So, this week’s My Week In TV is more like “My Two Weeks In TV Plus A New Show.” As you may or may not know, The Walking Dead premiered on Halloween to rave reviews and the following week the second episode got even better reviews. Since I like zombies and dramas involving those inept dead, I thought I would add them to the mix and add this show to my weekly roundup. Also, Fringe is back from a stupid hiatus involving something I don’t care about (sports). All in all, a lot has happened in television while I’ve been off galavanting at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater for AFI Fest.
Let’s jump right in.
Fringe: S3 x 05 – Amber 31422 ★★★★☆ & S3 x 06 – 6995 kHz ★★★★☆
Shawn Ashmore (The X-Men series, The Ruins) turns in an excellent performance as twin brothers in a tragic tale of crime in the parallel world in a very strong episode of Fringe. What a great episode to return with, and it was very interesting to see how yet ANOTHER actor on this show was able to play two roles with such nuance. Major props. The followup episode, 6995 kHz, was also strong and gave us a glimpse of the direction this season is taking. It’s nice to have this show back.
Community: S2 x 07 – Aerodynamics of Gender ★★★★☆ & S2 x 08 – Cooperative Calligraphy ★★★★☆
Abed is perhaps the best comedic character on television currently, and Aerodynamics of Gender proves it. The way he tears into the ladies with terminator-style precision is absolute comedic gold and the deadpan delivery nailed it for me. It was interesting seeing Hillary Duff cameo in the episode, and her subtle turn was about as surprising as Drew Carey’s rather healthy physique a few episodes prior. Episode eight is called “the bottle episode” and when you go look up the definition, you’ll understand why. This is the episode you’ll refer to your friends who are interested in seeing Jeff and Annie sans most of their clothing.
The Walking Dead: S1 x 01 – Days Gone Bye 31422 ★★★★☆ & S1 x 02 – Guts ★★★☆☆
Zombies are awesome, and volume 1 of the comic book The Walking Dead is awesome as well. It’s nice to see an adaptation that’s faithful to the spirit of the comic and one that pulls no punches in the gore department. Do NOT eat dinner (or any meal for that matter) while watching this one. Episode one delved into the tragedy of the zombie outbreak, lamenting the loss of humanity. It was a great way to start the show and really drew me in. The second episode continued the story and introduced more characters, but didn’t have quite the thematic oomph of the first. Still, I anxiously await the rest of this short first season.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 07 – Home ★★★★☆ & S1 x 08 – Hold Me In Paradise ★★★☆☆
Episode seven is a Nucky-centric episode, and delves into some of his troubled past. There’s a bunch of good stuff in the episode and it’s nice to see some kind of humanity in the character this show is based on. The last few moments of the episode are particularly poignant, as it’s been with previous episodes. Hold Me In Paradise continues with the poignancy as the turf-squabbling hits a bit too close to home. I’m quite intrigued with the way this show has set up Federal Agent Van Alden, especially in his interactions with his wife. Neither of them during the dinner scene were in the same frame, pointing out the rather significant divide between them. It’s not every day that device is used in television and it’s a nice touch.
Terriers: S1 x 09 – Pimp Daddy ★★★☆☆ & S1 x 10 – Asunder ★★★★☆
Episode nine is a rather straight forward one-off episode involving a trans hooker trying to find out what happened to her friend. There’s not a lot of meat to the episode and it is a little light on the drama, which isn’t a bad thing per se. The moments near the end were good, but I wonder if more could have been made out of the search and what the disappearance meant. The followup episode was much better in contrast, taking us back to Hank’s struggle with his ex’s impending marriage. At the very end of that episode we get a turn back to an earlier story arc to reveal that the case isn’t quite as closed as we first imagined.
No Ordinary Family: S1 x 06 – No Ordinary Visitors ★★★★☆
Not a whole lot to say. It’s a very cute episode with a logical progression of one super power and more family-oriented goodness. Haters gonna hate, but I think this show is solid and fun to watch. I also appreciate that we’ve only been getting villain-of-the-week, as it’s allowed for more focus on the family and them developing a better rapport with each other. By the time the main villain does his thing, I expect this family will be ready. Didn’t care much for the “parents visiting” thing happening so early in the show, but it wasn’t played too cheesy and ended up being integral to the theme of the episode.
Weeds: S6 x 11 – Viking Pride ★★★☆☆ & S6 x 12 – Fran Tarkenton ★★★☆☆
Weeds has had a pretty up and down season. Well, mostly down. The stuff with Esteban in the beginning was strong and gave us strong character moments. Near the end of the season, however, it all became a series of complications “just because.” I’m glad they brought the Esteban stuff back at the end of episode twelve, but I hope all that mess gets resolved. Not sure I could take another season 6.