November 6, 2010

TV Report Card: Week of October 31, 2010

Here is this week's TV Report Card:

Chuck: "Chuck vs. the First Fight"
Tuttle, Gregory, Tuttle.
Chuck kicked its Alias impression into high gear this week since "First Fight" spent most of the time focusing on whether Mary Bartowski was a good guy or a baddie. A plot with tons of twists and turns, a wonderful guest spot by Timothy Dalton, and a good mix of humor and action made for a strong episode of Chuck. So far, "Couch Lock" was still a better hour of television, but "First Fight" was a more significant entry to Season 4, and it actually got me caring more about the Momma B arc.


How I Met Your Mother: "Canning Randy"
No Mercy
Man, I really miss the HIMYM of old especially after watching the piss-poor episode that was "Canning Randy". The only part that worked was Barney's Halloween costume (Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid). Everything else was either lazy (Randy trying to get fired and Marshall being too nice), boring (Ted and Zoey), annoyingly repetitive ("Where's the poop?"), or just awful (the two commercials). After watching "Canning Randy", I just remember thinking that it was almost as bad as "Robots versus Wrestlers" which I felt was the worst episode of HIMYM ever. So much for righting the ship.


Castle: "Almost Famous"
It's Raining Murder: Beckett & Castle at the strip club
After last week's darker "3XK", Castle was back to its old self with an episode that was heavy on the laughs. What I've noticed is this show tends to be at its best when the Case of the Week involves some of the steamier sides of crime such as S&M clubs. So "Almost Famous" was bound to be good since it had to do with male strippers, and it did not disappoint. We got some classic Castle & Beckett moments (it's great when they play a couple) as well as some hilarious Ryan & Esposito scenes ("Twilight my ass"). I don't remember who the killer was and why they did it, but I do remember laughing a lot which is all I ask from Castle.


Hawaii Five-0: "Ho'apono"
Really, this was the only interesting pic I found
For the first time ever, I have to admit that this week's Hawaii Five-0 was better than Castle. I feel dirty just typing that, but it's true. "Ho'apono" was able to tell a very emotional story about an ex-Navy SEAL framed for murder with the right combination of tension, action, and humor. Watching McGarrett put himself in harm's way not only to protect innocent bystanders but to also protect a brother in arms was moving without being schmaltzy, and hearing McCay's (Robert Loggia) story about Pearl Harbor was also a nice moment. Overall, "Ho'apono" was one of the best installments from this very young series, and one of the better hours of television on Monday night.


Modern Family: "Chirp"
Mommy-Daughter Moment
I know that I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but Modern Family would be a better show if they just cut it in thirds and threw out one of the sections. Per usual, the Dunphy storyline was the funniest of the bunch as Claire and Haley had the chance to have some mother-daughter talk due to their common illness while Phil was obsessed with finding a chirping smoke detector. I do admit that the miscommunication gag that existed between Claire and Haley was far from original, but it still worked. It was also nice seeing Haley be less self-absorbed and actually care about her family. The Cam/Mitchell/Lily commercial subplot had some laughs thanks to racial humor, and as always the Jay/Gloria/Manny parts added nothing substantial to the episode.


Cougar Town: "Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)"
Truth Gun Mexican Standoff
I was convinced that I was going to hate Cougar Town this week since it focused on the self-involved Jules and her birthday present game, but "Fooled Again" actually won me over. To be honest, any show that can put off a convincing yet funny Usual Suspects reference is aces in my book. The Jules/Alex friendship story had some sweet moments although it was done before on Scrubs. I'm also warming up to the characters off the wall personalities and antics, and the Truth Gun Mexican Standoff during the tag made me inch closer towards becoming a fan of the show. No one is as shocked as I am, believe me.


