Welcome back to part two of OCTV’s mid-year wrap up, where Nicole and SB go over what they’ve been watching all year and take a step back to look at the seasons (or the seasons so far) as a whole. If you missed part one, you can find it here. Gifs are generously rounded up by hockeybychoice, and as always, Nicole’s thoughts are in purple and SB’s are in blue. Enjoy and be sure to comment!
How I Met Your Mother
This show has really impressed me with it’s willingness to go places where most traditional sitcoms would be afraid to go. The most impressive and heartbreaking example of this is last year’s storyline about the death of Marshall’s dad which can still make me tear up if I picture Alyson Hannigan’s cryface and remember Jason Segel’s strained ‘I’m not ready for this’. The whole thing was so well done and they found a fantastic balance of humor and emotion to tell the story over the subsequent weeks. As someone similar in age to the characters, I appreciate the fact that the show will go there and show the funny and human side of all the shit you go through in life around this age.
This year, the drama has been about Robin and her inability to have kids, and how she feels about that considering that she was always the one that said she never wanted them. Again, I can totally relate to this. I’ve never particularly wanted be an Olympic pole vaulter for Team Canada either, but if the option was suddenly taken away from me, I don’t know how I’d feel about it. At this point, I appreciate this show for it’s ability to tell (mostly) good stories each week, and for making me laugh AND cry, and I don’t particularly give a shit HOW he met their goddamn mother. I stopped caring about that a long time ago. But as long as I feel connected to these people and the show is willing to take chances with stories and subject matter, I’ll be watching.
Yeah, you know, I read a lot of professional critcs’ opinions about this show and their increasing rage, and I’m always a little confused, like … REALLY? It’s not that they don’t make valid points, I guess, but I just kind of feel like what they’re getting worked up about isn’t that big a deal, and I pretty much feel like if you’re still watching the show with the actual expectation of Ted finding the mother, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment every week. And I don’t know, it just seems weird to me keep watching a show that’s going to stress you out. But then, I’m not a professional critic, so if I don’t want to watch something … I just don’t.
Anyway, I agree with Nicole that this show has had a lot of really great acting, especially in the least year or two. Those episodes where Marshall’s dad died were excruciating, in a good way. I also got emotional about the Olympic pole vaulter episode, and how about Barney finding his real dad? All awesome.
My only real issues in the past year have been Zoey (how do you actually make Jennifer Morrison, of all people, insufferable?) and Kevin. I’m fine with Ted being single (also, I really don’t know why everyone hates Ted so much … I guess I wouldn’t say he’s my FAVORITE, but he’s fine, and he just serves such a definite purpose within the group–but I digress), but I’m not sure why we’re still keeping Barney and Robin apart at this point. The writers really fucked it up once, and I thought things were getting back on track. I’m okay with a short “choosing Kevin, pregnancy scare” detour, but I hope it’s short. Obviously Lily and Marshall have their happily ever after, and Ted is working on his … is it so unreasonable to give Robin and Barney theirs, when it’s so obviously each other?
But even the prolonged agony of Robin and Barney isn’t enough to keep me away from the show. I really like it–it’s funny, the cast has awesome chemistry, and it’s a nice half hour on a Monday. I’m in for the long haul.
Hart of Dixie
I mean…we don’t need to tell you that we love this show, right? We give it a lot of coverage here on OCTV between the weekly recaps and HBC’s gif posts (which are like half shirtless Wade gifs), there’s no shortage of HoD. I have to say though, I was REALLY surprised by how much I liked this show pretty much immediately. When I heard the premise, I admit – I thought it was going to be a shitshow. Rachel Bilson, Summer Roberts, as a surgeon? It’s unfair, because the girl is 30, but the lucky bitch is going to look 22 forever, so it’s a little hard to imagine that she’s had time to complete college and med school, let alone have a few years of regular doctoring under her belted formal shorts. My most pressing thought when I heard about it was, ‘poor Scott Porter’. And let’s be clear – HoD is not FNL or anywhere in the same realm of FNL. But then, what is? The quality that drew me into HoD right from the pilot episode was how much it reminded me of another classic show, one that is literally my tv version of a warm cuddly blanket – Gilmore Girls.
