Thursday, December 31, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch review

I'm finally done rewatching the series, and I have a bunch of random thoughts floating around in my head. If you're looking for cogent thoughts about the series, this ain't it. After watching so much Lost in a short period of time, I can't focus on anything.

I'll be disappointed if Libby's backstory isn't explained, and it probably won't.

Josh Holloway did a great job in the last season

Jacob isn't that stupid is he?

If Juliet is dead, so is everyone else. A thermonuclear explosion would kill everyone on the island.

The Juliet/Sawyer/Kate/Jack love quadrangle has gone on too long.

Christian's body went to the island, and then he was seen several times. Is that related to the new Locke?

I can only imagine how much better watching the show in 10 days without knowing what happens would be.

Rose and Bernard showing up in the end was really random, but somehow they were relevant.

I have a feeling Jin and Sun won't meet until the end of the series.

There seems to be 2 separate fights going on: Ben vs. Widmore and Jacob vs. man in black.

The new characters (Eko, Ana Lucia, Libby) getting killed off in the earlier seasons make their appearance rather trivial.

Michael's appearance in season 4 was unnecessary. What needed to be explained was Walt, not Michael.

It still baffles me how the casting could have been so perfect for a huge ensemble cast with so many different characters.

The smoke monster has done so many different things that it'll be hard for the writers to come up with a reasonable explanation.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Review - Better Off Ted Season 2 Episode 4 It's Nothing Business, It's Just Personal

Check out my review on SpoilerTV.

Score: 8.7/10

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Tuesday 12/29/09

I haven't been posting ratings mostly because nobody cares about repeats. The ratings were about what you'd expect. CBS repeats well so they win most of the days, and the rest of the networks do terrible unless they air a well-liked holiday special. News shows such as Dateline on NBC and 20/20 on ABC still do well.

The only new show the past few weeks has been Better Off Ted, and it did the same as last week with a low 1.0. At the very least, it didn't drop from the 1.0 of the Scrubs repeat. Just a reminder, new episodes of Scrubs and Better Off Ted will air after the Rose Bowl this Friday.

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 10

It's the last day and I'm already on season 5 episode 12. Since I know what happens in the season finale, I can't help but wonder what the significance of everything is. There are so many scenes dedicated to getting back to the island, and they did get back, but there really seems to be no point. Instead of Locke chasing after fantasies, Jack has taken the mantle, believing he has a special destiny. Ben, while still confident, knows less than what we originally believe, and it is almost as if he is on the same level as Locke.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 9

I'm finally done with season 4 and with two days left, I only need to watch 17 episodes. IMO, season 4 is worse than other season. The stuff with the mercenaries and Keamy never went anywhere. My big problem with Keamy is that he was the bad guy, but unlike previous bad guys, we didn't see any other side to him. He's a killer that is portrayed well and that's about it. The weird thing about the season finale is that the writers put all the action in the penultimate episode of season, so unlike the previous seasons, there was much more talking and then one huge twist at the end.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don't hate the crime procedural

I wanted  to add "hate the game" to the title but I think that would be too cheesy.

Every week when the ratings for the previous night come out, they are accompanied by incredulous comments about how many viewers the various CBS crime shows (NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds, etc) get. There are also some comments attacking the viewers of the shows complaining about how brain dead the audience is. Sometimes even a Heroes fan attacks crime shows and their fans.

Critics like attacking crime shows for their formulaic nature. But the writers are still talented and the actors are still talented. What more can be done with a show whose intent is to show crimes and  people solving them? I would agree that the interpersonal relationships are weak compared to other shows, but the format itself isn't that bad.

First, there is the murder or people finding the body. The crime can be directed to show the total brutality of murder in a way cable shows are praised for. People finding the body can be humorous in the case of Bones or thrilling in the case of most other shows. Then the police/FBI/other group goes about solving the crime using cool technology, interrogation techniques, logic, and maybe some shooting/fighting until they catch the criminal. Along the way the audience may learn something about the characters and the characters develop distinct personalities and traits. It's an easy way to engage the audience and keep them watching the show.

The purpose of television is to make money and the formula of the crime procedural is perfectly suited to bring in viewers. Most people don't have time to watch a continuous story week after week at the exact same time. With the growing popularity of internet viewing and DVR, that is changing, but for now the public at large watches shows they can miss on random weeks.

Therein lies the greatness of crime procedurals. For all the critics and haters out there, the audience keeps returning to these crime shows, and to prove the audience is not one large blob, some shows even do much better in the ratings than others. I know it's hard concept to swallow, but not all crime procedurals are the same. That's why NCIS does at least twice as well as The Forgotten. There is a difference in quality between all the various crime shows and the audience recognizes that.

Next time you see the huge ratings of a crime procedural, don't whine and bitch. And please don't attack the viewers. Accept that not all people watch television as obsessively as you and get over it.

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 8

I didn't watch much yesterday so I'm only on season 4 episode 4. Locke is probably the most arrogant character, and in the beginning of season 4, we see him again not telling people anything and expecting them to follow him. While the island has granted him use of his legs, he is still the hapless fool he was not on the island. He chases fantasies around the island with the notion that he's supposed to do it and in the end, he's rarely right. In the flashbacks, we see him chasing the acceptance of his father and never getting it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 7

Morning Report:

I'm done with season 3 so there's only 31 episodes left. With four days left, I have to watch 8/9 episodes per day which should be easy. Since that is the case, I'll just do one post in the morning and not update during the day. Season 3 was a solid season, but so far, the season is the best indication that the showrunners are making stuff up as they go. There's random stuff all over the place, and looking back on it, there is still a lot that is unexplained. Season 4 is a weird season because I can't really remember what happened. I know I watched it, but all I remember is new characters and people running around the island with guns.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 6

Mid-day Report:

I'm on season 3 episode 15 so Nikki and Paulo are dead, and Kate and Juliet are going through the jungle. It may be that because season 3 is more recent than season 2 and 1 that I don't like it as much as the first two seasons. The problem with rewatching is that you already know what happens and in Lost, it makes a big difference.

Friday, December 25, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 5

Morning Report:

I'm on season 3 episode 7 right now and with 6 days left which means I'll only have to watch an average of 8 episodes per day. I'll be gone for half the day, so no update until the evening though I probably won't watch more than 5 episodes. So far, Jack seems even more of a tragic hero than Sawyer. All Sawyer is is a guy who wants love and loses it. But Jack is the guy who puts the weight of the world on his shoulders and loses it all in the process.

Evening Report:

I didn't get to watch very much so I'm on season 3 episode 11. I think I'll finish season 3 tomorrow and go easy for the rest of the 10 days. Season 4 and 5 only have a combined 31 episodes which could take me 2 days theoretically. On the same topic, I'm thinking of doing a two-day Chuck rewatch the weekend before the season premiere. The problem is that I would have to watch for 12 hours continuously on both days which I've never done. Since Michael is now out of the picture, my new character to hate is Charlie. He can't mind his own business and he's annoying while bothering everyone.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to anyone who is reading this. Thanks to everyone who reads my posts and puts up with my total lack of proofreading.

Is Avatar racist?

Sorry for rehashing something non-television related, but I had some thoughts on the subject since there is a fair amount of discussion on it.

Depending on your definition on the word racist -- the word is thrown around all the time -- Avatar can be considered quite racist. James Cameron is a leftist through and through, so I'm sure that was not his intent though you have to question what was going on in his mind. My opinion is that the movie is in a twisted form of colonialism where the inherent traits of a culture (in this case the Marines) allows the outsider to master and lead the natives. No matter what you call it, there is something deeply disturbing about the movie and its attitudes towards native cultures.

Behind the anti-war, anti-capitalist, pro-environment message is a story that focuses on the "white man" and his relationship with a native people whose appearance is a blend of African and American Indian. Initially unskilled at the easiest of tasks, the white man rises to the top, mastering all the skills of the native people, eventually becoming their leader, and defeating the evil outsiders.

Yes, these primitive, uncivilized savages of Pandora need a white man to guide them against the evil Sky People. Why couldn't the Na'vi handle the humans on their own? Because they are useless and weak, unable to solve problems on their own. Only the guidance of the white man will lead them to freedom.

I read an argument that Avatar is not racist because Jake Sully used what he learned from the Na'vi to defeat the outsiders without imposing Earth morals. If that were the case, the Na'vi should have defeated them on their own. Instead, they needed someone from Earth who had the ingrained ability to lead. Nobody stepped up, but Jake did. Are the Na'vi genetically worse than humans to need a human to win?

Cameron's magnum opus was intended to be a visual spectacle that required the advanced technology of the 21st century to achieve the realism his vision required. While he succeeded in visual aspect, the generic story seen in Dances With the Wolves and The Last Samurai once again is condescending on many levels. Filmmakers must realize that the concept of the noble savage being saved by the outsider is hardly glorifying to the native people. Why they continue to make movies like is anyone's guess.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Wednesday 12/23/09

On the day before Christmas Eve, there were repeats and very few people to watch them.

CBS won the night with Home for the Holidays With Faith Hill (1.1), Criminal Minds (2.0), and CSI: NY (2.1). CSI: NY usually does considerable worse than Criminal Minds, but it did better last night,

ABC was second with How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2.1), The Middle (1.8), Modern Family (1.9), The Middle (1.5), and Cougar Town (1.3, 1.1). Cougar Town stood on its own in the beginning, sometimes doing as well as Modern Family, but the numbers are quickly eroding. ABC has to wonder what would have happened if they had Better Off Ted in the time slot instead of Cougar Town.

Fox was third with Glee (1.2, 1.5).

NBC finished last with Mercy (0.8, 0.7) and The Jay Leno Show (1.1). Without a healthy lead in, Leno was crushed by repeats on CBS and ABC.

January Return Dates

Lots of shows are coming back from extended breaks (2 months+), so here's a list of them with some of my thoughts.

Chuck - Sunday, January 10

I can't believe Chuck got renewed, but it's coming back with a two-hour season premiere and another episode the next day in the regular 8 PM time slot.

Big Love - Sunday, January 10

The long-term arcs for Big Love are very average, but the acting and occasional flashes of creative brilliance makes the show worth watching.

Leverage - Wednesday, January 13

The second season has undoubtedly been worse than the first which isn't too big a problem since the first season was so good. From what I read, Gina Bellman won't be showing up for a while.  

