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It's looking like Adventure Time has fallen back to being just a kids' show like I feared. My guess is they went too far out to make money and were lectured by the network that they exist to sell merchandise and (eventually) movie tickets.

Season 6 had some of the subtextiest tv episodes of all time - Walnuts and Rain, Graybles 1000+, Chips and Ice Cream, Friends Forever - as well as some less guardedly profound ones, like Astral Plane, Jake the Brick, Breezy and The Tower, and the thoroughly insane Is That You? and Food Chain. It was basically wall to wall fantastic till that somewhat silly last week - continuity has rarely been their strong suit, with the season 6 2-part opener maybe excepted.

The Everything Jake episode was more intertexty-metatexty, tearfully so for Futurama lovers unthrilled by the Simpsons sendoff, and in a way which may have inspired the even more intertexty-metatexty Rick and Morty episode where Rick dates a parody of the Borg named Unity (because Com-). Chips and Ice Cream was both subtexty and metatexty and may have been an inspiration too, but of course Harmon has been at meta- for years. Not reliably entertainingly, but mostly.

I'm never sure if subtexty is valuable in itself or just comes to feel that way to those catching it. Probably that depends on the justification - for how well hiding allows important but elusive, unpalatable or hard to digest truths to slant into the unsuspecting.

The Leftovers did this nonstop. The Walking Dead has since season 4, though more heavily (often maximum heavily) in "town" episodes and bottle ones. I think Better Call Saul caught me completely by surprise with its - you find out the whole thing amounts to a damn near pure allegory. I'm not sure if you could quite say Breaking Bad was aggressively subtextual - I mean, it totally was, but in ways complementing its overt message. It was sneaky about how well and exactly it was saying what it was saying, I guess you could argue, but it was more expanding on a plainly conveyed mission statement than Trojan Horsing anything in. Could this be part of its greatness? Erasure of the line between allegorical content and vehicle? An efflorescent relation of micro to macro? I love it too much to not sound ridiculous when talking about it.

Game of Thrones carried off just the one significant subtext strain - the bug stuff and that to which it pertained. I mean, it tries, but mostly either trips over itself or falls into the eye-rollingly obvious in paradoxically moralistic ways.

Not a big fan of how Fargo employs it - the movie basically didn't, after all, beyond the plain message that criminals are selfish and short-sighted, those keeping justice alive patient, kind and methodical. Season 1 was riffing off No Country's message but added nothing crucial. 2's trying to left-wingify it, but doesn't seem to know how beyond an avalanche of standoffs and massacres. Hopefully it's up to something long-term sneaky like Saul and I'll eat those words.

The shows that do it best tend to either do it foundationally or exist in universes where pretty much anything can happen (restricting the latter to one-episode triumphs, mostly). Recent Walking Dead is maybe the one exception, but finds ways to seem retro-foundational (maybe drawing on something foundational in its source material mostly tv-ed out of seasons 1-3?).

For the foundational ones the tough trick is to stay character-based in an engaging way. I think The Leftovers ran into trouble with that, at least as a whole - too much fun bled out, and I don't think sadness was the issue (sad can entertain best of all, in the right hands) but the stretches and repetitions needed to bridge the stories of overly-similar or allegorically unrelated persons. It takes remarkable deftness to keep these gaps and arbitrary crossings thereof feeling natural, though it's clearly doable. I think a lot of the solutions found in that show are pretty ingenious, even. But enough small acts of papering-over require a full-room sheet to paper over THOSE - you need the epicycles to have to exist, not just laboriously and technically get to. Better to restrict things to just a few characters, like Saul, or find ways (and space) to allow the characters to be more than what they represent like in Breaking Bad. Jesse barely represented anything, after all, past helpfully keeping onscreen from the first a reminder that badness can be thrust upon us, to compare how we take each new version of Walt with. But within that wide set of bounds Jesse could be all kinds of other things - like an audience surrogate, comic relief, moral compass etc. And the arc of better-and-better he's allowed to follow isn't necessary like Walt's contrary one, so gets to happen in a more relaxed way. Keeping Walt both human and arc-bound I don't even know how they did. Well, I do: they hide his real bad decisions behind fake ones, ones where we agree they look bad deontologically but which we can't quite condemn - the real ones in fact never happen, but their results do. So at every point he gets to be an Everyman who happened to wake up in an impossible position. That's the main arc, anyway, but in the meantime he commits a number of sins that look small but that in fact are much worse, little stretchings-out into each new role he didn't ask for but is clearly stuck in so why not enjoy it. Yeah, masterstroke one was blur out the first decision point; two was the long garden paths where each last bad major faux-decision locks him into multi-episode, at one point multi-season damage control; three was to have the real breakings (cracks?) occur on a politeness, sometimes nearly an aesthetic, level. Four was to have him seem worse than he in fact was, once actually and (seemingly, amazingly) suddenly "bad" - so that we're with everyone else in hatred of him (him included!) hence have to be won back. Which he does, and not by actually becoming less bad than he's been! Seriously worthy of study, how they did all that. The Saul move was worthy of those. It's hard to imagine how Gilligan and co. will manage to pull off a second with Saul, but at this point I don't think we can doubt *that* they will.
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Maddy: We have to sleep with our eyes open to watch TV.
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Looks like consensus has coalesced around Fargo as show of the year - I guess those of us unthrilled with the True Detective ending managed to successfully deflate its enthusiasts via tactical whingeing? Fargo was mostly amusing and I'll watch its relaunch whenever, but it was more weird than good, and it meant less than it seemed to think. There were some memorable shots, maybe a few up there with the consistently amazing visuals of True Detective and Hannibal, and as usual Mad Men, but in the end nothing can replace story.

