February 27, 2011

TV Report Card: Week of February 20, 2011

Another abbreviated TV Report Card this week:

Chuck: "Chuck vs. The Masquerade"
Another Mission-of-the-Week episode of Chuck that kicked off another mini-arc involving Volkoff's daughter was OK, but not spectacular. If anything the Morgan and Casey sub-plots were more entertaining than the main storyline. I'm interested in how Volkoff's daughter will factor in to the rest of the season, but I hope they don't go cliche and make her a baddie. GRADE: C

How I Met Your Mother: "Garbage Island"
After some OK episodes, HIMYM had to go back to its sucky ways with "Garbage Island". Out of the three storylines, the only one that I cared about was Barney's and that's because I'm smitten with Nora. I'm tired of Marshall's dead dad storyline, hornball Lily has always annoyed me, and I couldn't stand Ted's story with the Captain. "Garbage Island" wasn't funny and a waste of time with the exception of Barney (although we're being set up for a Barney/Robin reunion). GRADE: D-

Greek: "Subclass Plagiostomi"
All of the season long storyarcs were starting to come to an end during "Subclass Plagiostomi". Evan's in full douche mode, Ashleigh and Rusty's unbelievable relationship is inching closer, Cappie's thinking about his futur, and Dale's fake Omega Chi bid was revealed. This wasn't an outstanding episode of Greek, but I'm glad we're in the homestretch. Plus, I'm always in favor of an episode that features Katherine so much. GRADE: B-

Castle: "Setup"
After some subpar episodes of Castle, the show went back to its bread and butter: two-parters. Last year's "Tick, Tick, Tick" was one of the series' best, and you could tell that they wanted "Setup" to be just as memorable. I can't say that "Setup" was as good as its predecessor, but it was a good mix of storytelling, suspense, and shipper goodness. Still not on par with Castle's best, but still an improvement over the last couple of weeks. GRADE: B-

Glee: "Blame It On The Alcohol"
I was afraid that the show was going to be all PSA-y about underage drinking, but in a lot of ways Glee didn't take a strong stance either way (maybe leaning towards pro-responsible underage drinking). The lack of any real message kind of brought the show down, but there were enough big laughs and character moments to save the episode. Not a great episode of Glee, but not as bad as it could've been. GRADE: C

Modern Family: "Regrets Only"
After watching "Regrets Only", I couldn't help but be frustrated. I wasn't a fan of how the show continued to paint Claire as a shrew, and watching Gloria sing karaoke was not as funny as the writer's thought it would be. The only saving grace was Luke and Cam teaming up for his big benefit event, but even that story line was dragged down by unneeded miscommunication. Modern Family is just starting to look more and more sit-commy, and that's not a good thing. GRADE: C-

Community: "Intro to Political Science"
The whole student body debate was just an excuse for Jeff/Annie shippers to swoon, but it really didn't give much insight to either character or really move anything forward. I'm pissed that they're still making Pierce the most unlikeable character since Jules Cobb, and are still not giving us a valid reason to believe that he should still be hanging around the study group since they don't even study anymore. The only highlights: Troy and Abed's commentary on the debate, and Abed's side story involving Eliza Coupe. GRADE: B-

Nikita: "Echoes"
After last week's Alex-centric, backstory episode, we got to delve deep into her current psyche which created a very twisty-turny ride. It was also nice seeing Amanda at her at her best because to date we've only gotten glimpses of what she's capable of, but seeing her probe Alex's mind was creepy. I'm also intrigued to see how the rest of the season plays out after seeing the end of "Echoes". Good stuff. GRADE: B+

30 Rock: "TGS Hates Women"
I didn't quite understand what was going on with the whole femoloution plotline, so it fell on deaf ears and was the low point of the episode. On the other hand, I loved pretty much everything about the Jack/Hailey story line, and Chole Moretz was one of the better guest stars to grace the show. I'm hoping we see more of her and her character as the season progresses. GRADE: C+

Supernatural: "The French Mistake"
While most of Season 6 has been sub-par due to the fact that every episode has been the same, "The French Mistake" was an example of the kind of episodes that Supernatural does well: the meta heavy version of the show. Seeing Sam and Dean be transported into the the bodies of Jared and Jensen was worth a few laughs, but some of the references may have been a bit on the nose, and the novelty wore off. I was glad that they mentioned the war in Heaven, and I hope they start focusing more on that arc since the Monster of the Week episodes have been mediocre. GRADE: B-

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena: "The Bitter End"
Unfortunately, Andy Whitfield's battle with cancer led to the creation of Gods of the Arena, and while I wish Andy didn't have to endure health problems, at least something positive came out of the bad news. Gods wasn't a perfect prequel, but it did pick steam towards the end, and "The Bitter End" was a good way to wrap up the mini-series to set us up for Season 2. I do think the episode would've worked better if the last two thirds was swapped with the first third because a lot of the emotional tension was gone once Batitatus delt with Tullius. It also lasted a tad too long, but "The Bitter End" was still a fun hour of television. GRADE: B+

NOTES: I didn't get around to Hawaii Five-0, White Collar, or The Vampire Diaries this week so they were left off of the Report Card.


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