Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My TV Poison This Year - Part 2

Once Upon a Time - It was one of the many new shows I was interested in, but didn't have the time to try out and it was actually Miron who saw the second episode and liked it, so we started watching it together from the beginning. Only four episodes in it's hard to judge the show yet. The concept is utterly ridiculous (yet it's still far more realistic than House, Jennifer Morrison's previous show), but very very watch-able. Something about this show just works. The plotlines seem to progress very slowly, relying mostly on flashbacks for action, which is used, I suppose, to establish the characters and their conflicts. It may turn out to be great or crash and burn, but for now it's fun and intriguing and I can't wait for the next episode.

Fun Fact: I actually can wait for the next episode and indeed that's exactly what I'm doing. Don't you just hate it when people say "I can't wait" in excitement when what they are doing is in fact waiting?

Desperate Housewives - Guilty pleasure all the way. My favorite subplot is the one where a new neighbor with a dark secret moved to the street. Miron dropped somewhere around series three or four and I almost jumped off as well. The thing is, this show could never jump the shark because it already started off over the shark (that doesn't even make sense). I blame this show for introducing "goofy music" to let the audience know when there's comic relief to contrast the more dramatic scenes. Many shows (Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy to name a couple) copied that annoying trick, but fortunately the trend is dying off. The great cast is what makes this show worth sticking with. I especially like Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross. With Housewives in its last series it's interesting to see what future projects wait for these two talented ladies.

Fun Fact: Danny Elfman created the theme for the opening credits. He also composed the themes for The Simpsons, Beetlejuice, Batman, Spider-Man and loads of other shows and movies. My friend Kenric hates him with dedication and fervor that is both impressive and disturbing.

Homeland - Yet another show based on an Israeli TV Show. An American prisoner of war returns home a hero, but Claire Danes is certain he has been brainwashed and turned into a Muslim terrorist. Not the kind Muslim that says "Marhaba" and cooks delicious Humus and lamb, but the kind that wants to blow up stuff. Oooh, scary. Very slow paced. I mean, REALLY slow paced. - but in a good way. Claire Danes is utterly amazing in the lead role and Mandy Patinkin is always great. I wasn't happy to see V cancelled last year, but at least now the talented and gorgeos-enough-to-make-consider-going-straight Morena Baccarin is free to do quality projects like this one.

Fun Fact: I'll never really go straight, not even for Morena.

Modern Family - Still the funniest thing on TV, but in its third year it's no longer the new shiny toy in the toybox. It's a solid proof that a half hour comedy doesn't need a laugh track to be side-splitting hilarious. It's nice to have a gay parented family there as well, though Miron and I find ourselves almost never identifying with either gay father. Either the gay clich├ęs shown on prime-time TV aren't very representative of real gay people, or maybe Miron and I are just not very good at being gay. Either way, funny show.

Fun Fact: Of the two gay characters, only one of the actors who portray them is gay in real life. Is it Cameron or Mitch? It's actually not that obvious and if I had to guess I probably would have gotten it wrong. Google away, I'm not telling! The fun fact here is that we always wonder if an actor who portrays a gay character is gay in real life. Why do we care? It's not as if we wonder if Anthony Hopkins enjoys eating human brains in real life.

How I Met Your Mother - Like I said, I don't like the sitcom format and despite it's convoluted premise this is an unashamed Friends clone. It's basically Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Barney who carries the entire show on his shoulders. The rest of the cast is decent and the end result is funny and entertaining. It seems that in most sitcoms there's at least one supporting character who overshadows the lead. What's up with that? For the record, I don't give a f*** who the "mother" is. That must be one of the dumbest long-running mysteries to ever grace the small screen. Less mother-mystery, more Barney sexually harassing womenda please.

Fun Fact: Neil Patrick Harris actually came out of the closet after he already landed the role of Barney the womaniser which only goes to prove that a gay actor can portray straight characters convincingly. Just like Robert Englund managed to do a decent job in the Night on Elm Street movies without slaughtering dreaming teenagers in real life. It's called "acting". Though I wonder if NPH would have gotten the part if the casting director knew he was gay...

 Glee - Yes, it's on the list. Don't judge me. OK, judge me, but I'll judge you for judging me. Glee is obnoxious and stupid, but at the same time cute and sweet. For every moment of interesting drama, good song or funny joke there are two that are cringe-worthy, but I find myself unable to stop watching. Jane Lynch was great as Sue Silvester, but that joke has ran its course, as did the rest of the show. I guess I find it interesting to see this show falling apart at the seams with the creators constantly trying to fix it. Also, I like the depiction of an openly gay teen couple. I wish I had something like that on TV when I was a gay teen. Anyway, this is the absolute definition of guilty pleasure. Usually people refer to something as "guilty pleasure' without actually feeling guilty, but here there is actual painful guilt. This is the Rebecca Black of the TV world - so bad that you just can't stop watch it. There, you go. I managed to justify watching this kak. Sort of.

