Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Killing: "I'll Let You Know When I Get There"

Season 1, Episode 10
Counting down the episodes until the finale

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Schedule Updated

As the traditional TV season ended last night, it is now time to shake things up here at the blog with a whole new schedule for the summer, found here. Since we still have a few more weeks until most shows premiere, you still have time to vote for any other shows you want covered this summer; just leave a comment below.

Cougar Town: "Something Good Coming"

Season 2, Episodes 21 & 22
How to use a special locale effectively

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Modern Family: "The One That Got Away"

Season 2, Episode 24
A finale to match the rest of the season

The Failed Pilot Project Case File #1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“It sucks on ass.”
-Joss Whedon, on the original pilot

Between the original pitch to the networks and the time that they air on TV, pilots almost always undergo some sort of change. Sometimes the changes are larger – like those pilots that will be covered here – but often times they’re much smaller, like recasting a role, or re-filming a few scenes in order to change the tone slightly. Not all pilots get changed, mind you – especially at the cable level – but it happens enough that it should be considered a general rule of thumb. Knowing what changes happen between the original and aired versions of a pilot is something of interest to many TV critics, as it plays into this discussion of the art vs. business dialectic within the television industry. But what are we to make of a pilot that’s not meant to air, that is only meant to sell the series to the network, with the implication that the first episode aired will vary greatly from what’s in the pilot? Enter the unaired pilot for Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Glee: "New York"

Season 2, Episode 22
Those New York lights are quite distracting

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Chicago Code: "Mike Royko's Revenge"

Season 1, Episode 13
A convoluted finale wrecks the show’s reputation

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Killing: "Undertow"

Season 1, Episode 9
As most of the story falls apart, a few dysfunctional elements actually start to work

SNL: "Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga"

Season 36, Episode 22
A fine example of a regular episode, a so-so season finale

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doctor Who: "The Rebel Flesh"

Season 6, Episode 5
The first half of a two parter is better with ideas than story

Friday, May 20, 2011

Parks and Rec: "The Bubble"/"Lil' Sebastian"

Season 3, Episodes 15 & 16
A strong outing for Ben and Leslie; everything else plays second banana.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Office: "Search Committee"

Season 7, Episodes 25 & 26
A new set of potential bosses, the same old problems

Cougar Town: "Free Fallin'"

Season 2, Episode 20
A comedic look at moral ambiguity

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Modern Family: "See You Next Fall"

Season 2, Episode 23
Do the ends justify the means?

The Failed Pilot Project: An Introduction

The pilot is the single most important step in any television show's lifespan. Though it is rarely the best episode the show will offer up, it is the show's one true chance to claim, loudly and boldly, “here I am, this is what I can do.” (Yes, sometimes shows ended up changing dramatically from their pilots *cough* Cougar Town *cough*, but rarely do shows get a bigger audience after the initial airing.) It is the first chance to win over an audience – and the only chance to win over the executive boardroom. But what happens when a pilot doesn't succeed? What is the pilot is reworked, or is scrapped for a new introductory episode, or -worst of all – just not picked up? Enter The Failed Pilot Project, Pixelated Vision's long-term look at the rarely seen relics of TV.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Glee: "Funeral"

Season 2, Episode 21
A 50/50 episode tries to recapture the season one magic

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Chicago Code: "Greylord & Gambat"

Season 1, Episode 12
An exciting penultimate episode

How I Met Your Mother: "Challenge Accepted"

Season 6, Episode 24
A season finale that decides to fuck with us

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Killing: "Stonewalled"

Season 1, Episode 8
A plot aberration frustrates, while character moments abound

SNL: "Ed Helms/Paul Simon"

Season 36, Episode 21
Another host wasted, and in an even less funny episode to boot

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Wife"

Season 1, Episode 4
Wringing pathos out of an inanimate object

Friday, May 13, 2011

Park and Rec: "The Fight"/"Road Trip"

Season 3, Episode 13 & 14
Two episodes, two relationship studies

The Office: "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager"

Season 7, Episode 24
The first true post-Carrell episode

Community: "For A Few Paintballs More"

Season 2, Episode 24
The Trouble with Star Wars

Cougar Town: "Damaged by Love"

Season 2, Episode 19
One Final Stab at Proving the Show’s Quality

Modern Family: "Good Cop, Bad Dog"

Season 2, Episode 22
Clich├ęs, Archetypes, and Characterization

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Glee: "Prom Queen"

Season 2, Episode 20
Glee embraces serialization

How I Met Your Mother: "Landmarks"

Season 6, Episode 23
A frustrating end to a frustrating character

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Chicago Code: "Black Sox"

Season 1, Episode 11
The smartest standalone case yet

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Killing: "Vengeance"

Season 1, Episode 7
Piggybacking off of last week’s closing minutes, the show starts to lose itself

SNL: "Tina Fey/ Ellie Goulding"

Season 36, Episode 20
The show squanders the return of an alum 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doctor Who: "The Curse of the Black Spot"

Season 6, Episode 3
The first standalone episode of the season brings about a few problems

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fringe: "The Day We Died"

Season 3, Episode 22

TV Newsline: No Carrell = No 'Office' ?

It what is most assuredly a ominous sign for the show, ratings for last night's episode of The Office were down 17% from Steve Carrell's departure last week. Maybe it was because last week's episode more than likely got a boost in numbers from viewers tuning in to say goodbye to a man they hadn't watched in a few seasons, or maybe it was because last night's episode sucked. (I like to pretend it's the latter). Now, this could all level out by the finale, which, lest you forget, is packed with way too many guest stars, or maybe even by next week, now that Ferrell's gone. (Additional ammo to this theory: Last night's number were still up from those of the episode two weeks ago.) But let's not forget that The Office is still NBC's highest-rated comedy, so even if the numbers do eventually get low enough to warrant cancellation, it's going to be a slow, tedious road to get there.

[Via The AV Club and HitFix]

Parks and Rec: "Eagleton"

Season 3, Episode 12
A queasy comparison of class differences

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Office: "The Inner Circle"

Season 7, Episode 23
I sure hope that door hits Ferrell’s ass on his way out

Community: "A Fistful of Paintballs"

Season 2, Episode 23

Cougar Town: "Lonesome Sundown"

Season 2, Episode 18
Yet another example of why more people need to give this show a chance

Finalizing the Summer Review Schedule

Below is a list of the shows I plan on reviewing this summer, complete with channels and start dates. As you may notice, the schedule is a bit light, and I could use your help in determining what other shows I could cover for the blog over the summer. This is a rare chance for you to help determine what goes into the blog rotation.

Modern Family: "Mother's Day"

Season 2, Episode 21
Character-based moments elevate the episode above its gimmicky premise

Justified: "Bloody Harlan"

Season 2, Episode 13
A fantastic end to a fantastic season

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Glee: "Rumours"

Season 2, Episode 19
On the risk of over-indulging in themes

The Chicago Code: "Bathhouse & Hinky Dink"

Season 1, Episode 10
Finding a way towards a cohesive whole

How I Met Your Mother: "The Perfect Cocktail"

Season 6, Episode 22
The perils of a serialized comedy series

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Killing: "What You Have Left"

Season 1, Episode 6
By elevating itself above mere plot points, the show manages to become gripping