Sure, 99% of it is dreck, like the word-guessing program Tam watched last night in which a contestant, given the puzzle, "A STREETCAR NA_ED DESIRE," asked, "Is there an "K?"*
On the other hand, the suburbanite soap/spy thriller The Americans recently wrapped up their most recent season with a very strong finish with the major protagonists as ambiguously murderous and empathetic as ever. Covering the (quite fictionalized) tale of a family of Soviet "illegals" in Washington, D.C during the Reagan years, it adroitly weaves the conflicts between their cover and their espionage/black ops work.
Orphan Black, the American Beeb's medical SF thriller set about five minutes into the future and starring Tatiana Maslany in, at last count, fourteen different roles, five of them central to the story, has just started its fifth and last season. Strong so far, though possibly veering near the edge of the same kind of fantasy that damaged the final years of the otherwise good-fun The Pretender. Still, if any TV show can pull it off, Orphan Black can and I'll just have to see what turns up as the layers of the villain of the piece -- a mysterious organization that calls itself "Neolution" -- are peeled back. So far, vagueness and mystery have served the series well and we'll just have to see how it all holds up as it heads into the grand denouement.
Streaming video-on-demand has left me a lot happier about what's on the TV, turning it from a fat sewer pipe that runs at full throttle if allowed to run at all, intro something more like the books on my shelf (or in my Kindle). Thus tamed, I can mudlark out the shiny parts and avoid most of the rest.
* Presumably there is, in the same universe in which William Burroughs wrote The Named Lunch.
4 weeks ago