Sunday, November 6, 2011

TV Party Tonight

Even since cable channels figured out they could air shows like HBO, television got way more interesting. The issue I have though, is that I never remember when certain shows come on during the week. I do enjoy certain television shows, and do my best to catch them when they are on.

Television, I believe, has outdone Hollywood and movie making, and I point to subject matter as proof. While Hollywood is busy remaking classic films like The Clash of the Titans, Straw Dogs, Flashdance, and the Crazies, television studios are making pretty amazing film quality series with original content, characters, and plotlines. Some are better than most new movies. A few shows I enjoy follow...

This showed premiered in September, 2008. Another in a long line of FX original shows, Sons of Anarchy could be said to be a spin-off from The Shield, however there are no connecting episodes, and no main characters from either show cross over. This show has romanticized the MC gang culture, and actually gang and organized crime culture in general. The third season ended a three season story arc, and the fourth season promises to begin another multiple season story arc. This show goes further than The Shield to create anti-heroes. There are no true good guys. Not only are the main protagonists criminals, gun runners and felons, but the law enforcement is also severely compromised. Each episode has moments of surprise, revulsion, and edge of the chair action, ending with me wishing I didn't have to wait for next week for a new episode.

First aired in September 2005 and has run for 7 seasons, some may say this show saw success mostly due to school girl crushes over the two main characters. I would like to think it has more to do with the nature of the subject matter. Two dudes creep around and hunt monsters, demons, and other equally scary things. Eventually they get mixed up in the second coming of the devil and perhaps the beginning of Armageddon. In retrospect, the theme of characters selling their souls to save other characters repeatedly gets tired. And none of the characters seem to resolve their issues or grow and change between seasons. However, despite this, the show continues to be fun to watch.

One of a long list of Sci-Fi (Syfy) network's original shows, Warehouse 13 premiered July 7, 2009 and shares the same universe as Alphas, and Eureka which are both on the same network and have characters that crossover between the three shows. Warehouse 13 is about a government installation much like the warehouse shown at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The characters seek out objects of supernatural origin and add them to an already vast archive of similar dangerous artifacts. The main characters mirror the male/female partners duo made famous by X-Files and copied by other shows like Bones, and Fringe. The supporting cast is pretty good, and the entire show has an X-Files, MIB, Indiana Jones type of feel to it, even though the majority of the episodes follow a similar pattern. Most of the time the warehouse hears of strange occurrences, goes to find a new artifact, it gets complicated, but in the end they prevail and neutralize the danger. This doesn't matter however, the show is still interesting, clever, and fun to watch.

This show debuted on the BBC in 2006 and I watch it through Netflix. This particular version of the Robin Hood legend walks the line between gritty, serious period piece drama, and campy family fun romp through the forest. The Sheriff of Nottingham is an evil, sociopath bent on taking England in a coup with shadowy partners. Robin Hood is a jaded peacenik veteran of the crusades and has surrounded himself with the usual merry men of Little John, Will Scarlet, and Allan a Dale, with Much the miller's son bringing comedy relief, a saraqcen girl named Djak joining the gang in season 2, and Friar Tuck introduced in season 3 to round out the legendary gang of outlaws. Marian is played very well by Lucy Griffiths, however, she is replaced by Joanna Froggatt in the 3rd season. Sometimes I feel like the show leaves much to be desired, especially after seeing the Russel Crowe version in theaters, but it is definitely an improvement over the Robin of Sherwood series from the 1980s.

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