It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the various shows on the air right now. Even though I still have no time to do full reviews, I thought I’d take a quick look at what I thought about the various and sundry shows on TV at the moment on TV Thursday – 11/27/14.
Arrow – This is still one of my favorite shows and still one that I get my inner fanboy jumping for joy more often than not. Now that Sara is dead, Laurel is clearly training to be her replacement Black Canary. Roy is no longer on the mirukuru but he now knows he killed a policeman under the influence and I get the feeling that Oliver’s sister Thea might take over for him at some point. The Laurel bit was obvious, she was always supposed to be Black Canary, but the Roy/Thea thing, I don’t know about. Now that Thea has trained to be a fighter and an archer under the tutelage of Malcolm Merlyn, “Speedy” is certainly qualified to be Arrow’s partner, but of course, Roy is supposed to be Arsenal, maybe he’ll have two partners? Add to that last week’s reveal of Ray Palmer’s Atom armor and you get tons of “YEAH!” moments. That’s really what this show is all about.
Castle – It’s about damn time that Castle and Beckett were married, after last season’s kidnapping plot, I was hoping we wouldn’t have to wait another couple of seasons before they finally tied the knot. Now that they’re back to solving crimes, it really doesn’t feel that different, the dynamic isn’t really changed, even though no police department in the land would allow a married couple to work together on potentially dangerous cases. Yeah, it’s TV, I know. Otherwise, they’re still doing the same thing they always did and doing it will, I’m still enjoying the show.
Constantine – I’m really not feeling this show, sorry. John Constantine is a dick, in fact, pretty much everyone in the show is a dick and that’s really not the kind of series I’m interested in. This is a fundamental problem with dark, apocalyptic shows in general, the characters are “tough” and that almost always translates into being douchebags. I don’t like douchebags. I don’t like bad boys. This is a good part of why I dropped shows like Walking Dead. I can’t stand the people.
Elementary – I was unsure of the direction early in the season, with Holmes returning to town with a new partner and Watson having to deal with having these two “intruders” in her comfortable new life. It has all worked out however, Holmes and Watson are largely partners again and Kitty plays the audience focus character where we can see the crime-solving genius of Holmes through her eyes. I wasn’t really sold on the idea until the last episode where it finally all snapped into place. Otherwise, it’s all status quo, solving mysteries with the amazing Holmes and Watson teamwork, with just a little more detective fun with Kitty involved.
Flash – I was really looking forward to Flash, having been a huge fan of Arrow, and I wasn’t disappointed. It has a different feeling from Arrow, not as dark and brooding, but the quality is still there and I’m really enjoying the ride. One thing I have noticed that is not as prevalent here are the fanboy moments. Maybe it’s because most of Flash’s rogues gallery isn’t as well known but I haven’t had a lot of “YEAH!” moments with Flash, where I get them regularly with Arrow. The stories are still fun, the characters are still cool and everything is great… except the whole “don’t tell Iris” thing, which is getting really old, really fast. The storyline where they don’t want Iris to do her blog was ridiculous. Why didn’t Flash just tell her that he’s trying to remain a secret, he doesn’t want to be exposed and by writing the blog, she’s harming his mission? Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? I can’t wait until she knows, which certainly has to come by the end of the season.
Forever – This is surprisingly good and considering I wasn’t going to pick it up, I’m glad my wife suggested it. Where the premise sounds pretty weak, a doctor finds that he cannot die, every time he does, he appears in a body of water, alive again. However, the characters are actually quite good, I am really enjoying Ioan Gruffudd as Henry Morgan and Judd Hirsch as his son Abe. Alana de la Garza’s Jo Martinez is slowly growing on me although I’m not completely sold on her. Each week, they solve murders, most of which are helped along by Morgan’s past life remembrances. I fear that in the long term, they’ll have to change that because there are only so many experiences he could have had in the past 200 years that will tie into cases, otherwise they’ll have to do the “everything revolves around Henry Morgan” thing that gets old and tired really fast.
Gotham – This is a show that isn’t really sure what it wants to be. Is it a police procedural in a corrupt city? Is it a series about developing superheroes? Or, as seems to be so often the case, a show about catering to the fanboys? It really does none of these things very well, which is a shame. As in so many dark shows, the characters are fatally flawed. Oh sure, they try to make Jim Gordon a stand-up guy but he’s really not. Most of the characters, I don’t care about. I find Barbara Gordon totally annoying and wish she’s just have a kid that will become Batgirl so she can go away forever. The cases aren’t especially good or interesting and all of the “look, future Batman character!” moments really don’t matter. It’s got potential but no real direction.
