May 13, 2012

TV Report Card: Week of May 6, 2012

Since TV Upfronts, pick-ups, renewals and cancellations have been taking up most of my time over the last couple of days, this installment of the TV Report Card may lack some punch. I apologize in advance.

Sherlock: "A Scandal in Belgravia"
What Worked: Of course you tune into Sherlock for the amazing chemistry between the title character and his trust sidekick, and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman just might be the best television duos on the screen today. Add in a sexy, smart and formidable Irene Adler, and you have one heck of an episode of TV.

What Didn't Work: The run time of Sherlock's episodes will always been a problem because the story sometimes meanders in order to fill up the allotment. It's a classic example of less is more, but since we only get three episodes a series, I don't see anything changing in the near future.


Castle: "Always"
What Worked: They finally went there! After four seasons of mind-numbing unresolved sexual tension, Beckett finally admitted her feelings to Castle after she almost died. Now, I don't have to watch Castle ever again because what's the point now that they're together. Right?

What Didn't Work: The execution was a bit clumsy despite the fact that the case was tied to the bigger mystery revolving around the death of Kate's mom. For some reason, I didn't really buy her moment of truth, and I expected it to be bigger and more impactful. Instead, it just kind of happened.


Smash: "Previews"
What Worked: I actually liked the parts that had to do with the musical and prepping for previews. I even found myself digging some of the numbers like "Smash!," but that was about it.

What Didn't Work: Once again, anything that had to do with the personal lives of the characters made me groan and roll my eyes. And they even tried to squeeze church and religion into an already over-the-top situation. Don't even get me started on Katharine McPhee's acting. I don't get how some people actually think this show's better than Glee.


Glee: "Prom-asaurus"
What Worked: OK, maybe this wasn't the week to throw stones at Smash because Glee was dreadful. This episode was by the worst yet, and I really cannot think of anything I liked  about it except for a few moments that involved Puck, Mike and/or Sam. I'm still mad about this one.

What Didn't Work: Everything that had nothing to do with the aforementioned characters. To add salt to the wound, Ryan Murphy actually made his characters regress as an allusion for growth. Seriously. Usually, I can defend this show with my dying breath, but not this time. "Prom-asaurus" sucked. Plan and simple.


New Girl: "See Ya"
What Worked: I'm a fan of scenes where the main characters just sit around and goof on one another, so I pretty much dug everything that took place in the middle of nowhere. Plus, everyone had some decent jokes/one-liners, so there's that.

What Didn't Work: I'm over the Jess/Nick UST dynamic, and at this point I'd prefer them as strictly platonic friends. I don't even care if the writers lay off the gas and try again in a few seasons. I just don't care. Also, what was the point of having Nick move out if he was going to be back by the end of the episode. At least keep him out of the loft until the Season 2 premiere.


Modern Family: "Disneyland"
What Worked: I like Dylan, so I was happy to see him back even if it was due to a major contrivance. Watching Luke and Phil just be wacky together's also worth a few laughs.

What Didn't Work: The time honored tradition of ABC family sitcoms going to Disneyland was one I hope died with TGIF, but apparently Modern Family's bringing it back. I've never been a fan of the trick, and I still didn't care for it, and I'm usually a fan of when the entire family's together. Not this time.


Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23: "Making Rent"
What Worked: As always, JVDB stole the show with his extremely tight fitting pants line, an unfortunate billboard ad and starting a trend by pitting the gays, hipster and Japanese people against one another. Brilliant stuff. I even liked the Chloe tricks June into being on a fetish website, but that's probably because Happy Endings did it first.

What Didn't Work: I'm still not feeling the outlying characters, so the fact that they took up so much time during this episode didn't help it. It's just sad that Liza Lapira has to be on this show instead of Traffic Light.


Community: "Curriculum Unavailable"
What Worked: For the most part I enjoyed this sequel to last year's "Paradigms of Human Memory" mostly because Troy had some good lines, but I also liked the idea of the Study Group being crazy people who invented Greendale while in asylum. It's just too bad that was just a ruse.

What Didn't Work: The ruse itself because it progressed the ill-advised "Chang takes over Greendale" arc that's wrapping up the season. I've shared my thoughts on Chang before, so I don't want to get into it. Let's just say I'm disappointed about the end of Season 3 so far.


The Vampire Diaries: "The Departed"
What Worked: At least the killed Alaric once and for all just to bring him back as a ghost. Seriously, this show cannot just kill people...

What Didn't Work: I think I'll warm up to the idea of Elena being a vampire, but for now it felt like just another cheat, and I'm so over them. The fact that Klaus also found a way to stick around was an effective twist, but I'm not a fan of the Originals, so I'm skeptical about keeping him on the show. At least he'll make Tyler interesting for once. It's just too bad that it's taken them so long to do so.


Grimm: "Big Feet"
What Worked: We got more Monroe which is always a good thing. I was also happy to see Hank and Juliette get sucked into the Grimm world little by little. I don't know how the show's going to manage this new development, but they couldn't have stayed in the dark for much longer.

What Didn't Work: The creature of the week (Sasquatch-like beasts) didn't really work for me, but at least they were better than last week's bats posing as Cinderella. The sooner I forget about that episode, the better.


Nikita: "Crossbow"
What Worked: This show got entertaining again the second Percy took over Division, so watching him steal a satellite that could be used as a weapon just so he could blackmail the President of the United States as a way to buy his way into some secret group of terrorists was interesting. Plus, Birkoff planted on on Nikita before a supposed suicide mission ... and then made a Star Wars reference.

What Didn't Work: Still too much Alex and Sean, but at least we got a Season 1 callback in the form of that one recruit who was supposed to be dead but ended up being turned into a cleaner. I forgot about him.


Between Upfronts and season finales, I'm not quite sure how next week's Report Card will look like, but I'll try to put something together.


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