You’ve got the small town, the quirky locals, the odd weekly ‘happenings’ and at its core, a show that wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s not ironic or snarky – it’s fun. I love dark, and I love gritty, but sometimes you need a counterbalance to all of that edginess, and HoD fills that void. It’s colorful, cute and earnest – all of the things that most of my favorite shows are not. But I love it, and I find myself looking forward to it every week.
I agree with everything about Nicole’s last paragraph. I never actually watched The OC or Gilmore Girls (I know–GG at least is on the list. The OC is a definite maybe.) Still, I feel like this show is kind of perfect nostalgia for anyone raised on The WB and the likes of Dawson’s Creek.
What I’m about to say next is not news to anyone who reads my tweets or blog comments or anything else, because I’ve said both of these things repeatedly. The first is that I love Hart of Dixie with my whole heart, unironically, and with sheer enjoyment. The second is that Hart of Dixie is almost undeniably Not A Good Show. And I guess what I mean by that is that there’s not necessarily anything particularly original about it. The premise is basically Doc Hollywood, the love triangle has been done a zillion times, the southern tropes are … tropes, and basically every time you tune into it, you know exactly what’s going to happen. But it really, truly, does not matter. It’s cute and charming, and I think there’s something sort of delightful right now, in a pretty shitty political and economic climate, to just watch something that’s an unapologetic throwback, cheerful and uncomplicated. Just like Revenge sort of captures the zeitgeist with its takedowns of the rich and shameless, Hart of Dixie has some kind of inherent understanding of it and bucks it entirely, and instead relishes in escapism. And just like Revenge (except totally not like it at all), it is thoroughly entertaining.
And you know what else? I might be starting to change my mind about this being Not A Good Show. Particularly, and maybe surprisingly, Lemon and Lavon are changing my mind. They’re both really good characters (Lemon in particular) and really good actors (Lavon in particular). I’ve enjoyed their story as it’s progressing.
And of course, as Nicole mentioned above, we’re all massive Wade fans. He is Pacey in plaid with an accent. What the fuck is not to love?
The New Girl
I’m actually really surprised by how much I like this show, but it’s just SO FUNNY. As I think you all probably know from my Twitter commentary, I have VERY conflicting feelings about Zooey Deschanel. On the one hand, I find her totally irritating. I am completely over her cutesy-hipster-frilly-toddler schtick, and the singing and wide-eyed saccharine adorableness just makes me want to fucking kill myself. On the other hand, when I read interviews where she expresses intelligent opinions about said schtick, I find myself thinking that she sounds really smart and respectable and I kind of like her and it PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF. I don’t want to like her because she’s the goddess of an entire section of culture that I find painfully annoying.
But I can’t help it. Am I made of stone? No, I am only human and I can’t help but find Zooey somewhat charming. And that is the best compliment that I am able to bestow on someone that I WANT to hate so much. (Also, if she shows up on Glee, ever, all bets are off.)
Anyway, you know how some shows just WORK? New Girl is that show. The cast’s chemistry is effortless, the characters are all distinct and funny, guest stars add to the show rather than detract. It has a nice look, the pacing is awesome, and it’s just all around a good sitcom. If you would’ve asked me at the beginning of the season if I thought that I would like, and maybe even love, this show so much, I would’ve laughed in your face. But here we are, and the Midori Sour fight was one of the funniest things I’ve seen on TV this season. AWESOME.
Yep, this show rocks. I love EVERYONE on it, but especially Schmidt, oh my god. Schmidt is like Max from Happy Endings in that I enjoy him so much that I want him to spend all day every day by my side just adding a running commentary to my life.
I do not have a hate-on for Zooey D like lots of people. I unapologetically love (500) Days of Summer. (Me too–I own it on DVD and it’s so good.) I own and regularly listen to two She & Him albums (the Christmas one has been on my ipod more than most things for the past couple of weeks). I have MAJOR HAIR ENVY whenever I see her (sometimes I have to rewind entire scenes of TNG because I’ve been so focused on her goddamn perfect fucking hair that I miss all of the dialogue). I do think that they sometimes play up the naive hipster waif thing a little too much on the show, like the time that Jess couldn’t say ‘penis’. If you’re older than 12 and you can’t say penis, I mean…fuck off.
