REVIEW: 2010-2011 Television Season

I have always watched a crap-ton of tv, but this year seemed particularly heavy. I had at least two shows per day Monday thru Thursday and I discovered the brilliance of British television. It’s been a busy television season and on the whole, I’m satisfied with the finales we got.

Shows That Premiered This  Season…

After watching the pilot episode, I stuck with only four shows this year: Being Human, Shameless, Happy Endings and The Walking Dead. I always bitch about how much I hate American remakes of British tv shows…and yet two of them made the list. However, unlike Skins, these remakes are actually good. People have been listing Happy Endings on their comedy Emmy wishlists, and while I think that is a wee bit of a stretch, this show surprised me. Any sitcom revolving around a group of friends is immediately likened to, well, Friends. I found the overall premise of Happy Endings to be relatively weak, but the show definitely improved over the course of its short season.

FAVORITE NEW SHOW: Being Human, hands down. The show just gives such a fresh spin on the whole vamp-werewolf dynamic and it totally holds its own against the U.K. counterpart. Although, it’s official, I can’t stand the Josh/George character aka the werewolf in either version.

Discovered shows already on air…

This year, I discovered so many wonderful programs that are already on air. I love this, because then I have oodles of episodes to watch without an annoying hiatus. Thanks to blogs and mostly Tumblr, I had heard only high praises for the British shows, Misfits and Skins. Misfits is by far one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen and I kind of have a crush on Robert Sheehan. I also randomly stumbled upon The Big Bang Theory bloopers on YouTube and even those made me crack up, which gave me the incentive to blindly purchase the dvds. And it’s amazing. I am making it my mission to attend a taping before I leave LA.

While I am still making my way through Parks and Recreation & 30 Rock, I have to say, I love NBC’s Thursday night comedy line-up. I know I am so late to The Office party, it’s not even funny. Within a course of 4 days, I watched every single episode on Hulu. What can I say? It was a boring finals week. And unlike other fans, I don’t think the show has necessarily lost its mojo, I for one, loved season 6. I caught the last few episodes of season 7 on air and while I do agree that it will be a different program, I think the show has potential to be great without Michael Scott / Steve Carell. One of my roomies always sang the praises of Chuck, so I gave that a try, too. It’s a great dramedy and I kind of have a crush on Zachary Levi, too.

FAVORITE NEW SHOW ALREADY ON AIR: This is such a tough decision because I love each and every one of the programs shown above. But it has to be Community. If Glee gets an Emmy nod and Community doesn’t, there’s officially no justice in the world. Even Community‘s “weaker” episodes are better than most shows’ best. And it’s two-parter paintball season finale was damn near flawless. Community‘s comedic style is exactly my cup of tea and I am officially the biggest Jeff & Annie fan ever. I would normally find a relationship between a 20-year-old girl and a guy who is nearly 40 to be disgusting, but they are absolutely adorbs. And to think I only discovered this gem because it was on sale at Target…I have so much love for Target.

Returning shows…

FAVORITE RETURNING SHOW / BEST OVERALL SEASON: This was really not a tough call, as a lot of these shows had lackluster seasons, The Vampire Diaries. Now, I am not one of those crazy TVD fans who stakes out polls on Entertainment Weekly until TVD reigns supreme, but this season was very strong overall. I am such a fan of Tyler & Caroline and I cannot wait to see where the writers take this storyline. We finally saw some progression in the Stefan / Elena / Damon triangle and Jeremy finally got some lovin’ and a relationship I approve of. No sophomore slump here.

ONE TREE HILL: Much like Glee becoming the Kurt Show at times, One Tree Hill morphed into the Brooke & Julian Show. And I love Brooke and Julian, but it was overkill with the babies. If the network would have let Mark Schwahn & crew do the abortion storyline intended for Brooke in season 4, it would have added another dimension to the fact that she is unable to have children. It just seemed too easy to have Brooke get magically pregnant, with twins no less. I love me some Stephen Colletti, but I think the fact that he is now a series regular says enough. We all know that One Tree Hill should have ended after season 6, if not season 4. Although OTH never racked up high numbers, as a long-time fan, it’s horrible to see how its fallen not only in ratings but in quality.

