I know, I know...spring is the air and we should all be spending more time outdoors. But screw that. TV, at least cable TV is better than ever.
The Walking Dead has had a much better second half of its season than the first. Two major characters have bitten the zombie dust, and I couldn't be happier, since I found both of them incredibly annoying as both characters and actors. One of them shouldn't be a surprise to those of us who read Robert Kirkman's comic book series. We knew that one was coming eventually, but they did put a somewhat different twist (pun intended) on it. And the second killing (which happened first, last week on the series) probably puts to rest the question of which cast member wanted to be released from his/her contract after Frank Darabont left the series. I'm still not entirely sold on this series, though. I find most of the actors annoying and the continual shock value of the zombie killings is so over the top at times that it can only be done for that reason.
But when The Walking Dead goes away next weekend, Mad Men comes back (on March 25), and with a 2-hour premiere episode. MM has been gone for over 17 months, and everything points to a major comeback at this point. It's getting a crazy amount of press, even in my little 2 weekly magazine subscriptions world (major articles in both New York and Entertainment Weekly). And while mum is the word on anything--including how much of a time jump the series has this time--I'm very excited about its return.
I am a recent convert to Game of Thrones, having watched the entire first season last weekend in one long orgy of viewing. I can't believe what an incredibly beautiful-looking series this is and how much I succumbed to its charm. I'm categorically NOT a fantasy person, but it reminds me a lot of Deadwood, believe it or not. Once you remove the setting, it's just another fascinating and compelling character study, just with swords and maybe a dragon or three as opposed to Deadwood's guns, horse sh*t and swear words. As for DW, I'm three shows away from finishing the series. I'm finding the final season (season 3) a bit tedious, but I'm in it until the end. And since Justified seems to be a reunion show for star Timothy Olyphant and numerous other Deadwood alumni, I think we should start a grass roots effort to get Ian McShane as the main big bad in next year's season 4 of Justified (it was renewed last week). Speaking of which, this season of Justified (which is about half over as of this writing) is another great one, with Olyphant's Raylan Givens angrier than ever and hurtling headlong to a killer confrontation with Robert Quarles (Neil McDonough).
Finally, along with the return of Mad Men on AMC, The Killing also comes back on April 1. That's an extremely appropriate day for the show that fooled us all--and NOT in a good way--last year. Despite excellent performances, The Killing dragged on and on for me, no doubt compounded by the dreary Seattle weather portrayed in the show and the hang-dog expression of its lead, Mirielle Enos. And then they didn't even resolve the main storyline! I'm giving The Killing a one-show reprieve, and if it doesn't come through in the first episode, I'm killing it, with no doubt left in your mind, a refreshing point of view I wish the producers would adopt. Stay tuned.