Friday, 27 May 2011

TV Week in Review: “23rd - 25th May”

It’s a scant week, only five shows too review and three of them season finales. In case you haven’t already heard the awful news United States Tara of Tara has been cancelled. I can’t say it spoiled my week, but it’s really awful that that great cast is out of work – and the show is so innovative too. What a shame. On with the reviews...
             
United States of Tara: “Bryce Will Play”
Halfway through this season this show moved from offbeat comedy to offbeat drama and now I’m torn between what genre I think it fits into. Regardless of genre, it’s still a great show. Bryce is more disturbing that he seemed last week moving on to killing the some of the other alters. Shoshanna is my favourite of Tara’s alters, so it’ll be sad if she’s really gone. Watching Tara struggle with Dr. Hatteras was an excellent arc and the closing with Bryce was brilliant. Kudos to DeWitt in that scene, too. She didn’t have a great number of scenes this week, but she had three great scenes all of which she sold. Once again, Marshall is annoying me. I don’t get how he didn’t see the fact that the movie would hurt his father’s feeling. Corbett, too, is doing some fine work this season. For me, he’s finally falling into “Leading” status.
[A-]

Nurse Jackie: “Have You Met Ms. Jones?”
It’s weird, I feel no great interest in Jackie as a character but I love those shows. I keep wanting Eve Best to get more screen time, she’s especially on point with her short scenes this episode – especially loved her drinking her bubbly by her lonesome. Jackie’s getting desperate, but the thing with her is that I’m never sure if she’s sincere or not. Kelly might be on to her secret, which is surely going to be interesting. Zoey’s arc with her boyfriend was very cutesy, but Merrit is so much fun to watch. Then, there’s Coop and his new facebook friend and future wife which is just the sort of nonsense that Facinelli can sell. It seems like that patient may be interested in him, which could be interesting. Anything for more Coop (and those little digressions with him and Thor which are always hilarious).
[B+/A-]

Glee: “New York”
I could probably pontificate ad nauseum on the topic of Glee, the season generally, the finale specifically and a number of other things. I’ll probably get to some generally ruminations before the Emmy nominations are announced, but for now – on the finale. It’s a generally tepid closing and I broke my own rule and read three reviews of which, all of which were essentially pans. The logic of the New Directions and their original song machinations is ridiculous and all but assures their lack of success at the competition (although, I can’t praise Vocal Adrenaline. Obviously Jesse’s Adrenaline > Sunshine’s Adrenaline. They’ve been planning on this for so long, it seems like a lopsided conclusion to the journey to nationals. It had its moments, though. Sure, Quinn’s “plan” for destruction was especially disappointing but it was nice seeing the original Cheerios back together, sort of. I always find Colfer least taxing when he’s opposite Michele and their scenes were lovely. The Finchel drama was awfully trite, even though the boys’ serenading them was great (only because of Salling and his accordion). Rivera kind of stole the show with her Lima Heights tirade and it’s generally enjoyable, but still sort of blah. Eh, hopefully they use the summer to regroup.
[B]

Modern Family: “The One That Got Away”
The episode is generally solid, but I don’t know if it’s the excess love I’ve gotten for Cougar Town but I’ve gotten a bit immune to the antics of the Dunphy/Pritchett clan. Sure, things like Claire and Mitchell bonding was excellent or seeing Manny and Cameron share those sweet pseudo-father/son moments was a nice change. And of course, Phil talking about his cheerleading past is always appreciated. It’s solid, I say, but it’s not feeling like must-see episode. Definitely enjoyable, and considering that the season was fine it doesn’t do it any harm. I felt entertained, but not especially so.
[B/B+]

Cougar Town:“Something Good Coming”
What could be better than a one-hour Cougar Town? This felt like such a brilliant throwback to those 90s sitcoms where the zany group would relocate to some vacation place and go crazy and it was the good sort of crazy. Everything was on point, from the unholy trinity of Andy/Ellie/Bobby to Jules and Grayson’s baby issues to Laurie stealing the episode with her vacation boyfriend and getting Travis to come back home it was all just excellent. Then, there were those great side gags like that guy making all those songs sound depressing (“Love Shack” as a soulful ballad was brilliant) and Ellie’s toothbrush rantings or the candle holder functioning as a sort of wineglass. It was just a fine closing to a great season. I hate that it won’t be coming back until the middle of the next season. I really hope it’s not suggesting an imminent cancellation.
[A-]
            
Standout Performances
Toni Collette in United States of Tara A-
Busy Philipps in Cougar Town A-
Christa Miller in Cougar Town A-
Ty Burrell in Modern Family B+
Courtney Cox in Cougar Town B+
Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie B+
            
Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Modern Family B+
Naya Rivera in Glee B+
Peter Facinelli in Nurse Jackie B+
Lea Michele in Glee B+
Rosemarie DeWitt in United States of Tara B+
John Corbett in United States of Tara B+
Eve Best in Nurse Jackie B+
          
Next week my two showtime shows are off until the week after and most of the network shows are on hiatus. Any new shows I should pick up? Any shows that I watched, but didn't review this season you'd like me to write about? (The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, The Closer, True Blood, Mad Men among others) I just recently decided to watch last year’s recent Entourage season 7 (their last will be this summer) and I have to say, I still think it’s a great show.
           
What did you watch this week?

2 comments:

Robert said...

I'm so sad that US of Tara has been cancelled. Bryce is disturbing and Toni and Rosemarie were killer in that dinner scene. I love where the show is going but i'll miss Shoshanna as well!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Doesn't it seem like the show's turned into a drama, though? Albeit a brilliant one? (Only Larson seems to be doing comedic work.) I'm going to miss DeWitt on TV.