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Tried Or True Television

THE UNDEAD
ONCE UPON A TIME. I know I said "no amount of temptation will pull me back again." I guess I don't know my own strength. I saw a promo shot of Emma holding a sword, surrounded by purple clouds, and of all things, the promo poster drew me back in. Those guys should get a raise. I wouldn't have bothered to waste hours catching up, and I hate coming in half-way through, but ABC has come up with this awesome marketing scheme where they air a catch-up episode just before the season begins. 22 episodes in 60 minutes? I could handle that. So, now I'm caught up. I'm not attached, but I may sneak a peek every few weeks.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. I couldn't resist finding out how Elena was going to cope with being a vampire and what she would do about her retrieved Damon memories. If the first episode was any indication, I will try valiantly not to watch the show anymore. I'd like Elena to find a little dark side in her, not turn into a female version of Stefan. I've never been a Stefan/Elena fan. They are BO-RING. I want Elena to go all vampy and have Damon there to woo her back to the good side. But I won't hold my breath.

THE FAVORED FEW
REVENGE. I'm actually starting to like Victoria. Is that weird? I can't decide if I should be worried about my mental health. I loved it when she told Conrad she'd have his head on a pike, along with the moment she said she would finish this once and for all. I was strangely proud of her and excited for the future when she gathered her family around her and roped faux-manda into her plot. And I chuckled gleefully when Ashley said, "My god, they're stronger than ever." Hee!

Daniel is working his way up the ranks, too. He tanked when he allied himself with his father, but something tells me he could actually be a good match for Emily. Jack's sweet and all, but he's the only one left up on his soap box and I can't imagine it being very pretty if/when he discovers the truth about...well, anything. The exciting part is that Emily has revealed little hints of her true cunning to both Jack and Daniel. She told Jack, "This is what I signed up for" and she clued Daniel into playing his mother's game better than her. Both men would be upset on discovering the truth about Emily's lies, but I think both of them are also capable of working through that betrayal and seeing good in Emily - falling in love with her true self. I kind of don't want Jack to be her destiny. Daniel could be really awesome if he stepped out from his family's shadow.

And then there's Nolan. *sigh* I love him. He's so cute with Emily. In spite of herself, he's the only person she'll let in and the only person she really seems to care about hurting. She apologized for her ex trying to strangle him, and explained something personal to win back his favor. It's no wonder he's fawning over her. I can't tell if he's actually interested in her or if that's just his new financial advisor's misinterpretation. He clearly thinks she's amazing, which is understandable, but I don't see why his loyalty couldn't just be friendship.

And I'm not going to go into it, but I'm scared for Charlotte. I like her, and all I can see are bad things happening in her future.

CASTLE. Let's just say, I've started breathing again. My faith in the writers paid off. They had their drama, now I get my comedy. The wit and fun is back in full force. I'm laughing again, and looking forward to each new episode. Granted, next week's preview is framing Castle for murder...again, but at least it's not Johanna Beckett's murder case. May that obsession R.I.P. And with Ryan finding out about Caskett, the writers aren't obsessing over keeping the relationship secret, either. They're having fun with it, but I have confidence they'll find a new rhythm without torturing me with it.

DOWNTON ABBEY. I saw the first three episodes! I can't wait to continue, but life is getting in the way. I was stoked about Mary and Matthew's wedding and even enjoyed the drama that ensued; I loved Mary's line about not being predictable. I liked the way that Branson's interactions with the family played out. I can't tell you how excited I am about Matthew and Branson's friendship! Honestly, that was probably my favorite part.

I didn't care for Shirley McLaine's character, for all that she was lauded by the actors. It's always irritating/embarrassing to see Americans being rude, despite the fact that both sides were equally proud and prejudiced. At the same time, I couldn't help but like how Mrs. Levinson handled the dinner troubles and championed Edith's cause.

Speaking of Edith, I was quite depressed when Strallan ran out on her. His pale expression on his way out made me wonder if he wasn't going to keel over right then and there. Based on a sort-of-spoilery comment I unfortunately chanced to see (something about "despite what happened in the end"), I predict that either Edith and Strallan will marry after all, or Strallan will die. I'm hoping the former, since I sadly tend to agree with Edith's evaluation of her situation, but I think I would feel better if Strallan died than if he went on living for years and Edith never found anyone else to marry; I hate tragedy.

MERLIN. I'm holding out for it. It's the final year, supposedly, but I was not impressed by the opening two-parter. It was plot and rehashing. Gwen was too stiff, the king and queen barely even looked at each other, and Merlin and Arthur's age-old banter was yawn inducing. That being said, I find the new characters rather interesting. Mordred has my full attention. I'd go so far as to hope and wonder if the writers will twist Mordred's fate like Lancelot/Gwen's story so he remains good. I was thrilled when he showed strength and calm in the face of Morgana's unhinged fury. If he does turn to the dark side, that is the Mordred I want to see. That's the Morgana I always wanted. I'd also like to follow up with Gwen's fired maid. As long as she doesn't go evil, which I doubt, I want to see her come back and be part of the restoration of magic in the kingdom. Yay, stuff to look forward to!

NEWBIES
THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Taking itself mostly seriously, but not so intensely that it's distracting. Not a great show, not even a great plot, and I'm still struggling to believe that Kristin Kreuk is detective material, but it's modestly entertaining. I have a feeling that I'll need to keep my logic meter in check while watching this show.

ARROW. From the previews, it looked like it was taking itself too seriously. I was right. I might hold out for a couple of episodes, but I don't care for the main actor's scowl-y portrayal. As if brooding vampires wasn't enough.

REVOLUTION. I don't like the main actress. I like strong female characters, but the way she plays the character, she's just headstrong. She pleads in a helpless babe kind of way, yet plunges into danger headfirst like she's not afraid of anything. The uncle is cool, but I don't find any of the characters particularly interesting. They don't make me want to get to know them. It's also kind of campy, but again, makes the mistake of taking itself completely seriously. Campy-ness and high-adventure are doable, but there has to be a certain amount of humor attached to it. This show has none.

EMILY OWENS, M.D. has my attention. Emily is overly smiley, but it doubles as an awkward, pensive, cringe which makes it work. All of the characters are currently a bit flat, but I'm not sure stereotypical is exactly the right word. If it is, I still think the main actress could carry the show and make it work. The pilot was obviously just an extension of the preview I saw, so I'm curious to see where it's going to go from here. I'll be sure to tune in.

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