MERLIN. My experience of the show this year was slightly marred by major spoilers and fan-smack in some of the comms, but I enjoyed the overall experience. I'm slightly concerned about talk of a 6th season since the writing has been shaky at times, but I'm keeping my hopes up and trying to stay out of the forums and remain spoiler-free for next season.
REVENGE. This show took me by surprise. I watched over half of it in one go when I got sick one weekend, which may have saved it from my television graveyard. It made the constant attack of deception and chaos less tumultuous for me, which is exactly what turned me off about Ringer. Its charm lies in the genuinely positive characters like Jack and Nolan. In Emily's dark and messed up world, those guys are the ones that she and the audience get to go home to when everyone else is stabbing one-another in the back. Never mind that their lives are getting twisted into Emily's schemes, they are her anchor to genuine human emotion and keep the show on track when all hell breaks loose. I find it humorous that Revenge is considered a soap opera. Although I can agree - I anticipate much heartbreak and disappointment and drama galore - I'm curious to know why The Vampire Diaries hasn't been dubbed one as well.
DOWNTON ABBEY. This was a new find for me this year and a very exciting one. I understand that the excess of love-interests and other drama pulled the show down a bit in series two, but I enjoyed watching the characters grow and change. The Christmas Special was marvelous, and I can't wait to see what's in store for them next year.
CASTLE. Season four was extremely mediocre. Castle and Beckett really should have gotten together at the beginning of the season, not the end. I get the real-life reasons why they wanted Beckett to process everything slowly, but 23 episodes of secret-filled drama was overkill. This is where the British short season would have been helpful. 7 to 13 episodes of turtle pacing I can take. Not 23. By the end, I was convinced that the 23-episode requirement was the only reason the writers hadn't already dealt with the Becket/Castle stalemate. Thankfully, there were a few gems in there, ep 407 Cops and Robbers being my particular favorite.
DANCE ACADEMY. I just finished watching season two and I'm looking forward to more. I wasn't pleased with some of the drama this year. The relationship swapping felt unnatural sometimes. The first time Kat touched Christian's face in season one and called him "Peoplephobic", I felt the connection, but there was no time this year that I thought it was there. Diddo with Tara and Ben.
When Tara decided she had to crush on someone and figured Ben was as good a choice as any, I had this huge disconnect from her. I thought she was joking at first, and then I thought it would all come to nothing because the whole idea was ludicrous. When Ben suddenly initiated, I kind of felt it on his side, but when they actually became a couple, the whole thing seemed unbalanced. I see Tara/Ben and Christian/Kat as awesome friends, but not couples.
I did like Ben's "I'll step back and wait for you" line. If he really does care for Tara and she wakes up to it, I think they have the potential to be a great couple. I'm just nervous about Tara being Tara and breaking Ben's heart by pashing Christian. Speaking of, I really like Ethan/Abigail. They're good for each other. They challenge each other and they care about each other. They really connect well. I like them way better than Sammy/Abigail and Tara/Ethan - Tara and Sammy were too self-centered to see just how awesome their other halves were.
Since every season has to have a prima donna jerk, it fell to Grace to be what I can only describe as a first class bitch. It was sad but satisfying to watch Tara finally see Grace for who she really is. I felt sorry for Abigail when Grace set her up for the fall early on in the season. The storytelling has gotten past Abigail's cold, scathing exterior to the strong, supportive, and compassionate person she actually is. I'm curious to see if Grace, too, will get to become a real person next year and if anything she says or does can ever win me over.
I'm still in shock over Saskia's behavior and what she did to Tara. On top of which, Tara has been severely injured twice now and she's somehow still the one who makes the other dancers jealous. She's also cheated or waffled in her affections, but all the men still swoon over her. *shrug* It's an entertaining series and I'll be sure to tune in next season if I can find it.
BURN NOTICE. I really enjoyed the first four seasons. My family is waiting for the season 5 DVD to come out and then we'll plunge back into our weekly routine. It's light, it's fun, it's highly entertaining.
GAME OF THRONES. My internet was almost canceled because I couldn't find it on Netflix or Hulu, but I've come to enjoy this series. My favorite scenes are almost always with Arya, although I enjoy watching Brienne, Sansa, and Tyrion too. I have no idea how I'm going to keep up with it because there's no way I'm buying a subscription to HBO for one show with 10 episodes.
WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. "Hey, Elle, do you know what happened on The Vampire Diaries yesterday?"
"Why, yes, Margot, I do. Once again, we join Elena in her struggle to choose between the vampires Stefan and Damon as their lives hang in the balance. As you know, they've been taken prisoner by the evil Klaus."
Here at the end of season three, there are only two characters that haven't died: the sheriff and the mayor. Tyler was killed to become a hybrid and Matt killed himself to see the ghost of his dead sister. Even Bonnie's mom and the new Dr Meredith Fell would have died without vampire blood. I'm not sure if that last one counts, but it's close enough. Elena has died twice and Alaric's died more times than I can count. Bonnie faked her death last year, and even the Super Baddies are snuffing it. Add that to Elena bagging a pair of brothers, Tyler's new Klaus-possession act, and some new vampire-ghosts, and the words "soap opera" seem tame.
I might have been able to forgive the writers if they had found a way to work the Caroline magic, but no such luck. An initially intriguing Klaus plot grew tiresome with an onslaught of intrigue, and the Tyler/Caroline relationship lost its brilliant flare. The show-runners snap their fingers to get characters together, but once they are, they don't seem to know what to do with them except break them apart. I don't get it.
I tried to wean myself off of this show, but I got bored and curious. I had totally forgotten that Elena becomes a vampire. I guess I'll find out if I can resist checking out her progress next season.
RINGER. The plot was all over the place. The relationships were barely given the chance to form before they were ripped apart so there wasn't much to root for. Revenge at least has the heroine driving the plot, but Ringer has the heroine scrambling for a foothold at all times. It's not particularly entertaining to watch someone's life spinning out of control. Clearly the network thought so, too.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED
NIKITA. After much lauding from my siblings, I finally got around to finishing season one and got a few episodes into season two. I'm already on board with the geek love. Birkhoff is awesome. I really like Owen, too. The others are just okay, although I really like the regime change at Division with Amanda on top. She's so much cooler than Percy, and it was a fun and surprising twist for such a one-note character. This was my second successful re-start this season, the first being Game of Thrones.
BY THE WAYSIDE
ONCE UPON A TIME. I've already expounded upon it's faults. I've heard that the curse is broken now, but no amount of temptation will pull me back again.
BEING HUMAN (UK)
The show got too dark for me. I think I ffwded or skipped some episodes altogether to find out what happened to Annie/Mitchell, but I wasn't pleased with what happened to Mitchell. He turned himself and and a moderately-respectable ancient vampire into hypocrites and gave himself over to the dark side. George was just as bad. I don't think I'll start this up again, because I can't handle the disappointment.
Game of Thrones