Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2009-10 TV season in review: Lost, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries stand out

The 2009-10 TV season is winding to a close this month, starting with season finales for two of my favorite shows – “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural” – airing Thursday.
For my money, “The Vampire Diaries” is the best new show of the season. It’s attracting solid ratings for the CW, but doesn’t get much respect from critics. That’s likely because the critics passed judgment on the show based on the first few episodes, which were admittedly weak. And then they stopped watching.
I kept with it and am glad I did. It’s a terrific Southern gothic soap opera that keeps adding layers to its characters and is building a dense mythology. At its heart, “The Vampire Diaries” is about two vampire brothers (one “good” and the other “bad”) in love with the same human girl. But there’s a lot more going on here than “Twilight”-esque teen angst. “The Vampire Diaries” keeps the shocking revelations and plot twists coming at a brisk pace. It’s a gas.
“Supernatural” is another CW show about two brothers, demon hunters Sam and Dean Winchester. This season they’ve been battling Lucifer and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I love the show’s combination of horror and humor. This was supposed to be its final season, but “Supernatural” has been renewed for a sixth season. I hope that’s not a mistake. Too many shows outstay their welcome.
Other season finales I plan to watch include “House” (Monday May 17), “V” (Tuesday May 18), “30 Rock” (Thursday May 20); “Lost” (Sunday May 23), “24” (Monday May 24) and “FlashForward” (Thursday May 27). For a complete list of season finales, check out EW.com.
“Lost” is racing toward its finale after six seasons and it's going out at the top of its game. The trippy sci-fi drama defies easy explanation.
“30 Rock” is still a lot of fun, but comedies have never been appointment TV with me.
Fox’s “House” and “24” are both past their freshness dates. Now in its eighth season, “24” has already been cancelled. Though it might return as a feature film. “House,” which is in its sixth season, should set an end date before it starts to stink.
Two new ABC shows that started promisingly – “FlashForward” and “V” – both took turns toward mediocrity and suffered.
“FlashForward” had a great premise: The world’s population blacks out for 137 seconds and they “flash forward” to see visions of their lives six months in the future. But miscasting (milquetoast Joseph Fiennes in the lead role), bad scripts and plodding pacing crippled the show. It almost certainly will be canceled, according to TV Series Finale.
Alien invasion show “V” had a great pilot, but went downhill from there. Now it’s pretty silly – a resistance force of five people vs. thousands of visitors from outer space. Please. And why hasn’t someone just skinned an alien and shown the world that they’re lizard people under their cloned human skin? Problem solved.

Photos: Title shot from "The Vampire Diaries," and Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) from "Supernatural."

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