RE: Criminal Minds – “The Good Earth” #S8E5 [babble]

Criminal Minds has been on for a while. If you haven’t heard of it, its a police procedural-type show following a group of FBI agents with the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit). Their job is to hunt down and arrest serial killers.

Some episodes raise questioning eyebrows. Some episodes are definitely worse than others. But on the whole it’s an interesting show.

There are some memorably good episodes, such as Season Eight’s fifth episode, “The Good Earth”. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but even on second viewing its still fascinating.

The summary does not do the episode justice:

Summary: When four men go missing in rural Oregon, the BAU searches for a common link among them in order to track them down. Also, JJ becomes upset when her son Henry doesn’t want to celebrate Halloween this year.

The nice thing about Criminal Minds is that the episodes largely focus on the case, telling things from the perspective of both the victims/unsubs and the FBI agents. There have even been several times when I’ve wished to hear the “And then…” story of the victims – the “10 years later and I’m doing fine” accounts.

And that’s neat.

I guess I’ve just gotten tired of so-called procedurals that focus on the lives and families of the main cast to the detriment of the show’s quality. If you’re trying to pack a whole storyline into an episode, you have to cut something when you begin including the personal life dramas of the regular characters.

I used to love CSI: Crime Scene Investigators. There was plenty of pseudo-science, interesting crimes being solved, and the main characters were a somewhat blank canvas on which fanficcers built a thriving fandom.

Then the show got a bit TMI. People began turning away from the canon material. The fandom lost its luster and the show its viewing audience.

Same with Scandal to a degree. I devoured the first season and was raving about how great it was. Then there got to be too much sex and not enough story. Then too much of “Olivia meets Huck” and clumsy spy stuff and I was done.

In some instances, less is more.

Don’t ruin the characters we love by giving too much detail about things we don’t care about.

Plot over porn. Storyline over fanservice. Quality over quantity.

RE TV SHOW: Madam Secretary (polidrama, reality AU)

Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord and Tim Daly as Henry McCord definitely bring on the drama in Barbara Hall’s Madam Secretary.

“A political drama which looks into the life of the Secretary of State as she tries to balance work with family.” – Created by Barbara Hall.

*

However you describe this show’s genre – I really dig Madam Secretary. It’s one of the DVR’d shows that I’m finally catching up on.

It’s obviously based on Hillary Clinton in her role as Secretary of State. But they’ve gone in a definite alternate universe direction with things that have really caught my interest. At least to the point that I want to see how this television series plays out.

Several times I’ve thought about a book series I once read about a girl, Meg, whose mother becomes the first female President of the United States. Told from her perspective, the President’s Daughter series was something young-me devoured and it gave me a love of political dramas.

From The West Wing to Newsroom, I have a fascination for what’s going on in the background of societies. I honestly think I would enjoy a behind-the-scenes at the Roman villa historical drama as long as it was relatively accurate.

I binge-watched the first three seasons of Scandal, unable to keep my eyes from staring. But things got a little heavy for me. The ratio between gratuitousness and content went a bit over the allowable limit for my watching ability.

The not-overly graphic narrative-driven style of Madam Secretary is something easy to watch. I don’t know that I would watch the episodes over and over again, but it’s solidly watchable at least once.

Elizabeth McCord was kind of a frumpy character in the first season. But as the show has progressed, they’ve cleaned up her look quite a bit. They even make a point in the first season of having her be told by a stylist that she needed to work on her image.

I don’t know. I’m enjoying watching these DVR’d episodes and I’m hopeful that the rest of season 3 will go well.

And by the way, Tea Leoni’s EYES. Amiright? Yeah.

RE TV SHOW: “The Legend of Mick Dodge” [reality TV, but actually good]

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I like The Legend of Mick Dodge. There’s been some really great and informative episodes.

Mick is super folksy, but he’s entertaining. He’s got a good voice to listen to, and he’s pretty much nice to everyone he meets.

His lifestyle might not be for most people, but seeing how he survives and thrives while living in the forest is survival edutainment worth watching.

I’ve seen him do some amazing things that I never would have thought of. Continue reading

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 10 is on Netflix

Season 10 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is finally on Netflix, just days before Season 11 premiers on FXX (January 6, 2016). So if you’ve been looking out for that, you’re welcome.

If you’re new to the show, you should be aware that the first few seasons are pretty rough. To be honest, there’s tons of episodes that I don’t like and that I watched once and would not go out of my way to watch again. Yet the episodes that I like… I’ve watched them several times.

