Monday, April 23, 2012

What April 23rd Means To Me: A lot of TV

It can be stressful trying to keep up with your favorite TV shows, and it seems like all mine happen to air on Sunday night. Normally, I watch a couple of them on Sunday and spread out the rest over the course of the week like one might with leftovers.  But since I knew I'd be having a busy upcoming few days, I decided to just knock em all out yesterday...which meant five straight hours of TV.  But hey, I was mostly productive otherwise...and, lets face it, I have no life. 


6PM: The Killing:  Last time I spoke of this show, I wasn't too kind.  And it still sucks.  And I still watch it.  Fuck me. Regardless, I'm still bothered by last year's misleading ad campaign that suggested we'd discover the killer's identity in the finale.  In fact, I got bored about halfway through last season, but just wanted to know who the damn killer was.  But since we didn't find out, I'm back for more punishment this year, going through the same bullshit in hopes of being only mildly underwhelmed when the mystery is solved. Per usual, about halfway through last night's episode, I checked meaningless information on my phone, counted the minutes until the laundry was ready, and didn't wait for commercial breaks to pee. The shows holes are, once again, starting to show and, my God, why don't the creators mask the horrible acting by the Larsen kids by, I don't know, not showing them so much?  Oh yeah, and I've lived in the Pacific Northwest, and though it rains quite a bit, it's not showers 24/7. 

7PM: MadMen:  I always found the "scenes from the next episode of MadMen" to be annoyingly pointless.  After all, it's just a string of quick moments that seemingly have nothing to do with each other and give you zero idea of what the next episode entails.  But then it finally hit me:  It's because Mad Men episodes barely have a plot and often amount to nothing if only viewing the show as a serialized drama. Think about it, if the preview for last night's episode centered around Peggy fumbling the bean campaign and Don and Megan going to Howard Johnson's, it would almost seem laughable.  What would the voiceover say? "Next week on MadMen, Peggy spills the beans. ("I think you like this campaign, but you just want to fight!") and Don and Megan share orange sherbert at Howard Johnson's...but Megan thinks it's shit. ("It tastes like perfume!")"  Doesn't quite work.  But I suppose that's the beauty of the show, it wonderfully captures the complexity and horrors of the mundane.  Humans are multilayered creatures that are incredibly faulted, MadMen doesn't need the bells and whistles to explore the dark side we all share.

8PM: The Amazing Race: Who needs cake and cookies when we have the Amazing Race for dessert!  We are down to five teams, four of which who are completely and utterly deplorable, as they navigate their way through India.  For the past few weeks, I've thought that you could make a good drinking game based on how many times Bopper and Mark mention their kids.  And last night's ep was a doozy.  During a challenge in which contestants had to learn a Bollywood dance routine, Mark couldn't nail the choreography and started to wilt under the hot Indian sun.  At first, he saw the insurmountable task as a lesson to his kids about never giving up.  But the more he failed, and fainter he felt, he suddenly switched gears and announced that he needed to take care of his kids, and therefore had to drop out of the race.  As if the only two choices in the matter were 1) finishing the task or 2) dying from heat stroke.  He stormed off the Bollywood set, despite pleas from the dance instructor, spewing something about getting back to his kids much like a wounded soldier on the verge of death deliriously begs to go home.  But after a quick moment in the shade, and some tears shed by both he and Bopper, Mark suddenly switches gears again, citing that quitting was no way to set an example for his kids.  So, he went out there and finished it for his fucking kids.  By the way, I'm not hating on those two, that's the team I actually like, and I hope they win.  But I kinda hope the next destination is Nepal, so Brendan and Rachel can fall off a cliff.

9PM: Game Of Thrones:  Like MadMen, this show makes me feel unintelligent because it's so multi layered and fascinating, and my only reaction to it is to clap like a seal when its over.  There's plenty of commentary to be had about the show, but I'm generally left with nothing but wonderment.  That said, I hope whatever came out of the redhead at the end doesn't kill my Khaleesi's dragons...even though they are a gazillion miles away from each other.  Also, I could watch a spinoff show of Peter Dinklage's character just having conversations.  Sort of like a "My Dinner With Andre."  This is the part where I try to think of a clever title using the word "imp," but something like "Imp My Ride" doesn't quite make sense.  So, I fail. 

10PM: VEEP:  Julia Louis Dreyfus's new show comedy about the life of a Vice President premiered last night, and I'm already 100 percent in. 110 percent.  I'm not sure how to describe this show other than it's non-stop.  Conversations effortlessly segue into new ones subbing multiple, energetic characters seamlessly in and out.  It's hilarious, smart, engaging, and you just can't get enough of JLD...or the girl who was once the star of "My Girl."  I had no clue she was still working.

10:30PM: Girls:  I was a little critical of Girls after their premiere episode, because I thought the show might be trying to make a heavy handed statement on Generation Me, while forgetting to actually make an entertaining show.  Well, my fears have been put to rest.  Unfortunately for me (or fortunately), I watched the three episodes on the HBO Emmy screener, assuming that the 3 episodes featured on the disc were the first three episodes of the series.  Well, they aren't, so I watched two episodes that fall somewhere in the middle of the season, somewhat ruining some plotlines.  But regardless, the show becomes much less of a "statement" and more of a show about 4 quirky, clueless (yet smart) characters navigating a world unique to their generation.  The subject matter that was dealt without subtlety in the pilot, was given a softer hand in episode two.  For example, the idea of Generation Me's indifference to the AIDS phenomenon (Hannah's character excluded) was a perfect way to encapsulate the generation's feeling of invinsibility without pounding us over the head with the information.  The show has a ton of heart and plenty of laugh out loud lines.  I definitely recommend. 

11PM: I fucking went to sleep. 

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