Recent (And Not So Recent) Samplings

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Some thoughts on some of the shows I have watched - or tried - during the last six months, or so, including some of the very latest gurgitations of the TV factories...

Yawn... Very nasty person does very nasty things (to amuse the target audience, and boost the credits); then the female hero/lead (so very fashionable, nowadays) and her team spend 35 minutes chasing him... Guess what... They catch him.

The Pacific
I had enjoyed watching Band Of Brothers, so this poor follow-up was a disappointment.
I stuck with it through 3 episodes, and ditched it when, apart from anything else, I was totally confused about who was who (they all looked the same) and didn't really care.

I gave up on this. Hollow characters and story lines that I couldn't care less about. (One of those series which, while watching it, you suddenly realise that you have no idea what's been happening, because you've been thinking about tomorrow's shopping list...)

There are about 4 scenarios for future seasons, each as predicatable as each other, and each having little or nothing of value to offer. (It does, however, have Elizabeth Mitchell...)

Hawaii Five-0 (Ep. 1)
When, within the first 45 seconds of the first episode, I am hit with a line like, "Chasing my brother and I...", I know that by allowing such writing (and obvious lack of editing) the production company has no respect for the viewer's sensitivities. The following lines and suggested plot development indicated yet another Dept. of Homeland Insecurity cash-in. I switched it off, and watched an episode of Lovejoy, instead.

Whereas BSG often trod dangerously close to digression whereby the producers explored their favourite "what-ifs" of an imaginary society, Caprica leaps in with both feet, and Moore and Eik wallow self-indulgently in boring nonsense. A pity, there's an interesting story hidden behind the meaningless obfuscation.

With echoes of "Three Days of The Condor", this is very good - I think...
I love it - I think...
The quality of production - writing, direction, acting, even the music - is of a very high standard, and every minute of every episode holds my attention.
(Can someone please tell me what it's all about?)

Covert Affairs
This was a surprise (after a yucky start).
Good story lines, and a female lead (again) who is not just a pretty face. (And in the "kick-ass" sequences, she is often, overpowered by male adversaries who are twice her size, just as you would expect!)
The character of Auggie is a nice creation that works well.

The Glades
This has become quite comfortably acceptable.
No real depth to it, with instantly forgettable story lines, but filled with sympathetic characters that work well together, and don't offend us. Even the Bugs-Bunny-On-Helium voice of the female lead has been overcome by her pleasant personality (pity she has no neck). An acceptable pot-boiler for when there's not much else to watch.

The Event (Ep. 1)
This was good - at first. Well scripted, with competently acted characters. The back and forth time gimmick is a personal hate, but I stuck with it for fairness' sake, and the pilot episode progressed quite smoothly and developed well... Until the last few minutes...
Suddenly, it took on all the aspects of "Flashforward meets Lost in Never Never Land", with a pickup from "Gravity" (the alien in the closet syndrome).
Oh dear! I'll try the second episode, but...

I finally abandoned this about a third of the way through S03. I had stuck with it because the very first two or three episodes of S01 seemed to have promise.
Within a few episodes, it had relaxed (collapsed?) into a formula of "Eight hours earlier.." (enough said) followed by the team of ex-cop social workers and therapists going about dishing out free therapy to disturbed and misunderstood citizens. Because they miss their earlier occupation, they visit their patients with a funny duck-walk, in formaion, dressed in kick-ass uniforms, and carrying big guns.

The Good Wife
After Margolies' previously abortive attempt at a legal drama, this has worked well. I started out a skeptic, but it has won me over. Good characters, good plotting. Minimal evidence of the usual semi-literacy of TV writers.

Sea Patrol
Excellent series, with well-rounded characters and good story lines. I really enjoy it. It continues to entertain, in good form.

Rizzoli & Isles
Yet another cop show with the "So what" factor.
Abandoned after about 6 forgettable (and forgotten) episodes. The only bit that sticks in the mind is the wonderful Lorraine Bracco. (And why the pseodo Irish title theme? 'Cos it's Boston?)


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