Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tricia's End of The Season Rant

So it’s that time again. We’ve been bombarded with cliffhanger after cliffhanger and now we must wait three to four months until we find out who survived, who dies and who shacked up. TV writers like to torture us, that’s for sure, but rather than speculate on what’s to come in the fall, I’d like to share a few thoughts about what we witnessed this year. This should go without saying, but if you’re behind on some shows, watch out for spoilers. 

"Parks and Recreation"

I’d like to start out with applauding the state of sitcoms. They aren’t all gold, but the ones who get comedy right do it flawlessly. Let’s focus on "Parks and Recreation". This show was bumped to a mid-season premiere this year (meaning we didn’t get any of it this past fall) but that meant was we basically got double the episodes every week since January. Honestly, I love most, if not all of the NBC sitcoms, so it pains me to pick a favorite. Especially with the genius that was "Community" season 2. But "Parks and Rec" was comedy perfection. Plain and simple. No characters were underused and the jokes hit every time. Plus, it was the only show that made me laugh so hard I fell off my couch (which is not an easy task). Of course, I’m a tad biased seeing as this is a female centered show staring Amy Poehler, one of my favorite people in the world (also see "30 Rock"), but there is no one on TV like Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson, or Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford, or Chris Pratt’s amazing Andy Dwyer. Then throw in Rob Lowe and Adam Scott and it’s an effing laugh riot on my television. Also, the passion that Leslie Knope defends her love of waffles, is just plain beautiful.


"Glee" still has one episode left, and I’m pretty confident that I’m going to love it, so I have no problem including it here. You see, "Glee" isn’t all that good anymore. Characters have all become caricatures, bending and swaying to the will of whichever writer wrote that particular episode that's airing at the time. Plot is determined by song choice, not the other way around. And the cast has gotten too big to get close to any of them. And yet, I still watch. Why? Because the episodes where the Glee Club are in competitions make it worth it. Every single time something big happens; someone admits their love for another, someone takes their role as a leader, someone gives birth, etc. And the musical numbers are usually pretty great. So this season, I’ve basically been tolerating the episodes in between the good stuff, because the good stuff is, though cheesy and over the top, so GOOD. And Tuesday’s episode should not disappoint.


Honestly, off the top of my head, I can’t really recall any "Bones" episodes prior to the last two of the season. I know they happened, and I know I enjoyed them, but the penultimate episode was so good, it blew them all out of the water. Also, the fact that fans everywhere are completely pissed off by how the writers/execs finally got the two leads together makes me kind of happy. Here’s how it happened. A beloved member of the lab was killed, it was horrible and a truly amazing death scene (bravo, Ryan Cartwright), so in her misery, Dr. Brennan cried her way into Booth’s bed. As far as the audience knew, they only slept. Later in that same episode, Brennan confides in her best friend about that night, but we don’t hear what she has to say. Then, in the next episode – and this is a HUGE spoiler if you aren’t caught up- Brennan reveals that she’s pregnant with Booth’s baby. It’s genius if you really think about it. We don’t even see them kiss, but we get them together. We won’t have to deal with them dating next season because they already skipped a bunch of steps. What this means for season seven is that we still get the crime fighting, the arguing, the sexual tension, but we also know they are together. I realize that the true “shippers” are disappointed. They wanted the passionate kiss, the heartfelt plea, but mostly the somewhat graphic sex scene, but instead they now have to rely on their imagination. How unfortunate. I am completely happy with how this turned out, I can’t even explain how annoyed I would be if they had shown the “hook up” after that death scene, it would have sullied the inherent emotion in both moments; I wouldn’t have been able to be happy for the couple, because, let’s be honest here, I was a freaking mess for a good twelve hours after my favorite “Squintern” bit the dust, and everyone everywhere would have been talking about the sex scene rather than the heartbreaking death of Mr. Nigel-Murray. Well done, "Bones" people, well done.

Ashton Kutcher & "Two and A Half Men"



"Chuck" is not as good as it used to be. I think we can all agree on that one, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. And the brilliant last few seconds of season four means we'll get to see it get back to its roots come fall. Plus, I’m super excited that I get another summer of quoting “Guys, I know Kung Fu,” and having absolutely zero of my friends understand what I’m talking about. It’s a lonely world, being a TV geek. NBC has agreed to let "Chuck" come back for a final season that will air on Fridays. I’m excited for this move as long as it isn’t opposite "Fringe", of course. This season was lacking, true, but I’m incredibly thrilled to be able to see how it all ends. And to stop going to Subway so often.


The worst part of this time of year is the “sweeps” part of May Sweeps. Basically this means it’s time for TV networks to trim the fat. It is a business after all. Now, I got lucky, only two shows that I truly enjoyed were canceled. But it’s still hard to ignore the fact that many other shows, less deserving shows, are going strong. It offends me, to be honest, that an interesting show like Fox’s "The Chicago Code" can be swept away while a show as obvious and flashy as CBS’s "Hawaii Five-0" gets a pass. Don’t get me wrong here, I watch "Hawaii Five-0" every Monday, the characters are interesting and the cases aren’t awful, plus the scenery is great. But their cliffhanger wasn’t a cliffhanger for me; yes, Steve is going to jail, framed for killing the Governor, but we all know he’s getting out of it, there’s no real danger here. In order for the show to continue, there has to be a Five-0 and without him, there isn’t one. No brainer. Meanwhile, "The Chicago Code" (which airs it’s last episode this coming Monday) is gritty and dangerous and it let us know right out of the box that any star on the show is expendable. No doubt I’ll be left in the lurch after Monday, never to know if they finally get to arrest Alderman Gibbons or if Liam/Chris (the undercover cop) survives. I could tell early on that this show didn’t belong to Network TV, if only FX had taken it on instead. Alas, hindsight is 50/50, isn’t it? There’s just such a frustration in that Fox tends to take the most risks on original programming but then has trouble sticking by the good shows because the predictable stuff on CBS is kicking their asses in ratings. Mark my words, next year, I’ll be upset about another good Fox show being canceled and "Hawaii Five-0" will practically be the twin brother of "CSI: Miami"; a procedural show that features it’s scenery more prominently than it’s cases. Run, Scott Caan, run!


Summer is usually pretty slow for TV lovers like myself. All we have to comfort us is catching up on shows we leave for DVD releases and the stuff on USA Network. But have no fear, I have plenty of plans for my part in Flickdom Dictum and I hope you’ll stick around.

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