True Detective ... happened. The direction, art direction, McConaughection were undeniably top notch. And the credit sequence was just thrilling, even surviving retrospective self-seriousness given what happened with the show. I could watch cars run across Woody Harrelson's face for hours. And I mean that in a nice way.

That the ending plagiarized a comic book was weird. And consequentially, unlike the even weirder (if less certain and more likely unconscious is real) plagiarism of Donald Duck in Inception. Premises can and should be stolen, significance never. And if you do, Jesus - change something, anything. That the last damn seconds were unoriginal sharpens my suspicions that the ending was written while the show was in production. It's desperate and at a bizarre veer from all that came before. But I'm probably just protecting my dumb theory. Fail's doubtless on me.

Perhaps asking a single person to write so many episodes of one show, even with bits of help here and there, isn't as good an idea as we've been assuming? Or at least leads to some problems we weren't prepared for. Penny Dreadful and Louie, one-man shows also, had some neat high points but also some very draggy ones, much like Fargo. But Fargo was sufficiently invested in a serial plotline that the ending needed to matter. It wasn't as much of a burnout as True Detective's (seemed that it) was, but it was enough of a shrug to make the series itself retroactively shruggier. Julie and I argue about whether the "neat! What next!" feeling is valuable in itself or only as a promise of the feeling that a whole experience has been neat, and I'm on the asking-for-disappointment side. But she was a lot madder than she admits at the latter quarters of True Detective and Lost. Enduring love is possible, is the problem with the never loved vs. loved and lost dispute. Breaking Bad is possible. It's just not here this year. But secretly we're watching all this television looking for it.

Hannibal and Mad Men were good, though, and both of them despite our assumption that we've seen all this before. And maybe requiring that starting point for full appreciation? If the assignment is to find ways to keep Hannibal and Draper even vaguely fresh they both aced it. With the zombie team not far behind them, this year. Just like Game of Thrones becomes a lot more impressive when you ask yourself what you could have done better given those constraints. Heroic writing staffs, all.

Comedy we all differ on, though with some universal overlap, and that's fine. I wonder why it's fine, though? What makes it more like music or old movies or genre fiction where if you grew up with some strain of it or took a random liking-to at some early point it's valuable to you forever, while everyone else is pretty much justified in shrugging? Or maybe "drama" works the same way and we all just assume it doesn't? Maybe it's just how we react to the pain of seeing someone not laugh or not respond to our tunes - if they could get it they'd have got it at once, so we just give up. Whereas maybe with this serious stuff that at some point connects up with ethics or politics or spirituality or something they'll come to get it if they keep trying, just like those who disagree with us about all those matters are only tolerated by us for their potential to someday change and agree with us, a potential surely proved by their ability to tie their shoes. Or perhaps just some of us, but enough to keep the Academy Awards and similar provocations going. Perhaps there's no accounting for accounting for taste.
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Rewatching all Lost was mostly a horrible slog. Rewatching Breaking Bad is a nonstop delight. We started with season 3 but immediately regretted it. With Lost, even on the rewatch, each episode felt like empty calories - what little value there was was projective, and of course the projective value turns out to be near nil since the deferred satisfactions don't arrive. Hard going once you know it. There was value to it once, it's true. But there can't be again, at least for me.

