May 20, 2013
TV season summary
With the 2012/2013 television season at an end, it's time to revisit a few of my earlier reviews. The yearly list of winners and losers makes for an interesting commentary about American popular culture.
Elementary improved greatly once Holmes and Watson got past the Lifetime Movie premise (stretching out what should have been pilot episode material for half the season). The question now is if it can avoid getting dragged down by the Moriarty arc.
The "omniscient enemy," as Kate describes it, is a cheat employed by unimaginative writers who aren't as smart as their characters. Alas, "superbad is superboring." It ruined Sherlock and The Mentalist (though the latter still got renewed, barely).
At this juncture, thankfully, Elementary appears to be doing with Moriarty exactly what Person of Interest did with Elias. If so, that's a good thing (though thanks to better writing and Enrico Colantoni, his Elias is a far more compelling character).
Mob Doctor got cancelled early on and deserved it. It was dumb from the start. If Moriarty is too devoid of good ulterior motives to be interesting for anything other than her looks, the Mob Doctor's Grace Devlin was too devoid of bad ulterior motives.
I'd hoped that Vegas would be CSI: 1960, with Michael Chiklis as a Donald Trump wannabee. When it turned into a soap opera and a Sopranos wannabee instead, I stopped watching. So did a lot of other viewers. It got cancelled after one season.
Incidentally, The Sopranos is one of those "high brow" shows I'm convinced people "liked" because they were paying through the nose for it. Call it the sunk cost entertainment fallacy. It was an excruciatingly dull show about thoroughly unlikable people.
This is true about a lot of premium cable content: second-rate stuff tarted up with cussing, nudity, and name actors. I don't object to attractive women taking their clothes off, but basic cable consistently does a better job in the plain old storytelling department.
I was happy to see that Last Man Standing got renewed. It's a grown-up version of Home Improvement. Tim Allen gets to play the smart straight-man instead of the klutzy butt of the joke. It may be the best thing he's done.
I didn't like Arrow and still don't. I've got nothing against vigilante shows but this one leaves me cold. The travails of the mega-rich don't much move me. I wanted to like Beauty and the Beast and never got into it. Both made the cut.
Labels: television reviews