2011 – 2012 TV Season Wrap Up – part 2

Here are the remaining capsule summaries of the TV shows that I watched during the last broadcast season. Holy mackerel, that is a lot of TV.

Downton Abbey: I loved season 1 and simply tolerated season 2. I have linked my previous posts. I am hopeful for Season 3. If it is weak, it may exhaust the accumulated good will of season 1 (which was AWESOME, did I mention I loved it?) Nuff said.


Being Human: (UK & US versions): I really liked the 1st 3 seasons of the UK Version of this show and was pleasantly surprised with the American adaptation. Initially, it borrowed heavily from the source material but soon took its own path. The characters are complex supernatural beings (a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire sharing a house) who struggle to maintain their humanity. It is kinda like Three’s Company, with blood, gore, better comedic dialogue and fewer pratfalls. Although the UK version had more humour, IMO; the US version does a better job developing the 3 lead characters after 2 seasons. I still haven’t watched the 4th season of the UK version. With 2 of the 3 lead characters no longer part of the ensemble, my enthusiasm for the saga that follows has waned.

Addendum: After my friend’s encouragement, I just finished watching Being Human UK season 4.  It was awesome and I can’t wait for season 5. Just proves that great writing trumps everything. Excellent casting helps also. I didn’t miss any of the departed characters. Highly recommended for genre fans who like drama with a comedic twist.

The Walking Dead : This is a somewhat talkie, occasionally gory, yet enjoyable postapocalyptic tale. I started watching mostly because my husband showed interest. Soon enough, the characters grew on me. It satisfied the part of me that still missed the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. Even though “The Walking Dead” doesn’t involve space or robots, it does have zombies. Difficult decisions that balance the needs of the many over the needs of the few make me appreciate that civilization is a luxury that I shouldn’t take for granted. It is a trigger that leads to hypothetical discussions about the lengths one would go to, if survival was at stake. I am pretty sure my wimpy home body but would not survive for long in a zombie apocalypse.

Hell on Wheels: I am glad this ended when it did and I’ve blogged about this before. Nuff said already.

Mad Men: I really should blog about why this show continues to move me tremendously, despite its glacial pace and flawed characters. It is a fascinating study of character, business versus personal relationships, and a glimpse at society of the 1960’s. It serves as a reminder to how far we have evolved. The past is not as idyllic as some would have me believe. This show is not for everyone, but is it telling that I am responsible for at least 7 people getting hooked on this show. Still going strong after an extended hiatus; season 5 did not disappoint. The acting is phenomenal; I do not want to miss a single facial expression. Can’t multi-task with this show unless I am walking on a treadmill.

Breaking Bad: This show is so amazing and brilliant as it drags me along watching Walter White circling the drain of moral decay. It makes me wonder why I continue to watch Dexter. Breaking Bad is so cleverly plotted and deliciously tense; the most recent seasons of Dexter just seem contrived in comparison. I will have to write about this in-depth soon. Sooo looking forward to the finale season 5 which starts on July 15th. Another show that commands my full attention. I get a lot of treadmill exercise when this show airs. I will probably wait til this final season ends and give this show a blog post that is hopefully worthy of it.

American Horror Story: been there, watched it, too random for my tastes, I said it all in a previous post.

Dexter: I really wonder why I still watched this show. If my husband had been willing to say good-bye to it, I wouldn’t have protested. I really liked the 1st 2 seasons. However, everything following those pales when compared to Breaking Bad. The characters seemed to be rewritten every season, simply to serve plots that get more ridiculous with time. After this show aired one of the most imaginative (and most foul-mouthed) declarations of love that I had ever seen, the writers threw both supporting characters (Deb and Quinn) under the bus shortly after.

Dexter Morgan, himself, stopped being interesting 4 seasons ago. Perhaps I persist in hope that the next season of Dexter can recapture the taught suspense of the early days. The wire suspending my disbelief is the only thing that is taut and it is beginning to fray.

True Blood: This is my 2nd favorite currently produced vampire TV show. Vampire Diaries is better plotted so it takes top prize. This latest season has enough interesting storylines that are peripheral to Sookie Stackhouse; for that, I am thankful. Sookie is becoming one of my least favorite characters. The beginning of this 4th season is showing promise after a so-so 3rd installment.

Game of Thrones: This show is EPIC, at times confusing, but compelling none the less. I love Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. He has such charm and wit. 

How sustainable is this series remains to be seen. I really hope the novels that this show is based on conclude soon, if the show continues to follow them so closely. The author of the novels is no spring chicken (he will be 64 this year) and it would be a pity if the saga were not completed. But hey, life’s like that, but fiction shouldn’t be. After 2 TV seasons aired and 5 novels written, the author has a head start. I suppose he can always forward an outline if the TV show catches up to his writing. My husband has been a fan of the books since the beginning and tells me that many fans are infuriated with how long they have to wait for the subsequent title to be published. A recent interview with the author in Rolling Stone magazine claims that he hopes to have 20 more years of writing ahead of him. Sigh, I hope he is correct but I won’t wait that long, so I gave up on trying to read the books. I will stick with the TV show.

Spartacus: Vengeance: The star of this series died so young at the peak of his career and yet a worthy replacement carried this misfit group of runaway slaves to victory, for now. The saga concludes next year with one final season, subtitled War of the Damned. If the writers stay true to history books, my heart will be broken. Beautiful men and women and their tales of lust, love, honor and betrayal have never been quite so well written. But I have sung this show’s praises before in this post. and that one too.

Shameless: I can not resist this tale of severe family dysfunction. Thanks to my friend Kira, I am hopelessly hooked. The father (played bu William H. Macy) is truly despicable; his kids all know it, yet they manage to stick together and fight for their dreams. Based on a UK series, I have only watched the first 2 seasons of the US adaptation. I love watching these characters navigate the dumpster that is their lot in life as the progeny of narcissistic addicts. I may have mentioned this all before but would like to add that season 2 did not disappoint after a stellar 1st season. Oh yah, it also has Joan Cusack 😀

 Merlin (family viewing): This BBC import tells the coming of age tale of Merlin as a young man and servant to young King Arthur. Good (not great)  family viewing with humour, action, adventure, dragons and magic. For those too young for Game of Thrones, or those that wish they were.

The Legend Korra (family viewing): This is a sequel to a favorite TV series in my house. That would have been “Avatar: the Last Airbender”2005-08, which was must see TV for 3 seasons for the whole family. It was so well done and complete that I pretended that the M. Night Shyamalan live action movie adaptation never existed. Why mess with perfection? “The Legend of Korra” is set 70 years after the aforementioned series. Korra is the new Avatar (spiritual leader, think Dalai Lama) and must face growing societal resentment regarding her powers to manipulate fire, earth/stone, water and air. We are just 3 episodes into this series and it is a worthy successor. I highly recommend watching the prequel series (available on DVD, iTunes and Netflix) for kids 6 or older and encourage parents to join the fun of this epic saga. It remains one of the best youth oriented TV shows that I have ever watched. We enjoyed interesting family discussions after we watched a young man learn the skills to become a leader and unite the kingdoms of his world.

The sequel “Korra” is just beginning its broadcast run in Canada on YTV after a successful run south of the border on Nickelodeon. Catch it if you can.

Phew, it is hard to believe that list of shows. No wonder I refuse to watch commercials; I don’t have the time.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kira Turner
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 20:08:26

    Sorry Ann – can’t agree. I’m loving season 4 of Being Human UK! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. Initially, I thought I’d agree with you re: the new characters but the new Vampire Hal is brilliant. Why is it that British actors are so good at acting? He’s perfect for the role and completely different from sexy, broody Mitchel. I still miss George and Nina but Tom is growing on me – and Annie is Annie – all heart and loveliness but with spunk! Give it a try – I think you’ll like it.


    • dvdiva
      Jul 13, 2012 @ 20:50:32

      Thanks Kira. I was waiting for a reason to start watching it. My enthusiasm has just been given a boost by your comments. BTW the actor who plays Tom is the brother of the actor who plays Kelly on Misfits. I wondered why she looked strangely familiar.


      • dvdiva
        Sep 11, 2012 @ 23:07:16

        Just finished watching it and amended my post. Season 4 was awesome and Hal is wonderful. Can’t help liking Tom and I am enjoying Alex so far. Who would have thunk it?

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