But this ensemble works so well together, the writing is sharp and like SB said, they give GREAT guest star. I mean, let’s face it – even if I hated this show I’d be sticking around for Ryan Kwanten’s guest spot, because obviously. Here’s hoping that he and Schmidt get into some Parkour! hijinks together.
Goddammit, Glee. Still TV’s most bi-polar show, and still weirdly addictive. I wouldn’t even compare it to crack–it’s really more like meth. WAY more shameful, slightly trendier, and I think it may be giving me fucked up teeth. I’m not sure HOW it’s doing this, exactly, but I just have a feeling.
Listen. I had high hopes … well, hopes … for this season, with Ryan Murphy being distracted by American Horror Story and Marti Noxon coming on as a producer, and I guess I would say that this season has been better than the last, but it’s still just … GOD.
I feel like this season really proves that there are some really fundamental problems with Glee. Structural problems. Foundational shit … okay, I’ll stop. But my two biggest issues are these:
1. There are some truly fucking unlikable characters on this show, and there’s no fixing them. Rachel Berry, main character deluxe? Obnoxious, irritating, and fully irredeemable at this point.
2. There are some really talented people on this show who are either being wasted, are just all-around too good for it, or both.
I’m not going to use a ton of real estate here putting people into those categories, because I want to give you guys something to discuss in the comments (HINT).
I want to say that I’ve been more into the storylines, but that doesn’t feel exactly true. But I may also be blinded by my thorough and burning hatred of the Puck and Shelby storyline, which I ranted about during my Glee rotation. That shit is FUCKED UP.
Still, I’m glad that they’ve shown some awareness of continuity this season and seem to be more likely and able to follow a storyline from Point A to Point B. I wasn’t crazy about what they were doing with Quinn in the first part of the season, but I do at least respect the attempt to acknowledge that teen pregnancy is actually, you know, a life-changing event. It’s been nice to have Sam back, and I like where the Mercedes relationship is going. Santana’s coming out story has been much more subtle (and I think successful) than Kurt’s, and they’ve given Naya Rivera material to work with that she KILLS. Sidelining Shue and Emma (and for the most part, Sue) has been a good idea, and while I still have non-stop problems with a zillion things on this show (Rachel, Kurt, Finn, all adults not named Burt Hummel, and turning Beast into the new “fat girl is fat”, for starters), it’s hard to quantify but something about this season seems a little better than last. Maybe the further Ryan Murphy gets from it, the better it’ll get. I can dream. (And as I dream, Lea Michelle will close her eyes and bend over and cry-sing a Broadway song so hard it looks like she’s pushing out a watermelon-sized turd. And Kurt will look on proudly, eyes shining with unwept tears. *Eyeroll*)
The most positive thing I can say about this season of Glee is that we’ve hardly seen Schue and Emma at all. Especially Schue, who I have come to loathe more than Rachel, Shelby and Sue combined. Oh, and like SB said, Naya Rivera has been knocking it out of the park, both with her acting and her singing, so thank you Naya for making this show tolerable.
But other than that? I’m still watching out of sick twisted habit and a bit of that car accident morbid curiosity. I hate so much about it: Shelby and Puck, the fact that the show seems to have forgotten that Shelby is Rachel’s mom, Quinn’s sudden need to turn her life into a bad Lifetime movie, Sue and her weekly changes of heart and her unfunny and ridiculous crusade against Glee for no fucking reason, the total lack of any coherence from one week to the next…I could go on, but I’ve only got a week off of work and I’d like to not spend the entire thing dissecting the many failures of this goddamn show.
The Christmas episode had some things that I thought had potential, like the black and white homage to the old variety specials, but it was marred by so much bullshit that it was hard to enjoy (Star Wars WHY, exactly? Rachel’s suddenly a huge Christian cunt just so that they can tie her character to Sally from the Peanuts? The gang singing Do They Know it’s Christmas in the most condescending way possible to a bunch of homeless families? Sue’s about face that you know will be totally forgotten when the show comes back? FUCK!!!!!). I’m cutting this show loose after this season. It has to be done. I did it with Gossip Girl a couple of years ago, and there was WAY more to like about that mess than there is here.
