Saturday, October 26, 2013

Television not the same since the end of Breaking Bad

I was a late comer to Breaking Bad.  After reading about how Bryan Cranston was winning award after award, I decided to finally check out the show.  I started with Season 1, episode 1, and within no time, I was hooked.  Never before had I seen a show with so much tension and unpredictability.

Thankfully, the show has ended rather than linger on and on too long, like many other shows have done, like Lost and X-Files.

Nothing has appeared on my radar, however, to replace the excitement.  We're into Season 3 of another show that I was nuts about, Homeland, but it's off to a slow start and I do hope that they also have a plan to end it rather than keep it going indefinitely, so long as the ratings are decent.

The Walking Dead is now into it's fourth season and it's beginning to lose some of its appeal.  It's becoming too familiar with not a lot new.  Please make this the last year.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D looked like another attempt to capitalize on the super-hero craze that, particularly with the success of Marvel's super-hero movies.   After a few episodes, the media is reporting that they are attracting fewer viewers with each episode.  The writing is hum drum.  When you're dealing with super-hero characters, they tend to shine better in one-off movies than in weekly shows where you know there's minimal risk and endings that are predictable.

Hostages is about a surgeon who was selected to operate on the President.  Her family is taken hostage by a group of well-organized operatives in an attempt to have her botch the operation and kill the President.  The President's own Chief of Staff is on in it, but he also reports to higher powers.  This might work as a one season show, but I am already thinking of dropping it.

Dropped recently that I used to follow are Burn Notice and The Glades. 

Probably the two best new shows that I have seen recently, however are The Americans and House of Cards.  Set in the Reagan era, The Americans is about a couple of Soviet spies who move the U.S. and start a family in order to blend in as a typical couple.  An FBI agent moves in across the street and they become friends with him and his wife, all the while, this is the couple that the agent is also pursuing without realizing that he's after his neighbors.  It's a serial and it's an engrossing thrill ride.  The show is on the cable network FX.

House of Cards is a addictive serial, full of political conspiracy and manoeuvrings that at times seem like they could be realistic.  Kevin Spacey is bound to win awards that Bryan Cranston used to win as lead actor.  It's a Netflix series and while season 1 has ended, it's far better than anything on major network television. 

It's been said recently that television is now the stronger medium for quality drama, overtaking the film industry.  I tend to agree.  What's even more interesting is that the best dramas are from smaller networks, rather than the ones that have the history and big budgets.

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