October 20, 2009

My Monday Night Re-cap

I've been meaning to start writing mini-recaps/reactions about my favorite TV shows, but for some reason I never get around to it.  Since I don't have any shows to watch tonight, and I'm caught up on all of Monday night shows, I figured this is as good a time as any.

How I Met Your Mother: "Duel Citizenship"

I've been pretty vocal about how I feel that HIMYM has lost some of the original spark it had during seasons 1, 2, and the first half of 3.  I still contend that last season was by far the weakest of the bunch, and season 5 didn't start off that well either, until last week's "The Sexless Inkeeper" episode which had some classic HIMYM moments.  I was hopeful that this week would keep the momentum going, but I had mixed reactions about the episode.

First, I loved almost all of the Ted & Marshall stuff.  Ever since Marshall's been working for Goliath National Bank, he and Barney have become the bromantic couple of the show while Ted figures out his life Han style.  It was kind of nice seeing these two back together again on an ill-advised roadtrip to re-capture their youth, and let's not forget their fuel of choice...TANTRUM!

Of course, it was not all fun and games because Lily had to tag along.  Sure, Marshall invited her, but I'd hope she'd understand the magnitude of the trip and let the boys have their fun.  Instead, she says yes, and thus becomes the worst roadtrip buddy ever!  Lily's schtick gets old FAST, and last night's episode officially makes her the most annoying character ever.  At this point, I don't see myself ever liking her again.  The trip does take a turn for the better when Ted decides to kidnap Marshall...classic!

Ted & Marshall argue about how their friendship is different now that Marshall is married, but they make up thanks to an odd audio book about a dog that is narratted by Kenny Rogers.  The final kick to the gut is when Lily spends the entire trip getting pampered at the bed and breakfast they stayed at, thus making her presence moot.

In the B-story Robin is facing deportation for getting into a bar fight at the Hoser Hut, and she decides to become to U.S. citizen with Barney's help.  Really, this plotline was just an excuse to throw out more unfunny Canadian jokes.  I swear this bit is getting old.  Robin ducks into the Hoser Hut one last time before becoming an American, and somehow ends up in Toronto where she's accused of already being a Yankee by her fellow Canucks, which causes a crisis of identity.  This storyline would have been kind of emotional if it weren't for all of the lame Canada jokes (except for the socialized health care joke).

Overall, the episode was just OK because of the solid Ted/Marshall storyline, but it suffered thanks to Lily's presence and the worn out Blame Canada School of Comedy that hasn't been amusing since last season's "Little Minnesota" episode.  It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't stellar either.

Greek: "Fight the Power"
This season Zeta Beta Zeta (ZBZ) has fallen from glory, and it's up to Casey & Ashleigh to bring the house back to the top, but it hasn't been an easy task.  This week, the girls are trying to put together a last minute party with some of CRU's best houses in order to raise their stock, but it ends up backfiring and biting them on their butts.  The sorority's falling status, Ashleigh's poor leadership, and a lack of direction has the current pledges wondering if they made the right choice, and as always it's up to Casey to save the day.

Evan has finally admitted to his brothers that he's no longer rich because he gave up his trust fund, and for some reason people thinks this means he's no longer a good leader.  I don't quite understand the logic behind that one.  Evan is facing similar hurdles as Omega Chi president that Ashleigh is facing, mainly the brothers are doubting him now that he's no longer a Chambers (again, I don't get it).  Their doubts are further heightened when Evan tries to help ZBZ out by partying with them, and some of the guys are not too happy about that idea.  The tension comes to a head when one of the Omega Chis pushes Evan's bottom for the last time, and he punches him in front of everyone.

At Kappa Tau, Rusty has somehow become the squeaky third wheel to Cappie and Lana's fling.  Lana decides that it'd be fun to corrupt Rusty, so she gladly brings him along on some dates, which annoys Cappie, and I don't blame him because Rusty is more annoying than Lily.  Rusty decides that Lana and Cappie are prefect for one another because they are essentially the same person, and this bums Cappie out, so he tries to ditch her, but Rusty isn't having it.  Somehow they all end up at a strip club where Cappie dumps Lana, Rusty gets beat up by a bouncer, and Dale is trying to save the souls of the strippers (brilliant!).  We finally realize that Cappie didn't want to be with Lana because he wanted someone who was different (namely Casey).

Greek is another show that is not quite what it used to be, but I don't think that's a bad thing.  This season is less reliant on catfights, pissing contests, and the pitfalls of being popular.  Rather, the characters are starting to grow up a little bit, and the tension is more internal rather than external.  Cappie & Evan are putting their past behind them and trying to be friends again while their houses expect them to continue the feud between KT and Omega Chi.  They have to juggle being "enemies" whilst being secret friends, and they're reflecting on what went wrong the first time around in order to learn from their mistakes.  Casey & Ashleigh are less focused on being the it girls on campus, and are more interested in leaving behind a legacy.  Sure, bringing ZBZ back to prominence is a popularity contest unto itself, but they're doing it more for the pledges and the future of the house rather than for themselves.  See, growth.  Dale even has a crisis of faith, while Calvin faces the challenges of dating a closeted brother.  This show is so much more than keggers and undie runs.

