Midseason Report Card 2010: Part II
It is that time of year when I check in on all the shows that I watch, but usually do not have time to blog about. I posted Part I of my Midseason Report Card a few days ago, so check that out first, if you haven’t already. I am only grading seasons that premiered in Summer and Fall of 2010, and of course, only shows that I watch. Some shows have already finished off their respective seasons, while others are about nine or ten episodes in. Here is Part II of my Midseason Report Card, covering Glee, Gossip Girl, Hawaii Five-O, Hellcats, How I Met Your Mother, Human Target, and Leverage. I do not pretend to have the only right opinion, and my judgments are subjective and based upon my own enjoyment of these shows. Vague spoilers for previously-aired episodes to follow, but I have been careful not to ruin anything if you are not caught up. I promise.
I just have not been able to get into Glee this season. How much of this is due to the constant hype machine, and how much of this is due to the actual failing quality of the show, I can’t really tell you. But I’m just over it. Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future, but for now, I prefer to be not watching the show. At all. Why, you ask? I can’t really eloquently express it, but for one, the songs are just not doing it for me anymore. I used to excitedly download my favorite tracks immediately after an episode aired, but nothing has really struck my fancy this season. It all just sounds the same now. Second, so many characters are unlikeable. I’m looking at you, Mr. Schue. (For the record, I hated him loooong before it was the cool thing to do. Now my twitter feed on Glee night is a barrage of anti-Will tweets.) I’m also looking at you, Rachel and Finn. Ugh.
Earlier this year, Mindy Kaling tweeted “Honesty beats earnestness.” That really struck me, because I felt like it articulated the difference between good writing and okay writing. While she did not express that idea in the context of Glee, I feel that the simpering earnestness is really the reason why I can’t stomach the show lately. Whenever the show deals with emotion or tries to send a message, it seems to be trying soooo hard, but rarely does it feel honest. I don’t know, I guess it is largely a matter of taste and subjectivity, but the good just doesn’t outweigh the bad, for me. Speaking of the good, however, that would include Sue, Brittany, and Santana. I’ll miss you ladies.
Gossip Girl: B+
I am glad that I made up with Gossip Girl this season, and decided to tune in again. I missed you, Blair Waldorf! While the Juliet plotline was far too dragged out, and I am miffed that the show almost made me dislike the awesome Katie Cassidy, it has been a pretty fun ride this season. The Paris stuff at the beginning was très magnifique, ooh la la. And the Chuck and Blair stuff all season has just been so delightfully heart-breaking. Love it! And I will never look at a piano the same way. We’re only halfway through the season, but the midseason finale hinted at some interesting things to come. What new craziness lies ahead? Personally, I am kind of hoping that Serena meets her Volchok soon.
Hawaii Five-O: B
This is some fun escapist fare—an enjoyable way to spend forty-two minutes. The bromance between McGarrett and Danno is especially awesome. They make me giggle. Also, I have loved seeing Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim back on my TV screen, and the Hawaiian locales are a nostalgic reminder of Lost. And has anyone been keeping track of how many times Grace Park has punched someone? I need a punch-count, people!
Guilty pleasure alert! Oh-so guilty, but oh-so pleasurable. Oops, that sounded dirty. I blame Marti. Anyway, after seeing the trailers for this CW offering, I thought it would not be my cup of tea, but I was wrong. It is just fun times. I need a little soap operatic drama in my television schedule. And I have really come to adore a lot of the characters. Dan Patch (played by Matt Barr, in a rare turn as NOT-psychotic-nor-a-superficial-jerk) has possibly reached TV-boyfriend status, and Savannah (played by Ashley Tisdale, and no, I have NEVER seen High School Musical) is beyond adorable. I also have a bit of a girl crush on the delightfully evil, but secretly vulnerable, Alice (played by Heather Hemmens). I’m also enjoying the adults’ storyline, but that may just be because it features Principal Robin Wood from Buffy, and Chief Tyrol from Battlestar Galactica. Marti (Alyson Michalka), the supposed star of the show, is kind of the weak link for me. In theory, and on paper, it would seem like she’s the character whom I would love, but she just kind of fails in execution. The cheerleading aspect of the show is also not really a draw for me, but it provides the background for a lot of scandal and drama. I can’t wait to see what happens when the show returns from hiatus. Bring it on! (Terrible-awful-no-good pun intended.)
How I Met Your Mother: B-
Hmmm … not sure what to say here. I was not a fan of season five, and season six is … not any worse than last season. To be fair, it is slightly better, in the sense that it is not as frustrating; but slightly worse in the sense that it has been largely forgettable. Well, I guess there was Robin Sparkles, Part III. Of course, it couldn’t compare to the first two Robin Sparkles episodes, but it was fun. There was also a fun Thanksgiving episode, but, once again, it couldn’t compare to past Thanksgiving episodes. Whenever I go back and re-watch past seasons of How I Met Your Mother, the inequity becomes even more glaring. I can’t stop watching though—I just care too much about the characters. I only hate because I love. You know what I mean—I caaaaaaare. But for the sake of these beloved characters and talented actors, I hope the show wraps up soon. I would love for it to end things on a high note, before it has become completely and utterly over-played.
Human Target: Incomplete
I really enjoyed Human Target last season, but I have only tuned into the premiere this season. Somehow, five more episodes have aired that I failed to watch. Oops. Thank goodness for Hulu! I enjoyed the premiere and the introduction of Ilsa Pucci. I’ve always liked Indira Varma since her turn as Maya in the über cheesy Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. More recently, she starred in Rome as Lucius Vorenus’s ill-fated wife. The premiere also introduced Janet Montgomery as Ames. I like that Human Target has added two new female characters, though the verdict is still out on how they will fit into the show. Chance, Winston, and Guerrero had a great rapport last season, so I hope that continues, but the show definitely needs more of an emotional hook. I will report back at the end of the season with further thoughts. I just hope that the series remains a fun and enjoyable escapist pleasure … and that Amy Acker returns.
Okay, so it is totally cheating for me to include Leverage here, since I have not yet watched season three. However, I caught up with seasons one and two over the summer, and I kind of love it, so I figured that I should report. Currently, I am impatiently waiting for the release of season three on DVD. “The rich and powerful, they take what they want. We steal it back for you. Sometimes bad guys make the best good guys. We provide… leverage.” With this Robin Hood-esque premise, I was intrigued, but it was the characters who really hooked me. First, there’s the super awesome and amazing Parker. As Eliot described her: “That’s twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag.” Word. And Eliot … sigh. I love him so. I think this was the role that Christian Kane was born to play. It just seems tailor-made to fit him. And Hardison … double sigh. Aldis Hodge really has some major range. He has become my new TV boyfriend, but I would never have guessed it a few years ago. He was soooo creepy and unlikable as Voodoo in Friday Night Lights, and as Jake, one of the “Special Children” in Supernatural. But Hodge is really capable of transforming his entire face, and his eyes especially. (Jake and Voodoo had such villain-eyes, didn’t they?) Hardison is just so lovable. These three members of the team are my favorite. I love how they interact, and the rapport between them all. They make the show. I also really like Sophie, played by the lovely Gina Bellman, but I think she’s too good for Nathan. Ugh, Nathan. Yeah, the show centers around him, but he’s … not my favorite. Still, the way the whole team works together and becomes a family is just so much fun to watch. Everyone has an integral part to play.
Thoughts or reactions? Comment away. And come back later this week for Part III, covering Life Unexpected, Mad Men, Modern Family, My Generation, Nikita, No Ordinary Family, and One Tree Hill.