Catching Up: Arrow, Revolution, Go On

Oh man, there’s so much good TV out there that I’ve missed out on. Playing the catching up game is taking much longer than I expected it would. Or maybe I’ve just been picking up too many shows along the way. I don’t think I’ve ever been at a point where I’d focus on two or three shows at the same time without almost immediately dropping one of them.

Last time I talked TV shows, I was still catching up on Community and Burn Notice. Unfortunately, Community hasn’t been running for long and has been having some issues in terms of staying on the air. It’s really unfortunate, since Community’s the one comedy show these days that I’m rooting for. It’s one of the sincerest comedies that I can think of in a long while that, instead of ridiculing its subject matter, it lovingly embraces it… and then goes ahead to ridicule its set of fantastic characters in it instead.

Last time I mentioned I’d probably ditch Burn Notice somewhere in season 2. I was right. After a while of watching an episode every day, and then later every other day, episodes started to blend together. The structure started becoming too by-the-numbers to the point I pretty much figured out the timing for the events of the episode before they played out. It was fun while it lasted, and it’s always good to see more Bruce Campbell, but this show just is not for me.

So, what have I been watching lately? Surprisingly, its recent TV shows that are still airing. I usually don’t do this and wait for shows or seasons to finish airing before I get into them so I can decide when I watch them. The only shows where I kept current with last year were Game of Thrones season 2 and The Legend of Korra season 1. And yes, I ended up ditching Game of Thrones right before the end that time for not being green enough.

Right now, as in right this exact moment of writing this blog post, I’m watching Arrow. As in Green Arrow. The DC character in a Smallville-type show. Except unlike Smallville, I actually find Arrow watchable. In fact, I find it more than just watchable, it’s surprisingly good.

 

Maybe it’s because I don’t know anything about the Green Arrow outside of his brief appearance in The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, but something about this show and its presentation just clicks for me. It might be the bow and arrow thing. I’ve always had a massive weakness for archery. It could be that the action scenes and fighting choreography are really good. Or maybe, just maybe, I really just like how he looks like Dawson from Dawson’s Creek when he’s stuck on the island during the flashbacks. Who doesn’t want to see Dawson suffer on an island for 5 years while being tortured?

In any case, Arrow’s been a big surprise for me. I didn’t expect it to be bad, but I didn’t exactly expect to find myself enjoying it as much as I am.

Revolution

Then there’s Revolution. A friend of mine kept urging me to watch it, and at first I wanted to flat-out refuse it because I always wait for seasons to end first. I ended up watching an episode just to see if it was something I wanted to come back to later… And then I was hooked. Just that concept of the power going out globally just really pulled me in. Even with my post-apocalyptic-world-setting-fatigue, I still just really loved the idea of a show where the power just went out and militias started taking over.

Don’t get me wrong, Revolution’s the kind of show where if you give it too much thought, it completely falls to pieces. Questions like: Why are there no bicycles? How come everyone looks so glamorous? How did J.J. Abrams manage to produce lens flare in a world without electricity?

Not that I thought of any of those things while watching the show or anything. But, considering it’s only a new show and still has time to find its roots, I can do my best to overlook these problems in favor of a setting and a few characters I enjoy seeing. Multiple seasons though? I’m not sure if I can stick around that long for this one.

Biggest surprise for me right now is Go On. I’m not a big fan of Friends. in fact, it’s one of my least favorite comedy shows along with Scrubs, but I did always have a soft spot for Chandler. For a few years I’ve always wondered why Joey got his own show over Chandler. One of the weakest characters, right next to Phoebe, managed to get his own spin-off. Then I realize that those two were pretty much the most popular characters of the show and died a little inside.

Go On

Out of all the actors that came out of Friends though, the only one that really struck me as someone who had decent delivery, timing, and could possibly survive comedy outside of the show was Matthew Perry. When I first saw an ad for Go On, I had the feeling it would be, at the very least, a decent show. The ad did its best to hide the actual style and atmosphere of the show, trying to make it look like a much sillier, fast-paced show, hiding pretty much anything that Matthew Perry himself added to it in the fear they might alienate people. The ad kind of reminded me of the time they tried to make The Royal Tenenbaums look like a slapstick film and I evaded that movie for over a decade thinking it was a dumber comedy than it actually was.

Not that Go On is THAT smart. A large part of the initial concept seems to be taken from Community, where a really sarcastic guy gets stuck in a group of people he doesn’t generally like at first but comes to accept and become part of. Except in this case, it’s not a Spanish study group, it’s a support group, and they’re all aware that, for the most part, they’re insane.

What I really like about Go On is that it has a good feeling for comedic timing and delivery. Even when a joke isn’t all that good, it often still works just by the sheer charm of it. Not many shows can pull that off, so I’m willing to give Go On a chance in the long run. Hopefully they’ll find their footing and really run with what they have, because that awkward first-season feeling is still heavily attached to it.

Oh, and don’t tell anyone, but I’m also watching The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Because.

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