The second half of this TV season is upon us and so I figured that a hangover-ed morning was a great way to catch up on all of the TV I’ve missed lately. Today was that day. It’s been a busy couple of months in the entertainment industry. A lot of content to consume in order keep up with, well, everything. The award ceremonies, the water cooler talks, the artistic expressions of our favorite filmmakers, and, of course, the FOMO. After casually keeping up with my favorite shows amidst all of my movie going excitement, it seemed like the right time for a Bryan’s Not Lyin’ TV State of the Union.
While I have pared down what I watch on a weekly basis substantially, my TV time is still way above the average viewer. This includes not just what my DVR records, but sporting events, Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and HBO binges (aka my Apple TV playland), as well as the youtube videos of hilarious late night tv antics. There a lot going on and I need to see it all. It’s a blessing and a curse. Mostly a curse, sometimes a blessing. (Curse, let’s be honest.)
So below, I’ve written a few blurbs on what I’m currently watching and how I think their current seasons are fairing. Note: SPOILER CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Not like an actual city, but there are a lot of spoilers below.)
Once again: Next Stop, Spoiler City! (Like I said, not an actual city…)
It’s much better than last season. Much, much better. Now, it’s been well documented that this show takes itself waaaay too seriously and while this season is no different, there’s a bit more character empathy. The reason? Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. Not only is his baddie more engaging to watch then Matt Nobel’s Ra’s al Guhl from last year, but his ruthlessness and relentless raises the stakes of everything Team Arrow takes on. Some plots I’m down on (aka Speedie’s bloodlust), but mostly Oliver and Felicity’s current situation is incredibly watchable. They’re the characters I am most drawn to and Darhk brings out the most interesting storytelling.
It’s convoluted, ridiculous, and out there, but damn is it so much fun. Every character (minus Caitlin and Jay) are clicking on all cylinders. In a way, The Flash season two has done an interesting flip flop. At first the emotional lives of the characters, aside from Barry, were shallow and based on the fact that The Flash’s secret was being kept to frustrating means. Essentially, Iris and a few other characters didn’t pop off the screen well and
seemed like filler or at least a forced obstacle for Barry and company. The fun bad guys, silly quips, and good TV special effects were the reason to stay. Now the show borders on (or sometimes crosses over into) the absurd, but it is grounded in such wonderful human moments. Now that all of the core characters know that Barry is the Flash, we don’t have any super cliched plots that just don’t read to the audience. That has allowed us to connect more with the plights of these people and be affected by their hardships. Iris and her mother. Barry and Patty. Harry and his daughter. I look forward to hanging out in Central City every Tuesday nights (and when they are in Star City for crossovers with Team Arrow.)
I’m really enjoying what this show is dishing out. The Berlanti DC TV shows are very strong across the board and Supergirl, in its first season, has only strengthened his hold on the small screen comic book landscape. This show is earnest, heartfelt, and melodramatic in a way that the other shows can’t offer. Some characters are more likable than others, for instance, I enjoy an episode with less James Olsen and more Cat Grant. The addition of The Martian Manhunter through a Hank Henshaw fake out is brilliant and adds a whole new DC layer to the show that it needed. Especially to act as a mentor and foil to Melissa Benosit’s wonderful take on Supergirl. (The gchats with Clark Kent weren’t exactly cutting it.) It’s a really fun way to end my Monday nights. Jeremy Jordan is also pretty dreamy.
Yes, I still watch it. Why? I JUST DON’T KNOW. The music isn’t as good, the plots keep getting more and more insane, but I can’t not watch it!
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s truly impressive how in it’s 11th season, this show is funnier, more gruesome, and smarter than it has been in what would be considered it’s best years. It’s rare for a half hour comedy to come back from some lesser quality seasons, but the past three seasons have done that like 30 Rock in it’s last season. Granteed, there have only been a handful of episodes so far into the season, but Mac, Dee, Frank, Dennis, and Charlie are delivering left and right. RUM HAM!
It still consistently cracks me up. Now that the cast has been streamlined again (and the title card), it’s back to what I enjoyed before Nick and Jess got together. Semi-plotless, but so much fun and the one-liners kill. Everybody’s friendship chemistry is profoundly real and palpable. The show refound that their characters and those relationships are why the show works in the first place, so they’ve relied on that in a major way. Cece and Schmidt together works better than any other pairing of ‘lovers’, so to have that solidified for the moment adds a lot of comic value. I love these people and the crazier Winston is, the more I love everything and everybody.
I’ve watched the first two episodes and can’t get enough of Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, and even Malin Akerman. The story itself isn’t the most engaging I’ve ever seen. If anything it’s retread of the usual bad boy, super smart hedge fund CEO and the questionably moral government employee out to get him. But simply put: the scene work, writing, and acting is top notch. As of now, I like it a lot, I just hope that it can stay the course and not become the same old same old banker vs government story.
The Big Bang Theory
It delivers exactly what it promises: nerd laughs. This season has had some extremely solid episodes, all character based, which is both nice and unexpected for half hour sitcom. The types of character pieces they’re building around Sheldon/Amy and Leonard/Penny tell a much more interesting story of friendship and growth, so our time investment in these lives is rewarded. This season is enjoyable on multiple planes (or Sheldon’s favorite thing: trains).
I’ll hopefully have more TV related reviews up in the next few days, so stay tuned!
Keep On Watchin’!