Monday, April 18, 2011

The Week in TV

RuPaul's Drag Race
Leave it to "Drag Race" to perfect even the reality-show clip show. I've very much enjoyed this season (she won't win, but I'll be cheering for Manila until she goes down in a hail of Imelda Marcos shoes), but I can't tell you how delightful it was to see Jujubee and Raven (and, okay, Tyra) join Ru to talk about the season's best moments. And some of those judge outtakes were giddily wonderful.

Cougar Town
Yes, it's back! The special Monday night episode was such a fantastic return, and a reminder that -- along with Parks and Recreation -- Cougar Town is the best comedy on TV when it comes to flat-out laughs combined with honestly earned emotional payoffs. Christa Miller was so brilliant this week -- she's come a long way from the series premiere.

Game of Thrones
We'll be covering Game of Thrones on the upcoming Extra Hot Great, so I'm going to just briefly say: it was fine. I was frankly expecting (dreading?) that I would be totally sucked in and forced to keep coming back for more, but ... none of the characters really gave me a whole lot to latch onto. Also: doesn't it seem like every show/book/movie like this has to include some incest? That development was pretty predictable.

30 Rock
The Jenna plot was kind of a loser, and the Pete plot was one good joke stretched out over 30 minutes, but Liz and Kenneth searching for Tracy was not only the best use of Kenneth in two seasons but also paid off with a scene that hammered home just how much fun it must be to write dialogue for Tracy Jordan. I'll be laughing at that Temple Grandin hug-machine joke for a long time.

Parks and Recreation
I've had a really weird week, so the emotional state I was in on Friday probably played a big part in my decidedly emotional reaction to this episode, but even so: this was kind of a fantastic episode, right? Beyond the fact that I love April and Andy (who wouldn't?), the episode was packed with great recurring characters (Jean Ralphio! Plus I was honestly touched to see April's gay ex-boyfriends show up for her big day), had some truly sweet moments (April/Ron dancing and April/Leslie especially), and the B-plot of Donna helping Ann navigate the singles world was very solid. There is no show that beats Parks and Rec when it comes to pairing comedy and characters who you honestly care about.

The Real World
I realize that I'm one of, like, six people still watching this show. But I feel obligated to mention how much this season especially makes me feel creeped out. Which I guess should be no surprise considering they apparently set up casting calls at parole hearings and gay-for-pay porn sets. I'm not sure this show has ever gotten trashier than Adam, the straight-outta-juvie wall-punching sociopath, and Nany, the enabling, defiant doormat. And this show has featured TONYA.

I don't have enough to say about last Friday's "Fringe" to fill up a proper blog post, but I do want to talk about it a bit. I have really enjoyed the "Bellivia" arc, but once this episode went animated, I totally lost interest. I like that the show is confident enough to experiment like this, but there's an investment I have in the real characters on the show that gets lost in translation when everything goes A Scanner Darkly.

Friday Night Lights
Oh, the final season. I'm not sure I can do this, but I guess there's no choice. I just went and bought the whole final season on DVD, but I'm going to try to ration myself to one episode a week and see how long that lasts. (I'm not giving myself very long.) So Landry saying goodbye to Grandma Saracen was the sweet/saddest thing I have ever seen, Billy Riggins on Coach's staff is pretty perfect, and most important of all: Hellooooo, secretly soulful new East Dillon wide receiver Hastings? Yes, this will do:


Melissa said...

Grey Damon is serving up some Paul Wesley realness in that photo.

Moasey said...

I caught the last half of Parks & Rec this past week (the ONLY time I have EVER watched the show) and was so invested with the characters and the wedding, etc. that I cried. Weird, huh? Love me some Cougar Town - so glad it's back. Fringe is still the best show on TV right now - and I really enjoyed the animation bits...but the use of a LSD'd Broyles was some interesting stuff. It was full on comedy with a light tough of sadness. Was he talking about Alt-Broyles in seeing himself dead?

Sarah said...

Christa Miller saying "Go forward", "Go back" made me laugh so hard I scared my dog off the couch.
Also: Imaginary Hat - great running gag or GREATEST running gag?

Jamie said...

I love the White Wine of Using Our Brains on Cougar Town. I especially love that they don't explain it, they just trust us to remember that they use the lower alcohol wine to come up with plans.

Claire said...

I adore Fringe, but I have been SO angry at it like the past 6 episodes. It's like once the writers found out about the Friday timeslot, they went off the rails, and not in that fun "Dollhouse" sort of way. I just "whatever"ed that entire animated sequence, that's how tired I am of these totally pointless plots. Fingers-crossed that the finale will be better.