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[personal profile] brabbel123
So it's been half a year since my last TV-posting...

Homeland
Didn't think Homeland would survive without Brody, but it did. Seasons 4 and 5 were a bit all over the place, though, with Carrie first trying to kill her daughter, then seducing that Pakistani boy (which was kind of wrong, just wrong!!!), generally just showing how messed up she was. And I guess, how messed up the system was with corruption and bribery in season 4. And I could have done without that Quinn/Carrie-angle which I never felt during the whole series... and all those scenes with Quinn and his housemate - well, I guess they needed a replacement for all the useless Dana-stuff from earlier seasons.

Then we have season 5, taking place in Germany - and I'm glad that they at least chose to use more or less native speakers for the German parts, because nothing frustrates me more than listening to mangled English-German being presented as native German. The transition from season 4 to 5 was a bit rough, though, Saul and Carrie not on speaking terms, Carrie having left the CIA, Saul embittered because he wasn't made director (after sacrificing his moral principles to even get considered... what a shame...). The whole Quinn-arc again didn't contribute much to the overall story, save for the shock effect of nearly seeing him drown in his own bodily fluids. And the ending? First of all, I think that German do-gooder has a hidden agenda, and secondly, did Carrie turn off the machines on Quinn? (If so, I care for moral reasons... but for Quinn himself... no, never cared for him, anyway)

Overall, I'll be sure to tune in again in autumn, but Homeland is missing the personal angle that Brody as enemy/lover brought, and that kind of distinguished Homeland from series like 24. We have conspiracy after conspiracy in the agencies which we've all seen in 24 season after season which gets a bit boring because the question at each season-opening isn't whether there's a conspiracy, but rather who's the conspirator. And if that reflects real life it's a wonder the world is even still standing. I liked Carrie's development between seasons 4 and 5, though, she's a devoted mother now despite the rough start, but still on the brink of falling back into bad habits... very much in character, this development, much more so than Saul's, another character who's sort of overstayed his welcome. He's not going anywhere in my opinion.

Perception

is a series about a schizophrenic neuroscientist helping an FBI-agent solve crimes. It's a pretty standard crime procedural but I liked the quirks and chemistry between the protagonists. The series ends on a pretty strange note, all covering up a crime... which isn't really in the tone of the rest of the series. And the main emotional entanglements sort of remain unresolved. Perhaps the series should have spent more time to focus on those instead of constructing a harebrained kidnapping/serial-killer subplot to submerge those issues. Otherwise, an okay series, but nothing really to write home about overall.

Outlander

A WWII-nurse travels back 200 years back in time to Scotland on the brink to a system of clans on the brink of an uprising against the English rule - and uprising she knows would fail.

This is an intriguing series, showing how that nurse fits into the Scottish system, tries to get back into her own time, and falls in love with a young Scotsman - who has been tortured and coveted by an English soldier who's coincidentally her future-husband's ancestor and shares his looks. This is where the script gets off the rails a bit. Jaime is recaptured by Randall, and his torture and rape are the topic of the last 2 episodes of season 1... in every detail imaginable. Now I ask you for what purpose? Not everything has to be shown graphically - the hints at what was going to happen at the end of the penultimate episode were more than enough, so that the flashbacks to several rape-scenes were entirely unnecessary, and even of bad taste. It's one thing to address male rape, it's another to turn it into some kind of sick voyeuristic porn-feast.

I have to say, though, the chemistry between the protagonists, especially Claire and Jaime of course, is magnificent, which is what keeps me watching despite of this major turn-off. I'm reserving final judgment till I see how the aftermath is depicted and Jaime's trauma is handled.

The X-Files

I loved the X-Files back in the 90's but somehow lost interest in the final 2 seasons, so I was curious about this revival. The problem is, it's just 6 episodes, of which 3 or 4 were just sort of senseless fun the likes of past X-Files "monster/UFO of the week". Which is kind of fun to revisit. But if there are only 6 episodes I expect them to be more focused on a single story, more serialized. So, just in the final episode we get back to the underlying alien conspiracy, the tagging of the population with the small pox-vaccine, it being used to introduce harmless illnesses now turning deathly... and only Scully is immune. That is what I would have liked to see. And now we're left with a cliffhanger: The world is crumbling, only Scully and Mulder's son could possibly save it due to his DNA - but there's no way to contact him since Scully and Mulder gave him up to save him.

The theme of regret over life-choices, family, missed opportunities is a read thread in this revival, and I like that because it really brings back the tone of the original run, and I still love Mulder and Scully. So the revival isn't a complete waste of time, I just hoped it would be more self-contained, not using cliffhangers left and right which are uncertain to ever be resolved.

Jessica Jones

This is a gritty and very intense programme about coercion, rape, regaining yourself and standing up for yourself, all in a setting of people with superhuman abilities. But that's not even really important, whether Jessica has superhuman strength, or her tormentor Kilgrave the ability to force his will upon others because it's essentially a very human story just with special effects.

The first season is suffering a bit from being dragged out, from people making absolutely harebrained decisions, only looking out for themselves. So it could have been cut by 3 or 4 episodes (the whole lawyer subplot with her wife for example) without losing the essential message. But the cast was top-notch, and despite the plot being dragged out I couldn't help being drawn in. I found it hard to watch 2 episodes in a row because of the intensity of the show, the feeling of suffocating, of being circled that the chemistry between Jessica and Kilgrave brings up. And I doubt I can watch Tennant again without hearing his "Jeeesssicaaaa!" Which brings me to

Broadchurch - Season 2

After season 1 showed to investigation into the murder of a young boy, season 2 starts at the beginning of the trial of the alleged murderer who, to everyone's disgust pleads not guilty. This in turn leads to more turmoil for the small town, the family and friends and the lead investigators.

The trial-part works really well, it's the part that deals with investigator Alec Hardy's previous case, the murder of a young woman, that feels a bit out of connection with the rest of the story.

I'm already looking forward to season 3, though, because it's still a gripping drama.

I guess in May I'll do another round-up with the ending of the new seasons.

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