My Week In TV: Oct. 3-9

Here we are with another solid week of television. The only major thing for me was that I dropped Undercovers from my “watch” list in preparation for The Walking Dead coming up at the end of this month. As much as I enjoyed the episodes of Undercovers that I watched, it just wasn’t as engaging for me as the other shows and was getting to be kind of a chore to watch. Not a slight on the solid work that goes into the show, but it’s just not for me.

Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 03 – Broadway Limited ★★★★☆

Another strong episode, with solid writing and character development. Perhaps the most interesting character in this episode agent Alden, pictured above and played by Michael Shannon. His doubled efforts to catch the bad guy are evident here, giving us a rather intense scene in a dentist’s office. It’s this scene juxtaposed with a comically mundane home life that shows off the great character work in this show.

Chuck: S4 x 03 – Chuck Versus The Cubic Z ★★★☆☆

This episode is a step down from the previous. It’s nice that they’re keeping the Chuck’s Mom story arc drawn out, but this lacks much of the heart of the second episode and I found myself more interested in Morgan’s bumbling attempts at managing a Buy More than yet another boring foray into Chuck and Sarah’s relationship. Frankly, I’m not sure how much more of them I can take. Let them simmer for the rest of this season, please.

Community: S2 x 03 – The Psychology of Letting Go ★★★★☆

While not as laugh out loud hilarious as episode two, this episode has heart and as such is a very good episode. Three solid episodes in a row? I’m blown away. Still not sure why this show has low ratings.

Fringe: S3 x 03 – The Plateau ★★★★☆

Kudos to the Fringe writers for being able to balance both the overall story arc and monster-of-the-week. Very rarely can shows pull this off and yet here it’s masterfully done. Because of this, all the incidental characters get the proper time and attention required to make picking a side difficult. Perhaps the strongest stylistic choice so far in this season has been sticking to one universe per episode. Now we’ve essentially got two Fringe divisions working on two sets of cases that we’re weaving in and out of. Essentially, this has evolved the monster-of-the-week style and taken it to new and interesting heights. As always, can’t wait for next week.

No Ordinary Family S1 x 02 – No Ordinary Marriage ★★★☆☆

I feel weird when I make some kind of criticism about a show and then in the next episode those criticisms get addressed. Such is the case with the second episode of No Ordinary Family. The characters were written stronger, and the episode itself was by and large a “learning the rules” episode, which is perhaps my favorite part of any super hero origin story. I still wasn’t sold on the villains until the very end. If they stick with this touch of dark, I think we might be in store for an interesting arc.

Terriers: S1 x 05 – Manifest Destiny ★★★★☆

The end of the Lindis arc. Not sure how I feel about this not playing out to the end of the season, but after this episode I’m not entirely sure they could have gone much farther with it anyway. Still getting some strong character work overall, and it’s an interesting watch.

Weeds: S6 x 07 – Pinwheels and Whirligigs ★★★☆☆

This is a pretty chill episode in a series of rather frenetic and stressful episodes, and as such it loses some of the bite that’s made it really awesome so far. This is probably for the best. Looks like there are some investigators on the case of the murdered politician, so things could heat up quite a bit in the episodes to come. The highlight of this episode was the scene pictured above. You’ll know when you see it as you will probably share the same grimace I had throughout.