Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Review - Television

Holy shit did this year fly by!  Can you believe we're here already?  CAN YOU??!!  Oh, right.  I can't hear you.

Anyway, I still  had plenty of time for watching the boob tube so let's get right to it.

REQUIRED VIEWING

The Walking Dead:  While last season teetered and stuttered and spun its wheels for a bit, it still packed plenty of wallop when it was over.  This season has been balls to the wall; killing off major characters as quickly and efficiently as ninja sword lady kills little zombie girls.  To be fair, Wifey wants no part of this show.  She tried to catch up with me over the summer, but checked out when Rick started smearing zombie intestines all over him in order to disguise himself while walking through Atlanta.  She walked in last season just in time to see a zombie head get run over by a truck's tire. This may not be for everyone is what I'm trying to say.

Modern Family:  What else needs to be said?  The most consistently laugh out loud show on television.  Julie Bowen is still super hot, too. 

Live From Daryl's House:  Daryl Hall (yes, from Hall and Oates) invites different musical guests (Cee Lo Green, Plain White Ts, Neon Trees) to his house in upstate New York to perform hits from past and present.  If you have any appreciation for music and the dynamics of collaboration, search this one out.  I believe it has a regular home on Palladia, but you can watch most performances online, as well (check out the Guster episode).  The sheer joy of playing is visible in the faces and attitudes of everyone who takes part. 

Check out this clip with Joe Walsh jamming with the gang.  Hall's regular band members start off worrying about technical proficiency and sticking with the song.  By the middle, everyone is in full swing and having a ball, as evidenced by a quick shot of the drummer. 

Interspersed with the music is a cooking segment and interviews with the guests.  He even has an unplugged room which is put to terrific use.  If you stumble across this, spend some quality time with Daryl, who, by the way, still sounds fantastic. 

Part of me wonders if I enjoy this show so much because Hall basically lives the life I want: Live in a great home while cool people come to hang out.  Oh, and he gets paid for it.  Damn him!

Sidenote:  Joe Walsh summed up what is wrong with the current state of music perfectly.  Over dinner he brings up Beyonce winning a Grammy for one of her songs.  'The song had five writers and three producers' he says, '...the song HAD EIGHT WORDS!!'

The Good Wife:  I'll admit it slacked a bit towards the end of last season, but the introduction of Kalinda's scum bag, yet somehow endearing husband put the edge back in this show.  Cary coming back to the firm and the potential bankruptcy helped, too.  Still one of the most well written shows on television. 

Community:  Yes, it's weird and uneven and has more backstage drama than any show since Saturday Night Live, but, at it's best, it reinvents what we should expect from a half hour comedy.

Parks and Rec/30 Rock:  These two shows pack more laughs into 30 minutes than any show on television (even Modern Family).  30 Rock in particular machine guns so many jokes into an episode I have to rewind when I realized I missed something. 

Boardwalk Empire:  One of the greatest characters ever (Gyp) nearly made us forget the loss of Jimmy.  As psychotic and damaged as he was, he made me look forward to every episode. 


SHOWING PROMISE

New Girl:  Still funny, but seems to be trying too hard this season.  Every now and then they kill it (like Schmidt's self organized birthday party - 'Now I will dance with fire'), but beginning to strain a bit at the seams. 

GoOn:  Really took off after the first few episodes when it stopped trying to cram sensitivity into every 30 minutes and embraced its natural lunacy and dysfunction.  If there was ever a vehicle for Perry's natural sarcasm and ball busting ability, this is it.  Kudos to Harold (or was he Kumar?) for getting back into comedy.  He and Perry are great together. 

Suburgatory:  Getting too touchy feely for my liking.  The entire premise is the cynical, jaded, city teenage girl plopped into plastic, perfect, suburban fakery.  Sadly, the suburbs are changing the girl and not the other way around.  Still has it's moments that make it worth sticking around. 


FADING FROM GLORY

The Office:  It's actually better than it was last year and I'll keep watching since it's the last season, but still not nearly as good.  It really should have signed off when Carrell did. 

Revenge:  That didn't last long.  What started as a guilty pleasure, fast paced, revenge obsessed story has morphed into every nighttime soap opera ever.  Excuse me, Emily?  I know you're hot and all, but would you mind getting back to taking actual revenge on someone?  Anyone?


OFF THE WATCH LIST

Up All Night:  What a disaster.  The creators kept messing with the premise, introducing new characters and changing the format (it goes before a live audience next).  Then it took two wildly successful people and made them insanely insecure about everything and everybody.  Could quite possibly be the worst show on television right now. 

Jersey Shore:  Just like seven million other people.

Animal Practice:  Came and went so fast it barely registered


MARATHON CATCH UP

Breaking Bad:  I love Netflix for the sole reason of allowing me to get mid way through season 2 of this show that (fingers crossed) may become one of my favorites of all time.  So good I risk the chance of spending an entire weekend watching one episode after another.  Can't wait to finish up in time for the last season.  Although I don't think I'm going to make it. 

Game of Thrones:  HBO finally took my advice and allowed everyone to watch the first two seasons in one fell swoop.  I am caught up, fully invested and ready to roll for the upcoming season.  Boo yeah!

That's it for now friends.  If I don't get the music entry up before next week, enjoy the holidays. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you ever watch The Wire? If not, add it to Netflix, move it to the top of the queue, and don't leave your house til you've finished it. -DA

BeachBum said...

I barely leave my house now.

I did start watching it (per your advice, of course) and loved it. But then there was a delay on the dvds and I wound up dropping it. I'm considering going out and buying the entire series so I can plow through it, but so far I haven't been able to find the entire series in one package.