Mid-Season Reviews: Raylan Rises, Marty Stumbles, Hank Falls, and Rick Loses It

My favorite January shows are not all completely aligned in terms of their episodes but such is life. I wanted to offer a few reflections on the hopefully without too many spoilers.

Timothy-Olyphant-Justified-Season-4-630x350Raylan continues to return to his Season 1 greatness and tries to deal with his impending fatherhood while confronting his unrepentant father and generally just kicking ass all over the place. The meeting of Boyd and Raylan was well worth waiting for in Episode 5 and throughout the mix of humor and action has been highly addictive. There is a lot of stuff going on given the relatively limited number of characters. Its nice to see Duffy back and I loved the cameo of Stephan Tobolowsky (who plays a hilarious and apparently well-endowed Stu Beggs in Californication) as the ill-fated (oops) dirty FBI agent. The new characters such as Colt and especially the wonderful Patton Oswalt from United States of Tara fame as Constable Bob with his Go Bag have breathed new life into the show as well. Apparently, there is a plan for a six season run. This season makes me want even an S07 if they can keep up the originality and intelligence of the dialog and character development.

House-Of-Lies-Season-2-Poster-e1358136355337I guess the mighty always have to take a nose dive at some point. Well, Marty isn’t down yet, but with Julianne Hotschragar (what a great character name!) gunning for him and his wife playing switch-hitter on him, things are looking a little dim. Each of the members of the Pod are starting to grate each other a bit and tensions are rising. The cameo of Matt Damon in Episode 4 was EPIC and worth watching even if you don’t follow every episode. I love how direct this show is, how accurate they betray various aspects of the consulting (and generally the corporate) world where, for example, Episode 6 about the off-site team building had me laughing out loud on the couch. The comedy never patronizes us and nothing is dumbed down. This is truly one of the greatest comedies on TV today. I can’t wait to see how the next adult toy episode (purportedly in two weeks) is gonna turn out!

16949699_Californication-Californication--Tim-Minchin--jpgHank certainly ended S05 in a fix and nearly buys the farm due to the ex-girlfriend (the gorgeous Nathalie Zea, ex-wife of Raylan on Justified) after whose death, he goes on a totally tailspin. His stay at celebrity rehab was incredibly funny – I don’t know how the writers come up with this stuff. I like the “new” rock star Atticus Fitch (although it does echo back to S02 but being my favorite season I am not faulting them for this) and the cameo of Marilyn Manson was over the top last Sunday. Runkle still provides heaps of comic situations (the Hanna thing the previous episode nearly made me fall off the couch) and despite the continued back-and-forth between Hank and Karen, I still love this show and its raw, direct humour. And yet, like House of Lies, it is a rather intelligent critique of LA and Hollywood culture – very tongue in cheek – but ever so entertaining. I believe this one only runs one or two more years so I hope that they can keep it fresh. Probably my favorite moment so far this season despite the sentimentality of it was when Becca gives her manuscript to Hank. Something about that just kind of moved me a bit.

Danai-Gurira-Andrew-Lincoln-and-David-Morrissey-in-The-Walking-Dead-Season-3There is little to smile or laugh about on Team Prison or in Wilbury either as Walking Dead continues its dark and apocalyptic march towards oblivion. Rick’s insanity that started getting revealed before the break after E08 has come in full force and – naturally – just when Maggie, Herschel, Glenn, and the others need him most. Meanwhile the Governor continues to manipulate just about everybody. I just wish they had not left out Tyresse in E10 because I don’t really like where the character is headed in E11. Michonne is totally kick-ass though. The decors of Walking Dead are starting to look too familiar so we can start to imagine that they will soon be leaving the prison and probably we’ll get a peak at Neagan before the end of S03. I can’t really say what I like best about this show. Perhaps just the atmosphere of despair that it creates and the plot twists that seem to come from nowhere. Other than probably seeing Neagan in the season finale, I am incapable of predicting how this will go and who they will kill off in the next 5 episodes. In retrospect, I am glad to have made the effort last fall to catch up on this show. It has also been great to read all the extant comics and compare the written story with the filmed one. That being said, for me the ONE SHOW on AMC is still Breaking Bad but I’ll enjoy Walking Dead as I wait impatiently for July to come around.

Any comments on these shows dear reader? Or perhaps you are holding out for Mad Men, Game of Thrones, or Magic City?

  • Raylan (tednellen.blogspot.com)
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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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One Response to Mid-Season Reviews: Raylan Rises, Marty Stumbles, Hank Falls, and Rick Loses It

  1. Pingback: Life Lessons from TV: Hank the 21c Everyman | Fino's Weblog

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