I answered the door and Walter White was standing there. This is the first year that I experienced watching Breaking Bad with others on Twitter and the amount of wonderful commentary and humour that has come from this has been terrific. Twitter has given us the platform to experience a show with others on the other side of the world in a way that forums could never do. Though the perils of the internet means that you sometimes have to be careful to avoid spoilers but it helps when people express how wonderful a finale is just by using the phrase ‘holy shit.’ Breaking Bad certainly had that kind of finale and with just one more season to go you’ve got to wonder where Walt can go from here and who will make it to the end. The cast is all excellent but Aaron Paul is now the emotional heart of the show and shone in this role this year.
Community got put on hiatus and Twitter exploded. Seeing this news hit the Twitter timeline meant that my feed exploded with expletives from many. Yes it makes business sense for NBC to try something different and Community isn’t a ratings champion but as with all passionate fans the response was big and has produced some amazing ‘Save Community’ campaigns. I’m just hoping that The Soup continues to have weekly appearances from the Community cast to give us our fix in the new year and that we get a fourth season of Community not just for us the viewer but so the characters can finish their degrees. The show is ambitious and has a tremendous amount of heart that was shown in episodes such as “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,” “Paradigms of Human Memory” and “Remedial Chaos Theory.”
The breakup of a friendship in The Good Wife was way more painful than any romantic breakup on TV this year. The Alicia/Kalinda ‘breakup’ was more devastating than the possible divorce for Alicia and Peter and it is a testament to the writers of The Good Wife that they have created such a strong female friendship in the cutthroat legal and political world of the show. The absence of this friendship in season 3 and the break in the tension in last week’s episode has made Alicia and Kalinda the will they/won’t they of the show and it is so refreshing to see this from a non-romantic perspective.
Boardwalk Empire pulled an incredibly bold and brave move in the season finale. Boardwalk Empire is one of those shows that has been criticised for looking great but not quite delivering in the emotional level; I have not been one to necessarily agree with this but season 2 has definitely delivered on the emotional front. This is not just down to the impact of the finale but is thanks to the predicament that Nucky has been put in this season. There are still some characters I would like to see more of including the excellent (and possibly my favourite character on TV at the moment) Richard Harrow and Chalky White. I could also listen to Rothstein talk about gambling for an entire episode but that is probably just me right?! Where Terrence Winter will be taking us for season 3 is unclear after that ending but I sure can’t wait for it.
A good vampire turned bad in The Vampire Diaries. Stefan Salvatore went from romantic hero to blood junkie to no humanity from the end of season 2 and continuing through season 3 so far. This could have been an Angel to Angelus story like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer but luckily TVD is not a retread of that classic (and one of my all time favourite shows). Instead this transformation has taken time and has certainly been aided by the brilliant and dastardly Klaus, though there is clearly a part of Stefan that would like to lose his humanity to forget and not feel all the pain of the suffering he has inflicted. This has also given Paul Wesley an extensive new playbook which you can see he is really relishing and whilst I am a big fan of the romantic Stefan there is something so much more fun about this darker and snarkier version so hopefully he will be here for some time to come.
Fringe continued being a great blend of science fiction stories infused with humanity. No the ratings aren’t perfect and Peter ceasing to exist at the end of season 3 was a bold move that became problematic for the start of season 4. One thing that is clear is that Anna Torv is doing a fantastic job of playing both versions of Olivia (or is that 3 versions now?) and John Noble continues his stellar work as Walter Bishop who has become even more unhinged this season. Since Peter has returned I have enjoyed the friendship that he has struck up with new regular Lincoln Lee as they are both in love with the same woman, but not the same woman really. The recent episode “And Those We Left Behind” touched on themes of loss and how science can try and change the past that we have seen before in previous favourite episodes such as “Tulip” and “Marionette” and it is why Fringe is still a must watch show.
After it was announced that Ewan McGregor had been cast in HBO’s adaptation of The Corrections, I decided to watch the last time McGregor graced the small screen back in 1997. McGregor guest appeared in the season 3 episode of ER “The Long Way Around” which saw him playing the part of Duncan, a convenience store back robber that ends up in way over his head as it turns into a hostage situation:
McGregor as you can see here is rocking his A Life Less Ordinary hair which seems somewhat influenced by Britpop.
The episode was one of the rare spending most of the time outside of the hospital affairs which were always good fun because they were used sparingly. This time it was Carol (Julianna Margulies) who was the focus as she has been suspended but work can’t stay away for too long, and she has to put her medical skills into practice after people are shot during the robbery attempt. Showing that a convenience store is quite a useful if not ideal place to treat a gunshot victim Carol manages to use a variety of products to treat the injured. These include but aren’t limited to: duct tape, straws, plastic bags, vodka, a screwdriver, nail scissors and tampons.
The whole ordeal shows that even though Carol has recently messed up at work in the biggest possible way, she still has the expertise and the resolve to deal with the emotional baggage of hostage takers, gunshot victims, distraught/crying people, a constant ringing phone and a terrified kid. That’s because Carol is awesome. See even Ewan McGregor thinks so:
It doesn’t end well with this nice stroll unfortunately and even after Carol’s best efforts, not all make it through this episode. Carol somehow doesn’t end up with any blood on her cream coat which is a miracle in itself.
Not all the action takes place outside of the hospital and that is where we end the episode. Kerry Weaver shows some early kindness and tells Carol that she is missed which allows Carol to reinforce what the viewer already knows- she loves her job. We also get to see Doug being Doug which gives me an excuse to screencap this:
So thanks to that Ewan McGregor news I watched this awesome episode of ER again and got to see Julianne Margulies being as fantastic as ever. It reminded me why Nurse Hathaway was such a good character long before the now equally brilliant Alicia Florrick came to TV screens in The Good Wife.