Since I am not currently jobbing, I have had a lot of time to do other things I didn’t have as much time for when I jobbed. I started a blog. I finished writing a novel. I started selling stuff online again. I shared a lot of political memes. I returned my overdue books to the library and paid (some) of my fines (just enough to check out more books, obviously).
And in case you thought I was being really productive, I am also Netflixing a lot. I just finished watching season three of The Killing last night. (I’m about to start the fourth and final season, which sucks because it’s a really good show. But then there’s House of Cards, so…) However, having recently watched Broadchurch, I am getting really tired of—SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched either of those shows but plan to—shows where the female detective discovers she’s either married to or romantically involved with the killer at the end of the season.
It would be one thing if it was just a really tired plot device all around, and I could just blame lazy writing. But I can’t think of any crime shows I’ve watched recently where the male detective discovers his wife/girlfriend is the murderer. Granted, this is my observation based on shows I can stream on Netflix, and I probably have not watched every murder mystery show available, but the next time I see a crime show with a female lead I’m going to assume her boyfriend did it. (I did actually see it coming on season three of The Killing.)
That being said, I otherwise enjoyed both shows. Broadchurch is a little different, because it’s set in Britain, where apparently guns do not exist. At least, no one ever has one. Even murderers and other criminals don’t carry guns! Neither do cops, or at least they don’t whip them out when chasing a murder suspect. There is, however, a really hilarious scene where a guy threatens someone with a crossbow, which is this huge honking thing that looks about twice as big as a machine gun (based on my knowledge of American shows). However, despite the lack of guns, people still manage to get murdered…
Another thing you’d never see on American TV: A female detective who literally cries for the entire first episode while the guy who took her job bosses her around. Not just in one scene, but every scene until the last two minutes of the show, when she finally dries up and does something resembling police work.
Oh, and lawyers wearing white powdered wigs in court like they’re fangirling over George Washington or something—what the fuck?
Other than that, Broadchurch was a really well-written and well-acted show. Just when you think you know who the killer is—nope, it’s someone else. Or is it? I can’t wait for the third season.
Speaking of shows with an upcoming new season, Bloodline returns with its second season in May. It follows the dysfunctional Rayburn family and their multitude of deeply buried secrets. The story revolves around black sheep Danny, who you can’t hate even if he does some stupid shit. Of course, so do some of the other characters. Season one ends—another SPOILER ALERT here if you haven’t watched it yet—with Danny’s brother drowning him, and Danny’s son—or a kid who claims to be his son—showing up out of the blue.
I also watched Jessica Jones. While I really liked the main character’s rude, sarcastic, and completely abrasive personality and found her very relatable, I also found the plot lacking. There was a lot of action, but most episodes were very formulaic and predictable. Now, if only they could write a show with a strong female lead and a plot a five-year-old couldn’t figure out, that would be great.
I am going to watch the fourth season of House of Cards, but I’m considerably less excited about it than I was about season three. The first two seasons were fast-paced and full of devious machinations on the part of Francis Underwood, who wormed his way from Congress to the Oval Office by the end of the second season. Unfortunately, once he got there the plot slowed down, and the whole show just became sad and depressing. There was less revenge, less plotting, and more characters feeling sorry for themselves and sulking.
Toward the end of the third season, the plot finally picks up again, with Underwood’s wife, Claire, announcing she’s leaving him after getting screwed out of her job as Secretary of State. Plus, Doug Stamper turns into a cold-blooded killer. Hopefully the fourth season will get back to the intrigue, plot twists, and the best part—Francis breaking the fourth wall and snarkily insulting his enemies to the audience—that made the first two seasons so entertaining.
What have you been Netflixing?
W. T. Fallon is the author of Fail to the Chief, a political satire in which the presidential election is carried out via reality show, which is almost as bizarre and far-fetched as our current reality.