Monday, October 05, 2009

This (Last) Week in TV

For the commenting...

Community (10/1)
A clear step up for a show that I was already liking quite a bit. Great, head-on riff on "Dead Poets Society" featuring the funniest John Michael Higgins I've seen in a while. Watching him order a birthday cake at the coffee cart was a highlight. But then also the subplot with the Asperger's kid was affecting without begging for it. Really great.

The Office (10/1)
I guess you have to do the "Jim learns a thing or two about walking in Michael's shoes" episode now that they're co-managers, but while the episode was funny, you could easily plot the whole thing out from minute one.

Survivor (10/1)
So I'm sure we're going to stop hearing about how much Russell is running the whole game, now that his boy Ben got voted off, right? Yeah, I'm not optimistic either. The good news is I've finally found someone to root for (Jaison). The bad news is it looks like next week he completely falls apart.

Parks and Recreation (10/1)
They got Leslie right into her wheelhouse this week: Painfully earnest pro-fem crusader. Tom's antics on the pageant judging panel recalled none so much as Homer Simpson's "football in the groin" film-festival judging. Also? April continues to break out as a character ("I like people, places, and thiiiiings!").

Modern Family (9/30)
Like this week's The Office, there was a lot about this that felt predictable, but while I knew the song, I was impressed with how they played the notes. In particular, Mitchell and Cameron's storyline, which once again evoked The Birdcage but played kinder and funnier.

Cougar Town (9/30)
If I'm gonna be the one guy to carry the banner for this show, that's fine. I love it. This wasn't as funny as the first episode -- though Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps, and Dan Byrd continue to crock me up -- but it managed to clarify what the show is supposed to be about. Courteney's trying to live her 20s, despite the fact that it looks dumb to people. I can get behind that. Also? Josh Hopkins. It deserves to be said again. Lovely.

Glee (9/30)
I was worried last week's leap in quality wouldn't last, but I was happily wrong. Thanks in no small part to a powerhouse performance from Kristin Chenoweth, we got perhaps an even clearer picture of what show this wants to be. Glee Club now isn't the point of Glee, it's the setting. It's where the characters can all get churned up and mashed into each other and belt out some ridiculously fun songs. Seriously, though, about Cheno -- if she's not nominated for a guest actor Emmy last year, something's wrong. I was halfway ready to hand her a Nobel Prize.

Melrose Place (9/29)
Man, Jane Mancini couldn't even maintain a badass posture for even one episode before she was getting bested by children. Nice try, Jane. I do appreciate that Lauren's storyline made the case for the necessity of pimps. All in all, this show has definitely earned its place as the show I can watch four days later, while I do other things, and can totally enjoy and feel wierd about how appealing I find Ella and David and their lips.

Gossip Girl (9/28)
Finally, an interesting Blair/Chuck episode -- they're always at their best playing off of Serena, and they were in fine comic form tonight. Serena's final-act smackdown on Georgina would have come across better had S not been decked out in her finest hooker wear. Also, my continuing affection for Carter Baizen and Vanessa is puzzling and wonderful. And life is always better when Georgina is armed enough to level the entire city. On the other hand: There's a Nate on this show?

The Amazing Race (9/27)
I know it's a good season premiere when I come out of it with teams I'm already STRONGLY rooting for (Gary and Matt! Brian and Ericka!), racers I'm crushing on (friend-of-Asperger's Justin and cuter-gay-brother Sam are no deaf Luke from last season, but they'll do), and racers I can't get rid of fast enough (angry lawyer, poker brats). Two teams eliminated, neither of whom I liked; a delightful duck-based challenge; and wasabi bombs -- what's not to love? Oh right: the feeling I'm getting that Zev will continue to be packaged as a cross between Jesus, Superman, and Raymond Babbitt.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad somebody finds Cougar Town FUNNY besides me!!! It's one of the only shows where I find myself laughing out loud (and I really did not like C.Cox-Arquette in all)!
Yeah Cougar Town!!!

Joe Reid said...

It should be noted that one of the only people, besides me, to love Cougar Town is posting anonymously. Come out, Cougar Fans! I won't let them hurt you!

JA said...

Oh dear am I gonna have to watch this Cougar thing? The title is such a turn-off. As is CC's botoxed to hell and back face. But I love her. And Busy! Ahh shit.

Also, let us band together and vote Chenoweth President in 2012. K? K.

Joe Reid said...

Oh, I'm taking no responsibility where you and TV are concerned. And yes, you and everybody else in the universe besides me hates the title.

patty m. said...

Cougar Town fan #3 here! The actor who plays the son (previously seen in - God, is this embarrassing - A Cinderella Story) is really genuine, offsetting some of the broader performances. Not that broad is bad. The show just strikes a surprisingly fresh comedic balance.

DuchessKitty said...

I'm proudly "out" as a Cougar Town fan. Who knew I could like Courtney C-A so much? And the kid that plays her son (who was also on that "Aliens in America" show) is brilliant, as is Ian Gomez.
I'm still not loving Community as much as I want to. My boyfriend Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, created by Dan Harmon? That's a trifecta of good but I don't know what it is, I can't get into it.

Ted said...

I know I'm only the 8 billionth Glee fan, but I'm definitely happy to know that there's the "gleek" level of amusement/obsession of the show, and the after this episode, the second layer appeared. There's a heated debate going on via my Facebook about whether Lea Michele or Kristin Chenowith won the "Maybe This Time"-off (, which, obviously Chenowith did; just sayin').

jessica said...

I like Cougar Town, but I forgot to watch the second episode. Can I get it online?

Joe Reid said...

Should be on Hulu.

Oh, and Ted: Chenowith wins that one, and I don't think it's close.

pvt. awesome said...

Yay for Cougar Town! I am surprised at how laugh-out-loud funny it is. I enjoy all of the characters (except for the ex-husband, who is the weak link).

Anonymous said...

Wither the RW/RR Challenge snark?
You can't pass up Shauvon's, "I popped my implant."