A Refreshing Take on Popular TV Shows

Izie sits looking surprised

Izie’s mind is blown after watching the last episode of “All American” / Photographer: Arla Sutton

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch the last episode of a television show you had never seen before? Well, I have. I asked three students at Orcas Island High School to name one of their favorite TV shows. I then proceeded to watch the finale of each of those three shows. The results were, well, what you would expect. I was confused, very confused. Did I say I was confused? It is very possible my confusion will be evident in my thoughts on each TV show, which are featured in this article. Oh, and there are spoilers ahead; I spoiled three TV shows for myself, but you do not have to. I would advise you to skip reading about any shows you were planning to watch or are partway through watching. But who knows, maybe my recap is such a confused mess I will not even spoil anything.


“Galavant,” recommended by Molly Troxel

Why does Molly like “Galavant”?
“I like ‘Galavant’ because it is hilarious: who doesn’t enjoy a self-aware medieval musical full of questionable references and deadpan humor? Also, the strict father from Downton Abbey plays a singing, health nut pirate into croquet and gardening — what’s not to love?”

My thoughts on the last episode of “Galavant” with no prior experience of the show:
Okay, so this is the plot: a knight throws a bearded dragon at the evil Voldemort king. The bearded dragon dies on impact after hitting the ground and not the evil Voldemort king. Rage over murdering his own bearded dragon drives the knight to snap the evil Voldemort king’s red wand and save the kingdom. Oh wait, the bearded dragon survived the throw! Who saw that coming? Oh dear, they are singing again. An army invades because of…health insurance? More singing…oh no. Some happily-ever-after stuff. You guessed it, they are singing…about their show getting cancelled? This is getting super meta. And the “bearded dragon” from earlier is an actual dragon. Go figure. This is the peak of satire.


“The West Wing,” recommended by Arla Sutton

Why does Arla like “The West Wing”?
“I like ‘The West Wing’ because it has a touch of drama combined with the everyday life of the staff of the White House. I enjoy the comedy part of it as well, especially CJ’s one-liners and Josh and Donna’s banter.”

My thoughts on the last episode of “The West Wing” with no prior experience of the show:
Man sits in the window, is this the president? Another man lies in bed, the president? Man sits at his desk and throws a ball against the wall; I do not think this is the president, but who knows? People are calling this guy “Mr. President,” so I am pretty sure this means he is. We can move on now. It is inauguration day and the show is following the president-elect and the president. Lots of emotional scenes with swelling music. Inauguration happens. Keb Mo plays some music. The old president is on a flight from Washington D.C. to New Hampshire. Ends with a shot of a plane over an open ocean. But they are going to New Hampshire? I am pretty sure there is no ocean between D.C. and New Hampshire. But who knows? Maybe “The West Wing” is posing a conspiracy theory about an ocean in the northeastern United States that is only able to be viewed from the president’s plane. Or maybe they were just taking the scenic route; both are plausible explanations.


“All American,” recommended by Uma McMurray

Why does Uma like “All American”?
“I like it because it’s kinda the opposite of what our high school is like, almost in every way. And whether or not it is super realistic to actual high school aged kids, it shows rich Beverly Hills kids and football superstars, wealth, and just living this life that I guess people actually live. While also showing what I feel like is an accurate and not overdone portrayal of a poor urban neighborhood, when in other TV shows it is often glamorized or villainized, or just clearly unrealistic. The show’s diversity is also well done and not forced which for some reason is pretty rare these days.”

My thoughts on the last episode of “All American” with no prior experience of the show:
Okay, so this is the plot: it centers around a star high school football player who plays football for Beverly Hills High School. Classic. His coach is getting investigated by the school because he is not listening to the school’s booster club. Not so classic. So he moves out of his house to separate himself from his family. Why? I am confused again. Then the coach resigns at the big fancy gala for the football players. At the gala there are giant towers of shrimp. Also at the gala a girl’s ex-boyfriend asks her to go yachting around the world with him. The girl declines and decides to focus on her podcasting. I mean, I like podcasts but even I am confused by this choice. Also, this is very relatable. This might be a good time to say this show is “inspired by true events.” Other storylines are about prison visitation and going on a music tour with your father. Star football player (remember him?) decides to play for his hometown team (not Beverly Hills) in order to save his hometown school from gentrification. He convinces his old coach to come coach him. Yeah! Star football players experience intense shoulder pain. Oh no! Next season will not be good.