Ranking the Shows That I watch: 2012 edition: The Outcasts, Part 2

25 Jan

This is my ranking of shows that I watched in 2012 – for the rules, see the intro;  so far we’re discussing shows that made my last list but not this one.

Here are some more shows that made last year’s list that didn’t make the cut this year.

Royal Pains

What a royal pain

2011 Rank:  30

And so the USA exodus continues.  Royal Pains isn’t bad.  It just isn’t particularly good either.  It’s probably not a show one would expect me to watch, unless they knew about my aforementioned USA mini-obsession.  I really have so little new information about the show; I watched with my friend, and when we lost our momentum, we both kind of stopped, and neither of us were too bent out of shape about it.  Every episode, main character doctor Hank Lawson solves a patient’s case, while other gradual progress is made on serial plotlines.  Henry Winkler plays his and his brother’s dad which is kind of cool.  Royal Pains is right out of the USA playbook, better than Fairly Legal, and probably better than several more USA shows, but worse than a couple others.  I bear it no ill will, but don’t watch it.

True Blood


2011 Rank:  29

Here’s my long view take on True Blood.  I enjoyed the first season more than I thought I would.  I really liked the second season, which I thought was really focused and well plotted; there were two major storylines, and they were both resolved in the last few episodes, one before the other, allowing the characters from the second storyline to join the first just in time for the climax.  The third season then went away from that, giving nearly every character their own plotline, some severely weaker than others and completely unnecessary, and strangely had its climax less than 2/3 through the season, after which the villain, the Vampire King of Mississippi, one of the season’s strong points, sort of collapsed.  I barely started the fourth season, before I was done with it. True Blood has several problems, but scope is the biggest; it expanded too far and basically there was no reining it back in.  I enjoy hearing people tell me the plots because they sound so ridiculous, but I’m done watching it.  There’s a careful line between stupid trashy fun, and stupid trashy, well, trash, and this gradually shifted from the former to the latter.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother

2011 Rank: 27

Here’s a show that a lot of people like better than me, because it pushes a lot of my particular buttons.  I hate the narration, I hate the incredibly on the nose messaging and oddly old school moralism that I think is wisely absent from most modern comedies.  I do think the actors work very well together as a group, and I think that the funny parts, particularly provided by Barney and Marshall have been very solid, and that kept me watching for years, even as there were parts of the show that seriously bothered me.  So, I kept on, after I finished all my other shows, watching How I Met Your Mother dutifully, though ambivalently, until Season 7 episode “Symphony of Illumination,” in which the gimmick is that instead of regular narrator Ted telling the story to his kids, this time it’s Robin telling the story to her kids.  Only, it turns out that she can’t have kids, and instead she’s telling it to her fictional kids in her mind.  How I Met Your Mother has done gimmicks well in the past, but I just hated, hated this episode and it gave me the impetus to put down the show altogether.


Shawn and Gus

2011:  26

Almost out of USA shows, I swear.  Psych is actually the one I currently like the best, and still have plans on watching more of it.  Unlike most of the other USA shows, which are light hearted dramadies, Psych is much more explicitly a comedy.  Because it’s focus is on being funny and lighter, it’s much less of a issue to have generic procedural murders every episode without almost any serial element.  However, the lack of serial element is also what causes me to keep putting it behind watching other shows with longer arcs.  Still, Psych is an easy show to watch; it’s refreshing and enjoyable which makes it a great show to watch when tired, and I mean that as a compliment.  It’s like bathroom magazine reading; it’s hardly essential viewing, but it’s a great way to fill in some time, and I would rank this the highest of the USA shows if I actually watched it regularly.  Still I don’t, which I suppose says something about the show as well.

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