Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why I Loved 2009: TV in Retrospect Part 2

Following up on my previous post, which centered around sitcoms for the most part, I wanted to finish up on that then continue by going over some of the dramas/action shows that were my favorites last season. I know that I might not mention a show you like but I don't watch all the shows on the air, so please let me know if you think I missed something that was memorable.

For sitcoms, CBS held it's own by renewing some strong series, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. What can I say, other than they were all good but seriously, none of them were the best seasons so far. How I Met Your Mother did what it always does, it seems that each show develops a character, even though moving into the third season, I think a show based on five characters would have pretty much done that. Still HIMYM is a good show and well worth watching every week I just want to see an evolving story. Two and a Half Men still runs strong in my opinion, though another season of Charlie realizing, that he wants to get married but he might not be ready for it, seemed to be a lame excuse for a lack of story ideas. The Big Bang Theory is still one of the top five funniest shows on television but they should have never put Penny and Johny into a romantic relationship. Though it resolved a lot of the questions in the prior season it really removed one of the best aspects of the show, the question of whether superficial attraction could be beaten by real emotion, which I guess it was and rather easily I might add. Over all the biggest thing with CBS is, why have they still not put their old episodes on the web? It's like they are 10 years behind every other network out their. I think in the long run this will hurt them more than help them.

Fox had one of my favorite shows of all, Glee! This show is not even close to what I expected it to be. It's one of the few (if not the only) shows that manages to balance humor and drama while putting on some fantastic musical numbers. I'm not embarrassed to say I'm a sucker for a good musical but even if you don't like them, this show manages to deliver. There is gonna be at least one character in this show you'll root for, whether it's the misfits or the jocks. In the end Glee does a fine job of bringing the often unpalatable high school genre into it's own. If you haven't watched it you need to get on Hulu and check it out.

As for dramas, ABC came out with the biggest, V and Flash Forward were the true winners for new shows. I think both were worth renewing due to their relatively short runs. On top of that, the current ABC success story, Lost, had the best season to date. I think they managed to answer the question of what is up with the island very well. The final season of Lost starts next year and if it is half as good as this year, then it will be a phenomenal season. Desperate Housewives had another good season, I have to admit the show is hard sometimes for a guy to watch, but it has some of the best dialog written for television. It also takes what would be a bland concept, suburbia, and continually provides some stellar cinematography. This show, though not for everyone, deserves some kudos if only for the quality put into it's production.

CBS had the same line up pretty much, the CSI Franchise, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and finally the Mentalist. All of the shows were good though none of them were phenomenal. I was disappointed with NCIS: Los Angeles, I expected maybe to much but the show was bland to me and seemed to steer a little to far away from what made NCIS so enjoyable to watch, synergy. Since the first season, NCIS has brought a great group of characters together that complemented each other in terms of the show. NCIS: Los Angeles overwhelmed us with characters, that no one really got to know and on top that, seemed less like an police drama and more like Mission Impossible. The Saving grace for CBS is The Mentalist, it is a great show and it's worth catching next season, though the story got a bit sketchy this season. I have high hopes they will go back to what made the first season great, good chemistry between the characters and solid storytelling. The CSI franchise was the same as it's always been, which is great, but with some cast changes it's had to fight to retain it's ratings. I still watch it though in my opinion, losing Dr. Grissom was a hard blow to the show. In my opinion CSI: New York and Miami are so so, something I'll watch when the reruns are on.

Again Fox drops a show with a lot of promise, Doll House. This was one of my favorites, even though I even admit the premise is borderline. Writing a drama about people being brainwashed and then prostituted, really makes this show a difficult one to wrap your head around. Especially when you consider that Josh Whedon is one of the few, producer/writer/directors, out their that consistently appeals to both sexes. Turning women into mindless prostitute/assassins kind of seems demeaning to women (though the show doesn't exclusively brainwash women, men are "wiped" too.) The thing that makes this show great, is the realization that the main character, Echo, becomes a whole person no matter how hard the Doll House try's to wipe her personality. There's still that whole icky prostitution thing that's hard to really empathize with. I wish someone else had picked it up to follow through with the story line but oh well.

The other Fox drama, Fringe, was again stellar, it is the one show that can pick up the mantle laid down by X-Files. I am very interested in seeing next season, even though I'm not sure the season is over for Fringe. If this last week was the finale it fell short of my expectations, especially after last seasons great one. Along with Fringe, Fox had House, which was again great but not the most stellar season ever. They knocked House (the character) down a few pegs but in my opinion it did little to build upon what makes the show great, House's abrasive and often overbearing demeanor. Overall House (the show) does something few medical dramas do, it evolves every season, which is what I think keeps people coming back. On top of that Fox had Lie to Me, the series got better in its sophomore season than it was in it's freshman season. If you haven't watched it lately, try it out, they have made strides with this show.

So I'll wrap up part two with this, I'll finish up my next blog on some of the shows you might not have watched (White Collar, Monk's Final Season and In Plain Sight, to name a few.) If you have anything you think I should watch let me know. Leave a comment and please let your friends know about my blog!

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