This past Tuesday’s season finale of The Flash marked the end of the 2014-2015 television season for me (For the most part. A few of my favorites started in early Spring and are still going). Back in September and then again in January, I talked about what I would be watching. Now that the dust has settled, let’s survey the carnage and see what remains, shall we?
GOTHAM – Here’s what I said back in September, “My main concern is that the show won’t have any sense of fun and will just be a run-on-the-mill gritty cop show with a slight Batman overlay. If that ends up being the case, I probably won’t be sticking around for long.” That isn’t quite what happened. Instead, Gotham veered wildly between straight police procedural and absolute insanity as the show tried desperately to figure out what it was and why it should even exist. I stuck it out for the whole season, but a season finale that said to me that the showrunners have no idea where they’re going, I’ve decided that I’m disembarking from this particular crazy train. Gotham (both the show and the city) needs Batman, but that won’t be happening.
TOP GEAR – Sadly, with the departures of Jeremy Clarkson (who absolutely had to go. I wouldn’t argue otherwise. In fact, I already didn’t), James May, and Richard Hammond, Top Gear as I know it has ceased to exist. I know the BBC plans to find new hosts and bring it back. I can’t imagine that I will be interested, though.
SELFIE – As much as I adore Karen Gillan, I can’t say that I’m sorry to see that this show was canceled. She and John Cho are far too good for the material they were given. I will say that the series proved that Gillan can anchor a show and that her American accent is quite good. I know Gillan is filming a new project. I think it involves witches. Hopefully it will be worthy of her.
THE FLASH – Hands down my favorite new series of the season. I cared about the characters from the very first episode, and the series provided something that was been sorely lacking in its sister series, Arrow (which I gave up on 9 episodes into the first season): a sense of fun! Yes, I’ve had a few qualms along the way (Secret identity? What’s that? And Iris. Poor Iris (Although, she was far better served by the finale)); however, the series has been very entertaining. Jesse L. Martin and Tom Cavanagh have been especially fantastic. And the show has not shied away from its comic book roots. We got Gorilla Grodd! And next season promises even more, possibly even Jay Garrick. I will be there!
MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – After a rough start, SHIELD really hit its stride at the end of the first season, and I’m happy to say that season two continued that improvement…for the most part. As is true for many arc-based shows, they had trouble pacing the story over the full 22 episode season, but there were so many good things this year. My favorite, though, has to be Kyle MacLachlan’s performance as Cal. At first, he seemed to be a fairly over-the-top villain out for revenge. If you would have told me at his first introduction that, by the end of the season, I would be tearing up for him, I doubt that I would have believed you. His character arc was fantastic work from both the actor and the writers.
MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER – The eight-episode Agent Carter run made for an enjoyable bridge between the two halves of the SHIELD season. The late-40s setting was well done, and the series gave Peggy Carter far more to do than she ever will in a Marvel movie. I thought we’d get those episodes, and that would be it. I was honestly surprised (happily, though) that the show was renewed for next season. I’m glad that we’re going to get another adventure for Agent Carter. Hopefully, Enver Gjokaj will be back as well.
COMMUNITY – Yes, this series now streams from Yahoo.com, but, since new episodes hit on Tuesdays, I’m listing it here. Community was canceled by NBC after its fifth season, but Yahoo swooped in and saved it. It has a new home and a couple of new cast members, but really the show hasn’t changed at all in its switch from broadcast TV to Internet streaming. I have found the episodes to be uneven. Several have been fantastic, and a few others I found myself wanting to fast-forward through (Side note: Yahoo’s player is terrible). I’m glad we got this season, but, with two episodes remaining as of this writing, I won’t be incredibly sad if this turns out to be it…at least until the movie. We get six seasons and a movie, right?
BROADCHURCH – Um…confession time. I haven’t actually gotten around to watching this season of Broadchurch yet. The episodes are on my DVR. I’ll get to it! Eventually.
CATFISH – Ah, my guilty pleasure. After four seasons, I am still fascinated by the people who end up in these online relationships that may not be what they seem. I’ve actually dubbed the show, “Oh, Honey: The Series,” because that’s what I usually end up wanting to say to these poor people when they find out the supermodel on the other end of the chat isn’t real. More episodes are coming in July. Wherever Nev and Max go, I will follow.
