Year-End Review – Pt. 1

It’s the begining of a new year (ok, so it’s already a week into the new year…close enough) and it’s time to examine what I have on my plate both in terms of watching on television, reading in comics, and spending my hard-earned cash on. This isn’t going to be a usual year in review thing…more like a “clearing house” situation for me to analyze what I started the last quarter of the year with, and what I’m still hanging with 4-6 months later. So, to start things off, let’s look at your friend and mine; television.

Now as far as television is concerned, I think I should start from the begining of the Fall Television Season of 2006 and move to now. After all, almost all shows have moved through nearly half their seasons…what better time to analyze why certain shows didn’t click with me, and why certain others I’ve developed a weird familiarity with. We’ll go by day of the week, so let’s start things off with Sunday:

Sunday:

What I Started Watching: Brothers and Sisters, Family Guy, and The Simpsons.

What I’m Still Watching: Nada. Zip. Zilch. A clean sweep I’m afraid. Brothers and Sisters I rapidly lost interest in once I realized it was yet another primetime soap and I was already following better and far too many of those. Plus, Calista Flockhart still scares me a little with that hideously thin body and face. Family Guy just wasn’t as funny as it had been at the begining of the last season, and it was just annoying me at this point, and finally, after Simpsons aired what was probably the most boring Halloween Special ever! I just gave up. I stuck with the show for more years than I can remember but enough was enough and so I bid adieu.

Monday:

What I Started Watching: The Class, Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

What I’m Watching Now: The Class, Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and How I Met Your Mother. That’s right, an already grossly overcrowded night has gained another show. I picked up the first season of HIMYM totally on a whim expecting to get a few laughs and if nothing else, enjoy seeing Alyson Hannigan do what she does best, but somewhere along the way I grew to really enjoy the show; with the quirky characters, the awesome narration by Bob Saget, and some of the funniest one-liners onscreen in a long time. I’ve finally caught up to season 2 and will be watching it weekly starting with next week when it returns from hiatus. The Class is another strange one. I enjoyed it slightly as some people might remember from way back when, but it didn’t really click. Somehow, though the show became a walking, talking, live-action cartoon and I’ve been loving it ever since. Fun show, and always good for a couple of laugh-out-loud moments.

Heroes is the current media darling, but I like it because the creators seem to know what they’re doing (everything does fit together, and the planning inherent in the show’s premise is really paying off) and the actors are doing a damned fine job. Masi Oka is of course a favorite, but I also have been blown away by Hayden Panettiere and Greg Grunberg (in the role that he seems to have been born for). The whole chapters thing also appeals to my serial-following mentality and is a great follow-up for me weaning off comics.

Studio 60 is awesome. I know a lot of people don’t really enjoy it, but it has slowly become one of my all-time favorite shows. Each episode is better than the last, the Danny-Jordan storyline is awesome, and Sarah Paulson has been delightful as Harriet. The Christmas Show was the best episode of the show yet, and I can’t wait till the show returns from hiatus in a few short days.

Tuesday:

What I Started Watching: House, Veronica Mars, Smith

What I’m Watching Now: House and Veronica Mars. Smith, alas, was one of the first tv series of the season to be cancelled outright, which was honestly, a huge tragedy. The series never really got a chance to reach it’s stride and a well-produced, well-acted show just bit the dust. House is, well…House. It’s the same quality tv programming it always has been, and while I can get bored by the medical mumbo-jumbo every once in a while, the acting by Hugh Laurie keeps bringing me back in. Finally, Veronica Mars is an absolutely awesome noir-style mystery show that keeps getting better each week, and having Kristin Bell as the lead definitely doesn’t hurt it. Great show, and I hope the rumours of it’s impending cancellation are just that; rumours.

Wednesday:

What I Started Watching: The Nine, One Tree Hill, Lost

What I’m Watching Now: One Tree Hill, Lost, In Case of Emergency, and Friday Night Lights. The Nine was cancelled, and it was boring the crap out of me anyway, so can’t say I miss it much. It was one of the most promising starts to a series I’ve ever seen, but it just didn’t take, and well, it’s a cutthroat business; not everyone makes it out in one piece. One Tree Hill actually became watchable again after a truly  abysmal first 3-4 episodes. It’s slowly getting back on track, and I’m intrigued by the tentative plan for next season if it gets renewed. Lost is technically still on hiatus, but as soon as it returns, I’m totally onboard. I have loved this season so far; much better than the incredibly mind-numbing season 2, and the new addition of Elizabeth Mitchell is a welcome sight. Friday Night Lights I actually caved and watched a couple of weeks ago during hiatus, and I was…in awe over the awesomeness of it. Kyle Chandler is, as always, awesome. Connie Britton is phenomenal, and the young cast is superb. Extremely well acted, well-scripted, and overall incredibly satisfying show. I sincerely hope the night switch helps it gain ratings, because I really want this show to continue for as long as it possibly can.

Whew….I think that’s it for today. Will do the rest of the t.v. week next time. Then we’ll examine all the comics I’ve dropped in the past 6 months (with review on some books…) and finally we’ll look at some shows that I’ve bought on DVD and will hopefully have seen by the time that post rolls around.

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