Friday, December 30, 2011
Test Pattern #10
America's Next Top Model (Cycle 17) - Oh boy! The first All-Star season, so we see the return of Allison (probably my favorite contestant of all-time) and sweet country Laura from the short season. Without giving anything away, there was also a huge surprise ending where one finalist may have leaked something online before the end of the season was aired, causing all kinds of internet controversy and speculation.
Boardwalk Empire (Season 2) - This season improves on an already impressive debut. Jimmy is setting himself up to challenge Nucky's authority, turning even brothers against each other. Michael Shannon's character is losing his mind even more. Margaret faces all kinds of trials, and finds herself seeking forgiveness from her Irish family and absolution from the Catholic Church.
Bored to Death (Season 3) - Sadly this was the last season of the adventures of Jonathan (Jason Schwartzmann), Ray (Zach Galifinakis), and George (Ted Danson). Really nothing different from the previous two seasons...still lots of white wine and weed, and bumbling but usually successful detective work. Jonathan learns that his father is not his biological father and that he is the product of a sperm bank. George has to deal with his daughter's engagement to a man nearly his age. Ray continues to struggle with Leah, but enjoys his baby.
Dexter (Season 6) - For most of this season, I was pretty thrilled to learn that there will probably only be two more seasons. The formula has gotten quite tedious, and this season had some serious WTF moments. The first part of the season has Dexter exploring religion with his Reverend friend played by Mos Def. Simultaneously, the Doomsday Killer develops with a Professor of Religion (Edward James Olmos) and his former student (Colin Hanks) putting together tableaus from Revelations to bring on the "End of Times". The last moment of the season is a serious cliffhanger, so I am actually excited about the next season, despite the rest of this horrible plot.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Seasons 1-3, 7) - I had previously seen most of Season 6, and enjoyed Season 7 enough to warrant going back to watch the earlier episodes that I had never seen. The Gang is twins Dennis & Dee, and their friends Mac and Charlie. Danny DeVito joins the cast as Frank for Season 2. In general the episodes are not serialized, but there are jokes or characters that are returned to periodically to the delight of a regular viewer, but not crucial to the storyline. The humor is dark and pretty much a 20 minute episode will feature one or more character behaving badly. Highlights for me are "Charlie Got Molested", "Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person", and the more recent "The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore."
Skins (UK) (Season 4) - This season features the conclusion of the group that hangs with Effy. Effy herself becomes even more vapid and unsympathetic, despite her mental illness issues. The love triangle between her, Cook, and Freddie is also finally resolved. Emily and her girlfriend Naomi have major drama all season. JJ dates a girl with a kid. Katie and Thomas mostly bumble around all season, but have a little affair between them...which is still better than Pandora because I barely remember her from the season.
the Voice (Season 1) - So I'm realizing that I can stomach certain kinds of reality shows, but there definitely needs to be a competition element. What sets the Voice apart from the other singing competitions is that it has a lot more heart. The judges may tease each other, but they genuinely seem to like one another and they refrain from talking much shit to the contestants. I like the opening episodes of the "blind auditions", but I also enjoyed the showier performances that happen later in the season. I'm looking forward to Season 2 to hopefully watch with some friends.