The Light from the TV Shows: “Game of Thrones” begins anew (and so does “The Killing”)
As we enter into the final quarter of the traditional broadcast TV season, where many of the mid-season entries are already beginning to wrap up their runs (“Alcatraz,” for example, aired its two-hour finale on Monday) and most of the series that kicked off way back in the fall are in that depressing twilight period just prior to their last run of new episodes before season’s end, many of your favorite premium cable programs are taking advantage of the semi-lull by coming back with a vengeance.
This past Sunday, of course, AMC brought us the return of “Mad Men,” which you probably already knew, since it managed to pull in 3.5 million viewers, a none-too-shabby increase of 21 percent over the series’ previous season premiere. This Sunday, the network has another series coming back, though it’s probably safe to presume that the numbers won’t be nearly as impressive for this one. But, look, if your excuse for not liking “The Killing” is that they didn’t resolve Rosie Larsen’s murder by the end of the season, go peddle your wares somewhere else, because I’m tired of hearing people whine about that. So what if it hasn’t been resolved yet? A show’s allowed to keep its viewers in suspense, isn’t it? If you didn’t like it because you thought it was boring, that’s one thing. If you’re really complaining because the producers promised “a very, very satisfying ending to Season 1” and reneged on that promise, though, I say that you may be well within your rights to be frustrated, but don’t say, “Ugh, they lied, therefore the show sucks,” because that’s just lame.
I do think AMC must be resigned to the return of “The Killing” being slaughtered both by the critics and in the ratings, however, since even though it’s coming back this Sunday night at 8 PM for a two-hour season premiere, the homepage of the network’s press resource center is still busy trumpeting last week’s return of “Mad Men.” For my part, while I do think the series dragged quite a bit in places and reached the point of ridiculousness with how many times Sarah Linden bailed on her planned departure (if I was Ray McDeere, I probably would’ve broken off my engagement to Sarah somewhere around Episode 1.3), I was perpetually gripped whenever Michelle Forbes and Brent Sexton were portraying parental grief, and I am steadfast in my disagreement with anyone who says that Episode 1.11 (“Missing”) was an unnecessary detour away from the case, because that may have been my favorite episode since the pilot. If you didn’t like that episode, you probably also watched “Twin Peaks” and complained about how they spent too much time focusing on Audrey Horne when they could’ve been figuring out who killed Laura Palmer…and I’m here to tell you that you can never spend too much time focusing on Audrey Horne.
Quick sidebar: if you didn’t watch “Twin Peaks,” this is Audrey Horne:
This concludes your moment of Sherilyn Fenn zen. We now return to our regularly scheduled column…provided we can all get our concentration back.
Oh, right, now I remember where I was…
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Posted in: Entertainment, Interviews, News, Television
Tags: A Clash of Kings, A Game of Thrones, A Song of Fire and Ice, Alcatraz, AMC, Art Parkinson, Audrey Horne, Brent Sexton, Camelot, Carice van Houten, D.B. Weiss, David Benioff, Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, Gethin Anthony, HBO, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jack Gleeson, Kit Harington, Laura Palmer, Lena Headey, Liam Cunningham, mad men, Maisie Williams, Mark Addy, Michelle Fairley, Michelle Forbes, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Outcasts, Peter Dinklage, Ray McDeere, Richard Madden, Sarah Linden, Sean Bean, Sherilyn Fenn, Sophie Turner, Stephen Dillane, The Killing, The Light from the TV Shows, Tom Wlaschiha, TV Week, Twin Peaks, Will Harris
Decade Debate: 15 Sci-Fi series that deserved a longer run
Together with the editors of Premium Hollywood and The Scores Report, Bullz-Eye.com is looking back at the past decade (what the hell should we call it?) and compiling lists of some of the best and worst of the 00’s in television, movies and sports. These decade debates are fun, so feel free to leave comments with your perspectives as well as we’ll be featuring them here in the Bullz-Eye Blog.
Starting with television in the 2000s, Will Harris posted a great list on Premium Hollywood of the 15 sci-fi series that deserved a longer run. One series that stood out was “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Here’s our take:
Season 1 had its highs and lows, but the show’s sophomore year was consistently intriguing throughout, starting with the season premiere and the introduction of Catherine Weaver (Shirley Manson), the co-founder and current CEO of ZeiraCorp…except that, as we discovered immediately prior to the closing credits, she wasn’t actually Catherine Weaver but, indeed, was a shapeshifting T-1001. As the season progressed, however, her physical transformation became less interesting than her emotional evolution, with the T-1001 being forced to maintain the façade of its new identity in its entirety, which required her to raise Catherine’s daughter, Savannah (Mackenzie Smith), and try to understand her. (I have a suspicion that all of the parents in our readership just snorted en masse and said, “Uh, yeah, good luck with that!”)
The T-1001 wasn’t the only Terminator to get a crash course in humanity during Season 2. Cameron (Summer Glau) spent much of the season suffering from a serious chip malfunction, leading her at one point to adopt the approximate memories of future resistance fighter Allison Young, on whom her personality had originally been patterned, but we also saw her interacting outside of the Connor camp; elsewhere, the Terminator formerly known as Cromartie (Garret Dillahunt) had his chip destroyed, but his body was connected to ZeiraCorp’s artificial intelligence known as the Babylon A.I., leading him to take on a new name – John Henry – and leading the series to explore matters of spirituality by querying whether his sentience means that terms like “life” and “death” now apply to him. Oh, right, and there was also some pretty good stuff with the human characters, too.
Sure, there were moments which defied credibility, but when you’re dealing with a show that lives and dies by time travel, suspension of disbelief and acceptance of pretty much everything that’s handed to you is a necessity. Fortunately, executive producer Josh Friedman found a way to combine the necessary technological components of “Terminator” with deep characterization. It seriously sucked that “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” was canceled just as those who’d followed it from the beginning were really feeling rewarded for their steadfast viewership, but it was just insult to injury when “Terminator: Salvation” bombed, taking down any decent chance that the series might be revisited at some point.
We have to admit that Lena Headey and Summer Glau added an eye candy factor that made the shows even more enjoyable. Both of their characters found their way onto our TV Girlfriends feature, with Lena’ Headey’s Sara Conner featured in our Married to the Job category and Summer Glau’s Cameron battling in our Fox Force Five list.
Posted in: Entertainment, Television
Tags: best of the decade, Cameron, Decade Debates, Decade Lists, Fox Force Five, Lena Headey, Married to the Job, Sara Conner, sci-fi, Shirley Manson, Summer Glau, Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, TV, TV Girlfriends, TV lists