December 18, 2011

TV Report Card: Week of December 11, 2011

With the holidays right round the corner, most shows have had their fall/mid-season/season finales, so there was not a lot on television this week, but here's the TV Report Card anyway.

Leverage: "The Girls' Night Out Job"
Like I had mentioned last week, I need to start watching Leverage for what it is instead of what I want it to be. "Girl's Night Out" was another stand alone episode that was fun for the most part, but it didn't add to the larger story. That being said, this episode did focus on Parker and her evaluation as a person, so at least we did get some substance from the hour. It was also nice having Tara back in the fold, and her friendly rivalry with Sophie was a fun way to mix things up. While I expected more from Leverage, I wasn't upset with what we got. Now, I just need to learn my lesson and lower my expectations for "The Boys' Night Out Job," but that's easier said than done.


Homeland: "The Vest"
Man, this show really knows how to fray a viewer's nerves! "The Vest" was probably one of my favorite episodes of Homeland because of the tension that was created during the hour. Brody's visit to the bomb maker was a move that I did not see coming, and it just added another layer to the bigger mystery that's surrounding Brody and his allegiances. The fact that his daughter knows that something's up has the potential to make things even crazier. Watching Carrie's breakdown because of the bombing was also mesmerizing to watch, and both Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin acted the heck out of their scenes together. I'm fully prepared for the finale to fall short of my expectations, but more than likely it will not sour me on the show as a whole because we have at least another season to go. Either way, I'm excited to see how Season 1 wraps up.


2 Broke Girls: "And the Pop-up Sale"
Unfortunately, I could not blame How I Met Your Mother for forcing me to watch 2 Broke Girls, but I came back anyway. Honestly, I'm one step close to cutting all ties with 2 Broke Girls after watching "And the Pop-up Sale." The laughs were sparce from start to finish, and I felt like I had wasted a half-an-hour. The fight between Han and Oleg was a trainwreck, and the plot about Caroline trying to sell her fancy rings was not able to make up for it. I guess the temporary rift between the two girls that was caused by Caroline ditching Max for her old rich friends was decent enough, but I didn't find myself laughing enough for it to be a success.


Glee: "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"
I'm going to have to grade this week's Glee on a curve because its Christmas episodes tend to exist only to sell the cast's holiday album and very rarely contribute the show's bigger picture. For the most part, "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" did exactly what it was supposed to do. We got some OK Christmas songs with some moral lessons about charity padded around them which would've been fine if we weren't forced to endure an extremely materialistic Rachel. Now, I'm usually on board with a slightly unlikeable Rachel, but her high maintenance attitude towards Finn felt out-of-character and was distracting. The Glee Christmas Spectacular was fun to watch, but it did last a little too long considering they wanted to tell three other stories at the same time. Overall, I didn't love or hate "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" because it wasn't all that relevant of an episode.


New Girl: "The 23rd"
I've gone on record that I was not a fan of Justin Long's character on New Girl, so I was glad that his relationship with Jess ended, but unfortunately their story relied too much on rom-com cliches like her saying, "thank you" after he confessed his love for her. Thankfully, everything that was floating around the Jess/Paul stuff was good. I loved that they re-visited Schmidt and Cece, and Winston's ability to connect with kids. Even Nick's interactions with Jess pre and post-break up were nice, and the gang waking up Candy Cane Lane so they could turn on the Christmas lights in order to cheer up Jess was a nice touch. All and all, "The 23rd" had the right combination of sweet and sad which made for an enjoyable episode of television.


Chuck: "Chuck vs. The Curse"
"Chuck vs. The Hack Off" was one of the better episodes of Season 5, so following it up was a tall order. Overall, "Chuck vs. The Curse" was a decent enough but far from one of the show's best offerings. I'm always a fan of Awesome being pulled into the spy world (Ellie not so much, but I was glad that she was given more to do), so I was already on board when I found out this was going to be a Devon-heavy episode. Most of the Woodcombs/Omen Virus main plot worked, but I wasn't happy that Chuck's character took a few steps back for the sake of plot. I also wasn't feeling most of the Morgan and Alex scenes, but that's a minor complaint. Again, "Curse" wasn't a horrible effort, but it wasn't a homerun either.


Grimm: "Let Your Hair Down"
This week's Grimm was supposed to be the show's spin on Rapunzel, and while it did have a slow start, it ended up being a pretty decent episode. I'll just get the negatives out of the way. Having "Rapunzel" be a blutbad felt kinda lazy because I was expecting the introduction of a new creature, but at least it was an excuse for Monroe to do more. Speaking of Eddie, he was once again the best part of the episode, and I couldn't help but feel bad for him because of the way Nick treated him. Maybe it's the actor or the character, but Nick was kind of a dick, and Monroe should've ripped his throat out. The case-of-the-week was decent, and I was glad that we got some backstory on Hank, but now we need to move onto Captain Renard because I'm dying to learn more about his plot and how it involves Nick. Interesting stuff this time around, but not enough to blow me away.


Most shows are going to be on hiatus next week, so this will be the last TV Report Card of 2011. I hope everyone's enjoyed them so far and see you all in 2012.


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