Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shows I Started Watching in 2014

Looking back on 2014, there are three shows that I started watching and have vowed to keep up with. I already follow many television shows, but I just couldn't resist watching every episode of these shows and then nervously waiting the return of new seasons.

Orphan Black deserves more hype. Many of my friends don't watch this show, but they should. The premise is exciting- Sarah Manning discovers that she is a clone and must try to survive once she learns valuable information about who she is. I blew through the 2 seasons of this thriller quickly over the summer. Something happens within the first 5 minutes of the pilot episode that hooked me instantly. The actress Tatiana Maslany is so talented playing clones that I had to google her to find out what country she is from because she does accents so well. Clone Club all the way!

I am expecting any and all Whovians to get upset that I just started watching Doctor Who this year (sorry everyone). I've seen some episodes of Doctor Who over the years, but this year I finally sat down and watched them all in order on Netflix. And man, was I missing out! I started watching over the summer and finished series 7 in December (I took breaks in between some seasons to keep myself emotionally stable after certain Doctors and companions left). I'm working on catching up with the current season. It's just such a clever, fun, and exciting show! The 50th anniversary episode gave me chills. If you're planning on watching it all the way through like I did, my tip is when you get to David Tennant look up his video diaries on YouTube after each of his episodes, they're pretty great. 

Kevin Spacey could not be cooler. Just a reminder, he did this with Jimmy Fallon which I still consider one of the greater moments in 2014. As a major fan of Scandal, I was told that this show was a darker version that showed more of white house politics. I agree, but with an emphasis on the darker. The show does suspense so well and I am legitimately scared of Frank Underwood every time I watch an episode (more scared than I was of DiCaprio in Django Unchained). Robin Wright holds her own in every scene with Spacey. The two of them make me root for a couple that does terrible things which is the best part of the show.

That's my list! Rather short, but there are only so many hours in the day. What are the shows you started watching in 2014? Are you still offended to see Doctor Who here? Let me know!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Shows I Gave Up On This Year

Being a movie buff is fun but difficult to see all the movies you want to while they are in theaters- particularly so many of the good ones out now in time for Oscar season. While I'm still desperately trying to see Into the Woods and Wild, I'm mourning the fact that I still have not seen Birdman, which I'm convinced that I will love, as well as The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Foxcatcher. It's like I haven't seen anything! But I have. There are just a lot of great movies that happened this year.

Being a huge fan of TV is just as bad if not worse. I get hooked on so many shows- and not exclusive categories- I watch dramas, comedies, dramadies, horror, thriller, reality shows, crime shows, and I don't forget about mini-series either. I just got through watching series 7 of Doctor Who on Netflix, which I'll now continue to watch week-to-week now that I've caught up. It just adds so much more to DVR. Of course I would find a way to complain about television being so good right now. My list on Netflix has gotten dangerously long. I've added more shows to my arsenal this year, which I'll talk about in my next post. For this, I wanted to list the shows that I decided to stop recording and call it quits on. It's slightly depressing, but also brought relief because the shows that I drop make room for greater, better written shows.

Shows I've given up on this year:

Revenge started out so well. I've been a fan of Emily Vancamp for years (Everwood anyone?) and the first season was amazing and thrilling with Amanda Clarke masquerading as Emily Thorne and crossing out faces in a picture with red marker. The show had a soap opera quality and in the best way. Towards the end of the 3rd season this spring, I decided to stop watching when everyone on the show seemed like a terrible person with a dark secret and everyone who we thought was dead came back to life again. Nolan's character kept me watching for longer than I should have, and I started to notice that a vengeful show about revenge where none of the characters are ever satisfied was actually putting me in a bad mood. Bye bye, double infinity symbol.

I am the biggest Vampire Diaries fan. It's one of my top recommendations for shows to binge on Netflix. It's fast-paced, full of lore, great actors, and not just another stupid teen vampire thing that you think it is. It's spin-off, The Originals, takes place in New Orleans and I watched the whole first season and did enjoy some of it. As the fall began, I forgot to DVR the show and just let it slip out of my life unnoticed. Maybe I was tired of every witch getting resurrected but I do think that it had more to do with the main characters. Elijah is my favorite, but with Rebekah sent away and Klaus being a type of main character that is borderline evil in one episode and then emotionally vulnerable the next, I got dizzy trying to remember where he stood in the show. If I heard that this 2nd season is amazing, I might revisit it when it is put on Netflix, but so far I haven't heard a peep about it.

