April 23, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of April 15, 2012

Here is this week's TV Report Card:

How I Met Your Mother: "Now We're Even"
What Worked: I'm still liking Barney and Quinn together, but I'm bracing myself for the creators to pull the rug from under us because that's what they do. That's the reason why I haven't gotten invested in them as a couple, but this version of Barney's fun to watch. Also, it's always a blast when Barney and Ted are left to their own devices, so the former trying to make every night legendary was neat up until the gag got old.

What Didn't Work: I still don't care about the married lives of Marshal and Lily no matter how many times I'm forced to watch them, so the whole sex dream sub-plot was a bore. The major backtracks Robin has taken over the last couple of seasons has also been problematic, so her need to be famous was not appreciated since she regressed even more as a character.


Castle: "Headhunters"
What Worked: It was fun watching Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin back together again, and it was even nicer seeing Rick Castle do something that didn't involve the rest of Precinct 12 (i.e. Kate). Heck, I even liked this week's case because I'm a sucker for gangs and organized crime, but the real draw was Mal and Jayne.

What Didn't Work: The little we did get from Kate was mired in the same "will they, won't they" crap that's been getting on my nerves. I understand that the scene in her shrink's office was supposed to catch up any possible new viewers, but it felt like nothing more than a retread to me.


Smash: "The Movie Star"
What Worked: Nothing.

What Didn't Work: Everything, but especially: Uma Thurman, Ellis, the old lady sabotaging her personal life, everything involving Grace and her stupid husband and son, Ivy being a sneak, Dev and Karen's fight, Katharine McPhee's acting, Derek's silly fantasy (although I still like the idea of him and Karen together), bad musical numbers, Uma Thurman's movie, Eillis flirting to get his way, Tom's love life (but I did like the fact that the dancer had some standards and a belief in God). Did I miss anything?


Glee: "Saturday Night Glee-ver"
What Worked: Pretty much everything. It was nice seeing some time spent on some people besides Rachel, and I'm glad that we finally have a better idea of what's in store for Finn. While I didn't think Santana's subplot about her quest for fame was as strong as Finn's, it was still a decent storyline and it continued to flesh out her character. For the first time in a long time, I liked all of the musical moments, and I thought that Wade's introduction was well handled.

What Didn't Work: After close to three seasons, I cannot muster any emotion towards Mercedes because the writers have never given me a reason to. She's been criminally underwritten, developed and appreciated that trying to make us care now seems futile. I did like her scene with Sam though.


Cougar Town: "Ways to be Wicked"
What Worked: As always, all I cared about were scenes that had nothing to do with Jules and Ellie. My favorite sub-plot of the night had to be the one about Travis and Bobby stealing the cougar statue. I actually liked it so much that I didn't mind when Jules had to drop by to try and ruin everything. While I didn't like the Grayson and Laurie story as much, I didn't hate either.

What Didn't Work: See above. I still don't care about Jules, Ellie or their issues.


New Girl: "Kids"
What Worked: Everything that took place in the loft was golden,but of course Schmidt's reactions to Cece's possible pregnancy were tops. Nick's quest to bed nothing but co-eds also had a fun twist to it, but it was hard not to see the writers bringing back the idea of him and Jess as they dealt with Fancyman's daughter. Speaking of the kid, she was actually pretty good, and I wouldn't mind seeing her again.

What Didn't Work: While I've liked where Winston's character has been going over the last couple of episodes, I wish he was more involved in the main story instead of being tossed into one that felt like it was from a different show. It's taken so long for him to be integrated into New Girl that separating him yet again felt like a big step backward.


Modern Family: "The Last Walt"
What Worked: I enjoyed this episode for the most part. The highlights were the moments between Phil and Alex, and this was one of the rare times when I actually liked the Cam/Mitchell plot but that had more to do with their respective fathers. The minor sub-plot about Haley throwing a party at Jay and Gloria's was OK, but nothing special.

What Didn't Work: We don't get a ton of Claire and Luke scenes, so I was a little irked that the ones we got during this episode fell flat. By now we all know that Claire's not a nice person, but the little quirk the writers gave her made her look even worse than she already is, and it's getting harder and harder to like her which is a shame since she used to be one of my favorite characters.


Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23: "Daddy's Girl"
What Worked: Once again, James Van Der Beek was the best part of the episode as he had to deal with being pigeonholed as Dawson and the drawbacks of fame. The way he handled everything was laugh out loud funny, and his rivalry with James Franco was brilliant. I can't wait until Franco shows up as the Beek's nemesis because you know that it's coming.

What Didn't Work: I really didn't care for the main story line about Chole setting June up with her father because it's one of those creepy ideas that shows like Apt. 23 think are funnier than they really are. It wasn't 100% cringe inducing, but it wasn't really funny either.


Community: "Virtual Systems Analysis"
What Worked: I've always said that my favorite Community characters are Troy, Abed and Annie, so I was happy that this episode focused on the relationship between the latter two because so much time has been spent on the former two. It was nice seeing Annie start to understand Abed and realize that they're not all that different, and there was just great character moments for both of them.

What Didn't Work: This episode was text book Community which means that it cannot get out of its own way. I'm sure there were more conventional ways to tell the story of Abed and Annie, but this show had no interest in it, which is fine but it cannot complain that no one gets or appreciates is because it goes out of its way to alienate viewers. You reap what you sow, Dan Harmon.


The Vampire Diaries: "Heart of Darkness"
What Worked: We got some more Caroline, which I'm always in favor of. It's just too bad that she was once again saddled with Tyler whom I cannot muster any emotions for. Just get him out of the way already so Klaus can swoop in and court Caroline, and then Stefan can save her from him. Now, that's an arc that I'd be interested in.

What Didn't Work: Too much Damon and Elena, and I don't care which Salvatore she ends up with at this point. Hopefully it'll be neither and we can put this love triangle behinds us, but then that wouldn't give Nina Dobrev much to do since her character's defined by the brothers. Also, I still hate the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde non-sense that Alaric's been subjected to.


Grimm: "Cat and Mouse"
What Worked: Mythology, a secret war, royal families, German assassins, Rosalee backstory, a jealous Monroe. What wasn't there to like about this episode? Obviously, this show's larger scale storytelling will make or break the series since it cannot function solely as a supernatural procedural, and I'm liking what Grimm's been giving us. Plus, we're one step close to Nick going full Angel, and I couldn't be happier.

What Didn't Work: I guess if I had to pick something that I wasn't happy about it would have to be the fact that the bounty hunter was snuffed out way too soon. This season hasn't had the benefit of a central big bad (the captain's the closest thing, but we still don't know what's going on with him) so adding another interesting baddie for this final stretch would have been welcomed. Besides that, it was a pretty solid episode.


Nikita: "Wrath"
What Worked: Honestly, Percy's the main reason why I keep tuning in week after week. He's probably one of the better villains on television today, and I enjoy watching him one up and evade Nikita and her rag tag bunch of assassins.

What Didn't Work: Sean has to be the worst new character of the season. He's so dull and unlikable that I didn't care one bit when his mother was blown up, and the fact that he's dragging down Alex has been especially irksome. They have to be the most boring "will they/won't they" couple ever. Also, the Internet blew up claiming that this was Maggie Q's Emmy episode, and I couldn't help but that "huh?" She was overacting a bit too much for my liking but whatever.


NOTE: As you can see, I once again left of 30 Rock because I didn't watch the episode, and honestly I think I'm over the show in general. I'll keep tuning in, but I probably won't be dedicating any time to writing about it unless it wows me again.


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