Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Week in TV (Thus Far)

Glee (9/23)
I have to tell you, I was THIS close to breaking up with Glee, but this episode totally won me back in a HUGE way. For the first time (including the pilot, which didn't hold up as well as I may have wanted it to at first), the tone of the series was clear, and I got an actual feel for the characters and the stories they're telling. They've done an excellent job bringing out characters like Finn and Kurt (still waiting to care about Rachel, but they're doing things with her at least), and the addition of Puck to the crew has been a godsend. They haven't perfected the formula -- Jane Lynch is hilarious but she's adrift in the story -- but even the hysterical pregnancy subplot found a bit of footing this week. Great job all around -- I'm back.

Modern Family (9/23)
Easily my favorite new show of the season ( far; still time to wow me, Flash Forward and V). I'd already seen the pilot back in May, but I watched it again tonight and loved it even more. In particular, the gay couple wasn't quite as shrill as I'd thought. Ty Burrell is gonna be the breakout from this, though. And I finally have a good reason to like Sophia Vergara!

Cougar Town (9/23)
How to say this nicely ... I really believe the word "cougar" serves a crucial function in our language. ...No. This is not the time for that conversation. Regardless, I'm really glad I didn't get offended out of an opportunity to enjoy an exuberantly funny show with an excellent cast. I really love Courteney Cox here, not to mention Busy Philipps,Brian Van Holt, and Carolyn Hennessy. And the kid who plays Courteney's son is great, too. And for some reason, Josh Hopkins is looking like 500 times hotter than he ever has. Even in footy pajamas.

Top Chef (9/23)
I can't deal with Penn and Teller. I certainly can't deal with Toby Young. Thank God for Michelle Bernstein (and Padma's chic blazer) on that panel. As for the deconstructed dishes, Jennifer's lasagna looked absolutely delectable. Meanwhile, if this entire group could just retire the purees for the duration that would be so swell. It seems like such a lazy way to present an ingredient. Yes, I'm looking at my beloved Ash when I say that. "Pea puree"? Girl, please.

So You Think You Can Dance (9/23)
My eternal push/pull with Tyce Diorio continues. He's completely obnoxious on the judging panel, but ... I can't lie and say there aren't moments I don't enjoy that obnoxiousness. When he just started yelling "Ew! Ew! Ew!" at that one guy, I kind of smiled. Anyway, more good hip-hoppers this week, plus that creepy too-sexy guy, who I kind of liked. Oh, shut up, it wasn't a proud night for me all around.

Melrose Place (9/22)
Okay, it's totally awful that they're setting up Ashlee goddamn Simpson to be the Kimberly Shaw of this crew. But I continue to happpily bop along with this show, partly because it does things like has Taryn Manning play herself (via her all-too-real band, Boomkat). Also, I don't know where they get the balls trying to play off a JANE MANCINI reveal as this bad-ass development. And yet? Kind of got psyched.

Gossip Girl (9/21)
Dan goddamn Humphrey. Every time I think he can't get more loathsome, he goes and says something like "Greenwich Village intelligentsia" and makes me hate him anew. So glad you found another neighborhood in Manhattan to feel inferior/passive-aggressively superior toward, Dan. He totally deserves whatever hell Georgina's gonna rain down on him. On the other hand, I'm kind of loving how powerless Blair is at NYU. Now adapt, Blair! Adapt!


patty m. said...

With Glee, I've been willing to suspend my problems with the uneven tone for the reliably lovely moments in each episode. Last night's episode was such a payoff -- God, I love Kurt. He had so many great, shining, victorious moments that I spent the last quarter of the show in tears. Finn's great, too, and the scene where he broke down was fantastic.

Mike said...

"In particular, the gay couple wasn't quite as shrill as I'd thought."

Maybe I need to give the pilot four months and then come back to it. I found the gay couple too over the top. I feel that, especially on network television, you can't have two guys like "The Office"'s Oscar as a couple or else too many viewers will just think they're brothers who do too much together.

The whole thing felt like a weird amalgam of stereotypes: The Fiery Latina, the Precocious Child, The Slutty Teen (played by Keebler elf? Because that young actress was tiny, the Curmudgeonly Old Guy, the Campy Gays.

And that dad? The "cool dad"? Just feels like a collection of outtakes from every Christopher Guest movie strained through a Michael Scott-shaped colander.

(Because I'm trying this thing where I find at least one good thing in all things I hate: The bit where cool dad had to shoot his kid with a b.b. gun was pretty awesome.)