Monday, February 13, 2012

Reviews 2/7/12 - 2/13/12

I don't have enough time for Luck, especially since it takes a while to reacclimate to the show's style, so I'm putting it off until I can watch several episodes in a row, as I did with Boardwalk Empire.

I found myself enjoying The Walking Dead's return even though nothing really happened. Two things stuck out to me. Lori getting in the car crash was ridiculous. Do the writers really want her to be an idiot, or do they not realize how stupid her thought process was? Second, Michael Raymond-James killed that final scene. He's sitting there, perfectly calm, speaking in a manner that isn't overtly threatening. But there's something there, just slightly, that indicates something is not right. Indeed, this is confirmed as Rick shoots Dave and Tony, a good ending to the episode to reinforce the realities Rick must face.

Shameless: The thinking behind Frank and his mother is that their unpleasantness and situations they're in magically will be funny. I don't know about other people, but their perpetual meanness is off-putting. They're not just dickish like House of Lies characters--they're bad people with no hope of redemption. What the introduction of his mother did do, however, is to partially explain why he's the way he is. It by no means absolves him of anything, but we get a better idea of why he's a mean drunk. The rest of characters didn't get particularly good plots in comparison to last week's, with Steve's awkward return and more Lip pouting. Ethel and Malik running off was great, though.

This week's Pan Am episode was aired far out of order, belonging after the sixth episode rather than the twelfth.  It's actually a fairly important episode, showing what happened to Ginny and Laura's nude photoshoot (which, embarrassingly, was a major plot point in the previous episode). But you can see why ABC chose to put off the episode during November sweeps--it's pretty bad. Ginny becomes crazy in an instant, the Charlie story is horrendous, and Kate's plot gets sidelined by most of the episode and is rendered useless, despite the greater implications. Putting another nail in Pan Am's coffin, last night's ratings: 0.7 18-49, 2.662 million total. Yikes.

Once Upon a Time continues its tedium with another fairy tale story--Beauty and the Beast--wrapped in a different context than we're used to seeing. The big reveal is that Mr. Gold knows he's Rumpelstiltskin and has a face off with the Queen. What will come of this? Probably nothing until the end of the season.

I've been hard on Fringe this season, but last week's episode was really good. It places the characters in a frightening yet intriguing situation where people in this town are merging with their other selves. It's freaky and dramatic right up until the end. Perhaps it was a little too transparent in reflecting the situation with Peter, Olivia, and Walter. Still, with Olivia remembering things she shouldn't be, it'll be interesting to see where the season goes and whether Peter really does have to go back.

There comes a point when you resign yourself to the fact that a show can't be as good as it used to. I've come to that point with Supernatural. So yeah, the overarching story is lame, Bobby potential, maybe, could be a ghost is lame, but the clowns were a good distraction.

In an episode which had relatively less violence than usual, Spartacus amped up the drama, ending with Crixus being taken and Naevia freed.

I'm about ready to give up on Grimm. Amy Acker is awesome and all, but the plots and Nick's boringness are going nowhere.

Nikita took another wild turn when it's revealed that Carla, the one who took Nikita in, was actually the person who started Division.

Last week's Vampire Diaries was hardly the most action packed or twist-filled episode, but it put all the Originals together and got the ball rolling for the next part of the season, Esther plotting to kill them all.

The Secret Circle had an all-around solid episode following a real stinker of an episode. It had plenty of funny parts with Diana and Melissa on devil's spirit, and some genuinely scary parts with the hooded dead witches haunting Cassie.

Is The Office finally going somewhere? Looks like it, with Jim, Dwight, and others heading off to Florida. What's more Cathy, the rarely seen new girl in the corner, is revealed to be a villain. Progress at last!

Sheldon hanging out in Amy's lab was good for The Big Bang Theory standards--an actual change in scenery beyond the apartment, restaurant, or office scenery--but there wasn't anything particularly funny.

Revenge continues to surprise with its unrelenting forward movement and delivered another stellar episode where we see Emily tracking Daniel in flashbacks and the ending in which Emily discovers someone is onto her.

The River was really cool. The concept is good and it had enough scare to keep me interested. What differentiates the show from Lost--which seems to be the main comparison people are making--is that The River answers questions without leaving anything hanging. Mainly, you have to start with the fact that there is deep magic about. Magic, by nature, isn't confined by strict rules. Thus, supernatural things, like the dead spirit in the first episode or the doll tree in the second, are directly explained. There is a causal relationship between magic and human events which leads to these freaky things. After that, there's no mystery anymore about the scary happenings. What mystery remains is true to the entire premise of the show, where Dr. Cole is.

Glee may have hit its stupidest point yet when it was revealed that Will knows no Spanish--and he wants tenure. So this supposed "teacher" was getting paid while he taught nothing (except for glee club) and made no attempt to learn what he was supposed to teach. And then he wants tenure and collect even more money. Basically, Glee writers are telling us that Will is a piece of shit. But isn't Will supposed to be a good guy character? Oh well, I'll just called Will a piece of shit from now on.

NCIS's 200th episode was really sad. Like Chuck, it's a sad show shrouded in a funny tone. Shannon explaining to Gibbs why she and Kelly had to die is a tragic sentiment.

Castle's noir episode could have used some work. Stana Katic was flat out bad trying to be the femme fatale and it was hard to stomach her scenes. The overall mystery was pretty good, however, so it wasn't all bad.

How I Met Your Mother was really lazy last week. The plot--if you could even call it that--took up about 5 minutes total since nothing really happened. What the writers do is to chop the episode in piece, from the perspective of various rooms in the house, so we see the same things over and over again until we get the complete picture of what happened.

House had another one of those "special" episodes, probably the last before the final episodes, and I liked it, though it was overhyped. After the first couple interviews, it was evident that Chase was missing so he had to be the center of discussion. It was cheap how House got out of it so easily, but his apology to Chase was something new.
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