Billie's Best, and Happy New Year!

As Queen of the Site, I'm the lucky one. I get to do my "best of" after reading, and cribbing from, everyone else's. Thanks, everyone else.

Jessica Jones

Even though I watch and enjoy many things Marvel and DC (not to mention the eons I spent reviewing Smallville), superheroes don't tend to be my thing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my sort of superhero.

But like nearly everyone else here at Doux Reviews, I fell in love with Jessica Jones. It was unexpected because I never got into Daredevil (although I hear it's pretty darned good). Was it because it was a woman's story? Because it was about abuse? Or because, as sunbunny said so well in her "Best Of", that the superpowers were beside the point? I'm sure some of it was also due to David Tennant as the incredibly despicable Kilgrave, and Mike Colter as the surprisingly yummy and adorable Luke Cage.


The Agents of D.O.U.X. have covered other shows in rotation, but Jessica Jones was the first binge-dump show that we covered in the space of only two weeks, with a new review going up every day. It worked, it was a blast, and we're planning to do it again.

The 100

I tried The 100 when it first started airing, decided that it was too much with the teen angst for me, and promptly dropped it. But our readers kept mentioning the show in the comments (we read every comment), a sure sign that I had missed something, so I gave it another try and reviewed the pilot. Several other Agents of D.O.U.X. who had stuck with The 100 through its brief Dawson's Creek phase offered to pitch in with reviews, and as the show progressed, it got heavier. In its first two seasons, The 100 shocked the socks off me not once, but twice. Okay, three times. That is not easy to do with a jaded television viewer such as moi.


The success of The 100 starts and ends with its young female lead (Eliza Taylor, above left, who does some amazing work as Clarke), and meanders through some incredibly hard stuff about the morality of war, especially the use of teenagers as cannon fodder. As Laure said so well in her "best of", The 100 is The Walking Dead Lite -- all the philosophical musing, half the gory calories.

Continuum

Possibly my favorite time travel TV show ever, Continuum had such a complex story that it absolutely needed several more seasons to do it justice. It didn't get them. But at least we got a final season of six episodes that wrapped it all up. Ah. What might have been.

Rectify

Why did it take me three seasons to discover this show? Rectify, airing on the Sundance Channel in the summer, is about Daniel Holden, an innocent who went to Death Row at the age of 18 and was unexpectedly released twenty years later. This show could be so incredibly depressing, but I promise you, it's not. There's something about it that I find captivating: the emotions of the characters, the slow unwinding of the story, the gorgeous photography. I'm especially blown away by Aden Young's portrayal of Daniel. Season four is coming this summer and I plan to finish reviews of the first three seasons by then.


Gilmore Girls

Why did it take me fifteen years to discover this show? I think I had the impression that it was a wholesome family show a la Seventh Heaven, and very much not for me. Okay, there's a little wholesome, but mostly, there are wonderful and lovable characters, a quirky and memorable small town, and witty repartee that actually rivals Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'd personally like to thank Netflix for giving me the opportunity to enjoy all of Gilmore Girls, way too many years later. I'm currently halfway through season five and savoring every episode, so don't spoil me.

Okay, I have to say something minorly spoilerly. Why did the writers have to screw over Dean as a character? What I've found amusing in a meta sort of way is the idea of Sam Winchester taking his brother's name and hiding in a small town in Connecticut with an adoptive family before he decided to go to Stanford.


Speaking of which, I'm still into...

Supernatural. They're giving us an excellent eleventh season with a brand new twist. They also pushed the envelope again with one of their best episodes, "Baby", which showed us the Supernaturalverse from the point of view of their car. This series isn't going to end until J and J decide that they've had enough, and as long as they want to continue, I'm going to review it.

The Walking Dead. Despite their controversial death tease of one of the series' favorite characters, I'm still deeply into this show. I particularly loved Carol as a one woman Rambo in "JSS", and the Morgan backstory, "Here's Not Here". And I'm simultaneously scared and excited about Papa Winchester, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, joining the show as The Walking Dead comic's most famous villain.

Honorable mention to The Fall, Arrow, The Flash, The Originals, The Returned (the creepy French zombies are back!), and the emotionally gut-wrenching third season of Last Tango in Halifax. Plus the wonderful final season of Justified, back in April.

Disappointments

Sleepy Hollow. I loved the first season of this show so very, very much, especially the arc of John Noble's character. I fantasized about Tom Mison's Ichabod Crane, and shipped him with Nicole Beharie's Abbie. And then a rogue showrunner tromped all over the show during its second season. The network gave Sleepy Hollow a new showrunner for the third season and tried to repair the damage, but unfortunately, it's not working. I don't expect Sleepy Hollow to get a fourth season, and that's so sad.

Wayward Pines. I had hopes for this show and its huge sci-fi twist, hopes that were dashed by an infuriating ending. I reviewed all of the first season last summer. I'm not sure I'll even try the second season.

Fear the Walking Dead. What happened? I was so excited about this spinoff, especially since it has a terrific cast and is set in Los Angeles (I'm a former Angelino). Did they go in the wrong direction? Was it just too frustrating that we as viewers knew so much that the characters didn't? Despite the negatives, I'm still on board to review the second season. Maybe they'll find their way.

Possibilities

Limitless: I am really enjoying this show. It's clever and fun, and the leads are terrific. I think I'm waiting for some more depth, though. I hope we're going to get it.

