Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 TV Season: Some Canceled and Some Saved

I'm not the kind of guy whose social schedule mirrors TV Guide. That is to say, I'm not a slave to any TV shows, but then, I have the luxury of a DVR to record favorites when I'm not home to watch. Actually, though, I record everything I watch, so I can fast forward through the commercials. 

Among my TV-series box sets are the seven seasons of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that I purchased 10 years ago at a retail cost of about $250.
One of my few nods to the digital age is streaming a few series from Netflix or Amazon Prime for binge watching. Just a few years ago, you had to buy or rent a season's worth of a series in a DVD box set to binge watch it. I have a few such collections that I purchased at anywhere from $25 to $50 a season. Cha-ching!

I just completed watching all but the most recent season of “Scandal” on Netflix. I'll watch the most recent season once Netflix posts it. I am currently hooked on “The Killing.” It's a four-season crime drama that aired on the AMC network a couple of years ago. It took two 13-week seasons to get through the 25-day investigation into the killing of a 17-year-old girl. Yes, it drags in spots, but over the course of 26 episodes, I was convinced four or five different people committed the crime just to be surprised at the very end of the last episode of season 2 by who actually did it.

The Killing's Enos and Kinnaman.
I like the two detectives Sarah Linden, played by Mireille Enos, and Stephen Holder played by Joel Kinnaman, who are the central characters of the show. Well written, the first two seasons were pretty compelling. I'm ready to launch into season 3. The one thing about this show I find annoying and almost comical is that virtually everyone smokes. Adapted from Danish TV, “The Killing” may just be laboring under a strong European influence. Smoking is almost a medal sport in Europe and Scandinavia. Barely a scene goes by where someone isn't puffing away. Nearly everyone, but the youngest of children, light up at some point or another. If I watched it with someone, we'd play a drinking game where we would do a shot every time someone lights up. Of course, we'd be shitfaced before the first commercial break. Otherwise, this is a wonderfully engaging show.

A couple of times a year I search “canceled TV series” to see which of the shows I follow is returning next season and which isn't. I am often disappointed by shows that their networks ax and by the ones that, despite questionable entertainment value, are renewed. 

Battle Creek's buddies.
Here are some of my biggest disappointments among canceled shows so far this year on the major networks:

Forever ABC – A well-crafted show about a medical examiner who doesn't age or die.
Revenge ABC – A wonderfully decadent soap-opera drama of revenge and hate.
Battle Creek CBS – A terrific buddy story starring the guy in the State Farm “Chaos” commercials.
Stalker CBS – A police drama with a top-notch cast and an excellent sound track.
Backstrom Fox – An unapologetic drunken, misogynistic police lieutenant leads a detective squad.
State of Affairs – A political/CIA drama starring Katherine Heigl (enough said!).

Among the series airing on cable networks I am most sorry to see eliminated is FX's “Justified.” It's a serial crime drama starring Timothy Olyfant as a U.S. Marshal working in Kentucky's Appalachia region. Excellent writing, characters and actors. It's fun TV. You can stream it on Amazon Prime.

Timothy Olyphant as Justified's Marshal Raylan Givens.

Here are announced renewals that have me scratching my head, wondering who exactly watches these turkeys:

Terrible acting and lackluster writing characterize each and every episode of 2 Broke Girls.
The Bachelor ABC – An idiot acting idiotically toward other idiots.
Extreme Weight Loss ABC – This is entertainment, really?
How to Get Away With Murder ABC – Perhaps the least watchable show of the 2015 season.
Secrets and Lies ABC – With neither a character nor an actor with any redeeming quality whatsoever.
2 Broke Girls CBS – I laugh more in 10 minutes of “The Bachelor.” Worst-written comedy on TV.
Big Brother CBS – we really care about any of these people?
Survivor CBS – I'd like to vote it off the island.
Hannibal NBC – A grim, dark train-wreck in which every character is nuttier than squirrel poo.

And there you have it: my current TV status.

I'm sure you were wondering.

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