Sunday, May 27, 2012

The TV Dump (v)

(This entire thing will probably contain spoilers)

Homebland?

For my nerd friends, Morena Baccarin gets her kit off. I figured this was a big revelation until I Googled her and found that she's a) Brazilian and b) has got her kit off in just about everything she's ever been in except Stargate SG1 and Firefly. So this wasn't really much of a selling point.

Clare Danes doesn't get her baps out and provides a performance that is grisly, believable and utterly riveting. David (Due South) Marciano is good and Mandy (Dead Like Me) Patinkin deserves an Emmy or a Grammy or a Bafta or something, because he is quite brilliant. Homeland was quite excellent; it twisted and turned, led you down some paths and dragged you down others and just when it set you up for a potentially bonkers finale, it chickened out and opted for a second season which could end up being a story arc too far.

Had Damian Lewis actually blown the shit out of the VP and just about every high ranking Department of Defence official, it would have solved a lot of problems and also been really shocking TV, because the set up was quite brilliant in its labyrinthine beauty. Instead, I felt like I'd yet again been let down by US TV. Hell, if Danes, Patinkin and co are that good, that watchable, couldn't they just conclude the story and start another one next time round? Same characters, different case? Instead we have, I suppose the producers hope, a development that promises to string it out for at least another season and makes the likelihood of simple resolution highly unlikely.

The thing is if Lewis had blown everything to shit, then Danes' character would have been vindicated, got her job back and been heralded as a genius (with bi-polar disorder) and possibly kept on as a consultant or something, allowing her to come to the fore again. Instead we had a kind of CIA version of The Killing, but really played OTT. They could even have carried on the story within the story as the family deal with the aftermath and come under immense scrutiny themselves - it would, could, have been a fantastic examination into how Americans can become when they have what they think is a legitimate target to abuse.

Still, it was good TV, even if it felt a little hollow at the end.

Archimedes Says...

Eureka is back for it's final season. I've speculated umpteen times as to why this gem of a TV show in a catalogue of shit is being canned, but it doesn't excuse the fact that regardless of its general formulaic stories, it is a bit bonkers.

The last season ended on one of the best finales I've seen in recent years and that story arc concluded with an unexpected death and, oddly enough, very little else. The show is still pretty damn lovable and the ensemble has developed to such a stage that when we do lose them for good, it will be a big loss.

Avid viewers will still believe that many of the weird twists and subplots will be resolved by the end and others feel that events at the end of season 3 are still to be truly resolved; even if that turns out to just be one of the shows trademark jumping the shark events. Others think Nathan's death in season 2 might still come back again to haunt them (I'd like to think that they actually set it up to be a fantastic final finale, because I'm still not convinced he's really dead, even if everything points to the fact he is). I can't help but think that 'time', a medium that has allowed the writers to really shake things up at times, must have a say in how this series will eventually end; even if it means some people lose more than they had and others gain back what they lost.

If there is going to be a 'big bad' in this series, he, she or it hasn't been identified. I doubt it will be Linda Fiorentino's character, purely because she is not inherently evil, just greedy and power hungry and also has a good heart. I think they have to go out with an almighty bang and they haven't got that many episodes to set it up. Unless, of course, SyFy is going to wimp out on us again.

I'm glad it's back. The first five shows have been quite excellent. that familiar mix of corny story mixed with emotive subplots. Doug's story in ep5 is one of the best. I'm looking forward to its sister show Warehouse 13 to return and keep hold of the torch of relative goodness, because when that goes, this network will have nothing to commend them for.

Dead End

So, Awake, Alcatraz, Harry's Law have been cancelled, along with Ringer, Breaking Bad, Secret Circle, Terra Nova, Pam Am and a few other shows that strayed near the radar. Shite like Once Upon a Time appears to be going strong and the actually pretty crappy Grimm is also coming back. The future also looks pretty dire as there are very few things on the horizon that look interesting or likely to last more than 13 episodes. Part of me thinks that we could have a couple of very barren years and a lot of major changes.

Being Human suffered from major changes and by the sounds of things, when Misfits returns in the autumn, that is going to be radically different, with only one member of the original cast remaining. I think some of those classic TV series I've never got around to watching might be ready to be dug out.

Good Eggs and Rotten Ones

John Carter is too long, badly acted and struggles to deliver a coherent story. It was justifiably slated by critics and boycotted by film goers. Chronicle turned out to be surprisingly good; one of the better of that particular genre of 'found footage' films.

DVD choice is poor at the moment; I seem to remember films coming out in the last 6 months I wanted to watch, but obviously that was a dream. I am, however, considering going to the cinema to see Prometheus, mainly because it looks so very good. That said, I sort of wanted to go and see The Avengers on the big screen, but I wimped out at the cost.

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