Disclaimer: The opinions described in Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog are solely my opinions. Feel free to discuss in the comments below, but please remain civil when sharing differing opinions.
Hey, welcome to Part 2 of my blog looking at my Favorite TV Shows. If you missed Part 1 then you can check it out here.
As you can probably tell from the title, this blog is a little different from the first part. You might even wonder why I would be recommending these Shows if they declined so much during their run. Honestly, I thoroughly loved all of these shows. They were able to grip me with great writing, stories and characters and some of them I would count as my all-time favorite shows. But regardless of how good they were, I just felt that they didn’t maintain the momentum going forward.
I already know that some people will wholeheartedly disagree with me on a few of these shows, and if you have continued to enjoy them then I a very glad. But for me, these shows just lost the spark that had made them so great.
SPOILERS AHEAD! I will try to keep Spoilers to a minimum as I do not want to ruin the shows for you if you want to check them out, but some of the big plot points are where I believe the shows started going downhill.
1) Castle Number of Seasons: 8 Worthwhile Seasons: Seasons 1-4
This police drama follows an unlikely pairing of Murder Mystery Novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Homicide Detective Catherine ‘Kate’ Beckett (Stana Katic). Richard Castle has killed his best selling character in the final novel of the series and is struggling for inspiration to write his next best-seller. At the same time Beckett comes to a crime scene that resembles a murder in one of Castles Novels and brings him in for questioning. Once cleared of the crime, more bodies are found killed in similar fashion to more of Castle’s novels and he offers his services to help in the apprehension of the killer. Castle proves a valuable asset to the team and helps take down the murder. Castle also finds his muse in Catherine Beckett and pulls some strings at the mayors office (he is a big fan after all) and becomes her tag along partner in order to continue to get inspiration for his new novel series whose main character, Nikki Heat, is based on Beckett.
This is another modern day twist on the Sherlock Holmes story, taking a perceptive consultant and making him into a murder mystery writer who has an insight into how murders think as he has to get in their heads to write his stories.
For the debut of the 4th Season, they were playing Seasons 1-3 everyday and I literally got to binge watch Castle as well as catch the new season as it was airing too. I fell in love with the premise and the writing, quickly becoming my favorite show. I loved the mysteries that they created but most of all I loved the Characters, especially Fillion who is amazingly charming and lovable as Castle as well as finding the perfect on screen partner in Katic. And you can really feel the will they won’t they flirtation between the two as Castle is clearly falling for Beckett while Beckett’s guard falls more and more to his charm.
At the end of Season 4, in a culmination of a lot of tension, we see Castle and Beckett finally kiss and seemingly get together at the end of the series. And as amazing as that was, going into Season 5 it unfortunately became apparent that the writers didn’t know how to evolve the story as the dynamic changed between Castle and Beckett, and not for the better. The show also became stale, not really sure if it wanted to change the dynamic of the story or keep the current dynamic that it had up to this point. It seemed to continue like this through Season 6. It started to find it’s footing in Season 7 but apparently too little too late as Season 8 became the last season (thankfully as season 9 was apparently set to go ahead without Stana Katic which would have killed the show anyway).
2) Arrow Number of Seasons: 4 (Season 5 Premiere Date 10/05/16) Worthwhile Seasons: Seasons 1-2
The first great superhero TV show in the Superhero Movie and TV Revolution. The show that inspired 3 other universe sharing TV Shows that have taken over the CW Network.
Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was stranded on an island, believed to have been killed. Found by a ship 5 years later, Oliver has put his rich party boy antics behind him and has come home with a goal to save Starling City. Now trained in multiple fighting styles and an expert archer, Oliver dresses in his green hood and becomes The Hood (and then The Arrow and then The Green Arrow). Along the way he brings more people to his cause; John Diggle (Paul Ramsey), a former Soldier turned bodyguard, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), sidekick archer called Arsenal, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Ollie’s young sister called Speedy, Felicity Smoke (Emily Bett Rickards), expert hacker called Overwatch and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), DA by day and Black Canary by night.They must take on Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), The Dark Archer who wants to bury part of Starling City and rebuild it in his own image and then Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), Deathstroke, a former friend and mentor to Oliver on the island who is saved by a Mirakuru (Miracle) formula and comes back for revenge on Oliver for letting the woman Slade loved die.
Blending a great use of current day stories and flashbacks to his time on the island, Oliver is turned from being a happy go lucky character with strong political beliefs and stances into a darker and brooding character reminiscent of how you may expect Batman to behave. But this re-imagining of Oliver Queen solidified the real world heroism that you could imagine any normal person going through what Oliver and his friends have gone through and becoming these heroes.
