Thursday, October 17, 2013

"...and I would trade it all right now for a roll of Charmin."

Today's episode is brought to you by irony.  Irony: when the "gridlock problem" in DC was fixed, DC developed a problem with gridlock.  My trip to the train station took twice as long as usual and nearly three times as long as during the shutdown.  This is a funny moment, not a complaint.  Please join me appreciating the irony, say something like, "Wow, that really is ironic.", and then we'll move on to the rest of the post.

Which is Must See TV today.  Last night I watched what was, perhaps, the worst episode of "Castle" ever written.  Everything was contrived to create tension (undeveloped), shock (too fast and too random to be effective), and cliffhanger with closure (in case of cancelation).

I thought back to another show that struggled with a similar problem, "Jericho."  It was canceled twice so there were two rather awkward endings.  The first wasn't too bad, they knew it was coming and it was logical enough but it was TV cheesy going for high drama and didn’t really resolve very much.  The second was the sudden notice that they had to wrap everything up.  A huge, multi-season conspiracy and collection of mysteries had to be closed off in two episodes.  We (my wife and I) were very curious to see how they did it.  Again, high drama for TV, but they pulled it off.  I would have been upset if I'd paid to see it in a theater and I might not have finished the book, but after investing in the entire series, I didn't feel betrayed.  Just a little empty that it had to end so quickly.

We liked "Jericho" quite a bit.  It was unpretentious, filled with good, hardworking Americans, and most importantly, they got the balance of characters just right.  It wasn't soap opera complex or MacGyver simple.

I do recommend the show - starting from the first episode of season 1 - but you should hurry.  It's going to be old soon and I don't expect it to age well.  In case you are wondering, it's nothing like Bad Robot's “Revolution” - which we did not like and gave up on after three episodes.

When you do watch "Jericho", keep an eye out for Detective "Lassie" Lassiter.  Many of the major cast members have also had single episode appearances on other recent shows.

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