Penny Dreadful. “There were all the great fictional characters thrown together: Dr. Frankenstein, his monster, and the Bride ... Dorian Gray ... Dr. Jekyll ... The Wolfman ... Dracula and Dr. Seward and Mina Harker and Van Helsing and Renfield ... I half expected Abbott and Costello to show up. But in all of this, Eva Green rose above the rest. She was the best thing about a very good show.” Looking back, I think Penny Dreadful might have been more than just a "very good show".
Rectify. “The best show currently on TV (The Americans is between seasons). Its glacial pace turns away most viewers ... it’s a gift that creator Ray McKinnon has been given the chance to tell the story in full, given the poor ratings. Recently, I decided the show reminded me of soap operas, where it takes months to resolve anything. Except I don’t expect things to be resolved on Rectify. I can only hope that sometime in the future, people catch up with it on streaming, and kick themselves for missing out in the first place. Aden Young, the unknown-to-me star, is as good as anyone, week after week. And this is what Abigail Spencer did before Timeless. If you actually want to take my advice, this is the show to start with.” Since I wrote this, Rectify’s series finale has been shown. There was more resolution than I expected, but even then, it was very much in tune with how Rectify worked. As Aden Young as Daniel said, “I’m cautiously optimistic.” I’ll emphasize this point one last time: Rectify is one of the best series to ever appear on television.
Shameless. “Showtime always lets their shows run for too long. That would seem to be a problem here, but somehow, Shameless is still very good. The changes in the characters over the years are believable (at least within the cockeyed world of the show), Emmy Rossum deserved more than one of those awards named after her, and I’m glad it’s still on. Oddly, the least-interesting character is the one played by William H. Macy, the de facto star. Macy is excellent, his character is not.”
Soundbreaking. Terrific documentary series about music recording. Serves as a history of the music, and covers many bases. Especially good on the ways advances in technology led to an expansion of artistic possibilities. I could see this being used in the classroom, but it’s not nearly as dry as that might sound. If the subject interests you at all, I suspect you’ll be enthralled.
The Strain. “Another zombie show, this one doesn’t try for overarching significance, which for me means it’s better than The Walking Dead. I care about the characters, and there’s some good acting here, but this isn’t a classic.” I’d add that you won’t find The Walking Dead in these TV 2016 posts ... I quit watching after the recent season premiere.
Penny Dreadful Season 3 trailer:
Sneak peak for Season Four of Rectify:
Shameless Season Seven trailer:
Scene from Soundbreaking:
The Strain Season 3 promo: