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30 September 2007 @ 05:09 pm
TV recap for the week  

*disclaimer* For some reason, the formatting with this entry got all wonky as I tried to post it, so I'm sorry if it's hard to read for some.  This is the best I can get it.

I've been way too busy with all the new TV- and football-watching this week/weekend to adequately comment/add to my flisters' own respective thoughts/observations on various new episodes of shows, and for that I apologize.

I did want to add some of my own brief ramblings, though. This will not be anything like I used to do for the last few years, where I'd get mini-essay length into certain episodes' dissection of shows (namely Lost, Veronica, and Battlestar). I'm just gonna put in a few words for my perspectives on the new stuff that I managed to keep up with since Monday. Naturally, there are spoilers for those who have yet to watch these shows. Cut by days of the week.

Prison Break: I am seriously just about ready to drop this show, two seasons' worth of keeping track of it be damned. The storyline is so far off the rails of where it once began, and the characters are so all over the place, they're more like caricatures. I don't think the writers have any idea where they're going with this anymore.

How I Met Your Mother: This show has been a pleasant surprise in the "traditional" (four-camera) sitcom realm since it's first season, and it continues to be LEGEN-... wait for it... -DARY. The cast has amazing rapport, and NPH still is a huge scene stealer. Props to Mandy Moore for her cameo as a tattooed "bad girl", and the final scene with Marshall's emailed link to Barney - showing the countdown clock for the next strike in their multi-season spanning slap-war - was just priceless.

Chuck: I've seen and heard some mixed TV-watcher reaction to this, but for me, I was totally impressed, after not being sure what to expect, other than Adam Baldwin. Zachary Levi introduced the hapless-with-a-good-heart Chuck with solid presence, and the NSA-CIA tug-of-war over what's in his head should be amusing. The action was quite good, to be mixed in with both overt and subtle humor ('Buy More' and 'Large-Mart' superstores - awesome). The best-friend/co-worker needs to be used in small doses, though - my only concern so far.

Heroes: This premiere was about what I was looking for, narrative- and character-wise, so count me in the group who actually liked this one. There's been mixed reactions to this from what I can see, and the biggest problem for me was still trying to cram too many differing plotlines into one hour. However, I did like the fact that we didn't see all the original characters' fates just yet - I'm perfectly patient to wait for their reveals over two or three episodes. David Anders is making the most of the opportunistic, asshole-ish Takeo Kensei, but I'm weary of Hiro's use as overt comic relief. Arguably, his ability is the most powerful and literally "destiny"-altering of any, and that gravity has yet to be taken really seriously, IMO. Noah Bennet (Butler) got the best scenes of the ep, with the irony of working for a paper/copy place as an hourly-wage peon, deciding not to take any more shit from his supervisor. Claire's new stalker West (WTF kind of name is that?) is kinda odd, though. He flies like Nathan and seems to know more about Claire than he's letting on. Curious to see how long Claire will remain in the dark to her dad's working with Mohinder and Matt to take down the company (who's new head is an alchemist! sweet power!). I even liked the fact that the teaser showing upcoming scenes from the season didn't include anything with Elle. Makes the anticipation even greater for her reveal, IMO.

Journeyman: Another surprisingly positive debut for NBC. The Quantum Leap angle seemed a little derivative in the limitied press I'd seen for this (and I loved that show), but it expands upon that time-traveling concept in a big way - so far. The inclusion of Livia as a time-jumper herself was a very nice twist that I honestly didn't see coming, and Dan's method to prove to his wife that he's not crazy and was telling the truth was perfect. I hope the series episodes for this and Chuck can maintain the promise of their respective debuts, because this could give NBC a pretty entertaining action/fantasy/sci-fi block on Mondays.

Bones: I love me some squint comraderie, and this premiere gave it to us in spades - with humorous Zack-missage, too. Brennan's reluctance to hire a replacement for Zack's position made it pretty evident he'd be back soon, but the humor in getting there was worth it. Hodgins' new har was a big switch - he actually looks like a normal person now - and Angela was smokin'! Seriously, that new hair/make-up combo or whatever they did for Michaela Conlin is working for her - and she was attractive to begin with. The mystery-of-the-week was a good one to get all the different squint specialties involved, while also showcasing the awkwardness currently underlying between Booth and Brennan. Once again I give props to David and Emily for toe-ing the line of that sexual tension/trusted partner dynamic. Their chemistry is fun to watch.