Unfortunately for me the Batman analogy was taken to far when the main villains for Season 3 were The League of Assassins and Ra’s Al Ghul who wanted Oliver to be the heir to his throne and become the next Ra’s Al Ghul and in order to take his final step in this he would have to Destroy Starling City. In season 4 we are introduced to a supernatural villain called Damien Dahrk, a former League of Assassins member, but in Season 4 it is the relationship between Oliver and Felicity (Olicity) that takes over everything and turns a pretty good character, Felicity, into the most annoying fictional person ever created.
3) Primeval Number of Seasons: 5 Worthwhile Seasons: 1-3
I only started watching Primeval this year, a full 5 years after the show officially ended. My best friends niece was a massive advocate for it when it first aired and I thought I would check it out for myself.
Primeval centers around Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) who we find 8 years after the believed death of his wife, working alongside his associate Stephen Hart (James Murray). They find themselves called to a strange animal sighting in the Forest of Dean where they, along with intelligent, tech-savvy student Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Temple) and zookeeper Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearitt), find a Gorgonopsid (an ancient creature from the Permian era) and an ‘Anomaly’ which it came through. After the death of the Gorgonopsid, Cutter and his new team are hired by the British Government Home Office under James Lester (Ben Miller) and work alongside Government Liaison, Claudia Brown (Lucy Brown). The find that the Anomalies keep occurring, seemingly at random, and open doorways to different eras in time and letting through threats from the past and the future. It is up to Cutter and his team to identify the creatures that come through and send them back to their own time period with minimal civilian casualties.
We also find Cutter’s wife, Helen (Juliet Aubrey), is actually alive and has spend the last 8 years journeying through the anomalies, seemingly able to navigate them and studying what she finds. Helen wants Cutter to join her but the woman that Cutter once knew seems to be gone and he refuses her offer.
When Anomalies open bringing through future predators and they are inadvertently let through into the past, Cutter and Helen take a team to hunt down and kill the future predators. After believing they have succeeded and losing the rest of their team, Cutter and Helen unwittingly leave baby future predators in the past and return to find that there has been minimal changes, most notably Claudia Brown, who Cutter had been falling in love with, no longer seems to exist and their base of operations has all of a sudden become the ARC (Anomaly Research Center) specifically designed to search for and handle threats from the Anomalies.
The show started with a strong 2 seasons but between the Season 2 end and the beginning of Season 4, so much changed within the show and we are left with only 2 people from the Cutter’s Original team. It became hard to invest in an almost brand new cast with brand new motivations when you are 4 seasons into a 5 season show. What takes place in Season 3 completely kills the character stories that had been such an essential part to the show and we were left to start from scratch with only the main premise remaining.
You can Purchase Seasons 1-5 here.
4) Sherlock Number of Seasons: 3 + 1 TV Special (Season 4 Premiere Date – January 2017) Worthwhile Seasons: 1-2
Hold on, Hold on! Before I get threatening e-mails and the masses start marching to my house with torches and pitchforks in hand, let me explain.
For the few people that don’t know, Sherlock is a modern take on Sherlock Holmes set in 21st Century London and sees Benedict Cumberbatch playing the titular detective and Martin Freeman playing his Constant Associate, Dr. John Watson played by Benedict Cumberbatch and his constant associate John Watson.
Each series is made up of three episodes, each being about an hour and a half in length. This essentially gives us 3 Sherlock Holmes movies as apposed to a full length TV Series. During the 3 season we have seen re-imaginings of “The Woman” Irene Adler, The Hound of Baskerville and of course Professor James “Jim” Moriarty the criminal consultant and the Reichenbach fall.
I started at the beginning of Season 2 and since then fell in love with the show. Seasons one and two were picture perfect modern adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories and the casting for this show is absolutely phenomenal. It is so smartly written and adapted and you will find yourself lost in these amazing mysteries and adventures.
Where it fell short for me was how they handled the return of Sherlock Holmes after his apparent death at the end of Season 2. In the novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle takes the time to explain how Holmes survives his apparent demise of going over the Reichenbach Falls with Moriarty, however, in the show they give some theories that others have of how he could have survived but never take the time to explain how he really survived. And on top of this, the destruction of Holmes reputation is reversed…because reasons. All of which comes across to me as lazy writing as well as a desperate attempt to return things to the status quo for the upcoming season. And the villain who has this store of records and information he is holding to blackmail people, apparently which he can read on his glasses, turns out to all be in his “mind palace”, similar to a construct we see Holmes use in a previous season to access his memory. The villain has all this information in his mind with no physical proof, which means all his blackmail material is his word against the persons, which means he has nothing. What a let down to a lackluster villain.
