Sunday, October 03, 2010
The Week in TV
I am still not even a bit amused by Ken Jeong, and I sometimes wish the writers wouldn't be so enamored with testing the limits of how much of a dick Jeff can be. That said, every single thing about Troy, Abed, Annie, and the chloroform absolutely killed. To the point that it made up for the episode's weak spots AND the creepy sight of Skinny Drew Carey.
30 Rock (9/30)
I said this on Twitter the other night, but it bears repeating: how did it take us FIVE seasons of this show to get Tracy Jordan into the Cash Cab? This episode got HUGE love across the internet, but I think I preferred last week. Jack Donaghy's video parenting was fantastic, though, particularly when he began to simulate making love to Lutz.
Modern Family (9/29)
Smart way to handle the "Mitchell and Cam haven't kissed on camera" thing, a controversy which I can both recognize for its symbolic value while still being embarrassed that such a schmoopy thing would have to be a Big Deal. The show managed to address this via character-specific story and yet even while putting the "issue" (such as it is) upfront, they still managed to make the kiss itself so understated, a few TV critics actually missed it.
I'm no good at mathematics, but on an infinite timeline, I'd say the chances that any Peter Krause character won't become a detestable asshole approaches zero. I'm not sure if it's the storylines that have Adam constantly like an entitled jerk or the performance, but especially when he plays these Poor Parent of Autistic Kid beats, he blows right past any chance we might have to sympathize with how hard it's been on him because he's acting like the most enormous dick. In better news, I'm not sure whether to credit the kid who plays Max or the directors for coaching him correctly, but however it's happening, that kid is the most interesting thing on the show.
Raising Hope (9/28)
Look, I recognize that Boardwalk Empire is a huge achievement for large-scale storytelling on TV, for production design, for subtle, textured performances (Michael Stuhlbarg is blowing my mind), but in terms of the new show I'm most loving right now, it's Raising Hope. Second straight week that I ended up laughing and feeling a tug of emotion, both completely unanticipated reactions. Usually with new shows like this it's the actors who draw me in, but in this case, while I do adore Martha Plimpton and Garrett Dillahunt (and am increasingly enchanted by the awkward kid in the lead), I've been so impressed by the rhythms and timing, managing to keep the environment manic but the characters grounded. Plus: dead tooth jokes!
I know everybody haaaated the Britney Spears episode, and I won't say it represented the best of what Glee can do, but under my current mantra of "win some, lose some," with Glee, I have to admit that the enjoyment I got out of watching Brittany S. Pierce do her thing (Heather Morris's dancing is NO JOKE) kind of balanced out the more annoying elements (no story whatsoever, Emma's presence; my favorite Britney Spears song going to stupid Artie). I'm certain I enjoyed Brittany/Santana's "Me Against the Music" WAY more than Britney/Madonna's.
Gossip Girl (9/27)
Episodes like this are the reason I stick around with this show. They're really handling Katie Cassidy's character well, setting up a long con storyline (whoever that guy is in jail) while keeping us interested with smaller arcs like Serena and Blair getting the drop on her sorority scheming. Plus Penelope was back! I could take her or leave her before, but ever since Amanda Setton's too-brief run on One Life to Live, she's become one of my favorite people.