Friday’s High Five is back…and today we’re talking television.

Friday's High Five

I watch way too much television.  No matter how many things I leave over on my To-Do List every day, I always find the time to watch TV.  Some people need to workout, meditate or have a glass of wine to end their day.  I need TV.

5 Things I'm Not Loving About TV Right Now, series, Netflix

I watch TV every single night before I go to bed no matter how tired I am and recently I’ve been less than pleased with the scope of my nightly entertainment because:

1. The worst series finale in history hit the small screen this week.


“Revenge” has been on the air since 2011 and even though it has been hitting the skids since about Season 2, I couldn’t stop watching.  I wasn’t attached to the show because Emily Van Camp was so captivating (she wasn’t) or that I needed a weekly reminder that women over 50 could look like Madeline Stowe (she’s 56) or that there were such evil characters (I’m sorry but most villains pale in comparison to Dan Scott from One Tree Hill).  I kept thinking the show would get better but it never, ever did.

Revenge, ABC, Emily Van Camp, Madeline Stowe, Gabriel Mann

I continued to watch via Hulu* mostly as background noise when I needed to do tasks I didn’t like (cooking, cleaning, laundry etc) and even though the story lines became more and more ridiculous, I always wanted to see the outfits that Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann) was wearing.

“Revenge” had gone so far off course from it’s original storyline that the series finale should have been expected to be the turd that it was.  However, I’m still in shock from just how bad the depths of awful went. I won’t give away any spoilers but I truly believe that this show might have had the worst ending to a series ever!  If you disagree, let me know.

2.   Message to Women: Happiness = Be under 30 years old and have a hot boyfriend.

We all know how prized youth culture is but I’m not loving the messaging I’m seeing toward women over 30 right now.  For example, the show “Younger”  is not doing women (or Brooklyn, for that matter) any favors.

Younger, Sutton Foster, TV Land, Debi Mazar, Hilary Duff

Younger (TV Land, Tuesdays)

“Younger” (Tuesdays, TV Land) is a show by Darren Star (Sex and The City) starring Sutton Foster as Liza, a 40 year old recently divorced mother of a college aged child who undergoes a make-over to appear younger (she says she’s 26) to land a job in the NYC publishing industry.  Liza’s best friend Maggie (Debi Mazar) is in on the ruse but is there to help her friend get back into being a single woman taking advantage of life in New York City.  Liza’s new “Younger” life starts off well – a cool new job,  a hot 20-something new boy-toy (an Adam Levine-like, Nico Tortorella) and a 20-something work bestie (Hilary Duff ) who helps Liza learn the ropes and manage the scary and old (aka 40-something) boss lady (Miriam Schor).

I was excited for this show.  Age (and time) were used very well in VH1’s Hindsight and since Darren Star has a history of doing glitzy, guilty pleasure shows really well (SATC, 90210, Melrose Place etc), I was sure that “Younger” was going to be great….except that it wasn’t.  Instead this is a show that seems to give the message that every woman over the age of 29 (or who has taken time off to be a stay-at-home parent) is ready to be put out to pasture.  The idea of “with age comes wisdom” is not well highlighted on this show.

I took issue when Liza did not know a thing about cell phones, texting and social media.  Just because someone has been married (and living in the suburbs) and/or hasn’t been in the workforce in awhile, it doesn’t mean that they are an absolute Luddite!  Unfortunately, the digs don’t end there.

Yes, Liza seems more mature than other 26 year olds but the fact that the character often has to dumb herself down in order to fit in with her new friends and be acceptable at work, is disheartening.  It also seems that a woman can’t truly be complete when she’s single.  It seems that television believes that a woman is not fully be successful unless there’s a hot and younger boy toy involved.  Said Boy-Toy also has to be fully enamored and make a point to either overlook age as a factor in the relationship (much like on Bravo’s “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” whose season finale was disappointing as well) or make a point to talk about the future (“like in our 40’s”) often.

Sure, it’s been fun to see Hilary Duff curse and not be the Disney star of yesteryear.  We’ve missed Debi Mazar since “Entourage” (who else can’t wait for the movie) but the cliche of having her play a lesbian artist living in Brooklyn is just too much.  The cliches don’t end there – the clothes to make Liza “younger” must have been taken from the Forever 21 front window, big boss at the publishing house is definitely channeling the Miranda Priestley character from “The Devil Wears Prada”, the Boy-Toy is a tattoo artist and the many references to Brooklyn being the hot place to be is just too over the top.  I’m sure those that love Cross Fit won’t be happy to see their fitness love being ridiculed either.

I really wanted to like this show but I just don’t.  It’s been renewed for another season so if it improves, someone let me know.

3.  The “good” binge shows are not living up to the hype.

I’m a binge television watcher (as evidenced by this vintage post – 15 Bingeworthy TV Shows).  Even before the days of Netflix releasing an entire season of a new show at once, I used to binge watch shows.  Jay and I spent one New Year’s Eve watching a few seasons of “24” (we gave up early) and “The Shield” (a series I watch over and over again). Now, when Netflix releases their new shows, I focus and watch each episode until I get to the end.

