In Another Life

As a teenager I loved lots of different types of television shows, including shows that were targeted at my age group.  As I have gotten older, I have re-watched these shows as an adult, and some have aged better than others.   My So-Called Life, for example, holds up to my (more) mature viewing eye. Yes, I identify with the parents a bit more than the first go round, but I am proud of my younger self for having good taste.  The show has drama and perhaps even heightened drama, but it never veered into melodrama.  Other shows I loved back then, say Beverly Hills 90210, are enjoyable purely on a nostalgic level. I can see why I liked to watch it, but there’s not much there for me anymore. The acting isn’t great and the story lines aren’t that plausible (ahem, Donna Martin graduates). I guess I can say I was fully part of the 90s zeitgeist, but that’s about it.

Despite this, and perhaps the pervading television wisdom, shows primarily about teenagers, can be and are good. Switched at Birth, which is in its second season, is a show somewhere in the middle between My So-Called Life and Beverly Hills, 90210.  It’s a show with a ridiculous sounding name (my vote for a better name is the title of this post), a fairly melodramatic premise, that is actually executed rather well. So, I’m officially going to come out of the Switched at Birth closet, and say, it makes pretty good television. And I will tell you while if you just click below! You know you want to…

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New Year’s Resolutions, TV Style

Girl watching tvThe move from December to January is so celebrated and grand,  I guess it makes some sense that this is time we also try and become whole new people in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Of course that doesn’t really work because we are who we are and let’s be honest, I’m never going to be in the Olympics, no matter how many times I resolve to become competitive in curling. Still, we can seemingly never can resist the urge to try can we?  So, this year in the spirit of the new year, I list my five New Year’s Resolutions, TV Style, after da jump: Read the full post »

What I’m watching this Fall, in technicolor

This week marked the beginning of the 2011-2012 television season for a large chunk of shows. And with it, comes the much talked about ‘What Sara’s Watching’ colour-coded schedule. It is finally(!) complete,  both in paper and electronic form. Each colour represents a different network (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, AMC, FX), and I’ve limited it to basic cable (so no Boardwalk Empire for example).  An asterisk indicates a new show, and a few are officially ‘on notice.’ If there is no improvement after 3 episodes, I’m gone.   Also, since I am currently in a brand-new job and without a DVR, I have tried to make this a manageable list. There are some shows I was intrigued by (say, Revenge), but am realistic enough to know that I won’t really have time for it. (Update: Annoyingly, I can’t seem to get the electric map to show up in color for the world to see, but trust me it is-here is the picture proof!)

Below I’ve highlighted all the new and some returning shows I will be checking out in the next couple of weeks. Maybe someday I’ll get preview screens, and then I promise to cover all new shows!

Sunday

*Once Upon a Time (ABC)    

Fairy tale characters get cast out into the real world and can’t remember they are fairy tale characters. A Ginnifer and a Jennifer (Goodwin and Morrison, respectively) star, and you’ll probably get them confused. But it’s a little bit sci-fi/fantasy and therefore I will watch it.

*Pan Am (ABC)

Christina Ricci and some others star as airline attendants, back when they were called stewardesses, for the airline giant of the 1960s Pan Am. Based (loosely) on true stories this looks like vintage fun.

Monday

*Terra Nova (Fox)

Jurassic Park crossed with sci-fi: A group of people from a dystopian future travel back in time to save humanity-as long as the dinosaurs don’t kill them.

*Hart of Dixie (CW)

This basically looks like the tv version of Sweet Home Alabama. Which kinda sucked. The only reason it’s getting a look is because of Josh Schwartz of Chuck and The O.C. (don’t call it that) fame. It’s on notice because it looks stupid.

Tuesday

Glee

Glee is getting a few episodes to see if it can start telling stories that aren’t offensive to women, people of color, and people with a disability. Also, if a character could show some development and then you know stay developed, Quinn!

If it does none of this, I’ll have my sister tell me what happened. Because, I can’t quite quit it, but it is on notice!

*New Girl (Fox)

Look, I don’t mind Emily Deschanel’s sister. I think she’s cute, I like She & Him, and I think she acts okay. But I am not a fan of: Manic Pixie Dream Girls, Faux Dorks, girls who have ‘only guy friends,’ and twee and quirky for the sake of it. I’m afraid this show is going to be more of the things I’m not a fan of and less of Zooey just hanging out with some friends. So, it’s on notice.

Reed Between the Lines (BET)

Perhaps this is 21st Century version of the Cosby Show, that stars Theo Huxtable and the star of Girlfriends.  One of the few shows this season to have more than one minority staring in it, and I’m hoping it can live up to the Cosby Show comparison.

