Shows Gone Before Their Time

I’ve been spending a lot of time, usually before bed when I can’t sleep, watching the bounty of programs that are available for free on my Kindle Fire via my Amazon Prime account.

It started a few months ago with Arrested Development, a show that I had somehow missed in the Dark Ages when I lacked television. By the time I did get cable, it was already loved by fans and critics but not watched enough for Fox’s wants at the time. After tearing through the four seasons, I am glad that I caught up with it. I am actually looking forward to the planned movie and truncated season, even if it does end up as an exclusive on Netflix. Hopefully, by the time that the Bluths get back together on film, some other company owns Netflix (ahem… hello Amazon!) so I can watch the show in all its glory.

The great Arrested Development was followed by a series that I caught half of on television, the Jason Lee vehicle My Name is Earl. I have liked Lee since I first saw him as Banky Edwards in Chasing Amy, and when the show first came around, I was glad that he had something of an opportunity on television. Throw in Ethan Suplee, also from some Kevin Smith films (“Why can’t I see the sailboat?”) and it was comic gold. Even Jaime Pressly had some lovable moments.

Unfortunately, the show seemed to lose its way after (spoiler alert!) Earl went to jail for Joy cuz of some lame third strike law.* But it really started to pick up steam again after Earl redeemed himself after the (spoiler alert!) coma caused by Billie. And just when it was getting good, they end the last episode on a cliffhanger, with questions that will only be answered by someone in an alternate world, like when Futurama folks had to act out the final episode on “Single Female Lawyer” to avoid destruction by Lrrr and Ndnd of Omicron Persei 8.

*As a quick-ish aside, the law in fictional Camden County was probably the most inept police force since Barney Fife walked the street of Mayberry. How does Randy qualify for a job as a prison guard in what appears to be a maximum security prison? WTF?

After the disappointment of the Earl finale, I moved onto a relatively shorter series, but one that I had caught the first few episodes when it aired originally. Aaron Sorkin‘s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip might have just been a little ahead of its time, though after the failure of Sports Night, maybe he should have just gave up. Similar in structure to 30 Rock, which is a much better show IMHO, it features the “behind the scenes” action of a Saturday Night Live show on a fictional network. It was cancelled after miserable ratings towards the end of its first season, and ultimately ran off the last few episodes in the dead air that is June. The show was promising though the 19-part (high estimate) finale seemed. Like, It. Would. Not. End. It would have been interesting to see where the show ended up going in a future season, but maybe it will ultimately work better as a single season story arc.

Lately, I have been watching The Tudors, primarily because I never saw it due to its run on Showtime. While I don’t know a lot of European history, Henry VIII was always an interesting character, divorcing himself from the Catholic Church as well as numerous wives…at least the ones he didn’t decapitate. I must admit that one reason I have been enjoying the show is Natalie Dormer, the actress that plays Anne Boleyn. She’s cute, even if she does constantly make funny faces. Watching The Tudors has prompted me to consider writing a miniseries-type show called The Lincolns, though it would probably less sex and nudity and more melancholia. A perfect show for AMC to run after Breaking Bad ends its run next year. Better get writing…

Until next time…

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