The only full series I’ve loved this year has been Transparent [HD]* (Amazon) with Jeffrey Tambor.  If you haven’t seen it, the link will give you access to the first episode for free (totally worth it)!  I wish that these highly anticipated shows lived up to their hype this year:

“House of Cards” Season 1 was so good, there were nights that Jay and I watched multiple shows until deep until the night.  Season 2 was not as good (IMHO) and Season 3 just sucked.  Yup, I said it.  I didn’t like HOC S3 even a little bit.  I think Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are both excellent in the show but the story lines never really hooked me this season.  I definitely won’t be back for S4.

I also might be the only person who couldn’t get into “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.  Let me preface by saying that I didn’t enjoy “30 Rock”, “Parks and Recreation” or “The Office”.  I like dry humor but for some reason, none of these shows clicked with me.  I gave TUKS 4 episodes and then I was done.  If I’m really off the mark here, I’d love to know.

I didn’t love Season 2 of “Orange Is The New Black” but I am sort-of looking forward to Season 3 on June 12th though.


4.  Some good shows are approaching “Jump The Shark” status.

Television shows often reach a point where they just seem to run out of steam.  It’s sad but it happens (except in the case of NBC’s “Parenthood”) and on the following shows, the writing is on the wall:

  • “Grey’s Anatomy” killed Derek Shepard and of course, put Amelia and Owen (the only 2 major characters without love interests) together.  Grey’s has legacy status but I’m not sure that Meredith Grey, Karev and Dr. Webber being the only 3 original characters left are enough to really keep me interested for much longer.
  • WTF is going on withScandal”?!?  The whacked out Olivia kidnapping and black market bidding for her return?  How do you tease having Henry Ian Cusick on the show and not make him a regular?!?  I can’t keep up with the Mellie-Fitz and Olivia-Jake thing at all.  I used to love Cyrus and David but now I don’t even care.  Quinn, Abby and Huck have all spun out on these weird tangents.  All I can say, is thank you Shonda Rimes for putting Paul Adelstein and George Newbern on screen.  This is another show that I have on alert.
  • James Spader has always been a captivating actor and he was the reason people watched NBC’s “The Blacklist” last year.  Even though Spader was a far cry from the Steff of “Pretty In Pink”,  watching him as the smart and charismatic Raymond Reddington was always entertaining.  This season however, the Reddington charm isn’t enough to overcome some of the characters and the odd story lines – the character of Elizabeth (Megan Boone) has become less tolerable and it was nice to see Diego Klatenhoff (formerly of “Homeland”) but I keep wondering what happened to the drug problem his character had earlier this season?  I used to watch this show because I wanted to know the connection between Reddington and Elizabeth but now I can’t decided whether I occasionally watch so I can hear Henry Lennix speak (we’re talking James Earl Jones Jr voice here), to see Ryan Eggold exhibit some transformational acting or to see what areas of Brooklyn they try to pass off as Washington DC.  Bottom line: Unless this show reveals something juicy enough to keep me interested, my attention is about to go elsewhere.

5.  An untimely end for shows with more stories to tell.

  • The end of a television era is coming to an end this week with the series finale of  “Mad Men” this Sunday.  This show was definitely groundbreaking – the style, writing, acting and even the historical facts woven into the story lines made this show a mass favorite.  I’ll admit that there have been times that I’ve felt that the story line has gone over my head or that I haven’t enjoyed a direction a character has taken (Pete Campbell’s recent turn puzzles me) but I still think that “Mad Men” is one of the best shows I’ve seen in years.  This is definitely a show that people will likely watch over and over again to analyze for clues and hidden subtexts.  Thank you Matthew Weiner and company for a show well done.  I will definitely miss this program.
  • After I finished “Downton Abbey” (PBS)  this past season, I was wistful for another an English period piece.  I heard great things about “Call The Midwife” (PBS) so I gave it a shot and quickly fell in love.  I binge watched 3 seasons via Netflix and then quickly caught up with the most current episode only to find out that the season ends next week!  Set in London’s East End in the 1950’s, the women of this show exemplify strength and courage even at time when women were most definitely treated as the fairer sex.  Not every character is exceptionally likable (I didn’t care for the main character, Jenny Lee) but “Call The Midwife” is definitely a show that is worth watching.  It will be hard to wait for the Christmas Special in December and Season 5 to come in 2016.

What television show are you loving or hating right now?

Disclosure:  This is NOT a sponsored post.  I just felt the need to share my thoughts on the current state of TV.  However, the Hulu link is an affiliate link so if you sign up for Hulu via the link above, I will receive 2 free weeks.  If you sign up, thanks!  If you already have Hulu, don’t you LOVE it?