Reaper: Another new show - this one actually had a lot of buzz as the next big thing, especially for The CW. I enjoyed it, but didn't fall all over it. The casting seems okay so far - Ray Wise as Satan is a good choice - and the situational humor is funny without being too absurd (you know, for as much as it can be with Satan as your boss). The action was quite good, but I wonder how many unique ideas can be carried on for a full season with this zany concept. I'll keep checking it out.

Eureka: Still giving me more reasons to smile, while also delving into the more serious over-reaching arc of the artifact. This episode actually left us with a 'to be continued' into the upcoming season finale, and quite a bit of fecal matter appears to be hitting the fan. And for the Stargate fans, we got Michael Shanks making a guest-spot.

Damages: I know hardly anyone watches this show, so I won't say much, except that it continues to be stellar. The serial-story format of this legal drama is ambitious, as it spans the entire run of 13 episodes, with small flashbacks and flashforwards each week, slowly putting puzzle-pieces together. The acting, writing, directing and editing is all top-notch. I'm actually in no rush to get to Nip/Tuck in this time slot in October, because this is just so good.

Bionic Woman: Yet another new NBC offering, and though I thought certain things could be improved (Will, the doctor boyfriend just seems.. odd and unsympathetic so far), the potential for fun is there. And it needs to be pointed out that Katee Sackhoff stole every scene she was in. Not only did she look damn good, all dudded up in hair and makeup (BSG offers little of that with Starbuck), but her baddie of Sarah Corvin oozez charisma and some sympathy. The path they take her could be interesting. Michelle Ryan as Jamie needs to loosen up a bit in order to hold her own as the lead, but I can giver her a pass since she's so new.

Private Practice: This was pretty much a mess. I'll give it a shot because Kate Walsh is usually watchable, but the surrounding "professionals" in this Oceanside Wellness center or whatever it's called need to be evaluated for their own mental issues. I mean, colorful characters are one thing, immaturity is another. And Tim Daly needs more to do than just be the potential love-interest and wacky homeopath.

Gossip Girl: Have yet to watch, because I recorded the above two - all three in the same time slot. Will DVR the repeat tonight. Don't expect much, except to be soothed/turned-on by KBell's voice. *hangs head in shame once again*

My Name is Earl: Pretty funny, bot not nearly the best this show can do. I don't think an hour premiere was necessary, either. Ben Foster was a good scene-stealer, though, as the crazy inmate on Earl's list. The sooner Earl gets out of prison, the better.

The Office: I rather loved this - especially the office secrecy of Jim and Pam. They are just awesome. And God must look out for those who really can't help themselves, otherwise Michael would have been dead or in prison long ago. The 5K benefit for a rabies cure (via Meredith's fractured pelvis) was insane. And seeing everyone "run" (and not) was hilarious. You either get the humor of this show or you don't so I won't say anything else. Line of the week came from newly-corporate Ryan, on his time in Scranton: "I dated a girl - I think she was black." LMAO.

Smallville: Typical SV premiere - big action set-pieces and half of the season's effects budget blown in one episode. It was about what I expected, but as usual there was wonky continuity. All of this took place immediately after last year's finale, so in a matter of hours/half a day: the damn bursts, Kara is released from some kind of stasis and rescues Lex, Lex makes it back to Metropolis then turns himself in and has a convo with Bizarro. Lois revives to see Chloe dead, gets her to the most-used set in the show (Smallville Medical), Chloe wakes in the morgue, Clark finds her, and she realizes Lana is "dead". And prior/during/after all this, Clark has a throwdown with Bizarro that gets put on pause, has another heart-to-heart with Martian Manhunter, pines a bit over Lana, then manages to make it back to the damn (after finding out about Chloe) to punch Bizarro back into the sky where MM ferries him away to... where? Oh - and Lana has made it all the way to Shanghai, and is "blending in" with a blond wig. What-the-fuck-ever. Coolest scene was Clark using mega-mega heat vision to vaporize the flood from the damn. That's about the most powerful thing he's done - intensity-wise - to date. Now Kara has yet to speak, but has already found an appropriately red and blue outfit, and all the while her ability to fly makes Clark's lack of such seem more and more retarded - even Chloe helpfully observes that he needs "to get on that". WORD, Chloe, word.

Grey's Anatomy: Pretty decent. We got a decent introduction to Lexie, Meredith's already-more-fun-to-watch half-sister. I like Chyler Leigh loads more than Ellen Pompeo, so my bias is already there. The Meredith/Derek bullshit is so beyond tired, and I never gave much of a shit in the first place. And I guess a big part of the fans who watch don't like George/Izzie, but I'm on the other side - I like them together, and always thought George/Callie was a huge mismatch from the start. I like Callie as a character, but thing Sara Ramirez and T.R. Knight have zero chemistry. He and Katie, on the other hand... hence the George/Izze I like. Still soapy but watchable. And waaaaay better than Addison's spin-off.