24 - Sunday, January 17

24 is my favorite show in television for the sheer force that is Jack Bauer. I don't care about plot holes or wacky storytelling; Kiefer Sutherland is still amazing after seven seasons and I am looking forward to the eighth season and hopefully ninth.

White Collar - Tuesday, January 19

I thought White Collar would be the best new drama of the season, but the stories have been lackluster. The chemistry and acting is still on par with the amazing pilot.

Burn Notice - Thursday, January 21

Burn Notice is finally back and Michael is back at square one trying to get back into the spy game. His motivations? We still don't know, but the show is still a blast to watch. 

Damages - Monday, January 25

Damages is a brilliant show and we are lucky to have gotten a third season. If not for the critical praise, the show would be a goner. 

Psych - Wednesday, January 27

The show is now about Shawn blurting out random dribble, but James Roday is such a great comedic actor it is actually funny. The show has gotten exceedingly stupid and I still laugh.

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 4

Sorry for not posting an evening update last night. I was planning on finishing the episode I was on, updating the post, and then watching three more episodes. Then I fell asleep before finishing the episode I was on. Yeah, it's sad.

Morning Report:

I'm on season 2 episode 15 and I hope to get well into season 3 by the end of the day. I'm done with a third of the series and I have 7 days left, so I'll be slowing down soon. Charlie with his high pitched whiny voice is about as annoying as Michael. Dominic Monaghan works as the hapless druggie, but as a villain on FlashForward, he clearly doesn't work. Having watched all the episodes continuously, I feel that season 2 drags on much more than season 1.

Mid-day Report:

I'm on season 2 episode 22 now which is very close to the end of the second season. Michael has now shot Ana Lucia, Libby, and himself. He has great motivation to get his son back, but he's such a bad person when he tries to get Walt back. It's fine if he's simply annoying, but shooting people crosses a line. Out of the main character deaths so far, I would rank them as Boone, Libby, Shannon, and finally Ana Lucia.

Evening Report:

It's Christmas Eve, so I didn't really watch that much. I'm on season 3 episode 3 which is about halfway through the series. I'll be gone for half of tomorrow so I won't get very many episodes watched, but I'm ahead anyways. Michael in the first two seasons is the most one-sided character. Unlike Jin and Sawyer who change over time, Michael focuses on Walt the whole time and sells out his "friends." Even in the flashbacks he shows an unnatural devotion to his child who he has rarely seen. Charlie is another one of those annoying character's whose actions are predictable. When another guy is around Claire, he gets pushy. They're basically strangers and yet he acts like those creepy, possessive boyfriends. When someone acts him about drugs, he lies.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review - Better Off Ted Season 2 Episode 3 Battle of the Bulbs

Check out my review on SpoilerTV.

Score: 9.2/10

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Tuesday 12/22/09

CBS won the night with NCIS (2.9), NCIS: Los Angeles (2.4), and The Good Wife (1.7).

NBC was second with a repeat of The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now (1.4) and The Jay Leno Show (1.5). I guess congratulations are in order for Leno who finally improved on the lead in.

ABC was third with America's Funniest Home Videos (1.4), Scrubs (1.4), Better Off Ted (1.0), and Christmas at the White House (0.9). ABC is still doing terribly even with new episodes of comedies going up against repeats. People are opting to watch repeats or not at all even though there is funny stuff on. Oh well...

Fox finished last with a repeat Carrie Underwood Holiday Special (1.1).

Review - Scrubs Season 9 Episode 5 Our Mysteries

J.D.'s wholly unnecessary return and exit finally came to an end, and it wasn't pretty. Unlike the spectacular "My Finale," a fitting end to J.D. career at Sacred Heart, "Our Mysteries" was simply weak. J.D. is now the needy guy who hasn't changed a bit and still craves attention and approval. I thought J.D. had finally grown up last season, but I guess not. Most of the episode he and Turk try to find the student that didn't like him. Someone who doesn't like me? I must track him down and change his mind!!

The good news is that we won't have to fret about J.D. or his state of mind anymore. Instead, we can watch the newcomers bumble around without watching J.D. groveling all the time. I am starting get the feel for the newcomers and there were several scenes between the med students that I liked. Lucy is getting funny (loved remark about horses stickers) and Cole, while only a one-note character, is occasionally funny. He's not funny like Aziz Ansari was last season (off the charts funny), but his character is workable. Denise and Drew continue to be funny, but I'm not sure if Drew can stand on his own.

I wish the new season had jumped into the new characters without rehashing old J.D. and giving him a worse send off. What would have been better is if we saw some of the old interns from last season. We got Sunny, my least favorite new intern, last night and she was funny in small doses.

Scrubs is still going to be canceled anyways, so it doesn't really matter from here. I'll watch until the end of the season and if I'm disappointed, at least there won't be more episodes.

Score: 8.7/10

Can Dollhouse be saved? Only if you're high.

I got a hilarious message on the official Dollhouse forum titled "One Last Stand."

If not on Christmas, then on Christmas Eve, at a specified time, we should bombard Fox with emails, phone calls, tweets and just crash their whole system. Even if they're not working, we can at least give them something to come back to. And if anyone is willing, sometime before the return of Dollhouse, we should hold a protest or something in front of a FOX building. I'm willing to go. It could be just one, the nearest me is LA, or we can do it across the US. Even if nothing comes of it, at least we went down fighting.

Please anyone. Join me? It's happened before. It can happen again.

Sorry, but no show with such low, pathetic ratings has ever been renewed. Not even close. This season the ratings started bad and only got worse.

If you're going to go all out and "crash their whole system," just kidnap a couple of Nielsen families and turn their sets to Dollhouse. That way, Fox will actually see progress in the ratings and won't be pissed off that the fans forced them to spend more money on tech support.

The simple fact is that successful fan campaigns are 1 in 100, and nonexistent for shows like Dollhouse with genuinely bad ratings. Jericho got renewed. but it had almost twice the viewers of Dollhouse, and Chuck had many more viewers on a struggling network. Dollhouse on the other hand is on Fox where its measly ratings aren't needed. The repeats of House and Bones during November sweeps did substantially better than new episodes of Dollhouse. There is always a time to lay down and give up -- unless of course you take my suggestion and commit some crimes.

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 3

Morning Report:

Now I'm on season 2 episode 2. I won't be able to finish season 2 today, but I'll get close. Michael is starting up his cries of "Waalt!!" again after half a season of not being obnoxious. Even in the flashbacks he's annoying. The good thing is that the hatch is now open, and the annoying is offset by the awesome.

Mid-day Report:

I'm on season 2 episode 6. Around here is where things start coming together and it is sort of the turning point of the series from the unknown to some understanding. They're pushing the buttons in the hatch and the people who left on the boat meet up with the people in the tail end of the plane. The Others are still only a symbol, but they're coming up soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Monday 12/21/09

CBS won the night when there was almost no new programming with How I Met Your Mother (1.7), Accidentally on Purpose (1.7), Two and a Half Men (3.2), The Big Bang Theory (3.4), and CSI: Miami (2.4).

NBC did surprisingly well with The Sing Off (2.3) and The Jay Leno Show (1.6).

I never talk about Univision, but I have to note that it did better than both Fox and ABC.

Fox did badly with House (1.6) and Lie To Me (1.3). When it comes to repeats of popular shows, the network matters the most which is why CBS still does great with repeats.

ABC was last with I Want a Dog for Christmas (1.8), Find My Family (1.2), and Castle (1.0).

Avatar has amazing visuals, not much else

This is a television blog, so quick thoughts only.

Aristotle listed the elements of a tragedy as plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and lastly spectacle. In this regard, Avatar is a total failure. Aristotle would have detested the movie -- if not blown away by the two-hours plus feast of visuals. I think he would have to shuffle spectacle after watching the movie, having seen only what the limited technology of the Greeks could produce.

There is no undertone in the film; the message is as blatant as it comes. Capitalism is evil. Industrialization is evil. The West is evil. War is evil. American settlers were evil.

Alright, we get it, but James Cameron bashes us over and over with speeches from a twisted Randian. We know the West exploits resources in South America and Africa. We know humans can't destroy all of nature.

Cameron's self-indulgent epic is not a terrible movie, but there is much to be desired. The script is filled with plot holes, and the message in its simplicity is quite stupid. Too much time is devoted to exploring the world of Pandora instead of the characters, and in the end, the audience can appreciate the visuals, and not care about anything else.

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 2

Morning Report:

Currently, I'm on season 1 episode 17. I'm leaving in 30 minutes to watch Avatar, and I won't be back until noon or later, so I'm aiming for close to 10 episodes today. That'll put me somewhere in season 2 which gives me a good chance of finishing the season tomorrow. I'm positive I'll be gone for at least one day and probably two, I might not be able to watch any episodes on those days. Therefore I'll push hard for now and slow down if there is extra time.

Evening Report:

I didn't watch as much as I would like to, so I'm only on season 1 episode 23. I've always thought Boone was a  wasted character and rewatching his death reinforced that. Now that I'm at the end of the first season, it's incredible to see how the series started by focusing on Jack, Kate, and Charlie and then branched out in all the different characters.

Monday, December 21, 2009

10-day Lost rewatch: Day 1

I know you're wondering how I have time to watch over 100 episodes in one day. I won't tell. However, there are about four conclusions you can deduce from the mere fact that I have the time. I'll let you think about that.

Although time should not be an issue, I'll be watching Avatar tomorrow and I may be gone around Christmas which means I'll need to watch extra episodes per day. My current plan is to watch 15+ episodes today to ensure that I have enough time in case I won't be able to watch any episodes at all on certain days. Barring any disasters, I'm positive I can finish the show in time.

The format for these posts will be a morning report, mid-day report, and an evening report. I definitely won't be reviewing any episodes, but I will post whatever random thoughts I have.

Morning Report:

I woke up really early and I'm on season 1 episode 5 right now. Compared to the new sci-fi shows in recent years, Lost simply blows them away. I've always thought that Lost was made up is it went along -- to an extent all shows are -- but I don't think it has hurt the show badly. Looking at these first few episodes and comparing them to what I remember of the later seasons, I think Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse had a general idea of where they wanted to go with characters and stories, and filled in the details later. Considering how amazing the show is, I don't think you can fault them.

