A couple more shows

The second season of SHERLOCK holds up well as Bernard Cummerbach’s modern-day Sherlock Holmes confronts dominatrix Irene Adler (A Scandal in Belgravia), a mysterious genetically-engineered hound (The Hounds of Baskerville) and Moriarty’s scheme to not merely defeat or kill but utterly destroy Sherlock Holmes (The Reichenbach Fall). This does a better job than the first season of capturing Holmes’ coldbloodedness, and I thoroughly enjoyed the three episodes (so few!).
The first season of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES has a Virginia high-school student draw the attention of two vampire brothers due to being the exact double of their Lost Love from 200 years ago. By the end of the season, Elena’s dealing with feuding vampire factions, witches, the secret of her birth mother, plus of course the usual angst of high-school love affairs. A lot of fun (better than the original Y/A novel)
The third season of MERLIN has the Camelot of the first two seasons (where Merlin works as Arthur’s servant while using magic to watch over him covertly) has the characters slowly shift into their classic positions: Arthur’s sister Morgan reveals her true intentions for Camelot, Arthur and Merlin make the Grail Quest, Arthur finds it harder to hide his love for the serving maid Gwen and in the season ender, Lancelot, Gawain and Arthur’s other allies sit with him at a Round Table (while Merlin plunges a certain Sword into a Stone …). A fun show, as always.
GLEE largely wore out its welcome with me due to its incoherent tone: Along with some really good episodes, we have the writers’ constant whipsawing as to whether Sue should remain a blackhearted villain or shift to someone more sympathetic and really heavy-handed plotlines such as Quinn’s crippling accident.
And if I want musicals, there’s always SMASH, a TV series that follows a musical about Marilyn Monroe from its genesis in the mind of playwright Debra Messing through the out of town tryouts, with everyone going through onstage and offstage trials, romantic disillusionments and career threats. Thoroughly entertaining—it helps that since everyone is an adult, I take their affairs and careers more seriously than the high-schoolers of Glee—and with a solid cast (Angelica Huston as a producer, Uma Thurman in a couple of episodes as a Big Star). And I’m tickled the final episode in classic backstage musical style requires the understudy to master the part and be ready to go in only 24 hours.
DOCTOR WHO: The Space Museum freaked me out when I saw it as a kid because a TARDIS glitch lands the Doctor and his companions slightly out of synch with time, so that a shattered glass suddenly reassembles and footprints only appear several minutes after someone’s walked on the soil. The remaining episodes are more mundane (siding with alien freedom fighters against alien tyrants) but the cast’s knowledge of their own future (where they wind up as exhibits in the museum) and their uncertainty whether they can escape the future adds some spice. Not first-rate for the Hartnell era, but entertaining nonetheless, particularly the light-hearted Vicki.

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One response to “A couple more shows

  1. Pingback: Movies and TV | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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