I was pretty hopeful when this season started that I’d be able to keep up with all my shows, but that hope was clearly misplaced. I fell behind pretty early, and things are just starting to come back from winter hiatuses — or in the case of Grimm, just getting going. But did I used that hiatus time to get caught up?
No. Instead I wrote some fanfic, went to work, watched a ton of Youtube videos (mostly of people skateboarding), binged on Microsoft solitaire games, had family Christmas, blogged a little and snuggled the most demanding of demanding snuggle buddies.
That is Buster, and yes, he is named after this guy:
Both for his general clinginess and for, well, these things:
But enough about my big baby cat. Let’s get to those shows I’m desperately trying to catch up on. For all of these, I’m between three and six episodes back. Thankfully, some of them don’t appear to have time/episode restraints to their streaming.
Gotham – I’m loving Bruce, Alfred, Selena, Penguin and Nygma, but I’m really not crazy about what’s been going on with Jim Gordon this season. Maybe I’m just feeling overly sappy regarding this show, but I really want Gordon to get past his issues and stop being so shady. And to put away the gravelly voice. Is that just a law of the Batman franchise? Somebody has to sound like they’re in permanent need of a lozenge? Also, I really don’t care for Valerie Vale. I imagine we’ll be meeting Vicki before the series is over, and maybe I’ll like her more.
The Middle – This is a really easy show to catch up on. It’s a 30-minute family comedy that is consistently funny and comfortable like pajamas and a warm bowl of soup. I think The Middle has done a great job of handling its aging kid-cast. We’ve followed Axl and Sue to college without losing focus on the family as a whole. And while, like the rest of the Hecks, I don’t really care for Axl’s girlfriend (now wife?!) April, I like that she’s allowed the show to touch on some drama while still being firmly a sitcom. Plus, I’ve got say, Neil Flynn is just a real standout as the dad on this show.
Agents of SHIELD – AoS is one of those shows that, once I start watching it again, I always forget why I let myself get so far behind. I’m liking Robbie Reyes/Ghostrider far more than I thought I would, and even though I really want Daisy to just go back to SHIELD and be a family with everyone again, I’m also liking the angsty distance and frosty reunion. But mostly, I’m impressed by how much Agents of SHIELD has changed since season one without ever feeling like a completely different show. I haven’t been able to avoid all spoilers for the episodes I haven’t seen, so I know a little about what’s coming up for May, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Teen Wolf – I’ve been really impressed by the way it’s handled Dylan O’Brien’s absence while still making his character Stiles feel like he has presence, even if nobody really remembers him. And I find the Ghost Riders to be wonderfully creepy. I’ve been spoiled enough to know that Theo’s back, and I’m not super into that, but we’ll see how it goes.
This Is Us – I think the season is probably far enough in that the twist is pretty well known, so I’m not going to bother writing around that this show goes back and forth between the present-day with three grown triplet siblings (two bio sibs and their adopted bother born and abandoned the same day) and the past with their parents. I was hesitant with this show, because I really thought it would be cringe-worthy melodrama in all plots with Kate, the morbidly obese sister, but I like the way it’s been handled. She feels like a real person. I also really like that the show hasn’t just glossed over Randall’s adoption and, among other things, the racial issues to come from it. And I’m just now starting to see Kevin’s insecurities, which have really added to what initially seemed like a pretty weak character. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia have really impressed me as the parents who always tried to do right by their kids, even though it’s pretty clear that a lot of Kate’s weight issues stem from her mom and Kevin’s insecurities come from having to fight for time with his dad. They’re not perfect parents, but nobody is, and they certainly do try hard. It’s also good to see Jon Huertas, who’s been Castle’s Esposito for so long to me that it’s really refreshing to see him in a role that’s so different.
The Flash – This is the DCtv show I’ve most kept up with. I’m only 3 episodes behind, and I’ve gotten used to the Flashpoint changes — mostly because everything that made the interpersonal relationships different between the original and altered timelines has been all but forgotten. So, everyone’s getting along like they used to, except for some new powers causing strife. I’m not wild about H.R., though. We’ve seen 4 incarnations of Harrison Wells, and this one is by far my least favorite.
Lethal Weapon – This show has really, really impressed me. My initial theory that a series would allow us to get more depth on Riggs has been spot-on, and while Damon Wayans’ Murtaugh is funnier than Danny Glover’s, he also brings the serious in really great and unexpected ways. And there have been little touches and moments that were very evocative of things that happened in the movies, which were nice to notice. I don’t think I can say enough good things about Lethal Weapon, especially considering it was probably the show I was most nervous about.
