I haven’t been posting a lot on my blog these days other than the 50 Day Movie Challenge prompts, and even then I haven’t been posting those all that regularly. Thought I would buck this trend and start posting about what I’ve been up to lately, whether that be film, television, comics or video games.
I’ve still got to write up that wrap up for Terriers, so expect that soonish. In the meantime, here’s the scoop. Two shows ended their seasons this past week and one had a Christmas special. All were pretty good this week. Shame that Fringe will be gone for another six weeks. SERIOUSLY, FOX, what be the hell, yo?!
Fringe: S3 x 09 – Marionette ★★★★☆
A really good episode dealing primarily with Olivia’s return to the regular universe. She copes with the damages caused by Bolivia while trying to solve a mystery of organ theft. Yet another example of why you shouldn’t watch this show before or during a meal. The effects were pretty good and the creepy factor was raised to eleven. I mean, seriously, rebuilding someone just to have them dance around for you? Oy!
Community: S2 x 11 – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas ★★★★☆
Community is easily my favorite comedy show since Arrested Development. Lots of fun in each episode with just as much meta humor as one can stand. This time, the students of Greendale find themselves stuck in a winter wonderland via Abed’s altered reality. They play out his fantasy, which finds them galavanting about in humorous stop motion versions of themselves. Jeff is a jack in the box, Troy is a little drummer boy and Pierce is a teddy bear. While I’m not a huge fan of musical numbers, the ones in this episode are humorous and poke fun at holiday specials. Props to the Cave of Frozen Memories.
No Ordinary Family: S1 x 10 – No Ordinary Sidekick ★★★★☆
The sidekicks get the story in this episode as George gets credit for Jim’s rescue and Katie struggles with not getting the respect she needs from Stephanie. It’s a good episode with some nice character moments. Daphne starts to suspect Katie’s boyfriend and gets a rather shocking visit from him while the rest of the family is away. It’s nice to see that the Powells are finding out their weaknesses as the show progresses, and J.J.’s is particularly creative.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 12 – A Return to Normalcy ★★★☆☆
It’s election time in Atlantic City and truces are called. There’s some nice “mobster stuff” near the end of the episode and it’s nice to see Capone again after a few episode absence. Nucky and Margaret work through their issues and we get a really nice moment between the two in regards to their deceased children. Jimmy Darmody and Eli start plotting against Nucky and that’s pretty much where things end. A little on the underwhelming side in terms of finales, but considering the show has been great so far, it’s a small complaint.
The Walking Dead: S1 x 06 – TS-19 ★★★☆☆
The season finale to The Walking Dead was good, but a few things bothered me. The first thing that didn’t quite sit right was the CDC storyline. While it was nice to see everyone get a reprieve from the apocalypse, the reprieve didn’t feel earned from a thematic standpoint. Can’t really explain it better than that other to say that them getting to safety felt too easy, especially since going to the CDC in the first place was not very well planned out. The bits with patient TS-19 were really well-done, however, and are what drew me to this episode the most. All in all, The Walking Dead was a fun and engaging show set in a zombie apocalypse. I think the TV format suits this genre well.
Fringe and Community came back this week, which made me very happy. Terriers ended it’s first season, which made me sad. No Ordinary Family once again rose to the challenge and Boardwalk Empire brought us a little of the old style. I’d say don’t take my word for it, but if you didn’t watch any of these shows this week you will probably have to. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Terriers: S1 x 13 – Hail Mary ★★★★☆
Terriers finished up it’s season with a solid episode. It didn’t have as much of the punch of the Tim Minear episode awhile back, but it saw it’s main arc through and wrapped up all the loose threads in a satisfying manner. I was reminded to some extent of the first season of Dexter. Both shows’ first seasons could stand on their own and didn’t feel incomplete should they be canceled. Hopefully Terriers sees the same fate of Dexter and gets many more seasons.
Fringe: S3 x 08 – Entrada ★★★★☆
And we’re back again with another episode of Fringe. It seems like a year in between each break this show takes. Seriously, FOX. You guys need to cut that shit out. I don’t think I can take much more time away from Olivia and company. This week saw a dual-universe episode, bouncing back and forth between the other world and ours. Even the opening credits reflected this. It’s nice to see the showrunners’ dedication to point of view and to structure. Kudos. One point of contention: Peter HAD to know that Bolivia was not who she claimed to be. If he were genuinely surprised by this turn of events, then what was the point of that flirtatious exchange earlier on in the season.