Up All Night
I think I’m probably a little out of this show’s demographic … I mean, I’m probably in the right age group, but I don’t have kids. Still, Reagan and Chris do things that I would imagine myself doing if I were a parent, like cussing like sailors over their kid’s cuteness (duh) and hating their nerdy suburban neighbors. But a lot of the show’s humor doesn’t even come from the parenting aspect so much as the relationship aspect, so there’s still stuff in there for me to enjoy.
Obviously, there’s no universe in which Will Arnett is going to be on TV and I don’t watch. And yes, I watched Running Wilde, which started off terrible and ended up getting pretty good and even a little … dare I say it? Reminiscent of Arrested Development. Still, this is obviously a good vehicle for him with broader appeal and a chance for him to break away from just playing Gob over and over.
My biggest complaint with the show when it started was Maya Rudolph. She didn’t seem to fit the aesthetic of the show, and mostly when she was on, I was just annoyed. But they’ve done a really good job of toning her down without completely altering her character, and I’ve really enjoyed her a lot with Jason Lee.
I love Christina Applegate and I think he’s really funny, but for me, surprisingly, the winning comedy duo is Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett. Those two are really, really funny together. I think that the last episode I watched (which I believe was the last to air) had a scene with Chris freaking out and Ava asking if she needed to slap him and actually slapping him all in one fluid sequence, and just his reaction was priceless. It genuinely cracked me up.
Plus, it seems like the longer the show goes on, the funnier I find it. This is a good sign.
I agree with SB on lots of things here. As a non-parent, I don’t deal with these issues on a daily basis, but I have friends who do, and this show is right on the money with all of that. Plus, I would totally be the parent who couldn’t stop cursing around my kid. Two of my friends have a 3 1/2 year old son who recently started saying ‘fuckit fuckit fuckit’ over and over again, and they have no idea where he learned it. They claim he must have picked it up in daycare. I’d be willing to bet money that he probably heard it around the house when one of them said it without thinking, because I KNOW if I had a kid, she’d have heard every word on George Carlin’s list by the time she was two. By accident, of course.
I agree too that they’ve been much better at integrating Mya Rudolf’s character, and bringing in Jason Lee was a great idea because it gives her something to do with Reagan and Chris other than just stopping by to act clueless about babies. And yes, Rudolf and Arnett are HILARIOUS together – love that combo. I’m not as sold on this show as I am on say, Happy Endings or New Girl, but I’ll keep watching it now that it’s moved to Thursdays even though FUCK YOU NBC for taking Community away. But hey – I’d still say leave this show on and kill 30 Rock because as much as I love Tina Fey, I fear that show has run it’s course at this point, whereas Up All Night is just hitting its stride.
I haven’t really been watching Parenthood regularly since the first season, even though I like it and think it’s well done. I did catch a couple episodes this year while basking in the horror of Haddie’s bangs (and thank you for THAT, Twitter!), and I found that it was easier than I thought to just hop in at a random point.
I don’t know what it is, you guys. I’ve kind of talked about it before and no one ever shares my feelings about it, but I still just feel like Parenthood is SO GOOD that it’s hard to watch. For me, it’s just kind of like … all the things that make you love your family but also make being around them so exhausting. But, like I said, that’s pretty much always just me, so feel free to disagree–I’m used to it.
I am 100% crazy in love with this show. It has completely filled the large void that FNL left when it ended after five seasons as the beautifully written and acted family dramedy that makes me laugh and cry every week. The Bravermans are very real, just like the Taylors were before them, and when you get invested in the show you start to feel like you’re a part of it. I couldn’t believe how tense I was, watching to see if Sydney, a five year old, would be able to get through a game of chess with her grandfather without losing her shit. If you don’t watch, it sounds ridiculous that this would be a moment filled with suspense, but holy shit man – if you know these people, it IS that tense.
Everybody knows that Lauren Graham and Peter Krause and Craig T. Nelson and all of the adults are incredible actors. This is not news. Although, you’d probably be surprised to know that Dax Sheppard is so incredibly talented – I know I was. But I have been most impressed by the teenagers on the show because they are really incredible. Haddie and Amber are like exact representations of different sides of my personality when I was that age. I remember feeling the things that they do, and reacting to situations exactly how they’re portrayed on the show. It’s kind of freaky. Drew is the perfect depiction of a shy teenage boy starting to come out of his shell.
