Thursday, August 05, 2010

Summer TV Verdict

Now that the last show on my "check it out" list has aired, I can talk about the shows I've been watching and what I think about them. In order of worst to best:

While movie critics are almost never on the same page as me, TV critics often are. So when they raved about Rubicon, I added it to my list. Yawn. We spent the whole first episode feeling like there were chunks missing. We could understand what was there, but still felt lost. But more than that, I didn't care. I got no sense of any of the characters, despite the tidbits they dropped. When they said Will is morose because of losing his family in 9/11, my reaction was "Dude, that was 9 years ago!" It's a horrible thing that happened to way too many people, but suspension of disbelief was just not possible for me, that he'd still be so mopey, as if it happened a year ago. When everyone was saying they didn't want Grant as a boss, I had no idea why. Plus, the fashions were stuffy. The whole thing just felt self-important and therefore pretentious without an ounce of justification.

I gave this one a try for the supernatural elements. I'm kind of meh on it. It's intriguing, and I like Audrey and Nathan. Duke's okay. I'm not drooling over him like a lot of people are. :) I think the mysteries each week are creative, and I'm eager to find out what triggered The Troubles. I was surprised to hear people complain that Audrey bought into everything too easily. I thought they established her motivation very well—that she already sought the weird and unexplainable, so it was right up her alley. Plus, come on, she got thrown across the sidewalk by a swirl of wind. I'm more exasperated by characters denying strange stuff when it's right in their face. Plus, IRL, I'm always wishing I'd witness psychic or supernatural phenomena, so I'd buy it that easily, myself. :) What does distract me, though, is Nathan's condition. I guess, like any "disability," he would adapt to it. But I feel like he's way too competent. He can't feel anything. Not the sun, not breath on his skin, nothing. So how does he know he's holding stuff? He never drops anything or fumbles. How does he put on a button-down shirt if he can't feel where the sleeve is? In many scenes, I find myself thinking about this stuff. :) Distracting.

The Good Guys
As I've said in the past, I don't care for crime dramas. But I tried this one because I like Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, and because of the concept. I was skeptical. I thought I'd hate Stark's over-the-top character, and watching bumblers always makes me too embarrassed for them. Not what I want in my entertainment. But this show was hilarious. The finale? "Don't Tase Me, Bro"? Comic genius. Whitford is amazing, his performance is so thorough. This one is definitely staying on my list for fall.

Covert Affairs
Okay, it's official. I can no longer say I don't like crime dramas! LOL I love this show. I love Piper Perabo, I love Auggie...actually, my husband said something about new crush, and I said no, I've loved Christopher Gorham since Jake 2.0, and he said old crush, then, but it was never a crush, really. After a few more episodes, I fully admit to a crush, but it's totally on Auggie, not the actor. I admire the actor for his performance (his deliberate actions, his need for tactility, his sometimes indirect gaze) but my crush is on the compassionate, smart, charming, total playah of a character. :) I also like Annie, and that even though she was totally manipulated into becoming a CIA agent, she's a damned good one. She avoids being a Mary Sue by making mistakes and overestimating herself (and losing about every hand-to-hand situation she's in), but she is also always determined to make it right.

I'm also still enjoying Eureka (the change-up is rife with conflict, though often uncomfortable), White Collar (I love that Mozzie's role is so much bigger), and Royal Pains (could really do without the other doctor, though).

So, where do you stand on these or any other summer TV?


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm just about with you on all your opinions. I like Haven a bit more than you do perhaps and I loved Jake 2.0 also. Why did they ever take that off?
Another show I like is Memphis Beat. It's so funny and I love the music.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I've heard good things about Memphis Beat. It didn't have anything specific to draw me, though, so I didn't watch.

I didn't watch Jake 2.0 when it first aired, but I watched it all twice sometime after that. I loved it! Which is often the case. I have non-mass-audience tastes. :)

MJFredrick said...

I like Haven A LOT. But you're right about Nathan's disability. I'm thinking--he can't even have sex, can he?

I gave up on The Good Guys at the second viewing. I like Covert Affairs, Rubicon was BLEAK, and like you, I'm thinking, that was 9 years ago. I even rewound to see if it was set earlier, but no.

I'm with Susan--I like Memphis Beat. The acting's terrible but something about it makes me happy. And I really like Rizzoli and Isles.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

No, he can't (Duke alluded to it in the music/rage episode). No point in kissing, either!

I think Good Guys got better. If it had been during the fall, I'd have probably dropped it, too. It was good summer fun, though, and I like it enough to keep it.

Rizzoli and Isles looks well done.

Cindy Procter-King said...

I've been watching Rubicon and am enjoying it. The first episode didn't really hook me, but the actor who plays Will Travis or whatever his last name is was also in The Pacific, and I really liked him in that. So I'm sticking with Rubicon because of him.

I haven't tried any of the other shows you mentioned. I love Bradley Whitford, but with all the catch-up I've been playing with TV DVDs, I don't have time to try him out. Maybe if he visited....

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Maybe if he visited. HA! I like how you think.

Let me know how Rubicon turns out.