January 29, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of January 22, 2012

Even though there was not a ton of new episodes on the air this week, this edition of the TV Report Card will be pretty to the point. I apologize for any possible let-down.

Being Human: "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"
While I still don't know how I feel about Aidan's storyline (although I did like Dichen Lachman showing up) this season, I did like "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" overall. It was nice to see Sally in a new environment while she continued to adjust to her afterlife, but I was a little surprised by the dark turn that it took. Another storyline that took an early twist was Josh and Nora's, and I'll be interested to see how her being a full werewolf will shake things up. "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" was not the strongest effort from Being Human, but I was still entertained.


Castle: "An Embarrassment of Bitches"
I think my tastes in television shows are changing because I thought this week's Castle, An Embarrassment of Bitches, was another weak offering. I could not muster up any emotion about the so-call celebrity at the center of the case (even though she was being played by White Collar alum Hilarie Burton) or the fact that Esposito had a crush on her. While, I'm glad the writers have eased up on the Caskett stuff, I did find myself wanting them to get back to it, and his little hand rub was not enough. The story just needs to start going somewhere and fast.


Lost Girl: "Where There's a Will, There's a Fae"
So far, Lost Girl's still relying heavily on standard supernatural tropes, but that's to be expected. What I do like about the show so far is how it's not focusing on your standard Gothic creatures like vampire and werewolves. Succubi and fae, and the world that Lost Girl has created feels unique enough for now, and I was glad to see that the show cut through the "will they, won't they" junk by having Bo and Dyson hop into bed during episode 2. Sure, there's the whole feeling aspect of their relationship, but for now I'm just glad we don't have to wade through the same old sexual tension.


Justified: "Cut Ties"
Like a lot of crime shows on television, Justified has to be able to combine serialized storytelling with stand-alone episodes, and right now it's probably one of the best at the game. "Cut Ties" really didn't address the on-going narrative all that much, with the exception of Boyd's B-plot and the reveal of Limehouse at the end, but it was still a good episode mostly thanks to Art's role in the Witness Protection story. It's hard to this show to be anything but the Rayland and Boyd hour, but I'm glad that we get glimpses at the people around these two every once in a while.


30 Rock: "Idiots Are People Three!"
For the most part, I thought that 30 Rock was able to follow up the funny "Idiots Are People Two!" episode with a successful sequel. While I did think that Tracy's idiot movement was a one-trick pony, I did enjoy to watch the continued bond between Liz and Jack, and how the latter was still in the former's head. I even found myself getting on board with the idea of her dating Criss. Plus, the return of the Best Friends Gang was the right amount of wacky without being off-putting, so I was ultimately happy with the episode.


30 Rock: "The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell"
While I liked "Idiots Three," I could not say that same about "The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell." Apparently, all of the tolerance I had for Jenna and Kenneth was used up during the last twp episodes because I did not find either one of them funny. The same was true about Tracy's hissy fit about not being able to want anything anymore because of everything he already had. To be honest, I can't even remember what Jack did during this episode, which is not a good sign. Plus, I was upset that Emma Stone's guest spot was wasted on a spoof movie trailer. What a waste.


Archer: "El Contador"
After a star-studded season premiere, Archer went back to basics with an episode that promoted Cyril to a field agent while the rest of ISIS had to figure out how to pass a drug test. While I can't say that "El Contador" was a ground-breaking episode of Archer, it was packed with the show's trademark humor and vulgarity which was all that I was asking for. Seriously, watching Pam, Gillette and Cheryl trip out on the herbal tea that Kreiger sold them is only something this show can get away with, and I'm glad that they can.


Chuck: "Chuck vs. Sarah"
Some how Chuck was able to last for five seasons, and this week was the show's two-hour finale. "Chuck vs. Sarah" was a nice penultimate episode because it spent a good amount of time dealing with the big twist involving Sarah's lost memories. I know that this move was risky, but I thought that it gave the viewers some legitimate drama and reminded us that there are stakes that these beloved characters have to face. Had the last mission been easy for Team Bartowski, it wouldn't have been as effective. Kudos to the writers for sticking to their guns and not giving Sarah back her memories by episode's end. Bold but smart move. Overall, I thought it was a solid episode.


Chuck: "Chuck vs. the Goodbye"
To be honest, I cannot be objective about the last episode of Chuck ever. I thought it was great because it wasn't cliched and tired, and it ended on a moment of hope that was slightly bittersweet and open-ended, which was why I dug it so much. I know that some people need closure, and I can kind of see how they would think that this ending essentially negated the last five years, but a neat and tidy ending would have felt false. I'd rather imagine Chuck and Sarah falling in love again than seeing them with kids running around their dream house. Regardless, "Chuck vs. the Goodbye" was aces.


Spartacus: Vengeance: "Fugitivus"
There was a point in time when the second season of Spartacus could have been scrapped altogether due to Andy Whitfield's illness. Thankfully, he recovered which meant Spartacus: Vengeance could continue, but we all know how his story ended. Whitfield gave the show his blessing to continue on without him, and I'm glad that he did because Season 2 of the franchise started off on a pretty strong note. Yes, it took a little time to get used to seeing Liam McIntyre in the role, but I thought he did an admirable job, and I'm looking forward to watching him grow into the character. Story wise, "Fugitivus" was successful at catching everyone up while kicking off the season long story of Spartacus getting his revenge while becoming a leader of rebels. Again, solid start to a great show.


So there you have it, a quick and dirty version of the TV Report Card.


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