Summer Television

Going through Daredevil withdraws I decided it was time to clear some space off the DVR and finish up some series since we are now in the summer lull of programming.

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Boardwalk Empire followed the typical HBO formula of “finish up before the show gets redundant.” The first two seasons lived up to the hype that this was the next big HBO hit to replace The Sopranos. Though Game of Thrones is currently HBO’s crown jewel, Boardwalk was the next step in the mobster genre that proved successful once before. Characters were intriguing and plot lines were well developed. ***SPOILERS*** After the death of Owen Sleater, the show seemed to lose direction. Some could argue that it lost steam after the death of Jimmy Darmody but either way the show seemed to go stale and they wisely chose to end it after 5 seasons. I enjoyed how they focused the last season on the origin of Nucky Thompson, the lead character of the show. An anti-hero through and through, but one that Buscemi made the audience pull for in spite of his flaws (perhaps to be coined the Tony Soprano Complex?). The casting of multiple “The Wire” alums was a nice touch and seeing Tommy from “Snatch” portray Al Capone was a highlight of the show. All in all, not bad binge watching for anybody looking for a mobster fix.

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Entourage has been off the radar for a while but I held off from watching the last season for quite some time. Not due to quality or disinterest, rather just the volume of other shows and the effect of having 3 kids to raise. What’s great about an Entourage binge is that the half hour shows go by fast, the character of Ari Gold always brings a laugh and you get a glimpse of the breathtaking Sloan here and there. Nobody could argue that the show was a rival to Breaking Bad in regards to depth and story, but if you want to be entertained, a great binge watch.

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Gotham is a one of those shows that if Batman were not my favorite comic book character, I most likely would not have stuck around. At times the show lost my attention because the show itself lost focus. The idea of implementing Fish Mooney as a character at all served no purpose right off the bat. The gaps in when the show aired didn’t help things either. But once I let episodes pile up on the DVR, hidden behind too many commercials and Detective Gordon’s over acting is a pretty decent show. It doesn’t live up to the quality of DC’s other current television products, The Flash or Arrow but it has potential based off the final 3 episodes of the season. The writers finally made the audience care about Bruce Wayne and the soon to be Catwoman. We get a glimpse of the drive of Bruce that makes him Batman, the shaping of his moral character and possibly a hint of the World’s Greatest Detective actually doing some detecting. Bringing in “Heroes” Peter to play a serial killer villain was an excellent touch and truly saved season one for me. ****SPOILERS**** And of course, the writers saved the best for last. The introduction Lucius Fox, which I hope becomes a recurring character in season 2 and possible teaser of the Batcave via the study secret passage in the fireplace at stately Wayne Manor. Those last few scenes alone have me on board to see what happens next.

The only other shows of interest for the summer are True Detective and Ray Donovan. So far season 2 of True Detective has not lived up to the first installment but I’ll stick around to see if the drawn out character development and story will be worth the time investment. Ray Donovan kicks off again soon with it’s third season. Showtimes only quality replacement for Dexter which really went downhill fast after season 3 and ended so badly, Ray Donovan delivers quality entertainment in it’s first two seasons. Hopefully season 3 continues on that same trend.

Other binge watching projects on the horizon: Better Call Saul, Mad Men (final season), Deadwood and The Americans

 

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