Returning 2014 TV: From Yay To Nay

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Frankly, it’s called ‘hellatus’ for a reason. Waiting for months for your favorite tv show to come back – what could possibly be worse? The only thing that comes to mind is – having it come back and being utterly disappointed. You know how wine is supposed to get better with age? This is usually not the case when it comes to tv projects.

Roz:

Person of Interest

7606This. This is television. Person of Interest is dynamite again this year. At the end of Season 3, Samaritan, the bad guy’s version of Finch’s Machine, went live and our heroes had to abandon their lives. They went underground. They got new identities. They were out of the people saving business. Ok, not really, of course. Psych! Season 4 brings us into their new lives, with Finch as a college professor, Reese masquerading as an NYPD narcotics detective, and Shaw hilariously struggling to work a cosmetics counter. By the end of the first episode, Reese is partnered with Fusco and working homicides (at Carter’s old desk, cue the feels). Shaw gets into the crime business as a getaway driver and The Machine sets Harold up with a sweet new location for their biz. A few episodes later, Root and Harold buy a black market, anti-tank gun, Elias is back, and Fusco goes on a date. The show is still delivering fast paced action, solid conspiracy thriller beats, excellent science fiction, dark humour, and badass, interesting ladies. If you’re not watching Person of Interest, shame on you. You’re missing out.

Root: The thing we’re up against, it has virtually unlimited resources, governments working unwittingly at its behest, operatives around the globe protect it. You know how many we have? Five. Six, if you count the dog.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

One of my favourite new comedies last year, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still a TV highlight of every week. I love these cops and this little police family. The creation and writing of these characters is so good. Each person is developed enough, interesting enough, to drive a plot line in an episode. You’d think dark, bad girl Rosa would be the one struggling to kick her smoking habit, but it’s actually go getter Amy running off to chain smoke while Holt’s back is turned. Boyle and Gina deal with news of their torrid affair going public and Jake sleeps with a sexy woman only to learn she’s a lawyer defending a perp he arrested. Hijinks! Shenanigans! Giggle pig! Terry and Holt shine in every moment they steal a scene. This season continues the trend of hilarious Holt flashbacks. Enjoy.

Jake: Bureau. FBI lingo for… FBI.

Holt: Yes, I’ve been a cop for 30 years, and I’ve seen movies.

New Girl

It’s always tricky on a show with an on again, off again romance, like Jess and Nick, but this season of New Girl is doing well with the two as swinging singles. Jess has a huge, inappropriate crush on her new employee, a dapper, British teacher, and Nick has been trying to fill the void of loneliness with pussy. It’s not working. As usual, my favourite character, Winston, is amazing and working his way to becoming a cop. I laugh myself stupid every episode, totally in love with Jess and everything she does, because nerd girls, amirite? If you loved New Girl before, you’re already watching this season. If it wasn’t for you, don’t try again, because the show is in a rhythm and sticking with it.

Nick: When I was 9 years old I fed cereal flakes to a frog and it died. Then there was a period of time where I fed cereal flakes to all little animals. Squirrels can live through it. Chipmunks can live through it. Anything that lives half in and out of water dies, and I don’t understand why. When I was 10 I once walked by my mother sleeping, and I snuck into her room and I put a lemon in her mouth. When I was 11 I once tried on my girl cousin’s woolen tights, AND I DIDN’T HATE THE WAY IT FELT!

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Castle

I guess nothing lasts forever. Castle came back this season and hasn’t really survived the lame run-away groom, amnesia plot that left things sticky between Beckett and Castle. Now, they’re finally married after the absolute worst, and unnecessary, green screen I’ve seen on the show. I’m going to keep watching, but it feels like I’m dragging a dead cat for a walk because I used to think it was hilarious the way Whiskers would lay down and I’d pull him along, but now we’re just going through the motions. Can you bring back the magic after you kill it? We’ll see.

Castle: And you thought zombie apocalypse survival camp was a waste of time.

Anais:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Season One

I didn’t watch much of season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and didn’t bother catching up on it. There are limits to my masochism. Still, it’s a Joss Whedon show. I wanted to believe that season 2 was going to be better. And guess what? It absolutely is! Hello, stakes! Hello, plot that I actually care about! Hello, character development! Hello, darkness, my old friend! I was hooked from the first few minutes of the season premiere and it only got better and better after that. What instantly turned me off in season 1 were the characters. Except from Agent Coulson (because shut your face, Agent Coulson is the most awesomest person ever), they were all pretty generic, when they were not outright insufferable, like Skye and Agent Ward. Since then, Skye has lost her Mary Sue status and Ward became the jerk he was always meant to be. The show is not perfect, of course. For example, I wish they weren’t being so dramatic about everything, but again, it’s a Joss Whedon show. Joss Whedon shows need their brooding and their intense stares. I can deal with it. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is officially good, so consider me officially excited.

Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls is awesome. Deal with it. I love that it’s not only for kids, but also clearly written for every fantasy/supernatural/sci-fi enthusiast that grew up during the 80s and the 90s. Season 1 was pretty amazing and season 2 is on its way to be just as good, if not even better. The writers are conscious that holding back too much information for too long would kill the suspense, so the show has been slowly giving us bits of answers, here and there, all the while delivering some of the best comedy I’ve seen in a cartoon show since Adventure Time. I’m just really excited to see where this is going.

Oh, and that intro. I will never get tired of that intro.

