February 13, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of February 5, 2012

Now that February sweeps are in full effect, pretty much every show had new episodes, so it was a busy television watching week. Without further ado, here's this week's TV Report Card:

How I Met Your Mother: "The Burning Beekeeper"
Usually, when How I Met Your Mother plays with time and structure we're in for a half-way decent episode. Not this time around. Having everything split up into three sections and jumping back and forth wasn't cute or groundbreaking, but it made everything feel messy and chaotic. Add to that the fact that nothing really happened during the entire 20 minutes, and you've got one of the worst episodes this show's ever produced. Ever! I don't think I can even muster any more animosity towards it because it would just be a waste of my time, and I'd hate to lose any more to this travesty. Worst episode ever!


2 Broke Girls: "And the Blind Spot"
You know it's a bad sign when Oleg's the funniest part of an episode, but that's all I could think about while watching "And the Blind Spot." Yes, it's true that he's still a crude caricature, but at least his sex-driven deviance makes me laugh from time to time which is more than I can say about the rest of the show. The writing is still lazy and the characters too broad for my liking. Even the central relationship between Max and Caroline's starting to bore me, and even the tease of them becoming an actual couple has lost its appeal. Hopefully, the opening scene burst that bubble once and for all. Really, I don't have much else to write about this episode because it was underwhelming at best.


Being Human: "(I Loathe You) For Sentimental Reasons"
So far I'm liking about 2/3 of Season 2 of Being Human. I pretty much enjoy it any time Sally shows up on my screen, and while I thought that her reincarnation story and the one about Zoe dating a ghost were a little silly, they were there to set up her possession addiction which could be interesting. I'm still a fan of Josh's, and I'm excited to see if the brother and sister wolves will be playing a substantial role during the rest of the season. Aidan's still the weakest link, and I'm kind of bored by the whole Boston family plot, but at least we're finding more about his bond with Suren. I'm still entertained by the story up to date, but it still has a way to go before it becomes something greater.


Castle: "The Blue Butterfly"
I have to give it to Castle, "The Blue Butterfly" wasn't your typical episode, and I'm glad that this show will deviate from the norm every once in a while to give us a purely joyful outing like this one. That being said, "Butterfly" wasn't perfect. For the life of me I cannot remember what the case-of-the-week was, I think it had something to do with treasure hunters, but that detail really didn't matter because it never does. While, "The Blue Butterfly" was fun, it didn't make a major impact in regards to the overall story, although it could be argued that the case may have pushed Rick and Kate closer together, but that's been the problem with the entire season. We get little nudges towards the end game, but not enough to keep things rolling, so in the end this episode was a good time but didn't mean all that much.


Smash: "Pilot"
Since I'm a sucker for stories about underdogs striving towards their dreams, I thought I was going to be won over by Smash after the first second (I actually hated the opening moments thanks to Kat McPhee's version of "Over the Rainbow"). Unfortunately, I cannot say that I was because I found the pilot episode somewhat lackluster. I didn't care about any of the characters, and I cannot see myself investing the time and energy into their stories, so I'm wondering what's going to keep me around. Admittedly, I am interested in the concept of a behind the scenes show about Broadway, but that may not be enough if I cannot muster any emotion towards the people inhabiting this world. Now, I'll be giving the show some time to grow, but it's already on a short leash.


Lost Girl: "Faetal Attraction"
I think I'm starting to lose interest in the "police procedural with a twist" genre because I should've liked "Faetal Attraction" more than I did. While I'm not going to complain about an episode of television that puts a beautiful woman like Bo in the middle of a menage, everything else in this episode felt a little lazy. I did like the idea of the furies, but it felt like a wasted opportunity, and the crazy girl who became obsessed with Bo was also a miss in my opinion because we've seen it so many times before. Even Dyson, who I saw a lot of potential in, kinda irked me due to his therapy sessions. I suppose "Faetal Attraction" had its good parts, but they were overshadowed by the stuff that's become tired and cliched.


Glee: "The Spanish Teacher"
When I watched "The Spanish Teacher" live, I couldn't help but think that it was the worst episode of Glee ever, and this was coming from someone who can usually pick out the good in the messiest of installments. It made me long for the days when Will was a broken but good man and not the complete jackass that he's become, and he pretty much ruined it for me. After watching it again, I realized that everything that was going on around Will wasn't that bad, but his ineptitude and attitude couldn't help but permeate everything else. It's clear that Glee has a Will Schuester problem, and it needs to fix it fast or this show will be doomed. Heck, I can even see a Glee without Will, and I'm predicting that New Directions will lost at Nationals and he'll be fired by the end of the season. Boom, problem solved.


New Girl: "The Landlord"
Apparently, threesomes were the theme of the week because New Girl also dipped its toe in the group grope pool. To be honest, all I can remember about this episode was Jess, Nick and the landlord and how they almost ended up sleeping together because Jess and Nick didn't want to admit that they were wrong. It's true that this idea is Sitcom Writing 101, but it was an effective way to show how these two think about one another (although having Nick be willing to go the distance after establishing that he's in a relationship with Julia felt out of place, and I wonder if this episode was supposed to air earlier.) Schmidt's story about misreading signals was also worth a few laughs. "The Landlord" wasn't the show's best, but it was still funny enough to keep me happy.


Justified: "The Devil You Know"
The first couple of episodes of Justified have felt like formalities. They were around to introduce the season's MacGuffin (Mags' money) and all of the players who are grabbing for power in Harlan County. Not only do we have Boyd and his crew, but now we have to keep track of Quarles, Limehouse and Dickie. After watching "The Devil You Know," it felt like the show's finally ready to start moving towards the prize because we have a better understanding of why Quarles is in Kentucky and how it's going to affect Boyd's operation, and of course Raylan's going to get all caught up in the middle of it all. I for one cannot wait for things to get going because I've been a little bored by all of the talk about the money, but thankfully Boyd's been around to keep things entertaining.


