65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Wrap-Up

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Welp, the Emmys were something that happened last night, and oh, boy, were they terrible. I’m talking like worst I’ve ever seen. Bit after bit fell dead, and even while NPH was his usual charming, affable self, he didn’t do much to elevate the dead material. I usually quite enjoy the opening video or whatever excuse they use to plod out a bunch of celebs and lampoon the hit shows, but that was not to be seen. Instead, we watch NPH binge-watch a bunch of TV, and then the ghosts of Emmy hosting past came out, with Conan O’Brien literally looking like a ghost. We got some NPH dancing finally late, but then they gave over way too much time to the choreography category to give them a bit. Which is fine, I guess, but in the grand scheme of things it echoed a larger problem with the show in time management and allocation of things that ran too long, and stuff that could’ve been easily cut. I thought it was an alright idea to single out some of the bigger deaths of the year and have a close friend talk about them, but then some seemed so disconnected from the show and following a weird ‘60s theme that nobody was aware they were doing. A tribute to the 1960s by Carrie Underwood? Alright. Elton John singing one of his own songs (I think) as a tribute to Liberace, just because his bio-pic was nominated? Alright. There was just some weird, weird decisions that never worked individually or even in any sort of whole. Hey, now, on to the actual awards…

Man, what the hell happened here? There were surprises galore, and people I had written of to having no chance of winning, were walking out of the building with a new trophy. I’m terrible at predicting the Emmys, but even this year was an extra special disaster zone for me. Merritt Wever won, which was like whoa, I love her and all, she’s so, so great, but I never thought anybody would win something for last season of Nurse Jackie. Tony Hale and JLD won for Veep, which is awesome because that show is great, but I didn’t think JLD would actually win her fourth and Tony Hale like whoa. Jim Parsons won and well, yeah, even that wasn’t gonna change this year. Jeff Daniels now has a Emmy for best lead actor in a drama and hahaha, but what exactly is happening here? Now, Daniels is alright in The Newsroom, he’s good for what it is, but doesn’t hold a candle to the mainstays of Cranston, Lewis, Hamm and even Spacey. This pretty much assures that Jon Hamm will be the Steve Carell of the best actor drama category, never winning the awards for something he deserved so many times over. Bobby Cannavale now has an Emmy as well, and I did quite enjoy him on “Boardwalk,” but didn’t think he’d actually win. A well-deserved and yet again surprising win. Anna Gunn won, which I happily called, and now all the top three leads have at least one Emmy, with a fantastic chance to win another one next year. Claire Danes won, and water is also wet. Modern Family of course wasn’t going to get shut out all the way, Steve Levitan sauntered up the stage to deliver his annual acceptance speech for best comedy, and yeah. Best drama, running high off it being the most buzzworthy show now, Breaking Bad took home the title, and I of course thought there was a good chance, but thought a House Of Cards, Mad Men, or even the shaky season of Homeland would still beat it out. It’s going to be very hard to beat Breaking Bad next year, in basically all the dramatic categories, but there’s still a year left, let’s see what shakes out and hopefully we’re left with a better overall show next year. I can dream.


My Top 15 Favourite TV Shows Of 2012

1. Mad Men

Probably the best season so far in my mind, with a handful of classics. The Pete-centric “Signal 30” is probably my favourite episode the show has ever delivered. What can I say, I’m a big Pete fan. “The Other Woman” was devastatingly beautiful and nicely shook up the Mad Men format. It works expertly as a downfall of a season for many people, but individually works as a collection of impeccable short stories

 2. Parenthood

No show makes me happier or enjoy watching more than Parenthood. It’s not flashy and gets absolutely zero hype, but I love well-made family dramas like this, and Jason Katims is the perfect architect. Season four’s “cancer” arch with Monica Potter is the best storyline the show has ever done. The back-half of season three seemed to have started this roll with the awesome detour episode of “Road Trip.”

