May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Some Favorite TV Series


A few posts ago I wrote about some popular shows here that I’d given up on after a few episodes or a season or so. There have been some that kept me intrigued and entertained.

“Longmire”, a Netflix series, has been thoroughly engaging from season one, and the beginning of season four, just released, is no different. Modern day Wyoming, rural, rugged plain spoken cowboy sheriff and a great cast of characters. There’s several murders to be solved, and the show is strung together with the mystery of who killed Longmire’s wife. The maid evil character is bad, smart and smooth, a deadly combination. Constant conflict between him and Longmire.

“White Collar” is smart, clever, entertaining. World class con artist working with world class white collar FBI special agent. The FBI agent is the one who finally caught the con artist. They make a deal and get other world class white collar criminals. A couple of those guys are especially evil, so there’s good conflict. Lots of interesting characters. What makes them who they are is revealed a little at a time, which keeps the interest going. There’s a lot of art history here too, which is fascinating and draws one into the story even more. It’s well written and takes the guessing and wondering up to the last scene of the last show of the final season. Just well done and classy.

“Continuum” is a Sci-Fi time jumping thriller. High tech, a terrorist movement to bring down the government, a dystopic government and culture, some really bad and really good guys on both sides.

Another Sci-Fi I like is “Defiance”. Several races of aliens attacked Earth, but we fought back and were much tougher than they expected. The invasion fails, much of earth is destroyed, and the grounded aliens and humans have to work together on the altered planet to survive and start rebuilding civilization. This isn’t a good good show, but entertaining and creative enough to follow.

I think far and away the best of the best of my favorite shows is “Justified” Every episode kept me riveted, happy, enthralled, entertained and fulfilled. Amazing characters, stories, top flight acting and storytelling. Based on an Elmore Leonard short story. He was executive producer and a few other things until his death. It was so good I went and spent a small fortune the main character’s hat as a tribute. (I started wearing fedoras in the early 1980’s when I rented all the VHS Humphrey Bogart movies. A tribute.)

“Vikings” is three seasons in, and is interesting and reasonably realistic. Don’t know if it’s going to continue, but I like it.

“The Glades” was fun. A tough sarcastic yet humorous Chicago detective has to leave the Windy City when he brings down some top brass, wins a huge amount of money in a law suit, and goes to work as a detective in Florida. Romance too, which I usually yawn through or get irritated with, but I found myself totally engaged with and actually rooting for when it looked like they would part ways. Good grief Steven I said to myself. At the end of season four, the detective goes to a house to check something, is shot by someone lying in wait. Massive blood is flowing from him. A and E canceled the show! What! aaaaarrrrrrhhhhhggggggg! he screamed!

“Suits” is high stakes legal drama. Very wealthy and uber successful lawyers, corporate takeovers and mergers, interesting characters. Thoroughly enjoyable entertainment.

“Arrow” is costumed heroes and villains, lots of action, intrigue, good story line and lots of fun.

Of all of these, “Justified” is my favorite, from opening scene of season one to final scene of last episode of final season. “White Collar” is my second favorite.

All of these are good story telling, good characters, creative, and just bring me a general sense of pleasure. None of them hold graphic gore and sex. I watch shows or movies with those elements, and some are good, but usually it’s not necessary. Sometimes it’s a distraction for me from the story. For example, “Spartacus” is a good story, but I could have done without the stop action blood spurting.

There are good stories/series on TV, and I think they have surpassed movies in the art of visual storytelling. Good grief, how many comic books are going to be brought to life with how many “Spiderman” reboots? Guys, we know, he was bitten by a spider. Enough already! I’m getting into pet peeve here; that’ll be another blog.

“Justified”. Nuff said.

No comments: