The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Category: Television

Chosen

No, not to be the one girl in all the world with the strength and skill blah blah blah. Although that would be nifty. But it seems that we’ve been selected to become a Nielsen household.

You guys. Seriously? Why–and I ask again, WHY?!–could this not have happened a decade ago? You know, back when I was obsessed with TV? And my obsessions usually ran toward obscure SF-nal shows that were always in danger of cancellation, or simply doomed from the beginning? Why does it have to happen now, when I can take or leave most of what’s on the air and every now and then I actually seriously pondering giving up television entirely? When we don’t even have cable and most of what we watch is online, and only really use the TV to watch local programming or DVDs? WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU MATTERED TO MY LIFE, NIELSEN COMPANY?

Sigh.

So, we’re debating whether to do it. And if we do, we probably won’t admit it, because we don’t want to be getting obsessive e-mails from fans of bubble shows pleading with us to watch it. Although, I’m sure we could find a way to exploit that sort of thing, if we were all exploitative and stuff, but we’re not, really, so never mind. Nevertheless, it seems to require a time commitment that neither of us are really able to make. And neither of us are keen on having their tracking software hooked up to our PCs. Not that we have anything to hide, it just seems a little creepy. And if we have to fill out weekly diaries instead… like I said, who has time for that?

I was surprised to find the packet on our door informing us that we’ve been selected. They sent us a survey a few months ago, but we never got around to filling it out, and so assumed that we’d missed our chance. We still have to call the number on the card to find out exactly what’s involved and what would be required of us. Of course, phone-o-phobes that we both are, we’re debating whether even that much is worth our while. But I think we should probably call and have all the facts before we make our decision.

I just can’t get over how much this would have been a dream come true if it had happened when Joss Whedon was still doing TV.

Mid-Season TV Roundup

Once Upon a TimeThe TV season’s halfway over — okay, more than half. I’m a little behind on this — and that means it’s time to see which shows from my start-of-season roundup I’m still watching, which I’ve pulled the plug on, and which mid-season shows have made the lineup.

First, the breakups:

Survivor/The Amazing Race/America’s Next Top Model/The X-Factor

I never thought the day would come, but… reality competition shows just aren’t doing anything for me anymore. I know, right? I can’t believe it, either. But I just COULD NOT do another season with anybody from the Hantz family, or with Coach, or with “I used to be awesome but now I’m a whiny douche” Ozzy, for that matter, and I found myself paying less and less attention. And TAR, while not really irritating me the way Survivor did, just wasn’t holding my attention. The X-Factor also started to feel like a chore to sit through after the first few eliminations. The only reality show I watched all the way to the end of the season was ANTM, and then there was that hinky business with Angelea, and I just don’t have the energy for any more of Tyra’s shenanigans. I’m done.

Glee

I had already reached the point where I was just in it for the singing. I almost dumped it for good after that cracked-out Christmas episode, but then a preview of the Michael Jackson ep pulled me back in; but by the time the Valentine’s Day ep got here I wasn’t even enjoying the singing anymore, certainly not enough to endure Very Special Episode sermons about how my religion should feel about certain issues from Ryan Murphy. I couldn’t even get excited about finally seeing Rachel’s dads even though it was some of the best casting ever. I just didn’t care. Goodbye, Glee.

The New Girl

I only made it four episodes, none of which lived up to the hilarious pilot, before going back to my No Half-hour Comedies rule. Life is too short. Sorry, Zooey Deschanel. I still think you’re adorable.

Chuck 

I didn’t break up with Chuck, it broke up with all of us, and broke my heart a little in the process. I will always love you, Chuck.

 

The New Shows:

Once Upon a Time 

Technically not a midseason replacement, but it got a late enough start to not be included in my original round-up. Actually, I didn’t even know about it yet when I wrote my last TV post. But I’m glad I found out, because it’s my favorite new show by far. It’s a fairy-tale soap opera wrapped up in a Lost-style mystery, with a villain who is completely unapologetic and evil (with Jane Espenson’s involvement I suspect it’s no coincidence that the best TV Big Bad since Mayor Wilkins is… another Mayor! Shout-out!), and another villain who seems to possibly be poised for a redemption arc, and you know how I am about those. It’s not my favorite favorite show (yet), but it’s got all of the ingredients for getting there.