3. Homeland

While not as great as the first season (see the article I wrote on it), I still immensely enjoyed myself through season two. A little disjointed and less tight as the first season, but the risks they took and being not afraid to majorly shake-up the show instilled again a sense that anything could happen. I’m wary of season three, but the audacity of Gordon and Gansa promises the show will continue to be entertaining and engaging.

4. Breaking Bad

Season four was the season that really made me love this show. I’d always liked it but season four finally put it on another plane for me. The show kept getting darker and Walter kept getting further and further buried under the weight of himself. The final scene of “Gliding Over All” delivers what we’ve all been waiting for, and looks to set-up a classic string of the eight remaining episodes. The train robbery of “Dead Freight” was one of the greatest sequences in both TV and movies I’ve seen in a long while.

 5. Louie

As I’ve wrote earlier, Louis CK is in a position on TV different than any other. This show is painfully Louis’ as he’s in control of pretty much everything, delivering beautiful pieces of work. “Miami”, “Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1)”, “Late Show (Part 3)” and “New Year’s Eve” were all perfect episodes for me and even months later I still remember the feelings I had watching these episodes. “New Year’s Eve” features one of the most beautiful endings and touching moments to end a season on that also included an insane sex-crazed Melissa Leo.

 6. Treme

I’ve been meaning to write longer about this show forever, and I will one day, especially that it has a final shortened season up ahead. Watching Treme is basically just soaking in the great New Orleans culture for an hour, as plot is always secondary to the feel and atmosphere of the show. We’ve known these characters for so long now that our emotional connections to them are at a peak, and when characters intertwine our history with them proves as a little treat.

 7. Luck

Luck had an unfortunate life span, one that should’ve continued into a second season were it not for some behind-the-scenes troubles. I don’t know that you could pick better collaborators than David Milch, Michael Mann and Dustin Hoffman, and somehow they didn’t disappoint. Milch and co. made all the seemingly boring horserace scenes incredibly cinematic and a counterbalance to the great drama outside of it. It’s incredibly regrettable that we’re not getting another season of it, but I’ll enjoy looking back on this great “mini-series.”

 8. Justified

Nothing could top Margo Martindale’s perfect performance as the villainous Mags from season two, but the tandem of Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson gave it a pretty good run. McDonough was especially notable as his character became more and more manic and weird as the season progressed. Goggins continues to outshine supporting actors all over TV and Olyphant makes Givens a supreme badass with a sarcastic wit. It  gets critical praise, but is still not recognized to the level of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones etc., but it constantly puts in great work with a fantastic setting and a unique setting not seen too much on TV.

 9. Archer

The funniest show on TV, and season three only solidified it. The jokes are so smart and layered that there’s many that I don’t even know what they’re referencing. H. Jon Benjamin remains one of the best voice actor today (along with his equally great work on Bob’s Burgers), complimented by some nice guest voices by Burt Reynolds and Bryan Cranston. Few things illustrate the hilarity and off-the-wall nature of Archer than the great two-part finale “Space Race.”

10. Game Of Thrones 

Not being familiar with the book, the first season of Game Of Thrones was completely overwhelming for me. It was good, but it was hard to keep track of all the characters, storylines, locations and the extent of their relationships. Season two put me on better footing though, knowing all the characters and how they knew each other which greatly skyrocketed my enjoyment for the season. These fantasy types of shows aren’t usually my thing, but much of the politics and posturing is reminiscent from HBO golden age shows, just with a different backing.

11. Veep

Like Archer, just incredibly smart and hilarious jokes. From the brilliant minds of The Thick Of It, it mixes the political satire of that show with the awkwardness and situational humour of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is perfect in the lead role, providing a great mix of bitchiness obliviousness. Watch the great third episode “Catherine” to see the show firing on all cylinders.