On the other hand, the main thing dragging this show down is Rusty.  The Cartwrights have always been kind of annoying in a self-aggrandizing sort of way, but Rusty's constant need to make everything right is wearing extremely thin, and it makes me just want to beat the hell out of him.  Also, I'm tired of him getting girlfriends that are WAY out of his league.  I'm not saying he doesn't deserve love, but there's no way he'd get women as hot as Jen K. and Jordan.  Even the girl he had booty calls with was out of his league.  I could do without Rusty, but I don't see his exit coming anytime soon.

The Big Bang Theory: "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary"
Wolowitz is angry with Leonard because of some pact they made involving one finding the other a girl if the former ever gets a girlfriend, and Leonard has yet to ask Penny to set Howard up with one of her friends.  For some odd reason, Leonard decides to pop the question after having sex with Penny (which was not easy to watch).  At first, Penny protests, but eventually gives in, so she sets Wolowitz up with some girl who rejects all of his advances.  That is until they realize that they both have overbearing mothers, which is apparently all they need to have a spark.

While this is going on Raj convinces Sheldon to join him in a tournament involving a Magic the Gathering-like game.  Sheldon is initially resistant, but is convinced to participate when he finds out Star Trek's Wil Wheaton will be playing as well.  Apparently, Sheldon attended a Trekkie convention in order to meet Wheaton, but was let down when the actor no-showed, and he's been bitter ever since.  Of course, we get some great nerd out moments, and Sheldon is about to finish his enemy off when Wheaton explains that he missed the convention because he had to attend his grandmother's funeral.  This story touches Sheldon due to his close relationship with his Me-Maw.  Rather than take revenge on Wheaton, Sheldon throws the match just to find out that Wil was lying the entire time.

Again, a pretty good episode but far from perfect.  First, seeing Leonard & Penny in bed for an extended period of time just gave me the willies.  I'm not a fan of this coupling to begin with, and seeing them post-coitus reinforced my displeasure for the two of them together.  It's not that I don't think he's good enough for her; I just liked them better as friends.

We got some good Sheldon moments, but there were too many inside Star Trek jokes that just went over my head.  These references didn't deter me from enjoying the show, but I did wish I knew what they were getting at.  On a somewhat related note, I like the pairing of Raj & Sheldon and I think they could be a solid comedy duo on the show now that Leonard is too busy with Penny.

Castle: "When the Bough Breaks"
Ah, my second favorite dramedy behind Chuck.  Last night was another solid episode from Fillion and company.  Beckett and Castle are called to some crime scene involving some dead person which leads to some rich people, and I think a baby swapping scheme...I'm not quite sure.

The reason the murder of the week isn't important is because this episode's strength was all about the chemistry and sexual tension between Castle and Beckett.  Castle's new book, Heat Wave, is about to drop, and there is some serious buzz going on.  It's so intense that Castle is being offered the chance to relaunch a franchise based on a famous, British spy.  The job of a lifetime means that he would have to stop writing Nikki Heat novels, which would end his partnership with Beckett.  Of course, he's all torn up about, especially when it's clear that the cops don't need him around as much as he thinks they do.

Beckett is unaware of this potential deal, so she's "upset" when she finds out that the mayor wants Castle to stick around so he can write more Nikki Heat books, which the chief is on board with as well.  She's not too happy about the idea of another book coming out, so she confronts Castle about it, which leads to a great little moment of miscommunication where he think she's talking about the British spy series but she's really talking about Nikki Heat.  He thought she'd be relieved that he wouldn't be tagging along anymore, which she admits to but it's clear that she wants him to stick around.

The gang attend Castle's release party where we see him in his element, and we get to see Beckett all glamed up.  The chief drops a hint to Beckett about Castle's feelings for her by letting her in on the sweet dedication he wrote for the book.  Castle's agent also calls him out about his longing for "Nikki Heat" when he's unsure about accepting the deal to write the spy novels.  Beckett reads the dedication and is moved when Castle approaches.  They share a moment before Castle brings up the dead person. D'oh!  Of course he's just using the case as an excuse to avoid having to deal with his feelings for Beckett.  He then shares his big news, and Beckett starts poking the bear when he tells her that he might not accept the offer, which leads to a great scene of them bickering with each other.  They should just get down right there in the middle of the party.

The case gets resolved, and the show ends with Castle and Beckett saying their goodbyes just to be interrupted by their phones.  Castle's agent calls to tell him that the offer for more Nikki Heat's is more than the spy franchise and the mayor is excited about the publicity, and Beckett's boss calls her to tell her that Castle isn't going anywhere.  Castle is surprised and claims that he had nothing to do with it, but of course Beckett doesn't buy it, and we're back to the playful bickering.

What's so great about Castle is the subtext.  It's the same old song and dance that we've seen before, but these two make it work well, and it's believable.  I could careless about the dead bodies because all I care about is the banter between the leads.  This show could rival Bones with its chemistry, humor, and charm.  I'm shocked that this show isn't a bigger hit.

And if you don't know the awesomeness that is Castle, then check this out...

Wow, that was a lot of writing, and I don't have the energy to proof it, so I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors.


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