We’ve made it to another day-after Thanksgiving, and folks, I am beat. I mean, no offense to the wild turkeys that roam our neighborhood, but this past week, I’ve been running around like a no-headed turkey doing this, that, and everything in between. Now that turkey day is over (and I hope you all enjoyed a good one), I’m relaxing in my warm, comfortable recliner and catching up on a number of TV shows that I’ve lost track of over the past couple months. I’ve seen the stray show here and there, but can now, with a little time off, indulge in a moderate amount of binge-watching to fully get back in the television game. Here’s what’s on my viewing plate at the moment.
Gotham just completed the first half of its first season, and have to say that I…I just don’t know. I want so badly to like it more than I do, but more often than not after watching, I find myself puzzled and confused. In what the show has given the world so far, I see shades of Almost Human (displaced buddy cop elements), the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (nonsensical boredom), and early Heroes (a few stand-out roles). Thankfully, the show has eliminated much of the camp that strained some of its early episodes. (If you’re going to be campy then be campy. Don’t half-ass it in favor misleading everyone.) Unfortunately, the camp seems to have been replaced by blatant overacting, so I’m not sure which is worse. I remain hopeful that the show will find its stride, because when it’s good, Gotham is very good. But when it’s bad, it’s horrible. At this point, I could live with Gotham focusing completely on the Bruce Wayne/Alfred dynamic, as they are both pretty phenomenal characters (and actors). Maybe that’s what it should have done in the first place.
Meanwhile, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to make me happy. The show ran like a beautifully-controlled freight train through its second season with the culmination of a massive storyline around Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s move to the underground. The fact that’s it has rounded into its third season with similar momentum is great. (Although I simply cannot abide Skye’s new bangs.) While I like the somewhat slower pace in storytelling surrounding the obelisk, its World War II origins, and a mysterious city, I’m not quite as engaged. Maybe it’s the lack of nail-biting action, or the change in the relationship between Fitz and Simmons (the show’s true highlight), or that Coulson’s not been his witty self of late. Whatever it is, it’s not enough to make me give up on the show, and I’m glad that it survived its initial growing pains.
Do I dare admit that I kinda like Scorpion? I can hardly believe it myself because the shows rides hard a number of smart-people stereotypes, but goodness is it bizarrely entertaining at times. Without getting to bogged down in all the (bad) details, Scorpion bands together yet another rag-tag team of highly intelligent people who help (and “help”) the FBI solve tech-related crimes. Collectively, and unfortunately, the folks in the group all fall under the Hollywood umbrella of “geeks and/or nerds.” But individually, the cast is quirky, smart, and is as chemically balanced as a tech-based dramady needs to be. Plus, it tackles, if awkwardly, the question of social aptitude when things like autism, introvertedness, disability, and even depression are involved. The show never goes so far as to become an after-school special, but those of us in the geek/nerd realm instantly recognize and identify with the issues that arise. The fact that the show has incorporated a character that “helps the others connect properly with the real world,” doesn’t make for the perfect equation, but as long as that function doesn’t veer into parody, it’s a step in a direction that I’m okay with.
In other news, The Flash has been added to the watching rotation, and I don’t have much to say about it…yet. I like the overall story that’s been presented, and I enjoy watching the young Barry Allen play around with his status as a “meta-human,” but not much else is catching my full attention. Then again, I have a pretty short attention span, soooo… Anyhow, that’s sorta how its big brother Arrow started out. It took a good season and a bit for that show to find its footing. Despite some considerable missteps (Felicity was a great character until they took away much of her backbone in favor of becoming the “pretty one” this season), Arrow remains a very solid and entertaining (if soapy) show.
That should be TV enough for one weekend. And frankly, just about everything seems like filler until (1) I can get around to new episodes of The Walking Dead and (2) the start of the third season of Hannibal some time next year.
What shows have been filling your television coffers lately?
Like what you’ve just read? Cary posts to Geek Force Network every Friday; and you can also find more words that she put together in paragraphs at Recollections of Play, United We Game, and 8bit Kitchen.