Monday, May 19, 2014

TV Review Roundup. The Season Finale

After having done the mid-season review, I figured I should have some follow-up.

Walk with me through my television viewing one more time..

Arrow:I think I've gushed about this show often enough.  Between my review, and my post on American Journal about it, I think we all know where I stand. And my opinion hasn't changed. It was an amazing season from start to finish, and they only got better with each successive episode, ramping up the stakes and the threat with each new twist. And the final fight scene, which involved inter-cutting the battle of the past with the one of the present, was a great bit of business.  Oh, and the final setup for the Season 3 flashback storyline? Oliver Queen, Agent of ARGUS, I have a few associates who can testify to the fact that, yes, I did call that one.  And damn if it isn't going to be absolutely frigging awesome by the end of the day. MUAHAHAHAHAHAH
Ahem .... anyway, as I was saying....

[more below the break]

Agents of SHIELD:

Again, refer to the American Journal article for my previous opinion... or the half-season review. My problems are many. Was the finale kick-ass? Sure, but it had Sam Jackson appear as a deus ex mu7h@fucka.

However, fun bits aside, if I had written that ending, I would have been fired. The bad guy's motivation was pitiful, the deus ex was a little heavy handed, and ... wait, where did Nick Fury hide the Destroyer gun? Was he literally pulling it out his butt?

Almost Human.

The "cop with cyborg partner" has been done on tv before, but this one was surprising well thought-out. It had a rich world, interesting characters, a potential to go someplace new and interesting. It was something I enjoyed immensely, as did plenty of other people. Over five million people, in fact.

And to no one's surprise, Fox has canceled it already.

The Black List: We got some questions answered, leaving just enough a mystery to keep the series going. Fun.

Blue Bloods.  This one strikes my fancy because it's a very New York show.  Centered around three generations of a cop family, you have a good strong New York vibe here.  Granted, some of the issues addressed are ripped from the headlines, and they're addressed in some interesting and inventive ways. It's a police procedural, but it's centered around family.  And, strangely, this has gotten to be a better show as the series stops using season-long story arcs, which I find surprising. And the finale was a nice surprise, because it revealed a season-long arc without any previous hints, merely the combination of previous introduced elements that crashed together like a train wreck in an intense episode.

Castle: A series long villain wrapped up in a penultimate episode that resembled a thriller? Absolutely excellent.  A final episode that was a straight-up comedy of errors that was unique in its presentation and delivery? I can't ask for much better than that. A moral to the relationship that's almost lifted from Lord of the Rings? Pleasantly unexpected. And finally, a season cliffhanger that makes me want to murder someone?  Check.

Again, I can't remember the last time I saw a tv show even try to follow a relationship this deeply. Nathan Fillion is playing (mostly) Nathan Fillion ... though there are times when he or his are threatened, and he becomes dark and angry, and channeling his inner Mal Renolds.  Then there's his co-star, Stana Katic, who is the only person I've ever seen act with micro-expressions.

Dracula: This show was almost dead on arrival.  Too much gratuitous sex, way too much soap opera, almost no action to speak of, this show had three or four episodes before I fully gave up on it. I was ahead of the curve, as it has been concelled. If you look at the show Revenge, which is The Count of Monte Cristo in the Hamptons of the 21st century, you can see everything that Dracula has ripped off: a revenge plotline, the take-down of the week, odd interpersonal relationships, a snarky sidekick.  However, unlike Revenge, Dracula has no charm, an angsty, broody character with no sense of humor, and no one is having fun here.

Dracula was so bloodless, I thought I was watching Twilight.

Grimm. I enjoy this show immensely, and it keeps getting better. Introducing more characters? Not a problem with this show.  For something that looks like a cross between the comic book Fables and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's perfectly executed.  For a series that started at the same season as Once Upon A Time (which is just a rip off of Fables), I expected nothing.

It has romance -- with two strangely adorable couples -- and committed relationships... is that allowed on TV?

