Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Scorecard

It's gotten bad.  No joke.  It's gotten so bad I need a kind of scorecard to keep track of where I am from TV series to TV series.

But the scorecard looks something like this:

Hinterland - A dark Wales set procedural that has strong no-nonsense plots and an abundance of atmosphere.  Is there a countryside more brooding and austere than the Welsh one?  I watched the first season and have two seasons to go, though only seasons 1 and 2 right now are on Netflix.  It's been a couple months since I finished season one, but I do want to return to the show.

Black Mirror - A great show.  Often brilliant.  The show that put Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out on the map. I've watched everything up through San Junipero (one of the show's very best episodes) in season 3.  Saw San Junipero months ago and have been meaning ever since to watch episodes 5 and 6 of season 3, which would bring me up to date.

Atlanta - That eccentric Donald Glover. He seems to be a guy viewers either really like or can't stand. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the distinctiveness and tonal shifts of the first two episodes, but somehow got sidetracked after that watching other things and need to go back and re-watch those and then continue on to watch the other eight episodes. Come on, I tell myself.  Do it.  They're only 30 minutes each, perfect as a way of winding down after a night of writing.  They await me on I-Tunes, where I bought a season pass to the show.

Stranger Things - I've heard nothing but great things about this Netflix series. I like the whole 80's throwback vibe, and my 11 year old son, who knows next to nothing about the 80's, loved it.  But I've only managed so far to watch bits and pieces as my son was binge watching it (usually when I was busy doing housework or cooking), and then alone one night a couple weeks ago, I started episode one but quickly got sleepy (it was about one in the morning on a weekday night) and had to stop. If I could only get about 8 hours of free time at once, I'd binge watch this thing myself.  I know it's right up my alley.

Bosch - Yes! Finally! Up to date on something. But wait, not exactly. Season 3 just started streaming on Amazon.  So here's yet another show I'm behind on.  Whatever. I'm eager to rejoin Harry because I enjoyed the first two seasons.  Solid show through and through.

Fargo - Is this starting season 3? It is.  Damn, because I haven't gotten past the first episode of the first season, which I bought on Amazon awhile back.  I found that premiere episode merely okay, and my attention span feels so put upon now, I never felt compelled to return to the series  But based on all the raves I've heard from people I know, I suppose I should?

Gomorrah - Just finished watching season one on Netflix.  Season two will start this week on Sundance. This is a series I will without question keep up with.  The question here is whether to watch it on Sundance now, with commercials, or to buy a season pass through I-Tunes so I can watch it without the ads. Alternatively, I could buy it on Amazon when it's available there or wait to see it on Netflix for free, though that may mean waiting for months. Decisions, decisions.

The Last Panthers - I saw Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers, the excellent documentary about the Balkan jewel thieves who inspired The Last Panthers, but still need to start watching the show.  It's a fascinating tale, how this group of robbers formed after the Balkan Wars of the 90's, and it's got John Hurt in one of his last roles.

The Night Manager - Le Carre adaptation, Tom Wilkinson, and yet I still haven't started this. Why not?

Shetland - What the hell was I doing starting this series just a couple night ago?  Don't I have enough that's unfinished on my TV viewing plate?  And yet, this past Sunday night over dinner, I watched the first two episodes of this show based on the Ann Cleeves novels.  As with Hinterland, much of the pleasure for me in this procedural comes from the starkly beautiful setting and the mood evoked by that setting.  Here it's the titular Scottish archipelago.  I've always wanted to travel to Scotland but haven't yet. This is the next best thing.

Hap and Leonard - Who's not glad Joe R. Lansdale got adapted to TV?  Still, this didn't quite hook me. When it premiered last year, I was eager to jump into it, but I stopped about halfway through season one. Now season two is underway.  I own season one through Amazon, so it's there waiting for me, but it's low on my priority list.  Maybe I'm just less interested in East Texas and its landscape than I am in Scotland or Wales? Could be that.   If anything draws me back, it'll be Michael K. Williams.

Marcella - Saw season one, eagerly awaiting season two.

The Eagle - A Danish procedural from about 13 years ago that had a three season run.  I've seen the first season. Need to see the other two. The main character is half Danish half Icelandic, and he's part of an investigative team that combats international crime across Scandinavia and Russia. His group takes on drug rings, financial fraud, terrorist threats, human trafficking and other stuff.  A slick, well-made, tense show, with a compelling central character who suffered some sort of traumatic incident as a child in his native Iceland. The show flashes back often to that childhood, so that there's a developing mystery in the past as the plots in the present progress.

And I could go on.  I haven't even mentioned the shows not involving crime of any kind.  But you get the point.  There's so much good stuff, it's maddening.  I think it's clear why a TV viewing scorecard, at this exhausting point, is necessary.

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