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The Unapologetic Geek


TV Review: The 2009-2010 TV Season - Page 2

This has been a good year for television, and it marks the final chapter for many of my favorite shows. While I do watch more TV than just these shows, these are the six shows that have held my attention so much that I refused to miss a single episode. Having said that, this season has had its share of problems. With half of these shows coming to an official end, I do not know if I will be as much of a couch potato next year (nor do I know if that's necessarily a bad thing).

House: Season 6
Season 6

The sixth season of House is less about medical mystery and more about soap opera than any previous season. After "Broken," the "movie" that starts the season by showing how House eventually gets released from a mental hospital--a derivative mix of every story ever set in a psych ward, only with House mixed in--the show seems to be trying to get back to its roots. House's original team is back for the first time in over two seasons, but they quickly dissolve again once Chase and Cameron start divorce proceedings. The mix of the old and the new is welcome, though, as it freshens up the team's interactions. However, gone are the days when the medical mystery took center stage and had satisfying solutions with cool effects to demonstrate, replaced instead with an explosion of relationship drama that has been a long time coming. This isn't always a bad thing, as in episodes like "Wilson," an episode from Wilson's point of view, "5 to 9," an episode from Cuddy's point of view, and "Baggage," the penultimate episode that contains some intelligent psychological insight into House. However, I can't help but miss the cool medical mysteries of seasons past, and I'm hoping the writers tone down the soap opera next year.

Lost: Season 6
Season 6

This one is a tough one for me. While the final season of Lost delivers a fantastic tale and wraps up the character arcs in an emotionally satisfying way, the mythological aspects of the show are revealed to be more smoke and mirrors than I had hoped. While I do believe that character is far more important than mythology, a show like ABC's Lost shouldn't sacrifice either for the sake of the other. Unfortunately, Season 6 feels like the writers sacrificed some mythology for the sake of the characters. The "flash-sideways" gimmick feels like a huge waste of time that could have easily been accomplished in fewer episodes, and some of the most direct answers the audience is given feel half-assed and unsatisfying. For example, the show's creators, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, promised that the skeletons in the cave found in Season 1--Adam and Eve--would prove to be hugely important in the final act of the show and would prove that they had a plan all along. However, when it is revealed a couple of episodes before the end that these skeletons were thousands of years old rather than decades, it feels like some retconning had taken place, something the writers promised they wouldn't have to do. And while I do not demand that every question be answered (and I acknowledge that this would be completely impossible), in the end, it does feel like the writers dropped the ball on dozens of dangling questions that should have been addressed. Even a few that are addressed--like the sickness--are only half-explained. All of this proves to be the final season's greatest weakness: it doesn't tie up the dangling mysteries in a satisfying way. Despite that, the character development in Season 6 is among the show's best. Most notable are the arcs of Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, and Ben, all of whom develop in multiple directions and for reasons that pay off in the end. There is a lot more to be said about the end of Lost, but sufficed to say I was both satisfied and perplexed by it, just like nearly every other fan.

V: Season 1
Season 1

I grew up on the original V, and believe that a remake is completely unnecessary. However, I watched the entirety of the first season of ABC's remake (mostly because it was on after Lost for most of its run), and am glad I did. While the show is occasionally sloppy, the visual effects are all over the place in terms of quality, the mysteries feel contrived, and the characters start out pretty one-dimensional, there is a lot of potential behind it all, potential that starts to shine through in the last few episodes, culminating in an awesome finale. In the premiere episode, there is some thinly veiled political analogy (the visitors are hailed as saviors and instruments of change, they bring universal healthcare to the masses, and they are adept at controlling the press), but this side of the story is watered down to nearly homeopathic levels as the show goes on. Still, the characters slog through several episodes that lack direction and eventually make it to the season's final block of episodes, where they drive the story rather than the other way around. Though the season ends strongly and next season promises to continue on firm ground, much of it is disappointing and weak. I recommend it, but must warn viewers to be patient.

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-e. magill 5/25/2010


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