March 13, 2010

TV Report Card: Week of March 7, 2010

Here is this week's TV Report Card:


Chuck: "Chuck vs. The Beard"

After weeks of episodes that had the fandom in a tizzy (with the exception of the fans that are actually same like myself), this week's Chuck was just what the general ordered to calm down the pitchfork toting mob.

The plot revolved around Chuck being benched for not being able to flash, the rest of Team Bartowski getting duped into leaving Castle so the Ring can infiltrate the HQ, and Morgan finally finding out his best friend's secret. Oh yeah, and Jeffster and the Buy Morons fighting for their jobs because they thought the Ring was going to buy the store and fire everyone.

Many are saying that "Beard" was one of the best episodes of the season, if not the entire show, and it's hard to argue with them. This episode had a ton of laughs, twist and turns, some decent action, and very little shipper angst. In a lot of ways "Chuck vs. The Beard" reminded a lot of fans why they fell in love with the show in the first place.

For me, Season 3 has been the best so far, but having an old school Chuck episode is never a bad thing, especially when we get a break from "Suck". I am a little concerned about how Morgan's insider knowledge is going to affect the show, but I trust the creators to make it work.


How I Met Your Mother: "Of Course"

The How I Met Your Mother Season of Suckitude continued this week with another unfunny episode. I could tell it was going to be a dog when they introduced the self-help book, and it was all down hill after that. I'm not even going to discuss J-Lo's useless performance. Let's just add one more to the "Pointless Stunt Cast" column. The only joke that got a laugh out of me was the Bang song.

I was a little surprised that they made Robin a sniveling wreck, but I was kind of glad to see Barney mature a little bit. Maybe he is a changed man after his relationship with Robin, and it was not for nothing.

Also, it was nice to see Marshall get some good lines in this week.


The Big Bang Theory: "The Precious Fragmentation"

In a lot of ways, "The Precious Fragmentation" was a glimpse of what makes The Big Bang Theory great, and that is relying on its nerdy charm. The boys buy some box from a garage sale just to find out that the One Ring was stashed inside it. Of course we get a ton of Lord of the Rings references while the boys try to figure out what to do with the famous artifact.

The story was pretty standard, but it really allowed the guys to be geeky fanboys instead of being annoying boyfriends, socially inept geniuses, or pathetic losers. This week's episode could have easily fit in with Season 1 instead of the mediocre one that we're enduring this year.

By far my favorite parts of the entire episode were the hints that Penny is tiring of being with Leonard, which I can only hope means that a break up is coming sooner than later. Fingers crossed.


Castle: "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice"

Not only did we get one of the best Chuck episodes this week, but we also got one of the best Castle outings to date.

The Case of the Week was about a woman found in the park strung up to the jungle gym, covered in caramel, and strapped into custom made bondage handcuffs. Of course the S&M theme led to nothing but hilarious jokes, hot flirtation between Beckett and Castle, and general awsomeness.

Castle's strength is the fact that it acknowledges the fact that Castle and Beckett like one another, and they openly flirt. Their attraction is organic, and they're not all repressed like Bones and Booth, or all angsty like Chuck and Sarah. Sure, they're not together, and they probably won't be for a while, but at least they're in on the joke.


Greek: "The Big Easy Does It"

Apparently, Fat Tuesday was not just about booze, boobs, and debauchery on the CRU campus because it seems like everyone was dealing with relationship issues prior to the Lenten season.

Cappie and Casey are continuing to drift apart due to his lack of post-CRU ambitions and her moving on to the next stage of her life. Usually, I'd applaud this kind of relationship tension, but the addition of Joel as a potential bump in the road that is Casey & Cappie is unoriginal and kind of insulting. Kudos to Casey for actually admitting that she almost kissed Joel, which shows some kind of maturity.

Too bad Rebecca does not share the same responsible character that her big sister possess because she gets caught making out with some guy at Gentlemen's Choice by Evan while he's temping as barkeep. Of course they have a fight in the alley where he calls her out for being heartless and it's her fault that the relationship didn't have a chance. Good for him.

Then there's the Rusty-Katherine-Dana mini-triangle. Katherine doesn't want to go to law school as a virgin, so she picks Rusty to take her virginity, which upsets Dana because she's still got a thing for him. In the end, Rusty decides he cannot be Katherine's first, which was kind of a bummer because she's so darn cute, and he kind of let her down in a sucky way.

One aspect of the show that's always irked me has been all of these girls falling for Rusty. I believe that everyone can be loved, but Rusty has been dating girls that are clearly out of his league. It's hard to believe that girls like Jen K., Jordan, and Katherine would be all goo-goo over Rusty; not because he's smart but because he's not very attractive and has a horrible personality. I might be able to buy Dana as a love interest for him, but even she's too good for him.



Lost: "Dr. Linus"

I really cannot wrap my head around Lost, but I can totally understand why it has such a loyal fan base. This week's Ben Linus centric episode had some good moments, but they really didn't revolve around the former leader of the Others. Jack's Russian Roulette with dynamite was brilliant, and quite possibly one of the best scenes of the series. Widmore's return was also a nice surprise. It seems like he's been gone for awhile.


White Collar: "Out of the Box"

White Collar finished up its freshman season with a bang (pun intended).

What worked this week was Neal and his Crew setting up the heist for the music box which has been his driving force for most of the season. To be honest, I could careless about the box itself, or Kate for that matter, but it was just fun watching Neal do what he does best. Maybe I'm wrong, but this episode felt like it was the first one where we got to see Neal actually put together a heist and show how good of a thief he is. We need more episodes like this one down the road.

I'm also a big fan of Neal & Alex, and while I seriously doubt Kate is permanently out of the picture despite being blown up, I'm excited to see Neal develop a passionate yet tense relationship with Alex. It's obvious that they have feelings for one another, they have a past, and they don't trust one another. That's a mixture for some crazy fun right there.

The whole Peter-Neal relationship is something different all together. Was it me, or was Peter acting like a jilted ex-girlfriend trying to keep her man around? I know that some of the humor from the show comes from their dynamic, but it was just odd this week.

I give White Collar's first season a thumbs up, and the season finale did exactly what it was supposed to. It tied up some loose ends, while setting season two up nicely. I can't wait for more.



Scrubs: "Our Driving Issues"

Word around the campfire is this season will be the last for Scrubs, but we've heard that before. Although the show has dodged bullets and been resurrected from the dead, I do believe that this is the end of the line for the Sacred Heart crew, and it's about time but also a little premature.

The New Class has grown on me, and I'd like to see another season of the spin-off, but it's obvious that this experiment by ABC was a failure, so Scrubs should be put out of its misery. The Internet is promoting this week's episode, and next week's, as the final two of the series, and this was a decent penultimate outing.

Cole and Dr. Kelso bond after both are subjected to some major hurdles, and the elder teaches the newbie an important lesson about friendship and life. Seeing this mentor relationship is almost as good as watching J.D. & Dr. Cox because Kelso and Cole are two way over the top characters, but they're also able to be real with one another. I think we're going to miss out of some great moments between these two if the show is done for good.

The Drew-Denise-Dr. Cox subplot was just another example of how the show is running out of steam because the fact that all three of them are varying degrees of the same character proves that the writers are running out of ways to write interesting characters.

While I know that it's time for Scrubs to say farewell, I kind of wish the newbies had a shot at really establishing themselves with a true spin-off rather than the hybrid approach that was Scrubs: Season 9. I think there was potential there, but now we'll never know.


Still no shows on Thursday or Friday, so my TV watching week was abbreviated once again. Man, I can't wait for Bones to come back...


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