Saturday, March 13, 2010

Movies are my life, Television is my hobby.

So, as we all should know by now, my love for movies has extended to my interest in theatre work recently and a love for television shows (scripted, that is) that has been growing over the past little while. While I only watch a little over a dozen television shows and am behind on a few, after watching the most recent Caprica, I wanted to do a little bit on my favourite TV shows right now (a la EW's recent article, but mine will be specifically catered to... me, duh).


Goddamn, I love Chuck. What started as a casual viewing experience because it aired before Heroes has grown into a full-blown love affair, including glee at seeing Yvonne Strahovski in Mass Effect 2. While it could easily be the mission-a-week experience it started out as and would still be entertaining, it has built so much into the past two and a half seasons. It has a strong cast and writing and through that it has presented some of the best character development ever. Chuck has grown as a character and a series over the past couple years and I've loved every moment of it. The chemistry between our two leads as well as their peripheral interests proves to be interesting. And while things sometimes don't change that much, there are important developments over time and although Chuck is in a similar position than what he was in at the beginning of the show in a superficial way, way too much has happened to ignore.


Battlestar Galactica was the best show I missed and later watched and watched again. It is one of my favourites shows ever and would only lose out to Cowboy Bebop. But Caprica would be close behind and maybe if Caprica makes it through four seasons, it too could top BSG. Because, honestly, the two series are so different. While BSG was filled with excellent action set pieces and featured a lot more militaristic drama, Caprica does present us mostly with the actions of two families and their affiliates, so the crazy romantic webs aren't as rampant (yet). Caprica is also wicked smart; while BSG planted a lot of great philosophical debates and questions over time, Caprica has carried on that tradition most strongly. Not to mention superb writing that helps support just how smart this show is. While it started off slowly and I wasn't sure that it would keep my attention, I have most certainly fallen for Caprica.


While I don't normally love sitcoms because I'm more of an intensely complex scripted series (which is why it's so weird that I haven't watched Lost yet; but I'm too far behind now, I'll watch it in a year or something), TBBT has proven to be hilarious, smart, and genuinely fun. Smart, obviously, because it's about a bunch of scientists. TBBT is one of the series that has not disappointed me in its sitcom-y ways. I enjoy the nerdy references as a professed nerd myself and have so much fun each half an hour.


After I disliked Let the Right One In, I assumed that I just didn't like vampire things. I never get into Dracula and, unsurprisingly, I hate Twilight, so how on earth did I like True Blood? I'd heard it was decent, so I gave it a shot and while it took me a while to really fall for it, I did, Stephen Moyer's horrid accent and all. Again, we have here an excellent cast and a well-written program that doesn't treat the supernatural like a disease; the best sci-fi and fantasy use their genre as a setting more than as a plot point, and True Blood excels at that, which makes me love it even more. And it hardly hurts that Alexander Skarsgard is as hot as he is.

5. GLEE.

While inconsistent and sometimes downright annoying, every Glee episode is still fun and the cast is too talented to stay mad at. And when Glee is good, it is GOOD. I still love watching the football team break out into the "Single Ladies" dance the fiftieth time I see it. I'm hoping that the show has now found its footing and will use that to its advantage. Not to mention that it has one hell of a breakout character in Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester (and major props to Amber Riley and Chris Colfer for bringing us Mercedes and Kurt).


Judge me all you want for this, but for a show that could've been so bad, I have been pleasantly shocked by how good this show really is. I love shows with complex mythologies and The Vampire Diaries has certainly been building us an interesting one. The characters, despite some supernatural influences, are believable and well-portrayed; I just love seeing my female protagonists kick some ass (and stab pencils into evil vamps). The Salvatore brothers are also incredibly hot, and Damon is so deliciously evil and a wonderful villain/potential anti-hero? He's totally a Lex Luthor in his wavering alliances and villainous deeds, and those are the best kinds of villains.


