Happy new year, folks! We hope its treating you well so far. We continue with part 2 of our serialized TV 2012 review, in which we reveal our most memorable moments and reflect on the past 12 months of serialized television.
Please note, the following contains some references to important plot developments from a variety of 2012 seriables.
Most Memorable Moments
Roco: The moment that always makes me smile is THE smile that danced across Carrie Mathison’s face following her narrow escape in the Homeland Season 2 premiere. It encapsulated the daring nature of the character while symbolising her rebirth from the ashes of the season 1 finale. It was a smile that spoke a thousand over-excited words without verbally saying anything. Utterly fantastic.
The conclusion to Person Of Interest‘s first season, with Reese communicating with the Machine, was a moment that scratched the beyond the surface of the show’s intriguing myth arc and left me cliffhanging for sure.
I also have to tip my fedora to Walter Bishop’s dandelion scene‘ at the end of the Fringe season 5 premiere. The kind of imagery that few other show’s currently on the air could achieve, but it worked beautifully.
Mark: The moment the power gets turned back on in Revolution, seeing that helicopter hovering above Charlie and the gang brought back memories of some of LOST‘s best how-the-hell-are-they-going-to-get-out-of-this moments. The moment Miles and Monroe first drew swords was also pretty memorable. Several moments from Fringe spring to mind, including Walter entering his “pocket universe”, his Monty Python-inspired acid trip and the revelation of who Donald is. I also really liked the Warden’s “four match” scene in Alcatraz.
Aria: The entire fifth season of Breaking Bad was definitely a memorable one for me, I didn’t expect it to carry the intensity from Season 4 but it did, and I think the show broke new ground on an artistic level.
Additional Reflections on 2012
Roco: It’s been another year of strong serialized drama which has taken us to some fascinating places with compelling characters. Of course, not everything has worked, but I’ve found most of it enjoyable and all of it interesting. If there’s been an ongoing concern it has been the lack of commitment shown by certain networks to the serialized offerings they’ve happily put on our plates, while baulking at the first dip. You can argue monetization and Nielsen ratings and you’d have a point, likewise not every serial is a golden classic. But it’s still disconcerting the way certain show’s with ongoing storylines are cast aside with the expectation that viewers will tune into their replacements. However much we understand the game, it’s hard not to cringe inside at that. The networks want their piece of the serial pie, to emulate cable, but too often they seem unwilling to stick by them, unprepared to show the kind of dedication that such stories ask of their viewers. Fox’s decision to renew Fringe for a final season deserves credit, though it’s the least that should be expected of any network – to give their stories a chance to properly resolve themselves. Of course, we’re dreaming a bit here, the reality is what it is — just ask Last Resort, 666 Park Ave and Alcatraz (et al) fans.
All that being said, I do feel there’s a greater awareness as to the needs of serialized programming. Creators have endeavored to find clever ways in which to tell continuing stories within the confines of network mandates and networks themselves continue to experiment with ‘cable seasons’ of 12 or 13 episodes which should, in theory, yield tighter storylines and less damaging lowatuses. Again, not everything has worked in 2012, but overall there have been many encouraging signs and fascinating seriables, of which it’s been a pleasure to consume. Let’s see what happens in 2013!
Mark: Once Upon A Time is my most disappointing seriable of 2012, but I’m still a fan of the show, which is exactly why it’s disappointing. It has so much potential but the story feels like they’re making it up as they go along, the rules of the show seem inconsistent, bringing in characters from other story universes haphazardly, and there are some really really awful special effects which look like they belong in a bad fairytale film from the ’50s. That being said, it’s worth watching just for Mr Gold and the story has started to get more interesting. Also it was sad to see Alcatraz go but there were so many parallels to LOST it doesn’t feel like a huge loss, except for characters like the Warden and Hauser.
Aria: Homeland was probably the most disappointing 2012 series for me; midway through, season 2 turned into a mess. I guess from the moment they decided not to kill Brody in the season 1 finale I should have known there was no hope for this character, but then the first 2 episodes of season 2 were really promising. I think the show suffered hard from cornering itself by revealing its cards way too soon. As soon as the CIA learned the truth about Brody, his relationship with Carrie became meaningless, and so the series reverted to 24-esque action scenes and silly cliffhangers. Abu Nazir’s timing in kidnapping Carrie was probably the weakest moment in the series. Hopefully the finale managed to correct some of those fatal mistakes and leave room for improvement.
Jim: As some of you might know, I was (and still am) a huge fan of LOST. The show ended two years ago, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. Fringe has partly filled that gap for me, along with shows like The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones. Of all the shows I watch, those are the ones that come closest to the wild rollercoaster ride that LOST used to be.
All the returning shows have been great, and some of them have made a great comeback after a ”below average” season – Dexter‘s seventh (!) season being the prime example of that. Unfortunately, none of the new shows have really grabbed me. It says a lot that most of the new shows that I did try have already been cancelled. Revolution, Last Resort, 666 Park Ave… None of them were for me. Awake was one show that I did really enjoy, but with the ending we got, I wasn’t all that sad about the cancellation.
Check back tomorrow for part 3 of our serialized TV 2012 review. If you missed it, you can find part 1 here.