True Blood: “Spellbound”; Season Four, Episode Eight [B]
[Writing: B/B+; Directing: B+]
Breaking Bad: “Shotgun”; Season Four, Episode Five [B+]
[Writing: B+; Directing B+]
Entourage: “One Last Shot”; Season Eight, Episode 4 [B+]
It’s not a seminal performance, but I can’t help but fête Grenier’s work on this show every time I can. I don’t know if it’s because he’s such a pretty boy to look at, but he’s always underrated and the show depends on Vince. Last season was particularly low on Eric/Vince bonding so it’s nice seeing Eric stepping in to offer some salient advice, even if he ends up being wrong. I like the idea that the show doesn’t try to consecrate its characters, and yet it’s not completely impossible to understand Vince’s logic of smoking weed to prove that he’s not addict. I’m a bit worried about how Mrs. Ari is being painted – a shrewish – but I couldn’t help but side with Ari this week. And, Piven continues to be a true comedic beating.
[Writing: B/B+; Directing: B/B+]
The Closer: “Home Improvement”; Season Seven, Episode Six [B+]
The episode is one of those moments where the show merges the comedic and the dramatic into such a zany whole that I can’t help but love it. I continue to miss Captain Raydor, but it’s nice to Brenda is taking her advice and working on getting a lawyer to defend her, who ends up being a hilarious side note character. And, the episode is filled with those innocuous hilarious moments. Even though an assumed paedophile has been murdered there are bits like that ridiculous confessions, Brenda pretending to be an open house buyer and her taking cable away from Fritz. It’s a tone that few shows manage, and no procedural has ever managed to achieve. Really, this show is terribly underrated.
[Writing: B+; Directing B+]
The Big C: “The Last Thanksgiving”; Season Two, Episode Eight [B+/A-]
[Writing: B+/A-; Directing: A-]
Web Therapy: “Shrinking and Growing”; Season One, Episode Five [B/B+]
Is this show perfect? Perhaps not, we’re only able to be presented with a full picture of Fiona and the episodic quality is strident at times but even when certain elements waver the comedy is always delivered and watching Fiona deal with her lying patients, and her exasperating one adds even more goodness to the show. The return of Komal was much appreciated, as was his liaison with Gina who continues to be one of the most ridiculous (albeit hilarious) characters on television. There are still significant things to ponder, like Victor Garber being underused but the show continues to deliver in a relatively good way with a fine lead performance.
[Writing: B+-; Directing: B+]
The Hour: “One”; Season One, Episode One [A-]
[Writing: A; Directing: A]
Damages: “Add that little hopper to your stew” Season Four, Episode Six [A-]
[Writing: A-; Directing: A-]
Wilfred: “Compassion”; Season One, Episode Nine [B+]
This week’s episode offers what could become a significant development in terms of Ryan’s questionable – at best – mental state. His mother turns up in the story, and it turns out that she was in a mental institution for twenty years – choosing to remain there instead of coming home to her children. Mary Steenburgen is an absolute delight playing crazy but not CRAZY (why doesn’t this Oscar winning actress get more roles?) and watching Ryan struggle with the fear of becoming her is a significant development. I’m still not sure what we’re supposed to make of Ryan’s sole friend being a talking dog but the black comedy packed a significant punch this time.
[Writing: B+; Directing: B/B+]
- Anna Chanellor playing a quasi mentor to Garai's Bel managed to draw my attention away from Romola and Ben. Hopefully we get more of her.
- Anyone else notice Patty’s slutty assistant (yes, I said it) checking out Michael?
- What was up with that woman from Kip’s gym checking out Fiona?
- If Jessica and Hoyt break up will Parrack have even less to do?
- That montage of Jesse on his trip was sort of brilliant.
Ben Whishaw in The Hour A
Glenn Close in Damages A-
Laura Linney in The Big C A-
John Goodman in Damages B+/A-
Romola Garai in The Hour B+/A-
Elijah Wood in Wilfred B+
Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad B+
Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer B+
Lisa Kudrow in Web Therapy B+
Mary Steenburgen in Wildred B+
Rose Byrne in Damages B+
John Benjamin Hickey in The Big C B+
Stephen Moyer in True Blood B+
Did you catch The Hour? Tune in for Patty’s tremendousness? What did you watch this week?