Thursday, February 17, 2011

Test Pattern #6

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 15) - The high fashion cycle! (all though apparently cycle 16 will be a high fashion cycle). This cycle was good for all of the weirdos...big boobs Ester, spunky lesbian Kayla, the beautiful but shy Kendall, but there was never a doubt that the gangly awkward Ann would win the whole thing...I hope there's a little more tension next round.

Bored to Death (Season 1) - Hipster detective stories. I really like Jason Schwartzman. I think he's cute and weird and endearing. I've never really had a crush on him before, but this show makes it really hard to avoid. Basically "Jonathan" puts out a craigslist ad, offering his unprofessional detective services and occasionally people respond. He's also recently dumped and suffers from drinking too much white wine. Zach Galifinakis is enjoyable as is Ted Danson.

(Season 1) - Caprica was never going to be as good as the show it spun off from (Battlestar Galactica) but the season got kinda fucked by taking a long hiatus in the middle. This is the story of how cylons came into existence, but also features a heavy plotline focused on virtual reality. The religious differences between the colonies are more apparent than ever, and much drama stems from a fundamentalist monotheist group. There's a lot conceptually that could have worked for the show, but I have to admit that I got bored after a while, and I guess everyone else did too because it's been cancelled.

Dexter (Season 5) - Julia Stiles looks like a Cabbage Patch doll. I seriously got tired if seeing her every episode because she's not a good actor either. While I don't think this season was anywhere near the greatness of season 4, I did appreciate the break from the usual plot pattern.

Louie (Season 1) - Famously, I am known for not being into jokes and stand-up, so I was quite surprised to find myself enjoying Louis CK's new show. It helps that most of the twenty minute episodes are in skit format, and that Louis does a great job with self-deprecation and being a sympathetic slob.

Mad Men (Season 4) - The smaller version of Sterling Cooper was doing just fine, then the primary account, Lucky Strike decides to discontinue business. Of course this news hits everyone hard. Meanwhile, Don is dealing with being a divorcee and pursues a couple relationships. Betty continues to be a bitch. Peggy continues to be successful at her job, but less so in her personal life. Her friendship with Don is interesting and complex. Joan is back and I am worried for her for next season. The true star of the fourth season is Sally. She's approaching adolescence, the child of a broken home, and confused about the world. Every episode that featured her was a treat. For a more professional take on the show, read this article by Daniel Mendelsohn that just came out today.

Sons of Anarchy (Season 3) - Jax and his crew need to rescue his son from the IRA and somehow protect Gemma from ATF for a crime she didn't commit. I think this season spent way too much time in Ireland, but I am happy to see some characters meet their violent ends. Jax, Opie, and some of the more peace-oriented guys seem to be backing down from that position. It will be interesting to see if the action is upped next season.

Ugly Betty (Seasons 1-4) - While in Argentina on vacation, I got hooked on Betty Suarez and her great family and snotty work friends. This show had never really been on my radar before, but as something on in English to watch before going out..the best. After vacation, I had to watch the whole series. So melodramatic with the most ridiculous plots imaginable, but it's too hard not to love what you see here.

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