Thursday, 16 June 2011

TV Week in Review: (with a flashback to The Killing)

Once again it’s just two of the best shows winding down that I’m properly reviewing - United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie, and I’ve begun watching AMC’s The Killing and I’m finding it surprisingly good.
United States of Tara: “Crunchy Ice”
The grade that I give for this episode of the DID drama seems strange. Overall, the episode itself isn’t brilliant but it contains some excellent bits of growth for the main characters. Bryce continues to hold Tara’s body hostage killing Buck and Alice, so it’s all about changes and overall the episode feels a bit tense and not necessarily in a great way. Frances McDormand turns up to be brilliant, making good on the promise she teased us with earlier this season. It’s a performance worthy of Emmy consideration, I think. The episode teeters skilfully on the boundary between comedy and drama and John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt and Keir Gilchrist all do fine things. I’ve been a bit disinterested in Keir this season, but he was excellent especially in that fight with Buck. What will the series finale bring next week? Who knows?
Nurse Jackie: “Batting Practice”
This week Nurse Jackie makes good on its comedic roots offering up an episode that manages to maintain those quirky dramatic hooks while still being especially funny. It’s Wever’s time to shine and though my allegiances ultimately lay with Eve Best and Peter Facinelli it’s nice seeing Wever serve up her usual comic bits. Anna Deavere Smith, too, is in fine form. I can’t say what will become of Kelly and Jackie’s liaisons and I’m worried about Kevin. Will Coop even follow through with that ridiculous wedding of his? It’s all question marks, but it’s a great episode.

The Killing Episodes 1 – 5
It took me two seasons to become especially interested in Mad Men, but five episodes in and I’m already loving The Killing. It’s all about atmosphere and the drama unfolds with so much interest to detail that I’m willing to forgive the red herrings necessary to ensure that a full season is spent working on a single murder. The acting is strong and direction is excellent. I’ve heard rumours that it goes downhill pretty soon, but I’m not really worried. So far, I’m glad I tuned.

Grading the Episodes:
“Pilot” A
“The Cage” A-
“El Diablo” B+
“A Soundless Echo” B/B+
“Super 8” B+

Grading the Performers:
Joel Kinnaman A-
Mirielle Enos A-
Michelle Forbes A-
Billy Campbell B+
Brent Sexton B+
Kristin Lehman B/B+
I should be gearing up for some Emmy chatter soon. Jose only recently reviewed The Big C here. Watched any good TV recently?


Robert said...

I thought the departures of Buck and Alice were so heartbreaking! And Rosemarie DeWitt's breakdown at the grave was just another slice of brilliance. I can and cannot wait for the season finale...i want to know how it ends though I don't want it to end (and dont worry, I won't leave you after USoT leaves the air!).

Ryan T. said...

I need to catch up on The Killing. I saw the first two episodes ages ago and I just to to start watching again.

As for USoT, so many feelings. It was never a show that I *loved* but when it was canceled, I started FEELING THINGS for it to the point where I'm just dreading the series finale. This penultimate episode was excellent especially the scenes with her original alters making peace/conversing with each of her immediate family. Speaking of, why are y'all forgetting about T talking to Kate?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

robert the alice departure really got to me because i wasn't expecting it, and keir was just great.

ryan oh, snap. i forgot about t and kate. but, i've been feting brie all season, so i probably forgot. i'm with you on not loving USoT at first, and NOW it's just getting great as it closes :(

Jose said...

It doesn't get bad at all! It's just more frustrating because nothing seems to happen. However, and this is where the magic happens, you realize that you don't even give a damn if they find out who killed Rosie or not, it's ALL about the character study.