Midday Report:

I took a really long break, so I'm only on season 1 episode 11. Nonetheless, I think I'll still be on track. Having Boone and Shannon as regulars made me miss them, and reminded me how their stories could have been so much better.

Evening Report:

I'm on episode 15 which puts me on pace, but I hope to squeeze in a few more episodes before tomorrow. I'm watching Avatar in the morning and writing a quick review (or long if I have lots to say). I like Tamara Taylor, but what the writers made her character do to Michael is beyond mean. Michael and Walt are already getting annoying, and in the back of my mind, I know there's much more coming up ahead. They are my least favorite part o the show and having just watched a Michael episode, I dread any more of his episodes.

CBS airing new show, Undercover Boss, after Superbowl. What?

This is CBS's description of the show:

UNDERCOVER BOSS is a new reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the lowest level jobs within their companies. Once undercover, they’ll get their hands dirty with the rank and file, find out what their employees REALLY think of them and discover how smoothly their companies are REALLY run. In the process, these senior executives learn about themselves, the perception of their company and the spirit of their work force.

Instead of airing the season premiere of Survivor's 20th season, The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, NCIS, or any of the other hit shows CBS has, the suits at CBS decided to air a new show -- a reality show no less.

I rarely watch reality shows (maybe 5 times a year) so I definitely won't be watching, but what matters is if people stick around to watch. Undercover Boss isn't a competition show like the immensely popular American Idol and Dancing With the Stars, so why does CBS think it can succeed in the long run? After all, that's the purpose of the post-Superbowl timeslot. It is intended to have huge ratings in the short run and have considerable ratings payoff in the long term.

Perhaps it is my bias towards reality shows, but I can't imagine how the show can succeed. The concept is sound for a run-of-the-mill reality show; the rich guy being the lowly laborer will produce heartwarming and humorous moments. I don't imagine how the audience will be captivated to watch different people each week. The draw of the popular reality shows (AI, DWTS, BB, AR, HK) is that there are memorable characters that compete each week. There is nothing in Undercover Boss that indicates it can produce the same results.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top 5 Sci-Fi Shows not on best of decade lists

I'm not going to make a best of the 00's list mostly because everyone has the same shows, and I think they all belong. A general rundown of what everyone has: The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, The Shield, West Wing, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, and a random spattering of comedies.

Other than Lost and Battlestar Galactica, there is a lack of sci-fi shows which is understandable. The award shows and critics regularly pass over the genre entirely, but I love the genre, so here's a list of sci-fi shows of the decade that I liked that made few or no lists.

1. Firefly

I know Firefly made it onto several lists, but for the most part, the show gets much more credit from the fans than the critics. Seamlessly blending humor, science fiction, and Westerns, Joss Whedon came up with another hit that viewers didn't care about. I know there are lots of excuses made the the show and Whedon shows in general, but in the end, there is one valid excuse. Joss Whedon belongs on cable. The potential for FIrefly was endless and the 14 episodes only scraped the surface of what it could have been. But even still, the 14 episodes by themselves represent an untouchable level of science fiction. The casting, settings, and writing is as close to perfect as I can imagine.

2. Alias

The last two seasons and most of the third were difficult to watch, but the first two seasons are my favorite two consecutive seasons of television ever. Whenever someone praises Fringe and its relationships, I always think back to Alias. There is no competition. Sydney, Jack, Dixon, Vaughn, Marshall, etc made the show and the acting was fantastic. Jennifer Garner may never been a hit on the big screen, but she is the greatest television ass-kicker of all time.

3. Supernatural

The WB/CW may have low budgets, but that doesn't mean they can't make an occasional gem. The show evolved from two brothers chasing down the creepy crawlies and branched out into an epic struggle of heavenly proportions. The relationship between the Winchesters rivals the best of cable, but the award shows continue to ignore it.

4. Farscape

Underrated by the critics and overrated by the fans, Farscape took big leaps and never turned back, giving those still watching an exhilarating ride. The writers were never afraid to take risks and significantly shake things up. Sometimes it didn't work, but I have to commend them for bold choices few shows take. The range of the series was incredible, and I'm not sure there are any series out there that matches it. What show could have a Farscape version of Looney Tunes (Revenging Angel) and in the very next episode have a gut wrenching episode focusing on Aeryn (The Choice)?

5. Stargate SG-1

Unlike Buffy and The X-Files which aired bad episodes in the 2000s that make me consider them solely shows of the 90s, I consider SG-1 as much a show of the 00s as the 90s. The writers never made the characters too complex (which is why I think SGU doesn't work), but Stargate was always a fun show. The dialogue and humor worked well, and the action speaks for itself.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Friday 12/18/09

ABC tied CBS on a night when pathetically few people watched television with Supernanny (1.1) and 20/20 (1.4, 1.8).

CBS faltered with Frosty The Snowman (2.1), Frosty Returns (1.9), repeats of Medium (1.2), and Numb3rs (1.2).

NBC was third with Law & Order (1.2), Dateline NBC (1.4), and The Jay Leno Show )1.4).

Fox, the Friday loser, did even worse than last week with Dollhouse (0.7).

Review - Sanctuary Season 2 Episode 10 Sleepers

Finally a good episode in over a month. The season started off with some above average episodes, but as the season progressed, there were no arcs, no enemies, and a general feeling of stagnation.

While last night's episode didn't bring in new arcs or enemies, it did bring back one of the funniest characters on the show: Nikola Tesla. He's hell bent on world domination and he's always up to dirty tricks, but he has a charm that is lacking in Kate (yes, I had to bash her).

The vampire story was impressive considering how the writing has been so uninspired as of late. Tesla losing his vampire ability was sad. His demented mind may have wanted to create armies of vampires to rule the world, but his species is now completely dead and you have to feel something for him.

What was up with the magnetic power thing at the end? Tesla just lost his old powers and gets new ones now? Sign me up!

It was weird hearing Magnus talk about the San Diego Comic Con, and Henry and Bigfoot attending since it happened about half a year ago. It did show the gentle side of Magnus and her compassion for Bigfoot who could blend in with normal people.

Score: 9.3/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 10 The Attic

Last night's offering of Dollhouse was the most inconsistent of the three double episode nights Fox has generously let us see. "The Attic" was a different kind of episode than "Stop-Loss" and was more fulfilling. It had action that wasn't indulgent, crazy twists, great pacing It was the whole package and for the most part, the last 7 episodes have been that way.

I've said this about 500 times already, but I After each episode I dread that we are one step closer to the end, and right now, there's only three episodes left.

The Attic turns out to be where Rossum gets it's amazing computing ability. The corporation whose lifeblood is essentially creating slaves would be the one to use discarded humans for processing power. Even scarier is how they do it. We see Echo dropped into a tank with some water, and get saran wrap pulled over her (I'm not kidding).

Inside the Attic, Echo makes a reunion with Mr. Dominic (Reed Diamond) and battle a villain named Arcane, along the way picking up Victor and Sierra. Arcane turns out to be a rather harmless guy named Clyde Randolph (Adam Godley) who tells them all about the Rossum supercomputer composed of people. To make things even more engrossing, they are now in the post-apocalyptic future of the "Epitaph One" world. The episode never aired on television, but considering how few people actually watch the show anymore, I'm sure most people got the reference.

Echo breaks out by tricking the system, and saves Victor and Sierra. The final scene sends us hurdling to the inevitable finale. There's Echo, Victor, Sierra, Topher, Boyd, Adelle, and Ballard all together, ready to take on Rossum.

On the subject of Ballard, Topher managed to save him by giving him Active architecture. There is one downside however (ignoring the fact that being a doll sucks). Topher had to get rid of something to make Ballard work. My prediction is that it is love. In Whedon shows, relationships never end well, and usually there is the angst of forbidden love. Ballard losing the ability to love Echo would fit in perfectly.

Score: 9.6/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 9 Stop-Loss

Eliza Dushku revisited Faith (Buffy) and spent most of the episode ass-kicking which is fine. The action made the episode fun to watch from the standpoint of someone who likes that kind of stuff. I was however expecting a more nuanced episode for an episode focusing on Victor.

We learned almost nothing about him other that he was a soldier in Afghanistan and had shell shock which made him turn to the Dollhouse. There were several scenes where we see Victor/Anthony alone contemplating everything -- anyone who was let out the Dollhouse would. What we didn't see is Victor before becoming a soldier or even that much expansion of his character The episode was far too focused on Echo and her new abilities to allow for Enver Gjokaj to shine (I spelled it without referencing anything). We've seen what he can do, and the writers did not try to capitalize on that.

The Scytheon arm of Rossum was a great idea, but I think the infiltration and killing of the soldiers could have been better. Echo is above-average with the numerous abilities pumped into her brain, but Rossum is portrayed as all-powerful. And yet, the soldiers were destroyed much like the fodder on other shows and movies. When I saw the soldiers moving together, I instant recollected the scene in the season premiere of Sanctuary where the Cabal minions walked  in sync in for no particularly reason other than to pose for a final shot. I think that scene will forever ruin people walking in tandem for me, so I was trying hard not to giggle at the soldiers.

Adelle has been pushed and pushed, and it looks like she is on her way to becoming completely evil. Her motives have never been clear from the beginning, but she had a strict moral code. Now, power is sole goal and in total despair, she first shuts down and then becomes a tyrant.

Random thoughts:

When Boyd was referencing something at home, the only thing I could think of was Dr. Saunders. She drove off rather abruptly and her re-entrance should have meaning.

What happened to Ivy? Liza Lapira was terrific in the episode and I hope she doesn't lose that wry charm.

Score: 8.9/10

Friday, December 18, 2009

Facebook Page

This is just another way to access content from my blog (assuming anyone cares). I know there's tons of people out there that use Facebook, so I'll post links there to new posts.

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Thursday 12/17/09

CBS won again with Survivor (3.9), CSI (3.5), and The Mentalist (3.5). While the rest of the networks have stopped airing new episodes, CBS still has new episodes since they took extra weeks off around Thanksgiving, so they've been destroying everyone. Still, I thought CSI and The Mentalist should have done better since their usual rivals Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice were repeats and had terrible ratings.

