August 30, 2010

Weekend In Reviews

I was really busy watching television this weekend. In fact, I decided early on that I had so much to watch that I wouldn’t be able to do anything else all weekend so I stayed in and did just that – watched TV all weekend long. It was awesome!

Mad Men – Until yesterday, I hadn’t seen a single episode of Mad Men and I have always suspected that I was really missing out on something I’d love. I mean, it gets nominated for a zillion awards and critics rave about it and Twitter is all, well, atwitter with talk of it every Sunday night and Monday morning. So I finally put the first season into the ol’ Netflix queue and the first disc arrived a week or so ago.

So I watched the first three episodes yesterday and, I don’t want to be kicked off the internet or anything but, to be honest, I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s boring. If the show focused on the secretaries, I think it’d be more fun and more interesting. Yes, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is nice to look at, but there isn’t anything else to him that I find interesting. Even this dual identity thing isn’t gripping me.

Nothing happens on that show. Nothing. Three episodes in and the most interesting thing to happen so far is Don leaving his daughter’s birthday party to pick up her cake and then not coming back home for several hours and Betty getting all jealous over the one woman in the state of New York that her husband isn’t banging on the side.

And speaking of Betty, I suppose January Jones could have been given a hell of a lot more to do in the later seasons of the show, but so far, I don’t find her acting to be all that compelling. I know that everyone else loves this show, but I don’t think I’m going to watch any more of it. It’s not that the show is bad, it’s just that I can’t find much to love about it and since I already watch about 3,000 hours of television a week, I can’t spend my time watching things I don’t love when the new season is about to start.

Fringe – I hadn’t ever watched the last 4 episodes from last season and since the next season will be starting soon, I thought I best catch up (same is true of House, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet). First let me say that I suspect the writers spent some time taking psychedelics while writing “Brown Betty” because that was just odd. But the three episodes after that were pretty great and in particular, I’m intrigued by Other Olivia switching places with Our Olivia. How long will it take Our Olivia to get home? Will the power of Peter cause Other Olivia to stop working a nefarious angle for Other Walter? Who will realize first that Other Olivia isn’t who they think she is? I kind of hope it’s Astrid. Will Liv keep the Other Olivia brunette with bangs 'do? Because she really should!

The biggest question of them all is – why don’t I watch this when it’s actually on because great googly moogly I enjoy it!

The Crazies – There were a couple of genuinely jump-worthy moments, but mostly this movie was more dark commentary on the government than it was fright movie. I’ll take any excuse to watch Timothy Olyphant exist on my TV but this one just seemed to go a step too far. Nuking their town was bad enough but then to have it end on the note that they’d just have to go through it all again in the city was a step too far for me. I might have liked it a bit more if Mr. and Mrs. Sheriff weren’t the only ones to make it out. Oh, and also if someone had explained definitively whether or not Mr. Sheriff caught the virus when his gaping open hand wound was pressed up against the slit jugular of a Crazy. I mean, no one was even worried that he might have caught the fucking thing from blood-to-blood contact? Really?

It’s Complicated – It’s really not. While Alec Baldwin is always entertaining to watch and I do love Meryl Streep and Steve Martin, and John Krasinski was particularly entertaining here, the movie was mostly just one middle-aged-sex joke after another. I’m guessing that plays a lot funnier to my mom’s crowd than mine.

Rookie Blue – Remember when I watched the pilot and said it was slow to get going but worth watching? Well since then, I hadn’t watched any more of it. I kept tivo’ing but just hadn’t gotten around to viewing. But a friend kept telling me that it was her favorite summer guilty pleasure and that I really needed to catch up. I felt like I owed her since she did the same with Pretty Little Liars on my recommendation (and agreed with me that it was cheesy brilliance) so I set my mind to playing catch up with it this weekend. She was not wrong.

It reminds me of the first season and a half of Grey’s Anatomy before GA got so concerned with the sex lives of the characters and the forced relationship drama to remember that at its core it was supposed to be about what it’s like to be a new doctor. Rookie Blue is like those early days with cops instead of doctors – the focus is on their struggles to learn what it means to be a cop, to confront the realities of their jobs with the fantasies they’ve always had about it. And with how their personal lives fit in and around their new jobs.

I like that Dov is a bit of an over-zealous spaz, I like that Diaz is still a little more small-town than you’d really like your big-city cops to be. I enjoy Traci’s struggles with motherhood and her friendship with Noelle. I like Andy as the central character though so far they are leaning a bit heavy on her mother-related abandonment issues. Every show needs someone to hate – a villain – and I think Gail is the perfect villain. She isn’t without her redeeming qualities, and despite how awful she usually is, I actually really like her in a relationship with the especially nice Diaz, but mostly I love to hate her. My favorite storyline is Andy’s lovelife. I’m not going to kid you, I don’t understand what she sees in that drip Callaghan. He’s fine to look at but he usually exhibits no personality at all and when he does, he’s usually being mildly assy. Meanwhile, Sam Swarek is funny and charming and sweet and so very hot. And holy Jesus is his smile beautiful. If I were Andy, I’d be having a seriously hot, secret affair with my training officer until my rookie-hood expired and then I’d start having a seriously hot public affair with Officer Swarek.

Rookie Blue isn’t high art, believe me. I’m not sure it would have been the success it is if it had gone on in the fall or spring but it didn’t. It is exactly what we need in the summer months – something decent to keep us entertained and make us care about what’s on TV. The cable nets have managed to make the summer entertaining and I’m glad to see that at least one broadcast network is attempting to replicate that formula.


Brenda B said...

OUCH!!! I just got categorized with your mom!I thought It's Complicated wwas funny and even had a few hilarious moments thrown - mostly John - his facial expressions are hilarious!

Melissa said...

Oops, sorry! I thought John K was very funny (the part in the bathroom with the joint in particular, his reaction was awesome), I guess the rest of the movie just wasn't for me. But, you know, I'm obviously wrong about the generational thing. *GRIN*

Brenda B said...

nice back peddle... I still love you anyway.