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Like I did for the midseason, here's my thoughts of the second half of the TV season, stretching roughly from the new year, up until now. I'll generally not be commenting on the whole season, just the second half (excepting of course shows that only debuted in the new year, etc). My criteria for inclusion is if I watched it with most of my attention, most of the time (either now, or up until the midseason point... there've been some dropoffs). There WILL be spoilers, but I'll break each show into a cut.

Prison Break: In short: Well, it's over, and ended up okay, but I still think it should have ended over half a season earlier. Yeah, so in the last half season, in addition to (but before) a happy ending for pretty much everybody on the side of good, we got Michael's mother being Eeeeeeeeevil genius who faked her own death, the brothers not relaly being brothers (Linc was adopted and Mom secretly hated him), and, well, to be honest, I kind of lost interest. I would have preferred to end it shortly after they got Scylla the first time, instead of dragging the whole thing out another half season.

Heroes: You know how a guy being tortured to death might look over to another guy being tortured to death, but by a window, and say, "Hey, at least you have a nice view."? Well, that's sort of what the second half of S3 is like from the perspective of the first half. It's still a cluster$!@$, but it's the tiniest bit better.

Which isn't to say it's good, by any means, but at the least, it looked like they had a direction they're planning to go, and characters didn't shift completely over the course of one episode, then shift back a few episodes later.

But there's still a whole lot of stupidity... and, worst of all, everybody ignoring the past. I mean, take, for example, the big twist at the end. Nathan is killed... OMG! And they brainwash Sylar into shapeshifting into Nathan and thinking it is him. But, what are they forgetting? CLAIRE'S BLOOD COULD HAVE HEALED HIM. SHE WAS RIGHT THERE. HER FATHER, WHO WAS SHOT THROUGH THE HEAD, AND THEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE HOURS LATER WITH THAT BLOOD WAS ALSO RIGHT THERE. IT WAS A MAJOR PART OF SEASON 2. You do not get to ignore it and have everybody react like "oh, well, he's dead, there's nothing we can do for him." Address it. Have him burnt to ashes. Have him explode. But don't _just_ kill him. That it was a stupid idea to make Claire that powerful in the first place is not an excuse. You did it, you live with the consequences. Write around it or depower her or something. Else how can we expect you'll live with these new stupid ideas? Maybe next season you'll decide Sylar never turned into Nathan and he's still out there killing people.

It's got another year coming, but the outlook is not that good for that either. Bryan Fuller left again, and the descriptions I've been hearing of their new ideas don't exactly thrill me (although I do like one of the actors they've got as a new villain). The sad thing is, I probably still will watch, cause I'm a masochist with shows I once liked.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (cancelled, sadly): Short version: Second half of the season started very very poorly, but got kickass at the end. I'll miss it.
We started with some really annoying crap. A couple dull episodes where they investigate a town that might be making the killer flying drones for the future. Then, several episodes in a row that deal with the idea that Sarah might be losing her mind, including one with the crappy tired premise of "Which of these two completely different storylines I'm living through is real?".

But then, it started to pick up again.

Actually in the end wound up liking the Riley plot, because I saw it from the beginning. Just wish they didn't cut out other plots to get to it.
That John knew very early on about Riley's origins was great. Some more John/Cameron flirting and awkward sexual tension. More details about Catherine, the suggestion that she was possibly, at least in spirit, on the same side as John in wanting to avoid a holocaust future was very welcome. The sudden surprise of killing off Derek (with, of course, plans). Those last few episodes were a ride and it left me on a cliffhanger I wish would be uncliffed. Whatever happened to the old days when a show got cancelled and FOX let them have a couple TV movies to wrap it up (speaking of one such case, they're reimagining Alien Nation)? Sigh.

This will be my most missed show of all the cancellations.

Lost: Complete season ran in this half, so let's discuss it. Short version: Quite liked it. One of the few cases of a show that's picked up from a couple bad seasons and has gotten better, and, what's more, gone from a show that started with limited SF influence (a couple hints here and there in the first season), to one that is definately all out SF. Really liked the Island people jumping around in time, and that they all wound up in the past. And it does look like things are getting explained, although perhaps not everything will make it in, it's enough that I no longer feel like I'm wasting my time watching it because they won't bother.

Dollhouse (new show): Short version: Started poorly, and still probably Whedon's weakest show, but it did pick up. All signs were at first was that this was a misfire. A bit too formulaic, a really dodgy premise (even if you assume all the dolls went into the program completely voluntarily, it's still skeevy and makes everybody look like they're exploiting them, which makes it hard to like even the ones portrayed as good guys). And those elements remain, but with swift advancement and introduction of new plot points, it really improved after the first 3 or 4 lame episodes. I'm a little more leery of where they'll go in the next season (the cop being on the 'inside' now threatens a bit of a return to formula, even if they're also hunting Alpha on the side). I'll still be watching it into the new year.