Supergirl: Pretty much the same comment as above. Melissa Benoist is just wonderful as the lead. I wish I didn't dislike Calista Flockhart's character so much, though, because she's close to ruining the show for me.

The Expanse: I've only seen three episodes, but I'm captivated. It feels a lot like a cross between Battlestar Galactica and the "eight worlds" novels of my favorite science fiction author, John Varley.

Colony: This sci-fi show begins in January and stars Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break, The Walking Dead). Can't wait to try it.

Legends of Tomorrow: This is the show I'm looking forward to the most. Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Wentworth Miller, my wonderful Spy Dad Victor Garber, I am ready for Legends to blow me away. It had better. We're covering this show, by the way.

Thank you

Doux Reviews means a lot to me. I spend a lot of my time writing and reading reviews and maintaining this site. It started slowly back in 2004, when I just needed to establish a one-stop spot to archive the reviews I'd been writing since 1997. Now we have over 6,000 reviews and we get approximately 50,000 visits, 125,000 pageviews, and 22,000 unique visitors a month. That's a lot for a smallish site. Especially since so many of the big TV sites offer reviews and recaps these days.

But it's not the numbers. It's the people that mean the most to me. Josie Kafka has been co-managing this site with me for five years, and I don't know what I'd do without her friendship, talent and constant creativity. Our contributors are all terrific writers, good friends and lovely people (except for Sam T. Cat, who is a lovely cat).

And I love you guys, our readers. I did a lot of site clean-up this summer (that was Amazon's fault for changing their ad format) and was so pleased and gratified by how many names I recognized in the comments on the older reviews. Thank you all so much for reading our stuff, posting comments, and in general hanging around and making this site a community.

Happy new year!
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Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. And she really needs to come up with a more interesting sig in 2016. Any suggestions?

16 comments:

mazephoenix said...

So glad you like Rectify, it's one of those shows that easily gets lost in a flurry of more spectacular things. I love it, and it's so quiet and yet tense, and the lead actor is just great. Love all the others too. Ted Jr could easily be one dimensional, yet he's not.
Loving Jessica Jones too, and won't be able to see David Tennant in the same light again.
Thanks for all the great reviews.

Juliette said...

This is a lovely site and a great place to write for.

Happy new year Billie and everyone! :)

Josie Kafka said...

I'm somebody's Best of 2015! Me!

I'm sure your other selections are all wonderful, Billie. But all I can think right now is "Me Me Me Me Me" and "Thank you!"

lisa menaster said...

Billie, any possibility you might review Gilmore Girls?

Billie Doux said...

lisa menaster asked: Billie, any possibility you might review Gilmore Girls?

We're definitely covering the reunion episodes. We've talked about possibly reviewing the entire series as a group, but we don't have solid plans yet. Maybe when we're done with The X-Files.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all you guys do on this site. It is by far my favorite place to visit on the web. I don't know how you all do it, and maintain your day jobs. Happy 2016!!!
Sooze

Lamounier said...

Great list, Billie.

I do love this site. This is my go-to place to read reviews and post comments.

Happy 2016, everybody.

Patryk said...

Let me say what many are feeling. Watching an episode of TV is not complete without reading a Doux review immedately after it is over. :)

I wish You all a hapyp 2016 and may the site grow further.

WhyMe said...

Thank you Billie, your site and penmanship have been my testing stone for good TV for many (many) years. May it live in the aether for many more.

Vero said...

Thanks so much to you Billie and to all the contributors! I don't post comments that often, but I first discovered your Smallville reviews back in 2005, and have continued to come back to the site ever since! Here's to another 10 years (at least!) of Doux Reviews!

Anonymous said...

When people are passionate about what they do, it shows like here. Another big plus point for this site above others is the lack of "judgement" in reviews and reasonable better alternatives suggested in case of criticism. Here's to hoping it keeps up the awesomeness.

ChrisB said...

So much good TV; so little time. This is my favorite site to visit. I love being part of it. HNY one and all!

Mallena said...

I needed more shows to watch so I am trying out the ones you liked. (I can't just watch Supernatural over and over and over) I can't get past the first few episodes of The 100. Too much teenage silliness. Limitless, I'm watching on demand, it's a little bit like Chuck, hope it gets better. I started watching Continuum, it's pretty good, but with the main character's husband and kid back home, how can she get really involved with anyone around her? That makes her kind of aloof, which isn't good for drama. I'll keep watching for now. I'm afraid to watch Jessica Jones. I love David Tennant and don't want to see him as a villain. Love that you review so many shows, keep up the good work.

Christian Walker said...

Wow, Billie, I started reading your reviews of Lost when it aired almost 12 years ago. At the time, I was obsessed with Smallville, Lost, and Gilmore Girls, and just wishing you would you break what seemed like genre boundaries and fall in love with ALL the shows I loved.

Excited to hear you love it. If you feel like reviewing GG, I will read it.

Anonymous said...

I originally came for the Lost reviews 12 years ago and stayed for the Supernatural ones (you were one of the few sites that reviewed and loved the brothers way back when). Since then I drop in a regular basis to see your reviews of some of my favourite shows (right now I'm re-watching the X-files and catching up with your reviews!). Thanks for all your hard work. Happy New Year!

Billie Doux said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments. I just re-read them so that I could savor them again. Happy 2016!