Wednesday, 22 June 2011

TV Week in Review: 19th - 20th June

Three season finales - The Killing, Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara, the latter of which is also a series finale. So many people keep talking about Game of Thrones and, who knows, maybe I will catch up with it at some time – but I don’t when.
The Killing: “Orpheus Descending”
It’s a bit difficult to get my thoughts in order as I write about the season finale for the show’s freshman season. It was mere happenstance that led me to Alan Spinewall’s site late last week – he’s not a fan of the show and after watching the season’s closer I couldn’t help but sidle over to see what he thought of it. Unsurprisingly, he loathed it. For me, The Killing continues to be a character study in vignettes as we are privy to only bits and pieces of characters’ lives. Thus, the possibility of Richmond legitimately being the murderer was 50/50. The hunt to prove his guilt was well established, though. Even as I wondered why some of the trails weren’t investigated two weeks ago, the show’s world makes sense of it happening now and everything right down to that tense phone call that Sarah received in the plane worked. And even as they revealed that Holder had tampered with evidence I was still willing to believe that Richmond was the killer nonetheless. It was that cliff-hanger of Holder’s apparent duplicity which left me agitated, not so much the lack of finding Rosie’s murderer. Publicity placement or no, The Killing holds my interest because of more than “who killed Rosie Larsen” – at least I tuned out of who killed her weeks ago. There was something vaguely off, but I’m not sure what. For example, as good as Sexton was it was so random having him in Ahmed's room and talking to his wife, even if the scene was excellently played. It has its moments of strangeness, but I’ve liked the first season (proof).

United States of Tara: “The Good Parts”
I did not shed a tear when the credits finally began rolling for the final episode of United States of Tara, not because the episode wasn’t every bit as emotional a closer as you’d expect from the Gregson’s but because the episode was as perfect a series’ finale as any fan of the show could have hoped for. Except for a few moments of Bryce at the beginning the episode featured Tara without any alters and it’s proof that Toni Collette’s Tara is the draw for the series – not the alters. More than Tara, though, the show is brilliant when it examines all the issues of Tara’s families – her states, her good parts and it’s so nice seeing the curtains closing on Kate, Marshall, Charmain and Max in such a fine fashion. Will Tara ever be cured? That blink-and-you’ll miss it glimpse of Tee, Alice and Buck in Max’s truck suggest otherwise. But, the episode wrapped it all up so well that even if it Tara’s life doesn’t develop to perfect we’re satisfied with the parts we got. The good parts.
Nurse Jackie: “deaf blind tumour pee test”
Honestly, I can’t stand Jackie. Edie Falco is great in the role and I do love the show, but for a lead character I feel not the slightest bit of interest in the machinations of Jackie. The ending of the season hit us with a confession of an affair, not from Jackie but from Kevin and as Jackie tells him to pack his bags I’m wondering just how further out of control she’s going to spiral. Who knows? In other news Coop’s birthday/wedding came off without a bride, and it was difficult watching Facinelli deal with that. The ending with him and [ ] was nicely done. Gloria continues her tirade of being one ridiculous boss, and that ending was nicely played as she disposed of Jackie’s urine test. It’s been a good season, and the show continues to be well developed. It’s managed to make me understand it’s comedic roots and it boasts one of the finest supporting casts on the small screen (Best, Wever and Facinelli are particularly brilliant). I’m looking forward to see what comes next.

Standout Performers
John Corbett in United States of Tara A-
Toni Collette in United States of Tara B+
Mireille Enos in The Killing B+
Rosemarie DeWitt in United States of Tara B+
Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie B+
Brian Sexton in The Killing B+
Anyone watched the closers for The Killing and Nurse Jackie? Any final thoughts on the glorious three year run of United States of Tara? What did you watch this past week?


Greg said...

Have you seen "Falling Skies" yet? The two-hour premiere was very good. I've also been watching season 1 of "Treme", which I completely love.

CS said...

A lot of people have been crapping on The Killing's season finale but I thought it was well done. I really like how the show evolved over the course of the season. I am interested to see where it goes next year. Hopefully the Rosie Larsen arc gets wrapped up near the beginning, leaving room for a new mystery to solve.

French Toast Sunday said...

I agree with you and CS on The Killing. Even though I was hoping to find Rosie's killer in the last episode, it was in line with the rest of the show's season to culminate the way it did. Overall I enjoyed it. But I completely agree that I hope they wrap up the case early in the next season.

- Lindsay