I don’t know what to say to convince people to watch the show – remember all of that pressure you felt about FNL? Well, it all applies here. The only way you’ll regret checking it out is if you hate things that are good. You DO hate things that are good, don’t you? Why do you have to be such a dick? GOD.
Um…I watched the pilot and immediately followed it with the pilot of Revenge. Guess which one I liked better? I haven’t seen an episode of Ringer since that day, and I have to say – I don’t regret it. Not even Polaha was enough to get me to stick with it.
In probably terrible TV blogger fashion, I never even bothered to watch that much. The pilot got terrible reviews, I was busy, and life is short. I did, however, read all of David’s very nearly goddamn heroic reviews, so I wasn’t completely without entertainment from it. I almost broke down when I read a post about Polaha yelling, but the very consistent general consensus of utter boredom made me ultimately say fuck it, and instead I just hope that they kill him off and put him on something awesome where I can love him forever … like Hart of Dixie. MAKE IT HAPPEN, CW.
Also, I don’t know what SMG was thinking, and yeah, I know I’m saying that without having ever seen the show, and yeah, I know that the odds of Buffy lightning striking twice are basically nil, but wouldn’t she have been SERIOUSLY amazing on Revenge? Who told her that this is what people wanted to see her in? Because oh man. WAY off.
Guys, confession. This show is losing me, and I’m about to call it. I want to like it, mostly because I like the people in it. Jeremy Sisto is likable, Jane Levy is LOVABLE, and there are some truly funny moments. And I really love the girl across the street. But that’s the thing. I’ve been watching this show all season, and I have no fucking clue what her name is. And she had probably the best scene in the entire series, which was, of course, her being naked in front of her entire extended family.
It’s like the chemistry just kind of isn’t there, and I don’t actually buy that Dallas and George are even in the same age group, much less that there’s sexual attraction between them, and I feel like the show is just, in general, directionless.
Unexpectedly, the thing keeping me watching the show is Dalia. That girl, and that character, is HILARIOUS. Well, and okay, it’s good background noise while I do homework. But if not for those two factors, I’d have bailed by now.
Wow – we’re pretty opposite when it comes to this show – I really like it. Although, I will say that I TOTALLY agree with your assessment of George and Dallas. I mean, I LOVE Cheryl Hines and I feel like a bitch just pointing this out, but George is clearly a young dad – he almost seems like he had Tessa when he was Lorelai Gilmore-young. Whereas Dallas is normal mom age. So, he and Dallas do not make sense to me. Friends? Sure. Drunken one night stand? Fine. But long term relationship? I don’t buy it. For the record, they are ten years apart IRL. So do with that intel what you will.
I do love Lisa (the girl across the street – clearly your homework has been distracting you, SB!) and Dalia and Lisa’s brother are holy shit funny. Still can’t stop laughing at, ‘Scarlett Johanssen…dead’. (Okay, YES. This destroyed me, especially as a ScarJo hater. I still think about it and giggle.) Not every episode works for me as well as I’d like it to, but there are lots of things here that I do enjoy, and more often than not they make up the majority of an ep.
I do think it’s hilarious that the showrunner is surprised at how many critics have noticed a slight inappropriateness to George and Tessa’s relationship (not intentional, obviously) – I’ve noticed it on occasion too. Just little things here and there, like what sixteen year old girl do you know that would joke with her dad about his balls? I sure as hell wouldn’t have. But, this is only an occasional thing and doesn’t actually bother me because I know the subtext isn’t intended. It’s just a natural problem when you’re creating an opposite-sex parent/child relationship as close as the one that Lorelai had with Rory. It’s a little more complicated and the tone can be difficult sometimes.
But I do still like the show, and if I had only one request going forward, it would be for more high school and more of Tessa and her friends and frenemies. We get a lot of parent action here, and they are all really great, but so are the kids and I feel like they get benched in favor of the grown-ups too often.
Alright, that does it for today, but there will be more tomorrow! And the next day! So in the meantime, share the love and comment–agree, disagree, go off on a tangent, devote an entire comment to one person’s hotness *cough*WAAAAAAADE*cough*, whatever. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!