Fun Fact: Ha ha. I'm not really watching Glee. It's garbage. And I certainly won't admit it on my blog. If I did watch it I'll deny it vehemently.

Harry's Law - This was a big surprise as we were totally unaware of it last year. Miron caught a couple of episode and said how awesome it was so we started watching it from the beginning. While it's a bit preachy in its messages about the legal system and society in general, Kathy Bates is an amazing actress and she gets some great material here - especially the closing arguments in her cases. The change in setting and concept in the second series was a bit harsh, but it got rid of two annoying supporting characters who had nothing to do other than engage in an annoying and obnoxious romantic subplot.

Fun Fact: Kathy Bates will forever by the psycho bitch from Misery. If you haven't seen it yet, go kill yourself out of shame and then watch it.

American Horror Story - Created by Glee creator Ryan Murphy which is great. Who knows more about American Horror than the creator of Glee? Jokes aside, you could never tell this show is from the same mind. Each season, assuming it'll survive long enough for a second season which now looks likely, features a different story with different characters. I was at first sceptic about using a haunted house plot for the first series, but my fears have been put to rest. The result is very dark and exciting and after five episodes I look forward to see what crazy things are yet to happen. Dreamy Dylan McDermott seems to show his ass or masturbate every other episode which is also a plus.

Fun Fact:  I get to see the fantastic Frances Conroy on a weekly basis for the first time since Six Feet Under which is probably the best TV series ever made with the absolutely best final episode ever made - jaw dropping stuff. It also has Michael C. Hall from Dexter and Rachel Griffiths from Brothers and Sisters in lead roles. Buy the DVD boxset, borrow it from a friend, download it illegally, rob your local HMV... Do whatever you need to see it.

True Blood - Between seasons at the moment, but since it's an ongoing show I'm watching it's worth mentioning. Lots of violence and nudity with lots of male butts. That's enough for me. The crazy and imaginative plotlines are just a bonus. Series three got a bit over the top, introducing more subplots and concepts than the 12 episodes a year show could handle: vampires, witches, shape shifters, mind reading fairies, werewolves, were panthers... Fortunately series four avoided the temptation of introducing more crazy concepts and instead started sorting out through the existing mess with Fiona Shaw as the fantastic villainess Marnie the socially awkward witch.

Fun Fact: This is the last fun fact. How fun!

Honorable mention: the CSI franchise. I've been watching it for years and started with the shows this year as well, but I'm really getting tired of the concept and I'm a few weeks behind already without missing any of the shows. Maybe I'll catch up over Christmas when the other shows go on a break. Balh.

This is it!



Mark said...

Mickey, I love your reviews. My only problem, and like my Photo Dumps, is that there is so much that I want to comment about and now I lost it. Next time, do me a favor and do one at a time. Seriously, you're a riot!
I'm going to do my best to try to remark on each of those shows. And forgive any typos that you're about to see. I won't go over what I wrote looking for mistakes.
Once upon a time: I recorded this last night for the kids to watch. It looks a little juvenile to me. Claire watched half of it this morning before school and without me. Was that a bad thing?
D.H. Getting a little tired of it but since it's ending soon, I'm sticking it out! Also, they do a horrible job of showing off the Gay neighbors. Why have them at all. They're boring.
Homeland: Since you like it, maybe I start watching it on Netflix in a couple of years so that I can watch 30 episodes back to back. Not a huge fan of Claire Danes anymore. I loved her when we hung out at school years ago. Wait, that was Ricky, not me!
Modern Family. Still loving it. Yes, you and Miron are awful Gays. Man-up! Or the opposite of that.
HIMYM: Will never watch that. When boring straight people around me tell me how wonderful it is, that's a sign for me not to watch a show.
Glee: I've been done with that for two years now and am so glad that I stopped watching it when I did.
Harry's Law: I think I'll pick that up when I'm done with Damages on Netflix. But if it's real "Preachy", I won't stay with it.
American Horror Story: The best show ever! If it starts to suck, I'll cry. Also, everything you wrote about Six Feet Under was dead-on!
Trueblood: Funfact: Although I look like it, I'm not a teenager. Why would I watch that?

Fun post!

Mickey said...

You do realize that True Blood is by the same guy who created Six Feet Under, Alan Ball?

Sure, they are very different in theme and style, but it's not like you don't like horror as evident by your liking of AHS..!

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