snowystingray: (OM NOM NOM)
[personal profile] snowystingray
New to me TV of 2009. Keep in mind that this is with a self-imposed moratorium on picking up any new TV shows during the fall season, so... this is significantly less unwieldy (significantly more... than it might otherwise have been. Spoilers for: American Idol, Ashes to Ashes, Big Wolf on Campus, Chuck, Crusoe, Dollhouse, Farscape

In years past I've come up with complicated organizational patterns of how to group my shows together to develop some sort of logical progression through the post, but this year I'm lazy so it's just alphabetical from here on out.

American Idol
Episodes watched: Ehm... not that many, actually. I didn't get super into this season (I KNOW I KNOW it's lame to the max, but I am still hung up on S6 AND WILL NEVER RECOVER, SO BE IT). [ profile] savemoony and YouTube kept me up-to-date on all of the important developments without requiring me to actually sit through an entire episode (tragedy of trying to watch AI while I was in college: no TiVo! It has been scientifically proven that it is impossible to sit through an entire episode of AI if one is unable to fastfoward through all of the breaks/dramatic pauses/Coke commercials/etc. etc.). I did watch the finale in its entirety, but other than that I only caught bits and pieces.
Favorite performances: According to my "most played" on WMM, it would appear that Kris Allen's "Heartless" was my favorite. I also really really loved his "She Works Hard for the Money." AND I WILL ADMIT THAT I SECRETLY LOVE HIS VERSION OF "NO BOUNDARIES" BECAUSE IT JUST MAKES ME FEEL WARM IN MY HEART, SERIOUSLY, HE IS TOO ADORABLE BY HALF.)
Oh yeah, and other things happened this season, didn't they?

Hopes for this year: None. Call me lame, but I really have no desire to watch the show post-Paula. ... ... I know I have no dignity left, so let's just refrain from commenting on this and leave it where it is.

Ashes to Ashes
Episodes watched: 1.01 - 2.08
Favorite episode: The very first episode, the very first time I watched it. That probably sounds bad, doesn't it? Like the whole show was downhill from there? I guess in a way it was, because, while I dove headfirst into devouring the entire series at once and it pretty much ate my brain for a week solid -- there was just something special and surprising and weirdly intimate about watching that first episode. Kind of like it was a magical viewing experience intended only for me? Like, I understand the reservations that many people have about the show, and I grapple with its flaws all the time, and even watching that episode again I can pick over all of my issues with it... but something about that first viewing was just a television love letter shot straight into my heart. I can't even fully describe why or how I get this strange tingly feeling in my core when I just think about it, but SKLFJ;LSDF;AFD IT IS ALL JUST SO PERFECT TO ME. THE "SAME OLD SCENE" SEQUENCE AT THE END? LIKE... LIKE... I DON'T EVEN KNOW. I WENT OUT AND BOUGHT AN ENTIRE ROXY MUSIC ALBUM JUST BECAUSE OF THIS. WHEN IT CUTS TO SAM'S NAME ON THE WALL-- WHEN THE CAMERA ZOOMS TO LUIGI-- WHEN GENE AND ALEX BRUSH ARMS-- WHEN ALEX LOOKS INTO THE CAMERA-- I. JUST. SERIOUSLY. IT'S LIKE A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE TO ME. LIKE GENE IS POURING THE BLOOD OF CHRIST OR SOMETHING. I AM NOW OFFICIALLY A CRAZY PERSON.

I'm also super fond of the way the series two finale completely blew my mind. Like, series one is kind of variations on a single theme; dreamlike; sometimes silly, sometimes frantic; always quietly sad; but with a certain nested, incubated feeling to it, like things are just in a holding pattern. And then series two just drops the bottom out of the show, and it's suddenly this crazy nightmare, and it's more about the urgency of the plot than about playing with the possibilities of the tone -- and it all culminates quite perfectly in the ultimate "WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT, AUUUGHHH WHY" sort of finale. Actually, quick vid rec -- DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE SHOW, it's spoilery as hell; but if you're all caught up, man, this vid just perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the plot progression through the most recent ep: Ashes to Ashes, "Secret".
Hopes for this year: gosh, I don't even know! I want it to be like the end of LoM, and be a complete surprise and yet at the same time be exactly what I wanted all along. Mostly, though, I just want it to come baaaack!!

Big Wolf on Campus
Episodes watched: 3.06 "Hellection" up through the end of the show
Favorite episode: Oh gosh, I don't even know where to start. "Hellection" and its brilliant critique of our corrupt political landscape? (AND HILLARY CHOATE, HOW MUCH DO I LOVE HER??) "N'Sipid," which predates that other favorite alien-boyband-invasion episode of mine from The Middleman (seriously, what are the odds? Fess up, Grillo-Marxuach, you're totally a BWOC fan)? "Baby on Board," the infamous mpreg episode? (YES THAT'S RIGHT, THIS IS A CHILDREN'S SHOW WITH MPREG. I... DON'T EVEN KNOW.) "There's Something About Lori," which tackles one of my favorite horror archetypes, the Phantom of the Opera? (YESSSSSSSSSSSS YES YES YES YES YES, IN CASE YOU WERE STILL IN DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THIS SHOW AND I WERE ~MADE FOR EACH OTHER~, IT TOTALLY HAS A POTO EPISODE. I REST MY CASE.) Or the Corey Feldman episode? What I'm trying to say here is that THIS IS KIND OF THE MOST PERFECT SHOW EVER CREATED, like, I'm still in shock and disbelief that it actually exists, was filmed and produced, ever aired on major cable television -- I thought this sort of thing only lived in my wildest fantasies? Maybe that's why it has never been released on DVD -- some higher-ups decided that the world as a whole simply could not cope with this show being around, so they're hoping that it will slowly die away into nothingness. Ha! Too late! It will live on in my brainspace forever.

