Week 18: State of the show

As previously written, I watch kind of a lot of TV. I’m not entirely sure when this happened; it was a gradual, slippery slope. But now that is has, I find myself spending a lot of time talking about and analyzing shows.

So as most of them come to the end of their latest seasons, I’ve decided to collect my assessments in one place. From Sunday to Saturday, here you are:

The Good Wife, season 6: I breezed through the first four seasons, so I don’t have a great sense of each for comparison’s sake. That being said, while I was turned off by the beginning of this season (the plot divergence of the state’s attorney race), I have found the second half to be a return to the compelling drama, thought-provoking cases and rock star lawyers that hooked me in the first place.

Brooklyn 99, season 2: I think season 1 was stronger overall than season 2, but the weekly dose of silly, quirky humor continues to be there, and the characters are such a great mishmash of styles and personalities that I am never disappointed.

Masters Of Sex, season 2: Season 1 of this show was so, so great. The social context, the character dramas and the scientific progress all made it super interesting. Then season 2 kind of fell off the rails, if you ask me. The show strayed from what made it great, and most of the characters lost their appeal.

Marry Me, season 1: In the 14 episodes that aired, I thought this show was goofy and fresh and oh-so-fun. But I might’ve been among the few who did, as it got bumped to make room for the latest season of The Voice. Fingers crossed it returns at some point!

About A Boy, season 2: Undoubtedly, season 2 was not anywhere near as sweet and funny and enjoyable as season 1, but that didn’t mean they had to take it off the air. I’m still telling myself it’ll come back once The Voice is over.

Modern Family, season 6: The kids’ getting older is not ideal — little kids are automatically funnier than teens — but this show never fails. That perfect combination of silly, relatable humor and heart-warming family moments is nailed in almost every episode.

Suits, season 4: I’ve been hooked since the pilot (one of my favorites ever), and I love so many of these characters, but the storylines struggle to live up to the rest of it. At this point, it just seems the writers have to try too hard. That’s not to say I won’t keep watching, but I have stopped hoping this show will get back on an upward track.

The Americans, season 3: If you are not watching this show, you’re making a huge mistake. I’d argue it’s the best thing on television. The spy drama is socially and historically fascinating, but even better is the marital drama between Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Theirs might be the most interesting, nuanced relationship on any show I’ve ever watched.

Scandal, season 4: I really was not into the second half of season 3 and first part of season 4. We got away from the fixing, which I love, and the kidnapping/spy drama went way past what I could believe. Thank goodness Shonda brought us back to what Olivia does best: Managing other people’s crises while her own life spirals out of control. This second half of season 4 has been as great as any of the series.

How To Get Away With Murder, season 1: Did I love it? No. Did I stick it out? Yes. Viola Davis is great, but the show is way too over-the-top for me, not to mention, pretty much all the students are terrible actors and/or awful characters.

Saturday Night Life, season 40: I can’t speak for the first 30 or so seasons, and I still desperately miss Andy Samberg, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader, but of my almost 10 years of regular SNL watching, I think this was one of the best. The female ensemble is unmatched, and the Weekend Update satire is consistently on point.

Orphan Black, season 3: This season just started, and I haven’t yet gotten my hands on it (darn you, BBC America!), but I am completely obsessed with Tatiana Maslany’s acting and season 2 left me very excited for more. I’m confused as to how more people don’t know about this show.

The Affair, season 1: I liked the construct of the show — retelling a story from two perspectives in each episode, with obvious differences in the recollections — more than the show itself, which I found to be a bit more moody and brooding than it needed to be. Still very compelling, though.

Bloodline, season 1: Amazingly acted and wonderfully shot, with engaging enough dialogue to keep me hooked (I have a few episodes left). But the excessive melodrama and being hung up on the past have gotten to be a bit more than I can take. That, and the only likable character is Coach Taylor 2.0.

Shows on my to-watch list, now that most of these are on hiatus: Grace & Frankie, Empire and Mom. And I’m open to suggestions!

Endnotes:

Currently watching: Bloodline, season 1

Currently reading: Those Guys Have All The Fun (750 pages means taking a break and coming back to it)

Song of the week: Erik Hassle’s “Talk About It”

Upcoming plans: Going to see James Bay on Thursday, and I can’t wait!

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