This year is about to end so here is one of my year- end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's more a list for myself to remember what I did spend my time on during the year.
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.
The year in television when Netflix started producing original tv-shows, and made them well enough to win awards. It was a year with a continues trend of fantasy-genre television, with shows like Dracula, Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It’s been a year were bench-watching has become a thing, and shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad got a new audience who needed to catch up fast through formerly mentioned Netflix and other streaming services.
I want to share my views on some of my TV-viewing this year, but I didn’t want to list all of them (you can see all 24 of them above). So instead I created five different talking points to use as I’m having my say on my 2013 in tv. The talking points are; ‘Shit I’ve already mentioned‘, ‘Shit got cancelled‘, ‘Shit came back‘, ‘I stopped watching shit‘, and ‘Best shit‘. Thirteen shows all in all, let’s begin.
Shit I’ve already mentioned:
If you’re reading this and haven’t seen Breaking Bad (mentioned in an old Bobo x3) you’ve definitely heard of it before. Maybe you’ve seen quotes on message boards or on t-shirts, you’ve seen some references to the fried chicken chain El Pollo Loco or drugs of the blue crystal exterior or noticed the recent upswing of work for the lead actor Bryan Cranston. Anyway you’ve heard of the show and if you haven’t already seen it, isn’t currently watching it or don’t intend to see it your reasons are your own and I won’t try to break down your wall of sadness protecting you against this work of tense and suspenseful entertainment.
Anyway, the last episode of the last season ended this summer and the story has come to an end (except for the spin-off) and I’m so fucking over the show. As soon as the credits ended I left the show behind me as if nothing had happened. All the tension I’d felt during the five seasons left my body and I felt free in a way. I haven’t thought of the show since and I don’t feel any need to revisit it. It feels a bit weird to be so done and fulfilled with a show, but there you go.
Orphan Black (mentioned here) which is the best new show, period. I can’t recommend it enough and I really do think everyone should see it as soon as possible. Short summary; a science-fiction show about a thief who steals her doubleganger’s identity to try to exploit it for herself, and then gets dragged in a conspiracy and realizes she’s one clone among many.
As I think of the show it feels strange that there’s a second season coming. Not because it feels forced or the first season ended the series neatly, but because the season was damn-near perfect and I can’t see how they possibly make the second season as good as the first one. I’m looking forward to its release with two thumbs and a tail crossed.
I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!
Shit got cancelled:
I was supposed to write about Enlightened in a Bobo x3 post, but I didn’t. The show centered around Amy, played by Laura Dern, who as the show starts gets a melt down at her work and soon gets sent to a rehabilitation resort in Hawaii. Here she get’s “enlightened” and gives her life a purpose and try to get back to her life and brings her new-age views into her old world. The show got two seasons before it was canned, and although you might have wanted to see her journey for another season or so the story gets to end in a somewhat satisfying way.
The now ironically named show Happy Endings also met its end this year. It’s a basic sitcom centered around a group of six friends going on dates and getting into problems. It had its ups and down, the beginning was especially low, but overall I thought it was a great show. It included some very likable characters, memorable in-jokes and quotable lines, and at times was aware of precisely how much it played on old sitcom clichés. There are few shows like it on TV, and I’m sad it got cancelled this early on.
Shit came back:
Community didn’t exactly go away, but if sure as hell has the possibility to come back. It’s another great and smart sitcom, and the nerdiest love letter to geekdom. The show in its core centers around a study group at a community college, but it’s so much more and complex than the basic premise.
As fans of the show knows the creator and show runner Dan Harmon got laid of the show and was replaced by other lesser Community show runners. I stopped watching the show after its third season because of this and promised never to watch any of its future episodes. Yet, as news of the glorious Mr. Harmon’s return came I forced myself through the shit-mess of the fourth season in anticipation for the fifth and return of the show.
The British comedy series The IT Crowd started back in 2006, got three seasons and ended quietly and suddenly in 2010. But for an early Christmas present fans of the show got a final extended episode this year. The series is the Big Bang Theory for geeks, taking place in a filthy basement filled with action figures, comic-books and internet meme-posters it centers around the three people working in a companies IT-apartment. The nerd-dungeon of a basement is the workplace for two misfits and their unfortunate boss, who would rather be up above ground with the more sensible personal.
