March 6, 2010

TV Report Card: Week of February 28, 2010

The Olympics are finally over, and we're back to our regular scheduled programing this week, which means I'm back to putting together my TV Report Card.


Chuck: "Chuck vs. the Fake Name"

So, Chuck fans had three weeks to get over the whole Chuck-pocalypse, but I have a feeling that those that were peeved after the last episode are not going to be any happier after this week's even though it was quite possibly one of the best eps this season.

Chuck's mission is to pretend to be a world-class sniper/assassin, and he really knocks it out of the park. He plays the faux-killer very naturally, and he's quick on his feet, which leads to him pulling out one of Casey's teeth to maintain his cover. Chuck's getting so good at being a spy, that Casey even gives him some praise. If Casey's patting you on the back, you know something's up.

We also got some less forced, but still meh Sarah/Shaw moments, including her revealing her real name: Sam. Now, I'm a sucker for a cute girl with a boy's nickname, which is why I loved Lou from season one, so Sarah got a billion times hotter. I do think the scenes with Shaw and Sarah are still not clicking, but I can let them slide for now.

Chuck's relationship with Hannah went from hot and heavy to non-existent in less than an hour. Their last scene pretty much encapsulated this season: Chuck is changing because it's easier for him to lie to those close to him, and he cannot be Mr. Nice Guy and Super Spy at the same time, but he's more the latter than the former. Chuck's dumping of Hannah for her protection, while meeting her family for dinner, and her calling him out about being the best liar she's ever met sums up Chuck's life perfectly.

I know this is a longer rant than usual, but there was so many great moments during this week's Chuck that I had to get as many of my thoughts out as possible. Even the Buy More stuff was good, and I never think that.


How I Met Your Mother: "Hooked"

The first HIMYM back from the Olympic break utilized the same old formula that's lasted for close to five years now. Ted's smitten, Barney coins some hip terms like "hooked" and "bait" to sound smarter than he really is, Robin thinks she's God's gift to men, Lily and Marshall do their coupley stuff, the gang calls each other out at the bar, and they add in some really odd sight gag (this week it was a teacup pig).

"Hooked" was mostly about how Ted is being dragged along by Tiffany (Carrie Underwood) because she has a boyfriend and cannot be with him "right now". Of course everyone chimes in on being the hookee and the hooker, as Robin states it. Pretty standard stuff. While this is going on, Barney explains how the jobs occupied by hot chicks have progressed from gatherer to pharmaceutical reps. Again, standard stuff.

The part of the episode that I actually liked this week was the Marshall/Lily B-plot where we find out that Lily's ex, Scooter, works in her school's cafeteria, and how she still hasn't let him off the hook. Watching Marshall coaching Lily so she could finally tell Scooter off, with help from the pig, was amusing.

Aside from the Marshall/Lily stuff, "Hooked" was a bland outing at best. The plot was nothing really new, Carrie Underwood was a weak attempt at stunt casting, and Barney's antics are getting stale. In the end, "Hooked" was just another so-so episode in a mediocre season of a once great show.


The Big Bang Theory: "The Excelsior Acquisition"

Not only did we get Chuck and How I Met Your Mother back this week, but we also got a new episode of The Big Bang Theory. Monday night would have ended wonderfully had we also gotten a new Castle instead of more Bachelor nonsense.

This week's episode was par for the course when it comes to TBBT. The boys are in geek heaven when they have the chance to meet Stan Lee, but Sheldon can't make it because he has to go to court because he ran a redlight while taking Penny to the emergency room earlier this season. Of course, Penny sells Sheldon out so he gets fined, and no one thinks this is a problem. Instead, Sheldon's friends mock him and leave him on his own. I swear, for geeks these guys sure are douche bags to one another.

Penny of course accompanies Sheldon to court just to seem him tossed into jail for contempt of court. She even calls Leonard for help, and he just hangs up when the line to meet Stan Lee starts to move. See, douche. Sheldon gets out of jail, gets some more mocking, and he ends his friendship with Penny until she's able to get him his meeting with Stan Lee.