*Ringer (CW)

Buffy, ahem Sarah Michelle Gellar, makes her long awaited television return in a dual role as twins Siobhan and Bridget. I don’t want to spoil too much, but let’s just say Bridget starts living Siobhan’s life, where she is married to Horatio Hornblower. (Who I called dibbs on back when he played this role).

Wednesday

*Up All Night (NBC)

G.O.B. plays a new father and stay-at-home Dad? Christina Applegate is his tv producer wife? Maya Rudolph is an Oprah/Ellen hybrid of funny? Come on! You know I’m there. And the first episode was pretty funny too.

*Suburgatory (ABC)

Jeremy Sisto has been one of my tv boyfriends for a while, and Suburgatory makes him a single Dad. So, I am def. going to check it out. I do hope they break away from the traditional(ly boring) formula of talking about how cool those from NYC are and how very provincial anyone else is. ‘Cause that will get old.

Thursday

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

I can’t wait! Full Stop.

Person of Interest (CBS)        

It’s from J.J. Abrams so that’s all I need. You might want to know that Ben Linus (sadly without John Locke) and Jesus also star, or that it presumably full of twisty, sci-fi plots to get to watch. I only hope that this time, there really is an end-game.

Secret Circle (CW)

So it’s about a girl who discovers she’s a witch, from a line of witches. She moves to a small town with a bunch of other teenage witches.  Gale Harold from Queer as Folk plays a really creepy magical person. Yes, I’ve pretty much been down this witchy road before (and before). Basically witches are usually in play when I watch crappy tv.

Friday

Chuck

Proof that sometimes fan campaigns work, Chuck is entering its final season, which is its fifth. Go to Subway and remember your power!

A Gifted Man

As you may have figured out by now, I am a sucker for a fantasy/magical/sci-fi story, especially when it stars Patrick Wilson and Elizabeth Bennett (BBC-style).  Like Medium and Ghost Whisperer, a character can see a ghost. Unlike those, this time it is a boy! Also, he may only be able to see his dead ex-wife (that’s Elizabeth Bennett,) I’m not sure.  Anyway, this is on opposite Chuck, so I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it, but definitely worth me checking out.

Fringe

One of the shows I’m most anticipating the return of, Fringe has really developed into a great truly science-fiction show. Last season took a bold step in the finale by proclaiming that Peter Bishop never existed. Producers have promised it’s not a reboot (an over-used word these days), but a new look at old stories. In what is likely its finale season, let’s hope Fringe goes out with a bang. And don’t worry, Joshua Jackson is still part of Fringe.

Blog Preview

 

Hello everyone and welcome to my new blog address. I made the trek over to wordpress and updated the address to reflect where things are now. There is likely some wonky links that I didn’t notice, but I imported all of my posts in case anyone wants to see what I’ve written in the past.  I’m still working on Categories and Tags, but for the most part the wordpress blog is ready. The old blog may be more active again sometime and I’ll let you know if that happens.

I have a few plans coming up for blog in the next couple of months to help increase my activity and hopefully get more people to read. The next week will see a return of one of my favourite activities: making a colour-coded Fall television schedule. I am back in America so there are tons beginning-a few n this week and most will debut the w/c 19 September.  In addition to the schedule I will be reviewing some premiers of new and returning shows.

I am also planning on making the jump into recaps. I am starting slow with a show that aired 10 episodes over the summer; it will return in January and I aim to do one a week once I get started. I am hoping to begin after the Fall tv reviews and finish before it begins in January.

All of this should make for some more regular posting.

See you all soon.

 

 

 

The Simple Beauty of Friday Night Lights

(Note there are mild spoilers if you haven’t ever seen Friday Night Lights. I have tried to not spoil the last season though, in case UK viewers want to try and track it down.)

A few weeks ago, NBC aired the last episode of Friday Night Lights. That this happened in 2011 and not 2007, should pretty much be considered a TV miracle. After criminally low ratings for two seasons and the Writers Strike of late 2007/early 2008, typical (revenue-driven) wisdom would say it should have been cancelled. But, on the back of critical praise, a small but dedicated fan base, and the fact that in 2008 NBC was suffering from a true lack of quality TV, an innovative deal was struck to keep Friday Night Lights (or FNL to those in the know) on the air. Three 13 episode seasons would be shown first on Direct TV (a satellite provider) and then re-aired on NBC. Nothing like this had really been tried before, and the deal saved what has certainly been one of the best shows in recent memory, and one of the best family dramas ever.

