I admit that I didn’t watch every episode, but what I did see was intriguing. Mental illness is slowly being recognized as something to be discussed and addressed, rather than swept under the rug or be something to be ashamed of. No one thinks twice of someone suffering from physical illness. It should be the same for mental illness.
Unfortunately, the main uneasiness that people seem to have with mental illness is that the first image that comes to mind is someone suffering from a psychotic breakdown and killing innocent people. These stories are fascinatingly gruesome and rare enough to make headlines.
While Cracked attempts to marry the crime-solving with the probing of the mind of the mentally disturbed, it suffers from sensationalizing the horrific crimes of the mentally ill and perpetuate the stereotype that the mentally ill cannot be trusted.
However, I did enjoy how the psyches of the main characters were explored. All of the characters suffer from mental flaws that border on mental illness and this is important to the weekly plots as well as the overall character development on the show. Also, victims and criminals alike were treated with compassion and understanding. Throughout the season, the show never let us forget that all of the characters (police, doctors, criminals, victims, bystanders, etc.) were human. They had dreams, plans, families, jobs, fears, and hopes. Above all, the series was one of hope.
I do hope it gets renewed.
Last year was about introducing audiences to the Canadian North and to a rag-tag ensemble cast of characters that inhabited it. It was a drama rather than a comedy, although it had its fair share of lighthearted moments, and sometimes the melodrama was too much for the show. It got in the way of the characters, the plot, and the gorgeous setting.
This year, we had more of the same, but it was streamlined. The relationships between the main characters were well-portrayed and strongly developed, but some of the supporting cast suffered from a lack of screentime. If you are going to have a wide ensemble cast, you have to keep them interesting. Most glaringly, there was a big relationship breakdown that happened about the fifth episode and then was never addressed again save for a throwaway line. Villains were introduced and then dropped. Even the secondary main cast suffered from clumsy writing. The whole season seemed rushed with trying to introduce new characters, bring back old ones, and keep the main characters front and centre.
That said, I liked the season very much. Although there were some plots that I found uninteresting and some characters were downright painful to watch, such was more reflective of my personal tastes than bad storytelling. The Northwest Territories is a beautiful setting, the characters got into dangerous and wacky situations, and the romance was realistic and yet whimsical. Every episode of this show is an adventure, usually both in the air and on the ground. Cliché and fun, Arctic Air is a good show, if only they would remember that they only have 13 episodes to get everything in and so maybe they ought to tone down the number of plotlines.
The Big Bang Theory (Season 6)
While I have only been watching off and on all season, this show does not disappoint. There were some new characters added temporarily to the mix, but overall, the show focused on the main seven characters and their continued struggles. Howard and Bernadette struggle with being newlyweds, first with Howard in space and then once he returns and readjusts to planetside life. Sheldon and Amy struggle with their not-quite-platonic relationship. Leonard and Penny struggle with their not-quite-seriously-romantic relationship. Raj struggles with his identity, his security, and then with his feelings for a woman who has even more serious social hang-ups than he does. Does any of this get resolved? Not really – it is a sitcom.
This is one of the only sitcoms that I regularly watch. It is predictable and quirky; it only changes slowly and does so and just enough of a pace that it is enjoyable without being unnerving. Over the course of six years, it has gone from a buddy-comedy of two nerdy roommates with a pretty girl next-door to a comedy about seven friends who are like a family. It has evolved just enough to be refreshing.
I look forward to seeing what they do with it next year.