Episodes watched: 2.12 "Chuck vs. the Third Dimension" through 2.22 "Chuck vs. the Ring"
Favorite episode: Honestly, pretty much everything after the filler mid-season eps/annoying Cole arc episodes ended. I loved the first season because it was funny and fun -- it seems like such a simple praise, and yet there is so little in the way of fun television these days! Everything is either super gritty omg intense drama; or else comedy that relies heavily on situational awkwardness that, for me, is just painful to watch. Okay, granted, Chuck has its fair share of awkward comedy (maybe I just like it more because I can relate to it more? Office humor kind of whizzes past me, but minimum wage labor humor cuts me deep!). With the run of episodes at the end of season two, though, I was really really impressed to see the show still retain its action/adventure heart and yet expand into a super neat, well developed, well executed story arc of conspiracies and secret identities and shocking reveals! and loyalties tested! and other such dramatics that would probably be overblown and eye-roll-y anywhere else, and yet here they worked so well and turned out, well, AWESOME. "Chuck vs. the Colonel" literally had me clutching myself in anxiety for an entire week while I waited for it to air, and even a bit for a few days afterward as I still tried to process. And? The finale? The whole "Mr. Roboto" sequence? GENIUS. No other word for it.
Hopes for this year: Mostly I'm just so jazzed that it got renewed, that I haven't really stopped to think about how I want them to develop things from here. I'm actually already preemptively cranky about a few spoilery teases I've read, ha, but I'll reserve judgment for the episodes themselves... and then as usual I am super excited about the slew of awesome guest stars. Plotwise? Hmm... I hate seeing Ellie always be the one in the dark about everything. LAME. So find a way to make that non-lame. Also, Chuck/Sarah... I have embraced their inevitability, okay, and they are frequently cute and all, but there's just going to be so much more will they/won't they, love-triangles-with-actors-brought-in-for-that-sole-purpose, and... whatever. I also want them to find a way to make that non-lame, too. AND OPERATION: GET CASEY LAID IS STILL IN FULL EFFECT. And I'm still shipping Casey/Sarah in my own stealthy way, so. Show. Get on that!

THEY ARE SO PRETTY. What a crime that it took them thirty-three episodes to finally have a cover as a couple which only lasted like twenty seconds but I don't care, they were the best twenty seconds ever.

Episodes watched: 1.09 "Smoke and Mirrors" through 1.12 "The Return"
General thoughts now that it is GONE FOREVER: This was such an awesome little show! I was sad to see it retire early, but I think it played nicely with the time it was given and works well as a miniseries. And, psst -- it's still all up on Hulu! So shoo, go watch it!

Episodes watched: 1.01 "Ghost" through 2.10 "The Attic:
Favorite episode: I think the series got off to a slow-ish start, but I've been really impressed with a lot of the storytelling that has come out of the second season. As others have pointed out, the first season was simply too episodic to fully address the meat of the subject matter -- there were quite a few brilliant moments, but there was also kind of a lot of other stuff to sludge through. I also wasn't super impressed with the first season finale... it just felt, I dunno, too heavy handed to me? But. Then! EPITAPH ONE, WHAT WHAT WHAT, I had been waiting long and hard for an episode like that, and for the show to finally go all out and just commit to that kind of storyline. Definitely, definitely my favorite episode of the first season. As for this season... ho hum. Like I said, I've actually been quite impressed with the quality of the latest run of eps (well, "Stop-Loss" was kind of bleh to me, but otherwise!)... I'll maybe go for "Meet Jane Doe"? Closely followed by "The Attic" (look, okay, yes it was basically a shameless Matrix rip-off, but it was a well done rip-off! And that's what counts!).

