Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Week in TV: September 20 - 24

This past week was a big premiere week for a lot of new & returning shows.  Overall, it was pretty good.
I was most excited to see the return of Chuck, and while the season 4 premiere itself wasn't mind-blowing, it showed just how well the writers are keeping the forward momentum started back in the season 2 finale.  From the previews they showed after the episode and some spoilers I've read online, I get the feeling I'm going to like the direction the show takes this year.  I like that Chuck & Sarah are truly together and will remain that way all season (and hopefully the duration of the entire series) and that the will-they/won't-they nature of their relationship is finally over.
Hawaii Five-0 was the last show I got around to watching but had the 2nd best episode of the week.  I don't know if I'll retain interest in a procedural cop show week after week, but they had an impressive premiere.  I still don't see how they pulled off one stunt in which the main character does a running slide across the trunk of a car while that car is simultaneously rear-ended by another car -- and with the slider looking like the main character, not a stunt man.  My guess is there was some CG work involved, but it sure looked seamless.  In addition to the stunts, the story, characters, performances, casting, dialogue, and scenery were all good too.
Parenthood remains strong.  There’s not even much I can elaborate on.  In general, I just love the actors, the characters, and the storylines so far.
Fringe focused it's season 3 premiere almost entirely on the over-here Olivia stuck in the over-there universe.  Consequently, there wasn't enough time with over-here's Walter or Peter to give the episode sufficient quirkiness or heart.  However, the cab driver character that helped Olivia evade her captors helped out in the heart department by becoming a trusted sidekick, even if he was forced into it.  Supposedly, the show is going to alternate episodes between the two universes, so next week we should get more time with the over-here Walter & Peter and the over-there Olivia (a.k.a. Bad Olivia, Bolivia, Not Olivia, Nolivia, Faux-livia) who's secretly embedded herself over here.
Warehouse 13 ended its 2nd season with an episode that had a goofy plot, the disappointing revelation of the H.G. Wells character as being neither good nor evil but just plain insane, and the equally disappointing split between Pete and his girlfriend played by the gorgeous Paula Garces (who may replace Lauren Graham as having the best hair ever).  Maybe the split isn't permanent and she'll return next season.  I hope so.  Despite the goofy plot, I've come to appreciate the show for its quirky characters, increasingly frequent comic relief, and occasionally clever dialogue.  The characters have also bonded well enough that they feel like a family.  Myka leaving Warehouse 13 is no doubt temporary, but it made for a nice bit of tension at the end.
As for the other shows...  Undercovers seems to have potential.  Cougar Town is no better or worse than it was before.  The Event was pretty good although a little boring until the end, many viewers have complained online about the story bouncing around in time too much, and I think I may already have a plausible theory as to what the big "event" is.  House was well-acted, well-produced, and well-directed as usual, but I just don't buy the new romantic relationship between House & Cuddy.  I hope it hasn't jumped the shark.  I continue to have a love-hate relationship with Glee, and the season premiere was all over the map.  I really don't think the writers quite know what to do with the characters, but they're determined to take them in completely different directions every single episode.
My ranks & scores for this week's shows:
01.  (A-)  Chuck  (season 4 premiere)
02.  (B+)  Hawaii Five-0  (series premiere)
03.  (B+)  Parenthood  (s2 ep02)
04.  (B)  Fringe  (season 3 premiere)
05.  (B)  Warehouse 13  (s2 ep12, season finale)
06.  (B)  Undercovers  (series premiere)
07.  (B-)  Cougar Town  (season 2 premiere)
08.  (B-)  The Event  (series premiere)
09.  (B-)  House  (season 7 premiere)
10.  (B-)  Survivor  (s21 ep02)
11.  (B-)  The Colony  (s2 ep09, penultimate episode)
12.  (B-)  Kate Plus 8  (s1 ep04)
13.  (C+)  Glee  (season 2 premiere)
Best Moments:
  • Chuck:  A captured & tied-up Sarah trying to type an urgent text message to Chuck using her toes.
  • Hawaii Five-0:  Several mind-blowing stunts, most involving vehicles, but the best one being the trunk slide explained above.
  • Parenthood:  Adam walks in his front door to see his wife consoling a sobbing friend who’s going through a separation, that woman’s son jumping on a trampoline indoors, and his own son being hyper and making constant noise with an annoying whistle.  Adam just backs out quietly, goes out to his car, reclines the seat, and listens to the radio.
  • Parenthood:  Adam comes home another night to see his house messy but empty.  A note from his wife says she’s taken the kids, including the annoying trampoline kid, out to eat so that he can have some quiet time.  He reclines on the sofa with a beer and starts to watch TV but realizes something isn’t right.  Next, you see his family at the restaurant, and Adam walks in and joins them.
  • Fringe:  Even after Olivia let him go, the cab driver still hung around to see what happened to Olivia.
  • Warehouse 13:  Claudia starting to cry because Artie got shot.  They really are forming a pseudo father-daughter type relationship.
  • Warehouse 13:  Pete getting emotional and not being able to hear the rest of Myka's resignation letter after she calls him the best big brother she never had.  They could have gone the romantic route with Pete & Myka, but I very much prefer them continuing with their relationship being more like brother & sister.
  • House:  Any scene involving Cuddy without her clothes on (and, there were several).
  • Glee:  The short cheerleader with Down Syndrome (I think) delivering some hilarious commentary during Finn's embarrassing audition for the Cheerios squad.
  • A "You Again" commercial during Glee:  Betty White, co-star of the new movie "You Again," saying, "Okay, I'm going to level with you...  Glee Club was for dorks."

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