Friday, June 8, 2012

The TV season...Is there a second act?

This has been a better than average television season and now it's almost over. House closed its season and its series with a rather pretentious soul-searching episode, but the show itself was unique and satisfying for most of its run. Since I only committed to a few dramatic series, I quickly dropped The Killing, a police drama that showed early promise but bogged down in too much nearly black and gray photography and too many red herrings. I almost did the same for Glee, since season 2 was uneven and didn't compare with the pizzaz and invention of the previous season. But I have stuck with Season 3 just hoping for improvement. It didn't happen. The musical numbers hit their nadir with a whole show dedicated to Whitney Houston!

The big questions with my favorite shows is what can happen next after so many plot explanations? Revenge, my favorite guilty pleasure developed its mystery quickly, but as we approach its denouement, what can possibly happen next year? The same could be said for Mad Men, one of the best and most honored series in ages, which has been rocky and lacking direction. How many times can Don Draper make us hate him? Though I'm still impressed by the re-creation of the 1960's look and aura, the quirkiness and subplots often take away from the drama. But the last two episodes have restored my faith. SPOILER ALERT: Joan prostituted herself to achieve full partnership, Peggy quit for greener pastures, and the Brit manager hanged himself. All of these events weighed heavily on Don and gave him a more human dimension.

I have also become a fan of the show biz drama Smash, a seemingly adult version of Glee, where two talented chorus girls vie for the star role in a musical based on Marilyn Monroe's life. It started with a bang but bottomed out mid-season. However, the last three episodes found the show's momentum again and used some great musical numbers and plot twists. And finally, my favorite new show was Person of Interest, a suspenseful procedural about a nerdy but brilliant scientist (Micheal Emerson of Lost) who has invented a machine that can focus on a person who is in danger of being killed. Jim Caviezel is perfect as a former CIA agent who has gone rogue but now acts as the enforcer for the scientist. This is one show to watch.

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