January 23, 2013

Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: A fond farewell to Fringe

Watching the concluding two episodes of Fringe last week was both a sad and wonderful experience. I was glad to see this show get a proper finish but disappointed it had to end. Thankfully, they did a just and proper farewell with its final season.

I was thinking back to when Fringe started, and then over the course of its memorable, original run. What struck me was how this show really felt like a journey. We got these incredible stories that took these three characters (and the great actors that played them) of Olivia, Peter and Walter (along with Astrid and others) into the extremes of science, parallel worlds and future incarnations of the human race, and did so with this central theme running through it, what would you do for the ones you love? That question shaped and influence what they went through, and I cannot recall a show doing this so well through so many far out ideas. By the end of their battle with the Observers, I felt like we had the conclusion to this journey. And though it left it open for other to take place in the future, this part was done and we were all the more blessed for being part of this creative and thrilling piece of television. Oh and it was pretty awesome to pop back into the Red-verse again!

Season five produced some great episodes and great moments. The scene that has stuck with me most though was that which finished the season premiere ‘Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11’. A despairing Walter venturing outside into the comparative wasteland of this future world. There he would find solace in music, a huge part of his life, and that hopeful flower sprouting out of the ground. The choice of song (Yazoo’s ‘Only You’) felt utterly perfect. A great song about love the soundtrack to this extraordinary story about love. As Walter himself once said: “I think I shall miss them, more than I imagined”.



January 23, 2013
Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: The conclusion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
The last time I was writing on here back in August I was just into season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, talking about ‘Once More With Feeling’. I have since finally caught up with the rest of the world and watch the rest of the show too. By the end I was sad to have finished these adventures with Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies (does Spike count as one?). I thought the last two seasons of the show were great, especially the last one. It must have been hard to find ways of raising the stakes (no pun intended) each year after Buffy and her friends stopped one big bad after another. But the storyline with the resurgence of The First suitably did that, and while the finale felt a little rushed I felt on the whole they wrapped up this great show excellently. I was behind the times on this one but I was glad to finally catch up.
I’m still in the process of catching up with Angel, and am now on the final season of that show. I don’t know how it is going to play out in the final half of that run, but the twist of giving Angel Investigations the keys to Wolfram & Hart was a great twist. One that seemed to take it in a necessary different direction after the events of seasons three and four (Angel’s son is Pete Campbell!). It was great to see Spike turn up, as well as another Buffy alum in the form of the very funny Andrew Wells. The return of Lindsey McDonald too wasn’t something I expected, and the way they involved the much lamented Doyle in that as well as Cordelia’s brief, heartbreaking but much welcome return was done nicely too. I’m looking forward to seeing how things conclude.

Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: The conclusion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel

The last time I was writing on here back in August I was just into season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, talking about ‘Once More With Feeling’. I have since finally caught up with the rest of the world and watch the rest of the show too. By the end I was sad to have finished these adventures with Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies (does Spike count as one?). I thought the last two seasons of the show were great, especially the last one. It must have been hard to find ways of raising the stakes (no pun intended) each year after Buffy and her friends stopped one big bad after another. But the storyline with the resurgence of The First suitably did that, and while the finale felt a little rushed I felt on the whole they wrapped up this great show excellently. I was behind the times on this one but I was glad to finally catch up.

I’m still in the process of catching up with Angel, and am now on the final season of that show. I don’t know how it is going to play out in the final half of that run, but the twist of giving Angel Investigations the keys to Wolfram & Hart was a great twist. One that seemed to take it in a necessary different direction after the events of seasons three and four (Angel’s son is Pete Campbell!). It was great to see Spike turn up, as well as another Buffy alum in the form of the very funny Andrew Wells. The return of Lindsey McDonald too wasn’t something I expected, and the way they involved the much lamented Doyle in that as well as Cordelia’s brief, heartbreaking but much welcome return was done nicely too. I’m looking forward to seeing how things conclude.

January 23, 2013
Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: Being Erica for the last time
It took its time in reaching these shores, but the fourth and final season of Being Erica was a most satisfying conclusion to the journey of Erica and Dr. Tom. This show wasn’t always great, but in its rockier moments was always steered through by the performances of Erin Karpluk and Michael Riley. These two really were terrific, their chemistry fantastic and by the end, with their tearful farewell, it had well and truly been earned.
Season three had been my favourite as it really went into the worlds of this show, and upped the stakes with Erica’s move into group therapy and then this final year kept that going with her progression to becoming a doctor herself. The introduction of Adam (Adam Fergus) and Erica and Julianne’s (Reagan Pasternak) move into building their own company helped really lift Being Erica for me, taking it from a good show to one that was genuinely something I looked forward to watching. The series finale itself was a good’n. The completion of Erica and Dr. Tom’s journey was a sad but hopeful one. That Sarah Wexler became Dr. Erica’s first patient seemed so right, that Erica would now help the daughter of the man who turned her life around.

Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: Being Erica for the last time

It took its time in reaching these shores, but the fourth and final season of Being Erica was a most satisfying conclusion to the journey of Erica and Dr. Tom. This show wasn’t always great, but in its rockier moments was always steered through by the performances of Erin Karpluk and Michael Riley. These two really were terrific, their chemistry fantastic and by the end, with their tearful farewell, it had well and truly been earned.

