With Justified recently retired for the season (along with the few other programs I watch approaching their season finales), and still much time left for the arrival of summer television (and even more time for fall television), I've recently started to watch the already-concluded series The Shield, starring the great Michael Chiklis, and the current British drama Misfits.
I missed The Shield when it originally ran on FX, a basic-cable channel that had been very foreign to me until my recent, and very pleasurable, encounters with crime drama Justified and comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia– both way above average shows filled with extremely talented people. So it was no surprise to me that when I began to watch The Shield, I was instantly pulled in and it's been hard to stop watching since.
The show has won numerous awards, so it's not news to read how engrossing it really is. I'm just happy to have a distraction at the end of a hard day or on a Sunday after a hard week. This is not contemplative, arty drama. This is simply urban city crime stories told via detective interrogations and shady police work – by way of great, funny writing and mostly superb acting. The camera is frantic like the pace and keeps your eyes on the screen and mind from wandering elsewhere. What else could I ask for, especially when I already have (the thus-far great) The Killing and Game of Thrones for that other kind of drama?
I also started watching Misfits, a British drama (that is also very comedic) about five young men and women in the same community service group who acquire strange supernatural powers during a bizarre "storm." I'm oddly attracted to Nathan, played by the dynamic Irish actor Robert Sheehan, who begins as an annoying, trash-talking boy recently kicked out of his mother's house but has quickly become – in the first three episodes I've seen – the show's sincere and amusing magnetic center. All the characters are interesting (and played by talented young actors), and the show manages to find a nice balance between the supernatural and the particularly human about these five complex beings.
I'll soon write more about last night's Game of Thrones and The Killing, but for now I just wanted to check in with news of my recent television "findings" (though I didn't have to look far for The Shield, and I'm sure Misfits is very popular in England).