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State of the Networks: Spring 2012

In which I grade all the shows based on their January-May performance, ranked in order of grade but alphabetical within those categories because otherwise the gap space between "objective quality of show" and "how much I enjoy it," which I already blend together in order to come up with my report card, would just be too much to straddle.

Also, hi to my other new person, alianne. I'm excited to subject the new people to all of my annual traditions. I hope they are still around for The Music of 2012 on July 1. Tell them how exciting it is, flist! (flist: *silence*) IT'S EXCITING.


I'm adding in final exam (finale) grades again, because those are fun little indicators. Also, um, eventually I stop handing out A's like candy...

2 Broke Girls: A
Finale grade: A
I don't even care how filthy it is anymore. It is the half-hour show I looked forward to most every week and it contains the best female friendship on TV right now.

Castle: A
Finale grade: A
Given the sheer amount of finger-drumming I do with the interviews and a lot of the actual crime-solving involved, it feels like an A-. But it is also the only crime show I still get active enjoyment out of, and Beckett/Castle was the undisputed champion of the UST landscape this year. The sheer fact that they were finally working toward a target get-together date automatically ranks this above season 2 or 3. Plus, Iron Gates > Captain Montgomery.

Community: A
Finale grade: A-
Boring gold standard of comedy forever, etc. I still think it is a comedy with more brain than heart, but then, so was Seinfeld. As long as it makes me laugh and continues to do all sorts of weird, random stylistic episodes, I don't care.

Glee: A
Finale grade: A-
Considering the internet's general problems with season 3, I ought to ding it a minus sign for the sheer hot mess that was Saturday Night Glee-ver, especially in conjunction with The Spanish Teacher, but...the sum of its good parts is greater than the negative. It has managed to remain my most-anticipated show since January, longer than anything else. It contains my favorite character on all of television, a small pack of additional kids I adore, the backbone of my music library, and the ability to (almost) always have at least one subplot that lights up my life. I am declaring season 3 the best.

Gossip Girl: A
Finale Grade: D
Just because it decided to strap a bomb to its chest in the finale is no reason to punish it overall unless you're Grey's Anatomy in season 7. The half season I watched was amazing in terms of being full of wonderful, weirdly compelling characters and addictive-like-crack storylines. Almost zero fast forwarding required. Shiny new obsession love bias, DAIR IS CANON, etc. I'm kind of afraid to watch any other parts of the series because they can't possibly measure up to DAIR IS CANON.

Smash: A
Finale grade: A
Brain-assaulting sex scenes and all, I loved the vast majority of what I saw here, and don't understand why everybody got so complain-y a few weeks down the road. It has more music I enjoy in context than Glee (albeit less I want to listen to independently), incredible female characters and an overall storyline that makes me feel like I'm part of the theater world I didn't know a thing about before watching the pilot.
~~~~~~~~
Survivor: A-
Finale grade: A
I am subjectively dinging it for the existence of Gay Racist Colton and how embarrassing the first 4 weeks were, but everything else featuring Kim and her Lady Gang of Amazonian Conquerors made for a pretty flawless remainder.
~~~~~~~~
CSI: B+
Finale grade: B-
I feel like Russell has gradually worn away all the edges of my patience, and Finn's not helping, even as Morgan continues to be wonderful alongside Sara and Greg and Hodges, after 10 years, has finally stopped being so annoying. Still by far the best in the franchise, and the only other crime show I can count on to entertain me the majority of the time.

The Office: B+
Finale grade: C
In Florida, it was very, very good. When not in Florida, it was not quite the same. But Catherine Tate has still been the best-ever addition to the original cast.
~~~~~~~~
House: B
Finale grade: B (you tried. In the final quarter)
I feel like despite my best efforts to bolster it, it sank a bit back to more mundane levels of excitement. Until the final 4 penultimate 3, when it wound up and knocked it out of the park.

Private Practice: B
Final grade: B
Actually found some interesting footholds with Amelia's pregnancy, Jake/Addison, and Mason's mom's illness.
~~~~~~~~
Grey's Anatomy: B-
Finale grade: B- (meh)
Ugh, I don't even know what I'm doing, except I think that because of either April(/Jackson) or Owen/Cristina I've seen every episode this semester. And I've been bored and/or disdainful of a lot of it (DEREK/MEREDITH/ZOLA). But I really like those two ships and most of the things that have been done with them.

Law & Order: SVU: B-
Finale grade: B-
It remains the show I am usually least excited to start watching. Amaro continues to be a shining star amidst the procedural landscape, though, and usually makes episodes worthwhile once I get going. Just never super exciting.
~~~~~~~~
How I Met Your Mother: C+
Finale grade: C
I literally can't remember anything that's happened since Puzzles other than Lily being pregnant and Barney dating someone who managed to be more annoying than Nora. I laughed sometimes, right?

NCIS: C+
Finale grade: C-
Whenever Jamie O'Neal showed up to play, as well as in episode 200, it was spectacular. The rest of the time I'd find myself going, "Ugh, this chore show, why can't my Tuesdays just be all about Glee."
~~~~~~
Chuck: C
Finale grade: F minus. F MINUS FOREVER.
I think there were a couple of really standout episodes despite the overall boredom of being in the spy business, and obviously the levels of Married Domesticity exploded off the charts and theoretically made this the most worthwhile season yet, but I still have excessive rage tunnel vision about the finale. This seemed like a fair compromise.
~~~~~~~~
CSI: Miami: C-
Finale grade: C
Let me just cut and paste from last year's post: "I don't really want to say it's better than CSI: NY, given its caliber of acting and writing and the fact that I still skip episodes, but sometimes its plots are more entertaining."

CSI: NY: C-
Finale grade: A
It gets a mild lift for the finale and the subtle Christine theme woven throughout the last several episodes. Everything else has been unmitigated hell.

Pretty Little Liars: C-
Finale grade: A-
Okay, the second half of season 2 was sort of interesting at times. Whatever. Eventually it will max out its positive aspects and hit the ceiling of my grading good will. I am wary of how it's been creeping up and promise to keep my eye on it.
~~~~~~~~
Raising Hope: I(ncomplete)
Finale grade: N/A
The guide-pig-murdering antics immediately shoved this over a cliff, where it had been dwelling high in my favor, and turned it into something I frankly never want to look at again. Ultimate betrayal.

Pass/Fail: For the shows where I watch less than 50% of the available content

30 Rock: Pass! Definitely pass!
I have watched everyone moan and groan and complain about how "bad" the show is in its old age, while I just cheekily grin and sit there all, "What are you talking about? This show ages like fine whine and cheese.*" Case in point, I laugh at it all the time. Just not when Tracy is on screen.
^ *I was going for a Big Cheese pun in there, but could not quite pull it off. Tumblr should make a Liz/Jack graphic featuring those names somehow, though.

GCB: Pass!
I think I only saw 4 overall, but every time I did, I was enchanted by its silly cuteness and how much I liked all the women (especially Carlene and Gigi). I do not understand why this didn't become the new Desperate Housewives, mostly as I have seen that show 4 times as well and every time, it has been the most dreary slog of boredom and universally unlikable people.

Hawaii Five-0: Fail
With all the heavy Monday competition, I could not be enticed to watch more than two episodes of 2012 no matter what happened. I'm just really over all your dudes, Hawaii. Not even Danny and Grace are enough to make me look it up voluntarily anymore.

NCIS: LA: Pass
Just for Kensi/Deeks, obviously. The show is worthy of existence in order to give them a vehicle in which to flirt. Or occasionally pretend to be married and/or save each other's lives. I expect this comment to meet with [info]plastichangers' approval.


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