 12. New Girl

When this show started I never thought it would reach any type of list like this for me. The backhalf of season one really kickstarted the roll its on and showcased the different show it had become. Moving slightly away from so much of a focus on Zooey Deschanel and making it more of an ensemble show did wonders for it. Not to mention my favourite comedic performance by anybody on TV currently, Jake Johnson. Just watch Jake Johnson reel off a bunch bunch of rapid-fire lines in succession, and you’ll see why he deserves the honour.

 13. The Middle

Consistently the funniest show on ABC’s Wednesday block of comedy’s. Supremely more funny and consistent than Modern Family and never goes off the deep end with its tones like Suburgatory often does. Very plain and not flashy, but solid jokes and nice to see a “poor” situation being portrayed on television. *cough* Modern Family *cough*

 14. Boardwalk Empire

A lot of characters and storylines to wade through, but after the kickstart of the end of season two, season three continued to deliver solid TV. Will never reach the quality heights of a Mad Men or Breaking Bad but consistently delivers good episodes with the penchant for great ones every so often.

 15. Happy Endings

Again, another hilarious show with smart and inventive jokes. Maybe the best laugh-a-minute show outside of Archer. The jokes you see here are supremely unique, and you’d be hard pressed to find them treading over common ground. Elisha Cuthbert is the MVP, makes the “dumb blonde” trope feel fresh.


Top 10 Returning TV Shows I’m Looking Forward To This Fall

1. ‘Homeland’

This was my favourite show of last year for so many reasons, and I could just gush on and on about how great it is. Once upon a time, ’24’ was not only my favourite TV show, but also, like, my favourite thing in the entire world. While my full thoughts on ’24’ will be left for some other time, I was thus excited that Howard Gordon (along with later ’24’ compadre’ Alex Gansa) were getting their own show on network’s older brother, cable. The cast is just utterly fantastic, with Claire Danes, probably my favourite actress, consistently knocking it out of the park, episode after episode. She is given every actors’ wet dream, playing a character with a disability (bi-polar), and even though it seems like awards bait, Danes grounds the disorder and makes it crushingly realistic when her disorder gets in the way of her job. She’s had the best Actress Emmy locked up for awhile now. Damian Lewis is very solid, perfectly playing someone who you feel like you can trust, all the while being the most suspicious person ever. Mandy Patinkin was also revived from wherever he’s been hanging out for the better part of 20 years and is terrific as well.

As cool as the premise is though, it pretty much begs to be told through a short 6-12 episode miniseries rather than a full-fledged series with an intent to go multiple seasons. From episode to episode, I never knew what to expect, as I legitimately did not no where they could go next, and the deaths of main characters seemed like a serious option. The first season played out the premise perfectly, but going forth into season two, I have no clue how they are going to maintain what they created as a lot played out and a fair bit was revealed. I’m insanely excited and nervous for season two, but that was the same position I was in before season one, so fingers crossed they pull it off again.

2. ‘Parenthood’

I actually love this show as much, and possibly more than ‘Homeland’, because it causes me no stress in watching it (unlike ‘Homeland’). I love to hang out with these characters and because it’s a family drama that’s set in a particular rhythm, I don’t have to be concerned about anyone dying (DON”T YOU DARE, KATIMS). I don’t mean to make this sound like a slight against the show, but there are few stakes here and nothing really makes you feel for the safety of these characters. It’s just terrific emotional resonance, with the goings-on of a large family which may not have life-and-death consequences, like most shows, but can faithfully deliver moments that hit hard. This show is a nice safety net where I can tune in and be moved and care for these characters but still be confident that no huge twists or left-field plot movements will occur. It’s a small family drama and I absolutely love it for that. I’m looking forward to spending more time with the Braverman clan (even if NBC doesn’t think it’s worth a full episode order!).

