Word of mouth got me on this one. The premise didn’t really appeal, but then I kept hearing about how well done it was and how wonderful James Spader is. And then I watched the pilot episode. It is very good. Believe the word of mouth. The plots are twisty, they do a good job of flipping expectations on their head. (For instance, one of the teasers a generic guy gets into his car and drives down the street. I was expecting the car to get rammed, he’d get shot; instead an elderly fruit seller whips out a machine gun and starts shooting up the car. Took me by surprise!)
And James Spader is every bit as good as everyone says he is in the lead role as the droll, cool criminal extraordinaire. The rest of the cast is quite good too with special shout-outs to the hunky Diego Klattenhoff (who played Yancy in Pacific Rim. Be still my heart!) as an FBI meathead, and Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) as a charming but occasionally ruthless CIA agent. This is one of those shows that you binge watch. I started with the pilot a few hours ago and I’ve already burned through 5 episodes. I need more!
This is another show where the word of mouth hooked me in, but then the cracktastic episodes dragged me back for more. The premise sounds super stupid right? Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman in the modern world? Puh-lease. But this show is self-aware. It knows what it wants to be and it does what it sets out to do with charm and humor. The episodes so far are very formulaic which could start to wear thin, but I love the interactions between the two leads. (Especially the way he calls her “lieutenant” in his super special British voice.) The leads (Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie) have great chemistry together, and Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane is an adorable and gentlemanly fish out of water. One of my favorite moments so far was his brief rant about the 10% tax on his breakfast donuts and how the Revolutionary War was started over a smaller tax than that.
I’m still following the soap opera goodness that is Nashville. I thought the season opener was really strong, although I’m annoyed about the various romantic triangles that are forming. (This is pretty much my biggest pet peeve with TV in general, actually. Love triangles. Blech. >:P)
Legend of Korra started strong (I loved last season and devoured it over the course of maybe two days of binge watching) but it feels like the writers don’t really know what to do with all the extra episodes they’ve suddenly been given. The two more recent episodes about the origin of the Avatar were fantastic, but the rest of the season has been very uneven, and the characters have been acting out of character, not learning, being conveniently stupid. At times it feels like the show has too much plot and yet not enough happening. I’m sticking with it for now, but a few really bad episodes in a row and this show could lose me. (Jim C. Hines does a weekly blog post about each Korra episode which I follow and comment on. I find my feelings about an episode tend to sync up pretty exactly with his.)
I started Agents of SHIELD, but I feel like I want to like that show more than I actually like it. I have not been wowed by it. I find myself reluctant to watch more episodes because it bums me out that it’s not more awesome. The cast overall is not great. (Bland, is the word I would use.) The writing is not great. (Trying too hard is how I would describe the writing.) Only Clark Gregg is awesome, and he can’t hold a whole show together on his own. Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist are more exciting to me right now. I think SHIELD might have suffered the “too many cooks in the kitchen” problem. I’m sure it had a huge amount of oversight both from the network and Marvel, so maybe the creators had less freedom about casting and story ideas than they would have had on a less high profile show. 😦 Oh, also! I feel like this show is suffering the same problem that Terra Nova suffered from: trying to please everyone and instead pleasing no one; trying to be family friendly and edgy, smart and yet apply to the lowest common denominator. When you aim for everyone you can easily miss having any fans at all.
So, what are you watching? Anything I should check out?