Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Test Pattern #7 - Part 2

America's Next Top Model (Cycle 16) - The one good thing about this cycle compared to last, was that there really wasn't a clearcut winner from the beginning (I love Ann from last season, but total lack of tension or surprise). The problem is that I don't feel like anyone was really really strong. One of my favorites won, but overall this will be a forgettable season.

Chicago Code (Season 1) - Really great show that is like a hybrid of Law & Order but heavily influenced by the Wire. The new Chicago police superintendent is trying to crack down on corruption, a widespread epidemic in Chicago's political system. In particular, she is trying to convict one alderman who has his hands in the Irish mob, and pays off people all over the city. However, he is good at what he does, so it's hard to get anything to stick. Meanwhile, there is still everyday crime to deal with in the town. We get to know a handful of the officers and one undercover agent, all the more sad that Fox did not decide to renew this show for another season. I guess, I will just have to watch the show creator's previous project, the Shield.

Community (Season 2) - Community was a really interesting show this season. While there were general plot arcs, mainly it seemed as though the show was more focused on being "meta" about genre and television/film conventions. There's the animated Christmas special, the revisionist Western paintball finales, a Pulp Fiction/My Dinner with Andre tribute, and an episode about making documentaries. I think this show is so fun and smart, and really not like anything else on television.

(Season 2) - Nowhere near as strong as the first season, but still some tearjerky moments and attention paid to the life of queer teenagers. The group finally makes it past Regionals, so the driving force this season is to win at Nationals. Relationship-wise, lots of boyfriend swapping, and one of the students realizes she is a lesbian, even if she is not ready to come out yet. The Britney Spears episode was a highlight, and any episode dealing with Blaine (especially the "Teenage Dream" performance. I'm fine with the addition of big girl Lauren, but I don't necessarily feel like she brings light to anything, and the only time you really hear her sing is the Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like"...a favorite of mine, but still. I'm pretty over the Finn/Rachel/Quinn dynamic which is sure to continue next season. Also, Gwyneth Paltrow was fun for one season, but I think she had too much screen time - Bring back Uncle Jesse!

the Office (Season 7) - the Office is a show that I wish would have ended somewhere around Jim and Pam's wedding, and yet I still have to watch. This was Steve Carell's last season, and the last half of this season seems to focus on saying goodbye in one form or another...really a perfect place to stop, but instead, apparently a new boss is going to take over and the show will continue. I liked having Holly Flack (Amy Ryan) back for a few episodes, and the addition of creepy Gabe was a good call in my opinion (all though it seems like he might be gone now). As usual, I wish the supporting characters would have more developed storylines, since this can be such a funny cast. In particular Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) should be on screen way more because she is the best. I also always want more Darryl, and occasionally more Creed and Kevin.

30 Rock (Season 5) - This show used to be the highlight of NBC's Thursday night line-up, but this year that honor definitely has been handed over to Parks & Recreation. That isn't to say that this show isn't funny anymore, but when you go back and look at the episodes from Seasons 2 & 3, there just really isn't a comparison. The main problem this year was the disappearance of Tracy Jordan. Also, the show made Kenneth do too many stupid things...I think everyone is fine with him being a naive hillbilly, but he shouldn't be made to look like he suffers from a mental health condition. Alec Baldwin as Jack is great as always, but Elizabeth Banks as Avery just can't possibly live up to some of Jack's old love interests (I'm thinking specifically of Salma Hayek), all though, thank God Julianne Moore and her horrendous Boston accent are no longer around.

Walking Dead (Season 1) - AMC is doing a great job of presenting a variety of quality shows. The first season of Walking Dead does a get job of setting up a group of characters in a really high stakes world. A zombie epidemic has been unleashed, and the apocalyptic tone is fantastic. I didn't realize there were only 6 episodes, and things move along quickly. I feel like everyone knows that the end of the season really sucks...it's like the writers wrote themselves into a corner, but I have faith with the return of producer Frank Darabont, and a more hands-on approach, the story can be salvaged next season.

1 comment:

Roman said...

Fuck the CDC arc. That shit was so fucking stupid.

And I'm glad you like Community.