eyes and this show showcases him well for getting the role of James Bond.

The Flash (CW) Season Finale – Time travelling through multi-dimensions is never a good thing

I love the Flash – or I did last year at any rate. The thing I love most about the characters is that they are likeable and have deep and significant relationships with each other. The bonds between Barry and his adopted family as well as the co-workers are so strong. As I have mentioned before, the monster of the week doesn’t really matter when the relationships and characters are strong. With all that, I was a bit disappointed in this season and I found that for a viewer unfamiliar with the comics and one who can struggle with time travel that all of the travelling to different universes and different time periods was confusing.

The finale amped up the confusion for me. There were multiple villains from multiple universes and lots of time travel. I’m pretty sure that the villain of this year, Zoom, is dead in all universes; I’m pretty sure that Barry going back in time to save his mother will impact all the current timelines; I’m not so sure about who else went where though. I got a bit tired of Barry’s selfish motives in trying to kill all of the “Zooms” everywhere this season and hopefully we will go back to a “lighter” Barry next season. So far, I’m sticking with the show based on the characters and their relationships but if the plot becomes so convoluted as to detract from these then I may have to leave the show.

Nashville (ABC) Series Finale – Voted worst series ending ever by so many people!

Nashville is not a very good show yet somewhat addictive. Let’s be honest – it is just a nighttime soap opera. I was cruising along until the last couple of weeks when every single couple bit the dust and, an obnoxious spoiled brat broke her mother’s heart and was successfully emancipated from her. Even in the daytime soaps, not every couple in the entire show falls apart at once – of course most of them got back together in the finale which was equally as frustrating.  What has kept me going is the music and the characters along with the fact that the acting was a little classier than your average daytime soap.

I believe the finale was taped before the unexpected decision by ABC to cancel the show was made. Because new show runners had been hired for next season, the expectation was that the show would be renewed. Thus the finale wasn’t written to be a satisfying series or season finale and it wasn’t. And to top it all off, there was a cliffhanger ending. What??????? They couldn’t have filmed two endings like Castle?   This was a really bad way to end things for the few remaining loyal viewers of Nashville. I can only assume that ABC figured they would shop the show and given Hayden Panettiere’s personal issues, it was unclear whether she would be back or not so why not have her plane missing….ugh…..

Gotham (FOX) Season Finale – Orphan Bruce

I’m really mixed on Gotham. There are moments that are really good and stretches that are not. Robert Lloyd Taylor is just great as Penguin and Michael Chiklis killed it as the captain this year. That being said, I get tired of dreary Gotham and the young Bruce Wayne searching for his parent’s killer. In hind sight, maybe it would have been better to have Bruce a little older so we could see a more mature transition to Batman. I’m not really willing to wait 10 years for him to grow in to the caped crusader.

The finale ended the season -long activities of Dr. Strange in the mental institution but not his creations. James Gordon is newly freed and departs to find his girlfriend leaving Gotham in the throws of a busload of evil creatures (including a clone of Bruce Wayne) wandering the city. I’m guessing James won’t be gone for long, as there will be plenty of monsters to destroy upon his return. And, of course, we have the mystery of the “Secret Council” to unravel along with their hold on Gotham and Wayne Enterprises. Ok end to an ok year.

Blindspot (NBC) Season Finale – Do I care about those tattoos any more?

Blindspot and Quantico were the only new shows last fall that the critic’s thought had potential. I’m bagging Quantico but Blindspot still has enough going for it that I’ll probably keep watching unless by some miracle, there are lots of great shows that premier in the fall. Given the state of the Network scripted drama, I can pretty much guarantee that won’t happen so I’ll be sticking with Blindspot.

The finale has Jane chasing down Mayfair’s killer after having been let go from the FBI. So Kurt’s father killed Taylor; Kurt blames it on Jane who kills Oscar before he can inject her with the memory loss potion; and Jane and Oscar seem to belong to a cult trying to bring down the government. Not sure why Kurt doesn’t believe that Jane is innocent in all of this but it is a strange reaction when Jane has always been there for him and done a great job for the FBI. Guess next season will start with her arrest. Not sorry to see Oscar go but will miss Mayfair.