Modern Family: "Me? Jealous?"
I don't know what to say about this week's Modern Family except that it was OK but nothing special. I suppose having the combinations mixed up for a little while was decent enough, and I was glad to see Cam and Gloria hit a rough patch since they tend to get along so swimmingly, but everything else was mediocre. Well, I take that back. I did enjoy watching the Dunphy kids act like actual siblings for once, and Betty Luke was a fun little sight gag, but even that story felt a little half baked thanks to the whole Big Brothers, Big Sisters angle. "Me? Jealous?" had a few chuckles sprinkled in, but I still found myself questioning why this is the "best" comedy on television today, but even my reactions are nothing new at this point ... just like this show.


Happy Endings: "The St. Valentine's Day Maxssacre"
Say what you will about Happy Endings, but one thing that this show does well is holiday episodes, and "The St. Valentine's Day Maxssacre" was the perfect example of this talent. Pretty much everything worked during this one from Brad's drugged out antics, to Alex's obsession with Valentine's Day and finding someone love, to Max and Grant's kiss at the end of the episode. The only parts that didn't click 100% were Penny and Dave's because the former was trying too hard with the "breakup window," and that latter didn't make much sense to me (Dave has never come off as a threesome kind of guy). Even then, that's me being nit-picky because "Maxssacre" was as close to perfect as this show can get.


30 Rock: "Hey, Baby, What's Wrong?"
As you can tell from my write-up for this episode, I didn't laugh at all ... not even once. I may have chuckled towards the end, but by that point I had already written off this episode. I will come clean and admit that I wasn't paying 100% attention to what was going on, but what I did pick up on wasn't all that funny. It's starting to feel like Criss was a misfire, and their trip to IKEA should have been funnier than it was, but that's probably because I've only been to that store twice and I didn't get most of the jokes. Also, Jack's sexual tension with Avery's mother felt icky, and I don't even want to waste time on the Jenna/Pete and Tracy/Frank/Lutz nonsense. The only bright spot was the page from Bob's Burgers. That's about it.


The Vampire Diaries: "Dangerous Liaisons"
Is it just me or has The Vampire Diaries started to repeat itself? It seems like the only things these characters do is fight, go to social events, and fight at social events. Take "Dangerous Liaisons" for example. Once again Elena did something that upset one of the Salvatores which pitted them against one another while at some fancy party where supernatural events took place. Oh, and Damon found himself falling into bed with someone who wasn't Elena because that's what he does. See, that's pretty much every other episode of this show. At least we didn't have to be bored by Bonnie, and I am intrigued by the idea of Caroline and Klaus becoming a thing, but that's because she's the only character that doesn't bore me. To be fair, "Liaisons" wasn't bad, but it felt like that same thing over and over again. Just kill the Originals already so we can move on to something else.


Archer: "Drift Problem"
Maybe it was because that we didn't get any traditional spy action, but I thought that "Drift Problem" was only OK. Sure, Sterling getting all giddy about his new car was great, as was his fight with the "Genie," but the fact that Malory ended up being the one who took it in order to teach him a lesson was tired and unimpressive. It just felt particularly sit-commy for a show that pride's itself on being edgy. Even Pam's secret life as a drift racer was only worth a few laughs, but there wasn't enough there to completely win me over. Again, the episode was decent enough, but it wasn't on the same level as the best Archer has to offer.


Nikita: "Rouge"
There was a time when I thought that Nikita was going to be the next big thing, and while it's still an entertaining show, Season 2 has not been as strong as its predecessor. I did enjoy seeing some of Nikita's backstory during "Rogue," but making the person who helped get her clean be a part of Division felt a little tacky. Having every aspect of her life be affected by Percy seems too easy and predictable, but oh well. I'm still not really enjoying Alex's arc this season and the Anastasia parallels are too blatant for my tastes. Fonseca's horrible Russian accent doesn't help matters either, but I'll give her a pass for obvious reasons. I'm still a fan of Nikita, but it needs to avoid becoming another action/spy show that's handcuffed by cliches because that's where I it's headed.


Grimm: "Tarantella"
I'll be honest, I probably would not have liked "Tarantella" as much as I did if Amy Acker was not involved. I guess that the monster-of-the-week, a literal black widow, could have been interesting without her, but her geek cred was what made everything special. What also made this episode special was the continued evolution of the Nick and Monroe bond and the fact that they're making the slightly homo-erotic subtext the selling point (this is how you do it 2 Broke Girls), and I'm digging every minute of it. "Tarantella" was fun for the most part due to the slash fiction moments, but this show does need to get back to the serialized story involving Nick, his boss and the reapers because this procedural model can only go so far before it becomes a liability.


Spartacus: Vengeance: "The Greater Good"
I know that I keep writing about how Spartacus is about more than just sex and violence, and "The Greater Good" was a prime example of how good this show can be when all of the bells and whistles are stripped away. This episode showed audiences that you can have important conversations about morality and the greater good without slowing down the story, and ultimately it proved that Spartacus is about love and other universal emotions that people can understand. I just hope more people give this show a chance to prove that it's not softcore porn, but one of the better dramas on television today.


So, there you have it: the first TV Report Card of February sweeps. Keep tuned for more.


Anonymous said...

The show has become unwatchable. For some reason every line that Lilly says has to be "hammed up" as much as possible. Someone has to tell the writers that it doesn't make the unfunny line funny. HIMYM officially jumped the shark the moment Lilly got pregnant, the death knoll for any show since I Love Lucy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcos said...

@Anonymous - Yeah, I don't know why I keep coming back, and I agree with you about Lily. She's become the worst part of this show and a liability.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail