Some television I have watched and enjoyed

The following post is spoiler free.

In the last couple of months I have watched quite a lot of television. That’s not a huge surprise really because I usually watch a lot of television. But because you guys are so interested in my thoughts on things, I thought you might be interested in my thoughts on some specific things that I have watched recently. (Good intro, Alex. Nailed it.)
Recent things that are topical
Sherlock: season three
The thing about Sherlock is that the format is crazy – three feature length episodes per season? Who does that? The whole setup doesn’t really lend itself to change. If the writers (of which there are three) wanted to take a break from endless on-foot pursuits and talk about everyone’s feelings, it’s hard knowing where to put that. You can’t just whack a bottle episode in a season that’s only three episodes long. The obvious solution to this is easy – just don’t have character episodes.
“Or!” the (three) writers screamed, “Ooooor! We could have three character episodes! A whole season of them! It’ll be brilliant!”
Season three isn’t perfect. They took a lot of risks, some of which paid off and some which didn’t. But from a narrative perspective, I really liked this season. While  still heavily influenced by the work of Conan Doyle, none of these stories are based directly on the source material. I loved the way each episode nodded to the canon in more subtle, thematic ways. In particular, “Sign of Three” did a pretty great job of feeling like “The Sign of the Four” while simultaneously being nothing like it at all.
I think they’ve given themselves some longevity with this season. The breakneck pace wasn’t going to last forever. They’ve laid the foundation for things to come and hopefully we’ll be reaping the rewards down the track. Even if it takes a whole decade for them to make season four.
Community: season five
I’ve spent a lot of time earnestly defending season four of Community. Not because I loved it (I didn’t) but because I think that placing the weight of a whole program on the shoulders of one person (and then blaming every problem on their absence) is kind of silly. I get the feeling there was a lot of things that impacted on last year’s season and we’ll probably never know what all of them were. Plus, it wasn’t bad television, it was just bad Community. I can’t help thinking that if the main criticism of something is that it’s trying too hard to be itself, things could be a lot worse.
Having said all that, how great is it that season five doesn’t suck? If you’re one of those people who abandoned ship somewhere in early season four – power through. Season five has already made me cry twice, once from laughter and once from emotions. It’s restored a lot of the character nuances and refreshed jokes that I thought were beyond salvation. It’s great. Hopefully they can maintain it and this isn’t just the dead cat bounce before the collapse (bam! an economy joke).
Doctor Who: The Time of The Doctor
My thoughts on the Christmas special can be found here.
Things that came out ages ago but which are on Netflix
Peep Show: seasons one and two
We started watching Peep Show a couple of months ago and, I’ll be honest, there’s more sex than I was expecting. Also more drugs. Let’s be honest, I had no idea what Peep Show was before I started watching, which is very clear from the first two sentences in this paragraph. If you, like me, appreciate jokes about World War II slightly more than you probably should, this is the show for you. We watched season one is about three days, while still fitting in episodes of New Girl in between.
New Girl: season one
Is there anyone who doesn’t secretly kind of like Zooey Deschanel? Except that no one really wants to admit it because somewhere along the line she became synonymous with manic pixie dream girls and that’s kind of a weird thing? Honestly though, I can’t help liking her because she was the best Trillian.
Basically what I’m saying is that New Girl is pretty good and you should maybe watch it if you like things that are fun and easy to watch and occasionally really super funny. I like it a bunch.

I’m now taking TV recommendations for 2014, if there’s anything you think I’d like. 

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year