Adventure Time

Adventure Time is my favourite show, period. Why? Because it has four things that just get me going: good characters, layers, music, and randomness. Season 6 started off really strong, making Finn meet his father, only to realize that said father was really just a douchebag. They didn’t sugarcoat it or try to give any excuse to Finn’s dad. They just let Finn deal with this encounter, which was awesome, and slightly terrifying. If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like when something really gets to Finn, watch the first few episodes of season 6. This season didn’t only bring us darkness though, it also brought us some of the most random episodes of the entire series (Two words: “Food Chain”). That’s what’s extraordinary about Adventure Time. After more than 170 episodes, the show still finds ways to throw you off and amaze you. It’s so good that the only thing that bugged me does not even have anything to do with the show in itself, it’s that I haven’t been getting enough of it. Seriously, what’s up with that schedule? Are they letting BMO do it?

Bob’s Burgers

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Bob’s Burgers started its new season really well with a musical episode where Gene finally had his chance to shine. Since then, things have been going smoothly. The only episode I didn’t enjoy as much as the others was the last one, “Best Burger”. It did start pretty well, but Gene was a little too obnoxious in it. I know that the idea was that he had to understand that he couldn’t be so distracted all the time, but it still felt a little forced. That’s the thing with Bob’s Burgers: it’s really good because its humour walks a thin line between hilarious and “please, shut up”. When they cross the line, the show can be painful to watch. Still, I wouldn’t exchange Bob’s Burgers for all the Family Guys in the world.

Nadin:

2 Broke Girls

The thing about 2 Broke Girls is that you can forget about it for a few months or even skip the entire season, and then watch any random episode, and it’d still be the same – two girls, waiting on the tables to pay the bills while running a semi-successful cupcake business. The good thing is that you don’t have to follow this show religiously to know what’s going on and still enjoy it occasionally, without any kind of commitment. Another thing that’s right with it is that having 2 female leads, 2 Broke Girls is not half as sexist and misogynist as the majority of other comedy shows that seem to be building their humor around gender-related insults. In the new season Max and Caroline are still where they started 3 years ago – mostly poor and not much closer to their cupcake dream. Yet, Kat Denning is awesome, and if you have 30 extra minutes on your hands, why not have some laughs?

Sleepy Hollow

p_596041I honestly have mixed feelings about the second season of this show. I still enjoy the dialogue and the artfully brilliant performances of Tom Mison, Nicole Baharie, and the rest of the cast. Yet, it seems to be lacking a more defined purpose and direction, compared to season 1. The whole storyline with evil Henry/Jeremy and Katrina giving birth to some kind of demon – I guess I’ll be speaking for everyone when I say “WHAAAAAAA—–?!” – is a bit too crazy even for something like Sleepy Hollow. On the one hand, I’m glad they got an extended season, which means they can still find a way to make it work. Maybe. On the other, it totally feels like they have no idea what to do with all this freedom. Also, [SPOILER ALERT] I’m really not happy about the whole Irving situation. It was lame, lame, lame. On the bright side, they’ve got Matt Barr, and he’s the kind of charming crook you can’t help but love, so… The idea behind Sleepy Hollow remains brilliant, they have killer cast, and what else do you need, honestly? As per usual, my personal request would be to remove Katrina and her brooding entirely, and give Jenny a bigger storyline.

The Big Bang Theory

Someone needs to go and shoot this show in the face. I stopped watching it almost 4 years ago when it started recycling the same jokes or being primarily insulting instead of funny. Never thought I’d go back to it, but then I happened to get stuck for 15 hours on the plane from Vancouver to Auckland, and we all make bad decisions when we’re sleep deprived. Mine was marathoning the entire season of The Big Bang Theory, which ultimately led to checking out the new episodes when they came out. Oh, now I regret it! There’re so many things wrong with this show I honestly don’t know where to start! For one thing, they need to kill the ‘dumb blonde’ joke once and for all. It never was anything but offensive. Then there’s Sheldon/Amy, that either needs to go somewhere already, or die and stop being so painful. I honestly have no idea how they manage to get the ratings that allow them to keep carrying on with all this nonsense.

Castle

WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL?! I couldn’t agree more with Roz – this show is so dead it’s not even funny. And trust me, it pains me to admit it. The whole mysterious amnesia thing was beyond ridiculous. Really? That’s the best you can give us? I was willing to roll with it, however. Unwillingly, maybe, but still! And then the alternate universe episode happened. And then – wait for it! – Wild Wild West! I will most likely not stop watching it, but it’ll probably be more like facepalming my way through the rest of the season. God, I hope it’s the last one.

The Mentalist

As I mentioned in my review of “Nothing But Blue Skies”, the premiere of season 7 was hardly a dream come true. However, there’s still some hope left for this season.

Haven

The first half of the new season of Haven can easily be summarized with “What the hell was that?” Going from ‘monster of the week’ format to a full-blown serialized show – well, that was a bad idea! It is not, however, why I am permanently torn between quitting it and trying to keep up with whatever madness the writers come up with every week, although it’s safe to say that I watch it primarily out of habit these days. Frankly, they totally lost me after they pulled The Vampire Diaries stunt and separated Audrey from Mara just so that Duke and Nathan could have the girl without it turning into a hugely polygamous relationship. It’s still disturbing though, if you ask me. I want to believe that the writers know what they’re doing, although I seriously doubt that, seeing as how many fan requests they seem to be inclined to fulfil instead of doing what’s right for the story.

Rachel:

The Mindy Project

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There was a bit of speculation as to whether The Mindy Project would return, mostly due to low ratings and all that under-appreciated stuff. But all that aside, TMP is honestly one of the best half-hour comedies airing on TV right now. Whether it’s the surprising cameos, the self-deprecating humour, or the incredible character development, TMP is a constant delight, week after week. Sure, it’s uncertain where the future will take us, now that Mindy is in a serious relationship with Danny, and the show pretty much revolves around Mindy’s disastrous love life, but I’m just glad they were given a chance to show us just how great they can be. Hopefully they’ll stick around for seasons to come!

Stay tuned!

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Four screenwriters candidly writing about film, television, novels, comic books, video games, and fanfiction.

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