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Summer TV Round-up

11 Sep

houseofcards

It is probably an understatement to say my blogging about actual TV shows has been sporadic for most of this calendar year. Due to some difficult stuff in my personal life, writing about TV took a backseat.

What better time than the start of a new TV season to get back into it?

Obviously, now that I’m vlogging, the content here will probably be a bit more infrequent that it was last fall, but I’m still planning on writing as often as possible. To kick things off, and get my brain working again, I thought I’d write up some quick thoughts about some of the rather terrific TV I watched over the late spring and summer.

In no particular order, review-like ramblings after the jump!

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What I’ve Been Watching

20 Jun

I warned you playoff hockey takes over my life. When my New Jersey Devils made it to the conference finals, and then magically to the Stanley Cup Final, there was not a whole lot else on my TV. That said, I have been watching a handful of summer shows and Netflix-ing some other things lately (especially after the playoffs ended). Here’s a quick round-up!

The Killing

After two seemingly endless seasons, we finally found out last week who killed Rosie Larsen. I had thought at various points throughout the series that Aunt Terry might be the killer, but by the later parts of season 2 had mostly moved on from her as a suspect. While Jamie was responsible for beating Rose, chasing her through the woods, and putting her in that trunk, it was Terry that ultimately put the car in the water – with no knowledge it was her niece in the car – in the hopes that Michael Ames would then be able to leave his wife and marry her.

At some point during season 2, I mostly stopped caring about the plot of this show. The storyline wandered aimlessly most weeks, there seemed to be no connection between the Richmond campaign and the murder investigation, and the pacing was brutally slow. But the acting on the show was just so incredible (plus, I just had to know whodunnit) that I stuck with it. Joel Kinnaman was amazing as Holder – generally my favorite part of the show every week. Brent Sexton and Mireille Enos were also excellent. I hope they all get a chance to go on to awesome new projects.

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Thursday & Friday TV Roundup

28 Apr

Time for a confession: at this time of year, my love of TV tends to take a backseat to my other obsession: hockey, and more specifically, the New Jersey Devils. The NHL playoffs pretty much rule my life from April to June every year, especially while my Devils are still in it. As such, I tend to do a LOT of DVRing and binge-watching of shows in between games (or in between periods!). Hence, not so much with the blogging lately.

This Thursday and Friday, though, were full of amazing new episodes of some of my favorite shows! Here are my thoughts:

Community does Law & Order

At their Paley Center panel earlier this year, the cast and crew of Community teased an upcoming episode as being an “homage” to Law & Order. And what an homage it was. As a pretty big fan of the entire L&O franchise, I adored this episode, and it was pretty clear from the start that writer Megan Ganz is as well. The episode hit so many of the same notes we see in every L&O episode – the random workers finding the “body” mid-conversation, the interrogation in the middle of a busy workplace, the “good-cop bad-cop” routine. Yvette Nicole Brown pulled off a perfect Shirley-as-vanBuren that cracked me up. Troy’s version of the Miranda rights was spectacular. They even included the seemingly-mandatory sidebar in the middle of the trial to discuss something with the “judge”. So, so well done. (As an aside: Jim Rash makes me laugh harder than anyone else on this show, every week. His reactions to Prof. Kane and the army guy serving as Todd’s lawyer were hysterical. And the end tag with him singing to Troy and Abed – so so creepy, but still hilarious).

Probably the most notable part of the episode, story-wise, was the demise of Starburns at the very end. As revealed by EW, actor Dino Stamatopoulos had asked Harmon to write him out of the show – and Harmon clearly obliged. The moment also served the L&O theme very well, as many episodes will end with a shocking death of a suspect or witness just before the show fades to the credits. I think it’s a shame Starburns (MY NAME IS ALEX!) won’t be around on the show any more, but I understand the reasoning behind the move.
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Recent TV Roundup

5 Apr

In retrospect, starting a TV blog just as I was getting ready to change jobs was not my best idea ever. Now that I’m settled into a routine at my new job, I hope to get into a better routine with this blog. In the meantime, here are some things I’ve enjoyed (or disliked!) recently that I haven’t had the chance to comment on yet.

