TV-type stuff I liked in 2009

  • Dec. 29th, 2009 at 12:51 PM
crypto: (sarah looks ahead)
One of my favorite things about media fandom is the experience of watching a TV show within a semi-synchronous distributed collective of fans. You know, when half the pleasure comes from watching the show itself, and the other half comes from rushing to refresh your friendslist to see what everybody else thought of the episode. I've been missing that lately, since I'm mostly out of sync with current fannish favorites, and I'm pretty far behind myself on stuff I've been meaning to watch (Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Skins, In Treatment, Sons of Anarchy). Apparently this wasn't my year for serious drama?

So here's what I have been watching and enjoying over the past twelve months, in no particular order except when it is:

Sarah Connor, You're Beautiful, Sea Patrol, Thick of It, Torchwood/Doctor Who, The City, wrestling, Venture Bros. )

Honorable mention:

(actually a pretty strong season this year, and I seriously can't wait until the final season)
Better Off Ted (loved the first season, but the recent episodes have been funny but mostly disappointing)
Battlestar Galactica (sadly not on my favorites list -- and Ron Moore, you know why)
SYTYCD (the Australia series should probably be listed above, except that my memories of it have faded under the onslaught of more recently aired and decidedly subpar U.S. and Canada versions)

Wow, that's a lot more than I thought I'd watched this year. Now I don't feel so bad about falling behind on the serious drama side.


Oct. 6th, 2009

  • 1:53 PM
crypto: (sarah looks left)
So has anyone been trying out Google Wave? I don't have an invite, and after reading Robert Scoble's take, I'm not sure I want one. I can barely manage my inbox in its current form; I'd probably give up completely if it morphed into anything resembling Google 'email on steroids' Wave.

Am I failing at fall TV, or is fall TV failing me? So far I'm underwhelmed by FlashForward, bored by Fringe, and -- there should be a third show here, preferably one whose name starts with an 'F', but I don't think I'm even watching anything else. Not Supernatural, not Dollhouse, not Merlin, and certainly not Heroes.

Meanwhile the ill-conceived fall season of the U.S. version of So You Think You Can Dance appears to be stuck in an endless round of auditions, while the second season of its Canadian counterpart has been somewhat lackluster so far compared to last year. Hurry back, Australian version!

One bright spot: Kristin Cavallari has taken over from Lauren Conrad as the star of The Hills. Now, I have a soft spot for Kristin -- she was great on Laguna Beach, and reminds me of someone I went to high school with -- so it's nice to see her in action again, but the show feels hopelessly contrived now. Lauren was really the emotional center that grounded everything; Kristin's clearly not interested in playing that role, and nobody else can really fill the void that Lauren left. So I'm not sure how long I'll keep watching -- and seriously, who really wants to see Kristin and Audrina spend a season feuding over Justin Bobby?

But to my surprise, the NYC-based spin-off, The City, is actually looking promising. They dumped the boring characters, leaving only Whitney and Olivia Palermo from the original cast, and brought in work-and-friendship conflicts instead of the relationship focus of the first season. I gave up halfway through season 1, but I'm cautiously optimistic that the producers are not only aware of, but aggressively fixing what wasn't working. Also, last week's episode used one of the best songs from Amanda Blank's new album, which is vaguely impressive (or maybe I'm easy to impress).

Today's quote, courtesy of Tiger Beatdown: "Dear Joss Whedon, thank you for your interest in Feminism, but we cannot make any hiring decisions at this time."


crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
Summary: A zealous federal agent played by <insert fantasy casting> heads up a joint FBI/IRS/SEC task force charged with one goal: shut down Leverage and put its principals behind bars for life. As the web closes in on Nate, Sophie, Hardison, Parker, and whatshisname (sorry! you know, the one with the longish hair played by Christian Kane?), they come up with one last, desperate plan: stage a fake alien threat to Earth that will wind up taking down the entire government and throwing the world into chaos and anarchy. But are they really prepared to sacrifice everything -- even their own lives -- to pull off the greatest con in history?

Tune in next summer for a week of Leverage that you'll never forget!

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the internet, Torchwood fans have apparently hatched a devious scheme to overcaffeinate Russell T. Davies. Or something? Because after all, "I think we can definitly show them that a show is meant for it's fans, it's not for writers to inflict what they want on their faithful audience." [link with spoilers for recent TW]

Yeah, I just don't know what to say to that. It reminds me of a segment of soap opera fans and critics who claim that certain producers & network executives are conspiring to ruin their show intentionally with bad writing and casting decisions so that -- actually I don't understand the logic there either. I've seen it suggested that they don't want the fans to get too upset when their favorite shows are cancelled, but I'm not sure why that would justify TPTB putting themselves out of a job?


Dance with me if you want to live

  • May. 27th, 2009 at 7:00 PM
crypto: (sarah looks left)
The tradeoff in eschewing a television set and cable for online TV and torrents is that I don't get to watch most shows until the day after they air. But my fannish circadian rhythm never seems to catch on or up to my delayed circumstances. So I keep looking forward to tonight's So You Think You Can Dance until I remember that I won't be able to watch it until tomorrow night at the earliest.

And I won't be able to watch Sunday's big season finale of The Hills in real time, which somehow feels important. Then again, everybody already knows what's going to happen because it's already happened and been thoroughly dissected in tabloids and gossip websites. It's Lauren's final episode on the show, guaranteeing heartfelt goodbyes and mascaraed tears; Heidi and Spencer get married, this time for real [do I even need to insert 'sic' here?]; Lauren does go to their wedding after all; and Lauren's erstwhile Laguna Beach rival Kristin Cavallari shows up to catch the bouquet, symbolizing her debut replacing Lauren as the show's lead next season. The scripted entertainment concept of being spoiled for the ending seems all too tame and innocent for this deja vu scenario; the genius of The Hills is that it will somehow end up being riveting nonetheless.

In the meantime, I'll have to entertain myself with a delayed viewing of Monday's season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8, which apparently isn't an instructional-aspirational lifestyle show about a couple that likes to throw dinner parties. Instead it's a suburban pseudokink psychodrama.

...I think I'm going to try to read more this summer.


C'mon, why don't you come and see it all

  • May. 3rd, 2009 at 11:59 AM
crypto: Amy Pond (Default)
 I've been in the fannish doldrums since the Sarah Connor Chronicles finale. TV, why hast you forsaken me? And yet I persevere, in search of squee. Last week's field notes:

light spoilers: SYTYCD AU, Chuck, LOST, SPN, Dushkuhouse )

Oh well, better luck this week, maybe?

And I just got two more Dreamwidth invite codes "for the following reason: Thank you for supporting Dreamwidth!" This must be what it feels like to be a Girl Scout during cookie season with a quota to fill -- I haven't managed to give away any of my first set of invite codes yet. What's worse is that I haven't actually done anything to support Dreamwidth.

So: take my invite codes, please! Otherwise I'll be forced to set up multiple journals for myself: cat_of_crypto, crypto_on_politics, crypto_sings_gershwin -- it won't be pretty.