I'm continuing from the last HEROES blog. We've been chatting about how this program has slowed down for some of us, and how we wish it'd get back up to thrilling speed. This got me to thinking about TV programs that are working right now--the ones I would stay up to watch, even with commercials. I thought of five that are hitting it for me....
Not too long ago, Karm commented that this is the show to watch for its pacing. I agree. Alliances don't take forever to develop; in fact, they can be broken within the same episode,which makes for a twisty experience. At the same time, I never feel cheated by the quicksilver pacing of ROME: many of the characters are already so well developed and the acting is so deft that we know, with even just a fleeting look between two characters, what an entire paragraph of dialog might otherwise reveal. This show is fascinating for its low human moments as well as the sublime.
- UGLY BETTY
I am addicted...and not just because of the whopper of a plot twist that happened a few weeks ago. I like to see what these characters are up to, even if they're secondary characters. While Betty is lovable in herself, supporting players like "Evil Mark" and "Amanda" are worthy of affection, too. Vanessa Williams is awesome, presenting a villainess who should be one-dimensional, but isn't. Even Betty's seemingly vapid playboy boss grabs my heart and won't let go sometimes. Like in ROME, the acting is a huge plus with this show. I want to hang out with these characters because they're always fun and always on the move.
There are some who'll disagree, but based on the return-from-hiatus episode last week, I'm excited to watch again. In a previous blog, I had noted that LOST seemed to have a definite lack of urgency. The show stagnated while on the Others' island, with some of the main characters in captivity. I had stopped caring about what happened to them--not a good sign. However, I remained intrigued with Juliette. Well, last week took me back to Season One, when every week seemed fresh and terrifying. The CLOCKWORK ORANGE images, Juliette's backstory and the revelation that she's being held captive by Ben--all of them drew me right back in. I haven't had a chance to see this week's episode yet, but I'm chomping at the bit to watch.
- BROTHERS & SISTERS
This show started out with a "meh" sort of vibe. I wasn't particularly compelled by any of the characters, and I outright despised Sally Field's mother. I thought she was much too passive-aggressive. However, something happened to this show, and it's one of the most enjoyable hours on TV now. I love this family--even the much more balanced mom. And I even like Ms. Calista! She's good in this program! There are many laugh out loud moments, thanks to plots that rely on the characters for humor rather than forced situations.
- THE KNIGHTS OF PROSPERITY
I don't know if anyone else is watching this, but...OMG. I crack up pretty regularly during each episode. Even though this show is about a semi-inept gang intent on robbing Mick Jagger's home, the methodical build-up to the actual robbery doesn't feel stalled. Every step in reaching their goal is an episode filled with character moments and hilarity.
So what's the problem with HEROES for some of us? Are we not connecting with the characters as we used to...?