Sunday, January 30, 2011

The 2011 SAG Awards, Television Division

The SAG Awards have yet to really differentiate themselves from the other big awards. Yes, it is supposed to be 'actors choosing actors,' which at least has the air of authenticity. And yet, they have yet to really earn the authenticity they so espouse. Regardless, the ceremony is short, and I had the time, so my thoughts on the winner in the television categories, after the jump... 

SNL: "Jesse Eisenberg/Nicki Minaj"

Much like Gwyneth Paltrow two weeks ago, I was worried how Jesse Eisenberg would do as host tonight on SNL. While Eisenberg can be funny, he is often reactively funny, and SNL tends to favor actors who are actively funny. Thoughts on his performance, and the episode in general, after the jump...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fringe: "Reciprocity"

A review of tonight's episode coming up after the jump....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Parks and Rec: "The Flu"

A review of second of the pre-maternity leave episodes, coming up after the jump... 

Archer: "Swiss Miss"

A review of the Archer season premiere, coming up after the jump.... 

Community: "Celebrity Pharmacology 212"

A review of tonight's Community coming up after the jump....

Cougar Town: "Lost Children"

As last night was kind of slow for television. Cougar Town got a chance to play catch up after being preempted by the Tuscon Memorial two weeks ago. A review of that episode coming up after the jump.... 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lights Out: "The Shot"

A review of tonight's Lights Out coming up after the jump...

Chuck: "Chuck Vs. The Gobbler"

A review of last night's Chuck, coming up after the jump... 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Castle: "Knockdown"

A review of this week's supposedly pivotal episode of Castle, coming up after the jump....

The Cape: "Scales"

My analysis of the devolution of the superhero genre show continues with my review of The Cape's fourth episode, after the jump...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fringe: "The Firefly"

Tonight Fringe moved to Fridays, and it kicks off the second half of the season with the ominously named “The Firefly.” A review of that episode coming up after the jump...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parks & Rec: "Go Big or Go Home"

And so it begins again. Parks & Rec finally returns, with first episode of third to say. And all I have to say is, Holy Shit. I'll explain way, after the jump.... 

Community: "Asian Population Studies"

Hey, everybody, Community's back! Man, I missed this show. A review coming up after the jump... 

Cougar Town: "A Thing About You" - How funny do you like your comedies?

A review of last night's Cougar Town coming up after the jump... 

Modern Family: "Caught In The Act" - Jokes vs. Structure

A review of last night's episode, “Caught in the Act” coming up after the jump... 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parenthood: "Opening Night" - Toying with darkness

Parenthood has undertaken a plot line that has become polarizing among critics – that of Haddie and Alex's relationship. My thoughts on this, and we as the episodes other plots, after the jump.... 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lights Out: "Cakewalk"

A review of Lights Out's second episode coming up after the jump...

Chuck: "Chuck Versus The Balcony"

Chuck, for a least the past few months, if not longer, has had problems in balancing the show's emotional and spy elements, usually at the loss of the latter. So it was a welcome surprise that tonight's episode was able to strike that balance. More thoughts on tonight's episode after the jump....

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Cape: "Kozmo"

I continue an exercise in television-based masochism started last week, with a review of the third episode of The Cape, after the jump... 

How I Met Your Mother: "Last Words"

After last episode's gut-punch of a closing scene, HIMYM set itself up with a challenge. The following episode must somehow provide the laughs while respecting the emotional turmoil that Marshall must be going through. Tonight's episode will ultimately succeed or fail based on its ability to step up to this challenge. Thoughts on tonight's episode after the jump...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts on the 2011 Golden Globes, Television Division

A few thoughts on the television portion of the Golden Globes after the jump.... 

SNL: "Gwyneth Paltrow/Cee-Lo Green"

Upon hearing that Gwyneth Paltrow was to host SNL, I was a bit worried. Though Paltrow was funny on Glee (and btw, she'll be returning to that show later this season), when it comes to funny, she mostly does romantic comedies. And if Jim Carrey failed so spectacularly last week, how good could Paltrow be? (Click through to find out.) 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Human Target: "Imbroglio"/"Cool Hand Guerrero"

Tonight's Human Target presented us with a hour that was a return to form, and perhaps the worst hour that they have ever produced. And not necessarily in that order.

