Sunday, December 05, 2010

The Week in TV

Community (12/2)
Another indulgent "Community" episode, this one firmly dedicated to not being funny in exchange for a seemingly arbitrary "Troy learns a lesson" plot. Nobody loves Troy more than me -- and Donald Glover and Allison Brie manage to salvage the episode through sheer force of personality -- but nothing about his melancholy realization that Jeff and Britta are no longer his role models felt eared. First of all, Jeff and Britta are Troy's role models?? I know a lot of people were drooling over this for being so "character focused," but this one felt like it took the easy way out and mistook "serious" for "character focused."

30 Rock (12/2)
Probably the best they've used Kenneth since the "Hill Witch" episode, but I'm not sure how much mileage I got out of Jack and Liz airing out their respective childhood traumas. Jenna and her Jenna-impersonating boyfriend have plateaued, and if they were going to bring one of Tracy's sons back, why not the Bobb'e J. Thompson one?

Grey's Anatomy (12/2)
I'm generally happy to be back onboard with the show. It's not appointment viewing or anything, but I feel like it's back on track. And this week was a keeper -- pretty much any week is a keeper when you can get Miranda Bailey drunk and giggling.

Terriers (12/1)
Fantastic finale to a fantastic season, and though I would dearly love for it to be renewed, if this does end up all she wrote on this show, what a fantastic season of TV it's been. Loved that the show refused to let their main characters off the hook for their actions, yet never allowed them to wallow in their less-than-admirable qualities. They also really sold the ragged edges of Ocean Beach as a community worth saving, which drove the engine of a sneakily compelling serial plot about land-acquisition. I think it's just Terriers and Veronica Mars that have managed to make land-grabbing a interesting. The 25th Hour homage at the end was such a wonderful open door for Britt and Hank, and hopefully we'll get to see which way they chose to go.

Sons of Anarchy (11/30)
Mercifully, the season ends, and I can't believe I'm saying that about a show whose second season was as strong as any I've seen. But no show on TV needs a clean slate more than this one. With Ireland and Jimmy O Abel's kidnapping and now Agent Stahl all mercifully behind them, the show can more or less start fresh, re-focus on the club, and get things back to the central conflict in the story: will Jax Teller reform his wayward club from the inside, or won't he? There was nothing offensively over the top in the conclusion of this week's finale

Glee (11/30)
I know everybody shit their pants (in a bad way) over how supposedly bad the Kurt-discovers-private-school episode was a few weeks back, but as far as I'm concerned, the show has been rolling with largely enjoyable episodes ever since that "Rocky Horror" nadir. No, still not enough Quinn, and the "bully kisses Kurt" twist was super groan-inducting, but that Gwyneth episode was killer, and this return trip to sectionals brought some excellent performances (you kill that Winehouse track, Santana!), the first time this season that either Rachel or Puck has been well-utilized, and the slightest indication that the show has some forward momentum. I'm not naïve enough to think that's guaranteed to last, but on my Glee Scale of Expectation, these episodes have more than made the grade.


Jenn said...

I couldn't stand most of last week's "Glee." The tie was such a cop-out, and the Vegas wedding was ridiculous. But I loved the performance of "Dog Days Are Over."

sb said...

Word to everything you have to say about Glee. I hear people complaining about a downward slide, and I'm like, "Have we been watching the same show for the past year?" Because it has always been wildly uneven, wish-fulfillment television (it's a MUSICAL, for god's sake), and I really don't think anything about that has changed.

(Also, "Umbrella" now sounds weird without the "Singin' in the Rain" mash-up parts. So, the music is still on point, at least for me.)

Roommate Mark said...

I think I feel about "Community" the way you feel about "Glee:" I approach each episode with low expectations---just looking for a few laughs, or a twinge of real emotion---and when they are met, I'm happy.

To that end, I thought this episode, when entirely divorced from every other episode in the series, was fairly successful. I just had to ignore the fact that the characters were behaving differently than they ever have before. (Something I can't bring myself to do on "Glee," though each show is really inconsistent with this sort of thing.)

But on the other hand... come on, "Community." Yes, the "very special episode" worked in isolated space, but at the end of the day, it isn't an isolated incident. It's supposed to be part of an ongoing story. Sigh.

Also... for me, this was one of the weakest "30 Rock" episodes of all time. The jokes felt forced and pointless. Double sigh.