What’s in a Storyline?

Television shows hinge on their storylines.  These stories captivate the audience, making them want to tune in week after week.  Most programs have many characters, with several different plots going on at one time.  Because of this some lines get relegated to secondary storylines.  I’ve decided to delve into some of my favorite secondary, yet oh so important continuing stories that have kept me tuned in:

Ann, Chris, and (maybe) baby makes three:  Parks and Recreation’s Ann Perkins is a well rounded, beautiful, and smart character.  She is Leslie’s second hand woman and best friend forever.  She’s funny and often is a good voice of reason for uptight (but also amazing) Leslie.  Ann however has failed in one area of her life: dating.

parksThroughout the course of the show, Ann had dated many different men.  A few serious, bust mostly casual relationships, which had landed her back into singledom.  During this latest season, Ann came to the realization: all she wanted in life is to be a mom.  She decided since dating had failed her too many times she would simply find a willing donor and raise a baby herself.  Not such a bad idea except for the whole little thing of, you know, finding a suitable donor.  Ann scoured Pawnee, hoping to find the perfect match.  She had a long list of what she did and didn’t want and no one seemed to match up.  Until it dawned on her.  Ex beau Chris Traeger would be the perfect donor.  Though a perfectionist and neurotic, Chris would make a great father.

Ann presented Chris with the idea of having a baby together, yet remaining in a platonic relationship.  Chris, caught off guard, wasn’t sure how to react.  In the end though he agreed to donate his sperm AND help Ann raise their baby.  He also wanted to be a parent.  I had been yelling at the TV since the beginning of the storyline was conceived, “ASK CHRIS, ASK CHRIS, ASK CHRIS.”  I always liked them together and even if they aren’t destined to be romantically linked in the end, at least the possibility of them raising a what is sure to be attractive child (with a great head of hair) is on the table.

To Milkovich or not to Milkovich: Since season one of Showtime’s Shameless, Ian Gallagher had a thing for men he can’t (and shouldn’t) have.  The series began with him involved with his conservative, much older, and very much so in the closet manager at the convenience store he worked at, Kash .  Ian and Kash’s relationship was confined to when they worked together as Kash was a Muslim and married to a very strict woman, with children.  When Kash’s wife discovered their relationship, everything headed south, eventually ending for good when Kash bailed and left town.

shamelessSoon after, Ian began a relationship with tough boy, Mickey.  Mickey, who had been in and out of juvenile detention centers his whole life and lived under the roof of his distant and abusive father, terrorized Kash and his convenience store.  Ian, thinking he was simply going over to confront Mickey from stealing from the store, found himself in bed with Mickey, naked and engaging in sexual acts.  And so began the Ian/Mickey relationship that has continued all the way through to season three.

shameless2Though complicated and tumultuous, Ian and Mickey’s relationship has been a roller coaster of emotions, both love and hate.  Ian has constantly craved more from Mickey and Mickey, still trying to keep up appearances, has done nothing but hide from the truth of his sexuality.  Deep down Ian knew Mickey loved him but if the Milkovich family had proved anything it was that they were stubborn and set in their ways.  Caught by Mickey’s father, Ian was forced to watch as Mickey had sex with a Russian prostitute.  Ian soon found out that Mickey had allegedly impregnated the girl and they were set to be married.  In his confrontation Ian begs for Mickey to finally show some kind of emotion regarding their relationship, but no luck.  Mickey beats Ian up, refusing to admit that he is gay and loves Ian.  Ian, heartbroken over the situation, backed down, breaking my heart along with his.  Their relationship has been unhealthy to say the least but the scenes between them have always continued to be my favorite part of the show.  Can Mickey and Ian reconcile? Will Mickey ever admit his true feelings?  His history would say no, but you never know on a show like Shameless, which always stretches the boundaries and stereotypes.

Aidan and the bubble boy: At the start of the new season of SyFy’s Being Human, we learned something as mundane as the human flu had become lethal to vampires, killing off a large portion of their already dwindling species.  Unable to feed on any kind of human blood without risking his own death, vampire Aidan was..well..SOL.  That was until an alternative was discovered right under his nose, in his own place of work.

beinghuman2It seemed that a teenage boy with immunodeficiency had been living his life out in a modern day “bubble.”  Isolated from the world at the local hospital, this boy was the key to Aidan’s little hunger problem.  Things quickly took a turn as Aidan started to develop a friendship with the boy, Kenny.  Kenny was a lonely teenager just looking for a friend and Aidan was there to take on the role.  It didn’t take long for Kenny to discover Aidan’s true nature and motives (he was stuck in a glass case of emotion, of course he had time to draw the conclusion that Aidan was a “lord of the night”).  Aidan and Kenny continued to bond over his secret and soon after Kenny mustered up the courage to ask Aidan to turn him.  He had spent his entire life in isolation, with no friends, and no real links to the outside world.  Vampirism would be a salvation for the young boy and Kenny wasn’t wrong.  His way of life wasn’t living, he deserved a second chance.

Aidan, however, wasn’t so willing to hand over the gift of eternal life.  He felt cursing Kenny to being a vampire would hinder him more than give him the life he always wanted.  Kenny gave several ultimatums to Aidan and in the end Aidan reluctantly agreed to turn him, but not until he turned eighteen.  However, Kenny’s time line was sped up with the news of an impeding bone marrow transplant and Aidan had to break Kenny out of his bubble and the hospital (who obviously just doesn’t care the boy escaped!?).  It was now or never.

