Favourite Current TV Shows
I'm not the type of person who will just leave the TV on all day, but I am a pretty dedicated TV viewer. I'm always happy to find interesting things to watch and when I find something I like, I make a point of keeping up with new episodes every week (or bingewatching a new season when it's released). Here's what I'm keeping up with these days. If you, too, are a fan of these shows, awesome! If you're not, you can take this as me recommending them to you. :)
The Good Wife
What: After Alicia Florrick's husband is caught up in a sex scandal and arrested for corruption, she returns to work as a lawyer. The show chronicles the lives of Alicia and her various co-workers, family, and friends.
Why: I found myself with nothing to do on the night this premiered so I decided to watch it and liked it enough to keep going. I'm very glad I did, because it's become the show I most look forward to every week (sadly, I always have to record a west coast feed thanks to football). The bottom line is, this is a very smart, well-written, well-acted show.
Best Loved Characters: The Good Wife is overrun with wonderful actors playing superb characters, from the leads and regular supporting characters (my favourites being Alicia, Will, Eli, Diane, and Cary) down to people who recur once in a blue moon, like the opposing counsels played by Mamie Gummer, Michael J. Fox, and Martha Plimpton.
Least Loved Characters: Kalinda is great, but I find her whole femme fatale shtick a bit tiring. Her husband is the worst.
Best & Worst: I like any scene where Alicia shows what a tremendous badass she can be. There's a risk of making her too much of a goody-two-shoes ("Saint Alicia"), but I think they've done a good job of giving her some shades of grey. I especially love her scenes with Jackie. The Kalinda's husband storyline was just awful.
House of Cards
What: Frank Underwood is a southern politician with grand ambitions. Claire Underwood is his equally ambitious wife. They'll do anything, cross any line, to get what they want, and what they want is the most powerful job in the world.
Why: I think of this as a grandly exaggerated Shakespearean tragedy set in Washington, D.C. rather than a political drama. (At least, I really hope it's not realistic. Seriously ... don't let this be how things actually work.) The Underwoods are awful human beings. They're also very compelling characters, and their story makes for great TV.
Best Loved Characters: Clearly, Frank and Claire. They're a terrible twosome, but boy are they fun to watch. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are both amazing in their roles. I also really liked Peter Russo and Zoe Barnes, two of the Underwoods' most unfortunate victims.
Least Loved Characters: Never quite grew to like the hacker guy, and I rarely like Molly Parker in anything.
Best & Worst: So far, the first two seasons have been the best, with the first and last episodes of season 2 in particular standing out as excellent (and chilling). I didn't think season 3 lived up to them.
What: From the TV arm of the Marvel Universe comes this dark series about a superpowered private investigator in Hell's Kitchen. Jessica Jones is a little bit abrasive and she has some issues, but she's a good person at heart.
Why: I love Marvel's movies a whole lot, but hadn't been blown away by any of their efforts on TV ... until I saw Jessica Jones. Great cast, great characters, great storytelling, all anchored by the excellent Krysten Ritter as Jessica. This is Marvel's first effort that is explicitly centered on a female character; it's a solid start that will hopefully lead to more.
Best Loved Characters: Part of the reason I like this series so much is that I enjoy just about everyone. Jessica, Trish, Luke, Malcolm, Hogarth, Simpson -- all good.
Least Loved Characters: Kilgrave was a good villain, but no, I didn't like him. Also not fond of the shrieky Robyn.
Best & Worst: I think the one that really hooked me was episode 5, "AKA The Sandwich Saved Me," in which a plot to catch Kilgrave fails and Jessica decides to help Malcolm get off drugs. Claire Temple, the nurse played by Rosario Dawson, was probably my favourite thing about Daredevil, so I was quite happy when she showed up on this show, too.
What: Island, voting people off, $1 million, blah blah. You know what it is.
Why: I'm not a fan of the reality genre or of what it's done to our culture, but I absolutely love Survivor. In an effort to justify watching a reality show, I tell myself Survivor is different because at least the people on it are doing real challenges and really living in difficult conditions, and that the dynamics among contestants make for interesting social study. And then I just hope I sound smart and leave it at that.
Best Loved Characters: My all-time favourite contestants include Rupert, Yau-Man, and J.T. I am a big fan of Jeff Probst and the way he's started calling contestants out when they do stupid things.
Least Loved Characters: I try to forget the ones I don't like, but right now Abi stands out as possibly the most awful contestant ever. Then there's Colton, Brandon, and the useless duo of NaOnka and Purple Kelly.
Best & Worst: Heroes vs. Villains is unquestionably the best season. I don't remember anything about Vanuatu at all so I guess it couldn't have been very good.