NBC came in second with a very strong SNL: A Gilly Christmas (3.1) and The Jay Leno Show (1.7).

Fox, airing repeats, actually came in third with Bones (1.6) and Fringe (1.0). Once again, Fringe had a big drop-off from Bones which isn't a good sign.

ABC was last with Grey's Anatomy (0.9, 1.2) and Private Practice (0.9)

I have to make note of how close the CW came to ABC. With repeats of the Vampire Diaries (0.8), it came really close to ABC which is quite sad.

Review - The Mentalist Season 2 Episode 10 Throwing Fire

When I first saw the casting call for this episode, I was very excited. We'd finally see the origins of Jane, and surely something beyond interesting was there. Instead we were handed a series of short flashbacks that tied-in the case, but had little significance on Jane or were particularly illuminating. We learn that Jane worked at a circus with his father using his observational abilities to scam people. Teenage Jane has a problem scamming a dying girl and her grandmother and that's the extent of it.

What do the writers want the viewers to take away from this? Jane has daddy issues and has/had morals?

Furthermore, the episode was framed as a light-hearted episode with Jane getting conked on the head and falling down in various intervals. This was a chance to expand Jane as a character and use the flashbacks better to incorporate the lessons into Jane's current life. In the end, he is still arrogant and an asshole.

The crime was average stuff. Baseball players, especially from Latin America, lie about their ages all the time, so an American doing it wasn't surprising nor was it compelling. The baseball player's dad is going to prison, but hey, he's going to be earning at least a couple hundred thousand.

Score: 8.7/10

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Wednesday 12/16/09

CBS again won the night with New Adventures of Old Christine (2.3), Gary Unmarried (2.5), Criminal Minds (3.8), and CSI: NY (3.1).

Fox was second with the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance (2.6).

NBC finished ahead of ABC with The Sing Off (2.1) and The Jay Leno Show (1.6).

ABC was last with repeats of Prep & Landing (1.9), The Middle (1.6), Modern Family (1.8), Cougar Town (1.7), and a new episode of Eastwick (1.3) which predictably did terrible.

Review - Criminal Minds Season 5 Episode 11 Retaliation

The writers tried to confuse us by having the team not know anything, and it worked. I was confused and had no clue what was going on. They threw out random names and theories that had no relevance. Then Garcia pulled out a random name and broke the case completely.

To make matters worse, Shrader turned out to be crazy person who liked destroying people. While the writers tried to make him smart or at least unpredictable, the location of the wife and kids was way too obvious and the team found it instantly.

The episode was uneven with the first act very strong and the rest filled with plotholes. The start of the episode had as much intrigue as the best episodes, but it faded into random guessing and Garcia's miracle working. The strength of the beginning made the episode good. However, it also created anticipation for the rest of the episode to be good, and clearly it did not meet the mark.

Score 8.9/10

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Review - Better Off Ted Season 2 Episode 2 The Lawyer, the Lemur and the Little Listener

Check out my review for the episode on SpoilerTV.

Score: 9.1/10

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Tuesday 12/15/09

CBS again dominated the night with NCIS (4.3), NCIS: Los Angeles (3.6), and The Good Wife (2.8). The Good Wife is on the low end of CBS dramas, so it'll be on the bubble, but here are some factors going for it. It's a CBS production (other revenue goes to CBS), critics like it (see Damages), and stable ratings.

NBC was second with The Sing Off (2.6) and The Jay Leno Show (1.8). The Sing Off actually improved from the premiere for whatever reason and also boosted Jay.

Fox came in next with So You Think You Can Dance (2.3) and Gordon Ramsey Cookalong Live (1.7). SYTYCD has been struggling , so Fox might want to put it back in the summer where it can thrive.

ABC came in a very disappointing last with A Charlie Brown Christmas (2.3), Scrubs (1.8), and Better Off Ted (1.3). Better Off Ted is surely canceled and Scrubs is in the danger zone.

Review - Scrubs Season 9 Episode 4 Our Histories

This is the one review I've been dreading all day. I love Scrubs, but there is a point when you wonder where everything went, and it's all with the actors. Sorry to the new cast, but you are a pale imitation to old cast.

Cole is still annoying and doesn't work as a regular. It's like he's a more obnoxious version of The Todd that shows up much more often. Lucy doesn't have the charm of J.D. and comes off as plain weak.

J.D. and Turk were off having fun at "Bro-A-Palooza" since their wives were gone. They are great together and it was probably the best part of the episode, but J.D. is leaving really soon. Instead of spending more time developing the new characters, the writers decided to have the same albeit funny gags.

Ted and Gooch made their exit gracefully singing a few songs, and a bit of Ted butting heads with Kelson. It was a fine send off that seemed unnecessary. I mean does anyone really care about Ted?

Score: 8.5/10

Review - The Good Wife Season 1 Episode 10 Lifeguard

"Lifeguard" was a very interesting episode that proved the show can change up the formula and work just as well. Alicia was more of a supporting this character this episode, and near the end, I was wondering where she'd gone. Of course she was still around, but the supporting cast was given a much bigger role this episode, and the need for Alicia to keep the show compelling was diminished.

The case seemed to be going fine when all these hurdles are thrown in the way. First, the black juvenile Alicia is defending gets a plea deal, but Judge Baxter decides to hand down a crazy 9-month detention. Then Alicia digs around and thinks he's racist, and has some statistical data to back up the claim. Baxter calls her on it, and gets mad that she would be even suggesting it. Kalinda talks to one of her shady sources and discovers that Baxter's wife may have been raped by an African American. More evidence of bias, right? Nope, Cary runs the stats on other factors and finds no difference in black or white. Further investigating reveals that Baxter has a gambling problem, and was sending juveniles to detention because overcrowding would send them to a private facility which gets money from the state.

Jackie continues the bitch of all bitches. This week, she called her son "honorable" with a straight face, and sprayed Grace's friend's mother with water. It's unbelievable how low she is. While Alicia can admit Baxter is not racist, and Will can admit Baxter is a bad person, Jackie still will not believe her son is a bad person. Here's a hint: he's a scumbag!

Alicia is not the only character with an interesting story which makes the show even better.. Diane is offered judgeship, but is later turned down due her implied meddling into Judge Baxter. Will is overjoyed to hear Diane may be leaving. We don't know exactly who he is or what his motives are, but Alicia has been given warning by her husband.

Score: 9.5/10

Review - NCIS Season 7 Episode 10 Faith

NCIS is a show about crimes and crime solving, but last night's episode barely even touched on the them.  The criminal was caught 5 minutes before the end, and there were only 4 suspects the whole episode and most we easily ruled out.

The main part of the episode was Gibbs's and his father Jackson. Their relationship is not the best and throughout the episode, we see a tension between them that is uneasy. Gibbs notices that this time, his father is acting different than usual. Eventually we learn that his father had killed a robber and realized that his son did the same all the time.

There were two subplots that were fairly weak and not developed enough. McGee helped a girl talk to her mother in MTAC after a push from Abby and her midget friend. Tony was having trouble finding a Secret Santa gift for a woman that is mean to everyone, and found a present by looking through her personnel file. I thought the story could have been better if Tony was Ziva's Secret Santa and teased her for the entire episode.

I don't watch NCIS: LA anymore, but apparently that show also featured a dead Muslim who was a paragon of the military. In light of the Fort Hood shooting and the Americans trying to join terrorist camps in Pakistan, I can understand that the episodes may have been trying to ease tensions (I know it's a fictional TV show), but there is a point when pandering becomes stupid. JAG pushed its stupid neocon message all the time, and NCIS has definitely eased off of that, but I think the pendulum is shifting too far in the other direction.

My favorite scenes were Ducky and Jackson chatting it up, and Ziva and Tony's bar brawl preceded by Ziva calling rednecks redthroats. This was another solid episode that I thought had potential to be a lot more. Anyways, I'm not disappointed and am looking forward to January 5.

Score: 9.1/10

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What I want for Christmas - TV Version

DVDs aren't the only TV gifts we can get, so here's a list of what I want to see from my TV shows for Christmas.

1. Better Off Ted viewers

I'm almost 100% sure the show will be canceled, and barring a truly magnificent Christmas miracle, the show will be canceled. The ratings for the season premiere sucked, even compared to the lower end ABC shows, and the ratings were just as bad last spring. It was a miracle even then that the show was renewed for a second season so I guess we can be grateful about. The biting satire of the show is beyond anything on television right now, and the acting is above average. Why won't people watch?

2. 24 Season 9

The eighth season of the action thriller is starts on January 17, but there no word whether the show will continue beyond the next season. The show still pulls in decent ratings and does incredibly well for a show that has been on air so long, but the producers and actors don't seem to be that interested in continuing the show. While they continue making compelling stories full of twists year after year, they would be fine if they don't come to an agreement with Fox. But I and many others want more. Even if there isn't Jack Bauer, I'd watch.

3. Fix FlashForward

After ABC promoted the show so much during the summer, I was expected something great, and instead was handed disappointment after disappointment. There are fundamental flaws with the show that need to be resolved that I've talked about in my reviews. Hopefully it'll get better when it comes back in March. Fingers crossed!

4. Ending of Lost not like the ending of Alias

The final scene of Alias was sweet, but lame as hell. It was a happy ending with Sydney, Vaughn, and a random appearance of Dixon on an island. After all the craziness of five seasons, all the writers could come up with was a scene with no real meaning. Speaking of spy shows, I thought La Femme Nikita's ending was better by 100 times. It was bittersweet and fit well with the theme of the show. With Lost winding down, I hope Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse don't take the route of Jeff Pinkner. Luckily the only constant is J.J. Abrams.

5. A renewal for Chuck

The new season hasn't started yet and this may seem premature, but I'm kind of a pessimist, so I don't have high hopes for the show. The ratings stabilized very low last season despite high hopes and promotion during prime events. The season two finale pushed the show to the next level and from what we know about season three, the stories will be even better.

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Monday 12/14/09

CBS utterly decimated the competition with How I Met Your Mother (3.7), Accidentally on Purpose (3.2), Two and a Half Men (5.2), The Big Bang Theory (5.6), and CSI: Miami (4.1).

Fox did much worse with a repeat of House (2.1), and Lie To Me (2.2). Without the huge lead-in, Lie to Me slumped badly which is not a good indication for the show. You have to wonder if Lie to Me will every be able to stand on its own.