ER: I gotta give the show props - 14 seasons in, and it can still be wholly entertaining at times, and this premiere was very well done. Stanley Tucci's new ER chief is in over his organized-head, it seems, while Abby ended up covering his ass. I like the banter between Pratt and Morris, but Gates still bugs me. Neela really was touch-and-go for a bit there, and still has a long recovery road. I hadn't heard anything about an exit for Parminder Nagra, but it had me wondering for a sec. Looking forward to Carter's reappearance in Chicago during Noah Wyle's return arc.

Big Shots: I never watched Sex and the City (because I'm a straight male), but I assume this is what a male version would be, like I guessed earlier. This was actually easy to watch, but may not last long. The most sympathetic and "real" character by far is Vartan's character of James. The other three are almost egotistical male-fantasy caricatures. Not sure what kind of plot this will have, other than the four of them in various male-bonding conversations about sex and money, but I'll watch while it lasts.

Ghost Whisperer: Typical spook-of-the week, but managed to still make it somewhat personal, due to the people Melinda comes across. The big-bad of her supposed brother who is working for the "dark" side seems to be the season-long arc that carried over from last year. Mindlessly watchable if only for JLH. IMO, she's a decent actress, in spite of the audience draw for *ahem* 'other' reasons.

Moonlight: I'll concur with what seems to be the consensus online - that this could be much better. The concept is too close to a retread on prior shows (Angel, Forever Knight), and the only way to get out from under that is with compelling characters we want to see. So far, this premiere has a lot of improvement to do. Alex O'Loughlin is passable as a lead, but his chemistry with Sophia Myles needs work. And maybe its just the VM fanboy in me, but Mick St. John took a backseat to Josef during their scenes together. Jason Dohring was pretty much the best thing of that whole hour (I didn't really expect any different), and he has on-screen charisma to burn. I just hope they give him some decent dialogue and character development to work with in order to utilize his talent, similar to my worry for Kristen on Heroes. The presence of Hearst College (same name of the school from VM) was... odd, but glad to see Kevin Weisman, even in a small role. He'll always be Marshall Flinkman to me.

Stargate: Atlantis: Surprisingly very little 'funny' in this immediate pick-up from season three's end, and that is a good thing. The city is in full crisis - about its biggest "oh shit" scenario to date, and Elizabeth was royally fucked up, pardon my French. The nanite reactivation was a nifty twist to save her life while forever altering her path in the show, too. Not sure how well Sam (Col. Carter) will mesh with John and the others (aside from McKay), but I did like seeing Jewel in a very cerebral, straightforward role in Dr. Kellerman. A stark change from the flighty Kaylee. I'm actually looking forward to seeing where the 'to be continued' goes.

And that was my primetime viewing from Monday through Friday. This takes frakking forever to do, so I doubt I'll be recapping everything like this each week, but perhaps I'll find time for words on a few shows where I feel obligated to say at least something. We'll see.

This week, Pushing Daisies, Supernatural, and Friday Night Lights get added to the lineup (freakin' sweet!). And Desperate Housewives (Nathan!) and Dexter come back tonight.

Oh, and lastly: I'd be remiss if I did not mention that college football was insane and highly entertaining yesterday, as 6 of the top 13 teams lost in a 24-hour span. But my 'Noles beat Alabama, and the Gators lost to Auburn, so all was right in my college football world for one day. Woot!

That is all.

Kristen Bell is awesome.

had a dream of making everyone smile: KB: Happy Shoesapriljoiex on October 1st, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
Can I just say I love how you end every one of your journal entries. LOVE.

I agree about PP - a big mess that show, I don't think I'll be sticking with it long. Addison is not Addison, and it's pretty sad when Chris Lowell is the best actor of the lot.

I expected the first episode back for Heroes to be slow moving because a lot has happened and it's like they have to reveal the plot for the season and I'm a patient enough viewer that I can wait for a good plotline to be fully revealed. But I'm with you on the anticipating Elle, I loved that those spoiled about her power got to at least feel like we saw a glimpse of her.
Jeff: kristen - obekor - 2j_mac179 on October 1st, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
Can I just say I love how you end every one of your journal entries. LOVE.