LIGHTS OUT: I won’t divulge too much because it hasn’t aired on NBC yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed the finale. It was the perfect end to a nearly-perfect show. Can we get some Emmy love, pwease?

I generally enjoyed 90210‘s season 3. I think the first half of the season why stronger, but it overall was exponentially better than Gossip Girl. The only thing I really liked about Glee season 2 was the return of Fuinn and we all know how that ended. As for Grey’s, hopefully this season will be its last and it can go out on a high note. It’s already losing its magic, I don’t buy any article that claims Grey’s is having a comeback. Just limit the Calzona, give Alex a substantial love interest, bring back Addison and reunite Mark & Lexie and you’ll be back on track.

So what’s going to be my summer obsession? Well, So You Think You Can Dance, obvi, but I also started watching Six Feet Under today and I’m loving it so far. I am also planning to spend this summer checking out Fringe, Parenthood, Modern Family and The Good Wife.  All I can say is, thank God for Netflix.

REVIEW: Being Human (North America)

The basic premise of Being Human sounds like a crap of a show: A werewolf, a vampire and a ghost shack up together in a Boston apartment. Before you roll your eyes, the vampire doesn’t sparkle and the werewolf is not played by Taylor Lautner. Just throwing that out there.

Being Human is a Canadian remake of the British series of the same name. After the fiasco that was U.S. Skins, I had very low expectations for this show. But to my surprise, Being Human is shockingly good. In fact I might just like it better than the original. I just wish they had accents. Everything sounds classier with accents.

The series stars Sam Witwer as vampire Aidan; Meaghan Rath as ghost Sally; Sam Huntington as werewolf Josh and Lost alum Mark Pellegrino as Bishop, a vampire of a more sinister nature. Instead of being mortal enemies, Sam and Josh have managed to be very close friends. Get a taste, Stephenie Meyer. They soon realize their bachelor pad has a third occupant: the recently killed former owner, Sally.

Like the Cullens, Aidan doesn’t do “live kill” anymore. He lives off the blood bank at the hospital where he works as a nurse. Josh, like Professor Lupin, finds his own Shrieking Shack to safely transform in. Josh also works at the same hospital as an orderly. Sally soon learns the identity of her murderer and haunts them a la The Changeling.

Don’t get me wrong, the show still offers a fresh spin on the typical vampire-werewolf-ghost story. We’re six episodes in and I’m still hooked. Being Human airs on SyFy, Mondays at 7/8c. Tune in to watch these three roomies try their best at being human.

RECAP: Lost, The End

Congratulations Lost, last night I was reduced to a blubbering mass of salt water. This morning when I downloaded and rewatched the finale, I was once again drowning in a pool of my own tears. After the Lost end-title card faded away for the last time, I was numb with shock. Part of the temporary paralysis was from severe dehydration, but it was mostly from the knowledge that this was truly The End. After having a bit to stew in my feelings, I have come to grips with the following: Did every mythological question get answered? No. Was it the finale I was expecting? Not in the slightest. But did it bring the series to a satisfying end? Yes, “It worked.”

In the final moments of season one’s fifth episode “White Rabbit”, Jack Shephard speaks these profound words, “If we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.” When Oceanic 815 crashed, the majority of the survivors were strangers to each other. In between battling smoke monsters and eluding capture from less than friendly island dwellers, friendships were forged and relationships were created. In the end, the losties shared an unbreakable bond that stood the test of time. When each found their untimely end, be it on the Island or off, they did not die alone. They created the “Sideways World” or the in-between, in which the losties were forced to live alone with the intent of finding each other so they could all “die” and move on together.

I’m beginning to buy into Lost ultimately being the story of Jack’s test, Jack’s search for redemption. Of course, the other losties each had their own test and search for redemption, but I think the fact that the show began and ended with Jack means something. There’s also the fact that everyone was waiting for him in the church to move on. Together they all finally passed over.

