I’m Suffering from Playoff-Induced Hiatus Rage

Jinkies gang! It’s a blog post!

Somehow every year I am completely blindsided by baseball playoffs sending some of my favorite shows into premature hiatus. This year, the main victim is Raising Hope, and to a lesser extent Glee and New Girl. All of which happen on Tuesday and have made for a Must See TV comedy night reminiscent of Friends-era NBC. “Luckily” for me, Fringe is in the Friday death-slot, meaning it isn’t affected by friggin’ baseball. Ugh.

ANYWAY, I figured I’d take this hiatus as a chance to catch up on some reviewing. I swear I wrote half of a follow-up to my last post, but it was just DAUNTING y’all, so I gave up. Anyway, let’s talk about some shows, shall we?

Dexter
Very shows had me so excited about a new season as Dexter. I got caught up this summer after largely ignoring the series for several years. I have to say, it’s pretty amazing. Michael C. Hall is an incredible actor, especially having now seen his performance in Six Feet Under. The shift is… dramatic. Anyway, Season 5 of Dexter was good. It didn’t blow me away – not after spoiling me with Season 4 – but I thought it was solid. I think the Lumen/Dexter relationship revealed a lot about Dexter, and teased us with the possibility of him leading a happy life not completely based on lies. So that was nice.

The premiere (which is all I’ve seen so far, thanks to Showtime’s hyper-vigilance against pirated online streaming sites) was quite good. I admit I had, and maybe still have, some reservations about the show/character exploring religion. I’m afraid all we’ll see are the morbid, extreme, or plain crazy aspects of religion without seeing the positive impact it can have on a person. Who knows? That being said, Edward James Olmos is a welcome addition to the cast, and his villain is sufficiently creepy to keep me interested. I’m hoping Colin Hanks has a bigger role than he did in the premiere (and that he does more than his vaguely creepy priest in Mad Men).

Homeland
Out of all the many new shows I’ve checked out this season, none impressed me more than the first episode of Homeland. In case you don’t know, here’s the basic premise:

Claire Danes is an analyst for the CIA. This seems to be a demotion from active duty after a botched mission in Iraq. She also seems to blame herself for 9/11, and is on anti-psychotic medication. Damian Lewis plays a Marine who was held as a prisoner of war for several years and is suddenly recovered. Danes becomes convinced that he was turned by the enemy and is now working against the US. The series looks like it will be very “shades of grey.” For instance, Danes taps phones, plants hidden cameras, and basically stalks Lewis – which is bad. But at the same time, she may not be wrong, so what are the moral implications of that? Also, just how crazy is she? This looks to be a very smart, unsettling, excellent story that forces us to examine ourselves, and I’m excited about it.

Ringer
If I’m not mistaken, last night marked the all-important fifth episode of Sarah Michelle Gellar Prinze, Jr.’s [Sorry, that’s my own little joke] new CW drama. Why is it so important? Well, it’s not, except that I told myself I’d wait five episodes of new shows before committing. So where are we now? Well.

Siobhan (pronounced Shivan, because screw you) faked her death and peaced out to Paris, where she has seduced a hot young employee of her husband’s investment firm. She is working with person or persons unknown, presumably attempting to steal from the firm. Also she is pregabalin [another personal joke of mine]. This is one of my favorite plot lines.

Bridget has discovered that her sister is pregnant, and accidentally let it slip. Agent Machado knows she’s lying about something. She and Andrew are growing much closer, and she is beginning to repair “her” relationship with his daughter Juliet. She’s dumped Henry, Siobhan’s lover and best friend’s husband. Unfortunately her best friend Gemma found out about the affair. Bridget revealed herself, which led to Gemma blackmailing her.

Henry is handling neither the dumping by “Siobhan,” nor by his publisher, well. When Bridget tells him Gemma is trying to blackmail her and divorce him, she also tells him to deal with it. The two seem to have different ideas what this means. In Bridget’s naive little brain, it means live a lie and return to your wife. To Henry, it appears to mean brutally murder your wife. So we’ll see where that goes.

Basically, I’m invested in the show by this point. Until this past episode, I thought Gemma was obnoxiously one-note, but now she’s dead so yay? Henry was equally obnoxious, but now there’s a lot more going on with his character, so I guess that’s good too? I’m still not invested in Malcolm’s story line at all, but since that seems to be the overarching plot of Bridget’s past coming back to haunt her/ try to kill her, I guess I should suck it up. Honestly I care way more about Bridget’s developing relationship with Andrew than just about anything else, and I hope this continues to be a/the major plot.

Glee
I’m gonna end this post with Glee, and I could really go on and on about this past episode, but I’m gonna keep it short(ish).

Basically, this was one of the strongest episodes Glee has ever had, and it was good by any standard. The song selection was generally good, despite that Beyonce song I find so effing offensive and bad. I mean, if I wrote a song about how men rule the world and are stronger and smarter and better than women, I would be crucified. So… DOUBLE STANDARD WOMEN.

Anyway, I liked the developing tension between Mercedes and Rachel. This was set up as A Thing early in the show, but was mostly ignored until now. I liked the growing jealousy of Blaine that Kurt is developing. I hope it explodes Real Soon Now, because I will quickly get tired of Kurt trying to hide it. I like Brittany running against Kurt, and I like that she has a legitimate reason (mostly). I liked that there was no Sue. And I liked Mike Chang’s story, mostly.

What I didn’t like: Mercedes only finding confidence she never didn’t have because she has a boyfriend.  Great message there. Mike’s parents are offensively stereotypical. PS how did Mike learn to dance if his dad hates it so much? And Ginger Supremacists. Really? REALLY!?! It was literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen on [scripted] television. It was so dumb you guys. Also the implication of Will singing Fix You to Emma. Ummm, not sure OCD works like that.

Anyway, the show is on really solid footing. We’ve got a number of ongoing plot threads: the student council race, the play, Kurt/Blaine, Finn’s lack of ambition vs. Rachel’s boundless ambition, the new Glee club, Quinn’s Bitch Quest ’11/’12, Will’s Sexual Frustration, and many more. I like that each episode is no longer consequence-less and self-contained. I just hope the writers can effectively balance so many characters and plots.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Gotta shower for work. I guess? I mean it’s fast food so who really cares? But still… dress/bathe for the job you want, not the job you have and all that.

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