Donna C. Terrell

I Was Just Thinkin'

Summer Shows We Hope Will Not Disappoint

Yay, summer’s here! Yet, with the summer comes a drought. The drought of the regular programming you’ve grown accustomed to over the last few months. Like when your childhood best friend moves away, you feel empty inside. What’s a TV-holic to do when there’s nothing to watch?

First, one should actually get out of the house and spend some time with friends and family doing interesting things besides kicking back in front of the flat screen. But, oftentimes, we’re tired because we still have to work, make runs, do laundry and stuff whether it’s summer or not. So TV still remains the zone-out of choice.

With OnDemand and Netflix and even DVDs, you can binge-watch shows. Binge TV watching is a great new phenomenon. I think watching shows back-to-back is cool because you don’t have to hear all the goofy promos and teasers. This week, Someone. Will. Die.

TV seasons are so short now; we’re lucky if we get 20 episodes of a show. Bonanza had 34 episodes in a single season! But that was 50 years ago. And summer shows that were coming on in June are now coming on in March and April, so where does that leave us in July? And I was so looking forward to a summer of Mad Men. I have searched, researched and stumbled up on these shows. Any other suggestions you have will be welcomed.

Here’s what I’m planning on watching:

The Next Food Network Star—This is the only reality show I watch. 10 or 11 Rachel Ray/Guy Fieri wannabes compete for a chance to have their own Food Network show. They’re not as cutthroat as folks on other shows, but they have their moments. The food’s the thing. (June 1st Food Network)

Under the Dome—This will be the second season for this show based on a Stephen King novel. It was kind of interesting, about a small town that’s trapped, well, under a dome. (June 30th CBS)

Extanct—Halle Berry has a show coming out in July, but it’s not peaking my interest as of yet. I’ll watch the first episode because I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi show—good being the operative word. I’m also a fan of Miss Berry. Hmmm, Halle doing the small screen? Well, haven’t seen her in anything else for quite some time. Maybe this will help her career. (July 9th CBS)

Halt and Catch Fire—This is about the start of the PC wars back in the 80s. IBM against Hewlett-Packard, etc. It’s fun seeing the old desktop computers the size of actual desktops, the 70s and 80s cars, and no one has a cell phone grafted to their ear. The three main characters are the usual tech-geeks, and their backstories haven’t yet started to ramp up. The show is Mad Men-slow, and I’m waiting for the moment I get hooked. (June 1st AMC)

Dominion—Archangels Michael and Gabriel at war with each other? Here on earth? This is spiritually disturbing to me on so many levels. But the concept has intrigued me that I’m going to watch the first episode. Like I said, I like a good sci-fi show. We’ll see.(June 19th SyFy)

Murder In First Person—This is actually pretty good! I watched the first episode last week. I like Taye Diggs’ character Terry English, and the fact that his wife is dying makes him interesting. Ann-Marie Johnson does a good job on her deathbed. The show will focus on one case for the whole season. (June 9th TNT)

Chasing Life—I was flipping through the cable guide last week trying to find something to watch, and the title caught my attention. I sat through the entire show about a 24-year old woman, April, who finds out she has cancer. Her renowned-doctor uncle informs her. He’s estranged from the family because he was driving when her father was killed in an accident. April’s mother is starting to date, her sister is a train wreck, she herself just started to date a cutie from the office. As of yet, no one knows about the cancer. That element alone makes it just interesting enough to stick around and see how it all works out. (June 10th ABC Family)

The Last Ship—A pandemic kills off most of earth’s inhabitants and it’s up to the crew of this ship to find a cure. Guess they were out to sea when everything went down. (June 22 TNT)

You can easily catch up on these shows now since most I’ve mentioned have started and only aired 2 or 3 eps. We wait in high hopes for the rest. Anybody got any other suggestions for some good clean TV fun?


There Is None Good! No, Not One!

Here’s what I wrote after the season finale of Scandal:

Why do we like Scandal? Why are we glued to the TV every Thursday, or refuse to watch it in real time as not to miss a single word or action? Those folks ain’t right—not a single one! Let’s break down their character traits, or the lack thereof, shall we?

President Fitzgerald Grant—He’s a killer. He killed a woman in season 2 by cutting off her oxygen supply as she lay dying on her hospital bed.