3. ‘The Good Wife’

If you told me in early September 2009 that ‘The Good Wife’ would be one of my favourite shows for the better part of three years (and counting), I would have thought you were smoking something illegal. I’ve always liked Juliana Margulies and knew absolutely nothing about the series going in, besides Juliana’s sweet, sweet locks. Anyways, it’s procedural nature was a bit of a turn off, but it eventually turned into one of the smartest shows on TV and became not only the best show on network television, but one of the best shows on any channel. The cast is fantastic with its incredibly sprawling guest cast filled to the brim with depth and skill. I usually don’t look forward to case-of-the-week shows, but this is the grand exception, with intelligent cases and resolutions, as well as compelling running storylines. Season three wasn’t as great as season two, but it made some nice steps that make me very excited (Margulies’ robot acting aside), for what Robert and Michelle King will deliver in season four.

4. ‘Treme’

It’s been over a year since we’ve had a new episode of ‘Treme’ and that’s a damn shame. Not that many people watch this show or even know about it, but I’m a huge proponent of it. I’m a big David Simon and it’s hyperbole by now, but, ‘The Wire’ is the best show of all time (okay, not really, ‘The Simpsons’ is the best show of all time, but whatever). Man, the culture and passion that bubbles out of this show is incredibly infectious and a breath of fresh air in a progressively clogged and arrogant-glut of storytelling where apparently characters don’t matter as much as story. ‘Treme’ isn’t the most story-driven show, nor does it want or need to be, just like the ‘The Wire’, it’s filled with characters who feel real, because, well, they’re all usually based on someone real, but also, they are always so faithful and true to their characteristics. The culture of New Orleans is the real star of this show and it’s incredible that each episode can capture so much of New Orleans and do justice to this wonderful yet tortured city, trying to rebuild both physically and culturally in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. As this is New Orleans, music is a co-star as well, and the aside musical performances put ‘Glee’, ‘Smash’ and others to complete shame. Jesus, if nothing else, watch this show for the music, I dare you to try and not sing along to the theme song. I’m looking forward to what David Simon and company have cooked up for season three, should be good, just hope there’s some other people watching as well.

5. ‘Fringe’

Now, here ‘Fringe’ starts to get a bit dicey. I enjoyed season four, I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it like some people did. Fan reaction seems to be pretty mixed on the season as a whole but it was pretty decent to me, although not as great as season three, probably the best season. I kind of respect ‘Fringe’ for what they did in season four, even though they kind of made the first three seasons non-existent and re-invented certain elements with everybody being technically “new” characters. I won’t go in to detail but whether you or I think they pulled everything off correctly, I respect the hell out of Wyman and Pinkner for doing something on a show that I’ve never seen before. Seeing as how next season is for sure going to be the last, and they supposedly have a game plan in order, I’m looking forward to what the last 13 episodes of ‘Fringe’ brings.

6. ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Season one of “Boardwalk” was fine, nothing special, but a decent series, albeit with some too obvious symbolism. The beginning of season two started out much the same, but later grew into a show that was more confident in itself, its characters and the types of stories it told. Without spoiling things, “Boardwalk” didn’t pull any punches towards the end and delivered a string of great episodes that changed the fabric of the show leading into season three that lesser shows would have backed out on. With some of the decisions that were made creatively in the latter episodes of the season, “Boardwalk” earned a lot of credit with me. I’m genuinely interested to see how everything will play out now with a shift of power and reverberations that will be felt throughout the whole show, and can’t be taken back (hopefully). Terence Winter did work on ‘The Sopranos’ after all, I’d say we can trust him.

7. ‘Parks & Recreation’

Now, I’m afraid my thoughts on this show aren’t very deep except for, it’s the funniest show on TV (actually, besides ‘Archer’). I thought the season four plotline of Leslie running for office was okay, but not as great as season 2 and season 3 were. But, beyond a few hiccups in the season, no other show makes me laugh like this one, and makes me care about all the characters at the same time, so I look forward to any and all “Parks & Recreation”, especially Andy and Tom.