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The Last Lost Word (for now)


It’s been about two months since the Lost finale aired, two long months in between blogging. I’m not sure what you call that except maybe, bad blogging. Even though Lost has been over for awhile, I can’t let it end without commenting one last time. It was such a big part of my tv life and I’m sad it’s gone. Its noticeable absence from San Diego Comic Con was one of the first signs that it really is over.

So, what about that finale? As an episode of television it was great; as a series finale, one that resonates, redeems characters, and retains some mystery it was brilliant; as the final word, that last chance for fans to understand the mythology that is Lost, well, on that point, I gotta say, it sucked.

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In the end…


Well tonight (or tomorrow morning for those of us across the pond) is it: the end of Lost. The end of polar bears and time travel (on the same island), and an end to a particular-type of WTF moments. For me personally, so much has changed in the 5.5 years since lost debuted in 2004, it is amazing to think that I went from De Soto, MO to Leavenworth, KS, to Kingston, Jamaica, and London, England. From Cingular, to Saint Mary, to Big Brothers Big Sisters, to UTech & Roehampton, Starbucks, and the National Union of Students. Wow. Lost has truly been my ‘constant’ for a whole lot of change and jumping around the world (and even and island or two). It’s the one show that I never miss, that I have to see as soon as I can. I’m probably more than just a little unreasonably sad about it ending, but when a show has been with you for all that change, when it’s helped me make new friends, and when I’ve spent some great evenings watching it with old ones, it’s sad to see it go.

I have high hopes for the finale, that in the end it will be fantastic and fun and yes, I really hope we’ll get some answers (they really need to mention Walt). I know they can’t possibly answer everything I want, but if it’s done well, that’s okay. So, instead of focussing on what they better show me, I just want to briefly reflect on what they already have, in my favorite epsiodes.

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Treme: A closer look at Post-Katrina New Orleans

Treme, the new HBO series, takes a look at New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina. The name of the series comes from the neighborhood of the same name which has been home to many musicians that helped make New Orleans so famous. Treme comes from David Simon and Eric Overmyer, who both worked on Homicide: Life on the Streets (one of my favorite shows ever) and The Wire. Both of those shows were critically acclaimed in their time and known for their diverse casts and strong writing. In the first five episodes, I’d say Treme fits right in.

I’m still "Lost" and loving it

After the most recent Lost outing, the final season of the show about an island, is down to seven episodes. We are at the beginning of the very end my friends, and in about 6 weeks we’ll have to say good-bye to one of the most interesting, spooky, suspenseful, and confusing shows ever.

As we push forward to the end, let’s take a step back to see where we are. Instead of flashbacks or flashforwards, we are in some sort of ‘sideways world’ (as coined by Doc Jensen), a sort of altera-universe where Flight 815 didn’t crash, but made it all the way to L.A. Our characters are still intrinsically linked in our sideways world–while each episode focuses on one character, there are several interactions between each other. I guess these people just belong together.

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Lost: The Final Season

Lost kicks off its sixth and final season tonight in the United States, and Friday in the United Kingdom, when I will be watching. And yes, it is going to be nearly impossible for me to wait that long, and I will have to stay far away from the internets in order to avoid being spoiled. Because, man, I don’t want to be within 100 feet of a spoiler. I ready to enjoy watching the dominoes fall, and the connections made as I watch the answers to about a billion mysteries come. Or not come, as I suspect.

Lost has been a show that I’ve been a fan of since Day 1. Actually, I was a fan before it ever premiered. They had me at ‘from the maker of Alias,’ and they kept me through mystery and intrigue. Even in its weaker seasons, the mystery kept me coming for more. I do love the characters (well some of them) and I certainly care what happens to them, but there were times when we had to sit through episodes on characters I didn’t really care about. (Hello, Shannon). And then of course, there were those characters I liked, who’s departure from the show (for whatever on- or off-set reasons) disappointed and frustrated me. (I’m looking at you Mr Eko). But there was always the mystery and always the sci-fi, and generally good writing, so there you go. A hat tip to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for that. [Also, I’m such a big dork I knew those names without having to look them up. At all.]

Before we enjoy the last season, I thought I’d call attention to ten of of my favorite moments. Interestingly, Lost is not a show I’ve watched over and over like some others, so these moments are the ones that truly stand out. I remember the main points, but some of the finer ones may have been lost. (he he) (As an aside, I have some theories on why I haven’t watched them multiple times, the main one being that, for me, it’s the reveal that makes Lost, so once you’ve seen the reveal it’s not as much fun. ) Anyway, without further fanfare here are my 10 favorite moments, in no particular order, after the jump.