These 7 Shows Died On My DVR

Criminal Minds

I used to use Criminal Minds as an example of what you should watch if Lost was too complicated for you. Then I stumbled across A&E reruns. I was hooked. But the show seriously lagged the past several seasons. The writers’ original fear that they’d run out of ways to kill people came true, and the storylines became less and less compelling. It rebounded toward the end of last season, but couldn’t continue the momentum this season. I haven’t watched an episode since at least March.

So what happened? Shemar Moore moved on and Thomas Gibson was fired. There went my two favourite characters. Bringing back Paget Brewster helped, but it wasn’t enough. Reid isn’t intense enough to replace what Hotch and Morgan brought to the dynamic, neither is Luke. Aisha Tyler’s character brings nothing; JJ has never been interesting for me. Rossi’s act as sage of the BAU is also tired.

Then there is Garcia. I’m completely tired of making the tech character an eccentric female, which I find degrading. Blindspot gets it right in this regard and gives the part the respect it deserves. Losing Morgan as her opposite left Penelope over-exposed and it’s just too much.

What would get me back? I’d still love to see a storyline that has the team get a case wrong. Shemar isn’t coming back, neither is Gibson. So unless they pull a Christopher Meloni out of their hat Minds and I have come to an end.

S.W.A.T.

Speaking of Shemar Moore, I have to admit this one hurts. I liked SWAT, and of course I love Shemar. The show deserves credit for at least trying to be more than a shoot-em-up cop drama, and I really liked the story with Street’s mom. But as time got tight, I wasn’t keeping up. It’s sat there waiting since February.

Maybe I’ll catch up if I ever have the spare time and buy CBS All Access. I’m sorry Shemar.

The Crossing

I made up my mind on this one long before ABC canceled it. Whenever I wish Lost would have focused more on the mysteries, along comes a show like The Crossing to remind me that characters matter most. The Crossing made virtually no attempt at character-based storytelling.

It’s mystery was interesting. People from the future somehow coming back in time to escape whatever hell the future brings. But the execution wasn’t there. And no offense to Steve Zahn, but I can’t take him seriously. I wasn’t a fan of Mad Dogs, but that might have been the perfect role for him.

The Resident

Honestly never even watched this one. I hope Emily Van Camp does well.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us

This is just a factor of time. I have five episodes stored and doubt I’ll get to them. It’s a very enjoyable show that I encourage you to watch.

I did have a plan to blog about it. If you watch closely, the people behind Penn & Teller change from act to act. P&T’s clothes never change, neither do Alyson Hannigan’s. I think what happens here is they tape the entire season in one day, then edit the acts together so one of them fools P&T in each episode. I was going to do a photo essay breaking all this down, but ran out of time. Sorry.

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Africa is fascinating, so I taped this whole series from PBS. It’s interesting. But tbh I only turn it on when I know I’m gonna fall asleep.

Man With A Plan

I saw this show in person. It’s 10 times more funny in person. There are half a dozen or so episodes stacked up and I’ll blow thru one now and then. But it’s not good enough to make a priority.

 

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Scattered Thoughts: The Blacklist, 911, This Is Us and More

The Blacklist

I was so excited by the direction The Blacklist appeared to take in the season premiere. It looked like we were going to get a season of the dashing, fun Reddington we got in the first few seasons. Instead, we got the odyssey of killing Tom Keane. Great, that was a nice arc. But in like two episodes Reddington had all his money and cars and houses and suits back. WTF? We’e seen the Aida Turturro character what, two times?

Tom’s death was well done, and I enjoyed how the storyline played out. Less so the second half of the season with Liz trying to find his killer. Yawn. So let me offer an alternative arc:

  • The first half of the season is Reddington rebuilding his network. Starting from the hotel in the premiere and ending with him regaining his status at the mid-season finale.
  • The second half of the season is Tom’s death. Maybe Tom did something to help Reddington that led to someone wanting him dead. Maybe Reddington’s re-ascension came at Tom’s expense. Who knows.

I think this would have been a better path than such a quick return to the same The Blacklist that had grown so stale in previous seasons.

What I finally settled on as The Blacklist’s real issue is this: It has two main characters. Is it about Liz or is it about Raymond? Their relationship is the center of the show, but I think it also means the show is quick to bore.

Blindspot

Blindspot gets a little ridiculous sometimes when they’re putting together clues from Jane’s tats. Run these numbers through a random code, combine them with these numbers put in a circle, multiply them by pi—BAM!—found a bad guy. It’s a little much, but still fun. I’m glad they shipped Weller’s kid off to Denver.