Yeah, I decided to just drop that in as a signature of sorts back in January, after I met her. Just because she is ;)

I agree about PP - a big mess that show, I don't think I'll be sticking with it long. Addison is not Addison, and it's pretty sad when Chris Lowell is the best actor of the lot.

The sadder thing is, Lowell is by no means a draw for me, so Addison's character better be improved right-quick. That premier was a chore to get through.

And as long as Heroes can continue the gradual and steady uptick from where it began - even if the dialogue improvement and character depth is slow in coming - I can still enjoy it. It is by no means near my tops in total overall quality, but the production values are high, and the potential in the various characters keeps it intriguing. And I'm a superhero-type fan, so it will always have me watching. Kristen's presence just cemented the obligation, lol.
houses: Portalhouses7177 on October 1st, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
I agree on Moonlight. It was fine if you expected nothing, like I did. But it has a long way to go to prove it's worth watching for anything other than Jason Dohring doing his thing. It has potential, but it needs work. I'm not giving up on it yet, as many shows have stumbled out of the gate, but it had better show some original premise sometime or it won't be worth it.

Also, Bones was love.
Jeff: Bones - D&E 1j_mac179 on October 1st, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for Moonlight. Just for survival it needs to be more. And if it tanks, then I'll think good thoughts for Jason to find something else pronto. He's too talented to languish in failed-TV limbo.

Bones is just made of awesome. Seeley Booth is still a fav TV character of mine, and the entire ensemble's rapport makes the show stellar.
houses: Annoyedhouses7177 on October 1st, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
I agree; Booth is awesome. I wasn't sure Boreanaz could carry it, given how little range he was given to play as Angel usually, but he's hit it out of the park. The dynamic with Brennan is delightful.
~ CinJudes ~: alias - vaughn - 1.15 - heart_cinjudes_ on October 1st, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
I need to download both Vartan and Fillion's shows since I totally spazzed out and forgot - I know, unforgivable right? I need to reassess my scheduling and such to be certain. In my defense I was thrown off by almost forgetting about Dexter last night and did nothing but focused on that once I realized it.

You know what is just eerie to me? The fact that your Bionic Woman recap basically read EXACTLY the way the one in this weeks EW did. Literally, they have problems with the dude as well, had doubts if Ryan could handle the role - especially once facing Sackhoff, and yeah, basically thought Sackhoff ruled the hour. I have to say I agree.

I don't even have comments for SV, except why is it they tease us with bad Wellings just to snatch them away? Oh, that's right - because they are EVIL! It was predictably, well, SV. Nothing really out of the norm there. I must say the Bizarro voice was a nice touch - the only thing that really churned my butter in the whole mess.

I'm holding my judgment on Moonlight - since I don't think it will make it past 6 episodes. You know from our convo that I thought Heroes reeked, and I did manage to catch more than half of The Office and enjoyed it to an extent. I still have to watch Bones which I recorded last week since I napped threw the early showing and Reaper which I downloaded on your request. I'm still torn whether I should watch Chuck or not.

Damn, I need to make a post of my own. Bleh.
Jeff: JLH3j_mac179 on October 1st, 2007 06:36 pm (UTC)
Wow - you really need to play some TV catch-up. DH was actually amusing, and even with limited screen time, Nathan's character of Adam is already in the thick of things as a new mystery has popped up.

Dexter was great - looking forward to seeing him 'alive' again, after the adrenaline rush when his dozens and dozens of bags of body parts were found on the ocean floor. And Rita seems to be a little more wise to things, so giving Julie Benz more to do is good, too.

The next two episodes of Moonlight will really give us some signs as to whether or not it can improve, or just remain Anne Rice-type mediocre mush (no offense). Unfortunately, the next two weeks will also probably determine its broadcast fate, ratings-wise, and though six eps have been filmed, we may not get to see them all. Like I replied to Mi above, I'll think good thoughts for our boy in case it does tank, since he deserves to be recognized, too.

And just FYI, I think I enjoyed Chuck's pilot a bit more than Reaper, if that makes any difference. But I won't hold you to those, of course.

Flora: Raspberrylatinatemptress on October 3rd, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
Big Fat WORD to your SV post. I found it so disjointed and parts of it started to bore me. And as beautiful as KK looked in that dress in China it still boggled my mind that she was able to get there in what? A time span of maybe 4-5 hours? And Clarks lack of reaction to her death made me so ill. Its like this show just doesnt know in what direction it wants to go in. If the show wasnt about an iconic character it would have been in the toilet long ago.