Doctor, doctor, give me the news

23 02 2017

Well, that’s been disappointing.

I’d loved the first half-season of Code Black, loved its bitterness and edges and the stumbles into sorrow, loved Marcia Gay Harden and Luis Guzmán and Raza Jaffrey and the adorably cynical Kevin Dunn. It slackened as the season went on, lost Dunn, softened up a bit, but it was still good, reminiscent of early E.R. and St. Elsewhere.

This season, uck. Harden’s tough-ass doc has melted into goo, and the über-obnoxious surgeon Will Campbell (Boris Kodjoe) has, of course, been revealed to have a heart o’ gold. Jillian Murray’s Heather Pinkey managed to hang on to some of her attitude right up to the moment they killed her off.

And Rob Lowe? Don’t really hate him, but his soul-wounded army doc character is a bit of a bore.

None of this means I’ve stopped watching it—I’m still watching Criminal Minds, for chrissakes—but it went off right quick.

~~~

I’m not really watching The Blacklist anymore, although I’ll probably dip in to watch the current season once it hits Netflix. I still enjoy James Spader enormously, but I just can’t get over that his objet d’art, Elizabeth, just. . . really isn’t any good at her job.

Still, I’ll probably take a peek at The Blacklist: Redemption when it airs.

~~~

Watched the first season of Breakout Kings, which is basic and fine in the best possible way; second season TK.

Watched a few episodes of Containment, which has been compelling, if not exactly enjoyable.

Two episodes into  Travelers, which, we’ll see. I mean, I’ll think I’ll like it (presuming it doesn’t go to shit), and it is nice to catch all those Canadian actors.

Gotta be better than The OA, of which I saw 2? 3? episodes? I don’t know why I watched even the entire premiere.

~~~

Still haven’t gotten all the way through Person of Interest. I really like this show, but knowing that things are going to get very bad. . . well, I just can’t handle that right now.

Conversely, I don’t think I’ll be re-watching any of The West Wing. Yes, it was a fantasy and yes there were some truly, truly awful episodes and story arcs, but man, that was a hell of a cast, and CJ and Toby were two of the best characters ever to walk and talk. Anyway, can’t watch (the honestly not-that-great) Bartlett in the t.v. White House knowing who’s in the DC version.

No, my comfort watching of late are the crew from Leverage. Nate and Sophie and Eliot and Hardison (“Dammit Hardison!”) and Parker (Parker!) are exactly who I need to get me through.





Another one bites the dust

15 03 2014

I am an extremely lazy television viewer.

Not in the sense of not moving from the t.v. my external monitor, but in that I’d rather watch old shows over and over again than deal with the uncertainty of new shows. I watch to unwind, not get wound up.

There’s nothing wrong with such inertial sensibilities, at least as regards t.v. (and, it must be said, movies), but it does tend toward staleness. Thus, the only way to expand the comfortable old choices is to watch some new stuff.

Eureka worked out; Fringe did not. I’ve liked most of Waking the Dead, at least what’s available on Netflix, but it does seem like it headed toward MI-5 kill-everyone melodramatic cynicism. (Wallender is all right, tho’ a bit predictably dreary; don’t know that I’ll be revisiting that one, tho’ I may watch new episodes.)  And I’ve got some ‘new’ shows in my queue— Battlestar Galatica, Orange is the New Black, Top of the Lake, and a coupla’ other Brit-drams—which I’ll get to. Eventually.

Oh, and Leverage? Big enthusiastic fist-bumps for Leverage! Yes, formulaic and cartoonish, plot-wise, but since the show doesn’t take itself too seriously and the characters are witty and human and weird, well, big enthusiastic fist-bumps for Leverage!

So, anyway, another new show I was watching was Agents of SHIELD. I thought Thor was dumb, haven’t been interested in Iron Man/Captain America/The Hulk, zipped through an awful lot of the Avengers, and I have never been nor am I now a Marvel or DC Comic geek. (I only know about that distinction because of what I’ve read on TNC’s blog.) Still, sci-fi, strange tech: I could be up for it.

And so I watched. Some episodes I liked, some I didn’t, but I wasn’t so bothered as to stop watching. It was kind of mediocre, but I wasn’t so invested in the Marvel world that any plot problems really bothered me. It was slow in bringing everything together, but what the hell.

Well now I’m at to-hell-with-it. No, it wasn’t the poisonously oblique plot lines or the rushed intensity of the characters relationships to one another.

It was the beatings. The torture.

I’m not generally bothered by onscreen violence, and there isn’t overly-much in AoS—the expected battles of good-vs-bad guys—nor its it terribly graphic. That’s fine.

What’s not fine is the good guys beating the shit out of people they have in custody and having that be okay.

A few episodes ago Good-Guy Ward got the information he needed from a perp by threatening to have him sucked out of the plane.

This was not a problem for any of the other Good Guys.

In a more recent episode, another suspect was beaten (the Good Gal beating him was only stopped because she was needed elsewhere), then threatened with having his tongue pulled out and sundry other torments by yet more Good Guys.

Again, not a problem for the Good Guys. Which pretty much makes them not-Good Guys.

(I keep hitting the wrong key and typing “Good Goys”. Which, I guess, most of them are. Goys, I mean. Definitely not Good.)

This wouldn’t be a problem for me if this were all somehow to demonstrate the shadiness of the Good Guys and the moral peril involved in trying to be Good while sometimes doing not-Good. But that’s not how it’s set up: we’re supposed to cheer how bad-ass our Good Guys are.

Fuck that.

The Clairvoyant is bad because she (and, c’mon, she’s gotta be a she) engages in the crudest form of ends-justifying-the-means consequentialism. SHIELD has put the earth in danger and thus can’t be relied upon; someone else is gonna do what’s gotta be done to protect the joint.

Which makes her different how, exactly, from the Good Guys? Why shouldn’t I take her side?

Screw ’em all; I’m done.

So now I have space for another show. Maybe Friday Night Lights? Or how about Breaking Bad? At least we know (almost) everyone on that show is bad, right?





The Sneakers theme

30 11 2013

Are you watching Leverage?

You should be watching Leverage. Good actors, good characters, good dialogue, good humor, good-hearted (if sometimes sketchy, somewhat schematic) plots.

And capers! It’s a caper show! Yay capers!

Streaming on Netflix. G’watchit.