Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The 2014-2015 TV Season

I'm a bit late on this, but as I did last year, I'd like to use the Tuesday's Overlooked feature to discuss what I thought of the past television season.

And like last year, I had a very satisfying one.

I don't watch as much TV as I'd like, or at least not as much as I would if I had time to channel surf like I did when I was younger. With my time being limited, I have to be choosy with what I watch. I know I'm missing out on some good stuff, but I'm very happy with the programs I do watch.

Unlike the majority of folks I know, I still get most of my enjoyment from the broadcast networks. That's probably because there is so much superhero programming on these days. The best of all is The Flash on The CW. Everything about the series works for me brilliantly; the cast, the writing, the effects, you name it. It has great action, strong character development, and a surprising amount of heart (it's almost impossible not to get emotional during the scenes between Barry Allen and his father). It was, without question, my favorite series on television this season.

Another comic-based series I enjoyed in its second season is Marvel's Agents of S.H,I.E.L.D. Last year I complained about what I found to be unfair treatment by my fellow comic fans, which still continued a bit this season, but not as much, thanks to improved pacing and better scheduling. This was due to the inclusion of the concept of Marvel Comics' Inhumans into the mix, and their link to the former Skye, who we now know to be comic character Daisy Johnson. Unfortunately, the show doesn't seem to have improved in the ratings (the second season finale was the lowest rated episode of the series to date), which is a shame. If these ratings continue, I doubt highly we'll see a season 4; I don't see Disney/ABC/Marvel synergy helping it much further than this season. Still, I'll hold onto the series as long as the network allows me.

Also from Marvel is Agent Carter, featuring the great Haley Atwell as Carter, first seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. Her series was a great way to give Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a breather and give Marvel fans yet another expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

On the Fox network, there was the Batman prequel Gotham. To be honest, the show isn't what I'm looking for in a Batman series, even a prequel. It's far too outrageous, bombastic, and Schumacher-esque.

That is not a compliment.

Still, it's a Batman show, so good or not, I'll probably continue to watch.

Gotham was paired with the second season of Sleepy Hollow. Although fans of the first season believed the show declined in its second season, I enjoyed it as much as the first. I'm curious to see where they go in season three, especially with the apparent absence of Katrina Crane (turned to the dark side) and Henry Parish from the series, and the definite departure of Orlando Jones from the cast (his contract was not renewed).

The biggest live action surprise of the year was iZombie. I didn't know what to expect from this series, but I gave it a try and I'm thrilled that I did! It's another show that is well cast, with a lot of charm and thrills at the same time. It was only on for half a season, so if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do so. It should be easy to catch up.

Speaking of zombies, longtime readers of the blog know I'm a big fan of The Walking Dead (to the point where I even have a Twitter parody account based on one of the characters), and this season, with the exception of the dreadful hospital storyline, was one of its strongest seasons to date. I'm very much looking forward to both its next season and the August debut of its spin-off, Fear The Walking Dead.

HBO's Game of Thrones continued to enthrall in its fifth season. It saved its main character deaths for the end of the season, a nice change of pace from constant death after death. Silicon Valley continued to be a great palette cleanser after Thrones, with its wacky cranked-to-11 sense of obscene humor and gripping cliffhangers.

Finally, there were my favorite animated series. Adventure Time seemed to be weirder than ever (even if it did seem to have an erratic schedule), Regular Show continued to do its thing, and Steven Universe, while I only caught a small handful of episodes, was a big surprise, with equal parts silly fun and heartwarming charm--and oh, that Garnet reveal! Teen Titans GO! made me laugh as hard, if not harder, than any live action comedy. Outside of the Flash series, Teen Titans GO! is the best product DC Entertainment is creating.  I'd love to say more about the Marvel animated series, but I let them pile up on my DVR, and I haven't been diligent in watching them. Not the series' fault, I'm just a busy guy.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, so suffice it to say, I'm really enjoying TV right now. What have been your favorites? Please let me know in the comments section.

See you soon..Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!


Todd Mason said...

Comics tv is certainly going strong--did you catch DAREDEVIL and the other streaming series? IZOMBIE and THE WALKING DEAD are also comics series...a trend emerges!

I was severely disappointed by the scripting of AGENT CARTER by the end of its first season, after the fine start and an excellent cast, not least Atwell. Perhaps S2 will improve.

Phillyradiogeek said...

I didn't even think of Daredevil! Excellent (with the exception of one character death, which leads to some missed opportunities, in my opinion).

The zombie shows are indeed comics series. Some editing would have had me include them in the comics section of the post, but time was short and I just wanted to get words onto the screen.

Sorry to hear about Carter. What specifically didn't click with you at the end?

Todd Mason said...

The utterly unconvincing nature and degree of the villain's persuasive powers as presented...and their means of dealing with him.

Phillyradiogeek said...

They should have explained the ring manipulation better. I was expecting some kind of hypnotic material or something in it.

Hey, he made Bucky the Winter Soldier, so he must be pretty good!


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