Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TV shows sometime overstay their welcome

 Cast members from Breaking Bad.

I think the X-Files was among the first television shows that I was hooked on that really went on longer than it should have.  ABC's Lost followed suit, no doubt about it. As did 24 on Fox.  I'm quite a fan of serialized shows, the ones where the story continues with each episode.  The much talked about 24 movie hasn't materialized yet, which suggests that the public was burnt out on the series.

Fast forward to my newer favorite shows, like Showtime's Weeds.  I can't say I'm looking forward to Weeds continuing.  The ending seemed awkward but appropriate for a show that has gone on for seven seasons already.  It should have ended while out on top.  But, about six weeks ago, I was renewed for 13 episodes in 2012.  Weeds was dramatic but also very humorous.  The hero, Nancy, just could not stop going from one awful conundrum to another.

AMC's Breaking Bad is probably the best show that I have seen in years.  After ignoring the hype, I decided to give it a try.  I was hooked instantly.  It's not a comedy-drama, just a high-stakes drama with a good guy turned somewhat bad guy to root for.  It's gritty with the main characters constantly living on the edge, living lies and living in tremendous fear.  It's the fear that keeps my adrenalin going when I watch this show.   In August, 2011, the show was renewed for a final 16 episodes, possibly to be split over two seasons.  I don't like it when they drag shows out like this, but I guess they really need time to find a solid replacement.

There are a lot of shows out there about secret agents, and most of them are pretty lame.  There's one called Persons of Interest on ABC, in which a secretive billionaire software guru taps into a massive computer surveillance system that he built for the government, to figure out when a person's life may be in danger of murder, so that he and his secret agent-type partner can stop the crime.  It's hokey but the action scenes are good.  I don't expect it to last more than one more season, though.

When I heard about the new drama called Homeland, I wasn't interested.  It was getting good reviews but the topic of hunting bad guys in post 9/11 America just didn't seem all that interesting.  I decided to give it chance, however, and was rewarded with an incredibly gritty drama, not for prime time television on a major network.  As great as it is, I wonder if they should have left it at one season.  It's been renewed for 12 episodes in 2012 (does anyone remember when televisions shows typically had 24 episodes in a year?)  Claire Danes, a film actress, is the star of Homeland, along with Damian Lewis, best known for his role as Capt Winters in the Band of Brothers HBO television series.

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