NBC was third with The Sing-Off (2.3) and The Jay Leno Show (1.5). The Sing-Off was actually promoted as a combination of American Idol and Glee -- two shows that are on another network -- but the ratings certainly didn't reflect the fervor for those shows. For NBC, a 2.3 is decent and it's a cheap reality show.

ABC was last with Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas (1.3), Find My Family (1.3), and a repeat of Castle (1.1). Find My Family has imploded in a matter of weeks and no longer looks like a viable lead-in for Castle.

Review - The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 11 The Maternal Congruence

Check out my review for the episode on SpoilerTV.

Score: 9.2/10

Review - Lie to Me Season 2 Episode 10 Tractor Man

The episode definitely wasn't as strong as some this season. The A-plot was the tractor bomb, but there was no real tension or suspense created, and the procedural element with Torres visiting the houses with mostly a mess.

Cal as always took control of the situation even though the FBI was hanging around and decided to solve the situation by himself. The biggest problem with the episode and the show is that while there is a palpable tension that few procedurals reach, in the back of my, Cal is always right, so I don't expect anything bad to happen.

The best part of the episode was the addition of the kids and Felicia Day who interacted with Loker and sang possibly the cutest song ever "White Lies." The kids served to make the episode cute instead of tense which I think was the intent. As a midseason finale, the episode should have been more exhilarating than cute, but it was a fine episode.

Score: 8.8/10

Review - How I Met Your Mother Season 5 Episode 11 Last Cigarette Ever

Maybe it's because I never smoked that I didn't find the episode particularly good and why the theme didn't resonate with me. The main storyline essentially was just about starting to smoke, quitting, and starting again for various reasons. It was funny to see what they did mostly because the acting is so great, but the story was uninspired and cliché.

Robin's new co-host Don is a total loser douche that doesn't care about his job or Robin's. How he an Robin will get together is anyone's guess. She already dislikes him, I'm sure the audience dislikes him, and he has no good qualities except that the gags he pulls. Either Don will change as the season progresses or Robin will be with him which will probably anger some people.

Future Ted revealed some secrets by telling his kids when everyone quits smoking, and it takes them a long time to really quit. It sets some artificial future timeline that the writers can mess around with, and lets us know that Marshall and Lily will have a child in the near future. While we didn't learn much other than that,

I enjoyed Marshall beating up 13-year old Marshall and the Harvey Fierstein voice for smoker Lily the most, and for the most part the episode had very funny moments when they weren't related to smoking.

Future Ted's shoddy storytelling abilities was again part of his kid's reaction. The "What?!?" by Ted's kids was as much directed towards Ted as it was to their surprise that their aunts and uncles used to be smokers. While we've seen some characters smoke before, until now Ted neglected to mention that they smoked all the time.

Score: 8.7/10

Monday, December 14, 2009

Review - Dexter Season 4 Episode 12 The Getaway

I know there are some out there that are disappointed that Rita is dead, but I for one am happy. This season she has been especially annoying, and at times has been intolerable, so her death will remove one of what I see as a problem with the show. It also allows the writers to expand the character of Dexter. In the episode we see a huge shift in what he wants. Dexter wants the most to rid himself of the Dark Passenger and just be normal. But normal doesn't fit in the world of Dexter. The stimulus of Rita's murder will compel Dexter to new depths we haven't seen before, and I'm sure the writers are salivating at what they can come up with.

The episode had twists and turns all over the place and left me wondering if the next thing would be the huge twist everyone was talking about. First it was Quinn getting more obnoxious and he could have done something crazy. Second, there was Dexter getting arrested and going to jail, and he easily could have gotten caught in one way or another. Then he almost gets caught at the Mitchell's house and nobody realizes he got into a locked garage. Finally Deb tells Dexter about his connection to the Ice Truck Killer, but doesn't make the connections to Dexter.

Instead as it was all winding down -- the Trinity Killer dead, Rita waiting to go on their honeymoon -- Dexter arrives home, and in the final minutes discovers his son lying in a pool of blood and a dead Rita in the tub. The juxtaposition of Dexter birth into blood and Harrison's was fitting and left an indelible mark on a fantastic season finale.

Dexter has had its ups and downs (mostly downs in recent years), but season 4 redeemed itself from the forgettable third season which I did not even finish. The season finale set up season 5 better than any other season finale before it, and left everyone who watched it wanting more. If you watched the season finale and don't want to continue watching, you have a screw loose. I've had plenty of criticisms for the show and some angry comments directed at me for not loving the show, but in the end, I was thoroughly pleased. Bravo to everyone involved.

Score: 9.7/10

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update - Taking another look at Lie to Me

When Lie to Me premiered this January, I found myself annoyed by the insistent focus on the science which seemed very unimpressive. I'm clearly no expert on human expressions, but what the people were thinking was plainly obvious. After three to four episodes, I got fed up over this wonderment of the science of lying. The movements weren't subtle, the "fast" movements were easily noticeable, so the feats of Cal were diminished in my eyes.

This season, Shawn Ryan of the The Shield took over as showrunner with the intent to focus more on the characters, and there has been lots of praise for the show. Since this is the case and the show has relatively few episodes, I'm going to watch the show through to the latest episode. I'm anal about watching all episodes of a show, so I'll probably catch up in a few weeks and report my new thoughts.


I finally finished catching up and boy was I missing out. The show is still a procedural, but probably the most unique one out there. The stories are fresh and the characters really mix well together and the stories. I shouldn't have stopped watching so soon, but now I'm back on board and fully invested.

Review - Legend of the Seeker Season 2 Episode 6 Fury

Subtlety is not Legend of the Seeker's strong suit, nor do I think it is the intent. Either that, or the writers are clueless. The themes in "Fury" are so blatantly laid out and simplistic, it's difficult to envision the writers actually wanting the viewers to think.

The Minders standing out against the slaves was rather forgettable other than the hilarious scene where everyone lined up in a perfectly straight line. Richard taking his band of freshly trained warriors (yes, two days is enough to make pacifists good enough kill lifelong thugs) to slaughter the slavers was very well made an added a brutality to the show that was lacking even though there is killing each week.

It was interesting that the compass lead Richard to a place where his anger would get unleashed. It also makes the job of the writers so much easier. If they want, everything that happens along to way can be attributed to where the compass is pointing, and the compass itself wants Richard to have character development. How convenient.

The scene in the end with Richard confronting everything he was angry at and Zedd countering came off as exceedingly cheesy. With the yelling and sound effects, I was already bothered by how loud it had become, and the silly dialogue only added to that.

Score: 8.5/10

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Friday 12/11/09

NBC actually won the night since CBS had repeats with Law & Order (1.7), Dateline NBC (2.0), and The Jay Leno Show (1.5).

ABC came in second with Supernanny (1.3), Ugly Betty (1.4), and 20/20 (1.7).

CBS was next with Yes, Virginia (1.3), a new Christmas special, and repeats of The Big Bang Theory (1.4), Medium (1.1), and Numb3rs (1.2).

Fox was last with Dollhouse actually doing better than this week, getting 1.2 for the first hour and .8 for the second. While I thought the first episode was worse than the second, it's surprising so many people who tune out for the second.

Review - Sanctuary Season 2 Episode 9 Penance

This episode was supposed to be the great reunion of Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks, but it became Kate and Shanks together while the rest of the team looked for them. I still can't figure out why they had to meet in the middle of an alley in the first place, so the whole time, I thought it was stupid that Shanks couldn't just come to the door of the Sanctuary to deliver the fire elemental.

The episode turned into a bore fest of walking around and talking. The story was exceedingly simplistic with many plotholes and I barely felt any urgency. It was really a sad mashup of lazy writing and a terrible story.

The writers are now trying to make us like Kate, so they decided to justify her criminal life by explaining that she saw her father die. As if even Kate realized how ridiculous that is, she decides to stop blaming the incident. So she's just a bad person?

Score: 8.2/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 8 A Love Supreme

What makes the cancellation of Dollhouse disappointing is that there is now a clear path to the show instead of the aimless wandering in season 1 and parts of season 2. It makes me think if these past few episodes aired earlier, the show would still be alive. Even though everyone watches the show is raving about it, those who stopped watching don't care. The show is already canceled, and they have run out of goodwill for a show that severely underperformed in the past.

Alpha is back, and Alan Tudyk was amazingly creepy again. This time, he's killing all of Echo's clients, so Joey Miner (Patton Oswalt) is brought in to be protected. I don't care for his character since he's just a creep, it is weird seeing him as a more sympathetic character though I still disliked him in the end.

Alpha devilish plan amounted to no more than to destroy Ballard, the one person who can have what he can never get. The last half of the episode amped up the action with Alpha imprinting all the dolls to fight back against the handlers, leading to Alpha capturing Ballard. Joss Whedon the most psychopathic showrunner (I'm being partially sarcastic) decided to leave Ballard brain dead. There is an easy out however. Alpha had created an imprint of Ballard, so I assume Topher should be able to fix him eventually.

In both episodes, there were great throwaway moments and humor unrelated to the story characteristic of Whedon shows. Maurissa Tancharoen made another appearance as Kilo in episode 7, being used as a test subject for Topher's remote wipe, imprinted with an angry black girl. Sierra and Victor as doctors was hilarious and Topher using the wipe stop them from kissing have me laughing.

Score: 9.4/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 7 Meet Jane Doe

What could have been a really great episode fell short mostly because it seemed the writers wanted to add an engagement which was the same kind of thing we could see any other week, except that now Echo can control the personailities. The only interesting thing about it is that the abusive guard was played by Glen Morshower, who plays Aaron on 24 -- the best human being on the show.

The whole time Echo was helping the woman, all the wanted to see was what Ballard and Echo were doing, and even that wasn't particularly interesting. It was reminiscent of Buffy with the training and sexual overtones, but the characters simply aren't Buffy and Angel. The weakest part of the show is probably Ballard and Echo, so an episode focusing on them wouldn't be my preference.

The last act of the episode redeemed the episode with Topher telling DeWitt of Rossum's evil plans. They are using each house to create small pieces of a device that can imprint people from a distance without a chair. Topher finally created the last component and was holding out because he was scared. That's why he feels so responsible for the situation in Epitaph One. DeWitt, having been demoted, wants power more than she cares about her morals, and takes Topher's remote wipe.