Premiers:

The Preacher (AMC) Boy am I not the target audience for this!

I don’t know what possessed me to catch the premier of the Preacher. It is based, apparently, on a very violent comic book series that I am unfamiliar with and it seems aimed at a young (and I mean young) male audience. The reviews were pretty good and this season’s TV is winding down so I checked it out. I’m not sure I caught exactly what was going on but there is some sort of alien cloud trying to find a host preacher but instead it has blown up those who have been targeted with the exception of a young man in Texas played by Dominic Cooper. He is the “preacher” and I’ve read that the cloud will give him powers. There is also a Vampire and another young woman and the three of them form the core cast.

The premier was full of violence – blood everywhere – but more of a surreal type of gore. The characters are fairly interesting and it is so different that I am going to tune in again. The show takes a break for Memorial Day weekend but like several other shows this season, is going to have an “after” show to help explain things. I think this is working well for both Orphan Black and Game of Thrones so for a show like Preacher, it can only help a non-comic book reading retired female! 

All the Way (HBO)

This HBO movie stars Bryan Cranston as LBJ. Having studied LBJ in detail, I was disappointed in this biopic. Bryan Cranston did an amazing job of capturing the mannerisms of a very complex 36th President of the United States but he almost did it too well. He clearly studied all of LBJ’s voice intonations, facial expressions and hand gestures in depth but it was such an intense portrayal that I was often distracted by it.

In addition, what was one of the most important periods in American history was depicted in a rather dull and droll account. I remember this period in history vividly and there was so much more emotion than what we saw on screen. I also had hoped for a better rebuttal to Ava Duvenay’s portrayal of LBJ in Selma, which I felt, was historically inaccurate and we got some but again, it was missing the passion I was hoping for.

LBJ was not a nice guy. He was crude, a cheater and lied all the time. However, he was a master politician. Everyone in Congress owed him something and when he had the opportunity to cash in, he was able to shepherd through some of the most progressive albeit controversial laws in the history of the United States. How he accomplished this, when his predecessor, President Kennedy, was unable to, was a feat that should have warranted an exciting film filled with emotion. Instead, I fell asleep. I won’t say don’t bother with the film but it is only ok and the story deserved more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of TV this week but not much that is great

 

New Shows:

I was excited about a couple of new shows premiering this week. Unfortunately, I was disappointed for the most part. Real critics have a big advantage here – they can watch several episodes at a time to see whether a show is worth sticking with. For me, I’m stuck with the normal schedule – usually once a week. The first show (or pilot) is generally not the best so, I’m going to give these shows a few episodes as I saw some potential in them but I’m not convinced it will ultimately pay off.

The exception to the above and the one show I really liked was London Spy (BBC America). It starts out with a couple of guys (Danny and Alex) who meet in London and one isn’t who he says he is. They “get together” and then Alex disappears. Ben starts looking for him and discovers Alex’s secret life. The premier was just setting the stage for what promises to be a good British spy yarn with mystery, intrigue and a series of really great performances by Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent and apparently a couple by this year’s Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling. I am really excited about this and can’t wait for episode 2.

The other new shows weren’t as good. The first is mini-series Mercy Street (PBS). This Civil War medical drama premiered this past Sunday.   It takes place in a Union hospital in Alexandria, Virginia during the Civil War. Not a lot happened in this first episode and I did nod off a couple of times but there seem to be several story lines developing including one about free people of color that I could potentially wrap my head around. I’ll give it another week or two and update you. Some critics have warned that the medical part of the show is pretty gruesome but I haven’t seen that yet.