8. ‘Glee’

Yeah, I said it, GLEE! But, not because it’s good or going to be good or anything. This show just fascinates the hell out of me. I have seen every episode, but I kind of hate it (not kind of, I do) and 90% (that other 10% is Britney and staring at Naya Rivera) of the characters annoy me. It’s just that there occasionally there are specific moments and scenes that really hit and are legitimate remnants of a show that once could have been. The last two episodes of season three were literally pretty great and just frustrate me even further with this show. It’s the most schizophrenic show going from semi-good to terrible to great in a matter of scenes and moments. There’s no consistency with the show and it seems like Ryan Murphy and company forget important details from episode to episode, but I keep on watching. The music is  pretty bad and I usually have no clue what new song they’re singing, so it keeps me in the wind and unable to connect with any of their lip-syncing, Britney Spears calibre or not. Next season they’re splitting time between NYC and Ohio as some students graduate to college as the others stay in Ohio. Ryan Murphy seems to think it’s going to be revolutionary how they split the time and all, ummm it isn’t, you’re just cutting back and forth like every other show has done with separate locations. It’ll probably suck, but for some reason I’ll keep watching. Help!

9. ‘The Office’

Seasons 2-5 of ‘The Office, were legitimately pretty great (at least my memories a little hazy when the it started getting bad, or at least less consistent), but everything else than that was pretty lazy with the occasional good episode sprinkled in between. It was once one of my favourite shows, and sadly I still hold the dimmest of candles for it even though it’s pretty bad now and a shadow of it once was. Season 8 was the pinnacle of disappointment with no direction shown, and a real sense of not caring about what this show once was. It was just a lazy season of television with no feeling of a need to make any forward progression, even though it desperately need it, of all seasons. Season nine will be its last, with former showrunner Greg Daniels to return as showrunner who promises a return to form, the answering of long-lingering questions and actual story/character arcs. Will they succeed at all of this? I don’t know, probably not fully at least, but like  ‘Glee’, I’m looking forward to the chaos ahead, for some reason.

10. ‘Community’

Let me say this right off the bat, I like ‘Community’, but I don’t love ‘Community’. I know lots of people (well people on the internet, nobody ever talks about it beyond the confines of the interwebz) are obsessed with this show and think it’s the greatest thing ever. Don’t get me wrong, I have flat-out loved episodes, but I still don’t think it’s really all that special of a show. I respect and mostly like the random and weird places Dan Harmon took the show, and the way he and company structured or created new ways of telling his stories within the sitcom format. I think it gets to be a bit of a crutch at times and they’ve relied on these “different” and form-breaking episodes to much in order to coast on nostalgia and post-modernism, albeit effectively. But, when it becomes too much of the shows identity is where it comes off as more surface-based flair, and less substance beneath.

On the other hand, there were several episodes that did seem to create a deeper resonance by testing the bonds of these characters and that through line became more interesting (to me anyways) than whatever “event” type episode they had, or whatever they were spoofing. I think with Dan Harmon leaving that some of these deeper relations between the characters and their connections to each other, and how they rely and depend on each, no matter if they show it on the surface or not, will be lost. Harmon seemed to be providing some of the darker and deeper elements that put strains on character relationships and really made each member of the study group evaluate each other and how they themselves fit in. It seems like without Harmon’s guiding hand, it’ll become more of a broad comedy, with a bigger emphasis on wacky episodes and elements, while doing away with the majority of the bubbling under of real feelings. While it’ll still probably be a competent and funny show, I fear that this will be as far as it goes, losing some of its depth of what made several of its episodes some of the best in the form from these past couple of years.

