Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TV Happenings

First, the unbelievably great, and unexpected, news: Fringe was renewed for a fourth season. Not only that, but it also got a full 22 episode order. I certainly wasn't counting on this happening, no matter how fervent the fanbase is or (percentage-wise) what a great bump it gets when the DVR numbers come in. But it makes me happy, as this is the show I most look forward to each week. Huzzah.

Other favorites getting renewals: Futurama, for two more 13 episode seasons on Comedy Central. Justified, which is having a fantastic sophomore season, getting a third. Also on FX, the laugh out loud Archer, getting a third (of 16 eps!). The two NBC comedies I care most about, Parks and Rec and Community, also got picked up. Plus, from the Beeb, we'll get more Luther and more Sherlock - now if only DirecTV will add HD service for BBCA (and AMC, dammit!), all will be right in the world. Usually, renewal season is filled with heartbreak and anger, but hell, looking at that list of shows, I really don't have a lot to complain about (other than not getting any more shaggy dog detective stories from Terriers).

I'm also excited, to various degrees, about some upcoming premieres. Friday, we have Camelot on Starz. This story has been told a billion times, and it seems I've watched most of them. I'll check it out, if for no other reason than "Eva Green as Morgan Le Fay." Sunday, we have The Killing on AMC. It appears to be a well-acted, well-cast murder mystery, with a Rubicon feel to it. I'm okay with that, as long as they stick the landing much better. Over on Showtime, Jeremy Irons headlines The Borgias. The tagline cracks me up: "Sex. Power. Murder. Amen." I'm assuming it's just a church documentary. Doctor Who returns the third week in April, finally airing in relative harmony with the showings across the pond. And speaking of Pond...I'll be in my bunk. Torchwood debuts on Starz in July with another long form story - "Miracle Day," on which no one on earth dies anymore. If it's anything like the stellar "Children of Earth" (which I expect, given the talent in front of and behind the camera), it should be a highlight of the summer.

Then, on April 17th, we have the big one: Game of Thrones on HBO. I was interested, but perhaps slightly skeptical, when I got the first book on my Kindle. But sweet snarky imps, was it good. I'm about a quarter way into the second book now, and have already downloaded the entire series. The log line of "Sopranos in Middle Earth" really is apt. And as much as I love Tolkien, GoT is a much more interesting page-turner. Murders. Wars. Sex. Incest. Betrayals. Mysteries. Terrific world-building. Three dimensional female characters. All without 50 pages written in Elvish about some damned forest or characters changing names nine times.

Other TV Quickies:
  • I loves me some Supernatural, and I'm glad to have it back on the air, but it has been a little hit-and-miss this year, no? (Though the "meta" episode was screamingly funny).
  • Big Love ended. Glad I stuck with it after that awful season 4. To me, the highlight was the three sister wives riding in Barb's new Mini Cooper. That, and the fact that I will never, ever re-sod another man's lawn (not a euphemism).
  • Poor V. So much talent, particularly the two lead actresses, stranded in a poorly-written vehicle that would feel at home on NBC paired with Heroes. Sigh.
  • Nurse Jackie is coming back this week, but I can't really muster any enthusiasm to watch. If not for Zoey or Coop, I might not even check out the premiere.
  • No Ordinary Family is a great example of why people who don't understand comics and superheroes shouldn't be writing shows in the genre. Someone with superspeed and lightning-fast reflexes gets stabbed in their living room? A mind reader gets duped? Really? At least Lucy Lawless is having fun and just killing it as the villain.
  • Another lament: Stargate Universe, just like Caprica, is just now getting good once it was already canceled.
  • I certainly don't need to add another procedural to my viewing rotation, but I will be checking out Body of Proof, because Dana Delany is the hottest 55 year old on the planet, and I've had a major crush on her since China Beach (hell, I suffered through Rosie O'Donnell in dominatrix gear to see Delany in Exit to Eden. That's commitment).
  • How many of you Browncoats, despite having seen every episode at least 10 times and owning the series on DVD, have been watching the Firefly reruns on Sunday on the Science Channel? Not just me, huh?
  • Late to the party: Thanks to AMC's late night reruns, I'm now almost all caught up on Breaking Bad. HOLY SHIT IS THIS SHOW GOOD. Definitely moved into top tier of my currently in-production favorites. And all that scoffing I did about Bryan Cranston constantly taking the Emmy over Hamm, Laurie, Hall, et al? Uh, nevermind. Also, via Netflix, I've just started the delightful Canadian import Slings & Arrows. If you like farce, The Bard, whimsy and a tone that parallels Northern Exposure, check it out. I'm just about done with the first season, and I'm thoroughly entertained.

So, what have you been watching, and what are you looking forward to?


  1. Shan,
    Did you ever get a chance to check out Eastbound and Down? The reason I ask is that Danny McBride and David Gordon Green were in Athens last week pimping Your Highness. AND They were nice enough to come by the radio station. Can you believe that?

    Here's the interview:
    (scroll down)

    Also, here's our photo on the facebook page:
    L-R: David Gordon Green (very cool dude with a great directing resume), my morning show co-host Stephen Hartzell, me, and Danny McBride...(aka Kenny Fucking Powers)

    Anyway, what a treat to have those guys come by the station. They were cool as hell, and very down-to-earth. Definitely one of the highlights of my broadcasting career.

    Let me know what you think,

  2. Eastbound & Down is on my list of shows to catch up on this summer during the TV off season. (I'm just about caught up on three seasons of Breaking Bad, and starting season two of Slings & Arrows, both of which I highly recommend).

    Just DLed and listened to the podcast. Great stuff. They sound like very funny, very "regular" dudes. I was entertained by Pineapple Express, and have hopes for Your Highness. Looks like a nice sweet spot between D&D farce and stoner comedy.