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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Primetime TV Update - May 2015

Here's a quick description of all of the shows I've watched and completed in May 2015 that weren't part of Watchathon week. Of course, as always, there is a possibility of spoilers for any primetime show I mention.

This month unlike others, I'm not mentioning any shows that I watched in binge format. Due to it being end of the regular season, a lot of what I watched completed "naturally".

Two shows that finished their runs in April, but I only completed in May were FX's "The Americans" and Pivot/Sky "Fortitude". "The Americans" had a new twist this season as Phillip and Elizabeth told their oldest how they were Russian spies. Hopefully this will bring something different in the next season. "Fortitude" was a coproduction with the UK, and rather disturbing. It started as a regular murder mystery, but throughout the series a lot more people died than I thought would. Also, the reason for the deaths wasn't exactly pleasant. From what I understand they're doing a second series, but I haven't got a clue as to where they could go in the story with such a high death toll.

In the reality category, my "regular" reality network shows ended: "The Amazing Race", "American Idol", "Dancing with the Stars", "Survivor", and "The Voice". TAR had the couples and blind date concept, which I don't think was fully successful as I missed family and friend teams. I did appreciate the many animal tasks throughout. "AI finished its 14 season, and 2016 is their last. While I'll miss the show, I'm actually okay with it going off the air, as we have a "warning". DWTS celebrated its 10th year on the air. What was cool was we had a final three composed of three pros, who never won the competition. Also it was Len Goodman's last run with the US version, in the UK's "Strictly Come Dancing", he has a different role as he's seen as a nice judge not a strict one. "Survivor" had another season with all new contestants. Almost everyone on this run was loathsome, especially since even host Jeff Probst thanked people at the end of the reunion show for continuing to watch even if you didn't like the players. "The Voice" had a new coach win as Pharrell's contestant Sawyer got the accolade. Due to iTunes voting, his win was a forgone conclusion, but hopefully Sawyer will get something out of being on "The Voice." I also viewed the "Spring Baking Championship" on Food Network (it ended on May 31, 2015). The show started with eight home and professional bakers, with one ultimate winner of $50,000.

Two ABC series I watched ended their runs: "Nashville" and "Forever". "Nashville" has been renewed and will continue in the fall, while "Forever" lasted one season. Nashville's Rayna and Deacon seemed to finally get some happiness, but for how long no one knows. Avery and Juliette wed and had a daughter Cadence (named after the musical term), though their marriage hit the skids due to Juliette's PPD. Will came out, Luke had hit or miss relationships after losing Rayna and the music continued playing. "Forever" getting a full run was rather surprising, due to ABC's decision to kill shows that air in that time slot rather quickly. While the show could continue with new story, the arc of the first season was satisfying. "Forever" was a cross-genre show as it was a bit fantasy mixed in with a procedural.

On E!, I watched the first season of "The Royals", which is the network's first truly scripted drama. They have reality and talk shows, but had nothing with actors playing new characters until this program. I started watching it because an executive producer behind the series "One True Hill" was involved, making it a curiosity. Basically it felt like an American show with a British cast, which is what it was. The main characters were members of the fictional royal family of the UK, and was both campy and trashy.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I watched "Wolf Hall" on PBS, which was a six-part series. A theatrical version of the story is being done on Broadway as well. At times, the actors being known to me for other contemporary roles was a bit jarring, but I did enjoy it in an intellectual way.

I spent most of the month watching "The CW" as "Arrow", "The Flash" and "Jane the Virgin" all ended for the 2014-2015 season. "Arrow" allowed Oliver to have some happiness, though not everyone made it out alive, which is par for the course. "The Flash" finished its first run, and was a lot "lighter" in tone than "Arrow". I hope I continue enjoying both series though I wish the late season crossovers had made more thematic sense. "Jane the Virgin" got a second season, and while I haven't seen all the episodes (as I started viewing reruns in 2015), I appreciated its humorous take on life for Jane and her family. Unfortunately, Jane doesn't really have steady "friend" characters, but that's my only real complaint about the series.

"Mad Men" on AMC, which is one of my favorite series of all time ended its run this year. I'll miss the show for a lot of reasons. I don't want to go into plot details, but I'm glad that many of the characters got somewhat happy endings.

So that's what I've watched and finished during May of 2015. Hopefully over the summer, I'll be able to catch up with some of my backlogged programs. Happy Viewing!

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