The Monday Mess – The 2012 TV roundup – 10 Dec 2012

The Monday mess, aka me, is looking  forward to the return of “Justified” in January. Although I like my deep, layered drama shows, I also love this one. It has a great mix of fun, good dialogue, good characters, story, and guns. I suppose that implies the show isn’t multi layered, thoughtful, like The Sopranos was, or The Wire was. Well it isn’t, but it never tries to be. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. It is pretty much an Elmore Leonard novel correctly brought to screen (the character is Elmore’s from his short story “Fire in the hole” which Elmore used again inspired from the series, in the recent novel “Raylan”). It is great. Hmm. It inspired me to give some thoughts on this years TV drama. Run away if you wish, but here they are, with added highly useful / useless, three word summary:

One reason for January to hurry up...

One reason for January to hurry up…

  • Justified – Maybe not as rounded a story as Season 2, but still great. Criminally ignored at the awards shows in favour of supposedly more serious fare. Loved the show. If you recall the line “They are saying I disarmed him”, you’ll know what I mean. – 3 word summary: Crisp dialogue king.
  • Breaking Bad – Short 8 episodes, but sweet as you like. The drama seemed a little bit rushed in some ways due to the reduced episodes, but there were plenty of good set pieces, wow moments, I cannot believe they did that moments, and the usual great acting. It opened with a clever scene from a year further down the line, which we have still to get to, and ended with a good cliffhanger. Cannot wait for the final 8 episodes next year. If you have netflix, and haven’t seen this show, catch up now. – Walter, Holy sh*t.
  • Mad Men – Back after a break and still on form. Slight dynamic change, some interesting character endings and repositioning of characters. Roger’s acid trip perhaps the highlight. Clever and stylish still. Again,  if you have netflix, and haven’t seen this show, catch up now. – stylish, cool, thoughtful.
  • Game of Thrones – Beautiful to look at and well acted. Some things trimmed from the second book, some moments appearing in different form from the early part of the third. Looking forward to how they deal with the rest of the third book. Best episode this time was the episode focused around the assault on Kings landing, was the best.  – Tyrion, the tall.
  • The Killing – Finished off the story. Improved on the first season in some ways, and made mistakes in other ways, like the “mad for a day” moment the two main characters had in separate episodes. One also took a bad beating but seemed ok enough a day or two later. The show was cancelled after this. That I wasn’t disappointed, says it all. Glad its over.
  • The Walking dead – perhaps on it’s strongest run so far. Good stories, good zombie kills / special effects, more tension between human vs human characters which drives the story much better.  Nice ending to the mid season finale. Looking forward to this one coming back. – No, Andrea, no.
  • Boardwalk Empire – Despite that they killed off my favourite character at the end of the previous season, I think I enjoyed this season the most. This show for me has always been very stylish, but maybe lacks the tension and tight dramatic drive of other shows. It is still decent though, employs great actors, for example Stephen Root who did a great job this season, and I loved the way they wrapped this season up. Great to see Richard involved. Interested to see where they go next year, as I was a little apprehensive to begin with this year. – Go Richard, go.
  • Hell on Wheels – Beautifully shot, never really had the dramatic tension that it ought to have. Quite a bit of it is well, a bit obvious. I tend to know where this is going most of the time. I will still watch it if it returns for another season. Needs more tension.
  • Treme – Have this season on the recorder but not watched it yet. Nothing to add. – Better watch it.
  • Homeland – Half of the season watched which was excellant. They changed track, but really this had to happen in the story. I have heard reports that the second half of the season is a bit weaker, but I guess I shall see. – Better catch up.

My Fave show of the year through nonet:

Oh sunday evening drama time

what a great selection to see

but when I look back and think

which of these is my fave

gut feeling selects

the dialogue cool


Its back

soon 🙂

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: specious.


26 comments on “The Monday Mess – The 2012 TV roundup – 10 Dec 2012

  1. I am glad I am not the only one who writes songs and poems to there favorite tv shows. I’m an ex 80 – 90’s latchkey kid. Best babysitter I ever had!

