Friday, 7 October 2011

The Season of TV

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I am still in the process of trying to catch up with TV series' I was brutally deprived of in my youth like The Sopranos, classic Doctor Who and many more; and television keeps attacking me with new magnificent shows to which I cannot resist. Television has always been a big part of my life, but I can’t remember a more fruitful era than the one we are in now, and so many of the fruits are so delicious and addictive.

In the past British television was, without competition, my gourmet television; making television from all other available countries (admittedly mainly the US and Israel) look pale and easily forgotten in comparison. However, it seems that the American powers that be of television making rolled up their sleeves, and what started with a few drops of quality TV from independent cable companies, turned into unstoppable flood of great television. Everywhere I look I find myself facing yet another, not just time fillers, guilty pleasure kind of television, but really good television shows that can proudly be given the forever sexy, seal of quality approval. 

Anticipating my television schedule, the ever so considerate America has showered me with new seasons of great television to fill the void  Doctor Who left when the season ended.

I here by give you some of my top choices of American television, in an ascending order of love, to take me through to Christmas, when British television usually comes back and concurs my screen again.  

Currently on season 3                                                                              

Glee is mostly a guilty pleasure for me, with a few moments and sometimes full episodes of guilt free pleasure as the series develops. The second season moved between the fabulous and the greatly disappointing, sometimes annoying even. A dear friend,  with a great taste in television, like all my friends are,  has defined Glee very well as popcorn, or your choice of snack if like me you’re not a popcorn fan, you consume it, it’s addictive, but you don’t think about it much.   

Marti Noxon, who was Joss Whedon’s partner in crime on great television makings, has joined the writing team of Glee for the third season, and I am looking forward to her input in the show. Joss Whedon himself directed Dream On the 19th episode of the first season, which is still one of my favourite Glee episodes. 

The Big Bang Theory
Currently on season 5

If it wasn’t for an embarrassing fourth season TBBT would have gotten a higher place, a place of honour even, in this parade of my TV royalty.   

Unlike many of my friends who took some time to get use to it, TBBT has won me over right from the start with its classic, almost old fashioned sitcom charm. Taped in front of a canned laughter with regular sets and a fourth wall standing tall at a time that barely remembers what a fourth wall is. 

The very simple premise of four nerds and a blond became a magical comedy of situations for three fantastic seasons. The fourth season was a heinous crime against TBBT and all that made it so wonderful. We shall never speak of it again! 

Despite this travesty, the season finale went back, in my opinion to all that was good on TBBT and I am going to ignore all that happened before and hope for the best.

Currently on season 4

I started watching Castle for the love of Nathan Fillion and I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone in the show is cool, but everyone is that much cooler when Fillion is around. 

Once again drawing from the classics, Castle is probably what Moonlighting would have looked like if it was made today. Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a murder mystery best seller author, who is looking for a muse. He finds it in the beautiful detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who through his friendship with the mayor, he gets to follow and annoy. The rest is history.

It is hard to believe that this “Will they won’t they?” relationship that has been done to death so many times can still work, but what do you know, it does. Whether it’s the witty banter that is really witty, the glam and bizarre murders or simply Fillion’s winning charisma (“he really is ruggedly handsome”), is hard to tell, but it all comes together neatly as a glitzy and sexy detective rom-com, and despite being as formula as a formula show about formulas can get, Castle is really great.

If you happen to be a Firefly fan and a general Fillion appreciator, for the first two seasons Castle, clearly at Fillion’s whims, offers constant Firefly references from hidden Easter eggs, which Fillion used to warn about on his twitter feed, to what I refer to as simply doing a Firefly al la Castle. Apart from fandom fun, this also shows just how much Fillion still loves the show that was taken away from him as well as us fans way before its time. I think it still hurts Fillion as it does the fans. 

Currently on season 7

Delicious boys, the required amount of homoeroticism and the kind of Meta dipped with humour that can give Charlie Kaufman a run for his Meta money, make Supernatural a delicatessen.

Dean and Sam Winchester are ghost, demons and other monster hunters, world saviours and occasional heartbreakers, who travel across America trying to stop the next end-of-the-world disaster.

The first three seasons, like most American network shows, are fun with the occasional stand out episode, but Supernatural really takes off from fourth season onward. It adapts a great attitude, self awareness and fantastic additional characters (Misha Collins, who plays Castiel I am looking at you) that add lovely flavours and colours to the it all.

If you like humoristic Meta and a bit of sexy with your Sci Fi, Supernatural is the show for you.  

Currently on season 3

Because of the pompous but loveable Jeff, because of the annoying but sometimes funny Britta, because of the sweeter than sugar Shirley, because of the racist, chauvinistic and other faults of Pierce, because of Abed, who is a computer, because of my favourite girl Annie and my favourite boy Troy, because of Ben Chang, the dean, the monkey and mostly because of the general atmosphere of anarchy fun and frenzy of this excellent comedy that loves films and loves television and celebrates it with joy.     

Currently on season 8

The first post I wrote was about House, and at the end of it I expressed some worries about the idea of an eights season. One of my favourite women on television  and one of the best things to happen to House, in more ways than one, Lisa Edelstein, announced that she will not continue to the eights season, and House without Lisa is like... Well... it's still to painful for me to imagine what it's like, but also, in my view, the way season seven has ended was perfect, leaving me just the right kind of emotional wreckness I like.

So far there has been only one episode of the new season. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I am however, cautiously intrigued to see where it goes.

In its past seasons, House has taken me through levels of emotional pains and darkness that I hardly ever seen on television and definitely never seen on mainstream American television and I loved every minute of its destructive misery. I don't know if that kind of enjoyable suffering that characterised season six and seven can be topped. One can only hope. 

There you go a taste of some my favourite shows from the US of A  that are currently on. There are many more shows, some are not necessarily at the top of my list, others are not currently on. Many, some are in this list, will probably get my full attention in the form of a more in depth post, but I feel obligated to mention Justified, which after a brilliant second season I eagerly await its return for a third in 2012. Also, I hang my head in shame for being very late to this party and only just discovering wonderful series of Denis Leary Rescue Me, which ended just recently. Those of you who hid this treasure from me should go stand in the corner, facing the wall and think about what they’ve done. I intend to gulp its seven seasons and report back.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more television to watch.      


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