Episodes watched: 1.01 up to halfway through 2.14 "Beware of Dog"
Before I get into favorite episodes or anything -- DAMN I have completely fallen off watching this show! What a shame! I love love loved the heck out of the first season so much, but kind of had a hard time getting into the second. I... I don't know, in some ways I think the show is SO PERFECT but then in some ways, like, there's no nice way to say this -- but in some ways I just cannot fucking stand some of the characters. Rygel. Will never ever grow on me. OMFG HATE HIM SO MUCH. And then Chiana, auuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhh sometimes she is okay but on the whole SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO BE THERE ALL OF THE TIME, SHE IS SO ANNOYING. And then with all the D'Argo/Chiana stuff, D'Argo has slowly drifted to my "characters who annoy me" column, so it's kind of like... John, Aeryn, Pilot, Zhaan (sometimes), and that's about it? I don't know how to explain it. And usually I'm suuuuch a big character person that love of characters will make up for almost anything, so the fact that half the characters on the show currently make me want to scratch my eyes out is sort of... not good. And yet...? I still have overall warm fuzzy feelings toward the show! AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE AERYN AND LOVE LOVE LOVE CRICHTON SO MUCH that I really want to get to the end of their story together.
FUCKING CHIANA. FUCKING RYGEL. Seriously now, do they ever get less obnoxious? Or at least easier to ignore? Listen, I'm one of those people who wasn't all that bothered by Jar Jar, so for me to find a scifi character completely insufferable in their alien cutesy quirkiness is kind of a big deal.
Favorite episodes: I've really dug all of the multiparters thus far. Ongoing plotting, woohoo! Also, just to be contradictory because I know I said I was much more affectionate toward the first season than the second -- but, wow, "The Way We Weren't"? That episode completely blew me away. And then, of course, who doesn't love "Crackers Don't Matter"? And, d'awww, looking over this episode list is really motivating me to get back into the show because there are so many awesome things that I love about it! Just... other things... that I don't. ("Dream a Little Dream," omfg, most boring episode ever. And "Beware of Dog," the episode I literally had to stop in the middle of and just could not finish... whhhhyyyy...!! Does anybody have a handy list of which are the shit episodes I can skip over? That's what I used for watching the first few seasons of SG-1 and it really helped a lot. Usually I'm an obsessive completist, but sometimes... I just need to spare my retinas, y'know?)
Hopes for the future: Does this count, since the show is already over and all has been decided? OH. WELL. Less annoying exploits from the peanut gallery (seriously, I don't get it, I am usually so pro-secondary characters), MORE JOHN/AERYN OKAY? OKAY.


Aaaand I decided to cut this off because I'm cold and hungry and lazy and will probably never ever never get through the whole thing if I decide to do it as one behemoth of a post (...I am only about a quarter of the way through my shows -- and then you know I'm going to blab like twice as long over Lost and twenty times as long over Robin Hood). So expect future installments soon, picking up with... House! Which I literally never write about any more! And yet somehow I still watch every episode because it is impossible for me to drop a fandom. (PLUS WHAT WHAT WHAT MONDAY'S EPISODE WHAAAAT.)

Date: 2010-01-10 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So what's the deal with Farscape? Doesn't it have a muppet or something?

Date: 2010-01-10 06:56 am (UTC)
ext_30739: Benjamin Linus loves his premium channel package (star trek)
From: [identity profile]
Yes! Many of them, actually! Brian Henson produced it, and a ton of the alien characters are brought to life via puppetry. I think it's a really cool approach, as most scifi shows' aliens are either humans-in-prosthetics or lots-of-CGI -- so it's nice that they branched out to a third option, with something that's still a tangible presence and yet that allows for a lot more creativity than just humanoids in make-up over and over. (Although, ha, now I am reminded of the puppet work done on Stargate, which was apparently much less popular with the cast over there? I know in all of Joe Flanigan's interviews he was all "I HATE THAT FUCKING PUPPET, IT CREEPS ME OUT, I DO NOT WANT TO BE IN A ROOM WITH IT." LOLLL. The puppets on Farscape are much more varied and dynamic, though.)

Date: 2010-01-12 03:17 pm (UTC)
railise: (Arthur - watch for the plot)
From: [personal profile] railise
Whoever decided not to renew Crusoe is on my List of Extreme Dislike. There was SO MUCH going on at the end... GRRR.



Date: 2010-01-12 04:14 pm (UTC)
ext_30739: Benjamin Linus loves his premium channel package (robin - of course i can)
From: [identity profile]
TRUTH. That whole cast was so phenomenal -- gorgeous eyecandy, yes, but they could act, too! what a novelty! -- and, I mean... the locations were great, the sets were creative, the costumes were awesome, the plot was intriguing (and apparently quite a diversion from the book, which I've never read, but my sister had just read it and I was talking up the show to her and she was like, "...uhhhh, like 60% of that never happens in the book" -- but it means that the show had places to GO, then, and wasn't just tied up in a short-term retelling), the action was FUN AND AWESOME (seriously, a mini pirate movie every Friday night? Why the heck did nobody watch this show???). I still pimp it out to people at every opportunity, especially considering that NBC has somehow kept it up on Hulu all this time.

Date: 2010-01-12 04:30 pm (UTC)
railise: (Ten - no cookies?)
From: [personal profile] railise

There was absolutely no downside to that show. NONE. I also pimp it out, but it makes me cry inside that we'll never get any resolution whatsoever. WHAT IS WRONG WITH EXECS???? And with ANYONE WHO DIDN'T WATCH IT?????

I have this daydream of starting my own network SPECIFICALLY so that I can pick Crusoe back up and give it the run it deserved. Other shows qualify, too, but that's my primary reason. ;)


snowystingray: (Default)

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