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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TV You Might Have Missed (or are missing, or are about to miss...)

Lost is gone. I've accepted the end, and I've dealt with the grief. I've moved on. Amazingly, the TV still works fine. Here's some shows that either just ended, or is ending:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
When the first season of this show ended, I had the sudden realization of just how densely packed the narrative had turned out. This is Shakespeare meets soap opera - plenty of well written drama even in the middle of the blood and boobs. The acting is solid, the production is generally good when it doesn't imitate 300 too much. If you've dismissed this show because of the gratuitous use of nudity, you're missing out.

Though yes, there is plenty of nudity.

I've raved about this show before, but with the recent season finale - I can't help but recommend it again. It just feels like a good, gritty novel playing out on your TV and I'll say it again - Timothy Olyphant was genetically engineered by a secret government agency to play a cowboy. This was one of the most tightly produced first seasons I may have ever seen, the show just hits on all cylinders from the first scene of the first episode and rarely misses a beat until the conclusion.

Happy Town
Having nearly given up on high concept shows in general, I gave Happy Town a bit of suspicion ... though comparisons to the somewhat campy yet utterly fun Harper's Island helped make the case.

The show is good - it takes itself more seriously than Harper's ever did, but the core mystery is unique and engaging. The characters are strong and the writing doesn't try to follow the ensemble formula, but only focusing on characters as they are important to the current plot. Also, they aren't quite as paranoid as certain other shows about giving reveals to the viewer, and the story is an interesting combination of things you know and don't know, and what various characters know and don't know.

Sadly, Happy Town has already been cancelled. I'm hoping we get at least a full first season and something other than a complete cliffhanger - the show deserves it.

Party Down
Available via Starz and Netflix Instant at the moment - this comedy from some of the people originally responsible for Veronica Mars is just over the top excellent. The second season is about to wrap and while we weren't sure where the misfit bunch of wanna-be writers and actors slumming it as caterers would go ... it has only gotten better since the first episode. The show has a low-budget, indie kind of feel - but the writing and acting are top notch. The only downsides of this show is the short length of the season.

What's the rest of the blogosphere watching?

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