The 19 weeks or so that make up the time from May finales to September premieres holds a certain routine: pull out DVDs of favorite shows, rewatch and enjoy the times long past. Most of the time, this period goes by very quickly, after all, it is usually only six or seven weeks before filming begins, twitter teases, behind the scenes photos and casting snippets begin to circulate. Also, my pile of DVDs to enjoy grows and there is more to squeeze in. Sometimes this viewing comes with great pleasure as I enjoy past episodes, sometimes it reminds me of better times for those shows I still hold a candle for; sometimes it reminds me that the days are quickly coming to a close for those shows I hold dear.
Right now I’m going through Season 1 of Supernatural. My how young the two J’s appear, and how fresh and fun the episodes still are. (No, Route 666 still stinks up the place, written by, you guessed it, Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner. They haven’t gotten any better.) Yet for all that episode has going against it, the brothers’ relationship was wonderful. I am reminded, sadly these days, how good the show used to be when it knew what it was – and what it wasn’t. It was a show about two brothers and scary things that live in urban legends and myths. Now it’s just angels and heaven and demons and hell and bad guys that aren’t scary but do chew the scenery a lot in endless monologues. I live in hope that Season 10 and beyond (if there is a beyond) focus in on the Men of Letters, the legacy of two men who are the unique combination of hunters and MoL and their quest to save people, hunt things…continue the family business, as a family: more than partners or work associates, but family.
When I watch Person of Interest in Season 1, I’m reminded of the cat-n-mouse game between Carter and Reese, her hunt for him; his fascination with her. The episodes currently airing from Season 3 are fresh after Carter’s death, so the difference is stark. While I appreciate the courage in writing stories and characters until they naturally are concluded – rather than endlessly stringing us along for episode after episode that are easily blurred because of the similarities, I loved the hunt by Carter, her decision to let Reese and Finch go, her slow willingness to join in their crusade and her arc that led her to realize that her own ‘house’ (the NYPD) was very corrupt and she needed to embark on her own quest to clean up the mess, even as it led to her demise. I also am reminded how this show has gone from simple case of the week procedural with some underpinnings of mythology to now having exploded over three seasons to the point where, upon its return in September, it will be recreating itself as Finch, Reese, Shaw, and Root are all in hiding, albeit in plain sight. They will now be struggling to maintain the façade of normalcy while endeavoring to save people all while keeping themselves alive. It’s a brave new world for PoI.
I’ll soon be pulling out my DVDs for White Collar – my favorite summertime viewing that is no longer viewable in the summer. What a fast five years it has been. White Collar debuted in the fall of 2009. I remember watching the previews for it for weeks on end. I was convinced I wouldn’t watch the show, much less like it. But, the more I watched the promos, the more I liked what I saw. When it debuted, I was hooked. I’ve been hooked ever since. Sadly, White Collar will be ending this year, too soon for me. While I gave Jeff Eastin’s Graceland a try last summer, I enjoy the light-hearted fun of White Collar over the darker, grittier, and far busier Graceland. I’m glad for his success, but it seems to come at the expense of my favorite USA show. White Collar won’t be returning until the fall at the earliest – no date has actually been set yet, but when it does come back, it is only for six final episodes; too few, too soon. You will be missed White Collar.
USA used to be my place for summer viewing. It had Burn Notice – a show I liked, but was never fully hooked on. Burn Notice ended its seven-season run last summer, beautifully I might add. USA had Psych, a show which also finished its run earlier this year – after eight wonderful seasons. The writers and creators of Psych closed out their show magnificently. Everyone was put into a good place; there was a sense of closure in one aspect while all new adventures were opening on other fronts. Now White Collar is ending. None of their other shows have caught my attention. I’ve tried Covert Affairs, and to me it just tries too hard. Royal Pains I’ve never watched, but none of the stories attract me. So this summer, USA isn’t on my playlist.
TNT and A&E, however, are on my playlist. A&E has Longmire. I adore Longmire. This is its third season and I feel like I know these characters very well. Because this show has short seasons, 10 – 13 episodes long, some storylines take a long time to conclude. The campaign for sheriff lasted all Season 1 and most of Season 2, finally concluding near the end with the unsurprising (but welcome) reelection of Sheriff Longmire. The mystery of Longmire’s wife’s death remains an intriguing mystery. We went most of Season 1 knowing that she had been killed, but not knowing what involvement Longmire had in it. Over time we learned that not only he, but Henry and finally Hector – an enforcer of sorts from the Reservation, all had a hand to some degree in what happened to the killer, but the great surprise at the end of Season 2 was that none of them actually killed the killer – someone else did. Now we’re in the opening episodes of Season 3 (rumored to be only 10 episodes long) and we still don’t know who actually killed Longmire’s wife’s killer, or who ordered her to be killed in the first place, but the pieces are rapidly being put on the board and the puzzle is beginning to take shape. I put odds on Jacob Nighthorse because Mrs. Longmire opposed the casino and Jacob wanted Longmire deposed as sheriff and Branch installed as the new sheriff. I’m intrigued by Vic’s stalker and hope that he returns for more action – and an ultimate conclusion. I’m not so interested in the forced romance between Vic and Longmire. I do know that that is an aspect of the books, but it works in the books because the characters are different than what we see on our screens. What’s on our screens simply forces something that doesn’t need to be. Still, Longmire is a tall, cool glass of lemonade in the summertime.