Three things were made clear this week: 1.) The Penny/Sheldon friendship (which is all it should be) has become the core of this show, and it works brilliantly. They are so completely different that they butt heads, but they're also always there for one another.

2.) Raj is the unsung hero of the show. Most of the biggest laughs I've had while watching this show have been because of Raj. Sure, his musical shirt and naming of Marvel characters schtick wore a little thin, but it was 100 times funnier than anything Leonard and Wolowitz said combined. We definitely need more Raj centric episodes in the near future.

3.) Leonard continues to become the most unlikeable character of all time. It seems like he's just around to make fun of Sheldon, stick out when he's with Penny, and make occasional nerdy comments. His a-holiness is further proof that he doesn't deserve Penny, and they should have never been paired up to begin with.

I've found myself laughing less and less while watching Big Bang, and I really do hope it's able to get out of the rut that it's been in. Part of me thinks it will once Penny finally dumps Leonard.


Greek: "Your Friends and Neighbors"

It the Chuck/Sarah shippers are going crazy, I'm sure the Casey/Cappie shippers aren't too happy either ever since the handsome politico Joel was introduced a few weeks ago. As soon as he hit our screens we all knew Casey would be attracted to him. The big question is are the creators going to break Casey and Cappie up after it took them so long to be put back together?

Casey and Cappie are not the only couple with problems. Evan is moving kind of fast for Rebecca, so of course she sleeps with Beaver to avoid the reality of a relationship with Chambers. This week we got a glimpse of a Beaver/Becks relationship that has been hinted at for years, and they were kind of cute together. It could actually work between them.

Aside from the relationship drama, the Casey/Ashleigh drifting apart storyline makes sense, but it was just blah after a while, mostly because Ashleigh can become so annoying when he feels slighted. She just needs to grow up once and for all.

Oddly, the best part of this week's episode revolved around a professor that moves in next to the KT house, and he tries to be a buzzkill until Cappie and Rusty "borg" him, and he becomes an honorary pledge. The whole neighbor subplot was just wacky fun, but it also caused Cappie to question some things about himself and his relationship with Casey, and the comedy was weaved brilliantly with the drama.



Lost: "Sundown"

Lost was about Sayid, and his flash sideways was OK, but the Island Sayid was interesting, and I'm not even going to try to explain what happened. All I know is there was a badass fight scene between Sayid and Dogen, and I think there's something really off about Kate which is going to come to a head when it's all said and done.


White Collar: "Front Man"

The freshman season of White Collar has been hot and cold, but when this show is on it is really on. This week's "Front Man" was hands down one of the best episodes of the show's very early history. Matt Bomer's charming Neal Caffery is quickly becoming on of TV's best characters, and his relationship with FBI Agent Peter Burke is funny, heartwarming, but also very tense because they really don't trust each other. Great chemistry all around.

This week's case involved a kidnapping, one of Neal's adversaries, and some really high-end credit cards. Neal is reaching superhero status because he seems to have tons of enemies in his rouge's gallery like Ryan Wilkes who is probably one of the best baddies yet. One thing that White Collar and Leverage lack are strong bad guys that are a threat to our heroes over the length of a season. Leverage has Sterling, but he hasn't been utilized enough, and I hope that changes during S3. When it comes to White Collar, Wilkes could be a great foil for Neal, and I hope we see him again.

The rest of the episode had some good twist, turns, and it was a great setup for next week's season finale because Neal is one step closer to Kate and the music box which is really going to test his partnership with Peter. It's getting good people.



I've been so unhappy with the last couple of Psych episodes, that it has been removed from my Must Watch list. I might catch up on the show online if I have nothing else to do, but for now Shawn and Gus will be off of the Report Card.


Bones isn't coming back until April, so my Thursday nights have been void of regular TV watching. I have used the time to catch a few episodes of Community, and I might have to become a regular viewer if the rest of the episodes are as funny as the last two.


I haven't had the chance to watch this week's Spartacus, but the Starz Original has quickly become a guilty pleasure with its blood, sex, and simple but impactful storytelling. I wouldn't be surprised if Spartacus: Blood and Sand gets an permanent spot on the Report Card.


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