Thoughts on Television Season Thus Far

(The Office, Boston Legal, Supernatural)

In the latest installment of our look at the current television season, Rev talks about The Office, Boston Legal and Supernatural.

The Office
The Office shook things up at the start of this season by replacing Toby with Holly (played by Amy Ryan, a familiar face for fans of The Wire). It was a pretty brave move that had risks, they were swapping a known quantity with someone who wasn’t really well known for her comedy acting. But it worked and the scenes with Michael and Holly were so wonderful that I was quite, quite sad when she left.

The other story lines that have been moving forward this season are the PB & J (That’s Pam and Jim to you laymen) relationship and the Andy and Angela one. Pam and Jim have had a great set of stories designed to fake out the viewer, playing on concerns that their relationship won’t work out, but so far they’ve gone from strength to strength with what is one of the most adult relationships shown on TV right now. Andy and Angela on the other hand have provided a more obvious source of classic comedy. Angela is still hung up over Dwight and clearly in love with/heavily attracted to him in a manner she can’t control. Andy on the other hand is oblivious to the affair and is just trying to give Angela the wedding she’s always wanted. Somehow the writers have managed to make me feel sorry for that pompous idiot Andy and I’m not sure I forgive them for it.

Boston Legal
I’d always hoped Boston Legal’s final season was going to be something really special, constant cast replacements and erosion of what I felt were key characters has had the show struggling for chemistry at times. But this last season has stuck with the relationships and characters that work, naturally we have Alan and Denny, but they’ve also kept Shirley, Carl Sack, Katie and Jerry. While some previous cast members have made their final guest appearances it’s been this core cast that have delivered great moments time and time again. Christian Clemenson in particular has really stepped up his game as Jerry, he’s possibly provided the strongest performances this season and his character is certainly the one who has shown the most development over his time on the series. In particular the most recent episode showed him at his strongest.

Last season I would have easily said that this last season was time to hang up Boston Legal’s briefs one final time. But the quality of this season has been so high that it’s going to be a real shame to see it actually end, it’s just a pity that it took three odd seasons to figure out what actually made this show tick (apart from the obvious Alan/Denny dynamic).

Supernatural is a show that I only started to watch this year, I caught up with the previous three seasons by watching them on DVD and this fourth season is the first one I’m watching ‘live’. It’s constantly impressed me with every episode this season as the show knows how to blend a mix of self aware jokes with horror moments and an ongoing plot arc. Jensen Ackles in particular has been on fantastic form as Dean since being brought back from hell by an angel. The addition of angels on the show was a bold move, but it’s worked exceptionally well, providing a natural but slightly surprising expansion to the series’s mythos. The show has traditional demons in spades so the addition of angels is not much of a stretch, more importantly the angels have been treated very well and are cast much in the old testament style.

Of special note though is the episode titled ‘Monster’ which was shot entirely in black and white and homaged the old Hollywood black and white monster movies of old with both a lot of respect and humour about them. Supernatural isn’t afraid to occasionally break it’s format and give us something a little different, and each time they do it with such confidence that it’s hard not to love them for it.