Again with the sitcoms! But Modern Family also boasts a wicked talented cast of all ages, from the infant Lily to patriarch Jay. The series is witty and always fun to watch, not to mention that the lack of a laughtrack really helps. But the stories are not only fun, but also smart and warm; Modern Family reaches out to its audience and doesn't try to outsmart us or make us rely only on some stupid gimmicks.


While at times I don't LOVE the show Dexter, I am always absolutely fascinated by Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the character Dexter. I was so pleased when he won the Golden Globe, folks, and I hope he brings home an Emmy too. The supporting cast has always also been talented, even the often annoying Rita (I never found her so bad as many other people criticized though). And if I'm ever in doubt about the strength of the series as a whole, I just look back to Dexter's stellar first season; since then, it may not have been AS strong, but it hasn't let me down.


Although I completely understand some people's complaints that the series is too slow, too much talking, characters that we can't relate to, I still find myself totally invested in this show. While not every episode satisfies me in the way more action-packed series do, there are those moments where everything is just beautiful, for instance, the season three finale. And even if the characters are sometimes inaccessible, that's no fault of the fantastic cast. (Just remember to bring back Sal for season four, PLEASE!?)


FlashForward mostly gets this spot for its potential. While thus far the show has been a bit too slow, I've still been pleased by it and enjoy the world that it is trying to build around it. While Joseph Fiennes, though gorgeous to look at, isn't the strongest lead, his supporting cast is outstanding, particular call-outs to Dom Monaghan and John Cho (Merry and Sulu!). But even when considering the critiques of the show's sometimes too-slow pace for its premise, there are a number of moments that I still absolutely love, particularly the sad but fantastic exit of Al.


When I'm looking for laughs and one of my favourite bromances ever (Abed and Troy together forever, please!), I need not look further than Community. (again with the sitcoms, Sarah, why do you watch so many of them?) While not always spectacular, Community is always funny, though sometimes funnier than other times. Also, I LOVE telling people about the mascot The Human Being.

12. V.

Another show with a too-slow pace for its premise, but still my attention, I hope desperately that V will step up its game. I enjoyed the first four episodes, but they did feel kind of like Battlestar Galatica's introductory mini-series: interesting introduction, but now let's bring in a "33" like episode where we can all be blown away by how fantastic this premise can be. I like all the threads that are building from different directions. I hope my interest will not be in vain.


Mind you, I'm wicked behind on this show. But I love me some straight-up action. Human Target has so far, of what I've seen, been what Chuck could have been if we didn't want to make it about character. We get to go on fun action-packed missions every week, and I love that. That's all I want out of this show and it does that superbly. Not to mention that Jackie Earle Haley is so great.


I'm not in love with Gossip Girl this season, but I loved the second season's playing with the perfect pair: Chuck and Blair. Now that they're together, Blair is still fun to watch, although a bit dull, but Chuck has been spiraling down into truly boring territory, which is disappointing, because HE'S CHUCK BASS. Also annoying me this season has been Serena's long string of boring relationships (let's hope Nate works out better for her; I've liked them for the one episode we've seen of them so far). The positive? Jenny has FINALLY gotten interesting to me. After two seasons of finding her so freakin' annoying, seeing her as a true bitch and a drug dealer has gotten me interested.


This season is definitely not my favourite. I love NPH and Barney Stinson, but I am a bit sick of Barney. I'm much more interested in Ted. Ted is the center of the show and his distinct personality should not be relegated to the background just because Barney is more dramatic and a total usually-but-not-recently fun sleazeball to watch. We got some fantastic hints about the mother; can we meet her? I'd really like that. Or at least some more Adventures In Ted-Dating; I like those too.

16. HOUSE.

And here we conclude the shows I watch. House, despite being entertaining, is not my favourite show. I like it, sometimes love it, but this is one of the most habitual shows I watch. But then, having it finish my list does not mean that I don't like it. Rather, I don't watch shows I don't like (i.e. why I dropped Heroes). So while House is entertaining and good and sometimes really good, it's more a worthwhile habit than a conscious devotion.

Well, this was a fun waste of time!

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