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Television

Angel and Buffy

I’ve just rushed through the final series of Buffy and some of the episodes in the final series of Angel, because they leave Amazon Prime in a few days.

I’m reminded about how much I liked the final series of Buffy, despite popular opinion. Yes the potential slayers were mostly dull and cannon fodder, like most viewers I wished Kennedy would die early, and Buffy made just a few too many speeches. But Faith was back, Principal Wood was hot, and it was a great ending. There were also some really funny bits (Buffy and the bazooka, Anya in general) and some genuinely touching moments (Xander’s extraordinary talk with Dawn).

But I’m also reminded of how much I didn’t buy into the Buffy and Spike thing. I really enjoyed the episode in Season 4 where Willow cast a spell on them and they were getting married. And I suppose I could understand the self-loathing, no-strings sex. But the romance? To me it always felt like Spike just wore her down, professing his love so much she felt obligated to reciprocate. I don’t really believe in ‘falling’ for someone just because they’re in love with you: sounds a bit too much like settling. I’m not saying I wanted her to end up with Angel, but at least that felt equal: they liked each other and fell for each other at the same time (no matter what happened after).

I wish I could say I enjoyed the final season of Angel. The standout episode is Smile Time (where Angel is turned into a puppet), but mostly it felt like a drag. One in which they killed off their two lead females, replaced their great female antagonist with one no-one cared for, at least brought Harmony back for some comic relief; and brought more men into the picture. Don’t get me wrong: I love all the male leads, and ‘Spike and Angel’ was great. But I really missed Cordelia, and killing Fred was just cruel. To be fair, Angel started going off the rails when Connor came into it, but I felt like it could’ve been recovered. Admittedly more difficult after Season 4, but not impossible.

Part of me wonders if the male-female ratio was in some way to counteract all the women in the Buffy TV finale, but most of them didn’t speak; and they actually increased the number of men (5: Xander, Giles, Spike, Andrew, Wood) so it compared more favourably to the women (6: Buffy, Willow, Dawn, Anya, Faith, ugh Kennedy and other non-speaking potentials) compared to earlier series. And they killed Anya.

All that being said, I still intend to buy the comic books and continue to follow the Buffyverse.

Television

Community: the TV Show

OK, OK, so I’m late to the party. But what a freaking awesome show! Seasons 1-5 leave Amazon Prime in 14 days. I started watching when there was 21 days left. I’m already on Season 5, and I’ve had to force myself to stop watching several times! I’m so glad I decided to watch it before it left Prime, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered.

Community-NBC-TV-Show

I would go as far as to say this is now my second favourite TV show of all time.

  1. Red Dwarf
  2. Community
  3. Frasier
  4. Gilmore Girls
  5. Buffy and Angel
  6. Supernatural
  7. The Wire
  8. Veronica Mars
  9. The Good Wife
  10. Big Bang Theory
  11. House
  12. Southland
  13. Nurse Jackie

I can’t imagine anything knocking Red Dwarf from the top spot, and Community is deservedly #2, but the rest of the order isn’t set in stone. There’s so much crap on TV, I tend to watch the same shows over and over, and it can take me a while to catch on to something good. So there’s quite a few shows I want to watch that I haven’t yet (some of which have already finished), like Modern Family, Arrested Development, Oz, Friday Night Lights, Orange is the New Black. I’ve also heard good things about Sleepy Hollow and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

But back to Community. I love it. I love how close the cast is and how intense the fans are. I love the movie parodies, tropes, insane storylines, running jokes. I think I might be addicted to it. I’m watching interviews, conventions and outtakes on YouTube when I’m not watching the episodes. I’ve found themed jewellery and furnishings I want to buy. I want to watch the episodes again and again so I can quote lines. I want to get a new pet so I can name it after one of the characters.

But I can’t imagine any of my friends being into it, which is no great surprise (I am the oddball) but is a shame. I guess I’ll just have to carry on being weird by myself. Or find some friends who do watch it.

I’m hoping that when it finishes (inevitably after its 6th season) someone will create a new show that brings this cast back together.

Television

3 Programmes to Watch on Thursday Nights

Thursday night is TV night. The Good Wife, Nashville, Southland. I know Southland finished ages ago, but I’m behind. And going to be gutted when it comes to an end.

I love The Good Wife. It’s really well written with great story lines, it’s funny, serious, thought-provoking, and I love how it’s so current, e.g. Anonymous, Bitcoin, etc. It also has the rather lovely Matt Czuchry, but not quite enough of him right now. And Archie Panjabi is brilliant: everyone wants to be Kalinda!

I’m hoping Alicia and Carey’s firm will get on firmer footing soon, and it would be great to see them facing anyone other than ‘LG’ (what a pretentious name change!). And great to see Nathan Lane back in.

But one storyline I never liked and really wish they would get rid of is the Alicia and Will romance. I didn’t like it when they were having the affair, I didn’t like it last season when the end-of-season cliffhanger could have been Alicia inviting Will to her apartment. And I don’t like all the flashbacks in Season 5. It’s probably because I don’t particularly like Will’s character, but I just wish they’d lay off.

Unfortunately I’ve just accidentally ‘spoliered’ myself and I think anyone in the US knows this isn’t something that will bother me for much longer.

Nashville is all about the women, but it has some very hot men in it too, like Sam Palladio and Chip Esten. I’m enjoying the mix of characters, from the long-standing queen to the new young star, to the ones trying to make it. And they have such a range of sounds. I’ve never been one for country music, but I like a lot of what they play. I can imagine it’s going to do a lot for Nashville, especially as it’s filmed there.

I really like the show, but it would be nice if Juliette could grow up a bit. Especially now we have Layla for the bitchy queen: don’t need two of them! Last week’s episode ended with Will standing on a train track and Peggy getting shot. Looking  forward to next week.

And Southland. It’s a bit grittier than I usually like my shows to be, but I enjoy watching it. Everyone is flawed, but often you can understand where they’re coming from even if you don’t agree with them. It’s a real shame that it’s been cancelled after 5 seasons, especially considering the rollercoaster ride it’s had in that time.

But what is it with Southland and its sudden, shocking deaths?! First Nate in Season 3, and now Henry in Season 5. They happen so fast you can’t be sure you really saw them. And apparently the storyline of 5.9 is based on real-life events from 1963.

Last ever episode of Southland next week. So glad there’s internet TV so I can go back over my favourite episodes.