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25 January 2015 @ 02:10 pm
My 2014 Media Round-Up  
Another year has come and gone, so let's take a quick look at what I particularly enjoyed (or didn't) on TV.

TV-wise, I didn't think 2014 was a big year. I already posted about the new summer shows earlier in the year, so I won't repeat what I wrote there. The Strain and The Last Ship didn't make the cut and I discarded them off my to-watch list after the pilot.

Of course I still have my regular "oldies", i.e.

  • Beauty And The Beast (kinda meh now, actually -- so cheesy)

  • The Following (oh, the suspense!)

  • Chicago Fire & PD (still really good)

  • CSI: (still not getting boring)

  • Nashville (is there any love drama cliché they haven't used in season 2?)

  • Rizzoli & Isles (getting a bit bored with it)

  • Grey's Anatomy (still love it, don't judge me, okay?)

  • Suits (think they lost some of their spark)

  • Continuum (slowly getting confused by the complicated story arc)

  • Nurse Jackie (gotta love cynical, uncensored cable TV)

  • Homeland (oh, the suspense!)


And let's single out a few shows I'd like to say more about (in no particular order):

Extant
Watched it mostly for its sci-fi-ish themes and Goran V. Can't say I was super impressed, but I'm going to give the next season a shot.

Bitten
Canadian werewolves. Not sure I was gonna like this one, but given the fact that Greg Bryk was in it, I had to give it a try. I was very impressed with it either. In fact, I stopped watching mid-season. But now that I know Tammy Isbell is going to be in season 2, I will have to finish the first season at some point.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This one really surprised me. I went in with mixed feelings, but season one won me over, and season two got even better. One of the shows now that I can't wait to watch. I love all the characters, and the Ward thing threw me. Fitz-Simmons are aces!

Helix
I may have ranted about this one before, and the faux science still grates my insides. But the overall plot and the characters kept me interested enough to keep watching -- just barely. I think next season could be interesting, now that they get a completely different setting, though I thought the season 2 premiere was pretty much 42 minutes of WTF?! We shall see.

The Returned (Les Revenants)
One of the first French TV shows I've ever watched, but it came highly recommended, and I must say that my friend was right. It's highly riveting, original, and it grips you right from the start. Its realistic air makes it even more creepy, because you keep thinking... OMG, what would I do if this happened to me?! Just... wow. Very much looking forward to season 2!

Resurrection
I wasn't very convinced of the show in its first season, and I'm still not convinced after season two. I will probably keep watching, but it's all getting a bit far-fetched. And I'm guessing that it's kind of a remake of Les Revenants, but the storylines aren't really that closely related. Which is probably a good thing, because... honestly? Resurrection can't hold a candle to Les Revenants.

Orphan Black
I have so much love for this show! I only just rewatched both seasons with a friend. Being a big Peter Outerbridge fan, season 2 was even more awesome, although his role wasn't much of a likeable guy. Can't wait for season 3, which I think is set to premiere in April.

Fargo
Well, yes, I must admit that I mainly looked into this show because of Martin Freeman, but I quickly grew to love it for what it was. And even though Martin was very good, I felt Billy Bob Thornton stole the show on this one. Curious to see what sesaon 2 is going to be like, or rather what that's going to be about.

The Night Shift
Gratuitous eye candy with little anchor in reality. Yes, I know this. But since I'm a total sucker for the emotionally damaged hero types, this show pushed all my buttons -- obvious cheesiness and clichéd predictability and everything. Also, Brendan Fehr! Even wrote an angsty h/c fanfic for it at some point.

Orange Is The New Black
Loved it from the moment I first wached it. Season 2 was awesome too. Love the quirkiness of the characters, love pretty much everything about it.

Falling Skies
Well... what can I say? It's getting a little out of hand now, isn't it? I really liked seasons 1 and 2, because they were gritty and gripping and interesting. Noah Wyle was a bonus. But from season 3 onwards, IMHO it all went downhill. Season 4 was just... meh. The whole Lexy storyline? No thanks. I'm getting close to giving this one a boot if season 5 is equally out of whack.

Dominion
I don't even know where to start on this one. Didn't think it was gonna be my thing, but someone recommended it, I looked into, and pretty much fell in love big time. Around episode 7 I started getting involved in the fandom, and now I'm co-running dominionfans.com and admin-ing a Facebook fan group and a fan Twitter account. What's also really awesome is that the show's creator is super approachable, and an active member of the fandom. He follows fans on Twitter, chats with us, retweets fanart and other fandom campaigns and knows all the most active fans by name. This fandom is maybe the most fun I've had online in years. Season 2 is going into production in February, and I already can't wait.

Z Nation
This one, I watched mostly for Michael Welch (seeing how I've had dinner with him and his mum once), and even though it grew on me, I can't say I'm crazy about it. Never been much into zombie things, which is also one of the reasons why I'm not watching The Walking Dead.

Forever
Oh man, this show is soooooo cliché and predictable. I know there's a big fanbase out there, and many people absolutely love it. But I pesonally ask myself after every episode why I keep watching it. Guess I like Ioan Gruffudd and Judd Hirsch too much. Also, the science part is, like, complete bullshit most of the time, which constantly annoys me. Me keeping to watch the show somehow totally defies logic, but then I'm not Vulcan, am I?

A Place To Call Home
My Australian colleague lent me this little Aussie gem on DVD, and I took to it as well. It's a show about a wealthy Australian family in the 1950's. Somehow doesn't meet my preference pattern where TV shows are concerned, but I enjoy a good family drama every now and then. Positive side effect: One of my first ever TV crushes had a major role: Brett Climo. Back from when he was Dr. David Ratcliffe on The Flying Doctors.

White Collar
Don't get me started. Most of my White Collar fandom friends know I took leave from the fandom right around season 5-ish because I felt the show wasn't what I initally fell in love with anymore. Season 6 pretty much confirmed that. I did watch it, and I thought the ending was fitting, but I can't say I did it with much zest.

Ascension
Not sure you can call this 3-parter a TV show, but I quite liked it all the same. Interesting concept. Hope to see more of it this or next year.

Bron/Broen
This is the Danish/Swedish co-production that in the US is probably better known as The Bridge. And, yes, FX Channel made its own version of it that's set in Texas/Mexico. The UK/France also have their own version, called The Tunnel. I probably watched them all the wrong way round, cause I started off with The Tunnel, then watched The Bridge FX, and only then the Scandinavian original. After some reflection, I must say that the Danish/Swedish version is still the best. The Tunnel was also great, and Stephen Dillane was fantastic, but after you've seen one of the first seasons of either show, watching the others gets a tad less interesting because you already know all the bigger plot points (and the ending). But seasons 2 of Bron/Broen and The Bridge FX are completely different, which was a good thing. While the US/Mexican incarnation has been cancelled after two seasons, the other two apparently live on. Looking forward to both of them. (Fun fact: Looks like repeatedly visiting friends in Kopenhagen and watching Äkta Människor with subtitles has not taught me enough to understand either Danish or Swedish, but enough to tell them apart.)

The Missing
Stumbled across this UK series on a list of new TV shows, and decided to give it a try. Then I realized James Nesbitt was playing one of the lead roles, and I was sold. Very intense, very depressing, very gripping. And it's strengthening my conviction in UK shows, which I love for their realistic feel and just overall lack of glossiness that sometimes annoys me on US shows. It's one of those shows that resonate after you've finished watching. Also loved that it played partly in France and had a good portion of French cast.

Happy Valley
This came recommended by a Canadian friend, and much of what I said about The Missing applies here as well. Little to no TV gloss, a very realistic feel, and characters where you think they could be your neighbours rather than a perfect world cutout from a lifestyle maganize. Plus.... Yorkshire! Not just the landscape, also the accents. I felt right at home somehow.

And while we're talking about UK shows, I need to give Monroe an honourable mention. Another show with James Nesbitt, and I still don't understand why they cancelled this one after just two seasons. I've only just rewatched it with a friend, and I'm in love with it all over again. Oh, and even though it's not a 2014 show, I loved the first two episodes of 12 Monkeys. I'm hooked big time.

 
 
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