Monday, November 4, 2013

Jumping the Shark Part 4: A New Hope.... to Improve

This part of of my "jumping the shark" entry is going to be a little different.  In the past I called for the end of shows, which had moved past their prime in more ways than one.  Most of the shows in parts one, two, and three have been cancelled, or on the road to ending.  My goal with this entry is to push hope that these few shows will bounce back, and achieve greatness once again.  I am not calling for these shows to cancelled, I am just challenging them to think about their current state, and the direction they are heading.  Be mindful of of spoiler midfield!

Community (2009-Present)-NBC  Dan Harmon is back! I removed this show from a previous list, because there is hope with Harmon back that this show will climb out of the abyss from the wreckage of the fourth season to be the show that it once was.  If I were Harmon I would make the fourth season part of one of the alternate time lines, or something more clever.  Dan Harmon was the genius behind the show, and when NBC canned him I was nervous.  The cast stated that in productions things were feeling and looking the same even without Harmon, but a true fan can see this show has lost something, the fire which made it the wittiest, independent show on television.  The plots are still outlandish, and there are still elements of the original Community, but the show has lost its edge.  The new show runners pulled a Britta, but with Harmon back I have hope this show can be better.

Update: Guess what NBC, bringing Dan Harmon made this show better, who would have thought that the creative mind behind the show, would have done that, sarcasm intended!  From GI Jeff to MeowMeowBeenz, and getting rid of Pierce this show is back, and better than the previous season.  6 seasons and a movie!

Downton Abbey (2010-Present)-PBS/BBC-Season one, or series one was epic, and great.  Series two was solid, but not as great.  Series three was depressing, and just did not hold my interest the way the show has in the past.  The fourth series/season is currently playing in the UK, but it will air starting on January 5th in the States.  My hope is that the show will be able to capture the magic even with Matthew gone.  The love story of Matthew and Mary was what made season three watchable.  These two characters had finally gotten together, but at the end of the third season Matthew dies.  My hope is that the show captures the evolving era well, and the way it influences the traditions/societal norms of the residents of Downton Abbey.

Update: Oh wait, what's that I just barely woke up after watching the most boring season of this show. The only character who even made it worth watching was Jim Carter's Mr Carson.  Raping Anna was pointless.  Julian Fellowes with Robert Altman is drowning in his lack of creativity.  Time to end things, there is no hope.

Girls (2012-Present)-HBO-Season two ended on odd, but interesting note.  Hannah is her own worst enemy; she wants to be a writer, but can't get there.  I know people find this show, and the characters vapid, but I look at it as an interesting sociological study on my generation.  With that said I can see this show faltering, and not lasting long, its niche.  My hope is that is that Lena Dunham continue to use her unique voice, but to not let it over power that natural occurrences within the series.

Update: Season 3 was great, and the finale showed Hannah growing in more ways than ever before.  Hannah reminds me of my Caitlin on many levels, Caitlin is a much better person though.  Should the show have ended here?  I often think shows should end while on top, and this show redeemed itself.  While the show got better I wonder if it should have ended this season.

Homeland (2011-Present)-Showtime One word, Dana. Enough already.  Fans of the show tell you they hate a character, and you give audiences more of her?  I am baffled on this one, fans of a show do not always know best, but in this instance they are correct.  While some of you may think I am as crazy as Carrie for putting this show on the list, there is something that has happened to this show post the episode entitled "Q&A" which have pushed this show on a slight downward spiral in quality.  The acting is great, and Mandy Patinkin is killing it; he is the reason I watch this show now.  I have faith in the show runners, that there is always a plan but the third episode of season entitled "Tower of David" was a clunker, a boring way to tie Carrie and Brody's story together.  A show can not always maintain a high level of quality, and I will stick by this show, but at the moment I am just holding out hope that the creative minds behind this show will push in the right direction.  Now Carrie is pregnant?  How did this not come out while she was being treated?

Update: Season 3 was a creative fail, but Brody is dead, does that mean things will get better? Probably not.  I like that this show can start from a fresh place in season 4, but is one more season enough for this show?  Probably, my prediction it ends at 5 or 6.

Mad Men (2007-Present)-AMC- Season 6 of Mad Men tackled the fall of Don Draper, as he became a shell of himself, losing touch with his suave nature, and becoming unable to hide who he truly has been all his life, Dick Whitfield.  The show also tackled the different civil rights movement well.  Beyond these things characters like Joan, and Peggy felt wasted.  The show felt more lost than usual, the writing less punchy.  The show seemed to spiral in the sense that it just felt like it went nowhere for most people.  I know I am not alone in the feeling that this last season of Mad Men was off.  Mad Men has one two part season left, much like Breaking Bad.  I hope Mad Men can end on top like Breaking Bad did.

No updates for Mad Men, still waiting for the premiere, which airs April 13th.  Critics were allowed to see the first episode only and the reactions have been mixed.  I have heard the general tone is good character development, no plot development.  Which is the shows biggest critique recently.  Only time will tell, but there are only 7 episodes, which could be tricky for this show.

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