Hopefully Season 4 will return us to the kind of writing we see in the first two season (primarily the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
5) Doctor Who (2005 Re-Launch) Number of Seasons: 9 + 4 TV specials (Season 10 Premier Date 2017) Worthwhile Seasons: Seasons 1-4
If I wasn’t receiving hate mail for Sherlock then I will undoubtedly receive it for Doctor Who. I also want to say that I adored Doctor Who when it relaunched in 2005 and I actually begrudged putting it on this list as this shows eveolves and changes with new writers and new personalities of Doctor as he regenerates, and although I might not enjoy some versions of the Doctor, it doesn’t mean others won’t.
Doctor Who is a Sci-Fi show based around a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey called The Doctor. He travels through Time and Space in his ship, the TARDIS which stands for Time And Relative Dimension in Space. At current the Doctor is over 2,000 years old and when he is close to death he is able to regenerate which gives him a new body and a new personality. He has also traveled with various companions over all these years, mostly humans from the past, present or future.
Doctor Who originally aired in 1963 and has been of the air for a number of years at various times during that run. After the most recent Hiatus, from 1996 – 2005, the show was rebooted with the premise that he was the last survivor of the Time War between the Time Lords and long running Doctor Who villain, The Daleks.
I was completely engrossed with the show when it relaunched in 2005 which featured Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor. My only recollection of Doctor Who prior to this was seeing the 1996 movie which starred Paul McGann as The Doctor. It quickly become one of my favorite shows and and I was in love the the writing of Russell T. Davies. This loved carried into the next few season where David Tennant became the new Doctor and the show reached new heights of popularity. But for me, the specials were where things started to change as we see Tennant’s Doctor behaving completely out of character compared to his previous seasons for no reason and end with a whimpering “I don’t want to go”. The show then saw Sherlock writer, Steven Moffat take the helm with Matt Smith as our new Doctor. I was not a fan of the writing as Moffat doesn’t believe in sticking to continuity and goes against things that have been set in place just because he wants to, regardless of how it affects the storyline or what sense it has. And due to this I wasn’t a fan of Smith’s Doctor, although under other writing I feel I may have been. Even now, I enjoy the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi immensely but I feel that the damage done to The Daleks, The Cybermen, The Master and other constants in Doctor Who is already un-salvageable.
6) Chuck Number of Seasons: 5 Worthwhile Seasons 1-4
Chuck is a show that I thoroughly enjoyed but a lot of people didn’t seem to enjoy quite as much as it was constantly on the brink of cancellation. I think the show stayed strong and then fumbled in the final season to end the show on a high.
Chuck (Zachary Levi) is about a former Stanford University student turned underachiever. He is incredibly intelligent person but spends his day working in the Nerd Herd of the local Buymore (a fictional version of the Geek Squad in Best Buy). One day he receives an e-mail from ex-best friend and college roommate, Bryce Larkin (Matt Bomer), who now works for the CIA. The e-mail contains a joint CIA/NSA Program called The Intersect which is full of images that are encoded with all of the US Government secrets. These secrets are ingrained into Chuck’s brain and the e-mail erases all traces of itself.
Chuck is then approached by CIA agent, Sarah Walker Yvonne Strahovski), who Chuck falls in love with from the moment he sees her. After a short adventure, and the realization that the only traces of The Intersect that are left is inside Chuck, the CIA and NSA create a team to work alongside Chuck and utilize the Intersect information, which “flashes” whenever Chuck sees and image or hears a word pertaining to the information inside, the team consists of his CIA handler, Sarah Walker and NSA operative Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin).
The series expands in multiple ways including the mystery surrounding Chuck’s Mother and Father and why neither are in his life and we see the Intersect receive an upgrade to not only containing knowledge but also abilities which Chuck is able to use when necessary. We see a rise in Criminal Organizations such as Fulcrum and eventually their mother organization, The Ring and we see Chuck take on International Arms Dealer, Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton). We also see the advancement of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship which, in my opinion, enhanced the show as apposed to Castle and Beckett who I mentioned earlier, which I felt hindered their show.
Unfortunately the show changed a lot for the finale season, t hat mixed with the introduction of lackluster villain Nicholas Quinn (Angus Macfadyen) and an ending that couldn’t be called happy or sorrowful, rather just left you feeling empty to the events of the season, is the sole reason the for me, Chuck definitely makes this list.
You can Purchase Seasons 1-5 here.
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