Friday, 11 March 2011

TV Week in Review: 6th – 8th February

It’s another week of slim pickings –in the number of shows up for perusal. On with it...

Desperate Housewives: “Searching”
It’s an odd episode, this one. For the most part it’s nice to see that – for the part – a consistent movement forward in plot and character development has returned to the show. So, even if the episode is not a seismic one it’s still generally pleasing one. The issues of Gabby and Lee and Renee and Lynnette are filler arcs, but they work. I do wonder how Renee as a mother would have turned out, that could have been an interesting arc and true the realisation that children don’t have to be perfect has some clichéd characteristics, but they both work. Susan and her bucket-list of sorts don’t exactly thrill me and that final confession with her and Mike is all too trite but it is nice when Hatcher gets to do something other than be the damsel in distress. Of course it’s Bree’s transplant that becomes the major arc especially when it becomes tied to Beth. I’m still trying to fathom the logic behind that decision, but regardless of actual logic Emily Bergl offers up a fine guest performance. I wonder what will happen next...

Brothers & Sisters: “Home is Where the Fort Is”
It’s a strange thing: this episode retains none of the quickness of the previous instalment – and it’s definitely not one of the show’s best moments. But, Brothers & Sisters manages to be that show which, even on its lesser moments, retains a definite humour and personal nature where there’s always something to enjoy about it. On one end I’m glad that David Anable is actually getting some work to do, it’s a vaguely interesting arc I admit – although I’d like an arc where Justin isn’t playing victim to some neuroses of his. I’m not at all interested in the fatherly bonding that’s going on with Scott and Kevin or Marini's character who's name I'm too lazy to remember; in the case of the former I’m worried it could soon get trite, and in the case of the latter Giles Marini continues to be such an awful actor I cringe through his entire scenes. What’s even weirder is that the main arc of Kitty’s return – at least – isn’t that striking. Yet, the episode for its issues retains that Walker charm that makes it neither great nor terrible, just fine. And, well, that’s fine.

Big Love: “The Noose Tightens”
Now this is more like it. This is the sort of episode that makes me think of how much I’ll miss it when it’s done, but more importantly it’s the sort of episode worthy of a final season. More and more complications arise to beset the Henricksons – the first of which is a potential indictment of Barb for procurement. This isn’t Tripplehorn’s episode but her well played opening scenes with Paxton set the tone. Margene being an impetus for Cara Lynn ending her relationship with her teacher was a beautiful decision and Goodwin delivers brilliantly. Watching the rapport between the three families is one of the best things about a show like Big Love. Of course it was all a lead-up to two things – Marge’s issues and Nicolette’s. I don’t blame Barb or Bill for not being cognisant of Marge’s age, but it’s interesting watching her feel guilty. Then, of course, there is Alby and his diabolical plan. Nickie already had her issues with Cara Lynn, so that final ten minutes of intense drama was brilliant. What a way to go out, now I really can’t wait for those final two episodes.

Glee: “Sexy”
I’m confused, and I’m actually uncertain as to why. I feel disingenuous saying that this episode of Glee lands with a thud – and yet there’s a consistent inconsistency – both in its actual plot and its placement in the season two arcs that makes it a troubling one for me. It’s weird, in the last episode they tackled alcohol and this time they tackled sex and it made me realise that the last episode was sort of a fluke in a way. Save for Madonna themed episodes (whether themed by artistes as in “Brittany/Brittney” or message “Bad Reputation”) don’t work as well in the world of Glee and even though there’s a mass of plot development, I’m finding it hard to find one I appreciate – it’s a case of too much, too soon. Case in point: Brittney and Santana. It’s nice that Naya Rivera actually gets an opportunity to show her range – she is a good actress, but the resurgence of the Brittney/Santana saga seems ill-timed. So does the return of Emma/Will. Not that I’m against either union, but in the first case it’s a case of indecisiveness on the writers’ part (who never seem sure of their characters) and in the case of the latter, even though Jayma Mays is game throughout the entire episode it feels a bit too rushed. Add that to uncomfortably awkward conversation with Burt and Kurt and a vague weirdness with the Puck/Lauren subplot the episode is left to Will and Holly. Who actually, sort of nail it. The thing is, the performances were all great, but....

Standout Writing
Big Love A-
Standout Performances
Chloe Sevigny in Big Love A-
Ginnifer Goodwin in Big Love B+/A-
Jeanne Tripplehorn in Big Love B/B+
Jayma Mays in Glee B/B+
Vanessa Williams in Desperate Housewives B/B+

I'm interested in what you saw this week, did you like sexy Glee, biting your nails about the cliffhangers on Big Love?


Jess said...

I love that the title of the Brothers & SIsters episode is "home is where the fort is". As a crazy fort builder as a kid, that totally made sense to me.

Simon said...

Glee is so goddamn erratic, I can't be bothered to pay more than half attention anymore. And is Carl never coming back?

M. Hufstader said...

I didn't think about it until you mentioned it, but you kinda nailed it on the head. I loved the whole Britt/Santana bit, just because I like the idea of Santana being a lesbo and we don't have enough badass dykes on TV. Nonetheless, you're completely right--the timing was awkward and just out of place. Here's to hoping the writers actually figure out their characters!

Jose said...

I resent you didn't mention Gwynnie.
I tried to watch this ep with patience but ended up rolling my eyes so much that I just fast forwarded through every scene that didn't feature Gwyn.
Do I get points for trying?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

jose this time i will give you points for trying. definitely one of their less stellar episodes. sigh.