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There ends another season of (rather good!) mind-sucking entertainment.

For the first time in a long time most of my favorite TV shows actually got renewed for another season. Probably because most of what I saw was quite good.

Of the shows that were canceled only ‘Dracula’ and ‘Almost Human’ really had potential.

‘Dracula’ ended it’s overly clever run leaving us poised for a more traditional “Dracula” legend in the following season that will never come. The whole steam-punk, Dracula as a tortured soul thing just ran its course. Come on, Dracula is a blood-soaked BAD-guy, remember those? And that’s what we all tuned in for. C’est la vie.

‘Almost Human’ boldly went to where sci-fi has gone before, but did it in a funny and often heartfelt way. The pairing of a burned-out human cop with a just slightly crazy android cop was a fresh take. And you just gotta love the ‘Blade Runner’ references they kept shoving down our throats. Anyway, if ‘Firefly’ was any lesson learned, air the shows in the intended order and leave the plots alone. ‘Almost Human’ failed because the show-runners re-jiggered and re-crafted the series to meet the needs of the network, yeah like that ALWAYS works.

Almost forgot about ‘Crisis’. It started out clichéd bad. But has turned into a nasty and rather clever piece of TV show thrills. Can’t fault any series that brings in Fred ‘Hunter’ Dryer in as a sociopathic murderous henchman–so evil cool.

Revolution
All Dead, All Dead

And ‘Revolution’ is dead, finally and thank god. A couple of funny lines about contemporary social media can’t make up for almost two years of people walking around in circles, accomplishing NOTHING. How the hell can Aaron be so rotund for a man whose walked literally hundreds of miles over the last year while basically eating only berries and twigs?

Returning series fared really well. The best remained the best and the good didn’t get must worse.

To be honest, I’m getting a little sick of ‘Castle’. The show has done a decent enough job of remaining creative and keeping the characters evolving and the show fairly fresh. But we really need a new dynamic, new settings, new something/everything. How about one final season to wrap everything up with dignity. If Castle and Beckett every actually get married I can’t see ‘Castle’ having legs for much longer. And if they don’t get married I can’t see ‘Castle’ having legs for much longer;)

I simply got bored with ‘Once Upon a Time’, so I’m refraining from judgment, I wanted them to go all dark, and they insisted on keeping it Disney family safe. Once they escaped evil Peter Pan I figured that would be a good time to say my farewell. After all, a man’s only got so much time to waste in his life.

Person of Interest
Let “Root” take the lead

‘Person of Interest’ pulled out all stops for Season Three. With new bad guys, new good guys, new threats, and an ever evolving serialized approach things are getting more and more intriguing as time goes on. Any show that brings in Amy Acker to kick-ass can do no wrong in my books. Jonathan Nolan needs to replace J.J. Abrams as the go-to-guy for new TV series.

Holding out on ‘Bates Motel’, ‘The Americans’ and ‘Veep’ for unfettered full-season viewing–just didn’t have the time to pursue these gems(?) week-to-week.

But, ‘Hannibal’ returned as a bloody treat. Why no one watches this show is a complete mystery. Holy crap the mind f**king going on this season with Will and Hannibal’s role reversal early on and then they “partner” up. Letting us know how it ends BEFORE the season started was a brilliant stroke. And yeah, it gets a Season Three. Yay!

‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Arrow’ succeeded this year, as well. ‘Dead’ is perhaps the most depressing show I’ve ever seen on television, millions of people tune in every week to watch their favorite characters lose their lives, lose their soul, or just plain get eaten by zombies (or humans?). It doesn’t really evolve as a show, it just slowly bleeds out. Good stuff, good stuff…

‘Arrow’ had a very strong second season. Barring the awkwardly forced ‘The Flash’ character appearances, most of the season was tightly scripted and epic crafted, like a Shakespearean tragedy played out over 22 episodes. “League of Assassins”, “Deathstroke”, and more deaths than even ‘The Avengers’ could muster. ‘Arrow’ shows us that DC is actually the DARK comic universe. One week into the life of Oliver Queen and Tony Stark would hang himself. Of course, Stark is a genius whose easily able to out think most obstacles, and Queen is NOT! Anyway…