GRACEPOINT – The American adaptation of Broadchurch wasn’t nearly as successful as its British predecessor and was canceled after its first season. In retrospect, it was completely unnecessary. It didn’t deviate enough from the original to draw in fans of Broadchurch, and just wasn’t able to grab a new audience. I watched all of it, but my main takeaway is that, unlike Karen Gillan, David Tennant has trouble with the American accent.
A TO Z – I watched the pilot and the second episode, which was enough for me…and pretty much everyone else. The show’s viewership was never great, and it will not be back next season.
THE BIG BANG THEORY – After this many seasons, Big Bang Theory is the equivalent of comfort food for me. I know what I’m going to get each week, which is a few laughs. I still enjoy it, even though I think they are having trouble with Bernadette and Howard. She’s slipping into the “nagging wife,” while he’s losing much of the maturity he gained in earlier seasons (little though it was). I will say that this season was possibly Wil Wheaton’s best appearance in years, but otherwise I’m watching the show more out of habit than anything else.
ELEMENTARY – I wrote about my issues with the first have of this season last Fall in THIS POST. Fortunately, the show did patch up the Holmes and Watson partnership through the somewhat vicious removal of several characters, and the second half of the season was fairly solid. All expectations are that next season will be its last (The ratings are still awful, but it will have enough episodes for syndication.), so I will enjoy it while I can.
ARCHER – While season six of Archer didn’t reach the highs of season five, it was still an enjoyable run of episodes. Part of the fun is just how very wrong the characters are, and that has certainly continued, even though Archer himself is showing just the slightest bit of maturing. Season seven looks to shake up the show’s core concept again. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in mind.
CONSTANTINE – I know a lot of folks were upset about this cancelation, and the producers and fans held out hope for longer than I would have expected. That said, the show just never grabbed me. I stopped watching after about 9 of the 13 episodes, so even if it had been renewed, I wouldn’t have been watching.
DOCTOR WHO – It’s Doctor Who! Of course I’m still watching it! I just want August to hurry up and get here, so I’ll have new episodes!
MYTHBUSTERS – Before the season premiere, I was concerned that the loss of Grant, Kari, and Tori was going to hurt the show. While I still miss them, I felt that the new format, with additional focus on the science and the build process, worked quite well. Adam and Jamie can keep this going for several more seasons as far as I’m concerned.
ORPHAN BLACK – I said back in January that my attention drifted a bit during season two of Orphan Black. That continued during the third season premiere. By the third episode, I was fast forwarding through large chunks of the episode, and then I deleted the most recent episode off of my DVR unwatched. Despite Tatiana Maslany’s impressive abilities, I am bored with the show. I’ll keep up with the recaps on EW.com to see if I should pop back in, but based on what I’ve seen so far, there are better things I could be doing with my time. Sorry, Clone Club.
GAME OF THRONES – Season five of Game of Thrones needs more Tyrion. Otherwise, it has been more of the quality show that we have come to expect since the first season. This year should mark the end of the material that George R.R. Martin has actually published in the novels, and already, from what I have gathered, storylines are either completely new or going in very different directions from the source material. The show has two seasons left after this one, and I don’t expect that I will be jumping ship anytime soon.
Additionally, I covered a couple of Netflix series in my previous posts.
HOUSE OF CARDS – Time for another confession: I didn’t watch season three. Once it was released, I couldn’t get up any enthusiasm for it. Season two took me as far as I wanted to go with those characters. Maybe I’ll change my mind at some point, but for now, I’m set thanks.
DAREDEVIL – Due to the lack of promotional materials that had been released at the point of my January post, I said that Daredevil was the biggest unknown. It’s known now, and it was wonderful. The series is absolutely set in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in a small corner that is ignored by the big guns, such as Iron Man and Thor. The Matt Murdock/Wilson Fisk conflict may have been confined to Hell’s Kitchen, but it was far from small. It also showed that grittier stories can be told inside the MCU. Daredevil will be back for a second season, and I will be eagerly awaiting it as well as the other series promised for the Netflix end of the MCU.
So…that was a lot of television. The most I’ve watched in years. So far this Fall doesn’t look nearly as promising. We’ll see how things shape up once we get closer, though. Until then, I will enjoy the Summer break. And I’ll have Hannibal to keep me company when it returns on June 4th!
- Alan Decker
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