Writers…you have some ‘asplaining to do!
The Walking Dead: S1 x 05 – Wildfire ★★★★☆
There were a lot of good character moments in this episode, and we finally got to watch someone in this world succumb to the effects of zombification. A very bleak episode, but that’s really not saying a whole lot. The bit with the CDC worker at the end was a great touch and I hope that more of those moments can litter the next season when it eventually airs. Sure, the episode wasn’t without it’s flaws (I mean, really, no backup plan should the CDC not work?!), but it was still good despite it and worth watching. I’m quite interested to see where the last episode of the season takes us.
No Ordinary Family: S1 x 09 – No Ordinary Anniversary ★★★★☆
We get another villain-of-the-week this week and he shoots FIRE! But more importantly than that, Mr. and Mrs. Powell become a super-team. It’s here that we get a glimpse of things to come as the family starts to feel their calling to be heroic. Some of the fighting between Mrs. Powell and Fire Dude was kind of awkward, but they really nailed his creepiness-factor. Kudos on that. Another interesting bit involved Daphne attempting to read Will’s mind. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t scream “DON’T DO IT GIRL!!!” at the screen.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 11 – Paris Green ★★★☆☆
This episode should have been titled “Agent Van Alden Goes Bonkers and Kills A Guy!” There wasn’t a whole lot here apart from the scene shown above and a spat between Margaret and Nucky and Nucky and Eli. We find out that Jimmy’s father hasn’t been feeling all that great due to poisoning and that Jimmy’s home life has crumbled way beyond repair. Onward to the finale!
Community: S2 x 10 – Mixology Certification ★★★☆☆
Community seems to bounce back and forth between laugh out loud episodes and character development episodes this season, oftentimes finding a good balance. This episode couldn’t quite decide what it wanted to be and the result was a rather uneven episode. Troy shines through as the main character in this episode, but Annie pops in throughout with her rather abrupt identity-crisis. I think the episode could have been stronger if they had picked a character and stuck with them, but at the same time I still enjoyed what I saw. Jeff? Britta? Please to be getting it on now. Thx. Pierce? You are still wonderful.
Been playing catch up this whole week, as I haven’t really wanted to watch my shows. I usually get this way around the holidays. And with the whole internet and DVR being a thing, I can always watch my shows later. That said, apologies on this being a later post than usual.
The Walking Dead: S1 x 04 – Vatos ★★★★★
Perhaps the best and most tragic episode of the series yet. There’s one particular scene that plays out fairly matter-of-factly in the comic and is done very well here. The filler has weight and never feels like filler. It’s the kind of episode that makes you take pause after as you digest all the shit that just hit the fan. I can’t wait to see how the last two episodes of the season play out.
Terriers: S1 x 11 – Sins of the Past ★★★★★ & S1 x 12 – # ★★★★☆
Wow. Just wow. By the end of episode twelve I’m on the edge of my seat. Thanks a lot, cliffhanger ending! What a damn good show this has been so far. Episode eleven was written by Tim Minnear, and as such was rather poignant. Episode twelve brought the main arc back in full swing and left me wanting more by the last frame. Here’s a show that’s not afraid to get rid of characters. I always warm to these for some reason.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 10 – The Emerald City ★★★★☆
Richard Harrow has the best moments in this episode and manages to teach Margaret, perhaps the most humble character in this tale, some lessons on acceptance and prejudice. That scene alone is worth the price of admission and it really stands out in what’s a rather bleak episode. Agent Van Alden takes an unlikely turn in his holy quest for Margaret’s soul and Jimmy Darmody is finding his own as Nucky’s personal hit squad. It all looks to be building toward an upcoming election, so we’ll see if that factors into the finale any.