Programming Note: New Human Target Tonight

Due to the memorial for the victims of the Tuscon shooting being broadcast Wednesday night, much of the regularly scheduled programming was bumped.  Fox, it all its infinite wisdom, has decided to air tonight the two hours of Human Target meant for this past Wednesday. (Yeah, this will go well)

Anyways, I'll be reviewing both hours, so if you're at home tonight and bored, why don't you watch as well (starting at 8/7c) and then come here after for my thoughts.

Just a suggestion.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Modern Family: "Our Children, Ourselves" - A problem with predictability

Modern Family has rightly been hailed as a great series, one that is both a throwback to “family shows” of yore, yet is able to inject itself with fresh comedy in order to stay hilarious. Last nights episode points to a drawback in this formula, as their was too much over-reliance on the first point , at the sacrifice of the second.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lights Out: "Pilot"

Since Rocky (and its unnecessary sequels) telling original stories about boxing has become vary challenging. Yet despite this limitation, boxing stories are still being told, and some of the very well indeed. This is because that at the heart of boxing stories is the fight, the pure, unadulterated struggle of a singular man against any number of forces. The successful boxing stories are the ones that tap deep into this vein. And in this regard, Lights Out is quite good.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Men Of A Certain Age: "Let The Sunshine In"

What benchmarks of age do we as human beings pay attention to? Which ones really grab our attention, slap us in the face, and make us come to terms with the fact that we are getting older? MoCA has been dealing with the problems of getting older for its entire run (that's kind of the point of the series) but no singular event has been a traumatic for out guys as their decision to get colonoscopies. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Cape: "Pilot"/"Tarot"

My relationship with The Cape has been ever-changing, starting long before the premiere episode ever aired. Way back last summer, upon hearing that their were going to be TWO new superhero shows premiering this season (the other being No Ordinary Family), I felt that combined twinge of worry and anger that I get whenever two or more shows with a similar premise (or even within a similar niche genre) debut close to one another. Yet “The Cape,” as a title, had the cool sounding effect that accompanies short titles that seem to stand for so much more, so I was more or less intrigued. And then NOF, which had a cast I liked and a workable premise, just began to suck. Having enjoyed their being a superhero show in my weekly TV schedule, I began to pin higher hopes on The Cape, so I could at least enjoy the superhero show I was watching. But then the early reviews came in, review from critics I liked, who opinions I respected. The Cape, they said, was pretty bad. My hopes (and heart) sank.

SNL: "Jim Carrey/The Black Keys"

Quick question: what time did SNL start for you guys? Because it seemed like my local NBC affiliates kept pushing it back for weather/sports. In fact, start times have been erratic ever since I moved to San Marcos. Is this just where I live (thus implying that my stations are using tape delay for SNL) or has this been a problem emanating from 30 Rockefeller Center? 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How I Met Your Mother and The (Crass) Art of Guest Stunts

A few days ago, I ran across the news that Katy Perry would be guest-starring on How I Met Your Mother sometime this spring. At first, all I could do was sigh deeply and shake my head in dismay. Yet it shortly occurred to me that this was nothing new for the show, or for television in general. How I Met Your Mother has gone to this well multiple times, more often with negative rather than positive results, showing us not only the artistic compromise of guest stints, but also the variety of such stunts.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Rules of Product Placement

In this day and age, with the new-fangled Internet and DVRs, television heads are reverting to an old form of revenue – product placement. Despite studies that show that most people watch the commercials of their DVR'ed shows, and those who don't still know what is being advertised – in addition to me personal belief that the average viewer finds product placements annoying, thus neutralizing their intended effect – this seems to be a trend only growing in popularity (at least among television executives. In order to make this whole process go down a lot smoother, I hereby present rules for all instances of product placement.

Spring 2011 Review Schedule

As the television season kicks off its second leg, I would like to take the time to lay out just which shows I plan to recap over the next few months. Given how my school course load has yet to be determined, the following schedule may undergo some changes in the next few weeks. (Indeed, given how many of these posts are delayed due to my class schedule, some reviews may appear earlier than expected if a particular class happened to let out early/be canceled.) However, for now, here is the plan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The 2010 TV Year in Review

[The following was originally posted to my Facebook page, but has been copied over here for you to read. Enjoy!]