Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer Shows Review, Part 2

Today is the last full day of summer! So in honor of that sad (not really) occasion, I'm finally posting the rest of my thoughts on the summer TV shows I checked out this summer. To read Part 1, click here. Onwards...

Breaking Bad - The stage was set this season during the first scene where Walt celebrated his 52nd birthday alone at a diner. It meant the last 16 episodes of the series will, at the very least, tell a years-worth of stories to lead up to that point in Walt's life. Considering the past four seasons covered roughly around the same time frame, the pacing will be a bit different. This gave the show a sense of urgency which was good, but as a longtime fan it was also a bit distracting. Scenes or episodes that would have been amazing in any other season because they lingered and were built up, started feeling wasteful this time around. We wanted to get to the good stuff! Did we really need more time to devote to showing them make meth? Or spend time on new characters like Lydia and Todd? And yet, the show kept pulling it off somehow. Most of that is because of the excellent cast from Cranston's palpably sinister edge to Gunn's wonderful portrayal of a hardened and depressed Skyler (my favorite part of the season). I also loved getting into the head of Mike and even though he didn't have much to do, Aaron Paul as Jesse constantly stole scenes. And of course there's Hank who is finally connecting the dots especially in that final scene making my heart skip a beat. I honestly have no idea what Vince Gilligan has in store for the final 8 episodes airing next year. I just know I can't wait for more! A-

Weeds - I foolishly had high hopes for this final season especially when the show brought back its catchy theme song for the opening credits. I thought yes they were going back to their roots and end the show on a high note, pun intended. Except no, not really. The season, like its main protagonist Nancy, meandered aimlessly not knowing exactly where to go and what to do. Their return to Agrestic was a refreshing welcome which unfornately only took place over one episode and it was the penultimate episode. The time jump then for the series finale grated me to no end as I felt everything was rushed (of course) and ultimately unearned. I did like the random return of Justin Chatwin's character, but you know long-time fans really wanted to see Celia back. Overall, a big disappointment even though the final scene of all the characters getting high was a nice touch. D

Masterchef - Since Gordon Ramsay is such a grating figure, I avoided this show like a plague in the past, but little did I know Ramsay is not that bad here. He's mean, but his remarks, like the other two judges, are always constructive. It helps that most of the contestants are truly talented preparing delicious food in such a pressurized environment. The winner this season is Christine Ha which made me insanely happy since I rooted for her since the first episode I saw her. Even with her blindness, she schooled every other chef and hers is just an inspiring story. Runner-up Josh Marks competed though coming back from elimination and always doing his best. Will definitely check out next season. B+

So You Think You Can Dance - Other than the very first season, this was the only other season I didn't watch. Yes, I saw the auditions and the first 2-3 weeks of live competitions, but coupled with dancers who didn't really grab me and the confusing and alienating schedule it was a challenge to see any more than that. From what I hear, I didn't miss much though I do regret missing the comeback of season 2 winner Benji Schwimmer for an episode. I did manage to watch the finale this past week and even though I didn't see all episode, I can't deny how talented year in, year out these show's contestants are. Two ballet dancers won this year, which is pretty interesting. Hoping the magic returns next year though. N/A

Big Brother - Pretty much the same situation above except I haven't seen this show regular for a few years. I only saw the premiere episode and about 1-2 more episodes this season because a few Big Brother alums I liked came back, but I've seriously outgrown the show. While Janelle left early, I was glad to see two of my early picks for the guys as the final two. I was even happier to see geeky cutie superfan Ian win the whole thing in the end. N/A

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