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Erin Watches: Medium, The Good Wife, The West Wing, and more September 1, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches, Fandom, Personal.
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Going through my music collection in alphabetical order, instead of cherry-picking a playlist of songs I want to hear…there’s a lot of these that I wonder “why do I even have this??”

Had to drop Medium. There was plenty to like about it — protagonist was cool, I liked that she had kids and they interacted in age-appropriate ways with her work, I liked that there was a general population of psychic people she would run into once in a while (even though they’re still too rare for the general public to buy the idea).

Buuuut the crimes got too gory for me to stomach. (See also: why I will never pick up Hannibal.)

On the plus side: I mainlined The Good Wife recently, and, wow, that was so great.

It’s about a lawyer married to a politician, and those two spheres of her life interact like The West Wing hybridized with Boston Legal — incorporating good parts of each. So much competence porn! With a female lead! (Who has female friends!)

Bonus: she’s an atheist, and it’s so well-portrayed. It’s low-key, no soapboxing or strawman arguments about it, but when the topic comes up, it’s there. And she’s not guilted about it — the narrative doesn’t act like she’s less moral because of it, and she’s not deep-down Yearning For Something To Believe In.

The supporting cast is great. The ensembles of judges/recurring clients/opposing lawyers, all with their signature quirks and weirdnesses. (“I’m just a simple Michigan girl, you’ll have to talk me through this…”) (“In your opinion?”)

Chloe from Don’t Trust The B—- in Apt 23 guest-starred (as a client) as the moderator of an Ashley-Madison-type website, which is perfect.

Vague spoilers for Season 5: I love the big twist midway through. So many shows save that kind of Shocking Twist for a season finale, and if they tease “tonight: someone will die!!” in an earlier episode, it’ll be a throwaway character or otherwise not a big deal. This show, no, they went there — unambiguously, in a way there was no going back from — and gave themselves the whole rest of the season to explore the fallout. Not to mention, the will-they-or-won’t-they tension up until that point had been such a stock arc — but how many series have pulled this in the middle of it?

(I should say that I liked the character, this isn’t about any animosity towards them, it’s just, wow, that was good storytelling.)

Finished my West Wing rewatch. Still good. Smart and funny, CJ should run everything, and my Josh-and-Donna feelings are still right there the second time around.

Although, wow, did season 7 ever drag. It’s like the Daily Show: a lot of it can be re-watched, but once you get deep into an election season it’s just tiring, because so much of the original interest came from tension over who was going to win. The debate episode is the only one I flat-out skipped.

Plus, the main characters were scattered across the country and everyone was fighting. So that was draining and unappealing.

I do want to praise “Noel” for being no-less gut-wrenching even when you knew where it was going. (And when you knew it was one of many, many points/events/reveals that would almost never come up again.)

Tried to watch both Alpha House and Veep, hoping to find some more of the same magic.

No luck. Neither one is as smart, which would be fine since they’re both supposed to be straight-up comedies, except neither one is all that funny, either =/

Also gave up on Diabolik Lovers, because I was sold on “heroine has dark romantic/sexual tension with bad-for-you-but-so-hot vampire boys” and got “the vampire boys are just kinda mean with no appeal, and it’s hard for the heroine to have tension with anyone when she has all the characterization of a cardboard cutout.”

It’s like I was promised a show with seven Jareths, and got seven Edward Cullens. This isn’t what I ordered, waiter! Send it back to the kitchen.

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Comments»

1. JustMeMike - September 2, 2015

As it happens I am watching The West Wing for the first time now. I starting at the beginning and am now up to Season 03 Episode 08. But the episode called Noel was indeed a standout for me.

I absolutely will never ever forget the exchange between Josh and Stanley with the double references about not being the paper boy. If ever there was something to be held up as an example of brilliant writing – this would have to included.


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