Wednesday, 2 April 2014

It's April, and I'm watching...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

It's impossible to review everything I watch on a daily basis these days, so here are my broad thoughts on the TV shows I'm still watching every week, have started queueing on my TiVo, or have sadly dropped from regular viewing, as of 2 April...

I'm watching:
  • Angel (Amazon) My viewing has slowed over the past few weeks, so my weekly reviews are beginning to catch up with my viewing. This will either mean no four-week comfort zone going forward, or an enforced fortnight's break.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (DVD) Um, ditto.
  • Community (NBC) The second half of this fifth season's been less creative and hilarious, but still really good and the show hasn't disappointed me this year.
  • The Good Wife (More4) The hardest thing about watching this excellent drama at UK pace is that I keep reading cryptic headlines about the latest US-paced episodes on Twitter. Thankfully the show isn't a gargantuan hit, so it's slightly easier to avoid reading chatter about future episodes online. It's been a fantastic season so far, though. I love how this show isn't afraid to shake things up, to prevent anything going stale.
  • Hannibal (NBC) Brilliant show and you already know how I feel about it. I just hope this season starts to tackle something fresh soon, as we're still kind of raking over the repercussions of season 1. And while that's understandable, I want the show to reach into some new territory soon.
  • The Office (Comedy Central) This is a weird show for me, because I don't like a lot of things about it (certainly as a remake of the BBC version), and yet it's effortless to watch.
  • From Dusk till Dawn (Netflix) I'm still not sold on the idea of a long-form adaptation of this 1996 film, because it's ultimately just prolonging a thin storyline... but some of the changes have been interesting, I must admit. I particularly like how Richie's connected to supernatural forces that are encircling the Gecko brother and pulling them alone. I recently heard FDtD has been picked up for a second season, so have no idea what that means for the story. Will we end this season with the Titty Twister bar and venture into uncharted territory next year, or is the bordello finale somehow going to be pushed back awhile longer?
  • Justified (FX) I've enjoyed season 5, although a few of the storylines and new characters haven't worked as well as I'd have liked. I think people sometimes praise Justified a little too much, because it's pretty choppy and can lack some grace... but it's also a lot of fun and knows how to dish out a fun shock and surprise. There was a recent crazy death worthy of Walter White from Breaking Bad, which is high praise indeed.
  • Revolution (NBC) I was getting a little bored of this sci-fi drama, but it's perked up in the past few weeks. It did that by totally ripping off The Matrix, alas, but it was enjoyable. I think its days are numbered now, but if Revolution dies I'll remember it as a decent stab at an epic high-concept sci-fi. Those things are damned hard to pull off, as you have to juggle so much and service so many types of viewers.
  • The Walking Dead (Fox UK) The second half of season 4's been interesting. The writers have given us more episodic stories across different parallel subplots, which has made for a refreshing change. The downside is that sometimes it means a whole hour spent with characters you don't care much about, but the highs have been worth it.

I'm queuing:
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Channel 4) My low passion fizzled and I stopped watching at US-pace, so I'm just waiting for Channel 4's episodes to reach where I left off... which is this Friday, I believe. Some of the guest stars promised in these upcoming episodes have me sold, so on that level it's working in terms of keeping me on a hook I might have wriggled off mid-season.
  • The Americans (ITV) I'd love to find this drama as gripping as others do, but it's not quite there for me yet. I love the concept and performances, but for some reason I never really feel excited to watch the next hour. Maybe that's because you don't feel the writers will do anything radical (like expose their identities), so we're kind of stuck in seasons that will just repeat the basic idea in various ways until it becomes ridiculous and the writers have to play a big card.
  • Arrow (Sky1) Still enjoying this fun show, but I never find myself desperate to watch the next episode, so this superhero drama has slipped down to UK-pace for me.
  • Helix (Syfy) Mainly because Channel 5 stopped airing it in the UK, I'm way behind on this show. And it's hard to feel motivated to sit down with an episode or two. This could be dropped unless I hear from someone the finale's worth getting to.

I've dropped:
  • Line of Duty (BBC2) Yes, really. I blame my recent week's break, because I'm now two episodes behind and—unfortunately—people I trust tell me the ending is very disappointing. Can I sit through two hours for a bad ending? Series 1 also had a poor ending. If there's another, I probably won't bother if there's a series 3.