Score: 8.8/10

Friday, December 11, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Thursday 12/10/09

CBS easily won the night with Survivor (4.2), CSI (3.9), and The Mentalist (3.6).

NBC was next with Community (2.2), Parks and Recreation (2.1), The Office (4.2), 30 Rock (3.2), and The Jay Leno Show (1.6). Community and Parks are steady at 2.1-2.2 which are bad for other networks, but decent for NBC. They both will be on the bubble in the spring, but I think Community will have a leg up if it becomes a head to head competition between the two.

Fox was very close with Bones (3.1) and Fringe (2.3). Bones broke 3 for the first time in a long time which I think was attributed to Zooey Deschanel. Fringe was back down after last week's 2.5 so it's not looking great right now.

ABC finished a distant last with repeats of FlashForward (1.0), Grey’s Anatomy (1.4), and Private Practice (1.2) proving once again that hits shows don't necessarily repeat well.

Review - The Mentalist Season 2 Episode 9 A Price Above Rubies

I'm hoping next week's episode will be better, because I was not impressed at all. Given that it will be a flashback episode that  finally reveals Jane's past, I think it will deliver

The story was very simple and predictable. When the random demand was given to George Doverton, I knew it was Jane up to his tricks again. There is a predictability to the show that one can expect anything out of the ordinary to be attributed to Jane. He's always in control, so Jane is usually intimately involved with whatever goes on in the end to capture the criminal and we can expect him to be part of the deception.

I'm not sure if the writers were trying to make Jane extra funny, because it seemed him went beyond his usual obnoxiousness and arrogance, and I was kind of annoyed at him by the end of the episode. Luckily, Simon Baker like Hugh Laurie to make an unlikable character likable.

Rigsby and Van Pelt have a huge problem that will probably drag out through the course of the season. Jane already knows about their relationship, and now Van Pelt wants to talk about their future since Bureau regulations is explicitly against relationships between agents. Rigsby dodges the question, so there is still lots of be resolved.

Score: 8.5/10

Review - The Office Season 6 Episode 13 Secret Santa

“Earlier today, this office needed a Santa. And then it needed a second Santa. And then it needed a Jesus. And now, it needs a Michael." That pretty much summarizes the episode, but what was behind the episode is what made is great. It combined the whole cast, and turned an annoying story into a heartwarming one.

After Jim let's Phyllis be the Santa, Michael decides to be selfish and ruin the day for everyone until he is the lone Santa. Sometimes Michael is too much and for the first half of the episode, I absolutely hated him, which is why the satisfying conclusion was even better.

David Wallace tells Michael that Dunder-Mifflin is going to be sold and that they are cleaning house, so Michael panics and tells everyone. Then they get David Wallace back on the line and he clarifies that only the executives are getting fired, so everyone is happy now.

There were two other plots that I liked, but didn't love. Erin and Andy continued their weird dance with Andy sending her all the 12 days of Christmas from the song, which went horribly wrong as expected from all the animals in the beginning. Pam tried to set up Oscar and the gay warehouse guy, and instead, Oscar decided to play hard to get.

Favorite moments: Dwight taking a break from being evil, Angela clapping at Michael/Jesus bringing Christmas back to its original meaning, Kelly going crazy over the New Moon Poster.

Score: 9.3/10

Review - Fringe Season 2 Episode 10 Grey Matters

Fringe is inconsistent to say the least, and last night's episode was a good example of that. Now I know most people have been very positive about the episode, some even declaring it to be the best episode of the series. The episode had potential to be great, working off a premise that was sure to bring intrigue, but the episode didn't reach the next level.

I may be the only one, but I thought the plot was fairly predictable. Once I saw Walter enter the mental hospital, I knew he would be involved in some way, and was proven right once they revealed that Walter's brain tissue had made the people go crazy.

The final scene where we see William Bell was the one who took the memory to the other universe reinforced the ambiguity of who William Bell is and whether he is a force for good or evil. The twist was fairly big, but in the Abrams scheme of things, it seems like an insignificant drop in a pond too large and complex to understand.

There had been a push this season for the characters to become more involved in the Fringe division. We see Peter now fully engaged with the additional stimulus of everything he's learned about Walter. Walter is now more aware of his situation and limitations. Olivia was actually contemplating sacrificing Walter in the hope of cracking the Pattern wide open which would seem out of character, but considering what she's been through, we really don't know how far she or any of these characters would go. I am still waiting for Astrid to do something, and I would hope that the writers would give Jasika Nicole a more substantial role other than playing off Walter's eccentricity. I'm also wondering where Agent Jessup is. It seemed like she would replace Charlie or at least make progress with her Biblical connections, but we haven't seen her for I don't know how long.

Score: 8.8/10

Review - Community Season 1 Episode 12 Comparative Religion

Community executed its Christmas episode much better than Modern Family, leaving us with a nice taste in our mouths until January. The show was inconsistent in the beginning, but we haven't had a real dud in a while.

Shirley wants to have a Christmas party, but won't let Jeff come if he fights Mike (Anthony Michael Hall), the school bully. This all starts when Jeff defends Abed's honor which forced Abed to make references to My Bodyguard constantly.

Eventually Jeff confronts the bully, exchanging "sups" many times. Then everyone else comes out and in a hilarious scene, fight Michael and his shirtless friends.

There were exceptional moments relating to Jeff's future as a Spanish student. Senor Chang made periodic appearances, and as also Ken Jeong was brilliant. Later, Jeff learns he passes after Senor Chang gets everyone worried saying that he'll be teaching Jeff next semester and then adding that he's the only Spanish teacher. Annie gets excited and clarifies, saying that Senor Chang teaching them again was only "eh." Alison Brie did such a good job with the line that I rewatched it about 5 times.

Shirley's blatant bigotry and ignorance a bit too far. It just happens that the Christian was the one who knew nothing about other religions and didn't support other practices. Not surprisingly, it was on NBC which has been getting a leftist agenda pushed on it from the higher ups for some time now.

Score: 9.4/10

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Wednesday 12/09/09

Wednesdays is turning out to be really competitive with three networks finishing roughly the same last night.

CBS won the night with Old Christine (2.2), Gary Unmarried (2.3), Criminal Minds (3.9), and CSI: NY (3.2).

ABC came in second with Shrek the Halls (2.6), The Middle (2.4), Modern Family (3.8), Cougar Town (2.8), and Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009 (3.1). Cougar Town had great retention from Modern Family, but now we are starting to see a split.

Fox was next with So You Think You Can Dance (2.3) and Glee (3.7) which hit a season high.

NBC brought up the rear as usual with  Mercy (1.8), Law & Order: SVU, and The Jay Leno Show (1.3).

Review - Criminal Minds Season 5 Episode 10 The Slave of Duty

The episode felt a bit choppy to me with Hotch all by himself while the rest of the team was off solving heinous crimes. The killer and what he was doing wasn't particularly interesting, and barely kept my attention.

What perplexes me is how Hotch will ever be able to take the mantle of team leader again, or even be a regular member of the team. Seeing how traveling everywhere ruined his marriage with Haley, Hotch would be doing to same thing with Jack who would grow up to resent the parent that is never there for him, and got his other parent killed.

The justification for Hotch rejoining the team is that he must. From the way the team conducted itself, they can function without Hotch. It is less about the BAU than it is about Hotch who has a compulsion to solve crime, and now Jack is going to be the next person in line to get hurt.

Score: 8.8/10

Review - Modern Family Season 1 Episode 10 Undeck The Halls

Modern Family is exceedingly funny most of the times, but sometimes an episode can fall short. What we can always except is a heartwarming story that will make you feel good in the end. For a Christmas episode, I thought it would be much better with all three families interacting. It is one of the holidays perfectly suited for the show, so it was disappointing to see them all separated.

Cam and Mitchell are at the mall and get a Santa fired, later learning how downtrodden he is, and inviting him to eat with them. They feel really bad and keep trying to help him, and eventually the Santa reveals that he already knows. The story itself wasn't bad, but the jokes didn't have as much bite as they usually do.

The Dunphys get into a huge mess after finding a burn mark from a cigarette. Phil actually cancels Christmas, so the kids conspire to get it back. I thought it wasn't funny at all until the very end when Phil promises to bring everyone to Italy.

Phil and Manny fight over cultural identity and cap it with Phil banning everything Columbian before yelling "innocente!" which is prank Columbian's pull.

There were no moments that got me laughing really hard and the stories weren't that impressive. For a first year show, Modern Family is still far beyond most shows, so I will consider this episode an anomaly and move on.

Score: 8.7/10

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review - The Big Bang Theory Season 3 Episode 10 The Gorilla Experiment

Check out my review for the episode on SpoilerTV.

Score: 9.1/10

Review - Outer Space Astronauts Season 1 Episode 1 Diplomatic Hat

One minute into the show, I was ready to turn it off. I'll be upfront. The show is flat-out terrible. There is no good quality to it except for the sci-fi element which they make fun of. The animation and human heads combined was terrible. The jokes were flat and uncreative, and the story was a jumble of shit pilled on more shit.

The show feels like it should be on Cartoon Network along with other animated shows oozing with weirdness, but even those are funnier. Low budget doesn't have to be bad, but in the case of Outer Space Astronauts, low budget made the creators think of "unique" ideas which made the show more idiotic.

Score: 0/10

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Tuesday 12/08/09

NBC for once trounced the competition badly with The Biggest Loser (5.0) and an amazingly good The Jay Leno Show (2.9).

Fox came in a distinct second with So You Think You Can Dance (2.5).

ABC, airing new episodes, was a disappointing third with A Charlie Brown Christmas (3.7), Prep & Landing (4.1), Scrubs (2.3), Better Off Ted (1.5), and a repeat of The Forgotten (1.2). With those ratings, BOT is surely dead. Now let's see if ABC will put it on Wednesdays to salvage the brilliant show.

CBS came in last with repeats of NCIS (2.8), NCIS: Los Angeles (2.3), and The Good Wife (1.9).

Review - Better Off Ted Season 2 Episode 1 Love Blurts

Check out my review for the episode on SpoilerTV.