Haven – I am so sick and tired of the whole Mara thing. I am completely not buying into this season, especially now that they’re trying to turn the troubles into a completely natural phenomenon by finding genetic markers. Duke and Mara are awful, especially now that they’re in bed together. All of the things that made it fun are gone and even though I can see how they can bring back some of that, since the fake CDC doctor, Charlotte Cross, is almost certainly a representative of the barn, but they’ve really shot themselves in the foot and now have to undo a couple of seasons of crap. There was a time when I was really, really excited to see where this show was going but that ended at the end of season 3. Now it’s just tedium.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Last season when people were panning the show, I always stood by it, knowing that it had the potential to do some amazing things and after Captain America: The Winter Soldier came along and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took the ball and ran with it, I was vindicated for knowing what this show could do. So far in the second season, they’ve continued the trend, following Phil Coulson’s attempts to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight the treachery of HYDRA. I was worried, based on some things that had been said last season, that they’d move to reinstate Ward on the team like it was all a big mistake, but so far, they’ve just made Ward more and more evil. In the latest episode, he murders his own brother and parents and even though he says he’s in love with Skye, he’s certainly doing nothing to impress her. Speaking of Skye, we’ve actually met her parents, mom is dead and dad is a psycho, and we’ve started to solve the whole “carving on walls” plot as well. It’s not always perfect but like in Arrow, there are a lot of really great character and comic moments that always keep me coming back.
Murdoch Mysteries – Like Castle, it’s about damn time that Murdoch and Julia got married, I was so sick and tired of all of the “will they/won’t they” nonsense that plagued the last couple of seasons. Like in Castle, it doesn’t seem to have affected things much, which is good, the chemistry worked well before the marriage, I see no reason to fundamentally change the look and feel of the show just because two characters got married. Now if only we could get George and Emily back together, they made a really great couple and I’ve seen some hints that might happen in the future. As with lots of established episodic shows, they’re still doing the same bang-up job they always were and I hope they don’t stop any time soon.
Person of Interest – I was critical in the last season because it’s stopped being about the Machine and started being all about hiding from Samaritan. Sure, there’s some validity to the story, but it went from being a very proactive series, where they went out to save people that the government thought were irrelevant, to a very reactive series where they have to keep working around Samaritan in order to save people and quite often, Samaritan is the one they have to fight against to save their numbers. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fundamental change in the formula and that can be bad over time. I will say that I’ve gotten really, really, really impressed with Sarah Shahi this season, she’s gone from almost a background character to front and center and extremely competent, every bit as good as Reese. In fact, it feels like a lot of other characters have taken a few steps back while she’s come into the light. I’m not complaining, she does a fantastic job. Oh, and Bear. Love Bear. My wife announced that if anything bad ever happens to Bear, she’ll stop watching the show. Guess Bear better be well protected!
Resurrection – This is another series that I’d say lost it’s focus but I don’t think it ever had any focus to begin with. It just stumbles around from one problem to another and doesn’t seem to be actually going anywhere. There’s a plotline where Jacob’s grandmother, who came back from the dead, was involved in a murder back in the 1930s and is trying to cover it up, plus there’s a returnee-only sickness that’s going around. I really can’t bring myself to care about any of them or even why this is going on, they don’t seem too concerned about finding out the secrets, everyone just accepts that the dead are back, let’s go do some other stuff. This is another series where most of the characters are dicks and have secrets. I wouldn’t want to be around any of these people.
Sleepy Hollow – This is actually a good counterpoint to shows like Constantine and Z-Nation, a story about the coming end of the world, but where the characters are generally positive and looking forward to winning the battle. In Z-Nation, even if they find a cure, humanity is pretty much done for, at least for the foreseeable future and in Constantine, there’s no indication that the war will ever be over, no matter what happens. Here though, Ichabod and Katrina look forward to a life after the end of the world, Abby and Jenny want to know how their mother’s suicide figures into all of this, everyone wants to get back to normal without acknowledging that a dreary, awful existence is the new normal.
Z-Nation – I tried to like this show, I really did, but the characters are just not doing it for me. Yes, it’s the zombie apocalypse but given the characters on the series really aren’t worthwhile people, even Citizen Z, I find myself not particularly caring if they live or die. In last week’s episode, Addy decides to stay with the Mormon sister-wives and it didn’t affect me at all. Okay, she’s gone. So what? I didn’t care when Hammond got killed by zombies earlier in the season either. Another one down, whoopie! In any show, you have to have engaging characters that you care about, this is especially true in an apocalyptic show, but here, I can’t say I have any attachment to any of them. At best, I have a list of people I care about the least, that I wouldn’t mind seeing become zombie chow, but none of them would be truly missed if they died. That’s not a good sign for a show.