57 Channels and Nothing On

This time last year, Sons of Anarchy was finishing it’s 7 season run. While the show had its element of cheese, you can’t deny that it was well written and thoroughly entertaining. Hell, Stephen King was a fan and even did a cameo on the condition he would be able to ride a red Harley.

It had characters to love and care about and ones to hate with a passion. It had heart. The fan base grew every season. Kurt Sutter is a evil genius with a bad attitude and uncompromising vision. The show ended on a solid note.

Then came the New Year and a bleak television landscape. It seems like television has hit a low point. Yes, there have been a few bright spots. But mostly misses.

Side Note…..I don’t give a fuck about Game of Thrones. You can keep your fantasy horseshit. Dragons…..bah.

Let’s look back.

The Walking Dead

This show has been inconsistent from the beginning. You’ll have one brilliant episode followed by around 3 of the survivors wandering through the woods. Not to mention the splitting of the season into halves. The only bright spot on this particular horizon has been the casting of the great Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the comic book’s iconic villain Negan. Morgan appeared first on my radar as The Comedian in the film adaption of Watchmen. Thank you casting gods. You have given the Walking Dead a sign of life.

Now here’s the greatest show you aren’t watching and probably never heard of. Banshee on Cinemax. Created by Alan Ball of True Blood fame (Fuck You Alan for that piece of shit). It’s the story of an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of a dead small town sheriff. Oh my god I love this show. It’s very much a series length B action movie. You could almost put it into guilty pleasure territory however I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. It has great characters, excellent cinematography, and some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen. This past January the 3rd season kicked off with a level of mayhem beyond what I’ve come to expect from the show. Banshee’s 4th and final season premieres next month. When I’ve raved about this show to people, mostly to my brother from another Mark, people haven’t heard of it. That’s a shame. However Amazon prime subscribers can stream the 1st season free. Motherfuckers you all need be hitting that shit now.

The Bastard Executioner

Even a evil genius like Kurt Sutter can shit the bed. While a great concept, the show could not hold my attention. Most of the world agreed. Kurt Sutter saw the writing on the wall and agreed with FX executives to kill the show. I do believe The Bastard Exevutioner could have been amazing had it been produced by a pay cable network. So Sutter headed back to the drawing board and decided to expand on known winning concepts. Those of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs or MC’s. A Sons of Anarchy prequel going back to the MC’s Vietnam era roots and a spin off about The Mayans, a Latino MC featured prominently in the origin series are in development.

Now let’s see what else….The Americans is ok I guess but hasn’t been able to hold my attention. The Bridge was shit. Happy it got cancelled. What’s that martial arts thing on AMC……I’m not even gonna take the time to google it. That’s how I feel about that one. Mad Men you wasted out time. Better Call Saul may have potential. The Leftovers…..just stop HBO, you’re insulting us. True Detective season 2 was ultra depressing and a total rip off of James Ellroy’s masterpiece White Jazz. The one moment I loved was Colin Farrell saying If you ever bully or hurt anybody again, I’ll come back and butt fuck your father with your mom’s headless corpse on this goddamn lawn. Ray Donovan needs to actually listen to what people from Boston sound like, the accents are atrocious.

Now how could I forget Justified? If nothing else you cemented the massive talent of Walton Goggins. The show should have been just about him. This was another massively inconsistent show. It had flickers of brilliance in a field of boredom. I didn’t understand it. Some episodes were amazing (Season 5 episode 5 Shot All To Hell) and some bored me to tears. The series ended on such a flat note…..whatever.

I got more ground to cover.

Now can I get a show of hands…..Who thinks Fargo season 2 has brought us a new level of Amazing?????? For the last 9 weeks every Monday I’ve texted my brother from another mother Mark out in Oakland (Oaktown) California by 1035 EST raving how perfect this season has been. The cast, the soundtrack (Jethro Tull was never cool until the gang war montage), the writing……

Fuck me, it’s been that good. The first season was decidedly underwhelming and I didn’t have hope for season 2 until I saw the trailers and thought ok, might be something here. Every week I have been knocked on my ass with how cool this show has been. The downside is that it has a 10 episode season ending next week. I’ll be buying this season on DVD.

To quote the late, great Stringer Bell, this past television season has been like a 40 degree day. However, there is warm weather on the horizon. AMC’s adaption of the cult comic book Preacher looks bad ass. HBO’s Vinyl will have my attention and I don’t know why this isn’t more widely known but the Sundance Channel has adapted Joe Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard novels into a series featuring Michael K. Williams (Omar Little) as Leonard. Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus.

And in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been…..its not a comeback. I’ve been here for years.

Dave Wahlman