It takes longer and longer for my DVR to get cleaned, but I have finally done it! Okay, it is not completely clean, but I have six great early summer shows continued to bolster this unprecedented age of television…
Fargo, Season 1 (FX)
Is there any basic cable station that is winning more than FX? I was pleasantly surprised that this show did as well as it did, chalk up a hit for basic cable’s “King of Television” (that is a nickname I just made up of course). There has to be an Emmy nom for the great Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal of homicidal lunatic Lorne Malvo. The Malvo character is the best of the year so far, in my humble opinion.
What in the world is Lester’s problem? He is easily one of the dumbest television characters ever. When he sees Malvo in the hotel bar, why doesn’t he just leave immediately? I mean, it’s nice that he has all of this new found machismo, but Malvo is a legit cold-blooded killer who has a particularly scary disregard for human life… why poke that bear? We, as a nation, are so lucky that killers like Lester Nygaard (fake) and O.J. Simpson (real) are dumb! They don’t know when to get while the getting is good.
At this time, it is unclear whether there will be a season two. However, If there is life after season one, the show’s creator has already said that these particular characters have served their purpose.
Game of Thrones, Season 4 (HBO)
“The Children” Finale Airdate: June 15, 2014
I love this show. In fact, it has definitely replaced ‘Justified’ as the best show on television, in my opinion. The only problem that I have is writing about it because I am afraid to mess up. I mean, part of this show’s appeal is the attention to detail in each episode. I am scared of getting King’s Landing mixed up with Winterfell, thus exposing my ignorance, but I’ll try to brave through this short review.
A wry smile crept over my face as I watched Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) kill his former lover Shae (Sibel Kekilli), and his father Tywin (Charles Dance). I have never been more ecstatic to see a television murder. I was surprised that Shae was sleeping with Tywin, because I absolutely believed that she truly loved Tyrion. I thought they really had something, and that she would rather die before betraying him. Even when she testified against him I chalked that up to a woman scorned; a woman who didn’t understand that Tyrion wasn’t pushing her away, he was only trying to protect her. Her betrayal was a true shock to me, and I fancy myself as a person who isn’t easily “television fooled.”
This was an all-around great season that left me craving to see where they are going to take this story.
Inside Amy Schumer, Season 2 (Comedy Central)
“Slut-Shaming” Finale Airdate: June 3, 2014
Amy Schumer has been one of my favorite comedians for a very long time, and I am happy to see her show doing well. In my opinion the skits were the same as they were in season one: Just better than average. Her best stuff comes in her interviews that she does at the end of almost every show. She doesn’t just pull up some famous person and ask a lot of cookie-cutter questions. She usually brings in people whose occupation or mere aura is a recipe for laughter.
TVline.com has already confirmed that Inside Amy Schumer has been renewed for season three.
Louie, Season 5 (FX)
“Pamela Part 1-3” Finale Airdate: June 16, 2014
FX apparently is a place for both excitement and controversy. There wasn’t a show that sparked more conversation and intrigue this entire year than Louie. Comedian Louis C.K. perhaps pushed the envelope more than any show-runner has ever been allowed to do on a basic cable network show. In my opinion, the best episodes of the season were “In the Woods Part 1 and 2.” Louie catches his daughter smoking weed in the park, which triggers a movie-style flashback that explains not why Louie is so upset with his daughter, but how he has become the man that is currently is. It is American television at its finest.
Okay, let’s see here… in this season Louie punched a woman in the face, had an intimate and meaningful relationship with a woman who couldn’t speak English, shunned a woman who liked him simply because she was overweight, and semi-raped a crazy woman who he claims to have deep feelings for. There isn’t enough time to fully explain why each one of those storylines were controversial, introspective, or provocative… you just have to watch the season to gain a better understanding.
Louis C.K. has turned his show into what ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is for HBO: Funny, thought-provoking, and totally just a development of several brainstorms by a brilliant comedian. The countdown begins for season five.
Mad Men, Season 7 (AMC)
“Waterloo” Finale Airdate: May 25, 2014
I’m not a big fan of this “let’s split up the final season” crap AMC has going on, but whatever. It seems as if the seven episodes they showed this year were rushed and sort of made up (that could be because I know show-runner Matthew Weiner planned on ending the series after season six, but was coaxed into another season by the network). There doesn’t seem to be any big cliffhanger or larger-than-life storyline that is supposed to make fans blood thirsty for the final episodes next year. ‘Mad Men’ is just cashing in on their name and sweat-equity they have built up over the show’s duration.
The season itself showed an official split of Don and Megan, the death of Bert Cooper, and a nice power play move by Roger Sterling to, in essence, take back control of the firm while saving Don’s job in the process. Not bad stuff, just not anything to get too excited about. I am secretly hoping that Don and Peggy end up starting the relationship that a lot of fans have been waiting to see. They have a good friendship and that may be where things ultimately remain, but I have always thought that they would be perfect for each other. Peggy is the only woman in the world that would be able to both understand and handle Don for a long period of time, and vice versa. We shall see if my dream can come true in 2015.
Sadly, you would think that a final season would produce more bang for all of our proverbial buck… but maybe they are saving everything for 2015.
Veep, Season 3 (HBO)
“New Hampshire” Finale Airdate: June 8, 2014
The biggest plot point was that “Potus” was resigning as President of the United States which automatically makes Serena the new President. Who else but Serena and her staff (with the exception of Amy) can botch a gift-wrapped Presidency that should automatically lead to being elected for office? It is so ridiculous and utterly hilarious that a soon-to-be sitting President and current Vice President of the United States would be finishing a lot of primary elections in third or fourth place. The overconfidence and bumbling buffoonery of Mike, Gary, and Dan is comedic gold.
‘Veep’ is not all laughs. This show’s greatness is in the details. For instance, in the episode “Crate” they spent a lot of time focusing on a crate: Its worth, its perception, its meaning. The plot device uses humor to show the general public’s utter lack of focus when it comes to the truly important issues of any political campaign. I hope this show gets another three or four year run, and at least one season of Serena being the President, which would prompt the fantasy show name change “Prez.”