End of Season Report Card 2009-2010: Part II
Over the weekend, I posted Part I of my End of Season Report card, A-C, listed in alphabetical order. Here is the continuation, with brief reviews of Dollhouse, Glee, Gossip Girl, Greek, Heroes, and How I Met Your Mother. These reports do contain some key plot details from the past season, so if you aren’t caught up on one of the shows, just skip that section. Dexter and Friday Night Lights are left out, as those shows had already aired in their entirety when I posted about them in January. You can read my brief reviews of Dexter season four and Friday Night Lights season four here: “Midseason Report Card: Part I” and “Midseason Report Card: Part II.”
DOLLHOUSE (season 2): A+
Unlike most of the shows on this list, Dollhouse is one that I have written about, fairly frequently. When I checked in on the show at midseason, there were only three episodes left. This line from my January report haunts me: “I continue to adore Boyd …” Sigh. I was so young and innocent then … before Joss had ripped my heart out with the reveal that my beloved Boyd was the big bad. In my recap for the game-changing episode “Getting Closer,” I quoted my sister Gianna, who after watching the episode stated: “I feel like I just found out that my best friend is Hitler.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. This show was a serious tragedy-fest, people. Every heartbreak imaginable happened to our characters, it seemed, but I loved every minute. I know it is not a popular opinion, but I stand by my A+ rating. I found the entire series to be brilliant, and the latter half of the second season exceeded my wildest expectations. Dollhouse has earned a cherished place on my dvd shelf for years to come, and it will be missed. Read my thoughts on the finale here: “Epitaph 2: The Return.”
GLEE (season 1): B+
Glee slowly won my heart during the first half of the season, but when it came back from hiatus, it was a bit inconsistent. Also, when it came back from break, it was up against Lost, so I couldn’t watch it live. Duh. Throughout the season, I was alternately in love and angered by the ridiculous plotlines. Still, overall this is a feel-good show, and one that I look forward to. I think Glee’s biggest strength is its heart. No matter how silly it gets—and it gets pretty silly—ultimately, the show is about the underdog. And who doesn’t relate to that? Heartless soulless people, that’s who!
The highlight of the season for me was the Madonna episode. As for why I was so excited for “The Power of Madonna,” you can read my post here: “Madonna: A Primer for GLEE Fans.” The episode suffered a bit from over-hype, but putting that aside, it was really pretty fabulous—light on story, but awesome music. The rendition of “Like A Prayer,” was especially powerful, and I had that on repeat on my iPod for weeks.
The music on Glee is great, but I worry that oftentimes it shines at the expense of the story. The show would do better to focus on writing, and crafting compelling stories and dialogue. With such a large audience, some of the stuff they try to pull over on us is rather embarrassing. You can do better, show. I believe in you.
Another highlight for me was Sue Sylvester. I am now a card-carrying member of the Jane-Lynch-is-awesome club (okay, there aren’t really cards). I could watch her yell at everyone for hours. Such fun. If the rest of the show sucked (which it doesn’t, in general), I would totally watch just for her. Also, her character showed some growth this season, with the introduction of her sister, really humanizing her. And then, there was the major awwww-moment in the finale, when we learned that Sue voted for New Directions at Regionals. So sweet.
Kurt would probably rank as my other favorite character. He’s just good TV, and I love him lots. He is vulnerable, sassy, and he makes me care. Check, check, check. And the scenes between him and his dad? Gold. Perfection. Tear-inducing.
The weakest link for me is Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester. He just bugs. Ever since the pilot, I just did not really like him—I commented in my first post on the show that it feels like I’m supposed to like him, but I really don’t. To me, he’s one of those “fake nice guys” that I like to theorize about. And then, there’s the hip hop. Stay away from the hip hop, Mr. Schue. Please. We don’t deserve that kind of abuse.
Overall, I have to say that Glee is one of my favorite new shows, and it really has a lot of potential. It has already been renewed for a second and third season, so let’s hope that it lives up to the hype. No pressure. Oops.
