10 shows I didn't review this year
Sometimes there just aren't enough days in the week, or enough interesting points to talk about, to justify getting through every show on the box. Here are 10 shows I watched this year that didn't get reviewed here at the blog ...
Nurse Jackie (TV3): My biggest complaint about Nurse Jackie was always the lack of repercussions for what Jackie (played by Edie Falco) had been up to for the first few seasons of the show. The latest season, its fourth overall, went some ways toward addressing that complaint - her stint in rehab was a long time coming, and we at least get the sense that Jackie knows that her behaviour is having a negative effect, both on her and those around her. It will be interesting to see how the show signs off in tonight's season finale, 9.30 on TV3.
Episodes (One): The second season of the English-American comedy - starring Matt LeBlanc as a fictional version of himself, starring on a flailing US network in a broad sitcom based on a hit British series - finished on Friday night, and has been one of the better comedies in recent years, sending up the television industry at large and, more specifically, the American habit of doing bad remakes of good UK-made shows. A shame, then, that TV One pulled it from its original time slot (Thursday, 10.10pm) in the middle of the season, before landing it on Fridays at 11pm.
Auckland Daze (One): The internet-only show got a run on TV One, taking over from Episodes on Thursdays, and while I am bitter about the time slot tomfoolery that got it on free-to-air, I have to say I was impressed by the series. A little like Entourage, but funnier, is how I would describe the show, with a likable cast (led by the talented Millen Baird) putting a Kiwi spin on the local industry. The only question is why TVNZ didn't put it on the air sooner.
A Night at The Classic (One): In a similar vein, this Brendhan Lovegrove-led mocku-comedy takes a look at the local stand-up comedy scene, framing it within the country's most famous comedy club, The Classic. Lovegrove sends himself up perfectly, amplifying all the misinformed criticisms of his on-stage persona, while the revolving cast of guest performers bring something new and unique every week. It's airing at the moment (Thursdays, 10.10pm on One). Check it out.
Weeds (SoHo): I was never a huge fan of Weeds, and it kind of dropped off my radar since the final episodes aired on SoHo while I was overseas. But eight seasons and more than 100 episodes paint a picture of a show which was loved by fans, and will be sorely missed by plenty of viewers. On the plus side, I'm looking forward to checking out creator Jenji Kohan's next project, Orange Is the New Black, about a woman sent to jail after getting involved in drug smuggling.
Hawaii Five-0 (TV3): A hit procedural back in the US, the crime show - based on the 1970s police drama of the same name - was consistently entertaining and gorgeous to look at it. A shame, then, that TV3 yanked it from the schedule mid-season, without so much as a warning or a late-night time slot to burn off the remaining episodes. For shame.
Line of Duty (SoHo): The underrated Lennie James stars as celebrated police officer Tony Gates, who is under investigation for corruption by DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), in this brilliant BBC drama. I know we keep saying it here at the blog, but the Brits really do know how to make an intense, engaging drama. And even though this one bears a few similarities to The Wire - most notably Gates' line that "if you take a shot at the king, you better not miss" - it has been thoroughly enjoyable through the first three episodes.
Supernatural (TV2): The brothers Winchester had a mixed season this year, taking on a scary new enemy in the Leviathans and doing most of the season without Castiel (Misha Collins), Bobby (Jim Beaver) or Crowley (Mark Sheppard). There were some great episodes, though: I loved Shut Up, Dr Phil, in which a pair of witches cause havoc in a small town, and Slash Fiction, with the brothers finding themselves against a pair of Leviathans who've taken their form. A good season, though I did miss some of the minor characters by the end.
The Thick of It (UKTV): Armando Iannucci might've got more reaction from Veep, an American counterpart to his signature series, but it's the British original that is the superior of the two: Peter Capaldi is still the highlight among the cast, but the high jinks at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Citizenship have been hilarious, led by Roger Allam's clueless MP Peter Mannion and his staff of idiots. I'm very happy to have it back for a fourth season.
What are you watching that hasn't been mentioned at On the Box this year? And what do you think of the shows I've brought up here?