Score: 8.8/10

Review - Scrubs Season 9 Episode 3 Our Role Models

J.D. has made considerable growth over the seasons, but last night, he reverted to the petty, insecure J.D. from his intern days. He is always funny, but for a show like Scrubs that has significant character development and emotion, last night's episode felt empty. From constantly pestering Drew to the Dr. Cox brown nosing, J.D seemed like he had been transported from the past and sent into the trouble season nine where as a teacher, he should be different from when he was merely the student. Zach Braff's run will end very shortly with only 3 episodes left, so I am hoping we won't be left with the taste of an annoying, unlikable J.D.

I'm still not panicking, but I am not confident we'll still get high quality episodes we got last season. Lucy may grow into a great narrator and there is potential for her character as long as the writers make her different than J.D. or Elliot. Instead of saying things we've already heard, Lucy needs to be different and innovative. I liked her weird horse fetish which gave me the most laughs in an episode that wasn't that funny.

Drew has lots of potential being the old guy that knows everything and Dr. Cox go to guy. Denise continues to be funny and has plenty of room form growth. Turk is still Turk, so we know he'll be funny though there probably won't be much storylines for him. With the old character's established already, the new characters have to set themselves apart and totally remake the show into their show, not the Scrubs with J.D., Carla, and Elliot.

Score: 8.6/10

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Monday 12/07/09

Predictably, CBS won the night against repeats with new episodes of How I Met Your Mother (3.5), Accidentally on Purpose (2.8), Two and a Half Men (5.0), an insanely good The Big Bang Theory (5.6), and CSI: Miami (3.7).

Fox came in second with the Carrie Underwood Holiday Special (2.3). I wonder if Fox would have done better airing the special on Tuesday and air a repeat of House.

ABC came in next with Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (2.5), Find My Family (1.5), and Castle (2.1). Castle had a huge drop for many possible reasons. Weaker lead-in, one week break, football, etc..

NBC finished last with repeats of Law & Order: SVU (1.4, 1.6) and The Jay Leno Show (1.4). Law & Order usually repeats well, but people that usually watch Heroes and Trauma of course only like bad television (I jest...or not) so they tuned out. The usual people that watch L&O repeats didn't know it would be repeating on a Monday.

Review - Men of a Certain Age Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot

Quick thoughts on the pilot since I have lots of things to do. I probably won't continue to watch and review the show regularly since my Mondays are currently filled, especially with 24 and Chuck coming back in January. I might watch the rest of the season during the summer, because the show has the potential to be really good.

The story in the pilot is not very impressive, but what lies beneath it is a journey of three middle aged men unsure of their lives, looking for those little moments in life that make it worth living. At times it is depressing to see them get beaten down by their situations; however the wry humor and lifts the show to a place most would consider enjoyable.

Decent acting and writing makes Men of a Certain Age work. The concept isn't particularly unusual, and we can pretty much except what a middle aged man's life would be like.

Score: 9.3/10

Review - Castle Season 2 Episode 11 The Fifth Bullet

There was a turning point this season when the stories became more complex the show turned a corner for me. Instead of being passively interested in the show, putting it near the bottom of my priorities, I actively wanted to watch the next episode. The show has a rich infusion of humor, characters, semi-decent crime solving, and a sense of surrealism that makes it much like Bones. While I have stopped watching Bones, Castle is still fresh and I hope it stays that way.

Last night's episode was another solid episode. It was a bit odd that so much focus would be put on an amnesiac (Marc Blucas) while there was a dead body in the morgue. Castle and Beckett spent most of their time trying to get memories from him, and while he may have been the best lead, it seemed curious that so much time and effort would be spent on him.

That may also be attributed to the structure of the show, and the fact that the show is so unrealistic. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are the leads, so Jon Huertas (Esposito) and Ryan (Seamus Dever) fall to the wayside, so the investigation is often lopsided in the direction of whatever Castle and Beckett are doing, making the crime solving seem incomplete. In the real world, a writer would never be allowed to follow

Anne Dudeck as the wife made the episode heartfelt and added the bit of pathos we've come to see every week. The focus on the episode was clearly not the dead body. It was about a man who for whatever reason had changed, and with memory loss, regained who he truly was.

This is the midseason finale, so looking ahead, here is what I would like to see of the show. We need more backgrounds on the characters. We know about Beckett's mom and we know Castle has been married a lot, but what else do we know about them and the other characters. All characters on television, in movies, novels, plays have something that makes them tick. What are they for these people?

Score: 8.9/10

Review - How I Met Your Mother Season 5 Episode 10 The Window

Finally the show got back to the original premise -- Ted finding a woman -- after some rather perplexing episodes with Barney and Robin together. After reading several interviews with Carter Bays, I think I have a pretty good idea about what the writers were thinking. They believed that Robin and Barney would not work long term, and their brief thing was only part of a larger plan.

The problem is that HIMYM is much serialized than other comedies and there is lots of continuity not seen in other shows. Barney has fallen back into his old habits, and after a season of teasing and finally a short relationship with no evident payoff, there is something unsettling about the whole deal. Taking Bay's words at face value, I have to think that the writers did not want to take the extra step of making a relationship funny, a task that has been a pain for writers over the years. But considering that they have made Marshall and Lily funny, I would like to have seen them at least try for half a season before ditching it entirely.

The episode was solid on all parts from beginning to end, and was one of the most satisfying episode of the season. There was Ted chasing Maggie, the girl that attracts all men, and having to teach his class which in the end helps him with his problem. Barney tried to get laid with the overalls and Robin made jokes. Marshall received a box of old stuff from his childhood and we got to see young Marshall, a railtail sporting anti-corporation overall wearer. The balance between the characters, the plots, humor, emotion was all there.

Hopefully Ted will be back in the hunt soon and the overall story will be advanced. If the title of the show were any different, I don't think all the other things going on would be that much of a distraction, an admittedly, the other things are very funny, but the heart of the show is Ted and his search for love.

Score: 9.5/10

Monday, December 7, 2009

Review - Alice Miniseries (2009) Part 1

If you are looking for something long that will take up time, Alice is the miniseries for you. The story is simple, the visuals are cool, and it's weird. Based loosely on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (that's the real title), the miniseries like Tin Man two years ago pays homage to the original, but creates its own original world containing wonders not found within the pages.

There's the tyrannical Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates) that sucks emotions from people that become 'oysters.' She's evil and must be stopped. One of her assassins is the White Rabbit who has a rabbit head and human body. The people that are going to stop her are Alice (Caterina Scorsone), Hatter (Andrew-Lee Potts), and White Knight (Matt Frewer). Dodo (Tim Curry), Caterpillar (Harry Dean Stanton), and an array of weird looking people show up.

The action isn't particularly exciting, the chases are average, and the drama is lacking. There is an unimpressive quality to the miniseries that is evident the whole time. I didn't find one moment spectacular or worth a rewatch, but the acting is pretty good, and the modernized Wonderland is a sight to see.

Score: 8.6/10

Review - Dexter Season 4 Episode 11 Hello, Dexter Morgan

In season 4, Dexter has become completely off his game, juggling multiple responsibilities as Harry pointed out many times last night. This allows the writers to change Dexter, making him much more vulnerable. While that is probably their intent, the new Dexter is in a ways less fun to watch. He may squirm around now, but to me, it's funner to see him toy around with people.

With Christine caught, the noose is tightening on Trinity, but Dexter wants him all for himself. This means if more people get hurt, he won't care, so he frames a truck driver who admittedly was a bad guy, leaving DNA all over the place. I'm not sure how Dexter would think that would be believable in the long run. The Trinity Killer finally making a mistake in a grand fashion only when his daughter is caught seems much too convenient for anyone.

The ending was spectacular as Arthur Mitchell trailed Dexter back to the police station, actually went into the belly of the beast, and then shook hands with Dexter. They're both in the middle of a police station, Dexter has dirt on Trinity, and Trinity knows stuff about Dexter.

The Batista and LaGuerta story was doomed from the beginning and surely having them marry as a political move didn't help. LaGuerta hasn't been so bad lately, but some of the scenes reminded me why I hated her so much. She's a bitch.

Rita is exceedingly annoying and that has been exacerbated this season. Before, she'd show up and do something was Dexter. That was fine, but now she's either complaining or asking where Dexter is, and he makes the same lie every time. If she did not have the background of abuse as she did, I don't think she'd stay with Dexter. She tells Dexter she kissed Elliot, and Dexter doesn't care (other than killing he really doesn't care about anything), so she's upset he doesn't care enough. Later, Dexter punches Elliot, and Rita is happy. That's just great...

Jennifer Carpenter has been extra good this season and makes Deb the only character other than Masuka and Dexter that I like watching. I wouldn't mind the other characters getting killed in a hail of gunfire. It would make a nice storyline for next season, and there wouldn't be any of the ridiculousness we've seen this season.

Score: 9.0/10

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Review - Legend of the Seeker Season 2 Episode 5 Wizard

After my brother bother me enough, I finally decided to watch the show, and I caught up earlier this week. Overall the show is pretty good, and is fun to watch every week. The biggest problem I have with the show is the acting. For the most part it is decent, but there are times I wonder how certain scenes could have made it onto television, Occasionally the dialogue is blatantly cheesy and Craig Horner says the line in the most ridiculous that makes you cringe at first and laugh later. In the beginning of the series, it happened a lot, but lately there have been less of those moments. The action using visual effects, and the landscape of New Zealand makes the acting problems minimal.

"Wizard" was one of those fun episodes where magic lets everything imaginable happen. Shota being Shota decides to replace Richard as the Seeker and the plan backfires terribly. She wipes Zedd's memory, and makes him younger. Young Zedd without any self-restraint makes a prostitute his queen, creates a castle, and declares himself the Seeker.

The resolution felt a bit anticlimatic since magic in their universe is vastly overpowered and can solve everything. It would have been interesting to see a sidequest where they make Richard young again.

Score: 9.0/10

Review - Sanctuary Season 2 Episode 8 Next Tuesday

Sometimes I wish Sanctuary would have more complex stories. This week it was just Magnus and Will stuck on a helicopter in water surrounded by weird creatures. It was a straightforward, and was pretty much about sea creatures fighting, and the two of them getting caught in the middle.

