BravoTV celebrated the holiday weekend by playing reruns of its’ own historic and hysterical battle scenes with some veterans who should only be seen through one’s rear view mirror, left in the dust. As much as they would like to believe that we could become drawn back into these old wars, they seem to have forgotten that we are still in control of our television remotes. There are dozens of channels and networks which provide all of the wonderful and interesting programming that exists outside of those rehashed episodes the Bravo folks offered this weekend.
Last week, the ABC series “Revenge” finished its’ first season with a finale that did just what good programs should do – left us waiting and wanting more. It was a wonderful reminder that scripted television can be so much better than what we have come see as anything but reality TV. We can spend days debating and speculating about the whereabouts of Amanda Clarke’s mother, or whether the plane explosion really did happen, actually killing two key witnesses in the grand Grayson terrorist conspiracy. We can mourn the fact that Jack Porter may become a father – or if the fake Amanda has had other dalliances.
While waiting for the return of “Revenge” and other programs, through those little miracles of On Demand, HBO and Showtime, our household has found programs which the two of us can watch together, without one or the other leaving the room, shaking their head in bewilderment. Over the past month or so, “Homeland” became a favorite – no, an obssession. It is so well written, with terrific plotlines and acting that you find yourself unable to turn off the TV without watching just one more episode for the night because you really do want to know what is going to happen. It has every element of a good book or a great movie. There are spies, CIA operatives, corrupt politicians – I know, that’s redundant – war heroes of questionable loyalties and terrorist sleeper cells. It also has Claire Danes, who has proven that she can act the hell out of any role she is given. If you need proof, I suggest you watch “Temple Grandin”, and then tell me if I’m exagerating.
Having come to the end of Season One of “Homeland”, we’ve now moved on to “Game of Thrones”. Now, I have to say that it took a little getting used to as a new viewer. The family feuds and battles for crowns make the women of Bravo look like amateurs. At the risk of sounding cheeky, I’d say that heads will roll – often and in full gory detail. There is a bit of shock value in terms of the nudity and sexual content. The wenches, ladies, queens and whores who service the men in this epic drama make Tony Soprano’s Bada-Bing girls look downright chaste in comparison.
Aside from all of that, it is story-telling at its’ finest. All things medieval come into play. Evil kings and queens, witches who perform terrible spells, corruption, treason, betrayals and conspiracies are everywhere. For good measure there are also dragon eggs which hatch into infant dragons when placed in a fire. From set design and scenery, from costumes and dialogue, it is a television gem, and well worth the time for any viewer. It’s both magic and magical. It also means that one bowl of popcorn can be shared in front of one television, and that the stories can be discussed without one of us rolling our eyes in exasperation.
If you have any of your own suggestions or favorites, I’d be happy to hear about them. I guess you know by now, that I’m open to just about anything. I’m going to go now – I hear popcorn being made in the microwave and I don’t want to miss any sword fights.