Sherlock

Matt and I actually watch this one together. The extremely short seasons are hella frustrating, but my word, is this show good. I always said that Doctor Who had a lot of Sherlock in him and now Sherlock’s got a lot of The Doctor in him. It’s smart, witty, sexy, and a pure fangirl delight. Do not miss this show.

Smash

This is filling the void in the Broadway geek part of my soul quite nicely. It has a great cast, the writing is good, and the musical numbers are making me want them to produce Marilyn the Musical in the real world. And I didn’t start watching AI until David Cook’s season, so I’m not a big fan of Kathryn McPhee (not to say that I don’t like her… I’m just not a big fan), so I keep rooting for Ivy.  Who is played by Megan Hilty who is an actual Broadway star and was a Galinda, so how could I not? She’s pretty awesome. You should look up her “Popular” performance on Youtube sometime. Also, Jack Davenport: Rawr.

The River

Paranormal Activity in the Amazon. The execution isn’t perfect, but it has its moments. Besides, it’s only 7 episodes long, so it’s not a huge commitment.

Alcatraz

This is a solid show. I’m not all a-flutter over it yet, but it has a good cast, good writing, and enough intrigue to keep me coming back for more. And this is pretty much exactly how I felt about Fringe during its first season, so yeah, you can bet I’m going to give it plenty of time to find its crazy legs and become another Bad Robot masterpiece.

Speaking of…

Still watching:

Fringe

Oh, Peter.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that, other than that this is still my favorite US-produced show currently on television.

Doctor Who

… and I’m incredibly frustrated that it’s on hiatus until OCTOBER! Why are they torturing us? Why?

Supernatural

Although, the urgency is gone, and I’m several episodes behind. First Cas, then Bobbie, and I love my boys, but I also loved their family that they had built around them, and now they’re all gone. I can’t say I agree with the decision to keep going another season. But I just can’t quit them, either.

But dang it, I really miss Cas.

Castle

This show is as entertaining as ever, and I loves me some Fillion, but seriously, show: you cannot drag this will they/won’t they schtick out another season. Get them together already, or don’t, and make it stick. Sheesh.

Ringer

I’m still loving watching Buffy and Evil Buffy. And I’m impressed that this show has so much that could make it into pure camp, but it never crosses that line. It’s a good show, as nighttime soaps go, and SMG is as delightful as ever. Also, this rule is proven to still be true: if Buffy cries, I cry.

 

So that’s what I’m watching these days. What shows are you watching?

Jericho Addendum

Okay, so we finished the series, and I now feel obligated to say that yes, it did get better in the second season. A lot of that was due to the addition of Esai Morales to the cast, and you can’t help but make things better by tossing an Adama–any Adama–into the mix. The writing was still problematic, but that became less noticeable with a shift to more political action and intrigue, less “aw shucks, we’re just a small town fighting our way through a big disaster with a lot of persistence and pluck.” The production values also improved. I can’t think of one instance in season two where Matt paused the show to point out some visual gaffe (other than the fact that this small Kansas town appeared to be a mountain town, but I can get over that; mountains are pretty hard to hide).

With only seven episodes in the second season, it felt more like a mini-series follow-up than an actual season of the show, and it wrapped up enough of the major loose ends to provide a decent amount of closure. Even so, after going several days without, I’m actually starting to feel withdrawal pangs over this weirdly addictive apocalyptic family drama, and since finishing the series I can now understand where the fans who still pine for this show to make a comeback are coming from.

Jericho

I missed this back when it originally aired on CBS, but since Matt and I have been on a survival show kick lately and we needed something to tide us over while waiting for the second season of Dual Survival to show up on Netflix, we decided to give Jericho a chance. I think I initially avoided it because of its main premise, which is that most of the US is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. I mean, I still have nightmares from watching The Day After as a kid, and giving too much thought to nuclear war tends to leave me holding myself while I rock back and forth. But I know this show had a rabid fan following, and I have a certain fondness for Skeet Ulrich, and like I said, we’re on a survival kick, and we thought, just maybe this show will have something to teach us.