I am a huge fantasy fan, but here I am saying goodbye to another supernatural show. This one I gave up on around late spring. My friend made me watch the show's pilot and I was intrigued. For the record, she's still watching it but has some issues with Ichabod's wife. To take the dark and exciting tale of Sleepy Hollow and bring it to modern times while flashing to Ichabod Crane's life during the Revolutionary War was fantastic. The bit that makes it a version of a cop show has turned me off from the beginning, because I think too many of those exist. The supernatural storylines got weirder, and darker, and I dropped the tale of the four horsemen because I didn't love the characters enough or care about seeing the apocalypse.

Oh, the Bachelor. This show just recently premiered, but I made the decision in the summer not to watch this. To be very honest, I generally enjoy watching The Bachelor/The Bachelorette ever since Jake's season. It's my guilty pleasure and I look at it as a great form of entertainment. I enjoy seeing pretty dresses the bachelorettes wear while watching the fame-obsessed ones claw at each other. While I laugh at the weird ones, a few nice ones somehow get under my skin and I find myself actually rooting for love in the last 3-4 episodes. Maybe I've been watching the show too long at this point and need a break. When they announced this bachelor, farmer Chris, I was unenthusiastic. Sure he's cute, nice, all-American and not a psychopath, but I don't think he's particularly charismatic or exciting. I also heard about how all the bachelorettes had to come to the show knowing that if they end up with him, they'll be moving to his farm in Nowhereseville, Iowa, no question. What kind of annoying, non-compromising version of sexism is this? I don't care if a woman chooses to move to a new city or state for her man, but please let it be a shared decision by both of them. I don't like the idea of Chris having more power in these relationships that exist in this situation where he already calls all the shots. There's a lot more sexism that regularly takes place on the show that I overlook for the entertainment factor, but this just got to me. I might go back to the show in a new season, we'll see. I just know that if I watch it now, I'll just get pissed off while watching it.

Shows that are on thin ice this year:

I enjoyed the first season of Reign pretty well. It wasn't as good for me towards the end of the season, but it still had promise. Not as explicit or captivating as The Tudors or The White Queen, but I'm still drawn to this show. Queen Mary's outfits alone are enough to keep me around for another half season.  To it's credit, the show doesn't just skim over bad events because it's on the CW. It has dealt with issues of marriage, war, conspiracy, babies, mistresses, plague, murder, and sexual assault. The show is doing a good job of being darker than last season before Mary was married and she was younger and slightly more carefree. However, the show has a hard time balancing the time taken in episodes to cover issues of ruling and war with the relationships and love interests. Also I'm not a fan of the nobles controlling the king as a legitimate storyline for Francis and Mary's relationship failing. The last few episodes have gotten better, darker, and more interesting. Francis and Mary are in an odd place that I think will be intriguing if it's done well.

This was my first time watching an entire season of The Voice were I voted and continued watching until the very end. The premise is wonderful and it's so thrilling to see the judges turn their chairs around in the blind auditions for artists who have always been overlooked. I liked all the judges this year, but I have to say, I had a problem with the winner. Many may disagree with me, which is okay. The runner up Matt McAndrew (listen to his original single) had so much more promise than the winner, Craig Wayne Boyd. Craig is good, but while his single ended up at #8 on iTunes for a day, Matt's single was #1 for several days. While Craig sang country music, Matt sang alternative music that sometimes had a rock or songwriter edge that public connected to easily. I still don't understand why he didn't win. Get it together America! I don't want this to turn into a show where people vote for whoever is on Blake Shelton's team just because. Don't make this American Idol, vote for whose song you actually bought. So The Voice is now on thin ice while I wait for next season and for Matt to get the check tattoo when he finally gets signed by a label.

There you have it! What are the shows that you have dropped or considered dropping?