Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Latest thoughts on TV

Heroes-Powerless (NBC)
In the episode that may serve as the season finale if the strike doesn’t close soon, we saw some great showdowns, watched a few twists, and were left with an ultimately satisfying conclusion that will keep us in anticipation until the series returns.
Most importantly, we saw the death of two characters before the end of the hour. Nikki was killed in an explosion in an effort to save Micah’s cousin (I couldn’t stand Nikki, but she was my girlfriend’s favorite character so I can’t be too happy) and then we saw Nathan shot just before he went public with the truth about his abilities and the company.
It’s still unclear who to trust and what’s really going on with the company, but the ending revealed that Mrs. Petrelli has ordered her son’s assassination. It will also be interesting to see if Elle rebels from the company, now that she’s beginning to see Bob for who he really is.
The best moment was at Primatech paper as Nathan convinced Peter that Adam couldn’t be trusted (only after Peter had spent a few minutes bringing great pain upon poor Hiro). This led to Hiro eventually avenging his father’s death by burying Adam alive, quite an awful fate for an immortal.
There was also some great scenes with Sylar and Suresh as Sylar demanded the cure for the Shanti virus, and Maya found out that he killed her brother. This whole storyline created some tense moments and some of the best scenes from this season.
While there was a fair share of disappointments in this half season of Heroes, they are back on track with plenty of potential for the next volume. I think they will work out their pacing issues a little more as the series continues and I expect some great things in the future.

Friday Night Lights-Seeing Other People (NBC)
Quick thoughts on last week’s episode:Landry/Tyra/Lyla: This storyline has finally led to the inevitable confession and while it’s probably the most unpopular storyline in FNF history, I think they’ve done a great job with it. The scene between Lyla and Landry was written perfectly and shows how this series continues to realistically bring faith into the story in an impressive way.Coach Taylor and the Mrs.: The performance of Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton only improve every week and there were, yet again, a million very real moments between them. The arrival of the new baby and his long absence with the college coaching job really brought some stress into the marriage, but their love is apparent and perfectly apparent to the audience even in the worst moments. This is, thankfully, not a story of a marriage failing apart but just trying times during an authentic picture of marriage.

Matt Saracen: While he seems kind of simple and goofy, his character is pretty complex. When Colletta first entered the picture, she seemed like she was just gonna be some fling for Matt, but he’s actually falling in love. It was enough to scare him, but at the same time, make him brave enough to walk away from the obvious choice and into the more complicated relationship.

Smash: His scenes on the college recruiting trip were priceless. His storyline about choosing the right college has seamlessly switched between dead serious and incredibly hilarious.

Julie: That teacher is so trying to get with her. Her mom was right to yell at him and I’m really sick of Julie. She’s has got to be the most overly emotional character in TV history. Not a shot at Teegarden’s performance, but I just do not like the actual character of Julie these days. Her mom should slap her again.

Scrubs-My Growing Pains (NBC)
While the final season of Scrubs is off to a strong start (aside from that “green week” inspired episode “My Inconvenient Truth”), this has got to be the strongest episode of the season to date.
As J.D. decides to give up pranks now that he’s a father, this episode teaches us the valuable lesson that we don’t have to give up having fun just to be responsible. This has been an ongoing journey this season as J.D. is trying to figure out that balance.
But the comedy was the real star of the show. There is nothing funnier than J.D. doing Sam’s voice admiring all the baby girls at the park. Not to mention the return of Hooch and some of the best janitor moments that we’ve seen in a while.
I’m hardly ever let down by this show, but it’s just great to see the final season continuing in that great tradition and still pulling out some out such a strong episode.

CSI: “Goodbye and Good Luck” and “You Kill Me” (CBS)
To be quite honest, this season of CSI has been full of disappointments. From drawn out and unexciting season premiere to wasted episodes about possible demon possession (“Go To Hell”) and murder on the set of horror film (“The Chick Chop Flick Shop”) and the dreadful crossover event with Without a Trace (“Who and What”), I was beginning to wonder if CSI was worth my time.
While eight seasons may be wearing out its welcome, CSI has bounced back with two great episodes and I can only hope that this is direction it travels for the rest of the season.
“Goodbye and Good Luck” was the heartfelt farewell for Sarah Sidle which brought back some familiar faces, including the creepiest little girl you’ll ever see. It was a great throw back to a great old episode, and Jorja Fox did a fine job portraying the moments ultimately leading up to Sarah’s decision to leave. Although we all know that in real life, Fox is just moving on, the writers certainly did a good job making the story work well in the show. The ending with Grissom reading her letter was top notch.
“You Kill Me” completely switched gears and offered what I suppose that horror movie episode was aiming at, a great tongue in cheek episode. With Hodges running the show and creating fake scenarios in the lab for the labbies to solve themselves, we were able to see some hilarious scene in an episode that was very much like something The X-Files may have done back in the day. It also served as a great launching pad for a little character development.
While CSI has never been one to spend much time on character development, we really care enough about these characters at this point that it definitely needs to stay a constant. And the cases need to be as intriguing as “Goodbye….” For this show to continue to stay relevant.

Bones- The Santa in the Slush (FOX)
And reason #1 why CSI needs to stay relevant. While it may have seemed like just another crime show when it started, Bones has quickly become one of the most smartly written shows on tv, and this episode is a fine example.
Of course the heartfelt moments between Booth and Bones happened to be the driving point of this episode, especially the great scene at the end where he sets up a tree outside the fence of the prison where she’s having Christmas with her imprisoned father and brother.
There was also that great case of the murder of Kris Kringle himself. Not only did it garner a guest appearance from Carl Winslow himself, but it was entertaining and lighthearted enough to work in this festive episode.
And I must commend the series for officially adding John Francis Daley to the cast. He is hilarious as Dr. “Sweets” and offers a great new dimension to the show.

Other notes…
Life (NBC)- just a smart and entertaining show. The cases are almost intriguing and the characters are very memorable. Very glad it got it’s full season pick up.

Aliens in America (CW)-just a truly hilarious show. Yeah, it’s tucked away on the CW for no one to find, but this show is so great of finding that great balance between heartwarming family comedy and politically incorrect hilarity.

Chuck (NBC)-What can I say? I’m hooked on this show. It continues to produce great episodes and Adam Baldwin is the man. Pushing Daisies (ABC)- I’m gonna do my full review on this show soon, but in the midst of all of its quirks, this show is still worth rooting for.

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