The second show that premiered last Sunday was Billions (Showtime). Now my experience with Showtime is that they produce shows that are just dynamite the first season and drop off significantly after that (Homeland, the Affair). So far, Billions doesn’t even do that but it is interesting enough to watch a few more shows – at least until my Sunday nights get so packed that I have to drop off shows. After recently watching the “Big Short” – a movie about rich white guys making millions on wall street, sitting back and watching a TV series about rich white guys making millions on wall street isn’t that appealing – especially since the “Big Short” was so much better. However, Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis are pretty great so maybe they will make this show “talk” to me, as I get further into it. I get that Wall Street is full of white guys but there are some women and people of color there and it would have been nice if the show reflected that.

The third new show I watched was “Legends of Tomorrow (CW). I only watched this show because I love Victor Garber and it is a spin off of the Flash. In short, I think it is a kind of a hot mess. I started to get concerned when a few days before the show premiered, there were any number of articles popping up explaining who all the characters were and how the time travel works – guess the CW figured out the show was confusing and they had to help get explanations out.   There was a lot going on in this pilot – trying to introduce the large cast, the villains and all the time travel.  I still love Victor Garber and I’ll give it another few shows to see if the story gets more focused and interesting.

Returning Shows:

The 100 (CW) returned for it’s 4th season this week. The first 3 seasons of this CW Sci Fy show were compelling with the character depth, moral dilemmas and interesting twists to the various plot lines. The 100 isn’t for everyone especially if you don’t like Sci Fi and/or the typical CW focus on very attractive and very young actors but it has been a staple on the critics best TV shows. The first show back is good although I have forgotten what happened at the end of last season. Sometimes it is better to binge these shows so you don’t loose track of the plot with some much time between seasons.  I have seen comments by some of the critics who have been able to preview several shows so there may be troubled waters ahead. As a result, I’m moving forward cautiously on this one.

Agent Carter (ABC) returned for it’s 2nd season this week. As I have mentioned previously, I’m not a comic book person and sometimes struggle with the story lines and numerous characters in this Marvel world. I thought Agent Carter had some really interesting moments last season and it is rare we see a female lead in these Marvel shows so I tuned in this week for the new season. This season premiered with a 2-hour show that moved the characters to California for a fresh start. I enjoyed the premier, thought the characters were engaging and look forward to the new season.

The Flash (CW) returned from winter break this week. The reason I love this show is that while it is set in the Marvel universe, it is really about families, friends and relationships between characters that you really care about. You don’t have to be a comic book nerd to enjoy it. The bad guys that show up each week are plot devices that probably mean more to those who read the comics – for me, they just give the Flash something to do.  I love every actor and character on this show and it is just a nice light, fun hour each week, which I appreciate given the heavy drama of most of the shows, I watch.

Updates:

Making a Murder (Netflix) I have now completed all of the 10 shows. I don’t think it is as good as either Season 1 of the “Serial” podcast or HBO’s the Jinx both of which are very similar in nature. I’m not sure why this show is one of the most talked about shows on social media. The real life characters depicted in it are particularly unsavory and 10 hours of them is more than enough. I found the first 2 episodes the best – the ones where we find out how Steven Avery was unjustly jailed for 18 years for a rape he did not commit. These episodes set the tone for what we know are serious flaws in the judicial system. When he is then accused of a murder in his town, there is a great deal of suggestion that he is being set up by the law enforcement agencies that were responsible for his original arrest. It doesn’t take 10 shows to hammer in to the audience that the American justice has problems and the rich tend to get better treatment than the poor in our society. I really don’t care whether Stephen Avery is guilty or not – I think he probably is – and there are rumors of a Season 2 which I’m sure I won’t be watching because I can’t imagine sticking with this story for more than 10 hours! Watch it if you want to see what everyone is talking about but half way through, you might want to just skip to the end and find out what happened. 

Shows Completed

Heroes Reborn ended. Thank god and hopefully there will be no more reboots.

American Horror Story ended and so does my viewing of the show – no matter how great the reviews might be in the future.

 

 

 

 

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