Speechless – I could make an entire post about Speechless, the new sitcom about a family and the assistant/voice to JJ, the son with cerebral palsy. It has so much heart and such fun characters. That it even exists is probably noteworthy. That it cast an actor who actually has cerebral palsy definitely is. And the incredibly organic and downright casual way it works in things the average family might take for granted is amazing. The best example I can give right now, is an episode where JJ manages to ditch Kenneth at a Halloween party and gets drunk. When he gets caught and grounded, there’s a moment with his parents where, clearly they’re angry at their kid, but they’re also ecstatic that he was able to do and get punished for things that normal kids do. And there was like half a second where they caught themselves, said “we don’t say ‘normal'” and then got back to their mild geek out. It was just such a nice acknowledgement of people with disabilities not being abnormal as human beings even though their situation may be different. And that it made that point without standing on a soapbox or berating anybody for not being perfect all of the time is just so nice. And while JJ’s situation is certainly a bit part of this sitcom, I like that it’s not the only one. He has two siblings who feel just as well developed.
Modern Family – If there’s a show I wouldn’t be disappointed to lose, it’s this one. Sure, I like the cast and it’s still funny, but it’s also feeling stale. Unlike The Middle, Modern Family’s characters are growing up, but I don’t really feel like any of them are growing, you know? I’ve had a partial post comparing these two shows in my drafts folder for weeks, and I should probably finish it.
Arrow – The building of Team Arrow 2.0 has been slow going but I like the dichotomy between Oliver as Arrow and Oliver as mayor, and I like that Quentin Lance still has a role to play. This season hasn’t really grabbed me though. Maybe once I’m back to it, it’ll end up being like The Flash, and apparently Legends of Tomorrow, and I won’t be able to imagine not watching it.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – This is the last DC show I’m trying to catch up on, and it’s also the only show to date that I’m going to have to buy a few episodes of to do so. But it’s in general a pretty fun show with lots of time travel, so I don’t mind. I miss Rip Hunter, but so far I’m really liking the addition of Nick Zano’s Nate Heywood, a historian who acquires powers and gets the chance to live up to his family’s heroic legacy. I also like that Legends of Tomorrow gives me a starting point to review some comic stories that go way back. Because even though I don’t like comic books as a delivery method, I love the stories, and have really enjoyed all the videos and posts by people who DO love comic books and aren’t shy in pointing out all the easter eggs and origins of stories and characters these DC shows bring to life for me.
The Great Indoors – I’m surprised by how much I like this Joel McHale show about the adventure journalist pulled off assignment by his magazine-turned-website so he can manage a bunch of sheltered millenials. There’s room for it to go so horribly wrong, but it pokes fun at everybody in generally fun ways.
Supernatural – While I admit to finding the British Men of Letters to be not terribly exciting foils for Sam and Dean, and I’m honestly getting a little bored by Lucifer, Supernatural is clearly still doing something right. I just read an article about the best moments of the 15-season run of ER, and the number of people to come and go was absolutely staggering. I like that Supernatural will be heading into year 13 in the fall, apparently, still with its core characters of the past decade.
MacGyver – This might be a controversial topic, but I love new MacGyver. What’s that you say? MacGyver shouldn’t have a team? Don’t care! The science is iffy? Don’t care! It’s just so much fun, and I really like the cast. I never watched a ton of Richard Dean Anderson’s MacGyver when I was a kid — pretty much just enough to know the voiceovers in this one feel right to me — but I tried to watch it five or six years ago and just couldn’t really get into it.
This, I’m into. And, maybe this has been revealed or debunked by now, but I find it very conspicuous the way Mac keeps talking about the grandfather who taught him all these life lessons. It might be a little much to make Lucas Till’s Mac the grandson of RDA’s Mac given that then Jack and Thornton would then also have to be relatives of the OG characters who suspiciously entered nearly identical career paths, but it would not surprise me at all to see Anderson doing a cameo as the grandfather. Sort of like how Dean Cain — Superman of the 1990s — plays the adoptive father of Supergirl on that show now. But either way, I love this MacGyver, I’m going to keep watching it as long as CBS keeps airing it, and none of the haters can stop me! 🙂 (And seriously, if I do end up watching Supergirl, it’s probably going to be because of Dean Cain and Tyler Hoechlin…or because it gets too tied up in the CW superhero soup of shows.)
So, there you go. That’s what I’m currently excited about and trying desperately to catch up on. My plan is to do at least one post a week this year, so next week I’ll touch on those shows that I either gave up on, meant to watch but never started or otherwise just failed to make priorities.
Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.