My top episodes:
S3 E11 – “Dennis Looks Like a Registered Sex Offender”
S4 E1 – “Mac and Dennis: Manhunters”
S4 E13 – “The Nightman Cometh”
S5E2 – “The Gang Hits the Road”
S5E6 – “The World Series Defense”
S6E7 – “Who Got Dee Pregnant?”
S6E11 – “The Gang Gets Stranded in the Woods”
S6E12 – “Dee Gives Birth”
S6E13/14 – “A Very Sunny Christmas”
S7E1 – “Frank’s Pretty Woman”
S7E2 – “The Gang Goes to the Jersey Shore”
S7E3 – “Frank Reynold’s Little Beauties”
S7E6 – “The Storm of the Century”
S7E7 – “Chardee MacDennis: The Game of Games”
S7E8 – “The ANTI-Social Network”
S7E9 – “The Gang Gets Trapped”
S7E10 – “How Mac Got Fat”
S7E11 – “Thunder Gun Express”
S8E3 – “The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre”
S8E4 – “Charlie and Dee Find Love”
S8E5 – “The Gang Gets Analyzed”
S8E9 – “The Gang Dines Out
S8E10 – “Reynolds vs. Reynolds: The Cereal Defense”
S9E2 – “Gun Fever Too: Still Hot”
S9E3 – “The Gang Desperately Tries to Win an Award”
S9E5 – “Mac Day”
S9E6 – “The Gang Saves the Day”
S9E7 – “The Gang Gets Quarantined”
S9E8 – “Flowers for Charlie”
S9E9 – “The Gang Makes Lethal Weapon 6”
S9E10 – “The Gang Squashes Their Beefs”
S10E1 – “The Gang Beats Boggs”
S10E4 – “Charlie Work”
S10E5 – “The Gang Spies Like U.S.”
S10E6 – “The Gang Misses the Boat”
S10E8 – “The Gang Goes on Family Fight”

From Wikipedia: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an American television sitcom that premiered on FX on August 4, 2005. It moved to FXX from the ninth season. It was created by Rob McElhenney, developed with Glenn Howerton and is executive produced and primarily written by McElhenney, Howerton and Charlie Day, all of whom star with Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito. The series follows the exploits of “The Gang”, a group of self-centered friends who run the Irish bar Paddy’s Pub in South Philadelphia.

PREMISE: The series follows “The Gang”, a group of five depraved underachievers: twins Dennis Reynolds and Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds (played by Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson, respectively); their friends Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), Ronald “Mac” McDonald (Rob McElhenney), and from season 2 onward Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito), the man who raised Dennis and Dee. The Gang runs the dilapidated Paddy’s Pub, an Irish bar in South Philadelphia.

Each member of the gang shows varying degrees of dishonesty, egotism, selfishness, greed, pettiness, ignorance, laziness and unethical behavior, and they are often engaged in controversial activities. Episodes usually find them hatching elaborate schemes, conspiring against one another and others for personal gain, vengeance, or simply for the entertainment of watching one another’s downfall. They habitually inflict mental, emotional and physical pain. They regularly use blackmail to manipulate one another and others outside of the group.

Their unity is never solid – any of them would quickly dump any one of the others for quick profit or personal gain regardless of the consequences. Everything they do results in contention among themselves and much of the show’s dialogue involves the characters arguing or yelling at one another. Despite their lack of success or achievement, The Gang maintain high opinions of themselves and display an obsessive interest in their own reputations and public images. The Gang has no sense of shame when attempting to get what they want and often engage in activities that others would find humiliating, disgusting, or even preposterous, such as smoking crack cocaine in order to qualify for welfare, seducing a priest, eating cereal while driving, hiding naked inside a leather couch in order to eavesdrop on someone, and even foraging in the sewers for valuables.

During the Season 7 episode “The Gang Gets Trapped”, a short, angry, monologue by Dennis Reynolds captures the essence of The Gang’s modus operandi:

“We immediately escalate everything to a ten… somebody comes in with some preposterous plan or idea, then all of a sudden everyone’s on the gas, nobody’s on the brakes, nobody’s thinking, everyone’s just talking over each other with one idiotic idea after another. Until, finally, we find ourselves in a situation where we’ve broken into somebody’s house – and the homeowner is home.”

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on Amazon