March 25, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of March 18, 2012

Here is this week's TV Report Card:

The Walking Dead: "Beside the Dying Fire"
What Worked: This was a bizarro version of a Walking Dead episode because it had nothing but action at the start, and then it slowed down once it hit the mid-point. Flipping it on its head made for a pretty effective hour because I really liked the fall of the farm, and I even enjoyed some of the slower moments like Rick finally losing it and installing his new form of leadership. I can say that I'm excited for Season 3 based on this episode alone.

What Didn't Work: I HATE Lori! I don't think I've disliked a character more than I despise Lori (Jules Cobb included), and she did not do herself any favors by running around screaming for Carl and then reacting the way she did when Rick came clean about Shane. Oh, and Carl's pretty awful as well. Rick would be better off without them. I know that not all characters are supposed to be good or even likable, but Lori and Carl are beyond horrible, and I can't stand watching them. Ugh.


How I Met Your Mother: "The Broath"
What Worked: At first, I thought that "The Broath" was going to be another misfire, but the more intimate scenes between Ted and Robin salvaged the episode. I've always liked those two together (obviously), and I'm all for them sharing scenes even if they're not together because Radnor and Smulders have decent chemistry (way better than she does with NPH).

What Didn't Work: The rest of the episode was a mess. Barney's fast track relationship with Quinn's been mediocre at best, Marshall was annoying with his "Quintervention" bit, Lilly's meddling will never be OK in my opinion, and Robin continued to backslide (she's Sandy's co-anchor again). The earlier Ted and Robing moments when they were fighting over Quinn's apartment also didn't quite work, but it was saved by the good moments, and Ted living in the dorm was just silly. The fact that the episode wasn't funny didn't help either.


Being Human: "Dream Reaper"
What Worked: Focusing on the three main characters and their relationships with one another will always work for me, so watching Aidan, Josh and Zoe try to save Sally from her dream world was aces in my book, and for the first time the Reaper character felt like a genuine antagonist. It'll be interesting to see where Sally's journey goes from here. Also, that last scene where Sally was once again alone after coming back to reality was bittersweet and moving. This episode was also the most visually appealing thanks to the set design and costuming.

What Didn't Work: There really wasn't anything about this episode that I didn't like. I guess if I had to be nit-picky, I'd have to say that I'm going to be bummed when Suren, Henry and Julia are brought back into the fold because their additions are not as entertaining as the show wouldn't like me to think.


Smash: "The Workshop"
What Worked: Overall, another bad episode of Smash, but if I need to focus on something I liked, then I'd go with Anjelica Huston slumming it with the scruffy looking guy. I suppose the workshop itself was OK. That's about it.

What Didn't Work: Way too much drama! Still don't like Julia or her stupid affair with the guy who played Roger. Still don't like her family life or work life. All in all, I hate everything about Julia. Ivy's mommy issues felt worn out, and I hate that she needs to be coddled because Jack Davenport had every right to tell her to be better. Don't get me started on the woefully naive and inept Karen during this one. I just don't get the appeal of this show, and this is coming from someone who can defend Glee's worst episodes.


Castle: "A Dance with Death"
What Worked: This one was a pretty subpar episode of Castle. There were some good Ryan and Esposito moments, but that's all I can remember about this one.

What Didn't Work: I wouldn't say that "Dance" was a horrible episode, but I hate DWTS, so I had zero interest in the Case of the Week even with its prince and pauper undertones. Heck, I can't even remember who the killer was and why he or she did what they did. It also had a uninteresting Martha sub-plot, and not nearly enough Caskett goodness to keep me entertained. Not a good way for the show to come back after a short break.


Cougar Town: "Something Big"
What Worked: The idea of Grayson being a father has some potential because it will give his character some more depth (which is sorely lacking when it comes to all of theses characters), and I generally like what Josh Hopkins brings to the role. 2012 must be the end of the world because I liked an Ellie storyline two weeks in a row. She and Bobby bonding over surfing was one of those sweet moments that Bill Lawrence can do well, and I really dug it. I just don't understand why Sarah Chalke was brought in to just sit in the background and try to be wise.

What Didn't Work: The only aspect of Cougar Town that I dislike more than Jules is the idea of pairing up Travis and Laurie. It's always been creepy, and the fact that she just pulls his strings to make herself feel better was unnerving (yes, I know there's more to it than just that). Plus, what happened to her Twitter boyfriend? If these two actually become a couple, then I'm officially done with this show. No more second chances. As usual, Jules' was selfish and horrible, but I was glad that Andy was around to put her in her place. We don't get enough of those moments. Stepping? Seriously?


New Girl: "Fancyman Pt. 1"
What Worked: Apparently, all Winston can do is fight with his roommates because that's what he did for the second week in a row, but this time it was with Schmidt. The reason I thought this work though had to do with the fact that he was at least given something to do, and it brought back his ability to bond with kids. Another highlight for me was Nick falling in love with the fancy guy's office and then with the man himself.

What Didn't Work: Unfortunately, Fancyman was not fancy enough for my liking. Dermot Mulroney was kind of bland as the father of one of Jess' students, and while I get that he was brought in be yet another hurdle in between her and Nick, I just don't see why she'd be attracted to him besides the fact that he's rich and considerate. I didn't see any sparks fly between them.


