April 30, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of April 22, 2012

Here is this week's somewhat abbreviated TV Report Card (sometimes I like the weeks when most show's are in repeats; it makes these write-ups a little easier):

Smash: "Publicity"
What Worked: Not much, but I did like the last musical number, and I'm shocked that Ivy still hasn't been named Marilyn since she's by far the best candidate. Whatever.

What Didn't Work: Everything else. Usually, I'm a fan of Bollywood inspired numbers, but Smash's take just felt silly, and I wasn't sure if it was offensive or not. I still don't care about any of these people's personal lives, so having to sit and watch them bicker was excruciating, but I'm still enjoying the idea of Derek and Karen in spite of that stupid dream sequence that we had to endure last week.


Glee: "Dance with Somebody"
What Worked: While I didn't love "Dance with Somebody," it did have some good stuff like the Blaine/Kurt fight and the possible pairing of Quinn and Joe. Even Will's return to being an ass didn't upset me because I kind of understood where he was coming from. So, story wise, "Dance" was decent enough.

What Didn't Work: Trying to tie a Whitney Houston tribute episode to the theme of saying goodbye should have worked better than it did, and it ultimately felt far fetched and disconnected to what was going on. It also had pacing issues, but most tribute outings suffer from this inepptitude with the exception of "The Power of Madonna," "Rumours" and "Saturday Night Glee-ver." The music itself was also lackluster.


New Girl: "Tomatoes"
What Worked: Jake Johnson might be more of a breakout star than Max Greenfield because he's been the funniest cast member over the last couple of episodes, and his old crotchety farmer bit had me rolling, but nothing could beat him shaking his ass at Jess. Speaking of Greenfield, I enjoyed watching Schmidt interact with Nadia and his eventual reconciliation with Cece.

What Didn't Work: I get that Jess is supposed to be kind of young and naive, but having her dump Russell because she equates being in a miserable relationship with passion just didn't make sense to me, and it was just a clumsy way to write out Dermot Mulroney. Also, I was bummed that Winston was once again relegated to the sidelines although his attempts to sexually arose Schmidt was funny.


Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23: "Parent Trap"
What Worked: I would totally watch a body switch movie starring Dawson Leery and Sally Draper as father and daughter. I'll say it again, James Van Der Beek's by far the best part of this show and he was once again gold during this episode. If I had my way, Apt. 23 would just be about him and Krysten Ritter causing trouble.

What Didn't Work: The reason why I just want to watch JVBD and Ritter is because Dreama Walker's character brings nothing to the table. I understand that she's supposed to be the level-headed straight woman in this crazy world, but she's not likable or sympathetic at this point, and is kind of a blackhole because none of her scenes that don't include the aforementioned duo tend to fall flat. For example, everything she did at the coffee shop and her internship lacked humor or purpose, but watching her deal with Chloe's insanity was worth a few chuckles.


Community: "Basic Lupine Urology"
What Worked: When Community's good, it's really good, and I thought that "Basic Lupine Urology" was one of this show's better episodes. Sure, it wasn't anything more than a Law & Order spoof, but it was a damn good one, and almost every riff worked. Plus, the death of Star Burns could lead to some serious character development, so I'm hoping that Dan Harmon doesn't drop the ball.

What Didn't Work: I would have liked more Britta, but having Troy, Abed, Jeff and Annie take lead made sense although I could have done with out the latter's in your face moment because it made her really unlikable. Other than that, it was a solid effort from the Study Group.


The Vampire Diaries: "Do Not Go Gentle"
What Worked: I think I've reached my limit when it comes to The Vampire Diaries (and with the sci-fi/fantasy/gothic horror genre, but more on that later) because I didn't find this episode all that entertaining. I'm sure if I really think about it, I'd be able to come up with something that I liked, but I just can't at the moment.

What Didn't Work: First off, there's only so many times a character can be killed before it stats losing effectiveness. How many times has Alaric died? 50? 60? Even when they want you to think that he's a goner for sure, the writers chicken out and bring him back ... again. At this point, when he truly does die, I won't care because I've seen it all before, and a few times before that too. Also, I still don't care about Bonnie or Elena's incestuous love triangle, so it's pretty easy to see why I didn't care for this episode.


Grimm: "Leave It to Beavers"
What Worked: Watching Nick and Eddie stumble through one of television's most awkward dinners had to be the highlight of the season for me mostly because I still get a kick out of the writers pretending that they're gay lovers hiding an affair. Now, they're not really a gay couple hiding an affair, and I doubt Grimm will ever truly go that route, but it's fun watching them pretend. As usual, I also appreciated the continued world building.

What Didn't Work: No Rosalee. Too much Juliette. Not enough Renard and his links to this underworld, but at least we got Reapers.


Nikita: "Shadow Walker"
What Worked: I love almost everything about this episode since it was Birkoff-centric and we didn't have to think about Amanda, Gogol or Alex's life as a Russian heiress. It also had some good action and a genuinely exciting mission of the week. In a season that's made me wonder why I liked Nikita in the first place, "Shadow Walker" was a nice reminder of why I've stuck by this show since the pilot.

What Didn't Work: Honestly, I can't think of anything that I disliked about "Shadow Walker." I guess if I have to pick something, I'd go with some of the contrived plot machinations like a world class computer genius not knowing that the wi-fi was turned off or the scene where he did his hacking from a coffee shop in the middle of the day, but I can forgive that moments of absurdity. Overall, it was a pretty decent episode from start to finish.


NOTE: I left out Cougar Town because it would have just ended up being a rant about my hatred for Jules and how she can never be redeemed in my eyes, and I figured that wouldn't have been fun to read. Honestly, it probably won't be making a return anytime soon since I can only write about Jules being the worst character in the history of television so many times.


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