TNT also has a fair bit of fun viewing – well, it is fun in that I enjoy crime stories, real and fiction. So with Perception, Major Crimes, and Rizzoli and Isles filling in the fiction part and Cold Justice returning with more cold cases to be investigated, I have good viewing fun ahead for June, July, and August.
I rewatch some shows on CW, Vampire Diaries and Arrow, while filling in some holes of shows I missed this past season, a few episodes of The Good Wife. I’ll be catching The Blacklist again – provided NBC rebroadcasts the show. NBC tends to ‘rest’ their shows during the repeat season. I miss Grimm on Friday nights – and have yet to invest in the DVDS, but I think it is likely smart that they do it. I assume it keeps the show fairly fresh and perhaps even boosts DVD sales. Still, sometimes on Friday nights, it would be fun to enjoy the adventures of Rosalee and Monroe and Nick and Juliette again. Most of my CBS shows take a rest from my viewing schedule, although NCIS and The Mentalist remain on my viewing schedule mostly because they are like comfort food. I dine a little, fast a little and start all over again. I do enjoy The Mentalist reboot – although frankly I think Lisbon could be removed as she has never impressed me as someone who could or should lead an investigative unit nor does she impress as someone the FBI has to have as an agent. Cho and Jane are a lot of fun to watch play off each other and Wylie is harmless enough – the resident techno geek who is unparalleled in his universe without trying to cross over into field agent status, and watching Jane and the new head of the unit dance around each other – and even play the con in perfect synchronous movement is fun as he is pretty straight-laced.
I remain eager for Arrow to return and to learn the new arc of Amanda Waller and Oliver. This show has a tight five-year framework in which it is operating. It is fascinating watching this storyline play out in two time periods. We’ve seen Oliver in the past go from spoiled narcissistic brat to fighter who has now been captured by Waller. In the present, we’ve seen Oliver go from willing killer to hero who is also willing and wanting to take others under his wing and try to train them. He tried it with the Huntress, disastrously, and then again with Roy, ultimately looks to be less disastrous, and while Sarah has left to go back to the League of Assassins, she does not go as damaged as she had been when she arrived. Still, we have yet to discover how Oliver ended up abandoned and disheveled on the island, but that’s still a few seasons ahead of us.
I’m also interested in just how The Vampires Diaries will reinvent itself now that the ‘other side’ is gone. Just what does that mean? Alaric has returned (happy dance!) but Lexie is permanently gone (hugely missed opportunity!). I have little care or interest in Elena and Damon and/or Elena and Stefan. Frankly, Elena should be best friends with the brothers, all while finding love elsewhere. She claimed Stefan was the perfect boyfriend, one who respected her wishes and allowed her to find her own way (clearly everything that Damon never did) but somehow she also waxes on about how she and Damon overcame so much to be together – I’ve watched every episode; never saw them overcome anything other than that pesky thing of her being in love with Stefan. So frankly, all she and Damon overcame was dumping Stefan and sleeping with his brother. Hmm, not truly the stuff of epic love. Damon is a lot more fun when he’s the bad guy trying to be good because he respects Elena and wants her to like him. But, the defanging of Damon and having him be all ooey and gooey over Elena (who isn’t nearly as interesting a character as Katherine (sadly gone forever according to Dries) is just silly – and painful to watch. Still, I’m intrigued with where the show goes now.
