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.

Six Reasons Why Misfits Will Not Work Without Robert Sheehan

I was reading spoilers (surprise, surprise) today and found out some horrifying, devastating news: Robert Sheehan may not return for the third season of Misfits and if he does, it will be in a limited capacity. I’d really like to say that I would continue to watch the show sans Nathan Young, but I really can’t at this point. Nathan makes the show for me. To be honest, I care very little about Simon, Kelly, Alisha & Curtis. We’ve seen the more of Nathan’s home life than any of the other characters. We all know Nathan can be an asshat, but there are viable reasons why he acts the way he does. And it’s also one of the main reasons why I hope with all of my heart that America will not try to remake Misfits. Nathan is a one-of-a-kind character with a one-of-a-kind actor. Robert is Nathan and he can pull off both comedic and emotional scenes in equal measure.

Maybe my title is a little dramatic. I’m sure Misfits would fare fine without Robert/Nathan. The writing has been consistently great and the remaining four actors are all very talented. But I don’t think anyone can deny that it would be a completely different show. I cannot see any other character spewing out “Nathanisms” without a major character rewrite. And if they do decide to introduce another character with Nathan’s attitude, they would never compare to the original. I’m leaving you with my favorite six scenes of Nathan Young. I hope I leave the impression that Nathan is a vital character to the show and how bland the third season will be without the spice that is Nathan Young.

I’m going to note here that the following will include some vulgar language. Nathan has mastered sarcasm and vulgarity. [Click the banners for video!]

6. The Afterbirth Debacle

5. The ‘Old Circle Jerk’

4. The Math Lesson

3. The Fancy Dress Party

2. The “I’m Immortal!” Dance

1. The Epic Rooftop Speech

My Ideal Television Family

Parents: Eric & Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights (Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton)

I can think of no other perfect parental unit than the Taylors of FNL. They occasionally get into arguments but always make up by the episode’s end. They compromise and make decisions with each other’s best interests at heart. The Southern accents would have to go, though.

Siblings: Nathan Young, Misfits (Robert Sheehan) & Quinn Fabray, Glee (Dianna Agron)

Nathan’s got an ASBO and you know, gets tricked into sleeping with 82-year-olds. Quinn can’t stop cheating on her boyfriends and there was that whole got-pregnant-with-boyfriend’s-best-friend thing. No matter what I do I would look great in comparison. To 99.9% of the world, Nathan is an ass. Case in point. But to the few he actually cares about, he’s fiercely loyal. And anyways, it would be killer to have a bro with an Irish accent. Quinn’s got a closet full of Anthropologie and Free People dresses/cardigans and any nice big sister would let me raid said closet every day, right? These two would be perfect older siblings. Quinn’s Queen Bee and thanks to a magical icestorm, Nathan’s immortal! Both of them would kick the crap out of anyone who did me wrong.

Best Friends: Cassie Ainsworth, Skins UK (Hannah Murray) & Seth Cohen, The OC (Adam Brody)

Cassie is a flighty, anorexic airhead who says, “wow” and “lovely” far too much. Pretty much a total trainwreck. She never really had a best friend on Skins and she constantly got screwed over on the show. But you’ve got to admit that would make for an interesting friend. I’m also hoping her accent would rub off on me. [I’m big on accents if you can’t tell] Seth’s a geek, plain and simple. But he’s geek chic. He dresses classy, loves Star Wars and can whip out movie quotes like it’s nobody’s business. I’m thinking we would be those typical television friends who eventually get together. I’d be totally on board with that.

REVIEW: Misfits

Dark comedies have always been a favorite of mine. Crude, indecent humor about serious situations is exactly my cup of tea. For a while now I have been hearing rave reviews for the British show Misfits. To say that I was pleasantly surprised is a complete understatement. I believe I have found my newest television obsession. This show is a classic dark comedy and is made of gold, complete comic gold. Plus, things always sound better with an accent.

Misfits is about five teenagers with ASBOs who have been sentenced to community service. After a freak electrical storm, a number of people (including the five misfits) develop special superpowers. Simon can turn invisible, Alisha sends people into a lust haze with skin-to-skin contact, Curtis can rewind time when feels regret over the outcome of a situation, Kelly has telepathy and Nathan is seemingly powerless until he is impaled on a picket fence and learns his power is immortality. As you can imagine, crazy drama ensues from the development of these powers, and anyways, sparks are bound to fly when you throw five completely different, lonely people together.

What really sold the show for me was the character of Nathan, the cocky, arrogant and overall tool of the group. He is a complete and utter ass-hat and solely responsible for most of the hilarity the show has. But there’s something about him you can’t help but love. The Irish accent doesn’t hurt either.

At first, the lack of censorship that occurs in British television was jarring. Each of George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” are dropped at an alarming rate, graphic sex scenes run rampant and words like “retarded” and “masturbation” are tossed around like it’s no big deal. Misfits vividly shows many situations that U.S. television can merely hint at.

This is one of the many reasons why I do not think an American adaptation of Misfits will work. First, vulgar language and what we would classify as “inappropriate behavior” is a characteristic that is canon to many of the misfits. It would just be wrong to have a Nathan who isn’t constantly spewing obscenities and trying to get into every woman’s pants. Second, we tried this type of thing before. It was called Heroes. While I did not watch the show, word on the street is that the show lost its magic fairly early on. It would take some serious reworking to make the show suitable for the U.S., to create a story that hasn’t been done before and to still keep the magic that Misfits has. This all seems highly implausible; syndication is the best option here.

The show is a perfect mix of comedy, drama and science fiction with a couple violent deaths thrown in the mix. Misfits has one sole writer, Howard Overman, and I think it’s safe to say the man is brilliant. This show has had me laughing out loud more than Friends and Scrubs combined. I have also been introduced to a new world of insults, British style. I can’t wait to throw out “monkey slut” during a conversation. However, I am not a fan of the British television schedule. I suppose only having six episode seasons makes it easier for actors to pursue both a television and film career, but if I only got six episodes of 90210 or Glee every year, I’d go insane. That is one hell of a hiatus.

Forget anything I’ve said before, this is definitely the best show you are not watching. You’ve got nearly a year before the third season airs. Get to watching, you will not regret it.