There were several moments in the finale that had me squee-ing and sobbing like a pathetic little fangirl, the biggest one being when the stupid love triangle was finally resolved. Kate. Chooses. Jack. Did my couple finally win out for once?! I think it did. The reunion of Jack and Kate made me so incredibly happy, I actually got a happy ending for the couple I was rooting for in the end. Pretty much all of the “aha!” moments made me teary-eyed: When Sun looks at Jin and says, “I remember,”; the way Claire said “Charlie” when he recognized her; and pretty much the entire Sawyer / Juliet scene. I hated Sawyer and I hated Juliet. They both tried to infringe on the epicness of Jack / Kate, and at first I wasn’t even thrilled that the third and fourth wheels hooked up. But the recognition scene and Juliet’s untimely death in the season premiere were so well acted that they melted my ice heart for Sawyer and Juliet.

The last ten minutes of the finale were as close to perfection as television can get (minus the Jack / Kate reunion, which was perfection…can you not tell how happy I am about that?!). Christian’s revelation about the fates of Jack and the losties, everyone finally settling themselves in the pews to pass on, Vincent laying down next to Jack, Jack’s face when he realized his friends made it off the Island, and the last shot of Jack’s eye closing were all amazing. No words were necessary, the scenes spoke for themselves…and they were perfect.

Yes, I still have questions…okay about a thousand, and yes it would have been nice to know what the hell was with Walt , who gave Boone his “aha!” moment, and who the skeletons were down in the Heart of the Island. But right now, I am content with having the mystery live on in my mind–or at least until the season six dvd is released on August 24. Lost has always been open to everyone’s interpretation, having it end like that seems fitting.

If I should ever find a frozen donkey wheel in the bowels of my basement, I would rewind these last six years. Thank you Lost for entertaining me, confusing me, and making me yell “WHAT THE …” at the screen too many times to count.

Namaste.

screencap from daydreaming.

RECAP: Lost, Ab Aeterno

It’s been two days since the landmark Richard centric episode aired. If you’re like me, you’re still sitting on your futon with your jaw dropped and eyes locked on your television screen with your mind still completely blown. For six years, Lost fans have been puzzled by Richard, the non-aging and eyeliner-wearing inhabitant of the island ; and now, we finally have [some] answers.

The only thing that really bugged me about this episode was the subtitles. It turns out that five years of Spanish truly did nothing for me.  I was literally lost in translation (nice pun). I hate having to read and watch at the same time. The last movie I saw with subtitles was the Passion of the Christ in 2004, and with 10+ years of Catholic school education under my belt, the movie was easy to follow. But this is Lost! You need to pay attention for the whole hour so you don’t get an ulcer from the stress of trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Oh and when Hurley was shown speaking in Spanish for the 2.5 seconds before Richard’s flashback began, my first thought was “Please, for the love of Jacob don’t be Ana Lucia.” I truly despised that character.

After five seasons, we’ve been led to believe that the island is some mysterious, time-traveling capable mass of land somewhere in the South Pacific. Nope, it’s a cork (at least metaphorically). First, I’d like to mention how awesome it was when Jacob opened that can of whoop-ass on Richard (pardon me, Ricardo). The man seemingly incarnate of all things good knows how to pack a punch and administer a rather violent baptism in the ocean. Ninja Jacob explains the island using a bottle with wine to Richard. All of the evil of the world is the wine — trapped inside the bottle by the cork aka the island, the only thing keeping the evil at bay.

Last thing, how ridiculous was the priest Richard confessed his murder to?!  I may be putting my Catholic knowledge to the test, but I am pretty sure as long as you’re truly remorseful in your heart (which it seemed he genuinely was), you can be forgiven up until the moment of your death. In my eyes, Richard completely had permission to slap the priest up side the head…although that would probably be a sin. God probably doesn’t take violence to the clergy lightly.

Is the island purgatory? Are all of our favorite characters really dead? And most importantly, who will be Jacob’s substitute? Well, we’ve got eight more episodes to find out.

photo credit: Dark UFO