I was on the edge of my seat during Monday night’s episode, If I Only Had (a) Raw Brain.  The whole time I wondered, will he or won’t he turn the sullen boy? After losing his last progeny, Henry (whom I still refuse to believe is dead), the odds were stacked against Kenny.  But, in the end Aidan made good on his promise, making me a very happy viewer.  Thinking life was going okay for the newly bonded duo and my love of their bromance and soon to be father/son relationship growing, I was ready to call it a night with the show.  Except, it turned out that Aidan had been followed by a mysterious someone the entire day prior..and not just anyone.  The ex-boyfriend/professor of his now (kinda) girlfriend Kat had shown up, a deformed wolf looking vampire.

beinghumanConfused and in shock, images flashed through Aidan’s mind.  It seemed he had been having vampire induced blackouts in the nights and had “killed” his girlfriend’s ex.  Scared, Aidan checked on Kenny, and in that moment realized: the cure to the vampire flu (werewolf’s blood) may have tampered with the turning process.  What was Kenny going to wake up to?  Would it be the same as the ex professor?  Would he be more cursed than he was before?  Will this show continue to tare at my heartstrings?  I mean, maybe he’s just a hybrid?  The Vampire Diaries proved that a successful half vampire, half werewolf can exist, so why not in the Being Human world too?  If anyone deserves a new life it’s Kenny and Aidan deserves a successful, familial bond with another person.  But, if this show makes him a deformed monster and kills him off..well, only one pop culture reference comes to mind and it ends with “YOU BASTARDS!”


Five Signs You’ve Given Up on a TV Show

Has a show become unbearable to watch?  Maybe the characters don’t interest you anymore, the plot lines have become too contrived, and the entire series has become a chore for you to keep up with on a week to week basis.  The whole show has become a pain in your queue.  If you can relate, these five signs will help you to figure out if you’ve emotionally given up on that once beloved TV show:

5. Ask yourself: Do I really care about these characters?  Back at the beginning of the fall TV season I was interested to see where Glee was going to go now that half the characters had graduated.  The season three finale felt more like a series finale to me but I decided I would still tune in.  I try not to just give up on shows, I want to be a loyal viewer!  But, as season four began the show failed in keeping my interest, simply because I didn’t find the characters interesting anymore.  I didn’t care if Rachel and Finn were together or not, I didn’t care about Mr. Shue and his new D.C. position, and I definitely didn’t care about any of the new characters (whose names I can’t even recall at the moment) and their plights.  I found the character arcs centered on their love lives and only their love lives…and sometimes they sang about it.  What I originally loved about Glee was the view into these characters lives and the hardships they went through as people, not who they were kissing on a week to week basis.

4. Do you let episodes backup on your DVR? If you’ve found that you missed 2+ episodes of a show without even realizing it, it may be time to ask yourself if you’re still interested.  I would let 2-3 weeks go by without watching an episode of Glee and I just didn’t care.  Sometimes life gets in the way and we’re just too busy to keep up with our shows, it’s understandable.  But, if it’s been weeks and you still don’t even remember that you have several episodes waiting on your DVR, maybe you’re just not that into it.

3. You nit-pick everything.  Let’s be real, most shows on television can’t be compared to real life in the grand scheme of things.  There’s often crazy story lines that would never ever happen in your everyday life.  That’s inevitable.  It’s even fun to talk about these things with people, start a dialogue about what you do and don’t like about a show.  That’s what they’re meant to do.  When you start to nit-pick even the simplest of things like what a character says, what they wear, or even a simple mannerism..it may be time to re-think your devotion to a show.

thefollowing2. You’ve looked for a new show to watch.  This one is simple.  New shows start every season and at the beginning of every year.  There’s many new shows that air on a number of networks that look promising.  Fresh shows that have characters with clean slates, new and exciting backgrounds, and original story lines.  My pick this year was FOX’s The Following.  Agent Ryan Hardy is called back to join the FBI in the take down of escaped serial killer Joe Carroll.  Things aren’t as they seem though as Carroll has a “cult” of his own ready to do his bidding and stifle the FBI by any means necessary (sounds awesome right!? IT IS).  A new show is guaranteed to fill the void of the show you once loved.

1. You committed to the quit! A few times a season a show will go on what’s called a hiatus.  These hiatuses are to ensure the show will make it to May without running out of episodes. Hiatuses last anywhere from two weeks to two months.  Back in October Glee went on a four week hiatus.  When it came back the next month I had no intentions of tuning back in. The promos didn’t interest me, the upcoming story lines bored me, and the songs and talent weren’t enough to keep my attention.  It was over, I was done with Glee.  It’s been three months and I haven’t watched a single episode since October. I committed to my quit and have moved on to new and different TV shows.

Watching TV should be fun, easy, and a mindless activity.  We shouldn’t have to think too hard and we should want to escape for thirty minutes to an hour every week with characters and stories we love.  Shows will run their course.  Sometimes they stay intriguing and sometimes they dwindle with time.  It’s okay to find new shows and move on.  We should be excited to watch a TV show, not sit and ponder when it will be over.

*This blog is meant to be lighthearted and fun.  No hate towards Glee for you lovers of the show still out there!