As much as I hate to admit it, that time of year has come where I need to dig out my jeans and cardis and admit that my jandals are not long for this earth (this summer at least). But the good news? Properly good TV has FINALLY returned to my life, after a summer of god awful re-runs and reality shows. So, I can hear you are all wondering, what is clogging up my DVR these days? Well, it’s an eclectic bunch…
Parks and Recreation: Yes, for sentimental reasons, I am keeping the last two episodes EVER of Parks and Recreation saved – possibly forever. I won’t go on again about how great this show is (which it totally is), how consistently amazing the cast is (which they are), or how much I would love to go back in time and be a writer on this show (which I totally would) but I will say this: this show did a final season like it was MEANT to be done. Not afraid to take risks, their last season took place three years after their second to last season, and then in the finale they jump forward even further to tell us what actually happened with all of the characters. It is like the closure you always wanted, done in the best, funniest, most heartfelt but least cheesy way ever. Frakking brilliant. LOVE THIS SHOW.
X Factor NZ: From the sublime to the ridiculous, I know. And yes – I know I have ranted before about how reality TV is a gateway drug to the zombie apocalypse, but I have also admitted before that X Factor is my reality TV X-ception. Why? Cos I love singing. I love to do it (sorry neighbours and cat) and I love listening to people who can do it well. Most of all? I love watching people (especially kiwis) who think they might be ‘ok at singing’ turn into superstars on stage. And sure, I know it is all choreographed heavily and all the ‘drama’ is rubbish, but when you boil it down to the singing – I can’t get enough. Of course, this week has been a torrid one for the show, but am pleased to see a bit of closure today with appointment of the new judges and ‘apologies’ from the deservedly fired Moon and Kills. So let’s get back to the music – or more precisely to see whether Steve Broad can find his mojo again and prevent Stevie Tonks from taking out the big prize…
Nashville: Ok, I know this is trashy TV, but it is my kind of trashy TV. Hidden away on TV One on Saturday nights you would be forgiven for missing it, but if you fancy a fictitious (but probably scarily accurate) insight into the workings of the country music industry, then this is the show for you. As I said above – I love the singing, and this show delivers on this front, even if it is country. Plus there is romance, scandal, murder, revenge – and a crap tonne of super hot guys who can also sing 😉 But the best thing? The two main characters – played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere – are kick ass females who not only sing and consistently wear amazing outfits, but also wrangle with the business side of music and generally come out on top. I think this show would actually smash the Bechdel Test’s butt (as long as no points were deducted for the wearing of ridiculously short skirts while having non-male related conversations ;-)).
Madam Secretary/State of Affairs: speaking of kick ass females, there is no shortage of them on TV right now (and I haven’t even mentioned Agent Carter which I have yet to properly get into), and Madam Secretary and State of Affairs are all about them. Both are political (and you know how I love anything political) and both are kind of trashy – the West Wing this isn’t. But, they both (so far at least) are entertaining viewing. In Madam Secretary Tea Leoni (who I was always surprised didn’t become a bigger star than she has) plays an ex CIA agent turned Secretary of State, and in State of Affairs the normally annoying Katherine Heigl plays an ex CIA agent turned Presidential briefer. Both shows contrive ridiculous scenarios to enable their main characters to be way more in the thick of the drama then they ever would be in real life (I am pretty sure teams of swotty presidential briefers don’t routinely run illegal rescue missions of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls from a control room at Langley), but it sure makes for fun TV. Sure, State of Affairs is basically Homeland with the brains scraped out, but it is an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Broadchurch: And I have saved by far the best for last. There is scant room for debate that the Brits just do quality drama better than anyone else. Spooks. The Hour. State of Play. And now Broadchurch. I inhaled both seasons of this incredibly fast, and I am not generally a binge watcher. But I was just loving it and had to find out what was going on – and ultimately – who did it. Because, at the end of the day, this show is just a who done it – but a brilliantly written, stunningly acted, spectacularly shot and freaking excellent one. My favourite thing of all about this show though is the (platonic) relationship and banter between DI Hardy (the ‘so on my shag list forever now’ David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (the always excellent Olivia Colman). At times I had to rewind and watch the scenes with them sparring again because they were just so clever and amusing. Bring me more of this show I say (and no America, your stupid reboot because you can’t handle English accents doesn’t count you toss pots).
So they are top of my Watch List right now – though I am looking forward to checking out new show iZombie (premiering tonight on TVNZ On Demand – from the makers of Veronica Mars and starring kiwi Rose McIver. Am also hanging out to see Season 3 of House of Cards, Season 3 of Newsroom and Tina Fey’s new Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which, from the look of the trailer at least, may be my new jam. So yeah, a winter ahead of being curled on the sofa in my jeans and cardi doesn’t seem so bad now 😉