Pajamas Over People: Current Obsessions | Summer TV, Vol. 3

In my July 16 and August 20 columns, I discussed a few of my summer television obsessions which included Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” TV Land’s “Younger,” FX’s “The Strain,” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” This week, we’re down to the last two on my TiVo list that keep me busy before fall sweeps hits. (Then the list gets MUCH longer!) 

Girl Meets World | Season 2 | Disney Channel

GMWI’ve already written about my overall impression of the first season of this ‘90s nostalgia-fueled tween show and my opinion hasn’t changed much. The forever-a-BoyMeetsWorld-superfan in me has been enjoying season two just as much, if not more.

Cameos from the original show’s characters keep popping up, making it an intense nostalgia fix every single time. My favorite character (behind Shawn) has finally shown up and the return of Mr. Squirrels has been my absolute favorite moment so far.

So what’s new with Eric Matthews? He’s a New York Senator! And he had a heart-warming reunion with Tommy, the kid he almost adopted back in his 20s. Will Friedle stepped back into his role as Eric so seamlessly it feels like he never left our lives for a moment—which he hasn’t if you watch reruns as obsessively as I do!

Aside from Eric, we’ve also seen Mr. Feeny again (for two touching, albeit painfully brief, scenes in episodes one and two), Shawn’s long-lost love Angela, everyone’s favorite English teacher Mr. Turner, and heartthrob Jack Hunter. I can’t contain my girly squeals every time I see an old familiar face.

As far as the core storyline goes, the plot is still very Disney-esque, but with clear evidence that showrunner Michael Jacobs is trying hard to steer the show in a more mature direction, much as he did with BMW.

The best display of that thus far has been “Girl Meets Yearbook.” Riley is stunned to see her best friend and her crush accidentally nab “Cutest Couple” and Farkle comes to terms with wanting to change his identity. It’s a poignant reminder of how crucial every little life detail was back in middle school.

The kids are finally starting to show evidence of growing up and that makes me excited for all the moments that are sure to follow as we tag along their journey—just as we did for their parents.

Fear The Walking Dead | Season 1 | AMC

FearTWDAt press time, only two episodes have aired so far, so it may not be fair to say I’m already bored. But this “companion series” (don’t call it a spin-off!) to AMC’s zombie juggernaut looks to potentially be rather underwhelming. Even the name feels lazy.

It could be subtitled “While Rick Grimes Slept.” Fear looks to illustrate society’s rapid unraveling from the onset of the virus—? flu? bacteria? We still don’t know!—with the pilot episode showing our new main characters what we already know: No matter how many times you shoot the infected (or hit them with a car), they will continue to come at you until they take a bullet/arrow/blade to the brain.

Speaking of those characters, I don’t like a single one of them yet. “Oh, how nice to see some fresh faces!” False. We’re introduced to new people on Dead all the time and it’s safe to say they are far less bland than this band of “blended” family members.

While it’s interesting (for now) to see the contrast of Georgia countryside versus bustling Los Angeles, one could expect that in a few months’ time, it might feasibly resemble the eerily abandoned Atlanta we remember from season one of Dead.

Come to think of it, I now have a new appreciation for season one of Dead. We were thrust right into the apocalypse, seeing this terrifying new world through Rick’s freshly opened eyes: What happened? Where is everyone? What is that? Oh my god, what IS that? What happened to her face? That lady only has half a body! WHAT IS GOING ON?

I think Fear is a letdown so far because we’re so accustomed to the heart-pounding, no-holds-barred action that Dead has grown into. (Remember the quiet days on the farm when all you had to worry about was walker guts in the well? Aww.) I don’t have the patience to wait for everyone to discover what world they’re now living in. I yawn at the confused/horrified looks on their faces. We’re two episodes in and no one’s dead yet?

The scene that really annoyed me in “So Close, Yet So Far” was when Alicia found out her boyfriend was sick. Her parents wander in and discover he’s been bitten—and they just leave him there. Why did NO ONE ask, “Oh hey, so who/what bit you?” How was that not a question? Or how long ago he was bitten? What his symptoms are? They’re so worried about what’s happening, enough to escape to the desert (really?) because the cops are shooting people in the streets, but here they are with a real live person afflicted and they’re not stopping for two minutes to ask this kid what’s wrong with him! I also have no patience for stupid people (RIP Andrea).

I have a massive amount of respect for the showrunners and brilliant (albeit maybe a little disturbed) minds behind The Walking Dead. Knowing that the same great people are doing their best to churn out another blockbuster series is going to keep me tuning in each week at least for the first season. If I had given up on Dead before they’d reached the prison, I’d be severely missing out on the mind-blowing Sunday nights I’ve come to love so much—but really, all Fear is doing is giving me severe withdrawal pangs for Dead. October can’t come soon enough!

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