Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

TV

Posted by Mike on January 29, 2008

You’d have to be living in a cave somewhere to not notice the immense impact the writer’s strike has had on the TV landscape these days. While like most, I’m well behind the writers on this one, I’m not lamenting the extra time I’ll be getting over the next year not being glued to too many programs (particulary in trying to fit them in around Kings games). But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some really good TV on right now.

First up is AMC’s new Breaking Bad show, which given the success of the incredible Mad Men (particularly at the Golden Globes) was a must watch. It’s turning out to be one of the darkest, most incredible things on television. Its second episode reminded me of most series’ season finales, with several plot twists spiralling the main character, a terminal (lung cancer) chemistry teacher turned meth cooker, into the depths of crime and despair. Showcreator Vince Gilligan must be mighty proud of this one and many kudos to AMC for showing something so brave. Obviously the closest analog would be Weeds, but Breaking Bad is so much darker and out of control. And the news about a studio/writers agreement to allow both Mad Men and Weeds to return to production is pretty great as well.

The Wire Season 5 is now halfway through the series, at least if you’re watching it On Demand. It’s definitely great, although there’s something kind of missing about it for me, but then again the show always sets expectations really high and it’s not usually until the latter parts of the seasons where you start to realize the genius of the arc. But the war between Omar and Marlo seems to be steadily accelerating, with the first casualty already notched.

Torchwood just started its BBC America run, finally close enough to the British run to be patient about, and the revamp looks good with a lot more humor, comraderie and, of course, a great performance from Buffy’s James Marsters as one of Captain Jack’s old partners. And it looks like it just gets better from there.

Chuck just finished its prestrike Run last Thursday and promises to be back, which is a great thing as this is a show that to me, foremost, is so joyful and full of life. Love all the characters and the plots continue to get more and more tangled with great, crazy sequences having to do with Chuck’s coworkers. NBC really need to stick with this one as it could eventually be a breakout hit, given what a natural talent the lead is.

Friday Night Lights hasn’t been quite the amazing feat of writing this year that it was in the first season, occasionally veering way to close to more cliche soap opera themes, but it’s still well worth watching.

Lost returns Thursday, Jericho on Feb 12th, Repear on Feb 28th, all for just a short time. And I’m also looking forward to seeing the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration on CMT on Feb 11th.

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