5 Things: 2012/13 TV Season

Firstly let me say how I decide to watch new TV programmes, there are three main criteria I have for it, two of the three have to be met in order for me to watch said new show. Firstly, the synopsis, it has to intrigue me. Secondly, the trailer, it has to hype me up in some way. Thirdly, the actors/writers, if you have done something I have liked before, I will more than likely give it a shot. Also I will watch new shows for a whole season, I know most people watch a few and decide, but I think a whole season is a good benchmark as to know whether or not to carry on watching into the second season (if they get one).

What follows are my 5 favourite shows which I loved last season, and 5 of the shows which I hated watching last season.

The Good

Bates Motel
The show had a following already, people who liked/loved the movies. I had watched Psycho, and knew bits and pieces about it, during the time the show came out, Hitchcock came out in the cinema over here, and it reminded me that I quite dug the movie, so I decided to give the TV show reboot a go. The show was brought into modern day, yet it still had that old school feel to it, just from the general mise en scene about it, so much so that it was a little jarring at times when modern day devices were used by the characters. But the basic premise of the film was there, the mother/son relationship between Norman and Norma. A mother who uses guilt in order to keep her son in line, and a son who just wants to have a connection with a girl who isn’t his mother. The show also brought into the mythology the fact that the town that they move to isn’t just a town, but there is something else seedy and underhanded about it, it added that little bit more intrigue to it. But ultimately it is the relationship between the “protagonists” which drives the show, and something which the actors and the writers have hit the nail on the head with

Orphan Black
I hadn’t heard anything about the show previously, and only really started watching it because it was paired with Doctor Who, after the pilot I wasn’t hooked, but I was intrigued to say the least, but as the episode went on, I just found myself more absorbed into the protagonist’s world, and before I knew it, it was weekly viewing for me. The actress in the show got  better and better as the show went on. The show being about clones meant she had to take on many different characters, but then she started acting as characters who were acting as other characters, and you could still know and see who she was. The show really made you feel paranoid about who to trust, which put you in the shoes of the protagonist, and made you question everyone who wasn’t her.

The Americans
The thing about the Americans, is that it made you feel sympathetic towards “the enemy”. Set during the Cold War period of the 1980s, we follow two “sleeper agents” in America. What I liked about it, was that it was an espionage drama, but at its heart, it was about the two leads starting to fall in love with each other. It was strange, they had been paired all this time, but had only been people living together, living a lie, but as the show went on, we could see a change in them, and the role reversal of the leads, with the man being the more empathic one, and the woman being the hard working emotionless one. The thing about the Americans and Bates Motel, is that we already know what happened, but watching these shows with hindsight, it’s always good to see a different take on it, or show what motivates this characters into what will eventually happen.

The Neighbors
Gotta say, the pilot for this show wasn’t very good, but as it went on, the show found it’s voice. It’s basically a show about human interaction, and shows how we take the little things for granted. From the point of view of Aliens, who point out how we can trivialise the most basic of things. The show started to really find its voice as it went on, and in my eyes became the sleeper hit of last year. It was a show which most people thought would be cancelled fairly early, but it didn’t, not only did it make all the way past mid season, but it finished its run and even got a second season. Something else which I liked about the show, was that it didn’t feel “Hollywood” in a sense, the actors were just normal looking people, and not like something straight off the beach in LA. They were normal looking people who were relatable, something which I think is missing from most shows these days.

Seed
The show reminded me of a French Canadian film called Starbuck, which I really enjoyed, being that the show is Canadian made, the writer has said that he had the idea for it before the film came out. Either way, this was my show which I could switch off my brain, and just enjoy. It wasn’t the best of comedies, but the basic premise of family being who you make it is a sweet one. It also did a great job of juggling so many characters, as well as so many different storylines in half hour episodes week after week.

5 Things Bad

666 Park Avenue
This show kinda was weighed down by trying to make an inanimate object a character, this has worked in the past in Lost and Firefly, but it just didn’t here. It also didn’t really know what it wanted to be. At first it was a little “wish” type show, which granted wishes to people, but then shifted gears to being a story about reincarnation, and hell. It just didn’t really have a running thing going throughout it, maybe if it had stuck to one thing for the season it would have been more consistent, but it tried to put too many storylines which really had nothing to do with each other.

Da Vinci’s Demons
There was only eight episodes of this, and I didn’t like any of them. Much like 666 Park Avenue, it didn’t really know what it was. Was it detective series, or something about Fate? Another side note, was too many male characters who looked to similar, it’s a minor thing, but personally, I couldn’t get into the show because most of the males looked the same, so I was constantly wondering who was on screen, and honestly, apart from the guy who played Leonardo, I couldn’t remember the name of a single other character on the show.

Partners
I honestly think this show was behind on the times. If it had come out during the Friends/Will and Grace period it probably would have done well for a bit, but nowadays, it just felt out of place. The way it was shot, the “feel” of it, and its comedy was just too old school.

Revolution
I REALLY wanted to like this. The premise that everything electrical just stopped was great, and moving it forward some odd years into the future was also good. The thing was, it was just the same thing every week, and most of the time was just boring. They tried to develop characters, they just ended up developing the wrong ones, ones which you couldn’t really root for.

The Following
Again, I really wanted to like this show. Again, the execution was just poor. Because the show was about serial killers, by the time the fifth episode rolled around you knew that you didn’t have to empathise with anyone apart from Kevin Bacon. It took the suspense out. If a new character showed up, you knew they were either going to die, or be a serial killer. There were no surprises in the show, and eventually became more about the serial killers themselves than the lead actor – who if you’re paying lots of money in order to star in it, should have more character than having a pacemaker.

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