It’s the end of December which means its time to look back on the year an evaluate the various television shows that aired throughout 2011. Two days ago I posted my Second Tier series of the year and then yesterday I posted my Other Shows list which contains all the series I watched every episode of that aired in 2011 that didn’t make my top ten list. Today I’ll keep things brief with some quick thoughts on the shows I sampled throughout the year, but didn’t watch every episode of.
BIT & PIECES
(Rather than alphabetical order this section is ordered by number of episodes I’ve seen)
Glee (Gave up three episodes into S3): I watched more episodes this show then I ever should have purely for the sake of reading the wonderful, scathing TV criticism that was out there about it. But it was at this point that it just wasn’t worth the effort anymore. To be honest I’m amazed I watched that many episodes of the show in the first place. Chalk it up to both mild interest and boredom. Thankfully I won’t ever watch another painful plot Sue Sylvester tries to destroy glee club for the millionth time. I only really liked the first batch of episodes of the show when it was being written in a vacuum away from all the mass hype and huge fandom. There have been a few moments of its former glory here and there, but it was rare for the series to show interest in regaining that quality. Good riddance and goodbye.
Wilfred (Majority of the season, can’t recall exactly when I stopped): Enjoyed the pilot quite a lot, but never found the rest of the series to live up to it. It’s an interesting idea, but one that gets tiresome after awhile. Wilfred the character often got on my nerves more than made me laugh. My favorite part of the show was by far Elijah Wood’s distant, slightly off performance. Perhaps I just like disinterested Frodo.
Always Sunny In Philadelphia (6 episodes): I have an on and off relationship with this show. I’ve seen every episode in its first four seasons and then about half of its fifth and six seasons. I really loved its first three seasons, but found the show to struggle in its later years. It lost whatever element of realism it had and just became flat out absurd. Though in its sixth season Sunny appears to be making the absurdity quite funny with episodes like “The Gang Goes to Jersey Shore”, which is the first episode of the show I loved from start to finish in some time. The season also contains potentially my least favorite episode ever in the form of “Frank’s Brother”, which doesn’t seem to contain a single joke. I stopped watching the season specifically because of my outright dislike of it, but I popped back in to catch “How Mac Got Fat”, which had some good parts but wasn’t as good overall as I was hoping. At some point I’ll probably return to finish the episodes I missed, but Sunny has lost that sense of urgency for me. I’ll watch it when I can, but it’s no where near must watch TV like it once was. That being said kudos to Rob McElhenney for the brilliant idea to make Mac suddenly gain fifty pounds of fat. It’s a simple visual gag, one that should’t work, and yet it does over and over. Fat Mac is the humorous gift that keeps on giving. It must be noted that it’s not only that he became overweight but that he grew a hideous beard and terrible new wardrobe that really seals the deal. I almost feel bad for finding the image so funny and yet that’s what Sunny’s speciality.
Up All Night (5 episodes): Enjoyed the pilot as well, but after awhile it just fell behind on my list of shows to watch. Really liked the Will Arnett stuff, but anything to do with Maya Rudolph’s show turned me off. Hope to return to the show at some point in the future to see if it’s figured itself out and maybe then I’ll get back into it.
Whitney (3 episodes): Awful. Just awful.
2 Broke Girls (3 episodes): Again awful. Just awful. And racist. Can’t forget the racist part.
Episodes (2 episodes): I was intrigued by the idea behind the show, but what a terrible cause of awful execution. All the character were just grating and annoying, save for perhaps Matt Leblanc, who I hear is the show’s only saving grace towards the end of its season. I regret anytime spent on this show.
How To Be A Gentleman (2 episodes): Watched this for an essay on masculinity and television. It deserved to die quickly. Some good people involved (particularly my favorite Rhys Darby), but it falls flat. Better they be free for a show that can actually use their talents.
Men of a Certain Age (2 episodes): Found it to be a pleasurable, enjoyable hour of summer TV. By the time I tried watching the show was already doomed and it just fell away from my to watch list. It’s a shame as I quite enjoyed what I watched. Great performances all around.
Last Man Standing (pilot): Also watched for my masculinity essay, and it is also absolutely terrible. Tim Allen just complaining about men and not knowing what things like Glee are. Extremely sad to see Kaitlyn Dever give such a tremendous performance on Justified and then be wasted on a bad sitcom like this. Especially considering she was great in her bit spot on Curb Your Enthusiasm this year.
Man Up! (pilot): Third show I watched for my masculinity essay. I have nothing to say on this other than no one will miss it. No one.
Once Upon A Time (pilot): Fine. Nothing more. Could have been better and could have been worse. Found no reason to keep watching but I have no vendetta against this living (except for it maybe preventing an adaption of Fables that should most certainly come out on ABC, though this is just me wishing). My mom really likes it so I guess that’s something considering she rarely watches narrative TV.
Pan Am (pilot): One of the better pilots of the season, but a show I also found no reason to keep watching. Once again my mom really likes this so that’s a plus maybe.