And then there's....
And then, because apparently someone decided that this needed sexing up, someone wrote a love affair between the young hotshot spy (played by Brett Dalton) and the Veteran operative (Ming-Na Wen). It wouldn't bother me as much if it was more like a May-October romance instead of a March-November one (he is 28, she is 50). Now, I don't necessarily have a problem with dating someone older. I'm currrently seeing someone who's 11 years older than I am. A 22 year age difference, though, is when I have issues. (When the actress was first on ER in 1993, he was 7 years old).
As for the rest of the deep, character-rich Marvelverse .... actually, it's starting to piss me off with how little there is of the Marvel universe. I want to know how much this has to do with Jeph Loeb being the same silly screw up he was on Heroes, and how much this is Marvel studios insisting on holding back comic characters for ... wait for it ... NetFlix! After the awesomeness that is Arrow, AoS is pissing me off with it's cliche` characters, its weak overall story arc, the cheap and obvious attempt to insert romantic tension, and its inability to incorporate the Marvelverse. Joss Whedon's name has been slapped on this as a selling point, but it's obvious he's not involved in any of the writing, the characters, or anything about AoS, really.
As Michelangelo once said, trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.
I'm also waiting for Karl Urban to say, "Damnit Jim, I'm a cop, not a physician," but that may never happen.
The Black List: This boils down to James Spader playing Hannibal Lecter. Seriously, it's James Spader as a master criminal middle man who has decided, for reasons of his own, to start helping the FBI go after the bad guys who are so good at their jobs that no one has ever heard of them. And, let's face it, James Spader has never needed to act in his life. As for the Lecter part... come on, Spader comes with his own glass box here. It's fun watching James Spader now that he's no longer working with David E. Kelley. The overarching plot is a essentially a sort of mystery that the audience gets to work through as we go along.
Blue Bloods. This one strikes my fancy because it's a very New York show. Centered around three generations of a cop family, you have a good strong New York vibe here. Granted, some of the issues addressed are ripped from the headlines, and they're addressed in some interesting and inventive ways. It's a police procedural, but it's centered around family. And, strangely, this has gotten to be a better show as the series stops using season-long story arcs, which I find surprising.
At the end of the day, I think the romance story arc is one of the more impressive things about this show. While most shows decide it's time to end the series when the main characters get together, Castle has decided to just keep going with it into the engagement stage, including getting drama out of relationship problems that frequently come up. And the secondary cast has been loaded with strong character moments, sometimes devoting whole episodes to the "sidekicks," allowing characters to show different sides of themselves.
Dracula: If AoS is the weak link in this chain, this show was almost dead on arrival. Too much gratuitous sex, way too much soap opera, almost no action to speak of, this show had three or four episodes before I fully gave up on it. If you look at the show Revenge, which is The Count of Monte Cristo in the Hamptons of the 21st century, you can see everything that Dracula has ripped off: a revenge plotline, the take-down of the week, odd interpersonal relationships, a snarky sidekick. However, unlike Revenge, Dracula has no charm, an angsty, broody character with no sense of humor, and no one is having fun here.
Dracula was so bloodless, I thought I was watching Twilight.
NCIS / NCIS: LA: In the case of both shows, while their police procedural aspect has remained strong, I actually think I like what they've been doing with their characters. NCIS as a new element that's fun to watch, and NCIS: LA has decided that their "stars" (Chris O'Donnell? LL Cool J?) are not the primary focus, and has made it much more of an ensemble cast, introducing two series-long romantic subplots and character arcs. They've got some interesting tricks up their sleeves, and they're having fun playing with the formulas they've used since day one.
The Mentalist: If Sherlock Holmes was raised as a carney, he would be Patrick Jane, the protagonist of this show. Having joined the ranks of homicide solving cops in order to hunt down the serial killer who murdered his wife and daughter, Patrick Jane made a living as a successful consulting detective.
This season, Jane found the killer, known as Red John, and then ran away from his life. While this would normally be the end of any show, Jane (played by Simon Baker) carries this show with wit and charm, and finesse. He's a likeable sort, and fun to watch.And let's just say that he allowed us to sympathize with the killer as he's slowly choking the life out of someone....
No, Red John did not get a trial. And I'm fine with it.
This one is actually one of John Ringo's favorite tv shows. As he put it, the characters are spot on, and he can't see some of these plots coming.
And Jim Caviezel is already playing Batman on this show, why did they get Ben Afleck?
|Notice that the first word|
in bold is CRAZY.
You can understand why more than one review has described this show as jumping on the crazy train and refusing to let go. Despite everything I've just written, the series is surprisingly coherent. It's witty, it's stylish, and, sadly, despite the heavy fantasy elements, it has enough facts about the American revolution to make it qualify as educational. I've got some issues with our heroes being the two witnesses from the book of Revelations (Really? Didn't Dexter do that in season 6?), and let's not even go into the "good witches" concept they have floating around, but I've let it go and jumped aboard the crazy train myself.
Revenge: mentioned above, Revenge is a delightfully evil little show.
Once upon a time, a man was framed for blowing up an airplane, leaving his little girl orphaned and alone. And then she grew up, inherited a boatload of money from owning half the founding stock of Apple, and started destroying everyone involved in the frame up, one at a time. There will be payback, and we will have fun along the way. It's one of the more intelligent revenge plots I've seen since The Count of Monte Cristo, only these plans don't go as smoothly as Edmond Dantes' did.
This is another show where the secondary characters have development, and usually along lines that defy the cliche`. At the end of the day, this feels like a spy drama disguised as a soap opera.
There are some other great shows out there, of course. CSI (ok), Criminal Minds (still pretty good), Elementary (good, maybe not great), Hawaii 5-0 (just plan fun), but they haven't really jumped out at me from their usual awesome performances.
It's going to be an interesting season.