I love Patterson. TV is too quick to make its technophiles into absurd caricatures (looking you, NCIS and Criminal Minds). Blindspot didn’t. Patterson is an integral part of the show and the FBI team. The show deserves credit for treating her like a brilliant professional. I loved the style and content of the Patterson-focused episode this past week.

But she should have died. As much as I like the character, I was surprised to find myself wishing she would walk into the elevator. It would have been a wonderful ending to a character that the show has given so much heartbreak.

Blindspot has handled itself very well in its third season. It’s not easy for shows to pivot away from their main storyline. The Ronan character is strong enough to be the main thorn in Jane’s side, and I expect that storyline will get most of the visibility for the rest of the season. It should be a good one.

This Is Us

I strayed a little from my “Don’t analyze this show” mantra after the over-done trilogy ended the first half of the season. It’s been dynamite since it came back. Except for last week. I don’t know what made anyone think we want a whole episode about Deja. But I do agree with the producer that NBC deserves credit for not intervening when the second-to-last episode of the season left out two-thirds of the main cast.

Remember last year when the penultimate episode was soooooo great and the finale was sooooo meh? Hoping for the opposite this year.

Y&R

When did Sharon enclose the porch on the ranch house? And come to think of it, why is Sharon still living in her ex-husband’s house on her ex-husband/ex-father-in-law’s property?

Goodbye, Chelsea. You were great with Adam but unfortunately the show let you die on the vine until you weren’t much more than someone who smiles at Nick.

Nick, you’re a brat. If they made posters of spoiled rotten rich kids, you’d be in them. You hate your father, but you love his money. Oh no wait you gave away all your money. Now you’re doing low-income housing. Sorry, that’s Randall and Beth Pearson’s gig. And your bar burned down. TWICE. My god you’re pathetic at adulthood.

I root harder for Nick & Sharon than I do for myself.

Ashby kids, you’re annoying. If my DVR had AI capabilities it would learn that I fast-forward through all your scenes.

Noah, sorry you were only good for being bad at having girlfriends. I wish they’d have done more with you, you could be a nice conflict between your father and grandfather.

I don’t care about The Hillary Hour. At all.

Nikki, that was kinda hot when you ran off with Nick’s contractor. You go!

9-1-1

It’s gotta be pretty bad for a show set in L.A. to not get my enduring affection. But 911 achieved it. Wow was this show bad. I quit after the plane crash episode. Not because the plane crash was poorly done (it wasn’t). But because this show has nothing other than emergency porn to keep your interest. The guy with rebar through his head? Come on.

The only thing worth watching about this show was the phone relationship between Connie Britton and the horny firefighter. That was awesome, but not awesome enough to keep watching. Peter Krause is terrible. Angela Bassett is terrible. So bad.

SWAT

Hey there, Shemar Moore. I’m sure SWAT is a totally unrealistic portrayal of an actual SWAT team. But it’s an entertaining hour nonetheless. The relationship between Shemar and his boss is a little forced, and the show’s attempt at addressing societal controversies is not quite ambitious enough to cram into one episode the way it tries to do.

The best character is probably the hot-headed young kid. It’s fun to watch him mature. I also really like the way they handled the story with him hitting on his co-worker who turned out to be bisexual. A show with no merit (hello, 9-1-1) would have drawn this out and probably given us at least one steamy sex scene. So kudos.

Jeopardy

Lee is a titan. If he qualifies for the Tournament of Champions, lookout. The dude was rarely wrong. Rachel also deserves credit for out-slugging him to start her run. She went on to benefit, I think, from some weak competition. This little banker twerp was pretty good, too.

Roseanne

I generally lament TV remakes (SWAT included, in this respect) because they make me afraid this great era of TV is running out of steam. So why am I curiously interested in watching Roseanne?

Africa’s Great Civilizations

This has been airing on the PBS lately. It’s pretty good.

Penn & Teller: Fool Us

More to come on this show. 😉

The Man In The High Castle

WHEN IS SEASON THREE HAPPENING FINALLY?

Bosch

Season four due out in April. Bosch isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s a solid and enjoyable show. Doesn’t hurt to have Man in Black, Matthew Abadon and a house with the most gorgeous view imaginable.

House of Cards

The more time goes on, the less interested I am in the upcoming season. What if the show just ends with President Claire declaring that it’s her turn? I think that would be fine, and also somewhat fitting. Kevin Spacey’s character is deposed, out of the power he’s enjoyed for decades. Replaced by the woman he manipulated for so long.

I normally don’t like it when TV pierces the screen to mirror real life events. But that would have been perfect.