Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So, with Caprica finally back on the air, everything is up and running, so I thought I’d do a quick summary of what’s good and what’s not…

The Good

How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope, Running Wilde and Big Bang Theory have all been great so far, performing at least as well as I had hoped, in some cases better. 

Nikita was a welcome surprise and has so far been an exciting little spy drama with a twist.

Hawaii Five-O is proving itself to be a fun little tongue in cheek crime drama, like Bones and Castle but with a high octane element that makes it a very enjoyable experience all round.

Chuck, well, Chuck is Chuck and what’s not to like about that? It’s good to finally see some love for this show from the network that very nearly killed it a year ago.

The Bad

Where to start? I had high hopes for Chase. A sexy, high tension drama produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the studio behind such movies as Pirates of the Caribbean. But the show failed on all levels to be engaging. The characters were hard edge almost to the point of dislikeable, even the incompetent one was pitiful rather than endearing. With a season chock full of good stuff, this show just didn’t make the cut.

Undercovers, the new Spy-Fi from J.J.Abrams, a name synonymous with sexy-confusion has managed to produce a pilot that fails to be anything but a joke. Undercovers picks up the story of two retired spies and throws them back into the field. They proceed then to not miss a single beat as they shoot or shag their way out of trouble. Yes it’s sexy and yes it has action, but it doesn’t take itself seriously.Abrams has so far disappointed me with Alias and Lost and Fringe, even Star Trek, but never have I been so disappointed so quickly as I was with this show. If you want a less serious spy drama then Chuck has the perfect mix of comedy and suspense, where as Undercovers tries so hard to cool and quippy that it feels like you’re watching something Sam Raimi might have churned out.

The Ugly

Supernatural… Wait what? You’re favourite show of all time??? Well yes, I said 5 was enough, Eric Kripke said 5 was enough, even the Winchester Boys said 5 was enough, but nobody listened and now look what’s happened. Supernatural is never bad per se (well Bugs was a bad episode, but aside from that) but this has been a clunky start to the season. Coming back from what should have been the end of the show should have been an explosion of goodness that explained why we absolutely needed a 6th season (and “because it makes money” is not a good enough reason.) but instead we’re back to the grungy, emo-ish style storytelling that bogged down the show’s 4th season. Sure Sam and Dean are back hunting together now, so things will pick up, but so far I have failed to be impressed.

Merlin, after a promising start the show has relapsed into it’s lazy scripting/bad British acting habits. It’s such a shame, the first season, despite its poor finale, was genuinely a surprisingly good show. Why BBC shows go downhill in later seasons has always baffled me, but still there are some good moments and some fun moments so I still have hope that once we get the “silly” episodes out of the way the show might return to form for a good season finale.

The Event has the potential to be a good show, however it is as ugly as all hell. The story is chopped, nay, finely diced into bite size chunks, these chunks are then all thrown in a bag and whichever comes out first makes up that week’s episode. In the wake left by the passing of Lost and Flash Forward, I’ve really felt the need for a mystery show, but somehow this is more annoying than it is mysterious. The entire pilot tells you next to nothing, forcing you to watch on in the hopes of figuring out why you just wasted an hour watching the last episode.

Admittedly, the second episode is better, but seriously, what was wrong with linear storytelling? Haven’t we had enough messing about with time and narrative for one generation (thanks Lost!) ???

Caprica and SGU are also back, Sy-Fy’s main dramas are both running one after the other on Tuesday nights and so far they are managing to be okay. Neither is blazing a trail of goodness, nor stinking the place up. Based solely on trailers I have high hopes for the second half of Caprica’s (final?) season where as I have no further expectations for SGU. I would be seriously surprised if I’m still watching either of these shows come this time next year. But they both have the potential to improve

So, that it, My Two Cents on this seasons TV. If I didn’t mention a show, its probably because I’m not watching it, in some cases like Bones and Castle I’m still working through previous seasons, in others I’m just not interested enough. So, until next time…


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