Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall TV Preview--What I'm Watching (+ Thoughts on Breaking Bad's final episode)

I've finished my review of the new Fall TV Programming for 2013. I've enjoyed getting it done again and I hope that you've found some fun along the way. (I've even gotten some inspiration for how I will present things in NEXT year's edition, so that is also good news.)

But now I want to let you know what my potential TV watching schedule is going to be for this new season. Naturally, the demands of work--sadly MUCH more so than the demands of parenting--might force me into some alterations of this ideal schedule. But here is what I'm hoping for right now.)

Sunday (cable)

This night has been dominated by cable shows over the past several years and I plan to keep it that way. I finished watching the run of Breaking Bad last night (and have some thoughts . . . see below if you don't care about SPOILERS) and I will pick up with Mad Men when it returns for its final set of episodes. In the meantime, I'll be watching The Walking Dead (but upstairs to keep its away from Lynda).

(If I had premium cable--and I only finagle a free trial run of HBO to catch Game of Thrones, I'd also love to give Masters of Sex a try.)

Monday (CBS, Fox, ABC)

How I Met Your Mother and Sleepy Hollow are my definite shows to watch on this night. Most likely I'll watch HIMYM before I got to bed and maybe, if time doesn't permit, I'll push Sleepy Hollow to a different night. Because Lynda and I also like to watch Castle on Monday night's, and any excuse I can come up with the divert her from working all the time is a good excuse.

Tuesday (Fox, ABC)

My biggest issue on this night is trying to preview New Girl for appropriateness before Sarah can watch it. Depending on how Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. develops, I might try to watch that DVR-delayed with the girls. (They are fans of The Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man, so this might be fun for them to watch as well.) Sarah also likes Supernatural, so I've got to figure that out as well.

Wednesday (NBC, The CW)

Finally, the two weakest networks get on the board and its already mid-week. On NBC, I'll tape Revolution and find some time to watch it before the next week rolls around. But on The CW, I'm totally involved with the Amell brothers who are starring in Arrow and The Tomorrow People.

Thursday (CBS, NBC)

The Big Bang Theory is the main show on this night, along with Elementary--another guaranteed opportunity to get Lynda involved in the TV watching. But I'll be giving The Michael J. Fox Show a try for a while. But it might drop.

What won't be coming back this year? Glee. It should have ended two years ago.

Friday (Nickelodeon)

There is nothing on Friday that I am setting aside DVR time for. I watch Nickelodeon's Legends of Korra on Friday nights. It is not as good as the original Avatar: The Last Airbender was, but its getting better in its second season. (Which is only three weeks old.)

Also, I usually end up watching a movie with the kids on this night anyway.

Saturday (BBC America)

Well, whatever comes. I might be catching up on a backlog of DVR stuff or if I'm lucky Lynda and I might go on an occasional date. But there's nothing here that is appointment TV.

And when it returns late in the year, I'll of course be watching Doctor Who. I just didn't include it here as it is on hiatus.

(People also tell me that I should be watching Orphan Black, and maybe I'll try to catch up with Season 1 on Netflix before the next season begins.)


And now, on to my thoughts on last night's Breaking Bad.

And, no . . . I didn't truly think it was that level of bad. But, it did leave me feeling cold and unhappy--a bit.

And after thinking about it and reading some reviews today (that confirmed what I was thinking, not directing what I hadn't yet thought), I agree that it was all too neat in its precision and in the way that things were wrapped up for the audience.

Sure, we live in a world where if you piss off the fans at the end of a show's run, you get blasted. And maybe Vince Gilligan was a bit afraid of what happened to the Lost guys or to David Chase. But I don't expect Gilligan to ever admit this fear--even if it was mostly subconscious if it was ever there at all. But things had built up to such high heights. (And deservedly so . . . I loved the show like everyone else and was very impressed with how this 5.5 season of eight episodes just kept piling on and on and on without stopping.)

But it was just that build up that made last nights end seem sort of ordinary by comparison. Example--when Walt was standing and saying goodbye to baby Holly, I wouldn't have been surprised if he pulled out a knife and tried to slice her blanket. The scene was so quiet and still, I was conditioned to expect something terrible to explode all around it. I mean, that had happened each of the last four weeks, hadn't it?

But no. All of Walt's plans came together in Hannibal-like precision. But was that how the show had always been? For all of Walt's ingenuity and creativity and ability to imagine meth-cooking complexly, he was always sort of winging his way through it. Sure, he bluffed well. But it was always improvisation mixed with a healthy dose of luck that made his year-long meth ride work. We all loved it so much, we didn't want to really examine where all of the strings were connected, to see if they truly made the picture we thought they should. make.)

And last night, neat as you please, things worked. Walt got what he wanted and ended the way he believed it should. And that was the other thing that bothered me in the end. Walt got what he wanted. And after he inflicted so much pain and suffering upon others (for what he admitted in the end, was all for HIM)--I just felt a bit sad that he got to chose his own ending.

All that said, the show was great. And it wasn't WORST.EVER, I promise.

It just went off like one of Walt's famous cooks--without a hitch and without a flaw. But maybe some flaws should have bumped their way into the mixture? It would have made it more human and less clinical.

1 comment:

David said...

I edited Friday and Saturday to reflect some changes that were reminded to me by some of my readers.
Thanks guys!