an awesome way to watch TV

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boardwalk Empire: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

After every episode of Boardwalk Empire this season, I've thought, "Should I write about it now?"  And the answer has always been no, because the show has been leading to something big, but until these last few episodes I had no idea what it was.  Maybe I should've waited a few more weeks until after the season finale, but the time finally felt right.  We found out where Nucky's path this season is taking him, and it looks pretty grim.  I've actually been working on this piece for a couple weeks now because most of my time has been consumed with applying to grad school, and then I had a personal tragedy that didn't inspire a desire to watch people get beat to death or shot to shit.  I'm still dealing with that loss, but this piece has been eating away at me and it's finally time to finish it.

I'm going to backtrack for just a second and explain my feelings about Boardwalk Empire previous to this season.  I've watched it since the beginning, and enjoyed the performances and the beautiful set design, costume design, direction, and cinematography enough to keep coming back to the show, but it wasn't until last season when I really began to FEEL for the characters.  Much of this has to do with my current favorite dramatic character, Richard Harrow AKA Sexy Richard Half-Face, but not all.  As the stakes became higher and important character information like Jimmy and Gillian's fucked-up history was revealed, the show became imminently more fascinating.  The season two finale proved that Terence Winter and the rest of the writers aren't afraid to make big sacrifices for the sake of valuable plot and character arcs.  Ok, I was trying to avoid it, but we're gonna get all sorts of spoilery up in here now.  Join me after the jump!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moving Forward With "Modern Family"

Damn, it's been too long, folks.  Unfortunately, when you're applying to grad school and traveling and picking up extra jobs to pay them bills, your little-read blog about television is the first thing to fall by the wayside.  That doesn't mean that I haven't had things to talk about, or been building up posts in my head for when I finally have the time to write them.  This season of Boardwalk Empire has been spectacular, and I'll be writing about it some time in the next week.  The Mindy Project is going well, but the real surprise of the new fall shows has been Ben And Kate, which is just a delightful, smart, playful romp every week.  Go On is solidly enjoyable.  Last Resort keeps getting better.  Revolution keeps getting worse.  The Office is, surprisingly, mostly turning it out for their last season, although everyone agrees that making Andy into a horrible monster was a terrible move.  Parks & Recreation is great, of course, although I do have some small nitpicks we'll get to eventually.  How I Met Your Mother is what it is, which is to say a little dull, very repetitive, a nice vehicle to get my Jason Segel fix, and still very staunchly Not Friends, however hard they try.  RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars is so poorly formatted that not only are the wrong people going home every week, but the show itself is actually boring.  What a disappointment.

But you know what's not a disappointment?  This season of Modern Family.  Oh, there have been some missteps (that stereotypical lesbian couple?  Let's not ever mention that again.) and just last night Jay made a homophobic joke ("If you had a man who wanted to pick out strollers with you, you wouldn't have gotten pregnant in the first place" UGH).  But this season seems to be focused more on the individual characters we've developed a relationship with, and less on making lazy jokes about whatever boring archetype they belong to (shrewish wife, trophy wife, nerdy girl, effeminate gay man, etc.).