INTELLIGENCE: How can a film named Intelligence have so little of it? The premise is simple: due to a genetic quirk, a former SpecOps soldier is able to have a clip implanted in his head that allows him to hack into, well, anything. He's literally his own intercept, imaging center, and can run his own facial recognition, etc. Sadly, while there were some cute bits of business along the way, there was so little originality to it. The episodes were so cliche`, I had expect it was writing with a checklist. The first episode set up both an evil equal and a missing wife, both interesting overarching series threads...until the second episode, when the missing wife was both found and murdered in short order. The plots were, in order: evil equal, schmuck ex, informant-turned-terrorist, military using a virus for a bioweapon (see Outbreak, 1995), killer nanites (it's a cliche`... I've seen a lot of scifi), the evil best friend, amnesia and hostage taking (same episode), terrorist attack, redeeming the criminal street urchin, being framed, and sleeper agents in the government conspiracy.

NCIS / NCIS: LA: Same level of standard awesomeness. Another season that had an out of nowhere arc, even though the groundwork had been laid for seasons in the making.

The Mentalist:

Now that the series has offed their primary villain, I think the rest of the series is setting up for a final sendoff of everyone involved.  Even though the main actor, Simon Baker carries this show with wit and charm, and finesse, there may not be a lot left.  Two of the series regulars have been set on their own path, with their life given a standard happily ever after.

It's now time for a few more finales before the finale.

Person of Interest:

While I like this show, I have no idea where it's going. This season has been in the making for at least two seasons, maybe even since the beginning. However, current events have made the series events much more believable.

And while the series mythos has always threatened to go sideways, it's never gone off the deep end, for which I applaud them.

Now if they can keep it from going off the rails for another year, that will be the best trick of them all.

And again, Jim Caviezel is already playing Batman on this show, why did they get Ben Afleck?

Notice that the first word
in bold is CRAZY.
Sleepy Hollow.

Well, this was one strange ride. Ichabod Crane in the 21st century, the headless horseman as a horseman of death, with most of the scenes with the headless horseman have been inspired by the firefight in the police station from The Terminator....

You can understand why more than one review has described this show as jumping on the crazy train and refusing to let go. From start to finish, the series was surprisingly coherent. It's witty, it's stylish, and, ... then there are the "good witches."  Sigh.

If you pick up the series when it returns, just jump aboard the crazy train.

Revenge (2011)Revenge:

Mentioned above, Revenge was a delightfully evil little show. Yes, I said was....

This was the season when one of my favorite shows spiraled down the rabbit hole, and never came out. There were blackouts, fugue states, parents coming back from the dead, birth parents coming out of the woodwork, and it turned into a great big charlie foxtrot. It went from a soap opera that felt like a spy drama, to just a soap opera. And, sorry, when the writers whip out several cliche`, soap opera plot points over the course of a few episodes, that's when things just go completely sideways. I will miss what this show used to be. 

It was an interesting season. And now that we already have several new shows of interest in our crosshairs, the fall promises to be even more interesting.

1 comment:

  1. *like*

    You know, I had a bad feeling Revenge would go wrong. It is tempting to wonder if certain parties dropped notes on it, specifically to kill it. Though it occurs to me that they wanted to cash in on the mass appeal classic soaps had 30 years ago. Even the *soaps* have gone past soaps. Or so I hear. I haven't had the stomach to find out.

    The last soap I watched was "Fresno".

    POI has been the roller coaster ride, hasn't it? From where I'm at, I can't even tell how they are going to have a next season. But I might be missing an ep. I just hope they don't go all Fringe on us. (Don't get me wrong. I *liked* Fringe. After a fashion. But even I get sick of trying to be out weirded every week.)

    I keep WANTING to see The Mentalist. But... Hubby doesn't' like it. Or something.

    Real shame about Almost Human. Find out it's canceled even before I start watching it. I'm not sure I'm in for that much masochism.


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