Friday Night Lights: "On the Outside Looking In"
Coach being Coach
I wonder if the FNL writers are taking a page out of Glee's playbook because the title of this week's episode tied in to every single plot, and it reminded me of one of the latter's infamous themed episodes. The East Dillon Lions are not being taken seriously as a legit football program, Tami's trying to find her place as the new guidance counselor, Julie was transitioning to life at college (filmed at Texas State!), and the high school characters were all trying to figure out their new roles at East. What surprised me about the episode was how funny it was, and Vince has quickly become one of the most interesting characters (although he's not good enough of a QB to be recruited by the schools that he was, but that's s minor criticism). While "Outside Looking In" wasn't one of FNL's best episodes, it was still a good one.


The Vampire Diaries: "Rose"
The Salvatores doing their best impression of the Winchesters
I really can't put my finger on it, but I didn't care for this week's The Vampire Diaries. Maybe it was because we didn't have any Katherine, or maybe it's because I'm not loving the idea of Caroline and Tyler as a couple. I guess most of my indifference about "Rose" had to do with the fact that it felt like we switched plots mid-stream, which gave the episode a disjointed feel. We went from the Katherine/moonstone story, and then all of a sudden new characters like Rose, Elijah, and the Originals. I'm sure all these loose ends will be connected, but all of these new elements were just thrown at us. Oddly enough, what I ususally don't like about TVD, the love triangle, entertained me (especially the final scene between Elena and Damon). The way I see it, "Rose" was just a hiccup during an otherwise strong storyline.


Community: "Aerodynamics of Gender"
Bitch Free Zone
After last week's zombie themed Halloween episode, Community shifted gears and gave us a more character based episode with "Aerodynamics of Gender". The majority of the episode focused on how Abed interacts with people and his quest for acceptance, which led to the ladies of the study group using him as their own personal mean girl to take down the Greendale Queen Bee (Hilary Duff). While this cattiness was going on, Troy and Jeff found inner peace thanks to a Secret Garden trampoline until things were ruined by Pierce. The Mean Girls plot had a few laughs (thanks to Abed) and the trampoline story had some fun moments, but overall "Aerodynamics" was just an adequate episode.


Bones: "The Bones that Weren't"
So You Think You Can Beat A Murder Charge
The only reason I watched "The Bones that Weren't" was to see tWitch from So You Think You Can Dance (who was actually a decent actor), and I could have cared less about the rest of the episode. I did find myself liking Hannah, and I'm bummed that she was only introduced as yet another obstacle in the way of B&B. Booth seems happy with her and it's a shame that she'll be gone before we know it. I swear they should just drop the B&B stuff at this point because it's getting out of control and yet boring at the same time. Another observation: I didn't even miss this show while it was on its World Series hiatus. Go figure.


Nikita: "Phoenix"
Nikita and the naughty Senator
"Phoenix" felt like the most spy oriented episode of Nikita since it involved not only Division but its Russian counterpart, Goegle. The plot about the Senator's sex scandal and Thom's transition to an agent all felt familiar, but the larger really arc wasn't moved forward. "Phoenix" was an OK mission of the week episode but nothing special. Things finally got interesting though at the end when Goegle offered to help Nikita take Division down, and I'm interested to see if she'll strike a deal.


Supernatural: "Family Matters"
The Hunters gearing up.
This week's Supernatural was more of the same: Dean still doesn't trust Sam (he never has and probably never will), and Sam's still not being honest with Dean. The whole mistrust between the brothers is starting to wear thin, and watching Dean try to figure out how he feels about Sam is starting to become a chore. You'd think after five seasons these two would have worked out their issues, but here we are. Despite the brother angst, we were reintroduced to the Heaven/Hell/Purgatory mythology, got some answers about Sam's reappearance, and we got little doses of Castiel and Crowley, so it wasn't a complete bust.


NOTE: I didn't get the chance to watch this week's The Big Bang Theory, and I'm not going to go out of my way to do so after the episodes we've been getting this season.

This week in TV started off with a bang with some great episodes of Chuck, Castle, and Hawaii Five-0, but things hit a wall due to no new episodes of Glee and No Ordinary Family. The rest of the week was OK, but no show really stood out with the exception of maybe Cougar Town. Let's hope things pick back up next week.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail