Sunday, June 16, 2013

And then there is the TV I've Been Watching ...

The first six months of this year have been full of many great television series. That's one reason that I've read fewer books - I've been too caught up keeping up with good television.

In April I blogged about what I had been watching up until then.  Since then I've been caught up in:

1.  Orphan Black.  I had started watching this in April and it finished in May.  Tatiana Maslany gave one of the best performances I've ever seen in any medium, playing about 7 different roles.  Some of them in scenes with each other.  Sometimes having one character impersonating another character.  On top of that it's a fun premise for a show and a couple of the supporting actors are very good.   Highly recommended.

2.  Defiance.  I also started watching this in April.  I've continued to watch.  On the one hand, it contains every cliche ever used in any space western.  On the other hand, it is set in a future St. Louis with the Arch still intact - how can I pass it up.  They've done a pretty good job of building a believable world but they haven't made the story very interesting.  What this show needs is a Big Bad.   Can't Quite Recommend.

3.  The Fall.   This BBC drama is airing on Netflix and stars Gillian Anderson (using her English accent instead of her American accent).   It is only 5 episodes and moves slowly.  But it kept my interest.  We know from the first episode who the serial killer is (and he is played by the same actor who plays the sexy Huntsman in Once Upon a Time - I'll never look at him the same way again.).  On the whole I liked.  Recommended.

4.  House of Cards.   A made-for-Netflix drama starring Kevin Spacey.  It kept my interest but I did not enjoy it as much as the original British production.  It lacked the laugh-out-loud black humor of the original.  And I did not find myself appalled at the thought that Francis Underwood could ever be running the country - well, not any more appalled than I am at the thought of most real-life politicians running the country.  And at least he gets things done unlike most people in Washington these days.  Recommended.

5.  Rectify.    This originally aired on the Sundance Channel and had the pacing of an independent film.  Beautifully shot, it moved very slow.  The story concerns a man who had been on death row for 20 years, since he was 16.  Now he is released and trying to assimilate back into life in the small town where his family is.  If you are a person who likes a lot of action this is not for you.  If you are willing to sit back and quietly watch a show that makes you think - go for it.  Recommended.

6.  The West Wing.   This is a re-watch for me although there are many episodes that I've never seen before.  I've finished the first two seasons.  I did not remember how fast the story moved - I forgot that the President's health issues were revealed in the first season.  I thought Mrs. Landingham was in many more seasons than two.  I forgot that there was actual physical comedy in it.   This is going to be my summer "go to" show when I have nothing else to watch.  If you've never watched it, you should.

That's it.  The Opera Theatre of St. Louis season has started up again and there was also Shakespeare in the Park.  So narrative is big in my life, just not in written form right now.  But I am collecting books to take on vacation when I expect to spend quality time with the written word.