Community feuds – on and off screen

Life imitating art, or just an unfortunate case of showrunner vs. actor? As Community has build up a great storyline the last few weeks, culminating in last week’s cliffhanger – pitting Troy versus Abed in a blanket/pillow fort war, the show has garnered some attention for some offscreen drama. Chevy Chase, who plays Pierce on the show, and showrunner/creator Dan Harmon, are having a bit of a dispute stemming from an incident in which Chase reportedly stormed off set as they were wrapping season 3. Harmon then publicly “roasted” Chase at the wrap party, and Chase followed up by leaving Harmon a nasty voicemail that has made its way onto the internet. The whole thing is ugly and makes me cringe as a fan of the show. Look – Chase has a reputation for being difficult to work with, and the things he’s said about the show recently don’t exactly make me his biggest fan. I want the actors on the shows I love to love the shows too. And the show could probably survive without the character of Pierce. But I don’t think things would be the same if they had to write him out, and I hope it doesn’t come to that.

On the plus side, the last couple of episodes have been hilarious – I LOVED all of the “fake celebrities” at the party, especially “Fauxby” and Britta as Michael Jackson. And the throughline about “saving Garrett” in last week’s episode STILL makes me laugh just thinking about it. Looking forward to part two of the Pillow vs. Blanket War tonight!
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Getting Caught Up (AKA, Life Things Got In The Way of TV This Week)

19 Mar

I am waaay overdue for a post here, but over the course of the last week I started a new job, caught an awful stomach bug (on my 2nd day of said new job), and then spent 3 days recovering. Life, you can be so unkind.

As a result, lots to talk about!

Season 2 of The Walking Dead ended….and HOLY CRAP!!

Disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of the comics

Now I will willingly admit that I was pretty hard on this show at the halfway point of season 2. Although the Sophia reveal was done excellently, the pacing of the first half of the season was BRUTALLY slow, and the story just seemed to be meandering all over the place, with no end to the farm arc in sight. The second half of the season solved a lot of the pacing problems, though, and the last 3 episodes in particular were great. Two major character deaths, a huge reveal about the source of the zombie infection (everyone is infected!), and the group has moved on from Herschel’s farm, in rather spectacular fashion. Andrea is separated from the group, and was rescued by a mysterious hooded figure, with two chained up zombies in tow (OMG MICHONNEEEEEE!). Several of Herschel’s family members were killed. Rick laid down the law for the rest of the group – this is not a democracy anymore, folks. He killed his best friend, he’s sick of this crap, and it’s his way or the highway (I may have paraphrased). And in a glorious final shot, we got a glimpse of what appears to be a prison. The prison arc in the comics was my absolute favorite part of the series, and I am SO excited for season 3.
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Monday Night Round-up

7 Feb

There were a handful of interesting things on last night – premieres, special episodes, and the like. Here’s my take:

  • I haven’t been a regular¬†House¬†viewer since the end of last season (that whole House-drives-his-car-into-Cuddy’s-living-room bit was just ABSURD), but the commercials for last night’s episode piqued my interest enough that I decided to tune in. All in all, I’m really glad I did. I’ve always thought the show is at its finest when it steers away from the formula for more intense, character-driven episodes focused on House and his team. While it was pretty easy to tell something happened to Chase before we even saw the stabbing scene – I turned to my boyfriend about 5 minutes before that and pointed out he had yet to be interviewed, so something had to be up – the impact was still pretty great. Jesse Spencer did some great acting work in his lone scene with the investigator, and I’m sure he’ll have plenty more juicy scenes in the upcoming episode. It was also fascinating to see House apologize in the final scene, something we so rarely (if ever?) have seen earlier in the series. My biggest complaint is that an episode of this magnitude somehow found a way to completely leave out Wilson, who in my opinion is the best character on the show. I’m sure he’ll have plenty of opportunity to weigh in on the situation in the coming weeks, but it felt like an oversight to have him not around in the midst of all that was going on.

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