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Bill Roper's Journal
The Stupid, It Burns 
24th-Jul-2014 10:45 pm
So let's talk briefly about some of the summer replacement (and leftover from last season) TV that daisy_knotwise and I are watching. Spoilers may abound.

First, there's Under the Dome. This series had some conceptual problems last season, but is currently running way off the rails this season. Last season, there was some logic to the problems being solved. This season, we have blood red skin-burning acid rain that is stopped (quickly!) by adding a bunch of base to the local lake. Uh huh. Right. The stupid, it burns...

Second, we've got Extant. There's less track record here to comment on, but right now, it feels like a ton of bad SF tropes dumped on top of each other. Oh, and a big dollop of mysterious conspiracy, just to keep life entertaining. The one bit of good news is that Goran Visnjic gave up trying to produce an American accent after the first episode.

Halt and Catch Fire is a bit of a slow motion train wreck, but more interesting than some of the alternatives and may manage to stay above water. It may (or may not) help that I lived through this period in the computer industry. :)

Then there are the assorted leftovers that we've watched since the summer began. Let's start with Sleepy Hollow, where the history and theology are just a wee bit questionable. On the other hand, it's an engaging cast and it has been picked up for next year. However, Gretchen is not sure just how much failure she can stand watching, because the protagonists need to keep failing -- despite occasional minor successes -- because otherwise the series ends. Meanwhile, I keep waiting for Ichabod Crane to encounter Elementary's Sherlock Holmes...

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland got canceled and it wasn't too hard to understand why, because it took far too long to get enough back story out for the various characters to make them interesting. It wasn't helped by the fact that the Knave of Hearts was way more interesting than Alice, the putative lead. But it wrapped to a happy ending, since they knew that there was no need to prep for another arc, so that was a good thing.

We're also watching the ruins of the canceled Believe which is also mired in conspiracies and where the stench of stupidity is strong. Gretchen has compared it to The Immortal, except that it's in an era of Amber Alerts and instant communication, which means that the chance of the little girl and her prison escapee father/guardian avoiding detection for any length of time is really low. And when escapee Dad (who doesn't yet know that he's the father) cuts his hair to make him harder to identify, he leaves the cut off hair and the barber's clippers in the sink at a bus terminal, because that way everyone will know that he's changed his appearance. Eep!

All of this is making Hot In Cleveland look really good. It may be silly, but it's a fairly classic sitcom formula with a good cast. And as Gretchen is fond of reminding me, I have a "thing" for Valerie Bertinelli that dates back to One Day At a Time...

I suppose most of this could be classified as good reasons for getting to bed earlier.
25th-Jul-2014 09:29 am (UTC)
Hearing things like this helps me to know I'm not missing much.
25th-Jul-2014 12:16 pm (UTC)
I watched season 1 of Under the Dome. I have not made up my mind yet. I keep things like that on as background noise at work.

I have also gotten caught up on season 1 of Vikings, Falling Skies, and Defiance.

So far they are good enough for background noise, but not enough for me to want to watch again an again like my favorite series.
25th-Jul-2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
I gave up on Believe after every episode turned into a "very special episode" of Believe. That and every episode having the moment of little girl ex machina.

I'm going to start Extant in the next day or so. I have a feeling that I may regret it.

I recommend Crossbones, if for no other reason than John Maklovich's wonderfully eccentric performance, and The Last Ship, which is sort of an 80s style end of the world military drama. I'm really enjoying both.
25th-Jul-2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'm enjoying Halt and Catch Fire. I'm intrigued by the characters, and there's enough truth in the little details to make me happy. (In particular, whoever wrote the "Adventure" episode obviously knows the game well.)

Sleepy Hollow is on my DVR's season record list, mainly because of the characters. While Agents of SHIELD did pick up steam in the latter half of the season, I actually enjoyed SH more.

I gave up on Under the Dome and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland after one or two episodes each. (We do still record and watch the original OUaT.) Haven't watched any of the others you mention.

Hot in Cleveland is still on my watch list, though I tend to fast-forward through some of the more cringe-inducing stuff. The four leads are having so much fun playing off each other that it's infectious. (I also share that "thing" a bit.) And, poor soul, you have just given me a reason to share a horrible pun that I thought I'd never use, because I didn't know if any filkers would be familiar with HiC:

(To the tune, of course, of Seanan McGuire's "Wicked Girls")

Valerie, Betty, and Wendy, and Jane
Hey, Susan Lucci, we're calling your name
26th-Jul-2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
I love the way your mind works.
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