Thursday, January 21, 2010

simply the year in review: extremely overdue

the start of the year is always so hectic, you both want to start things fresh, but you have so many things hanging over your head from the previous year. that's why it's always nice to reflect on things. 2009 was a strange year. a lot of celebrities died unexpectedly. life itself has been insanely busy. i traveled so much, that now as i face a year with less travel, i'm not exactly sure what i should do with myself.

the nice thing about a new year is that you get to figure it all out. but before i get to that, here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2009:

the good

grey's anatomy's creative resurgence
at the end of 2008, grey's had sunk pretty low. izzie was having sex with visions of denny. the show had ceased to be compelling. but then, a turn-around marked by the new year, izzie's cancer storyline went full steam ahead, the character's suddenly grew up, with meredith and derek finally committing to each other in a meaningful way, alex and izzie took the plunge into marriage and adulthood, all of this leading to an amazing season finale that ended it's final moments in a cliffhanger that put two main characters in peril. the reveal that george was the john doe whose body was so inured and mangled that he was rendered unrecognizable, was shocking and was a twist worthy of some of the show's better moments. the fall 2009 season has continued the excellent balance of medical and personal story, as well as the personal growth of the characters. things aren't all rosy in grey's land, but that's actually a good thing, and it seems like we'll have some juicy story to go along for the rest of the season.

chuck gets a third season
chuck is really the little show that could. in the closing moments of the 2009 season finale, chuck managed to both resolve all of it's storylines and set up the series for even more amazing storylines. (i've got a post pending on how that's turned out.) when nbc surprisingly renewed it for a third season, it was the best news of the summer.

90210 becomes a guilty pleasure
the first season of the 90210 reboot was hit and miss. it spent a lot of time trying to build on nostalgia for the original, without playing to the strengths of the characters and actors it was developing. with a new showrunner in by the end of the first season, you could start to feel the difference. focusing on the characters that really clicked with the audience, bringing in some new blood, the show is actually firing on all cylinders. yes, it is preposterous and ridiculous. but it is also so completely fun to watch.

lost
was so amazing it blew my mind. i pretty much covered every episode on this blog, and it was great. it was the year of sawyer in my mind. and that made it even better. what a great season. what amazing things does the final season hold for us? i can't wait to find out.

vampires rule the world
true blood and vampire diaries take over the television airwaves and all is good. there are pretty people, juicy storylines (both appropriate to the medium they are broadcasting in), and vampires. if anything 2009 was the year of vampires. surprisingly, the only vampire thing i didn't participate in, was the one thing everyone else did. twilight. i still haven't read you. and i'm not sure i'm going to. it's also unlikely that i will watch the movies. for now, both true blood and vampire diaries are enought to whet my bloodlust.

the bad

how i met your mother stops being awesome
when the fourth season finale hinted at a barney-robin romance, i was thrilled. here were two characters with incredible chemistry, who were both emotionally stunted, who could have a fantastic opportunity to grow together. unfortunately, the writing staff didn't see it that way. instead of having an unconventional romance develop between two characters who don't do conventional romance, they forced them into a completely traditional relationship. even worse, they lumped them in with lily and marshall in ways that were just not funny. what's amazing about the whole thing is that it's proved that ted really is the glue that holds the whole series together. the show needs to move something forward this coming year, introduce us to the mother, something needs to happen that will actually let these characters grow without them losing their personalities. because they will become caricatures of themselves if they don't grow. and the show will really stop being funny. and that is the opposite of awesome.

gossip girl neuters chuck
suddenly the show is a lot less interesting. there are several issues in play here. 1) the fact that most of the core cast have graduated high school is a problem. 2) chuck should have more to do week on week than being the voice of reason. the fact that chuck is the voice of reason is a major problem. 3) they need to figure out better ways to bring the whole cast together. right now the cast exists in these different story bubbles, but the show works so much better when the bubbles intersect with each other not when they float along each in their own merry way. 4) the show should spice things up in ways that are organic to the story and not just to make media headlines. the threesome storyline was actually a snooze. maybe the problem was the fact that both vanessa and hilary duff weren't the more interesting characters to be involved with it. nonetheless, the show needs to be better about adding the right blend of spice to the story.

the ugly

general hospital
so this was the year i broke up with gh again. nothing good is happening in port charles, at least from what i can tell. i wish sonny wasn't billed as the hero of the show, especially considering his blatant hatred and mistreatment of women. you would think that the writers would consider the audience, but they don't. i read a bunch of vintage romance novels this year, and what is amazing about this is that often times the novels from the 60s and 70s i've read have more advanced views on women than gh does. that is a terrible thing to realize. and having to make the effort to watch became too much. i can only hope that it doesn't win yet another daytime emmy for best writing. because, seriously, it's not okay.