The fall TV season is just about in full swing (save for the two laggards: Bones and 30 Rock). Other than Breaking Bad finishing up and The New Girl taking a hiatus until Nov. 1 it is a pretty full schedule. And yet… I find myself in need of more shows to watch. A while ago I had started watching United States of Tara (streamed online) but a quarter of the way through season 2 I gave up, watching it online was simply irritating what with all the pop-up ads and it only allowing you to watch so much. United States of Tara is one of those shows that you cannot simply watch just one episode. In each one a small piece of the puzzle is revealed, just drawing the viewer in even deeper. I have since gotten the DVDs from the library and am now a few episodes in to season 3. This worries me because, well, this is the last season and I fear that it might end up abruptly rather than be written to end. All those little clues to the mystery, all for nothing! The mystery remaining unsolved! I cannot have that.
Another show from my repertoire soon to be end is The IT Crowd. It is going into season 5 (series if you are in the UK) which is going to be the final one. This sucks. IT Crowd is one of my go-to shows. I have watched it over & over again, so many times. It is just that good! Another good show that is also coming to an end is Breaking Bad. The thing is, with Breaking Bad I am not as sad about it coming to an end. The storyline can only be drawn out so far before they write themselves into a corner and the storyline becomes convoluted and ridiculous (a-la Weeds, when Nancy ends up pregnant with the Mexican drug lord’s child, I stopped watching. It was such a good show, it did start to lose steam around the time her neighbourhood got burnt down, but I still watched for a while). Breaking Bad has consistently been getting better, but how far could it possibly be drawn out, given the complications of Hank being in the DEA and the tensions involved therein. Breaking Bad did end on a high note, slowly starting to wrap things up. Spoiler alert: when Gus walked out of that retirement home room after the explosion I actually screamed out “HOW CAN THAT BE?!” and for a split second I was truly afraid that they were going to bring in some science-fiction elements but before I could even finish that thought… the camera turned around Gus…. and I gasped in horror at his gaping blown-up face. An unusual amount of gore for Breaking Bad, but damn do they know how to end a season. I think this is one of the few times, maybe the first, that Breaking Bad has not ended on a cliff-hanger ending. Spoiler alert: save for the fact that Walter poisoned that little boy and convinced Jesse that it was Gus thus setting the whole explosion incident in motion. Small peanuts compared to how previous seasons have ended with me screaming out for more, for an explanation. Even just a hint.
Of the new shows in the fall season, there is not much. I have been watching The New Girl and Pan Am. But Pan Am is more-so a family, camaraderie setting. The show itself is OK, it does have the potential to be a good show. As of right now though it is kind of slow, they are still developing the characters and the back stories. It has been 3 hour-long episodes thus far and there has not been a lot of development of an over-arching storyline. There are hints here & there, especially with the espionage during the Cold War. I still find it hard to pay attention towards the end, I start to fidget and walk about. The New Girl is also the same deal, albeit there is less need for an overarching storyline given that it is a half-hour sitcom. The episodes have progressively gotten better but Zooey Deschanel is really the only one holding the show together, all the other characters are either dull or irritating. If she goes, the whole show goes. It’s not like The Office, which is somehow still going despite Steve Carell’s departure. The Office does still manage to garner some laughs (mostly due to Dwight & Jim’s antics) but nowhere near the hilarity of previous seasons. And the new boss, I hate him. He is just irritating, he almost makes me want to give up on the show. Really though, Dwight is the main reason I even watch the show but honestly I wish they would just finish it, just wrap everything up and let it go. That sentiment rings especially true for The Simpsons. Stop trying to milk a dead cow. Honestly. And while I am being honest: SHUT UP TED! How I Met Your Mother started out as one of my favourite sitcoms with a hilarious cast that all played off of each other really well. Somewhere along the way, one annoying failed girlfriend after another, Ted started to get really irritating as a character. I find myself almost unable to enjoy the episode whenever he is in a scene, talking some gibberish nonsense. I find myself yelling at the TV “shut up Ted!” and quite frankly, they better start polishing up the writing on that show. Stupid Ted.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the knock-outs! Number one of the fall season (Breaking Bad I consider more of a summer show) is Walking Dead. Outstandingly brilliant, one of my all-time favourite shows! When I heard about the sweeping changes of the front-line crew all getting canned and the budget being tightened I got really worried. All I could picture was bad writing and less gore. Not what you want in a character-driven zombie apocalypse show. Thankfully none of that was evident in the season opener. This is one of the few shows I actually wish was longer than an hour. It fixes that itch you get after watching a zombie movie. You know, where nothing really gets resolved and you are left wondering did they fly off in the helicopter safely or did they all die in a fiery crash about 2 minutes after the credits finished rolling? Walking Dead is like an ongoing zombie movie. And there is no shortage of gore in the season opener. Spoiler alert: there were some deep bloody gashes in arms, arrows from the back of the head through the eye ball, screwdrivers repeatedly plunged into eyeball and socket, machetes to the head and gun shots through a deer…. That last one. Oh man. The final scene, at first I was like “who shot the deer?!”… and then the camera pulled out a little and my jaw dropped. I was left with goosebumps. And not just because it was cold in the house. On the lighter side of things there is Modern Family one of the few sitcoms that is consistently funny. I cannot even remember having ever truly disliked an episode. There are some episodes that were better than the others, but even those lesser ones were better than the best episodes of some other sitcoms (the last few seasons of The Office come to mind). And of course, who wouldn’t mention Community? I was not a fan of it at first. And watching the pilot episode did not help. As the seasons progressed though, the show has gotten much funnier.
Well then, now I am craving TV again. Back to United States of Tara!