As usual, I’m sensationally late with my plan to write weekly about what I watch and it is a bit of a mystery to me how I keep forgetting despite actually watching.
Criminal Minds, S10E01 – E04
First of all, I’m amazed the show is on for 10 years now. It really doesn’t feel that way. Season 10 had a great start as far as I’m concerned. I had really nothing against Alex Blake, and I also have nothing against Kate Callahan either. She seems a good fit for the team and I was amused how the introduction was handled. The BAU team sounded just as jaded as the viewers by now – “gah, no, Prentiss doesn’t come back, no matter how much you whine”, “yeah yeah, we have another new team member, how many did we go through again? Oh who cares, let’s move on…”. And everything went on as usual. The IMDB forum is morbidly interested in opinions about Jennifer Love Hewitt’s weight, which is obviously the biggest concern when it comes to a new team member. I checked in shortly after the first two episodes aired, and still ponder my own standing on the issue. (The current status is “why in the world would I care again…?”)
The first cases were a mixed bag, but there was nothing I actively disliked. It felt a bit over the top at times, but that’s nothing new. There have been absurd cases in the past and there will be in the future, and it’s part of the show’s appeal to not deal with the everyday, down to earth cases other shows handle. What should be noted as big plus is the lack of forced romances. The last two seasons were an up and down of personal life stories; Reid’s fanfictionesque phone booth romantic tragedy, Morgan’s rocky relationship, Hotch’s return to the dating scene. I always felt JJ had that inevitable sub plot covered; her marriage with Will was enough and only rarely stood out as annoying. I have hope the family/loved ones plots and scenes will be left to her in the future, and the main focus will go back to unsusal unsubs and sometimes over the top multi-episode or even season arcs.
American Horror Story, S04E01 – E03
To be perfectly honest, I wanted this to fail. I hoped the pilot would be so utterly unwatchable that I would never bother again. And it didn’t. While I’m not as hyped about Twisty as “the scariest clown ever” as IMDB seems to be, I’m interested in all the plots and characters. It only took the pilot to change my mind and want this season to succeed, and I desperately hope American Horror History will not repeat this time. All previous seasons drifted from “amazing” to “what the hell” in the last few episodes, from season 1’s open ended ghost christmas to season 2 leaving various plots unfinished to season 3 wrapping things up disappointingly and derailing characters for no reason halfway through. I really really want season 4 to get it right, but it’s way too early to tell if there’s a chance.
In season 3, I had a very strong preference for Queenie to turn out to be the “hybrid” that would unite the voodoo and the witches. After all, she was a living voodoo doll in the witch coven and it would have been amazing to see her end the war and unite the sides against the witch hunters. Instead, her character suddenly changed for no reason and the outcome of the new supreme was… underwhelming. Now in season 4, I’m not sure who to root for or where which character might go. I like this uncertainty; it keeps things interesting to have no real expectations and it also vastly reduces the risk for disappointment.