I’ve just been looking back over older blog posts and reread my post about our BDHs on TV for 2011/2012 and thinking about what wasn’t mentioned and how situations change, and what now?
“Chuck” and “The Playboy Club”: when used in any context, “cancelled” is a hugely emotive word, as every Browncoat is aware, but I’m pondering on its use regarding “Chuck”. I loved this show, watched it from when it started airing in the UK, thought the premise was fun, the cast was excellent, but then it (for me) became bogged down in its own Intersect myth which meant that there was less to do with the Buy More crew which made it less fun. Personally (and there are going to be a lot of “personally” in this blog!), I think the show was reaching a natural end and at least it reached the magic 100 episodes for it to live on in syndication and I also think that it will be regarded as one of the best-loved series from this time.
“The Playboy Club” marked the return of Sean Maher to our screens. Personally (told you!), I think that the network made a huge mistake in cancelling this show only after three episodes. The reason why I say this has less to do with the main story and character emphasis which we were seeing ad infinitum on many other shows, but it was the secondary strands that were making this interesting . This show was prepared to show the ambitions of a woman of colour to become the first African-American woman to grace the cover of Playboy, and most importantly the gay and lesbian community in Chicago during this time period. I believe that this show had places to go and things to say, whether or not it would have fulfilled this promise or been renewed at the end of its series is another conversation.
“Castle”/”Suburgatory”: as we know, the network renewed both these shows for another year – I believe for a full season order for each. I can’t talk about “Suburgatory” as I have still yet to watch any of it and I’m not sure if any UK TV channel has bought it.
“Castle” is, of course, an entirely different story … Lovely Nathan – knowing that you have continued employment for another year fills me with joy, but we have now hit the awkward era for the show – ah, a dilemma; is this show of interest enough for me to say SPOILER ALERT to our UK readers who are only approaching mid-series four or does everyone know, umm … Okay, err on the side of caution – we’ve hit a delicate time for the show. One of the “joys” of “Castle” is that it has, 98% of the time, not tried to be anything it wasn’t. It remains a relatively light-hearted and “successful” mish-mash of “Jason King”, “Murder She Wrote”, “Remington Steele” and the ubiquitous, “Moonlighting”. I put the word “successful” in quote marks, because from my interpretation of the Nielsen ratings, it is far from being the “network smash hit” that the fandom wants. The show has increased its 18 – 49 ratings since its first series, but has levelled out around the 2.3/2.5 mark in its time slot, which makes it nothing more than a solid performer bolstering the network’s overall market share and it cannot stand on its own without the strong lead-in provided by “Dancing With The Stars”. This is sad, because if ratings were measured by the actual viewing figures, new episodes “Castle” would always be amongst the top 5/6 most watched shows in the US on a Monday night. The one issue I now have is with the recurring storyline of Beckett’s mother’s murder and how this has expanded from “a street murder” (not implausible!) to a full-grown conspiracy plot which is, at the moment, simply boring and I just can’t understand why creators Rob Bowman and Andrew Marlowe have felt the need to blow this up. Another niggle I have had this year concerns the petulant behaviour of Richard Castle himself and his relationship with Kate Beckett. I’m glad that the show has lasted as long as it has, but I also feel that it is coming to a natural close and I can’t help but wonder if the network renewed it more because it has already been sold into syndication and so require the “magic” 100 episodes. We shall see.
“Homeland”/”The LA Complex”: I have the first series of “Complex” but have still yet to watch it. However, from Jewel Staite’s tweets, I know that she is hard at work on the second series. I’m going to be watching this out of curiosity, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
I was hooked by “Homeland” and I like Damian Lewis. I found this to be a powerful drama in the same vein as the Scandinavian/European dramas that we are now being treated to in the UK and is a prime example of how good US TV can be. I’m pleased that Morena Baccarin is being given the opportunity to show her chops. I know from Morena’s tweets, production starts shortly on the second series, and I can’t wait to see it.