House: This is kinda episodic, so there's not much to say. Short version: The big development shortly after the midseason started, although full of emotional play that made for a good few episodes surrounding it, can't help but lower my interest for the show.

The big event was, of course, the sudden, senseless-seeming, suicide of Kutner. The real reason was that the actor wanted to quit acting to go work for the Obama administration. So I can't really blame the show for writing him out. But... WAH, he was my favorite of the diagnostic team. Funny, a little geeky, and always came up with the coolest ideas. And they had to kill him off.

It does put some interesting spin on watching reruns... there was an episode where Taub got all self-righteous over a guy who attempted suicide (due to constant pain), and Kutner was understanding. You can see they might have been setting something up.

Didn't much care for the followup, with Evil Amber in House's head. I'll probably still watching, although on an episodic basis.

Criminal Minds: (cut and pasted from the midseason review since it still applies) Another episodic show. I don't even know why I like it, especially since the awesome Inigo Montoya (that's his name for me from now on) left, but I still mildly enjoy it. No spoilers, no cut. Still enjoying it, maybe because it's my only real 'serial killer crime' show I watch.

Bones: Another show I watch more by circumstances than choice - it's on, nothing else is, and I like it enough to watch it regularly so long as nothing conflicts. I kind of like the way they use rotating assistants, which allows for a variety of different fun characters they use again. Otherwise, the show's okay.

Supernatural: Short version: Mixed, not feeling the arc so much but still enjoy the series. Don't really like a lot of the big developments this year and don't expect that'll change next year.

So, we have Sam drinking demon blood and going all evil to try to kill Lilith, and Dean being the angel's faithful puppet and chosen one and doing what they want.

I don't know, it just doesn't feel the same. Yeah, I know Dean's the funniest and most popular, but you really shouldn't gear the whole show around him, either. And although I'm relieved that most of the angels aren't the goodguys (I find that too boring and black and white... so I actually liked the revelation they they want the apocalypse too, because they 'like their odds' in it.)

I've said it before, but I'll say it again here: This season would have been entirely made up for me if the season finale revealed Dean was still in Hell. Think about it: Purely physical torture would be boring after a few subjective decades. To really mess with Dean, what do you do? Make him think he's okay, he's out. Make him think he's got this grand destiny, angels wanting him. He's back with his brother again. Then you pervert it all. His brother's going down a dark path, a really dark path, one that makes him into a monster that you'll have to stop. The angels? Not all that noble at all. Real jerks, in face. Your destiny? Not only are you the one who caused the upcoming apocalypse (specifically, by being weaker than your father), but you're the ONLY ONE WHO CAN STOP IT. Everything rests on your shoulders, pressure like nothing before. It all would make a perfect demon mind$!#@, and would fit in perfectly with the extensive focus on Dean this year (you would have to cut a couple Sam focused episodes, including one of my favorites, where he investigates an old school he attended, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice). Then, at the end, you have the real Sam, along with Bobby and Ellen, breaking through a door to hell to rescue him, having found a way to get him out (and with his body intact). That would, IMHO, have made a perfect S4. Then S5 all hell breaks loose as they accidentally loosed Lucifer in the meantime or something.

The Office: Not much to say here. Why? Because I stopped watching it. Not a deliberate act, but it conflicted with Supernatural and somewhere along the way I just stopped bothering to look for episodes online. It was my last half hour comedy show, and now it's gone. Since half the fun of watching it is the ongoing plotlines that don't mean much in isolation, I don't even know if it's worth watching reruns,since they'll skip episodes. *shrug*.

Stargate Atlantis (ended): There were only two episodes left at the end of my midseason review, so it still technically qualifies for this. And those last two episodes were pretty good. Not great, but enjoyable. Still I'm more looking forward to Stargate Universe than I am to an Atlantis movie. They had a good run, but if it ended there I'd be okay with it. (Whereas SG1, I'd still be very disappointed if we never got anymore)

Doctor Who (Planet of the Dead only): I don't have a lot to say about it, I think I already did a post about it. In retrospect, a decent stand-alone episode. Not great, not horribly bad and full of stupid, but almost completely forgettable. In fact, aside from the companion and the general thrust of the plot, I'm having trouble remembering anything about it at all. Can't wait till RTD's gone.

Doctor Who (classic): I finished my run on Sarah Jane Smith some time ago, and just recently finished the Leela run. Short: I quite liked Leela. But the Doctor's a bit of a jerk.
Leela is fun. It's nice to see a companion with a radically different outlook (which is why I always enjoy when the companion is alien or from the past or future). In this case, Kill-first-ask-questions-later. She also has some nice interactions with the Doctor (I particularly like one moment where the Doctor says "I know the Tardis like the back of my hand!" while looking at the front of his hand, and Leela subtly flips his hand over. She's also nice with K-9, who is himself a rather fun companion with all his 'I have no emotions' followed by obvious sulking. The only annoying part is her exit. Where it seems like she just decides "Hey, I know we have had no real chemistry or very muc hinteraction at all, but I've fallen in love with this episode's guest star."

The Doctor has seemed to be a lot more of a jerk in his 4th incarnation than I remember. Enough that he's moved way down in the list of Doctors I'd like to travel with.

Episode-wise... well, they're a mixed bag. Old school Who the episodes can be pretty hit and miss. Even within episode they can be pretty spotty. Talons of Weng Chaing wasn't bad, and Horror of Fang Rock. I really liked one aspect of Invasion of Time: The extended chase scene through the TARDIS. I wish they'd show more of the TARDIS interior in the new show, even if the production values in the Invasion of Time race left a little to be desired (since it just looked like running through any old building), but in general so far the Gallifrey episodes have left me a little cold. I just don't BUY them as being a race of Time Lords, what with savages living right outside the city gates, and everybody being almost hopelessly bureaucratic.

Next up, companion-wise, is Romana I. I can't remember if she was the one who was generally popular, or the one who was generally not. But I'll see what I think.

Wolverine and the X-Men: Short version: Still pretty enjoyable. Not up to Evolution enjoyability yet, and too much focus on Wolvie, but fun. I like that they did finally wrap up the 'future' storyline, and replaced it with a completely different one, although a couple of the choices seemed off. And of course, just when things were getting interesting we'd break off with a solo Wolverine episode that bored me. I really want to see more full team interaction in the next season. Seeing Rover was pretty cool, though.

Spectacular Spider-Man: Watched S2 in this midseason arc, and you know... I think I'm going to call it. This is now the best of the Spider-Man cartoons ever. Seriously, it's fun, the fights are well-thought out and entertaining, there's advancement on character plots in almost every episode, they do cool things with the structure of episodes. The actual designs of the characters (you know, how everyone in the Timmverse looks similar, and likewise with the SSMverse) still aren't my favorite, but it's only a small detraction.

Battlestar Galactica: All I have to say about this I've said before. It jumped the shark with the final five. Sure, they did a couple cool things with it, but on the whole it's left me a little cold this year, and a very poor ending.

The Listener (new show): There's very little new SF out there, so I wanted to give a new one a chance. This is a Canadian show picked up in the US during the writer's strike. And, you can tell it's Canadian... because it's crap! Okay, not really, but it's a little lame, overearnest, and not all that great. For those who don't know, it's about a paramedic who can hear people's thoughts. Decent enough premise.

My problems with it, besides a general unsophistication in the production side (sometimes, particularly if you're Canadian, you can watch a show and sense that it's Canadian, not just in terms of location of filming, but production, money, etc because of the way the whole thing works. It's hard to explain exactly what it is, but it's a feel), is in the way they use the premise. Hearing thoughts is cool enough, but in order to get him to the action in each episode? He gets a magical thought radar that tells him there's trouble in this direction that he needs to be involved in. And it all just strikes me as being a little too... easy, from the writing side. Like they cheaped out. Have him only able to hear thoughts in a certain range, which seems to be how it works MOST of the time. But If somebody's in a fight three blocks away that will drag him into this episode's plot, he should not be able to hear it.

Also, the guy's excuses for how he knows the things he knows are always really weak. I could come up with better than that.

And the main character? I dunno, the actor just puts me off. He constantly has this expression on this face like you've just said something a little odd, and he's not 100% sure that it was supposed to be a joke or not, and so he's got this dazed half-smiling expression on that he uses so he doesn't look foolish either way. And he has that on all the time. . I officially gave it a chance and I am done with it.

I think that's about it. If there are any other shows you know I watch (or wonder if I watch) that I left out, feel free to comment and I'll let you know what I think.

Date: 2009-07-05 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
re: Heroes - The sad thing is, I probably still will watch, cause I'm a masochist with shows I once liked.

This. So much for me. The first season was how this show should have been for the rest of the series. I'm hoping that much like Lost, if they have an end date (and it's looking more and more likely that this next season will be the last) they'll get their crap together and write a season worthy of the first.

re: SGA/SGU - I'm painfully loyal to SGA and out of sheer bitterness (not the mention the fact that it's all just SG:90210) and the sudden, pointless cancelling I won't be watching SGU.

re: Dollhouse - Agreed on pretty much everything you said.

re: Old School Dr. Who - I really, really like Leela (about as much as I didn't like the 4th Doctor). I forget how awesome she really is but she's easily in my top 3 companions (whereas 4 is barely in my top 10, lol).

And ya, for some reason Romana I is the less-liked Romana. I preferred her over Romana II but as Romana II and the 4th Doctor ended up getting married IRL, they do have better chemistry together (but not by much, IMO).


newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)

November 2009


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