Monday, January 26, 2009

The Week in TV

Please discuss in the comments!

Big Love (1/25)
God, Lois is so hardcore. Love her. The twin themes here seemed to be the handcuffs of motherhood -- neither Nicki, Margene, nor Sarah (Sarah! No!) are very jazzed about the idea of expanding their heavenly bounty by having another baby, though it looks like Margene's relenting after overplaying her hand on Weber Gaming. I still don't entirely understand why Ana is along for the ride; the prospect of having sex with Bill can't be THAT enticing. Speaking of not enticing, how about that skanky FLDS flophouse where Frankie and Rhonda (among others) are staying? I was simultaneously horrified and happy for those little monsters.

Battlestar Galactica (1/23)
Leave it to this show to make me want to kick democracy to the curb and fully embrace military dictatorship. And as annoyed as I was by most of the usual suspects -- Gaeta finally gathering up his balls at the moment he can be most self-righteous; Zarek doing his usual politics-by-demonization; Baltar and his usual bullshit -- it was nice to remember just how much I fucking love Doc Cottle. I sometimes forget. Also: Hot Dog is Nicky's daddy? I don't buy it. There is no way two such tiny people as Cally and Hot Dog ever produced that gargantuan child.

30 Rock (1/22)
A fairly brilliant episode, even with a spotty A-plot (though the callback to the "totally gaybones" incident from last season's finale was bril). No, it was actually the Jenna/Frank subplot (one that began so typically) that kept unfolding and unfolding until it stole the episode.

Ugly Betty(1/22)
I hate that the lesson (at the moment) seems to be that Betty's job and family are incompatible, so she should give up on her job. In other words: I really wish Ignacio would just hurry up and die already. Sloppily-written episode this week, with a couple notable saving graces: 1) Alec Mapa's character turning out to be a straight (!) family man (!!) living in Jersey (!!!), and 2) Marc's struggle to emerge from Wilhelmina's shadow. As has been the case for quite a while now, I'm watching this show for Marc's journey way more than Betty's.

Damages (1/21)
Okay, Matthew Davis is on the show now? In addition to Timothy Olyphant? What have we done to deserve such bountiful hottie representation? Anyway, this was the first week that the Glenn Close/William Hurt Big Chill reunion thing clicked for me. Duh. Not the most mind-blowing revelations this week, which, on a week when we find out that Daniel is Patty's son't father, should tell you something about how this show rolls. Anyway, more Marcia Gay Harden, please!

Lost (1/21)
You know...I don't know. It was fine. It wasn't my favorite episode (or pair of episodes) ever. I hate to be the guy to say that the time travel didn't make any sense to me, but...the time travel didn't make any sense to me. And I was hoping that by the end of the two hours we'd have arrived at a place where it would make more sense but it didn't. I'm not losing faith in the show or anything, but I do worry that the show has put itself in a position where they've established the time travel stuff in such a specific scientific setting that they're not going to be able to get away with things like "Desmond is exempt from the time-travel because he's special." Also, that hour-long clip show was immensely helpful, and I get that they didn't want to telegraph any surprises, but I really wish they'd have revisited that Desmond time-skipping episode more, if only so I could remember more about Finoula Flanagan's character. I'm not sure I thought she actually existed before.

Top Chef (1/21)
I thought it was kind of cool that Restaurant Wars (which...bravo to Bravo for branding their paltry recurring challenge motif so that it's now spoken of like it's an Olympic event) pitted the two couples (Leah/Hosea and Stefan/Fabio) against the four girls (Jaime, Carla, Radhika, and Jeff). The elimination was telegraphed from the first 10 minutes, which this show tends to do a lot, which is annoying. And I still hate the new judge.

Gossip Girl (1/19)
Nice to see Laura Breckinridge emerge from the wreckage of Related at long last. And really nice to see Chuck Bass have a rare moment of humanity and...dare I say warmth? And the fact that he's now in the business of preventing sexual assault means he's kind of come full-circle. Meanwhile, much as I love Blair, it was nice to see that she couldn't talk her way out of her own consequences for once.

Bromance (1/19)
Nothing quite so awesome as last week's shower scene, but seeing Brody's butt-cleavage during the episode-ending bubble-bath...okay, maybe as awesome as the shower scene. I love the idea of...Chris? I don't know his name -- the short one, regardless...but Chris scoffing that Darling Alex and the Boston one are in love with each other is pretty rich on a show called BROMANCE in which Chris(?) is currently competing for the right to participate in three-ways with Brody Jenner.


Jenn said...

Agreed about "Lost." I'd read that Finoula Flanagan was going to be back, and I figured she would be Daniel's mother after he mentioned her, but I couldn't remember who she'd played before or what her significance was.

Jon said...

Finoula Flanagan appeared as a charter in one of Desmond's previous time-skipping episodes, as the lady who sold (or refused to sell? I can't remember) an engagement ring to him and told him some rules of time travel. And that clearly could have been pure delusion on Desmond's part. But a photo of the character appeared on the desk of the head monk at Desmond's monastery in another episode, giving us a clue that she's a real person.

Jon said...

Grrr, she appeared as a "character."

Jennifer said...

I am so quitting Ugly Betty. I could not even stomach the idea of watching this week's episode when the week before made me want to stab Hilda. Waaaaaaaaaaaah, FAMILY COMES FIRST, MIJA!, repeat a thousand times. Waaaaaaaaaaaaah, Hilda opens the beauty salon once again and Betty is supposed to drop everything she's already required to do for pay/education? Waaaaaaaaaaah, Hilda and Ignacio can't manage GIFT BAGS by themselves?

Yes, the message here is clearly "Pick us or your job, so quit." I will admit that it's rare to see that message delivered so consistently to a 24-year-old single girl (rather than a working mom), but still. I just want to yell, "SUCK IT UP" already at all the Suarezes.

Between the waaaaaaaaaah at home and the incredibly dull love quadrangle of Wili/Daniel/Connor/Molly (who cares? you already know how it's gonna play out), I'm bored of this show. I can't even stick with it for Marc's sake- and the boyfriend cheating thing didn't help his cause either.

StinkyLulu said...

I overthought Radhika's elimination this week, defying my own awareness my instinct for reality show eliminations is my own "proof" of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink hypothesis.

I love your riff on "the couples" and "the girls"... Jeff really is Miami Barbie.

Andrea said...

"Nice to see Laura Breckinridge emerge from the wreckage of Related at long last."

That's where I know her from!