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What Fascinates You?

So it’s another day wherein I have abandoned my normal routine for an afternoon out and a marathon session of Castle.  Look, we’ve got just over two seasons to catch up on, all right?  And I only get to see it Mondays. 

The weather outside was frightful, so we accomplished our long-postponed tour of Evergreen Hospital, which I shall be writing up tomorrow.  If your local hospital gives tours, take advantage, my darlings: it’s impressive.  At least if your facility is as cool as Evergreen is. 

Then we came home, made obscene amounts of food, and plunked ourselves down for hours and hours of Castle, which plan my cat heartily approved.  I love this show.  I still love it, even though I was slightly afraid they’d hit a second-season slump.  There’s no other show quite so good at taking lines that coulda shoulda woulda been cliched and making them not just relevant, but hilarious.  Warps expectations, turns tired tropes 45 degrees and has fun with them, nice sexual tension going – what’s not to love, right?

But I’m still trying to figure out why I love it so much.  And the conclusion I’ve come to is that every regular character is eminently likable.  They’re just fun to hang out with.  They’re interesting, they’re sympathetic, they surprise just enough to stay interesting and not enough to dismay.  It’s a delicate balance that’s very hard to strike.  And, bonus, even when the show could go there, it doesn’t reach for the supernatural.  Seems like every fucking show has thrown in gratuitous supernatural shit since Lost.  Now, I do enjoy the supernatural shit – I’m a die-hard Buffy fan, for fuck’s sake – but when it’s thrown in willy-nilly, it just irritates me.

So that’s now got me curious.  What does it for you, my darlings?  What hooks you on a show?  What keeps you hooked?  And what should I become obsessed with next (aside from House, which is already in my collection)?

Comments

  1. says

    Recently watched Louie CK. I think it was a single season one time show.I have got hooked on Liar which has some very similar traits to House. Castle is unknown to me so I'll check it out. And I agree with the willy-nilly line about the super natural. I lost all interest in Lost by the 5th show.

  2. says

    I like "Fringe". It started out as a pretty crude knock-off of the X-Files – right along with the ongoing tease of a potential romance between Molder and Scully, er, I mean Olivia and Peter. Over time however the show has matured and developed an interesting and engaging character of its own.Incidentally, I never could figure out why shows like this always partner up some hunk guy and curvalicious gal – both obviously sexually active – who spend all their time together and have a passion for the exact same things. And yet, despite the virtual fog of pheromones they surround each other in, never seem to make the obvious connection and just jump in the sack and get it on. You'd think a light would go off at some point – like maybe when one of them stands there handing a bath towel to the other as they emerge stark naked from the shower. Jeez a'mighty! How quick you gotta be to figure this one out, slick?I mean, what's up with that?

  3. says

    I have two different theories about that, Chris. One is that this is something the show's writers figure just about anyone in the audience can figure out on his own, which makes them feel smarter than the characters. The other is that it's sometimes the only way a show's writers can create any suspense or mystery.Which theory applies probably depends on which show we're discussing.

  4. says

    Wish I could tell you what it was that makes me like a show, but I don't think there's any one specific thing. Sometimes it's the how the characters are played or written. Sometimes its the story, and sometimes it's enough if there are puppets.Heck, sometimes I don't need any of that.I'm getting into "Burn Notice", but that might have something to do with my own career choices.

  5. Chris says

    Cujo, my money's on your second theory. OK, sure, Monk was a lot older than Natalie but I can't tell you how many times I tuned in hoping the two of them would hook up.I kept waiting for the episode which ends with Natalie rolling over in bed to light a cigarette while Tony Shalhoub grabs for a can of Glade.