I’m one of those people who, as soon as they take a few days off of a show to go do something else, will completely forget to start watching said show again. As a result, I’ve been half way through season two of Breaking Bad for about two years now, on episode three of Game of Thrones for the past nine months and took five years to get from seasons four to six of The Office. And I still never finished it.
Basically, my memory and attention span are knackered.
But every now and then, I’ll be grabbed by something and stick with it. And assuming I don’t get distracted for five minutes and completely forget about whatever show it is I’m meant to be watching, I do genuinely enjoy sitting down in front of a great bit of a television.
So let’s run through some of the shows that I’ve yet to forget about:
I’m a big comic-book fan, and this year, my nerdy passion has probably become more pronounced than ever as I’ve started working on a comic-themed final project for my Master’s degree. It makes sense then that I’d be into all of these superhero shows, right?
Unfortunately, other shows haven’t really grabbed me. I had to force myself through the first season and a half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and although other shows like Arrow are pretty good once you get into them; they’re lacking a certain something.
In speeds The Flash. The Flash follows the adventures of forensic scientist Barry Allen, who was given powers after being doused in chemicals and struck by lightning after a particle accelerator exploded in the heart of the city and I’ve only just realised how much of a mouthful trying to explain his origin is.
In the first season, he spends his time running around confronting other people who have been similarly affected by the accelerator. All the while, he has to contend with the Reverse-Flash, another speedster who Barry believes killed his mother fifteen years before.
Now on the second season, the Flash faces another disaster that has created a whole plethora of problems for him to fight against. Although at times it seems like it’s re-treading the first season; big explosion attracts super villains, evil speedster is running around being a jackass, Barry has girl problems; isn’t that the nature of comic books themselves?
Maybe that’s why I love The Flash so much. In a world where people are torn between whether the best comics are the hopeful, campy ones or the gritty, realistic ones, I’ve come to realise some of the comics that I enjoy the most fit into the former category. And The Flash captures that feel easily.
Contrary to what I’ve said so far, Archer is actually something I’ve followed since the beginning. I fell in love with it when it was first broadcast; then moved on to watching it once a week with my housemates during my undergrad years.
Archer follows the exploits of master spy Sterling Archer, codename: Duchess, who works for his mother Mallory at the ISIS organisation. And no, I don’t mean the terrorists.
In fact, since the real-world ISIS popped up, the show has completely changed its mission statement. In-show, Archer’s ISIS has closed down, leading to him and his team becoming drug smugglers. Then CIA agents. And now they’re private detectives.
It was perhaps around the time that this forced name change occurred that the show started to go a bit down-hill. It didn’t really seem to have a general direction. Furthermore, the writing (specifically the jokes) are becoming very very very repetitive. Although this obviously has nothing to do with terrorism. Instead, it could have something to do with the fact that of the eighty-four broadcast episodes, only seventeen have seen input from other writers, and even they were co-written by series creator Adam Reed.
Is it perhaps time for Reed to bring in some new talent? Maybe. But for long-time fans of the show, who love the pop culture references, obscure history factoids, crossovers with shows like Bob’s Burgers and brilliantly wry humour, it’s still something special.
House of Cards
When I took American Studies at undergraduate level, it was the politics modules that I always found the most interesting.
As such, my final pick is a pretty common one, really. In fact, I’m pretty certain the show was covered recently in someone else’s ‘What We’re Watching’. But if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why.
House of Cards is a fantastic show. It follows pragmatic Democrat Frank Underwood as he attempts to continuously manipulate his way into positions of more power. At the time of writing this, I’m still only on season two. However, in those episodes alone, I’ve watched Frank become more and more ruthless; disregarding the well-being of everyone and anyone other than his wife Claire, as he stabs people in the back, lies and cheats his way to the top.
I mean, the show opens with him killing a dog. He’s kind of a bastard. But he’s played so well by Kevin Spacey that in spite of his very questionable choices, you can’t help but root for him. Even though he’s clearly a bad guy, whenever he’s in a position where everything could come tumbling down; I get genuinely worried.
And that, my friends, is a sign of some excellent character writing.
Also, he keeps going to this rib joint whenever he has a moment for himself, and as a result I’m constantly craving some BBQ ribs. I have no idea why I haven’t gone and bought some yet. I should probably go do that.