Justified: "Guy Walks Into a Bar"
What Worked: This is going to be a tricky one because I felt that most elements worked, but I didn't particularly love everything that transpired during this episode. I did like Raylan's new tryst with the bartender, Jim Beaver and Quarles starting down both Boyd and Raylan.

What Didn't Work: I still think that Quarles is too comical for his own good, so some of those deeper moments that were supposed to define him fell flat because they were so convenient. The thought of Boyd buying votes for Shelby with booze and women was sleazier than I would have liked. Also, do we really need to bring Dickie Bennett back?


Happy Endings: "You Snooze, You Bruise"
What Worked: While the storylines were pretty weak, the jokes were pretty much on point, and I thought this episode was one of the better ones of Season 2. Dave, Max and Derrick taking on the bully at the gym was probably my favorite plot of the night mostly because Max and Derrick worked really well together. Also, Alex as a reformed bully was pure genius.

What Didn't Work: I did think that Jane's story about her losing her Type A edge wasn't as strong as Dave's but it was still really funny. I just hope that the writers don't double down on her anal retentive ways because she would start veering into the insufferable shrew role that these type of female characters find themselves in. I suppose as long as Brad's there to keep her grounded, it'd be OK, but I thought the same way about Phil and Claire.


Community: "Contemporary Impressionists"
What Worked: And we're back to the weird version of Community, but that's not a bad thing. Since I'm a big Troy and Abed fan since they're the heart of the show, I really enjoyed their moments together because they mixed hilarity, surreal, heart and bittersweetness. Another pairing I like is Jeff and Britta, so watching her try to keep him from becoming too egotistical, and him turning into the Ryan Seacrest Hulk were great.

What Didn't Work: I hate Chang. He's up there will Jules Cobb, so the second he showed up I was taken out of the episode, and his sub-plot about building an army of mini-security guards was beyond stupid. It was also a bummer that the rest of the ensemble were once again pushed into the background as the favorites got all of the attention. The idea of the Study Group dressed up as celebrity impressionists also ran out of steam fairly quickly.


30 Rock: "Grandmentor"
What Worked: Obviously, I liked all of the Liz and Jack scenes because they're still the reason why I watch this show week and week. Also, Jack being Hazel's "grandmentor" was one of those wacky ideas that only 30 Rock can pull off. His idea of turning Avery's story into a TV movie was another one of those insider baseball stories that I liked.

What Didn't Work: While I think that Kristen Schaal's very talented, I'm starting to think that her shtick works better in animated form because Hazel's way too annoying. I'm sure that has more to do with the writing of the character and not Schaal's, but pairing her up with Kenneth and Tracy was too much to take.


30 Rock: "Kidnapped by Danger"
What Worked: The novelty of one Baldwin playing another Baldwin is the gift that keeps on giving, and that's a good thing because the whole Jack likes his mother-in-law storyline still isn't doing it for me. It was also good seeing Liz and Jack knock heads for a little bit.

What Didn't Work: Aside the return of Avery's mother, I thought that the whole Jenna vs. Weird Al bit was a little week, but I liked the twist at the end. I also thought that Kenneth's story was a pretty big step in the wrong direction, but it looks like they're finally going to let him grow as a character, so at least there's that.


The Vampire Diaries: "Break On Through"
What Worked: I liked the plot about Damon using Sage to find a way to kill the originals and finding out that she was using him and pulled a double cross. It doesn't hurt that Damon had crazy chemistry with Rebekah, and I also like watching them work off one another. On the flipside, I was mostly indifferent about Stefan and Elena running around. Also, we got Caroline!

What Didn't Work: Bonnie bores me. I don't know why, but my interest levels drop whenever she's on screen, so spending time with her and her mother took me out of some of the episode. I also don't know how I feel about the whole Shining angle that Alaric's taking.


Nikita: "Arising"
What Worked: Honestly, I probably need to watch this episode again because I can't remember everything that happened. The whole "Michael's ex is a Gogol mole" was kind of interesting but something that's built in to the spy genre that it wasn't as shocking as it was supposed to be. I guess the personal issues that were brought up between Michael and Nikita also made their characters a little more interesting.

What Didn't Work: Still not liking Alex's arc this season, and I still don't understand why they felt the need to bring Sean back. He was never interesting, and he's still not, but it seems like the writers are hell bent on giving Alex a love interest, and as of right now he's the only candidate. I can't wait until he's shot down and we get the very strained death scene with Alex crying over him that we all know is coming.


Spartacus: Vengeance: "Monsters"
What Worked: It was crazy watching Ilithyia return to Capua just to cut Seppia's throat in order to regain her position. What was even crazier was watching her and Glaber getting it on while he's covered in Seppia's blood with her body floating next to them. The final Battle of Vesuvius was jam packed with action, and I wasn't expecting the show to go there during the penultimate episode, but kudos to them for bucking the trend.

What Didn't Work: I'm still a little bored by all of the scheming by Lucretia and Ilithyia (even if they were responsible for Seppia's death) because it seems like that's all they do. Sure, it could be said that all Spartacus does is speechify, but I feel that he has more going on. I don't know if I can say the same about them.


So there you have it; another TV Report Card in the books.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail