On Endings, or How THE WALKING DEAD Refuses to Die [On The Contrary] Nov30

On Endings, or How THE WALKING DEAD Refuses to Die [On The Contrary]

(NOTE: Don’t worry if you’re not caught up on THE WALKING DEAD. The following is SPOILER FREE!) Ah, the best laid plans…yadda yadda yadda. I had been trudging through this lumbering season of AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD confident that I could finally write off this show—a show I was never overly enamored with in the first place. It really is just a drawn out version of one of the classic George A. Romero zombie films, and though I love those movies, they tend to be as slow moving as their monsters. Dragging out a slow 2-hour movie to a multiple season television series. Yikes. The word I would use to describe THE WALKING DEAD this season would be glacial. And then they wrapped up the first half of this season with a bang—or rather, many bangs. Now I have to reset my DVR to keep recording the show when it returns in February. What I find interesting about my entire reaction was that I was not enjoying the show this year. I found myself DVRing many episodes and fast forwarding through repetitive boring conversations between the characters philosophizing on life after a Zombie Apocalypse. (Note to whomever is writing the show now: please limit yourselves to no more than one of these conversations per episode—there are zombies to kill for heaven’s sake. Less talk, more splatter.) However, it never once occurred to me to simply stop watching the show. I was in, and was going to see it through, at least to some sort of resolution. This brings up an interesting issue with television shows. The usual thinking is that it is much more difficult to create successful serialized show (one whose story continues and grows from episode to episode, ala BREAKING BAD, GAME...

I Am A TV Addict [Newly Nested]

While summer is my favorite season (perhaps because I’m a summer baby), I always welcome the fall because it is the return of TV season.  Right now I am so happy because 80% of my DVR is loaded with shows that I probably won’t realistically have the time to catch up with.  That is heaven to me. Ernessa and the rest of the folks at FAN have done a great job with reviewing all the new TV shows and I have to say I agree with most of them.  My ultimate favorite new show is Revenge, which I blame on the old WB show Everwood where I first saw Emily VanCamp.  You can make fun of me all you want, but that show was awesome in the cheesiest family way and I especially loved that there was a character with the name Ephram (a favorite of mine) on TV.  While Revenge is nothing like Everwood, I am really enjoying an old favorite carrying her own show.  The only problem I see is how ABC is going to be able to carry that show beyond one season without jumping the shark. [FRINGE SPOILER ALERT, SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH TO AVOID] Speaking of jumping the shark, I think that one of my surprise favorites (mostly because I usually hate SyFy) Fringe has jumped the shark with J.J. Abrams favorite writing gimmick—what would happen in the alternate universe?  He did this by getting rid of the main character Peter.  Now there are four universes to think about—here with Peter, there with Peter, here without Peter, and there without Peter.  What is Abram’s thinking?  I hated Lost and I am just hoping Fringe isn’t going to turn into a Lost 2.0.  Did anyone see Friday’s episode?  It was...

All Good Shows Must Come to An End. [On The Contrary] Oct05

All Good Shows Must Come to An End. [On The Contrary]

Breaking Bad is hands down the best show on television right now, and maybe the best ever. It certainly ranks up there. No show has been able to sustain such dramatic momentum and continuously improve from season to season quite so well, without devolving into a soap opera or throwing out random subplots. Most impressively, unlike the other shows considered the greats by elitist television viewers (a label that would have been an oxymoron 15 years ago)—shows like Mad Men, The Wire, The Sopranos, et al—Breaking Bad has done it with a very small cast of characters and essentially one story line. Yes, the show takes twists and turns, but the entire story of Walter White is about a high school chemistry teacher learning that he is dying of cancer and making the choice to cook crystal meth to earn money for his family. Everything else in the series follows this choice. Series creator Vince Gilligan has said he wants to turn Mr. Chips into Tony Montana. Structurally speaking, it’s really one big movie told over multiple seasons that will culminate in the ultimate fate of Mr. White. Oh what a ride it’s been so far. Each episode is about as visceral an experience as I’ve ever had in front of a television set—and I’m a sports fan. It’s the only show I’ve ever watched that actually provokes a vocal response from me other than laughter (although there’s plenty of that in the show’s underappreciated comedic side). I don’t think I’ve actually been moved to speak to a show like this before (unless you count hurling insults during my attempt to watch the show Glee, but that’s another column), alternating cheering, shouting warnings, and using a lot of profanity. In case you can’t tell,...

Project Runway: Season 9 – Episode 5 The Dreaded Sportswear Challenged…Served Up with Some Serious Drama! [Runway Rundown]...

So folks, I should start by saying I am not Zack Bunker. Zack is on vacation, chilling or doing what cool guys like Zack do, so this week you are stuck with me. I know, I know…but hey, this is not a picnic for me either. In order to write this recap, I had to get off the Reality TV Boycott I had begun in the wake of the travesty that recently occurred on SYTYCD. Side Note: Dear Nigel, Sasha was robbed, period! Okay, now that I have gotten that off my chest let’s get down to business. First, you know this is a recap and that means spoilers…so if you did not get to watch Project Runway last night and it is still languishing in your DVR…walk away and come back later. As the show opens we see some exhausted designers struggling to get their butts out of bed and then the camera pans to small stacks of clothing with name tags on each pile. I look more closely and a pit forms in my stomach for the poor designers…the clothing is actually t-shirts, shorts and sneakers. This, my friends, is the dreaded sportswear challenge. A small note accompanying the clothes directs the designers to meet Heidi and Tim at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Washington Heights. As the designers scramble to get ready….we see poor Cecilia – clearly still reeling from her stint in the bottom three – depressed and refusing to get out of bed. Cecilia is apparently angry that the judges sent Julie home instead of her (though come on dude this was Julie’s third straight week in the bottom three…the clock was ticking on her). If I was her I would be more...

One More Thing Before We Go: DVR Alert

Is it me or is Monday TV becoming an out-and-out pile up. Here’s what’s duking it out today: Heroes, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, CSI: Miami, Gossip Girl, Dancing With the Stars, Daily Show, Colbert Report And here’s how I prioritize: 1. What CH and I like and can watch together (Heroes, Big Bang Theory, CSI: Miami) 2. What CH likes — since he has more time to watch TV. (Daily Show, Colbert Report) 3. What I like (Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother) 4. My Guilty Pleasures — which I only watch online where no one else can see me (Dancing with the Stars) So if you’re in the same boat as me, just remember that you can catch many of these shows online at their networks’ sites, before you get in a fight w/ your S.O. or roommie (DVR spots are like relationship landmines). That all said, since Bones and House have already started, there’s only one DVR alert for Tuesday — and it’s a new kid show called The Mentalist. Yes, yes, I know that this is the basically USA Network’s Psych with a helluva lot more pedigree. But I’m intrigued with getting the high-concept of a fake psychic turned detective — without having to sit through James Roday’s never-ending schtick. So I’m giving the show a chance. Plus, it’s like the law that all black women in interracial relationships have to support everything headliner Simon Baker does, because he was in Something New (you think I’m kidding, but I’m not). Catch it on CBS, at 9pm...