Sunday, October 18, 2015

They're Back

There are some shows I consider appointment TV--try to watch them as soon as they're aired, or if I'm out, as soon as I can.  Then there are shows that I sort of watch but if I miss it's no big deal.  Three of those shows are back for another season.

First is The Knick, starting its second season on Cinemax.  Starring Clive Owen and a bunch of lesser known people, it's set in and around a New York City hospital in 1900.  The storylines for the characters are actually pretty weak, but the design is impressive, and it is sort of fun to see surgery that's hard to tell from savagery.

I don't think the ratings are particularly high, but the critics love it.  I think that's mostly because every episode is directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh.  I agree Soderbergh is a fine director, but what difference does it make without a compelling plot?

Then there's South Park.  I've always liked it, but never really loved it. The satire can be pretty effective, even if the animation is rudimentary.  But it's now in its 19th season, and we're not really seeing much we haven't seen before, even if the plots are often ripped from the headlines.

The first two episodes this season looked at political correctness from both sides.  In the first episode, the PC people are portrayed as bullying frat boys who'll beat the crap out of you if you don't say what they want (such as admitting Caitlyn Jenner is a hero and a stunning woman).  Now PC is a juicy and deserving target, but it's almost too easy.  The second episode was a bit more pointed, with regular character Mr. Garrison getting tired of the PC attitude. He speaks his mind, saying crazy stuff, and is soon running for President. His plan is to build a wall to keep the Canadians out of the U.S.  But before you know it, the crazy Canadian leader has already built his own wall.

The show is still fun, but I'm already two episodes behind and don't feel any need to catch up.

Finally, there's one of the biggest hits on TV (though recent ratings suggest it may have peaked), The Waking Dead.  I avoided this show for a few seasons, as unending zombie attacks seemed boring, but I caught up with it around season three, and here we are at season six and I still check it out.

As always, there's not too much to the show. We've got the nucleus of characters, some of whom die along the way--though I can't see them killing Rick, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Michonne or Carol any time soon--and they get attacked by zombies and sometimes by other humans. That's it.  Honest.

Plenty of gory deaths each episode, which is a large part of the fun.  The main characters haven't been heavily developed, but they have their quirks, and seem to like each other, so that's something to hold on to.

As long as people watching, I suppose it can go on forever--though won't they eventually run out of zombies?


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I was pondering the fact that Walking Dead will go on forever, as long as it has the ratings AMC needs in the space. Since they have no reluctance to kill off established, beloved characters, the main actors can't demand so much money that the show become unprofitable.

And they can't run out of zombies as everyone who dies becomes a zombie if not pithed first. However, the older zombies should become writhing piles of immobile flesh on the ground.

Of curse Fear the Walking Dead will keep us in fresh zombies for at least 2 or 3 years now.

9:31 AM, October 19, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Shows that can kill off characters have leverage in negotiations, but there are certain core people who probably know they're pretty safe if they don't ask for too much.

I've been over the math before, but all you have to do is figure what percentage of people on earth are alive versus zombified. Let's say in 1%. All they have to do is kill 99 zombies (on average) and thehy're done. And our heroes have killed far more than their share.

What about the last person on Earth. He could kill every zombie, but he better make sure he blows his brains out before he dies or he'll be walking around for quite a while. Though I guess zombies do eventually starve to death. Or undeath.

10:09 AM, October 19, 2015  
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10:06 PM, December 22, 2016  

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