Stuart’s Entertainment Review: The US Summer TV Season

Last week saw the start of the Fall Season of US TV, but at the same time, it also meant that the Summer Season came to an end.

And with it went two of my favourite Television Dramas of All Time.

Here are my thoughts on four of the shows I watched during the summer.

And there will be spoilers.

Breaking Bad

It’s incredible to think that when Breaking Bad started, it had the vibe of a black comedy.Breaking_Bad

Compare that to this final season.

There’s a huge difference.

By the time the series finally ended on Sunday night, the world had come to realise just how good a show Breaking Bad was, and it also highlighted the lack of vision from UK TV executives who failed to bring it to our screens, meaning NetFlix UK were able to grab the exclusive rights to its broadcast.

What’s more, the show has morphed into something completely different. The humour – while still there occasionally – had long since been replaced. This had become dark, serious stuff, and us viewers lapped it up.

From the moment the first episode of this year’s run finished – with the amazing cliffhanger of Walt and Hank finally having it out – through to the end of the last one, it was some of the best television I have ever seen.

And Sunday’s episode was the perfect way to end it.

Walt – a man who had spawned such articles as “Is (he) The Most Evil Television Character In History” – ended it on is terms. The right people died, the right people lived and justice – for what it was – was done.

Personally, I was thrilled to see Landry (sorry, I can’t call Jesse Plemons’ character anything other than that) die, because he was so effectively written that I personally really hated him. Villains can often be very boo-hiss, to the point where you find yourself rooting for them a bit. But him? What an absolute bastard. And credit has to go to Plemons for that because he was amazing as the baby-faced, emotionless killer without a moral compass.

Everything about the Breaking Bad final season, and the finale as a whole, was spot on.

The acting, the music, the direction, the story-arcing.

I loved it.

And I’ll miss it now that it’s gone.

Dexter

Dexter on the other hand was one giant damp squib.dexter

The finale itself was about as good as it could have been in the circumstances, but those circumstances were unnecessary and the fault of a writing team who had run out of ideas.

I’ve seen interviews with them where they try to defend storylines that went nowhere and did nothing, like Misuka having a daughter and Quinn trying for sergeant, but there is no defending them. They were just in there to waste time before the series ended. There was just nothing else left for them to do but hang around.

That’s not to say the acting was bad, because it was fine – at least it was fine from the regular cast.

But it should have probably ended a year earlier with LaGuerta catching him rather than being killed by Deb.

Was Dexter’s fate a fitting end for the character?

Well, considering one suggested alternative was a Brittas Empire style dream sequence, then I’d say it could have been a lot worse.

Like Breaking Bad, I’ll miss Dexter a lot now that it’s gone, but unlike Breaking Bad, it didn’t go out on a high.

The Newsroom

Talking of going out on a high, we have The Newsroom.The_Newsroom_HBO

Only it’s apparently not over yet.

As much as I enjoy the show, and thought that the second season was still fresh and interesting, the problem is that the last episode broadcast seems to have wrapped up every single story-arc.

Will and Mac have finally got together, the team have mended fences with their bosses upstairs, Jim is happy, Don and Sloan have got together and the Genoa storyline is over.

So what’s left?

Do they start afresh?

And would that potentially mean the show loses some of its luster?

Who knows?

As I say, I’ll be happy if it returns – as it’s supposed to – but if it doesn’t, I won’t feel short-changed.

Under The Dome

Finally we come to Under the Dome, the wacky TV show based on the Stephen King novel about a giant invisible dome that covers a small town in the USA.Under_the_dome_logo

Let’s just get this straight now; Under the Dome isn’t even in the same stratosphere as these other three shows in terms of quality, but it does manage to be unintentionally hilarious.

Though it started with a nice idea, the overall standard of writing and acting soon let it down.

From characters who speak entirely in exposition to one-dimensional heroes and villains who act without reason, this is a real guilty pleasure of mine.

One character, for example, is now romantically involved with the man who murdered her husband a few days earlier. Though she made him sleep on the couch the night she found out he was responsible, the next day she told him that she wanted to get on with her life and needed him to be a part of it. It was just ridiculous, but it was so unashamedly ridiculous that you couldn’t help but admire it.

What I like about it is that it’s a bit like Lost, but without taking itself too seriously. Lost turned into a load of crap but it still fancied itself as TV’s best show.

I sense everyone involved with Under the Dome knows that it’s utter tripe, and are happy to play along.

Get Involved In The Debate

Stuart Reviews Stuff is a free entertainment blog. If you enjoyed this or any other article on the site, please consider taking a moment to Like the official Facebook page. You can do that by clicking like on the side panel, or visiting the site here

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Feel free to get involved in the debate.

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One Response to Stuart’s Entertainment Review: The US Summer TV Season

  1. Lewis says:

    Stuart, always love your stuff but I’m also dying to here your take on these recovered episodes!
    All the best, Lewis.

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