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: The Walking Dead

We have entered one of the worst times of year for a television fanatic, the winter hiatus. With nearly a month to go until fresh episodes grace my screen, I am desperate to find shows to keep me entertained during the interim. I found the first of these this past week. This show has zombies, violence, graphic death sequences, love triangles and a kick ass title sequence, which as you know are just a few of my favorite things. I’m talking about AMC’s The Walking Dead.

I am happy to report that after a brief sabbatical due to the truly disturbing nature of The Human Centipede, I have finally been able to return to the happy land of the horror genre. The Walking Dead is the first successful horror television show that I have found believable and entertaining. Each episode feels like you’re watching a mini-Dawn of the Dead. I’m usually not one for zombie movies, especially ones where the zombies move at .0001 miles per hour, but I’m just drinking this show in.

The Walking Dead takes place in Georgia after a zombie apocalypse. Andrew Lincoln stars as Rick Grimes, a sheriff’s deputy, who wakes up in a hospital post-zombie attack. He goes off in search of his wife, Lori, and son, Carl. In the meantime he runs into another group of survivors who help him escape a hoard of the undead. Of course, it turns out that Grimes’ family is a part of this group and they’re reunited. Little does he know, however, during the time the fam thought he was dead, Lori got a tad down and dirty with Rick’s best friend, Shane. Enter pesky love triangle drama. There’s also some domestic abuse and racism thrown in there and all whole season culminates in the blowing up of the Center for Disease Control and the group of survivors running for cover…their fate unknown.

The acting on the show is also truly believable. In the second episode, Rick and fellow survivor, Glenn, disguise themselves as zombies by covering themselves with zombie guts and adopting the trademark zombie swag. They walk down the undead-infested streets undiscovered until it starts to rain and their cover is blown. My eyes were literally glued to the screen. You feel the terror and adrenaline just as much as the characters.

I’ve got only a few gripes when it comes to this series. How does one become a “walker” exactly? Theoretically, once someone gets bitten by a zombie they become one too, right? So if the “walkers” are “the walking dead,” why does shooting them with a gun finally do them in? How does burying them in the ground render them powerless? You’d think that once they morph into zombies they could bust out of their graves and continue to raise hell. We learn from Dr. Jenner at the CDC that the “walkers” don’t exactly get resurrected; their brainstem only reboots enough to facilitate movement. That would technically make them “the walking half-way dead.”

Now, I love my friends and family, don’t get me wrong; but if they got bitten by a zombie, I’m not going to cradle their mutilated body. Sure, seeing Andrea’s love for her sister after her being used as a zombie chew-toy was touching, but if I were to find myself in that situation, I’d be nowhere near. Sorry Mere, but you’d do the same.

If you are looking for a way to pass the time before the spring premieres, look no further than The Walking Dead. Even if you aren’t a fan of the horror genre, it makes for some great entertainment. Unfortunately the first season only consists of six episodes, which of course is conquerable in a matter of days, and the second season isn’t expected to air until October 2011. How’s that hiatus for you? Oh well, what’s next?