So, another season is over, and I must say, it was quite blah. No new shows sparked my interest beyond one episode. The Event was so uneventful that it was not picked up for next year. Neither was No Ordinary Family, which took every cliche and did nothing new with them. Hawaii Five-O will return, an unqualified success, but it just wasn't for me (though I'm thrilled for Daniel Dae Kim). I never saw Undercovers, which was canceled before the season even ended.
I think it was a good thing that this season was so bad, however, as I had less time to watch television than normal. I know a number of my friends with children are able to maintain their viewing schedules, but I wasn't. I have no ideas why, and this isn't really the venue for me to contemplate how the way I am with my twins affects my TV.
Because of this, I rarely watched any show on a "timely" basis, i.e., within a day or two of its airing - heck, getting to watch within a week was sometimes more than I can handle. But now, I've watched the very last episode of the season, so I've some thoughts.
Let's start with the show that excited me the most: Fringe. It was a fabulous show, with a confusing ending. It turned some of its own mythology on its head (no mention of the Pattern this season!), and really fleshed out the alternative universe. Walternate's sole goal, of course, is to destroy our universe, with our characters, but we came to know and care about the characters in the alternative universe as well, even Fauxlivia. Since the machine that would destroy one universe (or the other...or both) required Peter (and, it turns out, Olivia), Peter's role became central. And who he picked would also be central - Fauxlivia or Olivia?
But the final episode of the season was terribly confusing. Peter decided that he could prevent the machine from working by entering it, but once he did, he jumped to the future, a terrible future, in which the alternative universe was destroyed, and only Walternate (who had allegedly jumped to our universe to make peace), survived. But the destruction of the universe led to the slow death of ours, helped by Walternate's terrorism. Before it was over, Olivia (married to Peter!) was killed by Walternate, and Walter, released from jail, realized that he was the one who sent the machine back into the past (so much for the First People), and that Peter must go back to let everyone know the universes depended upon each other for survival.
Suddenly, the two universes were together, in our timeline, at Staten Island. Two Walters, two Olivias, two Astrids. Only one Broyles (of course, since Alternative Broyles was killed), and one Peter. Though, as Peter explained his theory to the Walters, he suddenly disappeared. And no one blinked.
Then, we were watching the Observers, as they observed. No one missed Peter, because he never existed.
So why did Walter go to the other universe, causing all the harm to the alternative universe? How did the machine work? Who fathered Fauxlivia's child? I'm frankly having a hard time wrapping my head around this.
But, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, as I always do. I believe in trusting the producers to make sense of the seeming messes they've created. I hopefully will be rewarded. Good news: Seth Gabel has been brought on as a regular. Maybe Lincoln Lee fathered Fauxlivia's child?
My next favorite comedy this season is Community, which will also return next season. The show's meta focus has remained meta, which might throw some people off. It ended with yet another paintball contest, with Pierce winning and donating the earnings to save the school. But he left the study group, not surprising considering he was the villain throughout the season. I guess the group will have to do something next season to bring him back in. They will also have to figure out what to do about Senor Chang, who was mostly endearing through the season. I for one was rather sad Shirley's baby wasn't his.
My last favorite? The Good Wife. I have a friend who reported being embarrassed that she likes this show as much as she does, yet she watches almost all The Real Housewives. Go figure. Juliana Marguilies continues to hit this one out of the park as the stoic, heartbroken junior associate at Lockhart Gardner. There were some fun shenanigans with the law firm, but what most stood out was the destruction of Kalinda and Alicia's friendship. Alicia figured out that Kalinda once slept with her husband, a discovery that destroyed her marriage and her friendship with Kalinda, and opened up the door to a night in the Presidential Suite with Will. Kalinda was devastated by the loss of her friendship, and almost left the firm. Before the season was over Kalinda made herself hard, commenting that she doesn't have to share her feelings with anyone. We'll see what happens with that.
Bones ended on a high note for many people this season, except those who actually wanted to see Booth and Bones "do it". Bones is pregnant after at least one night with Booth. His sly grin told all there is to know - he's thrilled. What will happen with this relationship? I don't know. We'll find out.
On the other hand, House ended on a very low note. Destroyed by his break up with Cuddy and his discovery that she might have moved on romantically (or even lied to him about it, though we know she didn't), he drove his car into her house "to return a hair brush". Cuddy told the cops she never wanted to see House again (which should be easy, since Lisa Edelstein is leaving House). Even Wilson implied he thought House should be arrested. House, on the other hand, was last seen in some beach setting that clearly couldn't be New Jersey. Presumably, he's left the country. What will happen next year? Who knows.
Let's not forget Chuck. Chuck and Sarah married, all without bringing the show down to Moonlighting levels. But to get married, Chuck had to betray the CIA, so Team Bartowski was essentially fired. But thanks to the former Volkoffs (I just can't go into it), the team has enough money to investigate corruption in the CIA. The evil CIA had removed the Intersect from Chuck, but the show ended with Morgan Grimes inadvertently downloading the Intersect into his brain. Okeydokey.
Sadly, the Human Target, which I think never got a fair chance, was canceled. It was a good show. Shame on you if you never watched it!!
So, here is my report card on the shows I actually watched:
Fringe - A-. The season finale was lackluster and confusing. Otherwise, this show would have been an A.
Community - B. It's still a great show but needs to be careful with it's meta focus.
The Good Wife - A + - this show was top-notch the entire season and never once missed a step. I would grade it even higher (if I could) just because they promoted Alan Cumming to series regular.
Bones - C - I'm happy that Bones and Booth finally got together - I really like the characters. I do. I just think the show is running out of steam.
House - B - - Is this an example of grade inflation? I don't know. I like that Cuddy is leaving, since that will cause some major, needed changes. But the medical mysteries are boring and repetitive.
Chuck - B - - This show gets a higher grade just because it is actually ending next season. I like it when shows have an end date (see Lost), just so the producers have an opportunity to end the show in a way that will please us all. Or not. But I'm looking forward to seeing how it wraps up.
Human Target - A +. I'm still disgruntled.
So, that's that. At some point, I'll be writing a post about next season, which seems to hold a lot of promise. I'm sure I'll post about the summer season as well.