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TV: What I’m Watching


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This post is a round-up of every TV show I’m currently watching week to week, in alphabetical order and with no more than a paragraph or two per programme. I’ve split it into three posts that will all be up within a week (they’re already typed and scheduled), and this is the second. General spoilers will probably follow for the season being discussed and anything preceding it:

Community (Season 1)

The very first episode makes a point of listing all the different types of people who attend a community college, which sets up the main cast that spans many generations, from youngsters fresh out of high school all the way up to Chevy Chase’s considerably older Pierce. What I like about the cast is that they’re all students and therefore all equals, none of them have actual authority over any of the others, despite the variety. The show wisely centres on ex-lawyer Jeff as the main character, who thinks he’s better than the college and hopes to breeze through it all as easily as possible, while the others mostly do their best to soften his cynical world view. So far it’s proven to be a very funny show.

Dexter (Season 5)

The start of this season was pretty draining thanks to how devastatingly season four ended, with Dexter struggling to cope and understand how it all made him feel. It’s been an interesting season so far because Dexter’s story has focused on Lumen while homicide have been investigating something that so far has seemed entirely unconnected, whereas normally they’re linked in some way. Of the subplots so far the problems between Laguerta and Angel aren’t particularly interesting and I’d prefer they were just involved in the cases rather than go through separate relationship drama, but I do want to see where things are heading with Deb and Quinn, especially as Quinn is investigating Dexter and doing it a lot more smartly than Doakes ever did (keeping Quinn from becoming a Doakes retread in the process). It seems to me that it’s either got to reach a point where the truth gets out and Dexter is arrested or flees (ending the series), or Quinn learns the truth and ultimately keeps quiet for Deb, but the brilliance of Dexter is that you can never quite tell.

Eastbound and Down (Season 2)

Kenny Powers, the show’s main character, is a lot more entertaining than he probably should be. He’s mostly unpleasant, a failed baseball legend who refuses to accept reality and does his best to continue living a life of drugs, drink and women despite having lost his fame and any fortune he might have had. I’m only one episode into the second season, which has seen Kenny fleeing to Mexico to avoid the shame of losing his chance to get back into something approaching the big leagues, but so far he’s still been the same old Kenny and this season looks set to be as good as the previous one.

House (Season 7)

House has teased its own WTWT before with House and Cuddy, culminating in House having a full-blown delusion at the end of season five where he believed they got together. Unlike something like Chuck it was never particularly angsty about it, with both of them admitting there was something there but unsure whether it was a good idea (especially seeing as Cuddy has a daughter and needs somebody she can depend on, which really didn’t describe House at the time). The end of season six brought them together and as with Chuck it has meant that the relationship has been a big focus around the main plot of each episode, although being House it’s mostly focused on the titular character trying to work out what the relationship means for the antagonist roles he and Cuddy usually have in their job, whether it’s still okay to constantly lie to and trick her to get his own way without it impacting on their relationship.

So far it’s been a good (if familiar) season and the relationship isn’t dragging things down, but I would like it if it wasn’t a major focus of every episode this season. Another running subplot is the absence of Thirteen (while Olivia Wilde is busy with films) and the attempts to find a replacement. They seem to have settled on a young prodigy named Masters, who is apparently brilliant and principled but easily intimidated (almost like an extreme version of Cameron), so it will be interesting seeing how she squares off against House over the coming weeks.

Lie to Me (Season 3)

As the seasons have progressed Lie to Me has steadily moved further from simply helping the police out with Cal’s special brand of lie detection, finding more and more unusual scenarios that require his skills. Cal in particular seems almost to be going off the rails, throwing himself into dangerous situations and pushing things as far as they can go, being almost cruel to his colleagues and friends and generally being that bit more selfish than he used to be. The show has always hinged itself primarily on the strengths of Cal as a character so it’s left me really wanting to see where they’re going with it.

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