GOSSIP GIRL (season 3): C-/ Incomplete
Goodbye, Gossip Girl. I loved you once, but no longer. As I noted in my midseason report, the show was disappointing this season; however, it only proceeded to get worse. I can’t point to one particular moment or plot point, but gradually, throughout the season, I just came to dislike pretty much everyone on the show. It no longer was a fun escape, but an exercise in raising my blood pressure—and not in a good way. Even my favorites, Blair and Chuck, couldn’t save the show for me. I had to stop watching. From what I’ve heard about the latter half of the season (via Twitter), I was lucky to get out when I did. Apparently, Chuck had sex with Jenny. Ick! Moving on to better television.
GREEK (season 3): B+/ A-
I love Greek. I really do. It is just such a fun surprise to find a show with its subject matter that is so smart and witty and pop-culture savvy. If it wasn’t for that ridiculously inane plotline with the fire, the season would rank higher, but, seriously, the fire was handled badly. Like soap opera bad. Still, I have to say that Greek ended up being the show I most enjoyed on Mondays, and Monday boasted a lot of television this season. It’s just really fun, and a great way to unwind from the day. I love pretty much all of the characters, which is really rare, and I really feel invested in them.
Evan and Rebecca’s chemistry was a nice surprise, and I really find that pairing compelling. Evan has always been my favorite boy on the show (I know, I know), and it’s nice to see him really growing up, and taking responsibility for his life. Rebecca has also grown a lot, but she still retains that Rebecca charm (or, erm, lack of charm, which is what is so charming). Don’t change too much, Rebecca, because I love you just the way you are.
Ashleigh is also a long-time fave, and the girl has had a hard year. Her term as ZBZ president has gone anything but smoothly, though she did have Casey to help her out. I kind of wish that Ash was given more of a chance to stand on her own two feet, without Casey dictating all of her behavior. Sigh. And then there was the whole Fisher debacle … twice. She deserves better. Still, I think she is growing up, and learning from her mistakes, and now with the connections made in Myrtle Beach, it looks like Ash has a bright future ahead of her.
And then there is Casey and Cappie. The couple was reunited … only to be torn apart. Sigh. On the one hand, I understand Casey’s concerns, but on the other, I think she is over-thinking and over-dramatizing. It seems like a pre-emptive breakup, which is really just a waste. Why not enjoy the time they have together, right? The problems between them just seemed so constructed—as in built up just so that there would be trouble in paradise. Sigh.
ABC Family has renewed Greek for a fourth season, as reported by Michael Ausiello, but so far the order is only for 10 episodes. Hopefully, that order will be extended. Or, if the fourth season is the last, I hope that at least the show will be given fair warning to wrap things up.
HEROES (season 4): Incomplete
The internet is a hostile place for a Heroes fan. While a lot of the vitriol against the show has been earned—let’s face it—a lot has not, and it just seems like the Heroes-hate got a bit out of control. After that disappointing third season, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue watching the show, but I ended up starting season four … and enjoyed it. It certainly wasn’t my favorite selection of the Fall season, but not unwatchable by any means. Still, when it came back from hiatus, I was just watching so much other TV that I never quite got around to catching up. It just didn’t hook me enough to feel that I had to keep up. However, I think it is a show that I will eventually catch up with—on dvd or online. I mean, I came along on the journey this far … why stop now? Plus, I want to see what happens with Robert Knepper’s Samuel, and the rest of the circus folk. And I never did get to witness Kate Vernon’s turn on the show, and I do adore her. I will just have to catch up … eventually. Since I haven’t finished the season, I can’t really judge it fairly, so no grade. We shall see.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (season 5): B-
For any other season, I would give this show an A or an A-. Alas, alack, sigh. Shall we recount the crimes against awesome that have been committed this season? A fat suit, uneven characterization of Robin, over-the-top Barney (a travesty), annoying Ted (par for the course), missed opportunities (Slapsgiving revisited should have been a triumph!), the smoking episode, Robin’s new mediocre love-interest, just to name a few. And did I mention the fat suit? To the show’s credit, there have been some great little moments throughout the year—including Lily’s Dark Willow glare—but ultimately, this season has been a disappointment. Even Neil Patrick Harris singing in the 100th episode couldn’t make up for all the show’s weaknesses. I’m not ready to give up on it, but I am starting to think that How I Met Your Mother is outstaying its welcome. It’s not even that the show is really that horrible right now, but more that it is so much lesser than it once was. Just show us the mother and say adieu, please. For the love of all things awesome!