Season three had been my favourite as it really went into the worlds of this show, and upped the stakes with Erica’s move into group therapy and then this final year kept that going with her progression to becoming a doctor herself. The introduction of Adam (Adam Fergus) and Erica and Julianne’s (Reagan Pasternak) move into building their own company helped really lift Being Erica for me, taking it from a good show to one that was genuinely something I looked forward to watching. The series finale itself was a good’n. The completion of Erica and Dr. Tom’s journey was a sad but hopeful one. That Sarah Wexler became Dr. Erica’s first patient seemed so right, that Erica would now help the daughter of the man who turned her life around.

January 23, 2013
Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: The sitcom four
Anyone who has happened to check out this page before may know there are a few sitcoms I’m particularly fond of. Parks and Recreation has come back into its fifth season on top form once more. The Middle continues to be one of the most underrated shows around, and this its fourth year has got even better. It is probably as funny as it is ever been, and seeing the progression of the Heck family in the hands of the show’s wonderful actors has been a genuine treat that so many are missing out on.
Season eight of The Office was definitely hit and miss, sadly probably more miss. It was a show I still enjoyed watching, but there were some weeks it was sad to see not being so good at all. It has been a wonderful relief to see it hit its ninth and final year back on good form. And it really has been good. Not only does it feel like this is real development with these characters as we head to its conclusion, it has also been rather funny. The addition of Clark (Clark Duke) and particularly Pete (Jake Lacy) has played a big part in reinvigorating things, especially the latter’s developing relationship with Erin. I’m sad this show is going to finish soon, but I’m happy about the way it is looking like seeing out its wonderful run.
How I Met Your Mother is a show I’ve genuinely enjoyed throughout its first seven seasons. It may not have consistently reached the highs it did in those awesome opening two years, but it was still funny and I was happy to spend time with the characters. After a good opener, there was a run of five episodes in this eighth season that had me worried for the show. It had lost something, I’m not sure what, and I was beginning to think that maybe if this was to be its last year then that was fine. Thankfully, beginning with ‘The Stamp Tramp’ episode there has been an improvement that has my faith in this show restored. The comedy has not been as worryingly obvious as what they were going for, and they have really upped things with the story of the gang. It seems there is no definite answer yet as to if there is going to be a ninth season, so I’m not sure what the plans are for HIMYM. But if they can keep it to this quality at least, I’m happy to stay along for the ride.
PS. Community is back soon!

Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: The sitcom four

Anyone who has happened to check out this page before may know there are a few sitcoms I’m particularly fond of. Parks and Recreation has come back into its fifth season on top form once more. The Middle continues to be one of the most underrated shows around, and this its fourth year has got even better. It is probably as funny as it is ever been, and seeing the progression of the Heck family in the hands of the show’s wonderful actors has been a genuine treat that so many are missing out on.

Season eight of The Office was definitely hit and miss, sadly probably more miss. It was a show I still enjoyed watching, but there were some weeks it was sad to see not being so good at all. It has been a wonderful relief to see it hit its ninth and final year back on good form. And it really has been good. Not only does it feel like this is real development with these characters as we head to its conclusion, it has also been rather funny. The addition of Clark (Clark Duke) and particularly Pete (Jake Lacy) has played a big part in reinvigorating things, especially the latter’s developing relationship with Erin. I’m sad this show is going to finish soon, but I’m happy about the way it is looking like seeing out its wonderful run.

How I Met Your Mother is a show I’ve genuinely enjoyed throughout its first seven seasons. It may not have consistently reached the highs it did in those awesome opening two years, but it was still funny and I was happy to spend time with the characters. After a good opener, there was a run of five episodes in this eighth season that had me worried for the show. It had lost something, I’m not sure what, and I was beginning to think that maybe if this was to be its last year then that was fine. Thankfully, beginning with ‘The Stamp Tramp’ episode there has been an improvement that has my faith in this show restored. The comedy has not been as worryingly obvious as what they were going for, and they have really upped things with the story of the gang. It seems there is no definite answer yet as to if there is going to be a ninth season, so I’m not sure what the plans are for HIMYM. But if they can keep it to this quality at least, I’m happy to stay along for the ride.

PS. Community is back soon!

January 23, 2013

Television Recap - 13th August 2012 - 20th January 2013: The first half of season one - Person of Interest

Here in England, Channel Five’s decision to halt their showing of Person of Interest’s first season was particularly frustrating (not to mention baffling) as they did so at the conclusion of a run featuring four particularly great episodes - ‘The Fix’, ‘Witness’, ‘Get Carter’ and ‘Number Crunch’. These had elevated the show from a good watch to “Heyyy! We might have something here!”.

The concluding half of season one starts showing from this week, and I hope it carries on where it left off in terms of quality as it really was getting good. Especially after the twist in ‘Witness’, featuring the excellent Veronica Mars alum Enrico Colantoni. That was a great bit of casting, but the main actors are all good too. As a fan of Lost it especially a treat to see Michael Emerson on TV again, a guy showing Ben Linus was not a fluke.

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