Overall, this was a good week for television. The only rough gem is a new show that started this past week.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 02 – The Ivory Tower ★★★☆☆
This is clearly the episode AFTER the episode that Martin Scorsese directed. It pretty much lacks all the directorial flair and style of the pilot, but still remains interesting and engaging. I just wish this episode had kept that little “something extra” as the style suited the story very well.
Chuck: S4 x 02 – Chuck Versus The Suitcase ★★★★☆
Compared to the season opener, this episode is a breath of fresh air. Chuck is his usual geeky/goofy self, and everyone else gets a chance to shine. It’s what every episode should be by default, and this one in particular gives me hope that the rest of the season is in good hands. Of course, there’s still time to ruin everything.
Community: S2 x 02 – Accounting For Lawyers ★★★★★
They make it look easy. My gut hurt before the teaser even finished. Every other show on the Thursday comedy lineup needs to take note: Community is the one to beat. I am in love with the Troy/Abed credits sequence from this episode. Also, Drew Carrey is rather striking nowadays.
Fringe: S3 x 02 – The Box ★★★★★
By the time you reach the end of this episode, you’ll be wishing it was next week already. This show continues to get better in each andevery aspect, from the way they handle the main arc to the standalone episodes. Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham) shines in this episode, pulling off alternate-Olivia with a subtlety and nuance that you never would have guessed possible in season one. Note to all: Do not eat dinner during this episode.
No Ordinary Family S1 x 01 – Pilot ★★☆☆☆
I’m surprised this show got picked up from this pilot alone. The premise is strong, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The best parts of the episode can be found in the commercials for it, leaving only one scene in particular to surprise viewers. The hook of having the husband and wife in counseling isn’t very well thought-out and by the end of the episode I don’t buy that any therapy is needed at all. That’s not to say this is a complete pan. TV shows have rough starts all the time. I just hope things pick up speed as the season progresses. Note to network: saw that turn a mile away. Re-think your reveals.
Terriers: S1 x 04 – Fustercluck ★★★★☆
This is a solid episode and manages to further the main arc in an interesting way. I’ve been getting a little wary up to this point because the show has lacked much direction, but with this episode it’s apparent that something is going down. I’m interested in where this goes. Would be cooler if Olivia Williams was in this again. Shame she was only a guest.
Undercovers: S1 x 01 – Pilot ★★★☆☆ :: S1 x 02 – Instructions ★★★☆☆
Apparently people have the notion that Undercovers is supposed to be this deep and engaging spy series that has the layers of an onion and makes you think. Folks, this is the diet coke of spy shows and it’s a mistake to get any kind of pissed off when you don’t get the depth you’re looking for. This is light and it’s easy to watch. The leads are attractive and have amazing chemistry, and the side characters are goofy and pop in with accurate comedic timing. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it past episode three, personally, but if you want to lightly nom on some spy action, this is the show for you!
Weeds: S6 x 06 – A Shoe For A Shoe ★★★★☆
Shane Botwin. The kid has had tremendous growth as a character these past six years and it shows. This episode neatly wraps up everything that went down in the previous one and gives us the right amount of closure. Odd that things are starting fresh from this point on since this is half-way through the season, but I imagine more trouble is on it’s way. Perhaps the strongest point of this show and this episode even is the extent in which Nancy has really lost her way and how it’s made her a much weaker person overall. I wonder if she’ll ever be able to recover what she had from way back in the Agrestic days.