  2. Of this list, I only watch two, but you have given me reason to check out a couple more. Thanks!

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    You know Justified is high on my list. Just saw a trailer last night. The only other one I watch on that list is Homeland, but like Dexter, I wait until the season is out on DVD and then watch it like a mini-marathon. I love August when my yearly Dexter fix comes out.

    • Carrie, you *have* to check out all of those, they are SO good 🙂

    • Elliot says:

      I saw the first two seasons of Dexter, but haven’t caught up with the rest yet. I would like to at some point as I liked what I saw. In fact, I think I enjoyed S2 more than S1.

      I’m interested to see where they go with the next season of Justified, and whether they do break the overall story arc into three smaller sections similar to the book “Raylan”. I read an interview with the shows creators and I know it was being considered. I should have mentioned in the post, but I did also like the scene where Raylan chucked a bullet and said “next ones coming a bit faster”. One of many great scenes.

  4. Love *all* these shows except Treme which I never got into and Justified is brilliant and underrated. Southland, a gritty cop show is also recommendable, and have you watched Dexter? Both really great viewing. I’m currently ploughing through Homeland at the moment and just enjoying it so much (although my bf says Claire Danes makes a really ugly off-putting face he can’t stand whenever she gets emotional which now is really bugging me because I’m starting to notice it too). Oh and I have yet to tackle The Killing so that’s on my list. We’re so blessed with great shows these days!

    • Elliot says:

      I have seen the first two seasons of Dexter but need to catch up at some point as I enjoyed those.

      The Killing is so so. It has good qualities but also infuriating ones also, so don’t expect too much. I am referring here to the US version not the original version which actually, I do want to see as I hear it is much better!

      Homeland I need to catch up on. Treme does take a bit of getting into as it is slow moving, but I thought it was worth it in the end. If you ever watched the wire (also by David Simon), that was slow moving, and had a learning curve too. If you haven’t seen it, get on the case, that show is one of the best ever once you’ve gone through the first few episodes, gotten to know te characters and what is going on.

  5. Margarita says:

    We’ve been watching Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Hell On Wheels. Don’t have HBO or Showtime so we’ll have to Netflix the others. The Killing would be a good one to do like that. My sweet husband says Hell On Wheels is historically pretty accurate…we also enjoy The Hours and Copper on BBC America. xoxoM

    • Elliot says:

      I kind of missed The Hours so will have to try catch up on that. Hell on Wheels I kind of like, but it lacks a lot of dramatic tension for me. I just don’t care about the characters that much, and we also know that whatever struggles they are going through, the two main guys will get through it, and get a break. Love Mad men & Breaking bad though.

  6. Anne says:

    I love watching these with my husband, its one of the best parts of my week. We put our son to bed and veg out on the sofa. Love it. I like all these shows except game of thrones, boardwalk empire and homeland.

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    Um, shuffles feet and gets ready to slink out the door….. I don’t watch any of these or even much television. You’d think my writing would have more to show for it. Sigh.

  8. Nice nonet. My fav show is probably The Mentalist. 🙂

  9. Posky says:

    I am drastically behind on all of the best shows. I’m, sadly, going to have to wait until Netflix showcases them.

  10. Smaktakula says:

    Specious is a great word, and one I learned years ago from the Simpsons. I don’t watch TV very much, and I haven’t seen any of those shows. However, I plan someday to see Walking Dead (I’ve read several volumes of the comic). I’ve also read “Boardwalk Empire,” but it’s non-fiction and probably quite different from the show, which I may someday watch.

    I quite literally heard about Homeland for the first time today (not here). I have no idea what it’s about except that people are nutty about it.

    • Elliot says:

      I like the more serious, and less cheesy drama shows so that is the gist of most of these. Although it doesn’t seem like it from this post, I don’t watch too much tv either. Just certain drama shows plus a few other things, and some sport.

      I haven’t read the Boardwalk Empire book but I’m saving that for after it all ends. The reason being that although the main character in the show is fictional, but based on a real person, a lot of the other characters are based on the real life counterparts, and follow similar paths to the real events. So I do no wish to know who dies when for the ones I am not that familiar with.

      Homeland is decent, yes. Clever at tension that show, and asking some questions which do not have straight forward answers.

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