Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An Interlude on TV Dramas

So I've been sitting in my house since Saturday with a boy who is grumpy, whiny, and generally ill.  Sick kids and me don't mix well.  But on the bright side, I'm glad this isn't a week filled with holiday gatherings and family visits.  (knock on wood)  Rattling around the house and monotoning medication dosages gives me time to catch up on the good old DVR, and therefore I can share with you some of my new favorites.

The past few years I have been a sitcom kind of gal.  I needed the levity in my life.  That and there just weren't any dramas that held my attention.  Grey's had gone off the rails long ago.  Desperate Housewives had gotten a bit too desperate.  I am a devotee to my Sunday night HBO, but this does not seem to fit into mass-market discussions, as it is truly a subscription service, so I save those episode post-mortems for my loving husband who watches with me.

Then some new shows rolled into my life.  Specifically the following

Hawaii 5-O



The 'new' Dalas

It all started with Hawaii 5-O last winter sometime. We got a beautiful new television in our finished basement and I caught an episode or two on the large screen.  Holy HD loveliness.  Those wide shots of the beach.  The fast-paced chase scenes.  It was eye-candy overload.  Yes, the plotlines are predictable and tie up at the end in nice little bows.  No, the acting will never win anyone an award.  But it is fun to watch.

Then one night I was watching whatever it was I usually watch that came on before Revenge.  And I didn't change the channel when Revenge started.  It was one of those "catch-up" shows.  You know, that show you everything you've missed?  Well, I had been a hater of the cheesy commercials, and became a convert.  Revenge is not afraid of its soapy plotlines and characters.  I love that about it.  Now I am a DVR devotee.  Revenge is on my to-watch list for evenings I don't have a go-to show.  And I avoid spoilers like the plague.

This past spring ABC piloted a show titled Scandal all about political intrigue and messes.  I missed West Wing like crazy and thought this may be a weak filler for the giant hole it created in my TV life.  Well, it may not fill the West Wing void, but it does inspire devotion from me.  It is crazy fast-paced fun.  I love the camera lens shutter scene transitions.  The fast dialogue.  The wardrobe.  Oh that wardrobe of Olivia Pope.  Yes, Scandal is one to watch!

Then the summer rolled around.  The dearth of summer programming.  And a gem popped up out of the desert.  Dallas.  I scoffed.  I scowled.  Then I sighed.  Dallas is total fluff and fun.  It is not currently running, but is slated to return this winter I have heard.  If the summer run is any predictor of what is to come, hold on to your hats and boots...it will be loads of fun.

This fall I added ABC's Nashville to my line-up (because I didn't have enough to follow already).  The music alone is enough to hook me in.  But it has Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, and creepy Powers Boothe.  I admit that the last few episodes Nashville has cast about a bit looking for some consistent storylines, but I have faith that the show will ground itself and take off.  It is too good not to.

Then there is PBS.  Yes, I said it.  Good old Public Broadcast System.  That of Sesame Street and Nature.  The channel that brought us Reading Rainbow and News Hour with Jim Lehrer.  If you have missed out on the phenomenon otherwise known as Downton Abbey, you have not lived.  (okay, you may have lived, but your television life is a desert wasteland)  Downton is soapy, beautiful, funny, and altogether delightful.  Because it is a BBC production, it runs here on a delayed schedule.  Season 3 has wrapped in the UK already, and our broadcast doesn't start until January.  Sigh.  I must wait for my Matthew and Mary fix.  This fall I got a bit of historical hour drama fill from PBS via their new British import of Call the Midwife.  Based on the book by the same name, it was a beautiful series.  I am now halfway through the book and loving each page.

Downton Abbey Season 3

Call the Midwife
I've laid it bare-my obscene TV viewing habits.  Or at least the ones I'm devoted to.  I haven't included the reality shows I follow when I'm out of other dramas to invest my free time in.  Or the Voice.  I am missing this season because I simply don't have the time to keep up.  But come next season I'm all in-Team Blake all the way!  What are your favorites this fall?  I know there are tons of good shows out there I'm missing out on.  Homeland is one I am looking forward to snagging on DVD soon and watching all at once over a weekend.  But there are others too, I'm certain.  Fill me in!  What are you loving right now?