February 2009

BSG: Someone to Watch Over Me

If there's one lesson Battlestar Galactica has been trying to teach us from the beginning, it's that cylons are evil. Not complicated, not driven by an alternative moral code. Just plain evil. Maybe that's the big irony of this last season. The humans want to form some kind of attachment. They want to see these human-imitating machines as being sympathetic.

Dollhouse: Stage Fright

Over the past two weeks, Eliza Dushku has been doing the rounds promoting Dollhouse and being preemptively apologetic for the quality of the first half of the season. She keeps saying that the first six episodes aren't really representative of the show and that creator Joss Whedon's distinctive voice doesn't really come through.

House: The Softer Side

The last line in tonight's episode is essentially the key to this entire series. House says to Cuddy, "This is the only 'me' you get." In a show that has been notoriously averse to change, it's always been a question as to whether or not it was due to lazy, non-committal writing. Finally, we get the answer.

Heroes: Cold War

One of the reasons Heroes has always faltered with weak plots is because it often tries to follow several threads in a single episode. It's rare that the entire hour gets devoted to a single story, let alone one with character developing nuance. "Cold War" wasn't a perfect episode by any stretch, but it worked better than a majority of the series. The story picks up exactly where it left off. Parkman, Suresh and Peter drug Noah Bennet and drag him off to do some interrogation.

FOTCC: Love is a Weapon of Choice

After last week's spectacular Michel Gondry directed episode, I suppose it was inevitable that this week would be something of a letdown. Even so, "Love is a Weapon" was a pretty middling episode compared to most of the show. Kristen Wiig of Saturday Night Live guest starred as a woman on a constant search for her lost epileptic dog, Charlie.

TtSCC: Desert Cantos

The Sarah Connor Chronicles has always benefited from unusual narrative progression. When the story is broken up into distinct pieces or taken out of chronological order it seems to move more briskly, without necessarily taking away from the plot density. "Desert Cantos" does just that. The episode runs on the theme of a funeral.

BSG: Deadlock

Last week I was pretty harsh with the scripting of Battlestar Galactica. I'm just not a fan of so much exposition, especially in a show that has only benefited from being artfully oblique. This week the storytelling was a lot more subtle and the drama was well-played in all aspects.

Hulu Hullabaloo

Hot off the wires comes news that Hulu has pulled its content from Boxee and tv.com. What does this sentence mean, and why does it matter? The key players Hulu Hulu is owned by FOX and NBC. Hulu is probably the best known of the three entities involved in this scuffle, thanks mainly to its campaign of network television ads starring Alec Baldwin. Hulu is a website that has contracted with several networks to air legitimate episodes of television shows.

House: Unfaithful

Everybody has a part of their work day they know they don't like but choose to accept as part and parcel to the job. It's my job to watch TV shows and then comment on them, so I've learned to endure the parts of those shows that are unpleasant so I can get to the parts that I actually think merit some discussion. That's how I feel about the Foreman/13 plot thread on House.

Heroes: Building 26

Every Monday night, I say a little prayer before bed. I don't ask the powers that be for more money or some kind of fame. I don't even ask for impossibly lofty bits of altruism like world peace. All I ask for is that Hiro and Ando cease to be a part of Heroes.

FOTC: Unnatural Love

Boy, when the Conchords hit their stride, they really hit their stride. Tonight's episode, "Unnatural Love" is not only the best episode of the season, it may just be the best episode of the entire series. Everything worked. Every scene, every song, every actor. I'm actually kind of upset that I have to write this article now instead of watching the episode over again. Alright.

Terminator TSCC: The Good Wound

Whenever I read about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles all I ever find are worries about some phantom pending cancellation. I can't for the life of me figure out why. It's a well-acted, well-written action show with a built-in audience. Especially on episodes like last night's, it proves by example that it's one of the best shows on TV.

Dollhouse: Ghost

It's time once again to play network TV's favorite game... Let's Give Joss Whedon a Show! As the years have gone by, Whedon has been given increasingly bigger budgets. With Dollhouse he seems to have finally acquired some proper support. It's definitely been well-promoted. Unlike Buffy or Firefly, this show doesn't so much feel like one of the Geek Auteur's babies.

BSG: No Exit

Well folks, it's come down to this. After years of being hopelessly oblique, Battlestar Galactica seems to have dug itself into a hole the only escape from which is a gigantic plot dump. I suppose in a show about God-obsessed robots it's only fitting that the truth comes to light via a deus ex machina.

The Office: Lecture Circuit Part 2

Some plots just shouldn't run for more than a half hour. Tonight, we got two of them. It's been a long time since I've seen an episode of The Office fall so flat. Picking up where last week left off, Michael and Pam are off to Nashua so Michael can get some closure with Holly. Taking the steam right out of what began as a bold adventure, Pam explains that they simply added Nashua to lecture circuit.

Hope has a Dork

Hope has a Warrior Dork.

There's cheesy TV, and there's cheesy, terrible TV that's sort of like watching a bad accident. You don't really want to see it, but at the same time you're strangely powerless to look away. That's exactly what watching Legend of the Seeker is like. The tagline "Hope has a Warrior" is deeply, deeply misleading.