…plus impromptu commentary on The Big C, Parks and Recreation, and Mad Men
I’ve been blogging for Primetimely for awhile now, and I love it, but I’ll be forthcoming: I’m not always the most regular updater. With a full-time day job to work, dozens of shows to watch, a career in TV writing to which to aspire, a cat to pamper, a roommate with whom to hang out, friends to see, and a fiancé with whom to spend quality time, it’s not always easy to find the time or the energy to dedicate to quality posts! But I think I often wait until I have inspiration for a post, and that means waiting too long. So with this post, I introduce a whole new category of blog update: the stream-of-consciousness-style journal, which I’m (oh-so-adorably) entitling “Prime Cuts.” I’ll try to just ramble and hold forth on the television that I’m watching and hearing about. And in the hope of blogging more often and more quickly, it won’t be organized nor will it be heavily edited. So take caution: tangential and unvarnished commentary ahead!
I just finished Desperate Housewives. As in, the entire series. I’d been watching since the beginning, and it had always been a guilty pleasure of mine and my mom’s. But she tapped out a season or two ago, and I kept going, mainly because I felt obligated to finish a series in which I had invested so much time… and that statement alone should tell you my opinion of these latest seasons. It had never been a top-notch show, in my book, but the first few seasons did have an interesting viewpoint on modern-day relationships, gender dynamics, and suburban ennui. Plus, it was a nice blend of comedy and drama: never too light, never too dark. But too often the storylines ventured into the preposterous and threatened to “jump the shark.” It came to embody some of the most derided aspects of a soap opera. However, just like it was never consistently good, it was never consistently bad either. There were always standout moments, episodes, and storylines… even in the last seasons. I’m not sure I’ll ever miss or wish there had been one more season, but I’ll remember the good times fondly and try to expunge the rest from my memory. And, for the record, I will remember it as a show with very witty writing.
Meanwhile, I am love-love-loving The Big C. It always looked fun (or about as fun as a show about cancer can be), but it is really one of the most enjoyable and binge-worthy half-hours of TV I’ve seen recently. Laura Linney is awesome (predictably), but so is the rest of the cast, especially Oliver Platt as Kathy’s fun-loving and equally-impulsive husband and John Benjamin Hickey as Kathy’s erratic and open-minded brother.
And, by the way, the show has an impressive roster of guest stars. (Spoiler alert!) Liam Neeson, Susan Sarandon, Alan Alda all have popped up. But most exciting for me, perhaps, was the appearance of Victor Garber, one of my beloved Alias alums, who plays a role unlike any I’ve seen before.
We are also savoring Parks and Recreation. It’s one of only two shows that I think are consistently hilarious (the other being Modern Family). And that’s partly because, I believe, both shows know how to surprise us with antics and quirks that seem, in retrospect, so natural and obvious for each character. (For example, ofcourse Ron Swanson’s favorite restaurant would be in a bowling alley. And of course he harbors a closeted love for riddles.)
We’re also making good headway through Big Love, and it’s more captivating than ever because Season 4 is more stressful than any season prior. Bill has always had to manage his three wives and handful of children, his family and troubled history at his sect’s compound, and his home-improvement franchise since the beginning of the series; but now he also has his casino upstart and his bid to be a state senator added on to his plate. To say that he and his family members are at their breaking point is an understatement, and the shifting alliances and motivations of all the supporting characters only add fuel to the flames.
I still haven’t started this season of Mad Men, but—and pardon the crass analogy—I’m finding the procrastination to be somewhat tantric. I know how engrossing this season has been to those who have seen it, and I’ve read polarized opinions on it, and so far I’ve only been spoiled by one plot point; so I am chomping at the bit to get started but also enjoying the anticipation.