Why Even Good TV Can Be Hard To Get Through

As great as a lot of TV is nowadays, it can be awfully hard to slog through an episode of a show that you realize is technically good, but is just a boring viewing experience. This past season of Game Of Thrones really got me thinking about this idea, where a show can be doing everything right, yet I find myself disengaged and lost due to a number of reasons. The first season of  Game Of Thrones was good, I followed it all the way through and enjoyed it, yet always found myself struggling to fully comprehend storylines, which character was which and how the alliances all shaped up. Coming at a disadvantage not having read the books, I was really out in the wind in trying to fully comprehend everything. While I progressed through the season I realized that the show was technically good and executed well, but it was hard for me to fully give myself into it as I was constantly playing catch-up by trying to keep the dozens of characters, relationships and storylines in order. Finally parsing through it all when season 2 came around, I was a seasoned Game Of Thrones viewer who knew all the characters, how they related and where every location was situated on the map. A characters’ name would be mentioned, and I could immediately put a face to the name. Having understood the majority of the minutiae of Game Of Thrones, I could now follow along in both aspects of respecting it as a proficient series and also as one that legitimately engaged me and made me look forward to it every week. Season 2 was a rewarding experience because of the the groundwork that season 1 developed in allowing me to be introduced to the world. As in season 1 I was not always enjoying parts as I was trying to understand it all, with season 2 I was more able to enjoy the by being confident in my knowledge of the happenings in the show. Season 1 would probably play better for me now, but my experience with it drove this idea of good TV that is awfully hard to get through and comprehend, even while recognizing its competence.

There are several shows like this that I realize are good, but it’s quite the ordeal to actually make it through an episode, because it’s boring, bogged down in necessities of the period and wading through specific rules intrinsic to the show. I’m not sure if it’s just me or evidence to my “theory”, but a lot of these good shows that are hard to get through tend to be period pieces. Shows like Boardwalk Empire, The Tudors, The Borgias, and hell, even the beginning of Deadwood to an extent. I’ll take Boardwalk Empire as an example, though it can be applied to most shows that fall into its range. I like (not love) “Boardwalk” and think it’s a pretty decent show, especially after some interesting steps taken in the latter part of season 2. I don’t particularly enjoy watching it though, and never look forward to watching it on sunday night (when it was airing). It’s always like an hour-long black hole on sunday nights that I know I’ll have to suffer through. These shows seem good in retrospect where it’s hell getting through, but once you’re on the other side you appreciate some of its finer points (mostly because you’re done slogging through it). That’s where I find it hard to gauge my interest in these shows, I like Boardwalk Empire, I like The Borgias, but god if it isn’t hard to get through an episode.

I have a few ideas to why these types of shows are hard to get through, though I’m reticent to single them out to only period pieces, yet those are all the examples that pop up in my mind right now. Firstly, coming from our 21st century viewpoint it can be hard to overcome the hurdles of watching life in the 1920s, 1490s or 1870 because of how different it is. We have to learn a new set of rules when viewing a show set in a different time period, as customs and society operate much differently than we are used to in our current mind frame. These customs when integrated in the story and off of characters can be hard to comprehend when we have no clue what’s happening due to the alien subject matter. Secondly, these types of shows tend to be very wordy where long conversations occur between characters that can be so ingrained in the time that the slang can be difficult to understand and hard to follow the motivations. These types of shows are usually always dramas as well where every word needs to be hung on as it could be relevant to a plot point. Attention to detail and your full focus is required to follow these shows, and it can be tough to always be “on” and following everything that is going on. It’s not a secret why two of the most popular shows are, Two And A Half Men and NCIS where critical thinking and following every utmost detail is not important, and where you can just dip in and out of an episode or within a season and not be lost. Most of this “good” TV requires you to be caught up on all the story and remember it all. While this can be rewarding if it is as well executed as Breaking Bad or Mad Men, it can also be frustrating and cheap following all the required details that go inside the spiraling disappointment of something like the The Killing. Lastly, this type of TV usually operates inside a relatively specific formula of episodes, where they have the same beats, archs and goals that they cyclically accomplish. Once they find their niche, most are simply fine to work within it which creates fine TV, but nothing great to the levels of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, who constantly flip the script. Once a system is in place these shows can coast off this previously put upon idea and just create dozens of episodes in the same vein, that are fine, but nothing spectacular. This system eventually runs out though into tedium, and the spinning of its wheels (doing the same thing over again, not moving into a forward direction) with shows like 30 Rock and Dexter which should have been over long ago, but were once good in terms of 30 Rock and semi-decent in terms of Dexter.