Much more prominent, was the vitriol Magnus continued hurling at Will who doesn't want to get on her bad side anymore than he already is. She forces Will to come along even though he wants to do other things. She constantly berates him, until finally she reveals it is Ashley's birthday next Tuesday. She is a secretive person, and holding her sadness in, brings out anger that she unleashes on Will. Finally there is a consequence of Ashley's death; Magnus is more vulnerable, having gone through a loss after thinking she could get over death.

This is a good start, but the consequences should have come earlier. In between Ashley's death and this episode, there has been 6 episodes where virtually nothing changed. Magnus was still Magnus, and other than Ashley's absence and the arrival of Kate, the sanctuary ran as always.

Score: 8.7/10

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Friday 12/04/09 - Dollhouse fares the same

Dollhouse has been canceled, Fox doesn't promote it, and people who stopped watching still think the show sucks, so the .8 it got last night doesn't surprise me.

CBS handily won the night with Ghost Whisperer (1.9), Medium (1.8), and Numb3rs (1.6). Numb3rs is struggling, and CBS has already decided to order additional Flashpoint episodes which will probably take over.

NBC came in a distant second with Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa (1.1), Dateline (1.5), and The Jay Leno Show (1.4) which almost got double Dollhouse (I know, that's just sad).

ABC came close to NBC with Dreams Come True (.9), Ugly Betty (1.2), and 20/20 (1.6).

Review - Stargate Universe Season 1 Episode 10 Justice

It's the midseason finale, and finally we have some sign of other intelligent life-form in their part of space. Unfortunately, I'm starting to wonder whether any of the humans on Destiny are intelligent.

Their murder "investigation" consisted of this: find the body, see that there's no weapon, search the ship, find the gun in Young's room, put Young on charges, introduce a motive, decide there's not enough evidence, have Young step down, have Camille take over, find deleted Keno footage with the video of what happens.

Somewhere in there, nobody thought how easily it could be to plant the gun, or whether any other person would want to kill the bald pill popper. Everyone zeroed in on Young because he's the most unstable (oh wait, that's Greer)...

Young had enough of Rush after so many indiscretions and stranded him on the planet with the alien ship. It was cool seeing Rush getting the shit beat out of him because he deserved it, and now he can work on alien technology to his heart's desire (or at least until he dies). What Young did was wrong, but it does make the show more interesting.

Score: 8.5/10

Review - White Collar Season 1 Episode 7 Free Fall

I'm finding less and less to say about the show each week mostly because I've repeated myself so many times and don't want to restate what I've said, so if you want to see what I think about the episode, read the other reviews, it's the same stuff.

The twist in the end was pretty stupid IMO. The writers threw around the OPR guy as the red herring, and then out of the blue, make Peter the bad guy. With one short scene, the concept of the whole show is turned on its head. Instead of the crook and the cop, it's now the crook and the crooked cop. Is there going to be continued deception? How can we trust Peter to be genuine? Is their amazing chemistry just an act? I could go on and on, but I'm waiting until January to see how this pans out.

Score: 9.0/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 6 The Left Hand

The second episode was a step up from the already great first episode. It was a fantastic episode, with great acting, and superb writing. In terms of story, I think this episode may be the strongest yet.

It was a bit like East Coast vs. West Coast with the D.C. dollhouse and L.A. dollhouse doing all these things behind the scenes. There were fascinating scenes between Lipman, the D.C. dollhouse guy, played by the always wonderful Ray Wise, and DeWitt. They try to gain control over each other, until Adelle quite literally takes it to his balls.

In the end, Rossum succeeds in their goal. Perrin uses his wife's death to put the blame on a conglomerate supposedly conspiring against Rossum. Now Rossum is the victim and can gain even more power.

Summer Glau's character Bennett has a huge problem with Echo/Caroline and is duty bound to mess her up, first torturing her, and then letting her and Perrin run off. We learn that her arm is dead because Caroline left her pinned under rubble a long time ago. Hopefully we'll learn more about this, and get more of an explanation.

The relationship between Bennett and Topher is interesting. Clearly they have a crush on the other but, their other obligations -- Bennett to kill Echo, and Topher is steal data -- dashes any chance they have. They are loyal people that follow a set path, and relationships aren't at the top of their priorities.

Enver Gjokaj. Need I say more? I don't know how it is possible for anyone who watched last night's episodes not to have cracked a smile at Victor as Topher. At first, it sounded to close to Fran Kranz that I had to look closely to make sure it wasn't a voice over. The voice and gestures were so close, and maybe a bit over the top, but that only added to the fun.

There are now only 7 episodes left and I hope there can be a satisfying resolution. Echo is still wandering around out there, and Ballard is still missing for some random reason (it like a financial issue). With Echo interacting with real people without handlers carefully watching her, she may learn more about herself, and if an active is a real person.

Score: 9.5/10

Review - Dollhouse Season 2 Episode 5 The Public Eye

Dollhouse has been canceled, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the show. This season has had great episodes, and while I probably wouldn't have cared much if the show had been canceled last season, I am now disappointed after seeing what Dollhouse can really be.

I know there's no point in looking back, but I wonder if the series would still be alive if Perrin was introduced earlier, even in season 1. These past two episodes focusing on him have been excellent, and worked better than the engagement of the weeks.

Perrin's investigation was in bareling ahead as he called out Rossum during a press conference, talking about the Dollhouse. Madeline is going to spill the beans on everything, but Rossum of course won't let that happen. Ballard, being the hero he is, won't let them kill her. Let the games begin... I loved the twist that Perrin was the active and not his wife, since it was kind of obvious who was who.

I wasn't a fan of Echo as a escort, because it seemed like a ploy to have more Eliza Dushku in the episode, but in the end, it transitioned well into the next episode.

Joss said he didn't want to make Summer Glau into a doll, because she's already done robot stuff, so it was interesting that he decided to make her a bit like River with the rambling. I'll be talking about her more in the review for the next episode.

Score: 9.1/10

Friday, December 4, 2009

Numbers of Interest - Television Ratings for Thursday 12/03/09 - FlashForward continues to sink

Updated with final numbers.

Other than the FlashForward numbers, these are not the final, so they may be .1 or .2 off. When the numbers do come out, I'll update this post.

ABC tied with CBS for the night with new episodes of FlashForward (2.1), and a 2-hour Private Practice (3.2). The show has dropped all the way from a great 4.1 to a measly 2.1. The show is going on a long hiatus until March (check my earlier post for more info), so if ABC is going to do something drastic to save the show, there is still time.

CBS did very well with Survivor (3.9), and repeats of CSI (2.3), and The Mentalist (2.5). Granted it is going up against weaker competition, but The Mentalist is kicking ass. I'm hoping CBS will put the show after the Super Bowl to give it the boost it needs to go into the stratosphere.

Fox faired well with Bones (2.9), and a recovering Fringe (2.5). After some really low numbers, it appears Fringe is back on track. While it is still under performing, if it maintains these numbers, a renewal should be no problem.

NBC finished last with Community (2.2), Parks and Recreation (2.1), The Office (4.1), and 30 Rock (3.0). NBC is stable on Thursdays and hasn't changed much in weeks.

Review - The Office Season 6 Episode 12 Scott's Tots

There are those episodes when you wonder how Michael Scott could be that stupid. The did something so terrible, but can we really blame him. He's an idiot that only wanted to do good, and thought he'd be able to help these kids in the future. But then we see him being logical sometimes, so we don't know exactly how he thinks. Michael seems to make lots of decisions in the moment, not taking time to think things over which is why he wouldn't stop to calculate the enormous price of college tuition for 15 (fifteen!!) people.

Dwight is now the evil master, devising plans to destroy Jim through a fake employee of the month program. Dwight has come up with crazy plans in the past, but making someone lose their job? Really? Maybe Dwight would be a thorn in the side for Jim, but he went right for the head. Now Ryan is joining in, so Jim will need to do something to stop the madness.

I didn't like how the episode strayed from reality, but it was funny. The writing was top notch for the most part, and Ellie Kemper continues to be a real pleasure to watch.

Score: 9.0/10

Review - Fringe Season 2 Episode 9 Snakehead

Either the visual effects people did a great job, or there is a damn hideous creature out there, because that worm creature was freaky, slimy, and hard to watch. The scene showing all the dead bodies with worms literally made my stomach turn. That set the tone for the episode which was solely a standalone. The writers finally decided to have a standalone episode that had no apparent relation to the Pattern which was nice. It was just science gone way wrong.

Olivia again did not have much to do, and Peter took the reigns doing much of the work, almost getting killed in the end. This season, and especially the past few episodes, Peter has shown the drive and initiative that his character had been lacking. I felt Joshua Jackson had been wasted making one-liners in the background, but with the showcasing of his abilities, I think his character is going in the right place.

John Noble did a brilliant job which shouldn't come as a surprise anymore. The writers know exactly how to deal with Walter, and John Noble executes their ideas perfectly. He is a broken man, who while out of the mental hospital, still harbors the same psychotic tendencies he had. It's not like he has had time to re-acclimate into the world. He is thrown into the work of the FBI, work that pushed him to be institutionalized in the first place. He may not be able to survive on his own, but there is part of him that wants to be independent, to be free from the burdens he has, but he cannot run from them. There is a barrier that he tries to climb over -- this week going out on his own -- but in the end he comes back down unable to go forward.

Score: 9.2/10

Review - Community Season 1 Episode 11 The Politics of Human Sexuality

I have lots to do today (mostly watching TV :p) so the reviews will be on the short side.

Community is generally a juvenile show that pushes the boundaries of reality, but yesterday's episode stretched it a bit too far. The STD stuff, Pierce's escort, and Abed's extreme prowess in athletics kind of baffled me. I'm don't dislike Chevy Chase, but Pierce is just so off-putting, so an episode focusing on him probably wouldn't have ranked high on my list even if the story was decent.

Abed seems like he is something other than human. He can beat Troy at sports, remember all sorts of things, and elicit sympathy from his stare. That's the fun of his character, but I'm not sure what to expect of him anymore. If he is suddenly a sports god, the writers can just start writing anything for him, making him amazing at academics, or other activities.

The dialogue was great as always and made up for the story. Shirley's proclamation that Annie was a unicorn was priceless. Jeff changing Britta's telephone entry to her real name was superficial and made no sense since he was begging for her number in one of the earliest episodes.

Score: 8.7/10
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