(PCM) My Top 10 Mid-Season TV Shows Quick Reviews (Spoilers Abound)
1. Gotham – My favorite show of the season. You can sense how much this town is going to need Bruce Wayne’s alter ego in another ten years. It does have the limitations of being in a comic book realm, but that’s what suspension of belief is for. Jim Gordon’s early police past is showing us where that wisdom that will come from age and experience, when Batman needs a friend in the Gotham City Police Department.
True to the comics, and the best of the films, the character development of the bad guys is enrapturing. There is a budding evil-doer nursery in Hugo Strange’s (DB Wong) Indian Hill lab. Ed Nygma and Cobblepot’s budding friendship has been amazing, and Harvey Bullock, played by Donal Logue, is the best co-star in modern fictional action/drama.
2. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – More believable than Age of Ultron on the big screen, I’m glad that the sub-plot focus is less on Skye this season – I was fearing another three years of “Wesley Crusher Saves The Universe” when she was constantly spotlighted last year. I think that in seasons one and two, they forgot it was an ensemble show, wrapped around our favorite once-dead Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season three has allowed the rest of the cast to have each gotten an episode or two to shine.
Although I’m not a fan of nail-biting cliffhangers, an unconscious Coulson, asleep on a planet half a galaxy away, with a team of Hydra agents just ahead of him, led by Grant Ward, bringing back hydra’s Holy Grail, I’m looking forward to how they wrap up the season. This is one of the few shows that consistently surprises me with its twists and turns. Bring on Agent Carter!
3. The Flash – This has been my favorite ‘fun’ show. The team and the actors, including guest Jay Garrick have been amazing. The DC Easter Eggs have made this show special as well. I wish the DC movies could be as fun, and capture the essence of their characters as well as the TV shows. The writers have brought us alternate universes, with similar but different/same characters in a believable way. Mix in some time travel, and the storytelling becomes even more impressive.
I’m glad Tom Cavanaugh’s ‘evil ‘Dr. Harrison Wells was killed off last season… I’m even more glad that ‘jerk’ Dr. Harrison Wells, also played by Tom Cavanaugh, has come in from Earth-2 to mix it up with the Star Labs team.
4. Arrow – I admit it, I didn’t watch the first few seasons, but reading the online reviews and watching last season’s finale has pretty much brought me up to date for the changeover to ‘Green’ Arrow. It was great seeing John Constantine return, and the straightforward characterization of the regular supporting cast.Early on, we saw Oliver Queen, standing alone over a grave. I’m guessing Felicity Smoak will be a permanent victim of this year’s Big Bad, Damian Darhk.
5. Doctor Who – I like Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, I really do. I think. I liked Clara Oswald as his companion. I Guess. I was sad that she died. I’m perplexed that she didn’t die, but will be forever ‘alive’ in between a heartbeat. Is Clara immortal now? At least Ashildr has a friend to spend an eternity with, in their stolen TARDIS.
And hearty congratulations are in order, to the 12th doctor, for beating Captain Jack Harness’ all-time record for most times coming back from the dead, in excess of 4.5 billion times. I’ll let more devout whovians determine the final number, but I guesstimate the grand total to be a tad over 7 trillion deaths.
6. Supernatural – Ten years of momentum has me still watching this show about two brothers who constantly, needlessly, keep important secrets from each other while battling the Forces of Darkness. It has few surprises, but I hope Sam and Dean will work through their issues in time to save us all from “The Darkness” from before The Beginning.
More importantly, I hope to see a Crawley/Castiel ‘road show’ episode before the show runs its course.
7. iZombie – Season one was fun; both the ongoing drama and the episodic adventures were a blast. Rose McIver shows subtle acting far beyond what one may expect to find on the #5 television network, and her surrounding cast members make for an intriguing cast of characters. This year, I’m not a fan of the essential changes in Major Lillywhite’s basic character since season one, but that is more than made up for with the return of Aly Michalka, who increases the ‘eye candy’ factor by a factor of ten any time she is seen on the screen.
8. Heroes Reborn – My biggest problem with the first run of this series was the broad-based story that spotlighted heroes, then forgot about them for weeks at a time. I’m ‘situationally compulsive’® – I don’t like waiting for answers and guessing on forgotten plot points. I need to know the details. For the most part, they have followed that some format, but instead of seemingly dozens of key players there are just the needed handful getting my emotional investment.It’s almost cheating when a show uses time travel for plot twists, but I’m letting it slide for this limited maxi-series. I’ll be watching the final episodes in January 2016.
9. Modern Family – I never gave this show a shot because the first five people and a handful of PR notices told me it was about a gay guy, his significant male other, and the first gay guy’s immediate and extended family. A television’s key selling point being about a gay person on the show was innovative and daring in 1977. It sort-of worked for Will and Grace a decade ago, but I don’t care about someone’s sexuality, and certainly didn’t want to watch a show about it.
My Loss. The show is actually about an extended family. Jay Pritchett’s family to be precise. A very funny show about Jay Pritchett’s extended family. Oh, his son happens to be gay. Now those twelve members of Jay’s family are part of my TV family.
Even so, a sitcom would normally never be on a list like this, but very few sitcoms have ever made me want to set aside the time to watch every week, and anticipate the cliff-hanging season finales… would Haley reach Andy in time to stop the engagement? Would they ever hook up? Now that they did, will they have a future together?
I never thought I’d write three sentences in row like that. An amazing show.
10. Once Upon A Time – I actually gave up after 5 episodes. I mean, I like the portrayals by the actors of these one-dimensional characters, but that is not enough to make me a fan. It’s more the contrived story points, the constant need to remind me that ABC (and Once) are nothing but Disney products, and the inconsistency of the character traits that have freed up my Sunday nights.
This is the same team that gave us Lost? The show reminds me of Charmed, but without the three hot witch sisters. I think Hulu will be bringing me up to date with Supergirl, the #1 contender for my coveted top ten spot. Stay tuned.