With Breaking Bad the disappointment of each episode ending, of having no time for more, is dwarfed by our gratitude for what we've been seeing. For being made full. It's great to be noticing new things, but everything that was great last time is there undiminished too, because none of it was mirage. All was load-bearing, and the load borne wasn't simplistic or late Lost's sixty-five tons of bullshit.

And how it improves as it goes is one of its impossible secrets - somehow you start to feel that's happening episode by episode, not just season by season or even cluster by cluster. And not as an average of each episode's scenes - it's just that each time a scene or character or situation that's been away for a bit recurs it's a better shot and written, more thought through version of itself.

Some of this has to be illusory - where critical mass, pun intended, is reached you start looking for new ways to love what you love. You work on its behalf. And you fucking love doing that.

Though while I'm one of the fierce finale-lovers I will say that there were stretches that didn't give the sense of being better versions of (whatever) than had appeared before. Victim of its own success, in that sense, though there's room to be grateful even there, since a send-off as beyond perfect as Ozymandias or beyond new as Granite State would have made withdrawal anguish, which I for one am still feeling acutely, even less bearable. Here's how acute it was: I'd been feeling restless and heart-achy a few weeks ago and couldn't figure out why. Then noticed it had been exactly one year since we'd watched the finale. I'm feeling withdrawal while watching and loving and responding with full fresh awe to each minute of season 5 again.

Another secret, maybe the secretest, seems to me to be knowing exactly what "grain" to aim for. TV shows' worst sin is not attending to, often because not knowing, the place any part has in the show as a whole - which matters because our brains look for such wholes. Obviously other shows, and certainly seasons, have had completed arcs, but since individual episodes have these, scenes within them do etc. there's a tendency to return to some Platonic set of norms and just inflect key moments and/or endings. The time-stamp's on pretty much everything in Breaking Bad. Maybe it has the writers' strike to thank for that, for throwing it off of season-sized arcs so early? Or the garden path aspect of the middle (Gus) third, where two motivations are presented for all of Walt's choices, forced and elective, such that our minds are taken off of his (d)evolution? Probably that progress itself is what keeps the show understanding how close to its ending to feel. Things will get as bad as they can and then - do another thing. And for some reason we do know how long doing another thing takes, even if Kennedy didn't. It takes one twenty-fifth as long. Forget this and we'll be annoyed at you forever - I'm looking at you, Ghost and A League of Their Own.

I think this is one of the reasons style is so important, too. We want artworks to look and feel distinct, not just conceptualize distinctly, so that they can more easily stand out as memories - the way memories do among other memories, in fact. Even within artworks we want that to be the case. A change in location, in pace, in the sorts of things one sees happening; all twinned with continuities, recurrences. That's all very basic, but when you understand it well enough you can do a lot of it at once, and simultaneously do it more subtly. Having it all seem natural while at the same time nudging every stray or confused thought of the appreciator back to where it should be. Intelligible nature, that nuttiest of paradoxes, or anyway hardest lightning to herd.

This may be mere serendipity too - steadily growing viewership leading to a higher budget for sets, sound editing, cameras, art directors etc., which change the ambience gradually enough that the changes seem organic, purposeful. And of course the writers and actors also are likely enough to know what they're doing better the longer they're at it. That's the silver lining to the relative chaos of the early days of any show, even Breaking Bad: the natural shift toward order and self-consciousness will feel like the movement toward mystery from out of the-mystery's-what-the-mystery-is of a good story. But eventually someone starts to suck, is how it mostly goes. That there was a sense of an oncoming ending, and not just a stopping that could be made to look like one, must have discouraged sucking as powerfully as positive attention incentivized new awesomeness.

This post has lost its own sense of where to end and has in general fallen into intolerability, so I'll wrap up. Three cheers for Breaking Bad!
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Breaking Bad 4 was really good for a fourth season, maybe better than the previous ones objectively - can't remember well enough to say. But some of the bloom's gone. Eventually you get too good of a sense of what a show won't become, are left with what it merely is. The crowning excitement early in a television show's run - one that's excited you in every other way, at least - is similar to what you feel with a new president you support, or some kinds of new personal relationships. You're locked in, ready to be loyal, as yet undisappointed.

Unlike with exciting movies you've invested a piece of your future. And until you start minding you're delighted that you still don't mind. Some of the open expectations we let ourselves have about life itself in certain seasons of youth or morning get applied to entertainments made by people who are just as thrilled to have merited them, but who only have hunches about how to keep doing so, and a limited number of those. Something's alive that shouldn't be, and since no one knows quite how it isn't for long.

Part of the loyalty The Wire earns for its third and fourth seasons is for how well it fights that necrosis off. Not perfectly, even there, but well. We've been hesitating to even start five.

How should you surprise me next? Surprise me.
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Community improved, Wire crescendoed, Season 2 of The Walking Dead is a waste of time. Seriously - if for some reason you're following that one skip every episode between the first and last. A synopsis will catch you up. Amazingly tedious - as though The Killing bit and infected it.

First good Community episode was the first Christmas one, and quite a few have followed. I'd been pretty skeptical till then, though the presence of Dino Stamopo-something of Mr. Show was an encouraging sign. It's not as funny as, say, classic Futurama but compares well to present Futurama.

My iTunes account is still American through some loophole so we've been getting our movies and television that way. They have a lot more movies for rent than I'd realized, all 3 or 4 dollars - about half the ones I want to see. Even some Criterions; re. which House (1977) is a stupid waste of time, if you were wondering.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is fairly good.
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Adding The Wire to the list of what I think I'd find worth rewatching. Which is more or less:

30 Days for its minimum wage and atheist-among-Christian episodes only.
The Office, throughout but above all for the employee training episode.
Futurama, especially for seasons 2-4, a couple stray episodes post-relaunch.
Flight of the Conchords, whole first season and bits of second.
Lost, mostly for first half though lapsing point might change on a second go.
Simpsons for most of the 90s.
Curb Your Enthusiasm throughout.
Mr. Show for season 3, bits of 1 and 4.
The Wire throughout, so far.
Twin Peaks for its pilot film, first season, first bit of second, final episode, film sequel.
Connections and related series.
Planet Earth and relates series.
Breaking Bad, less so at first.
Fanny and Alexander and Scenes from a Marriage miniserieses.
Angels in America miniseries.
Seinfeld, but less good toward beginning and very end.
Fawlty Towers, especially for 2nd season.
Extras for the Stewart and McKellen moments.
Ricky Gervais Show and related programs for Karl at his best.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force for opening, scattered moments, bits of the movie.
Family Guy for scattered moments post-relaunch, related shows too.
Six Feet Under for first season, microrecoveries mostly in third and fifth including finale.
Mythbusters for the bull in the china shop.
Mad Men for scattered pretty interestingness.

Once enjoyed Friends and mostly comic moments in the Buffy shows, but don't remember those so well anymore.

Not ranking these. Fanny would lead if so, with Scenes next. Obviously!
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Boardwalk Empire: no.

Game of Thrones: no.

Revenge: no.

Pan Am: was free on iTunes. No, but better than all the above.

Community: maybe - episode one wasn't very good, but it was at least painless. They tell me it gets better.

Ricky Gervais Show is delighting us again.
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I'm a bit confused about these new HBO-type shows adapting novels: The Corrections, American Gods, Game of Thrones. If the show goes on for years, once sucked in aren't you just going to read the book then stop watching?
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Summer Interlude and Summer with Monika both out on blu-ray May 29. Never saw the former - exciting.

I bought Sunset Limited but we keep not wanting to watch it. Reminds me of that Gerard Depardieu movie where he and some friends form a pact to commit suicide by overeating - how I totally want to have seen that but without ever actually watching it.

Didn't particularly like Moneyball, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris.

We're starting season 3 of The Wire. It's never not good, but season 2 repeated 1 a bit too much to keep the honeymoon sweetlit.
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Union I'm in decided not to strike at the last minute. I was half looking forward to experiencing one from within. Maybe the deal will still fall through.

On the silly show Fringe things are shaping up toward a war between parallel dimensions. Made me think how much better set up, more intriguing the show could have been if one had already conquered the other but next to no one had been told, and exposition instead revolved around some people finding out - with everyone in the world landscaping, scrubbing dirty mountains, purifying lakes, building five mile waterslides. With all time measured backwards, toward a termination date when the populations of the worlds would trade (without seeing one another to prevent friction), the conquerors moving into houses their doubles had been given subsistence wages to fit out with improvements of the conquerors' choosing - presented as mysterious lists - while the conquered are stuck with a much shabbier, environmentally degraded planet their masters had burned through. Allegorical of a few real things, like the global musical chairs game of bourgeoisification where the music is stopping soon, and of course the world today's adults are giving their grandchildren, maybe children.

And then I realized that's more or less what Never Let Me Go had already done. Back at South Carolina they made all the incoming freshpersons read it before their first classes started, during the year I was given my own first rhetoric/composition courses to teach (unions for public workers being illegal there). They told us we had to work the novel in somehow, but then later said it was optional so I threw the book aside, having enough to deal with, meaning my first experience of the story was unfortunately the movie, which made a big mistake.

I don't mean Keira Knightley though if I ever meet her I will unsexually assault her with a soup hose at once. And I don't mean how horribly unpleasant a viewing experience it is, given what's happening - the cramp-like, contortive inner wincing you start to do in sympathy for the maimed, which isn't all gone the next day. I mean how it screws up the sequence of revelations by making you feel you know what's going to be revealed - which at first you do, and then later you don't, and for the final one of all you don't even realize one's coming. Thinking you know what's going to happen can be a satisfaction only when you don't think everyone else knows too, that it's that obvious. And you probably need to feel there's at least a possibility that you're wrong. It wasn't the unpleasantness but being left to sink in it as a kind of narative lake that was the problem. The movement from weirdness to science fiction to an allegory (of globalism's discards, presumably?) to the final thing could have been supurb. And is that in the book for all I know, but inevitably ruined now. The final, existential-type shift was still supurb but you can't freshen a soured aesthetic experience. Novels can. Not easily, though, and possibly only novels.

Speaking of existential, caught a cold and my sleep's been fitful, probably enough to nail shut the coffin of my adjustment effort - meaning I'll start a new one.
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We've been alternating Fringe and The Wire. Poor, typecast Lance Reddick.

Fringe is very silly - clearly pitched as Lost meets X-Files but it's all JJ Abrams all nude all the time, hence pure Alias. Whereas The Wire Season 1 was fantastic, as everyone said it would be (though they also said that about the blahish Sopranos). In fact I assume we're the very last humans of our make and model seeing it. Not unflawed and presumably charged with less shock-of-the-new, ten years on, but who cares. I wonder how closely trying to do something genuine with television paralleled McNulty's quest in the show. Given how high it shot results were maybe ultimately as mixed as his own, or for that matter his accent, but you can't not fall in love with this kind of trying.
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We realized after watching Law and Order season 8, where people kept referring to events and characters we'd never heard of, that we must have missed 7, so now we're watching that one. The one we watched last night, guest starring Burt Young of Chinatown, was quite good compared to any of the others we've seen these last weeks. Since it's been a couple years since we watched this show it had been hard to compare seasons in terms of writing, but the Young episode contained, like, ambiguous elements, which made me dimly remember that that was one of the strong points of Law and Order at its best, its permitting ambiguities, however controlled. Whereas most of what we'd been watching had felt like mere bad television, or anyway little better. And I think the problem is Benjamin Bratt.

He's a pretty weak presence compared to Noth or Martin, his predecessor and follow-up, but that's not really it - the problem is that he's showcased: for 'sexiness' ad nauseam, but also his personal life comes in, a violation of order and law. Law and Order is a show that more than most is based on in-house rules, which make it easy to parody but also help act as a firewall against the stupid-making forces of television. For murder episodes the body is discovered by random people, then the two cop leads arrive and establish what seems to have happened, then the credits roll, then we jump from location to location as leads are followed up, evidence analyzed, suspects are interrogated and once somebody's charged it switches to the lawyers and how they put together their case. The show is fine with repeating itself, fine with all kinds of cliches, but for the most part you know so much of where you are in the process at any point that you don't mind novelty even if you're an idiot - whatever rhythms of met expectation you need as a television zombie get satisfied by the in-house how, leaving the what free to be interesting. And the characters play a huge part in this by being almost exclusively their jobs, thus freeing time up for what isn't them - their personalities matter, yes, but mostly for presenting different styles of competence, different varieties of mistakes. A plausible enough variation of both to keep the handling of murder new.

