May 9, 2011

TV Report Card: Week of May 1, 2011

It's late, I'm tired, so I'm going to keep the TV Report Card as bare-bones as possible:

Chuck: "Chuck vs. Agent X"
Chuck felt like it was finding itself again with "Chuck vs. Agent X". The episode was Volkoff heavy, but it benefited from just having Riley and not Vivian, and even though the big twist was very cliched, I was still entertained. "Agent X" was even able to bring Ellie into the fold, and used the Buy Morons just enough. It won't make my favorite episodes of Chuck list any time soon, but "Agent X" was one of the better outings of Season 4.


How I Met Your Mother: "The Perfect Cocktail"
Just when I was about to forgive HIMYM for yet another uneven, sub-standard season, they gave us "The Perfect Cocktail". The more meddlesome they make Lily, the less I can tolerate her, so she was grating on my nerves by episode's end. Also, I'm not a fan when Robin thinks she's funnier than she is. I get that's the joke; it's just not a funny one. Even the booth gag was tired and felt like something they would've dealt with in Season 2. Don't get me started on Ted and Zoey. The only saviors were Marshall and Barney, but even their story was flawed. Very disappointing episode of a once great show.


Castle: "To Love and Die in L.A."
Castle was getting dangerously close to becoming a boring procedural instead of the charming show that I fell in love with. We got a string of episodes with ho-hum cases, not enough Caskett goodness, and a lack of good moments involving the supporting cast. "To Love in Die in L.A." was able to right the ship slightly. Having Rick and Kate go to L.A. on a case was a great way to inject some life into the season, and of course we got some great sexually-tense moments between the two. Even Montgomery, Esposito, and Ryan had some bright spots, so I was happy.


Glee: "Rumours"
When I first watched "Rumours", I did not care for it one bit, and I was ready to name it one of the worst of the season (like "Rocky Horror Glee Show" bad), but after watching it a few more times, it grew on me. It's still not that great of an episode, but once I was able to get past the jealous bickering, and focused on the bright spots like Sam's story, it became a tiny bit better. I still wish we were actually paying some attention to Nationals, but this is Glee so I won't hold my breath.


The Voice: "Blind Audition, Week Two"
Not much was all that different during the second round of the Blind Auditions except for a diminished lack of talent. For the most part, those who preformed on the second night were still better than me at singing, but there wasn't a standout like during Week 1. I did get caught up in the rivalry brewing between Team Blake and Team Adam, and I have a feeling it's going to come down to one of those two.


Modern Family: "Mother's Day"
This week's episode of Modern Family took a familiar three story approach, but it did mix up some of the pairings. Gloria, Claire, and the Kids story should have worked better than it did, but it started to focus too much on Gloria and Manny, so I was out. The banter between Manny and Luke was gold though. The Cam/Mitchell story felt old and tired, but it did have a few chuckles. By far the best of the night was Phil and Jay, which is just a genius pairing to start off with, and having Jay show emotions in front of his son-in-law was huge. They really need to have these two share more screen time.


Cougar Town: "Lonesome Sundown"
Everything that involved Travis and Grayson was some of the best moments of this show's short history, and I'm really excited to see that relationship grow. I could have cared less about Jules living on Bobby's boat, but at least getting her away from the rest of the group was a nice change of pace. The Council bit was funny the first few times, but it ran out of steam fast, so I'm glad they put the kibosh on it. "Lonesome Showdown" had enough funny and sweet moments to win me over.


Community: "A Fistful of Paintballs"
The sequel to last season's "Modern Warfare" had some big shows to fill, and I was hesitant at first, but "A Fistful of Paintballs" was an almost perfect episode of Community. I loved how Annie was front and center, Josh Holloway's Black Rider was a natural fit within the world of Greendale, and even having to spend time on Pierce's villainous arc felt right. I'm probably in the minority, but I thought "Fistful" actually surpassed "Warfare" due to its tighter storytelling and character based moments.


Nikita: "Betrayals"
After a slow comeback, Nikita finally started to get good again with "Betrayals". There were so many twists and turns, that it was hard to keep up, but I did feel that this episode set up what's going to be a crazy season finale. The big twist that involved Alex's past and Nikita's role in her life was something I should've been expecting, but I commend the writers for keeping me out of the loop. Now that Nikita, Alex, and Michael's covers are blown, and the new tension between teacher and student, things should be getting good.


30 Rock: "Respawn"
30 Rock was another show that ran out of steam towards the end of the season, and "Respawn" was one of my least favorite episodes of the year. I enjoyed most of Liz's quest to have a normal summer off, but Jack's replacing of Avery with Kenneth, and way too much time spent on Jenna made for a tedious half-hour. I'm still new to the 30 Rock fandom, but I have to admit that the show may have run its course, and next year might be a good time to wrap things up once and for all. Just an idea.


Supernatural: "The Man Who Would Be King"
One of the major storylines of this season has been this unseen War for Heaven that has been occupying Castiel's time, and we finally got some information on what's been going on. Any episode that focuses on Cas, has the return of Mark A. Sheppard, and lets the two play off each other starts off with a very high grade. You add the Winchesters and Bobby's distrust of Cas, and you have a very entertaining episode of television. I did feel Dean's unwavering support of Cas seemed a little bit out of character (that's something I'd figure Sam would do), but that was a minor quibble.



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