There are times when it seems that TV drama is the fiction fix I most enjoy. Oh, I haven’t given up books, but I love good TV fiction.
The fave five of the moment:
The Crawley Family and their servants are having quite a time. Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess still gets many of the best lines. This week episode four of the new season made the Sunday night hour fly by. Has a television show ever made time disappear so quickly? I suppose so, but….. Some may think Downton is turning into a soap opera. What do you think? And, what does it mean to call the show a soap opera? Since Homeland turned the plot pages with such convincing speed, perhaps other shows would like to emulate that kind of plotting. Downton is ripping along. A few pages of the script may be torn along the edges, but I care about the characters and I care what happens next. And the housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, isn’t she a wonder?
The Good Wife
I don’t expect an argument when I say this is some of the best writing on television. Everything about the show is terrific. And now that the lead character Alicia Florrick played by Julianna Margulies has started a new firm with Matt Czuchry’s character Cary Agos, the lawyers are more combative than ever. And keep your eye on investigator Kalinda. What will happen next for her?
Top of the Lake
This mini-series from Sundance last year is available on Netflicks. I have watched about half of the episodes. Golden Globe best actress winner Elizabeth Moss is stunning in the lead role as detective Robin Griffin returning to her hometown in a remote part of New Zealand. The cinematography of New Zealand is frightening in its beauty and ability to suggest danger. The series is a bit raw for me, but so far I’m sticking with it. Small-town secrets can be irresistible.
The final episode of the four year HBO series wrapped about a week ago. New Orleans, the music and the people will no longer be part of my regular TV viewing. The series depicts life after Hurricane Katrina. I recommend this if you like to get to know a place and you enjoy more leisurely story-telling. The creator and producer of The Wire also did this show. He knows how to get under the skin of a place and tell its story.
Callie Khouri writes this show. It debuted in 2012. Last week seemed a bit slow. Maybe we need a chance to catch a breath before the plot plunges on. Music is a big part of the show. Both Connie Britton, who plays a fading country music star, and Hayden Panettiere, who is a younger star, create characters that are fun to watch. Over the last couple of years, the show has been recognized for acting, music, editing, and costumes. I don’t feel too guilty for enjoying this show.
And there is more to come.
True Detectives is a new series with SAG Award winner Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson on HBO on Sunday night. After the movie, Catching Fire, I’m a Woody Harrelson fan. I haven’t had a chance to see this new series yet. Sunday nights are crowded. This show has been getting lots of positive buzz in the press.
House of Cards opens the second season on Feb. 14. The Kevin Spacey character Frank Underwood is vice president. Last season Robin Wright gave tremendous performances as his wife. All thirteen episodes will be available.
I also look forward to the return of Orange Is the New Black, on Netflicks.
What is your favorite TV fiction fix? Tell us about it so we won’t miss it.