[TV] TV So Far

The fall season is on us and so far I’ve managed to catch a few old series and some new ones.

Castle was the one I was really looking forward to seeing (aside from The Mentalist) and because of that, I don’t think it lived up to the hype I created for myself. It was a good show, but I wasn’t keen on Beckett seeming shaken. I suppose it makes sense but it didn’t sit right. They make a point of noting she’s fearless and headstrong, likely to charge into the case of her mother’s death without concern of who it could impact but she’s shaken.

The scene on the swings was a little less than I expected – the whole ‘wall’ discussion was something I’d expect from a teenager and was a really quick way of putting the relationship on the back burner. Castle’s interactions with his daughter weren’t what I liked in previous interactions, it was more serious and put her in the position of authority. I made sense – she loves her father and doesn’t want him to be at risk and it’s the sort of reaction you’d expect. I suppose without it, it wouldn’t seem as real a relationship. I think the position Castle is in with knowing that they’re not coming after Beckett again unless she keeps digging but having to hold Beckett back without her knowing is

Overall the initial tone of the show wasn’t what I previously enjoyed in Castle episodes however, it drifted back into what I found interesting later in the show. The murder case for that episode fell to the wayside for the majority of the show – it was a pretty obvious one. As soon as the band member chimed in with the “He was looking for money to leave town,” comment, I knew it was him. It was too leading and damning – not the sort of thing you’d say about a friend so open and willingly unless you didn’t care about said friend.

I think my main beef about it was that it didn’t have the same feel as the previous season’s opening episode – which was tentative and comical. There wasn’t as much comedy in it and less focus on the case at hand which is mostly what I enjoy. It was too somber initially – understandably so.

If you’re a watcher of the show you’ve seen the morbid excitement Castle has when he gets a call from Beckett and their is a murder? That’s sort of how I feel – the show doesn’t start until that call comes. As I said, it ended on a better note.

Esposito, Ryan and Laney are still top notch and I enjoy them. I miss Montgomery and I’m not too keen on the new Captain which means she was doing her job right. I do see her lightening up a little near the end thanks to Esposito and Ryan’s antics but we’ll see.

I still like the series and expect it to get back to more of what I enjoy next week – given the previews, the insensitive, “OMG did he just say that?” type humor will be back.

Hawaii Five-O was what I expected from it. A little bit of a rushed recovery as they quickly cleared McGarret of murdering the Govenor. I still watch this because it’s entertaining in an action-packed sort of way with less thought required. I don’t have much to say about it – it’s more of the same. Nice scenery, quickly resolved cases, cool car, action and a little bit of drama. Admittedly, I don’t have a lot of investment in the show, it’s more of a watch and see what happens, less of a figure it out type show – at least that’s how I view it. Still, I do want to see it.

Camelot is new show (though I heard it aired already in the U.S.?) which had an interesting opener. I can’t help but feel it’s appearance is due to A Game of Thrones and its success on HBO. Still, it’s a more grown up take on the Arthur tale. I do like the selection of actors and presentation of the story is an good spin.

Some of it seems a little forced (killing of Arthur’s adopted mother) or small scale (the fact that Lott was there with a handful of ‘troops’). The attack on Camelot seemed a little weak with very few people in a tight area. The killing of Lott and the adopted father of Arthur seemed a little too weak. I understand it was supposed to be a show of vengeance empowered rage that the father fought on rather than fell, but it reminded me too much of scenes from other movies usually where evil and seemingly invulnerable creatures pull themselves along a weapon that has skewered them.

Having watched the second episode it does get a little more gritty and the adult content escalates a little – still mostly boobs and butts – with the implication of open sexual acts including sex as a tool for dominance (borderline rape though that implication is lessened when Morgan tells Lott to go ahead and do it). The speech given by Arthur was alright, I think they emphasized what needed to be emphasized. The impending love triangle seems a little early. It seems like they’re rushing to the juicy parts of the story very quickly.

I’ll continue to watch it as it’s interesting, has nudity (yay!) and it’s one of the few ‘fantasy’ type shows currently in my line up.

Speaking of fantasy and nudity, I also took a look at The Playboy Club which didn’t contain much in the way of nudity but there was some ‘adult’ content. This one seems to be more of a drama type than anything else. The main characters appear to be a lawyer and two bunnies that are somewhat involved with the lawyer (one being his ex-girlfriend because of a misunderstanding around the presence of the other). I don’t really know the history of Playboy (I mostly just looked at the pictures) so I’m not familiar with the veracity of the “gentleman’s club” idea. It appears to be in line with what it could be, though not entirely what I’d imagine.

I don’t expect to follow this much longer than another episode to confirm it’s simply going to be a drama. That doesn’t really entertain me but I could see how others might enjoy it for the setting in time, performances and the running story.

Unforgettable is another show involving homicide with a haunted (and hot) red-headed lead who has a condition that allows her to remember everything. She’s able to sift back through her memories and view any aspect of them. The show manifests this as her appearing to watch herself and observe the surrounding area to pick out details (this confused TheWife who asked if she had a twin – in her defense I was giving her a neck massage so she wasn’t paying full attention to the show). This lead was in law enforcement previously and involved with the male lead in the past. She has a dark spot in her memory around her sister’s death. It’s the one thing that eludes her and her obsession with the case put a wedge between her and the lead male character.

I’m noticing a trend and wonder if this will go the route of shows like Shattered (where he finds his missing son who his alternate personality hid away safely) and Life where the show comes to an end with the season finale. It’s interesting, but I don’t see it having staying power.

I just finished watching two Big Bang Theory episodes which killed me. I laughed so hard I started coughing and woke up the LBO and LLO. The chair? Hilarious. Paintball sacrifice? Giggle worthy. The scene with Raj and Howard… creepy.  Leonard’s expression was pretty hilarious. The show gets right back into the funny and it’s a good range of funny.

Charlie’s Angels is much like Hawaii Five-O, it’s action packed, somewhat glamorous and not overly deep. First show starts out with one of the Angels getting killed by a car bomb (which was pretty obvious – you don’t draw out a scene where the main characters are going separate ways with one of their vehicles in the background without viewers expecting something to happen. I guess you can say it is familiar and predictable – more so than most shows. I like the guess who did it even take a stab at why, with this show I can predict what is coming next.

Cases seem plausible enough, nothing out of the ordinary just yet – unlike the remake movies which were quite silly. It definitely requires you to suspend disbelief, but not on a grand scale. For example, they managed to kidnap a woman despite her having bodyguards who weren’t present at all. Humor is somewhat mild but present.

I might view another show or two, but I don’t see myself ‘missing’ a show if I miss a show.

I also watched the season premier of The Mentalist. I was considering which way they’d go with the whole Red John thing and the murder, prison and trial bits. It delivered and wrapped up that aspect of the show in one go. The play on whether Jane was crazy or not was great. The resulting investigation was good. There was definitely something wrong with the wife of “Red John” because there is no way a sane person could handle seeing the killer of their spouse. Ending it with Jane suggesting it wasn’t Red John was interesting and one of the early clues in the show revealed that. Someone orchestrated removing the gun and the cell phone that received the call from the FBI agent. Big hint there.

My feeling about the director of the CBI still stands. I think there might be something there; his aggression towards Jane, reciting the first parts of the William Blake poem and some of the other things that just don’t add up about him. I don’t think he’s Red John, but I think he’s a possible plant – another chess piece.

A good episode, it stretched a few scenes but not too thin. Overall, enjoyable and I’m looking forward to this season.

Lots of good shows and even more decent ones. Is this the return of real actors, writers and scripts? Death to reality TV? I hope so!

(Except Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares – love that stuff!)