It's inevitable with rules that strict that breaking them will start to get tempting, will tingle the spines of both writers and viewers when allowed to happen. Mostly because of cast turnover, a tradition got established where at the very end of each season the protagonists would become involved in murders personally, so as to kill them off or provide them with other reasons for leaving. These bled into midseason - I guess sweeps week? - at some point, and by the Bratt years I'm assuming there was new leadership in NBC programming because the writing starts to behave like it's being leaned on 1. to help us find out who these people are, 2. to make it sexier, with 2. coloring 1. So in the Bratt years everyone gets their own special thing - the lieutenant sues the department, the new assistant to McCoy has issues with her ex-husband, Briscoe's daughter has drug problems and Benjamin Bratt does a whole mess of crap, usually sleeveless. Julie points out that the 'sex it up' order is just funny because the writers interpret it in various ways, as though confused about what's expected of them: the crimes become more sex-based, people start being randomly crass, we start to see stains on beds, and no one stops talking about how sexy Bratt and the Carey Lowell, the Claire replacement Julie calls Claire II, both are. Flirtation between cops and the various people they interview achieves surrealistic regularity - for some reason they decide to have all women over sixty throw themselves at Orbach.

It is very silly, and whether because they were too busy meeting these new requirements or were drinking themselves to death in despair, the writers weren't often able to reconcile the new practices with decent work. The worst of it is the show became more popular. I know it mostly through the DVDs, and since they released the c. 2004 season experimentally early on I know things bounce back from the Bratt low. This despite the fascinating trainwreck Elizabeth Rohm, who consistently gives line readings so awful you pause to try to reconstruct what she was thinking. It's a pretty famous miscasting - she was right, if annoying, in season one of Angel when that show was dabbling with heavy-breathing Red Shoe Diaries type material, which she swims in natively. I dimly recall television passing through a kind of curtain in the late '90s, a period of which the Bratt stuff probably comes near the start of, after which pretty much everyone has to be attractive, heavily made up, perfectly coiffed and lit with aquarium lighting. It got to the point where even in Breaking Bad, which is clearly trying to be gritty, even ugly, merely gorgeous rather than drop-dead gorgeous actors are hired when the show wants to present someone realistically loserly. In these two seasons makeup is still applied mostly to get faces lit evenly: the show wants people to have bumpy, craggy features.

Maybe I remember the 2004 one as better than it was, but I don't remember villains hissing like Satan or any of these other cliches - maybe a writing threshold was passed along with the prettiness one. At any rate greater demands on the audience were made later, maybe because of HBO raising the bar - McCoy loses almost half his cases, for one thing, an immeasurable aid to suspense. And he's more often wrong. I can't remember seasons 1-6 of the show as vividly, probably because that late one was my first real exposure, but I think they must have been better than 7 & 8 or we wouldn't have bothered with them. Season 1 possibly excepted, as the show was very silly before it got on its feet. E.g they repeated the plot twist of having someone be put into a coma at the beginning, then die at some dramatic moment so the DA can up the charge to murder, at least five times in first ten episodes. And everyone constantly used the phrase 'screw the pooch.' They still seem to use it about once a season, an auto-homage.
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My wife nixed Battlestar Galactica an hour or so in for its agonizing slow-mo predictability and lame dialogue, re. which I agree so far, but I might be able to talk her into resuming just so she can see some more of Vancouver (Caprica = SFU, esp. its Quadrangle, also featured heavily in the Day the Earth Stood Still remake).

Californication seemed fun at first but was then confirmed stupid.

24 (season 1) was stupid. We lasted four episodes.

We watched some of a new House episode. Still following the same formula.

Dollhouse seems godawful.

Survivor is actually pretty cool. I wasn't watching TV back then, and remember being angry at everyone I knew who watched this. Yes, the game is absurd, the premise is cruel and should probably be outlawed, the producers shot, but people are people. Even people who want to be actors are people. Totally fascinating, as I'm the last person to find out.

We still haven't attempted Big Love, Breaking Bad or West Wing. Sopranos needs to be rereleased with subtitles before we'll try again. We might give Weeds another shot.

Still the best I've seen, for some portion of their run: Futurama, Lost, The Simpsons, Mr. Show, Fawlty Towers, The Office U.K., Twin Peaks, Flight of the Conchords, Six Feet Under, and (near as I could tell) The Wire.

Also proved worth watching: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mad Men, Seinfeld, Friends, American Dad & Family Guy, Gilmore Girls, Extras, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Law and Order (original). Those and maybe four, five episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.


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