Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reviews 7/24/12 - 7/30/12

In its second season, Alphas remains largely the same show it was last season with a group of superhumans capturing other superhumans. This is to be expected from Syfy, post-BSG/Caprica. The changes, however, do add an extra dynamic to the show that it didn't have in the first season. The team is far more fractious, with Gary often getting mad, Bill getting into it with Rosen, and Nina going off the rails. Of course, it doesn't help when government agents are hanging all over the team. This weeks episode featured an alpha who can move faster than anyone due to prior experiments which also cause him to age faster. He's knows Stanton Parish, so his capture is important, but someone shoots him right as he's caught. Immediately, we want to know who the shooter is, as it would be a tie to Stanton Parish, but there is no evidence. My best guess would be Hicks, who's been shown to make some incredible shots.

In my eyes, Warehouse 13 is on its last legs, struggling to find a worthwhile plot, while trying to maintain the grab an artifact per week theme. The major plots of the fourth season hinge on then potential for two artifacts to unleash evil after using them to save Steve and the Warehouse. We don't know what this evil is, so all we're left with is Artie and Claudia worrying about what might happen in the future.

Breaking Bad can pretty much do anything and I'd be entertained. Badger and Skinny Pete buying cases, Walt and Jesse cooking, Mike doing his thing, Saul whining. The show has such an engrossing visual style and the writing is so sharp that these seemingly normal situations turn out to be almost on the same level as when the something super crazy happens. This week's episode continues the creation of Walt's new drug business and it turns out to be different than he had imagined. They have a new places to cook--tented houses being cleaned of bugs--Mike to handle the business side, and no Gus. But it isn't what Walt wanted. Money has to go to this person and that person, people in jail who might squeal, and in the end, only a portion goes to Walt--less than what they got with Gus, though they are cooking less. Meanwhile, Skyler cracks and goes ballistic on Marie, which would be highly gratifying if not for the underlying possibility that Marie looks further into Walt's activities.

As True Blood heads into the home stretch, the show has thrown away any idea of a coherent narrative. Everyone is off doing their own thing. The vampires are being wacky, Sookie and Jason are looking for their parents killer, Alcide and his new girlfriend are doing... something, Lafyette is now helping Arlene and Holly with Terry, Luna shifts into Sam and it becomes an awkward/funny/touching situation, Tara bonds with Pam, and Hoyt saves Jessica but still doesn't like her. But like I said last week, this season isn't too bad because nothing is actively annoying me. I guess that's a start.

While I like that Suits usually deals with larger real-world implications than other USA shows, the whole trumped up poker storyline was too silly and stupid to enjoy. Louis and Rachel was fun, especially the recordings filled with Littisms.

Burn Notice: Well, Nate is dead, Anson is dead, and Fi is out. Was it Rebecca, and is there yet another big bad waiting out there? If there is another big bad, I'll be really pissed (yes, I know I said I'd stop watching the show last time something like this happened).

As someone who doesn't like whatever craziness surrounds Boris, last week's episode of Royal Pains was, well, painful. And what was up with Hank "only love interest for doctors can be other doctors" Lawson almost hooking up with someone? It looked like the writers wanted to do something with Star Trek, but Evan and Brady seemed more like pseudo-fans than anything else. There have been tons of weddings on Star Trek, far more than on other sci-fi shows, and the rote Enterprise bashing was lame. (I know people get all nostalgic about Star Trek, but Enterprise is at least as good as Voyager, and it at least had some lofty goals, even if they were missed spectacularly.)

This season of Damages is quickly diverging from the previous seasons. As Patty correctly states, there are no facts in the case, and it's not just the characters who are in the dark--viewers know just as little. The flashbacks, always a good source of information in a twisty manner, are all questionable, possible fictional constructs of McClaren or Rachel. We're left with nothing but a pure battle between Patty and Ellen, without any pesky facts or evidence to get in their way. This is pretty cool stuff, and it makes for compelling television when both characters are trying to outsmart each other in the courtroom when the normal procedures don't apply. After losing to Patty last week, Ellen struck a blow, calling in question everything Rachel has said, disabling most of Patty's arguments.

After a rather boring second season, Covert Affairs's third season is off to a much better start. For starters, Annie is working for a new person with new rules, and Auggie is also in a new place. Last week's episode raised stakes quite high when Auggie and Parker are captured by pirates, and it makes for an interesting, Auggie having just proposed and also having not told her about the whole CIA part of his life, all while Joan and Lena are grappling with each other and Annie tries to figure out what to do.
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