Saturday, 12 December 2009

2009 TV Surprises

Glee

If you told me a year ago that I'd watch - and very much enjoy - a TV musical series...well, you wouldn't hear many nice words from me.
I do enjoy a musical now and then - if the story is good (Cabaret must be one of my favourite films ever) - and I enjoy the tunes but the combination of musical and TV kind of reminds me of Highschool Musicals and Miley and I'm very much a wrong age group for those (well, always was lol).
First of all, Glee is not just a musical...it's the gayest over-the-top comedy show I've ever seen (and yeah, I own the whole of Ally McBeal on DVDs as well as a season of Will and Grace). Glee makes fun of highschool musicals, pays an homage to them as well and is the only TV show that makes their viewers sob while watching a choir of deaf students "sing" John Lennon's "Imagine" in one episode and totally make fun of that in another episode.
If other highschool films/TV shows give you a nice, shy and talented girl as the heroine and a smart but troubled boy as the hero; Glee gives you an annoying talented girl and a nice, good at heart but basically dumb boy without making them a comedy cliché.
Glee is so not PC but also so PC at the same time - guess it depends what exactly you make of it - and yes, this show can also actually make you think (treat the disabled as equals or make advantages for them? - for instance). Also, it doesn't give you a neatly wrapped happy ending after a morally challenging tale. The good don't always win but the bad don't become good in a blink of an eye, their characters actually develop (kind of suroprising for a comedy, eh?).
Also, Glee is the only show that gives you Sue Sylvester (Emmy nomination for Jane Lynch, ya hear me?!) who utteres one-liners like "Yes. We. Cane." Sue Sylvester became the new Chuck Norris after she killed him and had his balls for dinner. Ew.
Best of all: Glee isn't flawless - in the best possible way. After all, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in, as Leonard Cohen sings. ;o)



Dollhouse

It's been short but it was mostly good while it lasted. Nobody thought Dollhouse would get a second season but a miracle happened and a second season did actually get filmed...but miracles can't happen all the time and the series wasn't renewed for a third season. There are 4 episodes left to air now but at least it seems it's going out on a high.

I've never been a Joss Wheddon fan. Buffy, Angel, Firefly...all just names for me but when Dollhouse was the new show on the block I took an interest in it and even tho the first few episodes didn't make me drool with bliss, I was later rewarded for my persistance in watching.
I'm still having mixed feelings about Eliza Dushku, the leading lady of this show; don't think I've seen an actress as imbalanced in her ability as her. Sometimes I wished there'd been another, better actress in her place but other times I was almost blown away by how well she did.
The real stars of this series for me, next to Olivia Williams and Harry Lennix would be the gentlemen Fran Kranz and Enver Gjokaj in particular.
The former playing a neurotic, twitchy and sociophobic genius of a scientist (Topher Brink) who annoyed you at first but you ended up loving him eventually; the latter playing.....well, so many people (including characters usually played by other actors on this show) I'm just blown away by his talent. This guy should get a fucking starring role in a feature film.





Mad Men

Not a new show this year but a new show for me. I love history, I love historic series that manage to capture the time period (the 60's in this case), have intelligent storylines and have some warmth to them as well.
This year's season was somewhat darker than the previous ones but the last couple of episodes and the finale somehow turned that on its head.
Attention to detail, great continuity, next to The West Wing probably the best cast: Brilliant TV.

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