‘Game of Thrones’ is still giving us great television. But, without central conflicts/wars it’s wandering off the road a little. We watch all these desperate, greedy people scrounge and claw their way to a throne that any sane person wouldn’t even want to sit upon. But at least we get lots of betrayal, brutality, and boobage. Wish “winter would just get here for pity’s sake”;)

Justified‘ had an OK season, that really did a great job of setting up its last season next year. Forget Raylan, give me an entire show surrounding just Boyd Crowder and his dipsh*t sidekick Dewey Crowe.

24
Jack (and Chloe) are Back!

And ’24’ is back and Jack Bauer is kicking ass. Believable? Hell No! And I just don’t care. At its best ’24’ is stellar entertainment, at its worse, ’24’ is stellar entertainment…that makes no sense;)

‘Continuum’ has had a decent start, going more hardcore sci-fi/time travel paradoxes and such. Just getting kinda of bored with the whole evil corporations must die to save the world preaching–if this is going to happen its going to happen in the good ole “greed is good” US of A. NOT Vancouver, Canada, eh?

‘Elementary’ also had a few surprises this season. But, I’m beginning to see the limitations for any writing staff trying to make Sherlock Holmes seem like a genius for 24 episodes. Writing about a genius is a far cry from actually being a genius. Holmes is seeming more like that eccentric uncle who tells the family to eff-off each Christmas before running off to his tool shed to conduct his “experiments”.

“Grimm” is just spinning its wheels. No character evolution at all. In fact I think the show is de-evolving. Started out all dark, with Nick getting all “zombiefied”, but then they just dropped that whole sub-plot and returned to their “wesen of the week” format. Really? Is Portland, Oregon the most screwed up place to live? Makes “Sunnydale” seem almost normal:)

For new shows that SUCCEEDED, well ‘Agents of SHIELD‘ had a great finish leading into what’s bound to be an epic Season Two. Marvel Universe on TV can’t be a bad thing, right?

‘Masters of Sex’ showed us that a show about sex doesn’t have to be dirty, but where’s the fun in that. A very well-written, well-played, and well-produced comedy/drama giving us perhaps more insight into our modern world than the sexually ignorant and repressed world of 1950s America.

Fargo
Strangers on a Train, pt. 2

Gotta to mention that there show ‘Fargo’. Might not see a Season Two as the ratings have seriously dropped off. But this is perhaps the best new serialized crime show since ‘Justified’ debuted. Billy Bob Thornton steals the crown away from Boyd Crowder as THE Bad-Guy we love to hate the most. Awesome stuff. Even though most of us don’t really talk like that, don’t cha know?

The CW continues its run of youthful, but cool TV in ‘The 100′. I was dubious about the premise, aren’t those “prisoner” children ever so preened and pretty? But the “lord of the flies” nuclear forest premise is working. And the BSG vibe I’m getting from the “adults” left on the dying station floating around Earth is bleak and ever-so-cool.

Can’t forget the awesomeness that is ‘Sleepy Hollow‘. Eagerly anticipating more Abigail/Crane adventures next year. The headless horseman was just the beginning, so much witchcraft/Colonial America/Freemasonry/conspiracy goodness. Now extra-larged with more episodes for Season Two:)

This summer has a few things of interest to tide us over.

Another season of ‘Under the Dome’, who cares? The last season of ‘True Blood’. Awesome…its last season:)

‘Penny Dreadful’ is one beacon of light–all of the iconic Gothic horror characters wrapped up together. Dark, twisted, and bloody. And Timothy Dalton!

Almost forgot, Season Four of ‘Falling Skies’ looks to be strong. And Guillermo del Toro’s TV adaptation of his vampire novel trilogy ‘The Strain’ begins–totally psyched about this one.

As I’ve said before, genre TV is back and stronger than ever. Most of the best of TV is not sitcom or procedural drama crap. I look forward to more bold new series and more bold new seasons for next year. Without losing any major show of interest this year, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Chad Schulz, May 2014