First Lady Mellie Grant—Plotted, planned and connived, along with others, to get her husband elected through nefarious dealings. She even induced labor to try to get Fitz to pay attention to her. However, Mellie is now emerging as a sympathetic character.

Chief of Staff Cyrus Beane—He, too, is murderous and has no conscious. He hired an assassin to put a bullet through the head of his lover, but thought better of killing the poor guy at the last literal second. Although never actually committing crimes, Cyrus throws the rock and hides the hand.

Vice President Sally Langston—Supposedly the voice of moral purity and devout piety, she literally stabbed her down-low husband in the back and covered the murder up. With the help of Cyrus, of course.

Pops (Eli) Pope—The supreme being of underworld dealings, namely murder and torture.

Mama (Marie Wallace) Pope—Great-granddaughter of Satan. She is pure evil and has no love for anybody. With the possible exception of her daughter, but I’m sure for the right price, she would whack Olivia off too. I wonder what drives such a person.

Huck—Crazed, manic, murderous, yet an absolute technical genius. B6-13 has totally shredded the poor guy’s mind.

Other supporting characters and minions—Sociopathic and psychologically deranged individuals steeped in lies, scheming, conniving, torture and all things base. Oh, and I’m not happy that the perpetual checkered-shirt-wearing Jefferson got killed off by Eli. C’mon, not the brotha!!! I guess Jefferson was kind of expendible.

Olivia Pope—She, herself, is no saint. She’s messing around with another woman’s husband, i.e., President Grant. And Liv now has her panties in a bunch because Prez snapped on her because his wife is cavorting with another man.

Her relationship with Fitz, well, how can you really call it a relationship? It’s all based on sex. They don’t and can’t go out on real dates. They don’t laugh and talk about silly stuff. Most of the time she’s pissed at him.

When does poor Olivia smile? When does she genuinely laugh about anything that’s cleanly funny, like even the cartoons in the paper? Who are her friends? Guess in her line of work she can’t really get close to anyone. But what about the past? No school buddies? Now she’s had enough of the warped world she lives in and has flown the coop. She jumped on a plane, with Jake in tow, and has left everybody and everything. Supposedly. We know she’ll be back.

I think we watch the show, meaning a good percentage of the TV-watching black community, because of the beautiful Kerry Washington. It’s so refreshing to see a young black woman lead a top-rated TV show. Her character, although flawed, is strong and totally in control, yet feminine and sexy at the same time. There are times she employs the strong-arm method, like threatening to destroy the Governor’s life if he didn’t end the relationship with FLOTUS Mellie. Other times, she just wants to be held and comforted by one of the twisted men in her life.

Overall, we watch Scandal because it’s good television. Compelling plots, back stories, strong characterization, and an attractive cast makes for an hour of entertainment. I, for one, like the twists and turns. Who knew the prez’s son would get bumped off? And by a vial of a killer strain of bacterial meningitis that was stored away at the CDC? And it was the work of Eli Pope, and not ol’ Moms, as he wants people to believe.

So now we’re on summer break,  waiting for the fourth season to begin. And in the alternate reality of TV land, may these sordid people take a break from themselves.



The Patron Saint of Television

The other day, WordPress had a writing prompt in their Blogging U. challenge that was pretty cool. If you could be a patron saint of something, what would it be? I didn’t have time to write it then, but I would be the Patron Saint of Television.

I don’t know if patron saints have powers, but that would the first thing I’d do— declare myself all-powerful. I’d be a powerful, benevolent and understanding being.

First, for the people:

  • Flat-screen HDTVs for everyone! The bigger the better!
  • Endless DVR space
  • A day off every month to catch up on shows—with pay
  • A zapper device to shut the mouths of those who talk while you’re watching your shows

Now here’s where I’d be a hard taskmaster.

These are my edicts for TV execs, programmers, and producers:

  • Original programming. NO remakes of long-dead shows.
  • Give shows a chance to find their audience.
  • Enough with the “winter finales” in early December and then not bringing the show back until late March
  • Understand that anything under 25 shows does not constitute a season.
  • Put a decent line-up on Saturday night.

That’s a good start, I think. Do you have anything to add?

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