TV Roundup

Short takes, flights, a sampling, small plates, or whatever:

Scandal is guilty pleasure viewing.  I don’t love it necessarily, but I can’t look away either.

Girls actually had a couple of decent scenes this week…the half hour only felt like 45 minutes instead of 90.

Among the shows that are starting to wear a little thin:

Repetition is starting to set in on Mike & Molly and (hate to say it) The New Normal…or is it some general sense of ennui I have?  Oh, maybe it’s because nothing I’ve seen lately can compare to Rust and Bone and Amour.  Hmmmmmmm…

Lest you think I am only comparing sitcoms to stark, narrative features, I submit that Shameless is less an assault to the senses (in a good way) with a bit of poignancy now and then (like it used to be) than it is another near yawn (sigh).

I still watch The Big Bang Theory and chuckle from time-to-time, but I’m happy to see that there is movement toward some changes for characters who have been static a little too long.  This represents a hint of change and new life, which is the same condition that is making The Office better than it has been in years.

Among the shows that are on the upswing:

The last 2-3 episodes of Downton Abbey were a vast improvement over the first half of season three.  I like the season ending because it opens up a lot of narrative options.  I watch the show and (still) long for Gosford Park.  Alas…

Finally, The Good Wife is starting to crackle again.  This season has been off the mark, but the promise for renewed vigor is there after the latest episode.

It was good to see Ed Asner in a guest shot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in a role cast against type.  That’s a show I often DVR then watch when I’m tired and don’t want to think too much – the TV equivalent of macaroni and cheese and bedroom shoes.

Among the shows that I hope will not begin to wear thin:

I still count on Modern Family to make me laugh…and cringe.  Episode for episode, there are a lot more hits than misses.

Bill Maher is on hiatus this week but is still my man.  Not literally, of course.   Can you imagine optimism (me) meets pessimism (Maher) trying to have an actual dialogue?  But, I sure do like to listen to this smart and funny man on television, which is a safe distance from his caustic side.

I zip through a lot of the Sunday morning news shows, but Reliable Sources is the one I watch all the way through.  In the same way, I record Hardball every day but probably watch about two or three days a week.

This sounds like a lot, but I doubt that I watch as much television as most people and generally don’t turn on the television unless it is with the intent to watch something particular.  If you could see the number of movies I DVR from TCM and struggle to find time to see!

Next on my list is online viewing to catch up with the Netflix series House of Games.  Liked the first episode…need to dive into the remainder!

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