Supernatural – all I want is for it to get better. Have the boys grow up – after all, they’re now 12 or 13 years older than when we first met them (because there’s been at least two, one-year time leaps). So lose the porn, lose the lies, lose the food fetish, and lose the silly disagreements that drag on for episode after episode after…you get the idea. Take a page from TVD and have the two brothers clash over something important but deal with it as adults actually would: quickly, cleanly, and permanently. For example: Damon’s bestest friend (created out of whole cloth this season) is Enzo. The guy is/was a jerk. He did his best to screw things up for everyone. Stefan, trying to protect Damon, knew he had to be stopped, a/k/a killed. So Stefan set out to do just that, but the tables were turned, Stefan was almost killed. At the last second, Enzo decided to up the ante and he used Stefan as the means to kill himself – certain that this would drive a wedge between the brothers. Stefan lied to Damon to protect him (sound familiar?) and enlisted several people to help him keep the lie. However, unlike SPN, the TVD writers had Damon discover the lie the very next episode. And, by the end of the episode the brothers had it out in this simple exchange (highly paraphrased):
Damon tells Stefan he understands why Stefan did what he did because if the tables had been turned, he, Damon, would have done the exact same thing, although he would have done it sooner. Thus, Damon forgives Stefan for doing what had to be done. Then Damon reveals the real reason why he’s upset: He should have known his friend was dead. Stefan for his part reveals that the real reason he hid the death from Damon wasn’t that he thought Damon couldn’t handle it – something Damon believes, but because he didn’t want his brother to hate him.
A couple of quick, honest revelations between the two brothers and the whole situation was put to rest – well, honesty and one well-planted punch from Damon to Stefan. Hey, brothers will be brothers.
I’m looking forward to The Flash. I thought Barry was interesting enough and it will probably be fun entertainment. I’m also looking forward to the next adventures that Grimm has in store for us. I think the writers did a very good job this season with their storytelling and I’m hopeful they will continue to improve. My recommendation, don’t try to service each story in each episode. While Rosalee and Monroe’s romance and eventual nuptials handled this slow progression very well, Nick’s zombie after-effects did not. It was interesting at first, but then it simply got dropped. Also, Adalind’s European adventure was icky and sticky and way too slow. It finally got interesting when Momma Grimm got involved. Now Adalind has gotten revenge on Nick – unknowingly being a pawn for the Royals who will not give her what she wants in return simply because they do not have what she wants, which sets up the next season, including some long overdue soul-searching for Nick and Juliette about what being a Grimm means for a normal life. It actually doesn’t bode too well if we look at what Aunt Marie and Kelly Burkhardt have had to do.
I’m interested in what The Blacklist has to serve up come fall, and The Following come next January. There are a few shows on the new season that I’ll be checking out, Stalkers on CBS is one as I’m a fool (and a glutton) for criminal type shows. I really enjoy Elementary and like how the characters are progressing. I’m eager to see what comes of Sherlock joining MI6 and Joan looking for her own place as she tries to keep her identity from becoming all Sherlock all the time. It’s a show that is attempting a balance between the crime of the week and the personal aspects of the characters – and it’s great that CBS keeps trying to do this with more and more courage as each year passes. I have no idea if NCIS New Orleans will intrigue me or if CSI Cyber will grip me. I’ll likely give each of these a try. ABC will remain a channel that has absolutely nothing on it that I watch, while NBC will certainly keep me interested in two hours a week, The Blacklist and Grimm, but it is doubtful there is anything else that will grip me.
All of these things are still a few months, and many, many weeks away. In the meantime, I’m reveling in the simpler, lighter, scarier, and more brotherly bonding days of Seasons 1 through 3 of Supernatural. I’m reliving Season 1 of Arrow all over again, reminding myself of the first encounter of Oliver and Felicity, when only Diggle was in the Arrow cave, when Quentin Lance disdained Oliver’s very existence and was determined to hunt the Vigilante down (note to Arrow’s producers, Quentin Lance best not be dead! I’m already convinced he knows that Oliver is the Arrow and I very much want that scene when he reveals that to Oliver and we get to see Stephen Amell’s expression – much like the awesome reaction when Moira revealed that she knew.
I’ll also be pulling out my Season 1 DVDs of NCIS:LA. That was the show’s best season, which isn’t saying much. Still, that was the season when Kensi was actually tough – and not some PMS version we get now where one minute she’s telling Deeks to step off and the next moment she’s acting like a dog in heat because there is some pretty female in his presence. Season 1 was the season when Sam and Callen’s partnership was the focus of much of the show, and Hetty wasn’t the busybody, know it all, string puller that she is now. NCIS:LA would be so much better is there was no romance – contrived or otherwise, more focus on interesting cases and not just blowing up things each week, more focus on Callen’s hunt for answers where Callen was actually an active participant in hunting for answers and not simply sitting around, only acting when something or someone hands him the next piece of the puzzle. Oh, well, NCIS:LA is to NCIS what CSI Miami was to CSI; the cheesier, cheaper version of the original, poorly written and usually poorly acted. It’s good it’s moving to 10 p.m. on Monday. It won’t do any worse than CSI Miami did and will likely hold the ground from slipping terribly.
We’re about one-quarter of the way through this hellatus, and I, for one, am enjoying my evening viewing. But I will be keeping an eye out for casting snippets and any teasers that come our way.
Thanks for reading! Elle2