Thursday, December 24, 2009

MTVP 2009 Christmas TV Wish List

The past year has been full of life changes for this TV Junkie. I’ve graduated law school, moved to a new apartment, been turned down for quite a few jobs, and decided I’ll probably be headed back to school next fall. It certainly hasn’t been an easy year. So on Christmas Eve, instead of thinking about material things (such as TV on DVD sets), I’d like to put together a wish list of a different sort- my wish list for the coming year in television. It ranges from hopes for currently existing shows, to hopes that certain types of new shows will soon be in development, to hopes for awards season. Most are probably pretty predictable if you follow this blog enough to know my taste in TV.

1. A satisfying finale to Lost.

The finale of Lost will have to do two things for me to consider it satisfying. It will have to somewhat answer some of the series’ burning questions, but not in such detail that it’s a Midichlorians redux (a Star Wars reference for the non-geeks out there). Second, and most importantly, characters during major events should not be motivated by the Love Quadrangle of Doom. Yeah, Jack’s “I’m going to blow up the Island because I messed up with Kate” and Juliet’s “I’m going to go along with blowing up the island because Sawyer will always love Kate” diatribes in the Season 5 finale didn’t really work for me. I would be highly disappointed if we went there again.

2. Dr. Horrible 2 and more work from Joss Whedon.

I think the first half of this wish could happen, at least, provided Team Horrible gets the script together in time for shooting over the summer hiatus, when Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Simon Helberg, who all have regular jobs on network shows at the moment, are more likely to be available. As for the second part, I would like to see more work from Joss Whedon either on the internet or on cable where he would have the creative freedom he needs to tell stories in the detailed, cerebral way that he does so well. It’s very sad to be losing Dollhouse in 2010, but I’m trying to look on the bright side and anticipate what’s next.

3. Concrete news on new projects from Aaron Sorkin and/or Bryan Fuller.

These two creators complete my Favorite TV Showrunner Trifecta. Word on IMDB is that Sorkin is working on a drama about a cable news show like Keith Olbermann’s (which, like The West Wing, would be a good, appropriate setting for Sorkin’s sometimes preachy style). Fuller is bringing his unique take on the world to several projects for NBC/Universal, including an adaptation of the novel Sellevision as a one hour drama and a half hour sitcom about an animal shelter. Although neither of Fuller’s projects seem to be genre, they both seem like they would provide ample room for his unique, often macabre, sense of humor.

4. Solid ratings for Season 3 of Chuck and the next “pod” of V.

These are two shows that deserve a chance, and hopefully viewers will turn out in high enough numbers to give them that chance. Chuck is heartfelt and funny, has a unique premise, and has well developed characters. It just barely scored a renewal for this season, and I’m hoping things take a turn for the better ratings-wise this winter despite a very crowded Monday night timeslot. Although V is still experiencing some growing pains (the characters aren’t as developed as I generally like), I think it deserves a continued chance to prove itself. I love seeing hard sci-fi on network television, and V could be make-or-break for networks picking up any similar shows for a long time to come.

5. An Emmy Win for Neil Patrick Harris (finally!).

Neil Patrick Harris has been nominated for an Emmy three times for his work as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. It’s about high time one of his Emmy nominations turns into a win. Defying stereotypes, he continually produces high-quality work- handling both comedy and drama with ease no matter what the character, be it a womanizing corporate exec or a shy, kind of angry nerd. He is truly a top-notch all-around entertainer, incorporating singing and dancing with ease. And I’ll stop now before this starts sounding like a job search cover letter or letter of recommendation.

6. Continued success (and lots of Emmy love) for Glee.

Glee is, to me, the best new show of this television season. I love the subversive, dark comedy, the heightened reality, and of course the singing. Many of the characters have become quite three-dimensional, too. I hope Glee can keep up its current level of quality going forward and not get bogged down in what drama is going to happen next. The real charm of Glee is how the characters all interact with each other- not in finding out who is pregnant by whom. I also hope that the plethora of Golden Globe nominations Glee recently received will be repeated come Emmy time- this is a show that’s not afraid to be original or controversial.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it (and for those who don’t, I hope you also have been having a lovely holiday season). May all your wishes, television and otherwise, come true in the new year.

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