February 7, 2010

TV Report Card: Week of January 31, 2010

Here is this week's TV Report Card:


Chuck: "Chuck Versus the Nacho Sampler"

Season 3 of Chuck is flying by thanks to the shorter episode order, but so far almost every installment has been a winner.  This week's "Nacho Sampler" was no exception, and it might be the best episode of the season.  After Chuck's first solo mission, he gets his first asset, a fellow nerd that is developing some kind of weapon.  It's up to Chuck, with some help from Sarah and Casey, to gain the asset's trust in order to get some information.
What really made this episode great was the fact that we got to see Chuck grow as a character.  He's no longer the bubbling Nerd Herder with the Intersect in his head; he's becoming a real spy.  It was also interesting watching how Sarah and Casey reacted to Chuck's changes. The B-plot involving Morgan pining over Hannah was creepy and unnecessary like most Buy More subplots, but the common thread of the lying and mistrust that Ellie and Morgan have picked up on could make things interesting down the road (please let Morgan get killed off).  "Nacho Sampler" had humor, action, and much needed character development that could make it one of the best Chuck episodes ever.


How I Met Your Mother: "The Perfect Week"

This week's episode of How I Met Your Mother was essentially every episode of HIMYM, but with a baseball theme to it.  Barney's a man-whore, Lily is a butt-insky, Robin thinks way too highly of herself, Marshall & Lily are codependent and still looking for a couple to date, and Ted is still a douchey professor.  Barney's goal of a perfect week, scoring with seven women in seven nights, was somewhat comical only because it used said baseball theme.  Other than that, it was the same old tired jokes (Canada jokes included), and a running gag about Poo (which happened to be the last name of one of Ted's students).  To keep with the baseball analogy, this week's episode of HIMYM was a pop-fly out; it made contact and had potential but ultimately didn't amount to anything.


The Big Bang Theory: "The Einstein Approximation"

I think the Big Bang concept has finally worn thin because I have not found the last couple of episodes entertaining at all.  This week's storyline revolving around Sheldon being stuck on an equation ran out of steam fairly quickly, and it wasn't aided by the same old jokes from Leonard and Penny.  Sheldon's odd, Leonard's insensitive, and Penny's the "normal" one...we get it already, now do something new for once.  The only part of this week's episode that was remotely funny revolved around Raj's increasing unhappiness about being left out, and even then it's getting kind of sad.  TBBT really needs to take off the cruise control, and shake things up sooner or later because the schtick is getting stale.


Greek: "Pride and Punishment"

Greek was alright, but nothing special.  I'm glad we're done with the whole ZBZ burned down the Gamma Psi house, but we're back to the same old Cappie/Evan grudge, so it feels like all of the progress that was made at the start of season 3 was erased.  I swear, if I hear Cap call Evan a "douche" again, I might lose it.  Rusty continues to be the most unlikeable character on TV, and somehow he still gets the attention of cute girls, even the nerdy ones are cute!  And are they leading tow a Ashleigh/Rusty hook-up?!?! The show is starting to reach, and it's just grasping at air.  Maybe the potential cancellation will be a good thing.



Lost: "LA X"

Too many things happened during the Season 6 premiere, so I'm not going to even try to sum anything up.  The only thing I can say is I think it's going to be a good season of Lost.  It looks like we're going to be observing two timelines, one on the Island and one back in the "real" world where the plane doesn't crash, but I do think the two timelines will interweave at some point.  Or we find out one is not real at all, and maybe everything on the Island never happened...boy, that'd piss off a lot of people.


White Collar: "Vital Signs"

We didn't get any of the "Where is Kate" storyline this week, but White Collar is starting to hit its stride and become the show that I thought it would be.  The case of the week had Neal and the FBI bring down the leader of a corrupt charity by making him think he was dying.  The case itself was OK, but we got the chance to see Neal be his charming self, Pete try to flirt with a redhead and his wife bust his balls a little.  The last couple of weeks, White Collar has become Leverage but with the Feds backing up the Crew.  Good stuff.



Leverage: "The Future Job"

Some of the best Leverage jobs are when the Crew cons other cons, and this week was one of those episodes.  The Crew's mark was a phony psychic who scams people out of their money, but they hit a small bump in the road when he reads Parker and freaks her out.  Parker's shaken up, so the Crew comes to her side, and Eliot even offers to kill the mark for hurting his partner (now that's love).  Of course, they don't go down that road, but they do end up exposing the psychic while also getting tangled up in a bank robbery that happened years ago.  The job was pretty good, Luke Perry did a good job as the phony, but it was seeing the Crew care about one of their own and Nate's poignant speech at the end that made "Future" one of the best Leverage episodes yet.  I seem to be saying that week in and week out.


Psych: "Thrill Seekers and Hell Raisers"

This week was pretty much your same old Psych.  Shawn was annoying, Gus somehow put up with his best friend's antics, there was a murder, and everything was tied up nicely by the end.  The best part of the episode was meeting Gus' new girlfriend, played by the smoking hot Sarah Shahi.  I'm really close to giving up on Psych all together.



Bones: "The Devil in the Details"

For the first time in weeks, I actually liked what Bones had to offer.  The case of the week is still exploring this new fringe territory (aliens, assassination conspiracies, and now angels and demons), and while they all end up having a rational explanation for these odd events, the tone of the show is starting to change.  This week, Bones bumps heads with everyone because the body is found in a Catholic church (so she tangles with Booth), and the vic was in a mental institution (which gives her the chance to belittle Sweets).  Fortunately, everyone puts Brennan in her place, which was refreshing because she's really starting to grate on my nerves.  We also had some American/Islam relation exploration thanks to Cam and Intern Vaziri, and while the outcome was a little too sappy, it was at least something real.  While I still think Bones has lost something this season, at least I wasn't totally bored with this week's episode.



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