Friday, August 08, 2014

[TV] Flipping Channels

  • The end of True Blood can't come too soon. They had one season of campy fun. Now it is just awful. Truly one of the worst shows on TV. I watch it like a slow motion train wreck (similar to Dexter in that respect). That is to say I fast forward through a lot of it.
  • The Bridge continues to be fascinating, with the right combo of darkness and weirdness. I might lump this in with True Detective, Fargo, and to some extent, Justified as creative and adventurous police procedurals that push boundaries and make me realize how wrong I was about the genre being a dead end.
  • Sort of a Louie-esque reality-ish dramedy, Maron has grown on me. Maron is sort of like an old school crank crossed with Larry David. Sort of this sort of that -- we really need a word that sums up these sorts of shows. Anyway, I'm watching. Not burning-up-the-world good, but good enough to enjoy.
  • The best thing about Wilfred is never seeing Mr. Frodo again without picturing him doing bong hits with a guy in a dog suit. Always intriguing, with occasional flashes of comic brilliance. This one flew under the radar for its entire existence, which is ending in a couple of weeks. Worth a binge if you haven't seen it.
  • Vastly superior to the overrated Cosmos, Through the Wormhole just ended season five wondering where time comes from. For science geeks only, but this is the show that future Stephen Hawking-types will remember from their childhood.
  • I remain the only American who watched the bulk of the Tour de France. Coverage was spotty but generally entertaining; could benefit from a boost in technology (bike cameras, telemetry, etc. - Formula 1 racing is the gold standard for race coverage of any kind). Italian champ Vincenzo Nibali dominated pretty much the entire tour by a big margin, but of course, anytime one rider completely dominates, you have to wonder if the PED shoe is going to drop.
  • Most reviews rate Halt and Catch Fire a mid-range failure. I thought it had a lot of nonsense, but also some sharp insights. The idea of the lead characters going around thinking they were world disrupting visionaries only to be shown to be marginally more clever than average, and the soul searing disappointment that comes from that, was inspired. It needs a lot of work but it strikes me as exactly the sort of show that could come into its own, given time. Based on ratings, I doubt it will be given time.
  • Since we're all into comparisons, Penny Dreadful was a stylish, more coherent, less campy version of American Horror Story. Also magnificently acted, especially by Eva Green, dramatically shot and framed. It had its dead ends in plot here and there, but I'm looking forward to the next season.
  • Binge status: Third season of Veronica Mars. Everyone says it's not as good as the first two, but four episodes in, it seems fine to me, maybe even a step up. Coming next: Silicon Valley. I should get to Firefly one of these days.
  • There's not much good on the immediate horizon (fall). Boardwalk Empire will start its final season. A strong show but I can't help but think it never really achieved its potential. Some watchable broadcast shows will return -- Big Bang Theory, Elementary (didn't I say i was giving that one up?) on Thursday night. Hmmm. I might be watching a lot of football.
  • On the other hand, Mike Tyson Mysteries is coming. One way or another, heads will explode and ears will be eaten.