There is some really good television happening right now. I don’t actually have television but I watch online. In some ways this is freeing because I can pretty much watch all the shows whenever I want without advertisements. In other ways it can suck because sometimes it’s hard to find favourite programs that might not be that popular with the majority of viewers. I’m getting pretty good at finding what I want though.
I’ve been watching the final season of The L Word. I’ve loved this series since the beginning, though it’s been getting more and more bizarre with each season. I think I liked it more in early days than now. Still, I watch. We’re only a couple of episodes in and already we know Jenny’s going to be killed by season’s end. Max is pregnant. Jenny and Shane are going to get together. Weirdness! I’ve heard a spin-off series is in the works that will feature Alice in prison. Did she kill Jenny? More weirdness! So yes, it’s getting a little too weird and not in that zany Boston Legal kind of way that I love, but in a way that sort of detracts from the great stories that the series used to tell. Still, I watch every week, will stay on board through the end and likely check out the spin-off just to see where it all goes.
Nip/Tuck is another one of those shows that I always loved and continue to follow even though it’s gone way past my bizarre comfort level for a tv drama. I mean Christian and Liz? What the hell?! Gimme a break. I can handle a woman slicing her own breast off with an electric knife in a plastic surgeons waiting room. But Christian and Liz? C’mon now.
A show I really like and have been eagerly waiting for its return is Big Love. I am fascinated by this polygamist culture. I guess it kind of does what The Sopranos always did so well, takes something that most people feel is morally wrong and illegal and shows us what it’s like from the point of view of someone in it. I can understand why it works for Bill and his three wives and I can feel bad for them when their way of life is threatened. And I can also feel totally repulsed by the commune lifestyle and so sad for all those poor little girls married off to old men. I see characters like Alby Grant and know there are some scary individuals in the world, who maybe got that way because they were damaged along the way. This is interesting television because there doesn’t seem to be anything else like it on right now.
I like shows that push the boundaries and it seems like there are less of these shows being made in North America. I think that’s why I enjoy programming out of the UK so much. Last summer I stumbled into a series called Skins. It’s like Queer as Folk met Degrassi and beat the crap out of anything remotely after school special. These kids openly curse, drink, take drugs, shoplift, have sex, accept all dares, deal with peer pressure and messy home lives, and generally get up to anything and everything that teenagers can get up to. I watched the first two seasons in a couple of days and then was mortified to learn that none of the main characters would be returning for the third season. It’s a show about kids in high school or “college” as they call it, so once they graduate it’s bygones and a new bunch enrol. I loved Sid and Caissie, I couldn’t imagine the show working without them … and then I tuned in to the Season Three premiere and there were a bunch of new kids in a new school and I was hooked again. If you’ve never seen it you should give it a try. It’s laugh out loud funny and yet it’s not a sitcom. They deal with some very serious issues as well.
But the absolute best show on television anywhere in the world right now has got to be Damages. These people are effed up! Big time! I love the use of flash forwards. I love that nothing is ever what it seems. These characters are the biggest liars anywhere (oh yes, they are mostly lawyers). You never know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next, let alone one episode to the next. Conspiracy abounds! Oh and it doesn’t hurt one little bit that my boyfriend Timothy Olyphant has joined the cast this year, and he’s bad ass psycho with a secret closet full of newspaper clippings and guns. With the likes of Glenn Close, William Hurt, Ted Dansen and Marcia Gay Harden all on cast, this show is a heavy hitter. If you haven’t been watching, you really should.