This has been an amazing year in TV. Amongst all the new shows I watched this year included: Gotham, The Flash, Star Wars Rebels, The Librarians (TNT), Better Call Saul, and iZombie. On Netflix I watched House of Cards Season 3. All of these shows have been smartly created and executed in their own way. In fact TV has come a long way. It seems that ever since Breaking Bad was airing on AMC, TV just really hasn’t been the same. Other shows on HBO like Game of Thrones and Mad Men, and shows on Netflix like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have put a new spin on TV we’ve never really seen before. Each season’s episodes can now be broken down like it’s one long movie. As crazy as that sounds it’s being done. Breaking Bad and House of Cards follow this very similar formula where each episode doesn’t feel “episodic” but rather is just another piece of a longer story being told. This breaks all conventions of TV altogether. But among the shows I just mentioned above, do any of them follow this formula aside from House of Cards? There is only one I can pinpoint at that does and it just so happens to be Breaking Bad’s own spinoff, Better Call Saul. All the rest of the shows I watched are episodic more or less. But does this mean they are weaker? Of course not. All the other shows may be more conventional in their format but they are just as entertaining and creative. When it comes to Better Call Saul and House of Cards, each show relies on telling a dramatic narrative to push its story forward where each episode is giving us a little piece of this every time. Each episode is also giving us more character development as they progress. I especially enjoyed how Better Call Saul’s storyline was setup in its first season, showing us background on who Saul really was before he was Saul. We got to see a more human side to him as a struggling lawyer trying to make a name for himself, while ending up on the news for saving a construction worker tearing down the billboard he put up of himself to advertise his business.
While watching Gotham I’ve taken it as a new take on crime drama shows with some spews of Lovecraftian Arkham horror influences, and on top of that the show is just itching away at teasing the superhero genre of course with all the yet to be standard villains of Gotham city. While watching The Flash it is very much a sci fi and supernatural action show. It reminds me of Smallville and even Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The metahumans the Flash faces each week as well as all the quirks are somewhat reminiscent to me of the “monster of the week” episodes on Buffy. Even the S.T.A.R. Labs crew do sort of remind me of Buffy’s Scooby gang along with their quirks. However the human drama and relationships between characters remind me a little more of Smallville in how Barry Allen’s secret is affecting his life as well as those surrounding him along the lines of Clark Kent’s well kept secret in Smallville.
iZombie is yet another supernatural show that just started this year and puts a spin on the zombie genre. It honestly very much reminds me of the very funny movie Warm Bodies. But unlike that movie, in the world of this show, zombies can actually talk and behave like regular people if they eat enough brains. Such is the life of Liv. We are in an interesting time right now where drama shows are now superhero shows and supernatural shows are constantly reinventing themselves. The drama shows that are still just drama shows are now 10+ hour movies. It’s a really nice time to be watching TV right now.