I think comedy shows are mainly an outlier to this theory and have a stronger line between you liking them or not. Basically you’re much more likely to keep watching a drama that is hard to get through than a comedy. I don’t think comedies have this sheen like some dramas do where they are good but hard to get through. Comedies can’t hide behind much, other than if they’re funny, where the plot usually takes a backseat. So if something isn’t funny, you’re not likely to keep on watching it as it is very cut and dry, while dramas receive more leeway as the things they are trying to accomplish are stretched out and paid off over multiple episodes as stuff builds, where comedies are more here and now, either you like it or you don’t. There are probably are some shows that are “good TV that is hard to get through”, but through a slight twist. Instead of “hard to get through”, you may think it’s good TV that you recognize, but maybe not jiving with your sense of humour. I’m like this with 30 Rock where I realize a lot of it is good and funny, but I’m not the biggest fan of wacky and meta comedy with all the constant guest stars, so it turns me off sometimes and creates a disengagement.

There’s also a flip side, which makes my previous argument null and void though, Mad Men, the greatest show on TV right now. It’s a period piece, it’s slow, lots of talking and concentration on the inner-doings of the 1960s, yet I love it and it’s my favourite show. It is obviously executed on a higher level than current Showtime or HBO “period” pieces, but it still maintains many of the overarching similarities to these shows that should make it more similar, like setting, social differences, little action attention to detail and drawn out conversations and archs. Mad Men though is kind of uniformly modern in it’s 1960s that displays a sheen reflection of our current society and operates like a connection of short stories, that build up to something big that serves both drop-in and consistent viewers relatively equally. I think there’s a confidence and flexibility in Mad Men that puts it on a higher pedestal than these other shows and puts it in a league of its own, where, hey, it’s good TV that I look forward to AND it’s easy to watch. As mentioned above, Mad Men breaks a lot of the normal sense of formula and you never know what kind of episode to expect week to week. It’s an always changing and morphing show that ironically from its outset is never static and always moving, even it it looks like it’s slow and boring. Another show that would seem to fall in line with Boardwalk Empire and The Tudors in being hard to get through is Rome, yet I was addicted from the first episode and found it to be surprisingly easy to get through, when coming in I thought I was going to be bogged down in period specific banter that would put me at a lost. Basically, I’m saying that I’ve disproved my theory in regards to period pieces, so article this is now null and void…

When devising this article I wanted to write about shows which I liked, but don’t particularly enjoy watching, which I hopefully did. What I didn’t expect was that they would mostly all be “period” pieces, and that the bulk of this post would be related to these shows. Now, I’m not saying only “period” shows can be good yet hard to watch, but for some reason that occurs for me. I guess these shows are hard to get through for me (as evidenced above), but I’m sure there is some more “modern” shows like this for me as well. Maybe this is an ongoing idea and endeavour, but it certainly fascinates me, especially due to the amount of TV I watch, how I really do like certain shows, but man is it hard to get through their episodes sometimes. The nail on the head to this article, maybe, is that I would actually much rather perfer/be able to get through an episode of 90210 (the reboot, which is actually kind of decent in a weird way, but that’s an article for some time in the future) than an episode of Boardwalk Empire, or a universally thought of “good show”. If you put a disc of each in front of me and allowed me to choose based on my own enjoyment, I’d be watching Naomi Clarke and company gab and gossip before you could even finish the question.

I think when it all comes down to it though, we all have these shows, different to all, that you realize are good, but just can’t understand or find it hard to get through, for a variety of reasons, probably different than mine. Maybe mine just happen to be “period pieces”, where yours might be “teen dramas”, “political dramas”, or a certain type of comedy. I don’t think we really have a problem or anything per say, but I think these types of shows encourage us to be better viewers, where we have to work to more fully understand and appreciate a show, and which hopefully will be all the more rewarding for you in the end.