Recently, I decided to make a list of all the shows that regularly grace my television screen, just to see how many there actually are. Not every show airs during the same parts of the year, so I’m obviously not watching every single show, every single week. I’m not even sure that would be possible, with or without my PVR, because I also have a full time job – and kind of a life. At any rate, I topped out at a whopping 37 current television series, and I thought maybe I should try to write about some of them a little more often. It’d be impossible for me to cover every episide of every show that I watch, even considering the fact that Tim covers a few of them on a regular basis as well. I also end up not being able to see the bulk of my shows until the weekend, when I have time to catch up, so I was thinking I’d go back and just try to highlight some of my favourite things each week. We’ll see how my time management works out after today, but you never know! There’s just so much good stuff out there that’s worth talking about, and I have been feeling the need more and more often to do just that.
So here we go.
I believe this week’s episode has us racing toward the season finale of this incredible new series, and overall, the show has yet to miss a beat. I love seeing Kevin Bacon on my screen every week, rocking the roll of Ryan Hardy like no one else can. The interplay between Ryan and the show’s big bad, serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) is nothing short of amazing, and the rest of the talented cast make each moment feel full, complete and often terrifying. This week was no different. Joe’s control over his cult of followers has begun to crack, and as Ryan’s people close in a bit more, Joe loses faith and turns on Roderick (Warren Cole), his right hand man. Watching these two icy cool psychopaths go at one another while their plans start to crumble around them is crazy unsettling, and made the entire episode feel even more poignant as we careen headlong toward the season’s finish line. This is one show I find it difficult to take my eyes off the screen while it’s on. It captures my attention from start to finish, each and every time.
The ads for this week’s episode claimed that the Tribal Council was one of the craziest ever seen on the show – and they weren’t wrong! Before that all went down, however, it was a tough week for some of the cast. Dawn in particular hit her breaking point, and then managed to get the one thing she needed to keep going – sleep. Her breakdown was nothing like Brandon’s, but even she knew she was over-reacting to everything, and felt like she was losing control, and having been in similar shoes, that was hard to watch. I saw people making fun of her over her reaction to losing her retainer, but I have to say, I really felt for her in that moment, and was nearly as elated to see Brenda come up the secret hero on that one. Plus, I freaking love Brenda. I remember trying not to like her the first time around, but there’s just something so cool about her. I gave up any semblance of dislike for her at the start of this season, and so far she hasn’t let me down. The way she handled Dawn just made me like her more. I think Cochran is actually my favourite castaway this time around, though. He cracks me up, so far he’s kept his head, he’s doing well in challenges and not even trying to make anyone like him – he’s just a likeable guy. He started as a fan, and is back this season as a favourite. He is definitely one of mine. I sort of hate watching the three amigos do so well, but at the same time, their arrogance hasn’t been as on display for the other survivors as it has for the audience, and the grin on Eddie’s face when Malcolm saved them both at Tribal was hilarious. I did not like seeing everyone start throwing Andrea’s name around before, say, Sherri, since she is supposed to be at the bottom of the seven. I wasn’t glad to see Phillip go, but it wasn’t the most upsetting departure, either. Erik almost screwed him when he suggested that the boys would have to play their idols in order to be safe – a valid point, but also may have been behind Phillip’s decision to vote the way they’d decided going in. AND he also voted for Phillip, so while I adore Erik, I’m also never sure what he’s thinking most of the time. All in all, an awesome episode, and I think Cochran summed it up best when he said, “No matter what happens, it’s stuff like this that makes me freaking LOVE Survivor!”
I just started watching this one, and have yet to see the first few episodes, but even though I jumped in a little late, I am really really enjoying it. Freddie Highmore is an amazing Norman Bates, and watching his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), is unsettling, aggravating, heartbreaking…and a whole bunch of other words I can’t seem to come up with at the moment. The show somehow manages to maintain this sort of strained atmosphere, no matter what’s actually happening on screen. This week, we saw Norman come home from losing his virginity to find that his mom has been arrested for murder, his brother (Max Thieriot) announces that he’s moving out, and there is still the quandry of what happened to the girl in the cop’s basement. Even when it seems nothing is happening in a scene, there is so much going on underneath it that it’s impossible to get comfortable. I mean, I have a sort of instant love for Norman Bates…but it’s Norman Freaking BATES! I know how this goes, and yet I have so much empathy for the character in the series that it’s easy to forget the dress-wearing, knife-wielding psycho we know he becomes by the time the events of the Hitchcok film roll around. Thus far, though, I am truly loving Norman’s slow burn and, even though I know how this will all go down later, I still find myself rooting for the kid to write himself another ending to his story.
Other mentionables include Bomb Girls, which holds me so closely each week I keep it on my PVR for awhile, in case I want to watch it again. Lost Girl ended a strong season with an incredible finale, and one of the best final images I’ve ever been stuck with – and now I have to wait for season 4 to begin?! Come ON! Orphan Black continues to captivate, and Tatiana Maslany is about the most amazing thing going these days. She’s incredible. Castle was a bit disappointing, but probably because I was thinking that the subject matter was a bit more serious and relevant than it actually ended up being. It was fun, of course. I just thought they were going in a more intriguing direction for a few minutes. Motive didn’t get recorded, for some reason, so I’ll have to hit up On Demand for that, because I am really loving that show, and don’t want to miss anything, if I can help it! Grimm was awesome – Juliet (Bitsie Tulloch) is getting control of her memories, there was more Wu (Reggie Lee) (but no Hank (Russell Hornsby) makes me sad), I got to hear part of a much-loved Gogol Bordello tune to put me in a great mood out of nowhere, and it was kind of cool to see Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) working with Nick (David Giuntoli) and getting his hands dirty on a case. Defiance started pretty strong for a new series, so it’ll be great if they keep up that momentum and build on the world they’ve created, as well as the people in it. I already think it’d be amazing to have a set visit during the shooting of season two! Vampire Diaries was pretty good – not knowing who Silas is keeps making me trust no one, and I kind of like that! Cracked was great – the little girl made for an interesting case, and seeing Victor Webster on my screen again is always a good thing! Speaking of, Continuum is about to start up season 2 at last! Feels like we’ve been waiting forever! I hope we get a bit of a recap, though, because I’m having trouble remembering everything we left off on, but I suspect it will take no time to be back in the moment, and I can’t wait!
Okay, that’s it for now. Hot Docs starts this week, so there will be a bazillion posts on the films we’re covering for it, but I hope to maybe get some more TV-related updates done again sometime next weekend. Until next time, keep on tuning in! There’s an awful lot of awesome out there!