No Ordinary Family: S1 x 08 – No Ordinary Accident ★★★★☆
They should have named this episode “No Ordinary Frustration At Being Unable To Help People” as we dance around the ethics of using powers and what the actual responsibilities of having these powers entails. “With great power comes great responsibility” hasn’t been told so well in television as it was here in this episode. Not only that, we’re starting to unravel the foils to our super heroes, which will no doubt come into play as the villains become more prevalent. Oh look. I see all the haters coming back. How ya been?
Still a little behind on getting these posts out, but I think this week I’ll be able to catch up. Here’s a recap of last week’s episodes and what I thought. Weeds finished up season six so I’ll probably write up a recap of the whole season and detail the bests and worsts of the whole shebang. So, without further ado, let’s get through last week’s episodes!
Fringe: S3 x 07 – The Abducted ★★★★★
Perhaps the strongest episode yet this season. Olivia makes an attempt at escaping the other side while trying to solve the Candyman kidnappings that have been plaguing the denizens there. We get to take a look into alternate Broils’ life and get more of his backstory. I kind of wish we’d get that for Real Broils at some point in this season. The taxi man makes a comeback and it’s nice seeing an ally on this side of the universes. The way things are shaping up, we’re getting close to the end of the first major arc this season. I expect we’ll see Olivia heading home at some point. Kind of pissed that I have to wait two weeks until the next episode airs. W-T-H Fox!
Weeds: S6 x 13 – Theoretical Love Is Not Dead ★★★★★
What a finale! Not sure what else I can say other than DO ANYBODY NO WHERE SEASON 7 is?! This show, despite it’s varying flaws, still knows how to wrap up a season and make you want more. I really hope they are able to stabilize the pacing a little bit more next year. But then again, maybe the erratic pace is kind of the point. Am I the only one who noticed that Kevin Nealon backed out of the story way too quickly? I hope he comes back next season as his shenanigans provide a much needed comedic balance to the story.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 09 – # ★★★★☆
A solid episode that manages to blend the slice-of-life period-piece aesthetic and the mobster shenanigans well. Michael Pitt’s character returns to Atlantic City on a murderous quest and shows how much he’s grown from the first episode of the show. I’m anxious to see how this plays out, especially given the episode’s rather startling ending.
The Walking Dead: S1 x 03 – Tell it to the Frogs ★★★★☆
This show continues to impress and give us strong character moments. Episode three is an improvement on two and it’s worth watching just for the family reunion alone. If you’ve read the first volume to the comic, you’ll know how things play out overall, but the show manages to keep things surprising with the subplots that aren’t in the book.
Community: S2 x 09 – Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design ★★★★☆
Greendale is a place I want to go to, especially since the world of night classes are straight out of a paranoia thriller and there exists the probability of blanket forts. There’s really not much more I can say other than the multiple shoot-out at the end is hilarious.
Terriers: S1 x 11 – Sins of the Past ☆☆☆☆☆
Missed the episode last week. Will catch up on both this week.
No Ordinary Family: S1 x 07 – No Ordinary Mobster ★★★★☆
The stakes are higher for the Powells now that we get a glimpse of what the Big Bad knows. Even though there’s no real danger to the family in this episode, the sense of foreboding is strong here and it feels like only a matter of time before the family is presented with their first real challenge. I like the character work in this episode as well as the darker tones that permeate throughout. It’s nice to see that these characters are being lightly shoved in the direction of heroism instead of being completely thrust into the action. Given the suburban family aesthetic of the show, it makes sense. Amy Acker guest stars in this episode, although she’s not given a lot to do (DAMNIT!).
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.
Solid episodes from the shows I’m watching this week. Perhaps the standout of this week comes from Boardwalk Empire, with the worst offender of the bunch being both the Not!Fringe episode and the lackluster Weeds episode. Seriously, I have some guesses as to how the season is going to end and I hope to Christ it throws me a curve ball. Community was a riot as usual and No Ordinary Family is still pulling me in with solid writing and engaging characters. Check it!
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 06 – Family Limitation ★★★★☆
We get some serious mobster schtick this week in Boardwalk Empire and it’s all from the Chicago crew. I admittedly squee’d in delight when I saw the pictured characters gun down their adversaries in as close to a Scorsese fashion as possible by someone NOT Scorsese. The guy playing Al Capone plays the role well. I’m interested in seeing how this progresses in paralel to the Atlantic City plot with Nucky Thompson. Also at the forefront is Eli and her sudden attention from Nucky himself and what that means for her life. Seriously, if you aren’t watching this show, you need to be!