Well, not so much. You guys, I really wanted this show to be great. I mean, the people who love this show really LOVE this show, and I wanted to love it too. But it’s… I don’t know. It’s like it’s not just the Hollywood version of a plucky small town full of plucky survivors living outside of the fallout zone of a post-nuclear wasteland, but it’s the CBS version of that, you know? And it’s this weird dichotomy of good actors giving straight-faced, heartfelt performances against cheap production values and lazy writing that’s full of plot holes and painfully obvious that the writers and producers couldn’t even be arsed to do a lazy Google/Wikipedia version of research about anything. And while I’m the sort who is normally able to suspend my disbelief fairly easily and overlook things like obvious stunt doubles (for “stunts” like walking out a door?) and palm trees and mountains showing up in Kansas (it’s like they’re not even trying to hide them), Matt is not that sort of person and it pulls him out of the story every time–and then he has to pause it and point out the gaffes to me.

All of that said, I think I do kind of love this show. We’re almost finished with the first season, and I will say that the story–if not necessarily the writing–is getting better. The Touched By An Angel quality has diminished as the town begins to face actual hardship, and the fact that this town in the beginning seems extremely lucky and barely touched by The End Of The World As We Know It actually becomes a plot point. It’s a very character-driven show, and a little soapy, which makes it a little easier to overlook a lot of the implausibilities. It’s frustrating, because this show really could have been excellent if the production staff seemed to care half as much about it as the actors, but there are parts of it that are good, and parts of it that are so bad, and it’s a little bit unintentionally campy, but it’s all entertaining. And as much as we both complain to each other about this show’s problems, we’re still compelled to keep watching it. As much as I have to say that I can see why it was cancelled, I have a feeling I’m going to bemoan its cancellation regardless once I get to the end.

There’s still a hue and cry among this show’s fans for it to be brought back into production. What I would rather see is a remake — even as anti-remake as I usually tend to be — helmed by someone like J. J. Abrams or Joss Whedon or Ronald D. Moore or somebody who cares about making shows good. Regardless of your opinion of the original, tell me that that would not be pure awesome.

Doctor Who Season Finale

I have a hard time writing coherently about episodes I love of shows I love, because mostly I’m all with the squee. This time is no different, so I’m just going to put some random reactions behind the cut.

What I’m Watching

RingerThe fall TV season is back in full swing (or at least it will be once Chuck makes its return next month), and I’ve gone from having one or two shows to keep up with over the summer to suddenly having to find time for a dozen. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a DVR and Hulu has tightened their restrictions on free broadcasts of network shows (which I don’t really get–hello, network TV? YOU’RE FREE! Stop being so greedy with the streaming); but somehow, I’m managing to fit it all in. Thank Heaven that I can knit and watch TV at the same time.

Pin of the Week

Source: myrevelment.com via Jean on Pinterest

 
 

Pin of the Day

Source: None via Jean on Pinterest

The New Girl

I gave up watching half-hour sitcoms years ago, after adding up all of the hours I spent watching TV every week and being appalled at myself, and I’ve never really looked back (the stuff I watch in syndicated re-runs sometimes, of course, doesn’t count). This decision happened back when Niles and Daphne had just (finally) gotten together, which tells you how long ago I broke up with sitcoms, and let me tell you, it’s left me out of a lot of discussions about a lot of popular shows over the years since. I’ve felt kind of bad about that, but I also can hardly keep up with all the hour-long genre and reality shows on my Must Watch list as it is, so… not TOO bad.

So of course, even though I adore Zooey Deschanel (does anybody NOT adore Zooey Deschanel?), I had no plans to check out her new sitcom on Fox. But the other day I was knitting and catching up on my shows, and I caught up before I finished my knitting, and there was a free advanced preview of The New Girl on Hulu, which was just the right length of time for finishing up my knitting project, so I figured, what the hay?

So I watched it, and then I LOL’d and LOL’d. I can’t say the show was great — not all of the jokes were gems, especially the ones delivered by the male roomies — and as long as I’m going parenthetical can I just take a moment to say how old it made me feel to go from “Hey, it’s Damon Wayans,” to “Wait– Damon Wayans Junior?!!” — and they had the annoying and all-too-common-these-days habit of explaining jokes that might have been funny if they had just let them be. But: Jess (Deschanel’s character) is hilarious, and sings about everything, and makes up theme songs for herself, and watches Dirty Dancing on repeat for days on end when she’s heartbroken, and she’s not afraid to look like a damn fool, and how can you not want to hang out with this girl?

I know I do, which is why for the first time in over a decade I’ll be letting a half-hour comedy back into my regular TV rotation. Let us hope that this won’t turn out to be my gateway crack.

Pin of the Day

Source: google.com via Jean on Pinterest

Page 2 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén