Saturday, September 25, 2010
The Week in TV
30 Rock (9/23)
Best use of Jenna in a looong time. I love when they play on her sociopathic tendencies like this, especially when she plays off of Pete. I can't say the same for the Tracy/Kenneth subplot, but Liz and Jack were both winners. I like how Liz, while still loser-ish in love, was more of an active participant in her romantic stuntedness. And I do love that Matt Damon. And extended Barefoot Contessa jokes.
My huge anticipation for this show's return kind of made me forget that I was pretty dissatisfied with the last couple episodes of last season. But this was a strong premiere, with the Jeff/Britta/Annie stuff getting handled head-on but with sufficient comedy, and the least horny-grandma use of Betty White all year. On the other hand, can somebody please just give Ken Jeong his own show that I can ignore and get him off of this one?
Cougar Town (9/22)
I'm happy to see more and more people coming around to what I see in this show. The season premiere wasn't the best CT had to offer (every now and then, you can see the show, and Courteney Cox in particular, trying too hard), but the Dan/Laurie storyline was a total winner, Christa Miller continues her run as Most Improved, and the unexpected emotional payoffs are coming more frequently. Also "imaginary opera gloves" was the funniest moment on TV this week.
Yes, last year I said that Glee would suffer a spectacular fall, and while I can't say with any confidence that that's not true (the early backlashers might actually elicit a sympathy wave), I've decided to make my peace with the show and ride it out as long as it lasts. Or I do. Anyway, there are still parts I love (Brittany; Rachel singing "A Chorus Line") and parts I don't (white-boy rapping; Mercedes), but the highs are still outnumbering the lows. I dig the new androgynous football coach (shades of Bio Glass from Popular), and Cheyenne Jackson as the new Vocal Adrenaline coach is never not going to elicit a thumbs-up. Also? Some props to my girls Quinn and Santana for an unexpectedly bracing girlfight. Glee is still a mixed bag, but it looks like it's still my mixed bag.
Raising Hope (9/21)
I almost skipped this one entirely until I heard that it featured this most excellent of Glarkware t-shirts. I'm glad I did, though, because between the Glarkware and the "Is that Bijou Phillips?", there's a sweet and weirdly funny comedy. The My Name Is Earl pedigree shows in all the best ways (for now), and I have a feeling I'm going to be singing Martha Plimpton's praises for a while.
The Event (9/20)
This one got absolutely savaged by the TV-blogging press, which came across to me as a combination of Lost-withdrawal and the general anti-NBC sentiment that pervades their ranks. But it's not like they're wrong on the merits about The Event. It does sacrifice character for a breathless juggling act designed to keep the audience guessing and rabid for answers. I doubt I could make it through a season of just this. But I can't lie -- I'm interested to see where they're going. I guess that makes me a sucker, but I at least want to know why Laura Innes has permanent sore-throat voice. ...And, you know, why the sky opened up and ate an airplane.
Boardwalk Empire (9/19)
I'm busy funnelling all my thoughts on this one into my TWoP recaps. But suffice it to say: I'm definitely onBOARD with BOARDwalk Empire! ... Oh COME ON.
Gossip Girl (9/20)
I'm definitely into Katie Cassidy and whatever she's up to (we're assuming she's on the phone with...Carter Baizen? Or was that Joanna Garcia's big secret last year?). And I actually think the baby brings an interesting dynamic to Dan and Vanessa. But I have to admit, not much else is interesting me. It doesn't help that Jenny Humphrey has been MIA. That girl better come back from Hudson with a MASSIVE social agenda.