With all the fuss rightfully devoted to the “Game of Thrones” premiere, and the season’s second episode of “Mad Men,” two other notable Sunday night shows aired without as much fanfare. The first, “The Killing,” returned after a disastrous first season finale (defended by Damon Lindelof and rebutted here), and as expected, its viewership dropped, although not as precipitously as I’d have imagined. The premiere drew 1.8 million viewers, down from the 2.7 million that tuned in to the premiere episode last season, but if you take into account the re-air later in the night, 2.5 million viewers watched. It was down, but not dramatically. There were enough of us who harbored a lot of resentment, but still tuned in out of curiosity. The verdict: It’s still a bad show, but there was something about the season two premiere that owned its badness. It gained some self-awareness, and kind of just shot the s–t out of the entire first season. SPOILERS: Belko shot Richmond, then Belko shot himself; Richmond is paralyzed; we find out that Richmond’s wife committed suicide; Linden and Holder are pulled apart by a dirty cop, less interested in implicating Richmond because he thinks he killed Rosie and more interested in implicating him to destroy his mayoral campaign; Mitch (Rosie’s Mom) left; and Stan went to the mob to find and murder Rosie’s killer. Oh, and out of f—ing nowhere, Rosie’s backpack — WITH A PERFECTLY PRESERVED BLOODY HANDPRINT — shows up, and the investigation basically restarts from scratch, only wiser in the knowledge that Rosie was a call girl. END SPOILERS
In other words, it was bats–t. But in its own kind of way, farfetched and ridiculous enough to be compelling. Not enough to bring back those on the fence, to be sure, but watchable in a train-wreck kind of way. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. To quell your own morbid curiosity, at the end of the season, I promise to clue you all in on the killer and motive.
“Shameless” also ended its second season, grabbing a solid 1.45 million viewers, and 2 million including the re-air. Of the four dramas that aired on Sunday night — “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “The Killing” and “Shameless” — the latter, although not the better overall show, was actually my favorite single episode of the night. It was dark, heart-wrenching, and gut-punching, but it ended on a sweet, satisfying note with what looks like — and I hope — (SPOILER) the dismissal of Karen’s character from the series. She never did redeem herself, either; she remained a bitch until the bitter end. I admit, too, that it was fun seeing Jenna Elfman as a lesbian nutcase.
If you don’t watch “Shameless,” I recommend it as great summer viewing when the television schedule slows down (or when it arrives on Netflix).
(Source: Chicago Tribune)