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Monday, March 30, 2015

Primetime TV Binge Watching Update - March 2015

Here's a quick description of all of the shows I've watched and completed in March 2015. Of course, as always, there is a possibility of spoilers for any primetime show I mention.

"The 100" on The CW completed its second season. The post-apocolyptic show is about the world 97 years after a nuclear event. Clarke (Eliza Taylor) became the de facto leader of the 100 a group of teens sent down to earth to see if it was habitable. As the leader, she had to make difficult decisions and inis season, she ended up being the boss even when the adult leadership including her mother landed. The rescue of the people from the space station who were being held in Mount Weather was the main story thread. I'm hoping in season three we find out more about younger characters who were on the space station, but hadn't been sent down with the original group of 100.

"Babylon" on Sundance TV was a coproduction with Channel 4 in the UK.  In the US, we only saw six episodes, as the pilot episode that aired in the UK was summarized in the opening moments of our first episode. The program starring Brit Martling as a PR whiz named Liz Garvey who was brought in from the US to take care of the communications for London's Metropolitan Police Service and James Nesbitt, as Richard Miller, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. The show had a somewhat dry witted tone as insane things happened in London. The episodes focused on police incidents and also allowed us to see what life was like for a small group of officers. The program was very different from what typically airs in the US as seldom do we see such a humorous take on serious incidents.

"Empire" on FOX is something I binged watched over a weekend before the season finale aired on a Wednesday night. The program is about a hip hop company called Empire and the Lyon family. The show stars Terrence Howard (Lucious) and Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) as a divorced couple, who still love one another, and share three adult kids. Cookie went to prison and Lucious became a media mogul  with clothing lines and more. Their sons Andre (Trai Byers), Jamal (Jussie Smollett), and Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) battle each other for control. Andre is a college-graduate, business whiz with bipolar disorder with a wife Rhonda who wants power. Jamal is a singer-songwriter-producer who also happens to be gay, but isn't accepted by his father. Hakeem is a rapper, who barely knows his mother, but Lucious treats him as the favorite. Musical numbers are part of the show, and famous recording artists along with regular cast members perform. This is outrageous and definitely a soap without apologizing for it. The ratings have been great, so we'll be getting more next season.

"Eye Candy" on MTV was something I watched on demand after it aired with its source material being a novel by R.L. Stine. The 10-episode program stars Victoria Justice as a hacker named Lindy, who gets into activism after the kidnapping of her sister. She gets stalked by a killer after her roommate Sophia (Kiersey Clemons) signs her up for a virtual dating site called "Flirtual". Lindy gets involved in working for the cops even after being on parole for cybercrime. Her former boyfriend Ben (Daniel Lissing) dated her as part of his job as an uncover cop, but fell for her and was murdered by the stalker. Later it seemed like his former partner Tommy (Casey Deidrick best know as the original Chad on Days) was falling for Lindy. The killer was caught, but mysteries remain. The show is filmed on location in New York City and is returning for a second series.

"Hindsight" on VH1 is a 90s era romp with a time travel twist. Becca (Laura Ramsey) goes back in time on the day of her second wedding to Andy (Nick Clifford) to the date of her first ceremony to Sean (Craig Horner). She changes history and doesn't go through with the marriage. While Becca's romantic life is the focus, her friendship with Lolly (Sarah Goldberg) is the most significant. Becca shared with Lolly about how she time travelled and their relationship falling apart was the most devastating thing to her. We find out while watching the series that a man named Kevin (Steve Talley) came between them. Jamie (John Patrick Amedori) plays Becca's brother, who has a drug problem, and loves Lolly. The last episode of the first 10, ended with a cliffhanger as Becca is in an elevator again and we don't know when she is. The show has been renewed.

In the reality category, I viewed three shows: the six-part "Million Dollar Critic" on BBCAmerica, the four-part "Kids Baking Championship" on Food Network and "The Great British Baking Show" on PBS. Unlike most reality shows, all of these programs were optimistic in tone. Million Dollar Critic followed around a food critic named Giles Coren from the UK who went to different restaurants in a city to choose the one that had the best meal. The restaurants varied in theme and since it was also aired in Canada the show had two episodes from that country. "Kids Baking Championship" featured eight bakers from 10 to 13, who competed to win the title. Duff Goldman (from Charm City Cakes) and Valerie Bertinelli (former teen star and cookbook author) took the dual roles of hosting and judging the competitors. Each week kids were eliminated until the top four, when the ultimate champion was decided. "The Great British Baking Show" has run for years on BBC One in the UK, and finally came to America. I had to see what the fuss was. Unlike any other competition show I've ever seen there was no product placement, the show was all about the food. Each round had three competitions and one person was eliminated each week. The contestants would go back to their lives and then return to the tent on the weekend to bake again.

So that's what I've watched and finished during March of 2015. Xfinity is doing Watchathon in April, so my April entry may be earlier than normal or posted in two parts depending on how much television I am able to watch. Happy Viewing!

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