This animated series has never been put out regularly, it begun over ten years ago and this summer aired it’s fifth season so if you’re a fan you have to be patient. Venture Bros. is filled with references to old American Saturday morning cartoons and is made for adults. It started out being a show about two sons, Dean and Hank venture, going around the world on adventures with their father, Dr. Venture and his bodyguard Brock Samson. Why would a scientist need a bodyguard you ask, because Dr. Venture has a nemesis, the butterfly themed Monarch, who has a flying base shaped like a cocoon filled with numerous henchmen.
The story and world gets complicated and very interesting after that as all villains needs to be in a regulated guild and the two sons might be able to withstand a lot of life threatening events. This is the point of The Venture Bros., it’s filled with weird references and throwaway jokes that gets a back-story and a regular appearance. A snow-ball rolling down a hill getting bigger and less pure as mud starts getting in the mix of things. It’s great!
But the biggest comeback of the year is probably the return of Arrested Development, back with a fourth season after it’s cancellation seven years ago. Resurrected by Netflix, they didn’t make it easy for themselves, breaking the old format and trying something unusual dedicating each episode to a specific character. Having jokes that stretches several episodes and builds up to a a later in the season. The season tells the story of what happened to the Bluth family after the end of season three and slowly gets up to the present. It was a mighty return for the beloved comedy series and Netflix should have some praise for bringing this corpse back to life instead of it being a stinking zombie stumbling around.
I stopped watching shit:
So Parks and Recreation was one of those shows I loved in the past. It’s a comedy show about a small town and a kind, super positive, somewhat naive parks department employee named Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler. The show has gone through many different stages and I’ve watched it from the beginning, but after it’s third season I thought it started losing some of it’s speed and in the middle of it’s fifth season I couldn’t watch it anymore. I will remember it fondly and season two and three will still be one of the better TV-shows to me.
I stopped watch The Legend of Korra as-well, though I’ve heard it has gotten better since I stopped and I might pick it up again. The Legend of Korra is of course the follow up series to the animated Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Legend of Aang. It’s a show that takes place in a world where certain people has the ability to bend, another word for control, one of the four elements, earth, water, fire and air. The Avatar is a person who has the ability to control all of the four elements. When the Avatar dies the power is given to a new Avatar and this new series takes place a life-time after the first, Aang is dead and Korra has to learn the ways of the Avatar.
The first series got better and better as time went on, the first season being an OK show, in the second it started being a great series. In the third they learned how to make some great action scenes, and how to make bending fights look really cool. So with this steady progression leading up all the way to the finale I thought they’d learned what they needed to make another great series. Even though The Legend of Korra looked fantastic it just didn’t seem to have the great quality of the first series and I stopped watching after a lackluster finale to the first season and a lesser start to the second season.
Here are two shows that I enjoyed very much this year and wanted to have mentioned in this post. This isn’t exactly the best two shows of the year, but if you haven’t heard of them before I really think you should check them out. Key & Peele is a sketch show by two black guys, it’s in the same vain as the Chapelle’s Show which I’m certain you’ve heard of before. They just ended their third season and have started building up some fuzz with easily accessible and share-able youtube-clips of their sketches.
Just like the Chapelle’s show the two hosts Key and Peele have a little stage in-front of a live audience were they introduce each clip. The sketches often circle around topics of race and popular culture. They seem to have a nice mix of well-written material and improvisation by two people who are great at their craft.
Lastly I’m going to end with Bob’s Burgers, an animated comedy show follow the daily life of the Burger restaurant owning Belcher family. As Key and Peele may resemble Chapelle’s Show Bob’s Burgers’ basic premise has some similarities to shows such as The Simpsons or Family Guy. Though apart from being a family oriented show featuring animated people they aren’t all to similar at all. Bob’s Burgers is a lot more fluid. It’s made cheaper and faster to give the voice actors some more room to play around in. A lot of the show seems improvised. I think it’s one of the funniest shows on TV, an even though it might not have the feeling of importance as South Park has with their satire, this show strives for something totally different and achieves it, greatly. It has it’s own voice in a space filled with Seth MacFarlane projects and other animated comedy series made towards adults.