Community: S2 x 06 – Epidemiology ★★★★☆
Last year’s Halloween episode was epic, and the clip of Abed as Batman has been played on my computer COUNTLESS times. While this episode wasn’t as groundbreaking, it served perhaps THE MOST HILARIOUS sequence I’ve seen in awhile. Let’s just say it involves an old horror film trope I don’t particularly like and it involves an animal that the internet at large likes. Anyway, laughed my ass off. The rest of the episode was solid and the references were clever.
Terriers: S1 x 08 – Agua Caliente ★★★★☆
If there’s one thing that Terriers has going for it, it’s the depth that’s been given to all of the characters. So, when a rather straight-forward and predictable episode like this one comes along, it’s nice that we ACTUALLY CARE about the characters. A worthy follow-up to last week’s heartfelt and heavy episode.
No Ordinary Family S1 x 05 – No Ordinary Quake ★★★★☆
No Ordinary Family gets a lot of flack for not being what the hardcore nerds want it to be. The problem is that everyone expects this to be THE NEXT HEROES or HEROES EQUIVALENT. It’s got super-powered individuals so NATURALLY the themes need to be complex and the situations harsh and gritty. Problem is that this is a family-oriented super hero series on ABC. As far as that genre is concerned, this show is television gold. The characters are decently written and played by charismatic and likable actors. No exception in this episode, which continues the Powell’s struggle to figure out their lives as a family with super powers. The message that Jim delivers to his son J.J. is thematic gold and makes up for the relatively little danger the family finds themselves in.
It makes a lot of sense that the Powell family hasn’t found themselves in considerable danger yet. They’ve been by and large under the radar, and the bad guys have been working behind the scenes. The Powells haven’t come across the decision to become the gung-ho good guys yet and I appreciate that they haven’t had to address that yet. They’re just a young family going through life.
All that aside, this beats the shit out of anything in Heroes past season 1.
Weeds: S6 x 10 – Dearborn-Again ★★★☆☆
There’s really nothing new in this episode and it’s frustrating. We’re almost done with the season and all the Newmans have done is flounder around on one giant road trip. The introduction of a potential parental unit was interesting, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from using this episode as white noise while I wrote. Also, what an utter waste of Richard Dreyfuss. Absolutely no chemistry between him and Mary Louise-Parker, which makes their backstory almost impossible to buy. As is custom for Weeds, the malevolent good guys are onto them and we get a glimpse as to what to expect in the next few episodes with the Feds and their search for the Botwins.
Not!Fringe: Episode Something-Or-Other ★☆☆☆☆
An improvement from last week, but still utterly terrible. It’s obvious that there was an attempt this time, as we were given a look into the Not!Other Dimension and how things worked on that side.
Next week can’t arrive fast enough.
Going to change things up a little this week in terms of the format. Instead of writing these out in alphabetical order based on the show name, I’d like to write them out in rating order, putting the best at the top and the worst at the very end. That said, it was a better week for TV than the last and I was more engaged with the shows in general. I hope the coming weeks can see the same or better.
Terriers: S1 x 07 – Missing Persons ★★★★☆
This is A GREAT episode. The writing is superb and the character work between Hank and Steph is both moving and tragic. Can’t really gush too much without spoiling, but this is easily the best episode of the bunch this week.
Community: S2 x 05 – Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples ★★★★☆
It’s not a billion laughs a minute, but it’s interesting character work. Shirley gets to step into her own and deal with her place amongst the godless youth at Greendale. Pierce gets an interesting sub-plot with Jeff and Brita. There’s only one complaint that I have for this episode and it’s a joke that doesn’t make sense for Shirley’s character. Other than that, another great episode from a crew that seems to get my sense of humor.
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 05 – Nights in Ballygran ★★★★☆
I was wondering if we’d get an Eli-centric episode. She’s an interesting character and I was hoping we’d be able to get back to her point of view in the story. After all, she’s fighting the good fight against alcohol and the only challenge that she faces is the very man (Nucky) who helped her out. Quite an interesting twist at the end. I’m curious to see how this complicates matters. Highlight of the episode: Nucky’s brother in a kilt, bombing a speech completely. I hope we get an episode with him down the road.
Weeds: S6 x 09 – To Moscow, And Quickly ★★★★☆
Nancy is going through change. She’s coming to grips with being a failure as a mom and by the end of this episode things get rather clear for her. Interestingly enough, we get another look at who might care that the Botwin family did some bad business in the previous season. The humor was subdued some in this episode, but the character work was good and it was nice to see the Botwin brothers together after the aforementioned bad business. A bunch of likable assholes these people are.
No Ordinary Family S1 x 04 – No Ordinary Vigilante ★★★★☆
A strong episode for a show that’s starting to find it’s feet. It’s not without it’s cheese and far-fetched plot this time through, but I bought the events as they played out and thought the character development was strong. Chiklis and Benz are great in this and a treat to watch. While it might not be the pinnacle of subtle writing, this episode is a worthy contender with everything else this week. Except maybe…
Not!Fringe: Episode Whatever ☆☆☆☆☆
A poorly constructed non-episode from a rather uninspired non-crew. You’ll remember that these assholes were the ones in charge of that Non-Doctor Who episode where the Non-Statues didn’t do a damn thing. Yeah, folks. It was THAT bad. I’m going to go punch myself in the face to try and clear my mind of this non-monstrosity. J.J. Abraham, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Community and Fringe were perhaps the highlights of this rather uninspired week of television. I hope things pick up for these other shows in the weeks to come. No new Fringe until November. That means this post will be shorter next week. *frowns*
Boardwalk Empire: S1 x 04 – Anastasia ★★★☆☆
This episode was a bit of a step down from the previous in that there wasn’t a whole lot that happened and there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot of character development. There was a bunch of setup, so I imagine that things established here will be resolved later. Still, they could have at least done more to make it interesting.
Community: S2 x 04 – Basic Rocket Science ★★★★★
Community is my favorite show on television right now. Not many are able to balance the comedy and pop culture references with the heart and character development like this show does. And this episode is right up there among my favorites for this series, being a smart parody of Apollo 13 and most other space mission films in existence. Kudos.
Fringe: S3 x 04 – Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep ★★★★☆
Another strong episode of the best sci-fi show out now. We’re back to the regular universe as “Fauxlivia” finds herself under a bit of scrutiny for being different since the season finale. Considering she’s not the real Olivia, it makes sense that she would have some problems portraying her original counterpart. It’s nice that they haven’t outed her as the fake yet. If this were in anyone else’s hands, we might have them guessing right away and her running off into the distance firing her weapon and swearing. Thankfully, everyone is still convinced that she’s the real deal. Great title. It plays well into the story and reminds me of a good book I read awhile back. Heh.
No Ordinary Family S1 x 03 – No Ordinary Ring ★★★★☆
This show is getting better with each episode and I much enjoyed this step back to develop the characters rather than focus on the bad guys. Granted, there were still bad guys in the episode, but they weren’t the focus. The crux of this arc seems to be the Powell family coming to grips with their powers. I wouldn’t mind keeping the bad guy quotient low if it meant fleshing these characters out even more. I’ll admit in the beginning that I was skeptical of the super powers that were chosen for these characters, but it works and makes sense by this episode. I say it’s worth sticking with for now.
Terriers: S1 x 06 – Ring-a-Ding-Ding ★★★☆☆
An episode about a ring with predictable twists and turns and a bit of a melodramatic ending. Not my favorite in the bunch and if the previous episodes hadn’t been as good as they were, I’d probably put the show on notice. Still, the characters are compelling. Basically, a light and fluffy episode when I expected a little more meat.
Weeds: S6 x 08 – Gentle Puppies ★★★☆☆
Nancy finally gets it on after a few episodes of frustration and everything going completely wrong. Andy, meanwhile, is up to his usual hilarious antics and everyone else plays along. It’s a pretty straightforward episode, and still a fun ride for the most part. I’m kind of curious if they have some kind of payoff in mind this season or if it’s just going to end. They’ve brought in the feds, but we’ve only seen them in the opener of an episode.
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.