Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year in Review: TV

I have a book hangover today. I finally gave up on trying to write until I finished reading All Clear, since all I did when I tried to write was stare into space and wonder what would happen next in the book I was reading, so I was wasting that time neither reading nor writing. I finished it at almost 1 a.m. and then had a hard time getting to sleep because my brain was buzzing so much. Then I had weird dreams about the book, so my sleep wasn't restful. But I can now move on and focus on my own writing, even though at the moment I feel rather like a talentless hack. I can also do my year in review for books, but I will save that for tomorrow because I have some data analysis to do and I need to gather my thoughts to report on All Clear.

In the meantime, I'll talk about TV this year. It wasn't a prime year for TV. I think I stopped watching almost as many shows as I started watching, which I suppose is good for uncluttering my schedule on the "add something new, remove something old" principle, but most of the new things I've added fall more into the "well, it's there" category than into the "love it!" category.

New shows for this calendar year in the "well, it's there," category include Covert Affairs and the new Hawaii 5-0. I generally watch them OnDemand later in the week, and if they disappeared entirely, I might not notice unless I got really bored one Sunday afternoon. Human Target is a step outside this category. It's not something I care that much about or am addicted to, but I do enjoy it when it's on and would probably miss it if it went away. The one addiction show for this year for me is Haven on SyFy. I wasn't planning to watch it but watched it OnDemand when I needed background noise for my physical therapy exercises and was instantly hooked. I would have missed this one if it had been cancelled, but it wasn't and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Not new, but new to me this year was Phineas and Ferb on the Disney Channel. I discovered this by accident, and now it's a major topic of conversation among my friends. This seems to be one of those cartoons that's fun for kids but really written for adults.

Doctor Who is in a special category, as it's by no means a new series, but this year was a complete re-boot with a new cast and new showrunner, and the way it is now seems to be custom-made for me. There's so much I love about this take on the Doctor.

On the down side, some former favorites fell off the schedule for me this year. I'd followed House all along, stuck with it through some questionable story arcs, the woobification of House (did we really need to make him such a victim?), the dropping of the old team, the hiring of useless people and even the relationship with Cuddy. But when they hired a third-year medical student for a postdoctoral fellowship, my suspension of disbelief snapped, and I'm done. Meanwhile, I loved the concept of Glee but came to the conclusion that I didn't like any of the characters. NCIS: Los Angeles was never a brilliant show, but it was fun in the first season. I'm not sure what happened this season or why they felt the need to tinker with success, but the last new episode crossed the threshold where it was too annoying to watch. If I hear that an episode was brilliant, I may catch it OnDemand, but it will have to be a really boring Sunday afternoon where I need to drown out the sound of my neighbor's barking dog with the sound of the television so I can work my crossword puzzles before I decide to watch new episodes of this series again. I never liked Stargate: Universe, but reached the threshold where the snark potential wasn't enough to make it worthwhile midway through the second episode after their mid-season hiatus. Now it's been cancelled.

Masterpiece Classic looks like it will have some good stuff this season, and White Collar will be back soon. Otherwise, I may get a lot of writing done.

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