Monday, 12 November 2007

This Week In TV: Week 7

My first attempt at writing this post (on my brand new and gorgeous Tytn II, and no I won't stop going on about it) went massively awry, spinning off into a sustained rant against a couple of new shows, and so I'll save that for another time. Let's keep this short and sweet. It was a good week, with a couple of shows missing and only a couple of real low points (ahem Bionical Woman ahem), so instead of spending hours writing a long post about every episode, let's do this easy digest style, bitches! (Apologies for errors, coding screw-ups and spelling mistakes; I'm in a hurry here.)

Show of the Week:

House, continuing this most amazing of seasons with style. Our anti-hero is pressganged into saving a CIA agent suffering from what looks like a case of Topical Radiation Poisoning (topical in that it's ripped from the headlines), Foreman outsmarts all of the new Cottages, Brennan gets kicked out of the team for poisoning this week's other patient with thallium, and a new and sassy love interest is introduced; Dr. Terzi, played by Michael Michele, who had to contend with the grumpy Dr. Benton in E.R., so this should be easy.

It featured more cutting dialogue, bitchery, and belly laughs than anything else this week except for 30 Rock, which comes a very close second in the Show of the Week stakes. How long can House maintain this run of brilliance?

Best Line of the Week:

House (to Dr. Terzi): You know, I happen to have a position available on my penis. Wait a second, I just screwed up that joke.

Second Best Line of the Week:

House (to Wilson, who is amazed that House really is at CIA HQ in Langley): You've gotta get down here. They've got a satellite aimed directly into Cuddy's vagina. I told them the chances of invasion are slim to none, but...

Actually, that whole scene was utter genius. It generated more hearty laughs than the entire season of Chuck to date, times 5.

Nightmarish Image of the Week:

Liz Lemon vomiting on a demon and then tucking into a cup cake.

It's haunted me all week, though it's worse with the wet, squidgy sound effect of the barf. Oh Liz Lemon, you made me feel so very ill.

Weapon of the Week:

In an otherwise lacklustre episode of The Office, I was happy to see an Oriental sword getting a bit of screentime in the horrid sweaty hands of Dwight. Let's hope he gets a chance to brandish it sometime soon, hopefully in order to get rid of the ever-and-always vile Ryan.

Question of the Week:

Who has the widest shoulders? Michelle Ryan from Bionical Woman?

Or Reaper's Missy Peregrym?

Brave and the Bold-esque Team Up of the Week:

In a frustrating (for us) piece of cross-franchise promotion, Bruckheimer Industries chose to give Without A Trace a ratings bump by having series protagonist Jack Malone show up in Vegas investigating a missing child. Great for fans of both shows, a bit distancing for those of us yet to succumb to the charms of Anthony LaPaglia and his sticky-out top lip.

Actually, that's just mean. I have nothing against LaPaglia, who was fantastic in Ray Laurence's superb Lantana as Leon Zat (and was the best thing about Murder One's second season). We just felt a bit left out as lines directed at his character were obviously loaded with significance that we could not understand. At one point Doc Robbins asks him if he has kids, and his depressed face hinted at some great sadness we were not in a position to appreciate, though Wikipedia did get us up to speed later. That said, it was still a very strong episode, with Malone being a colossal dick, fronting on Hodges and bitching about Gil's office. However, we're going to have to watch the next episode of Without A Trace, because this was a two-parter, and evil murdering rapist scumbag John "Sol Star from Deadwood" Hawkes is still on the loose. What I've seen of Without A Trace didn't impress me much, but as it has a fan base as rabid and as ignored and maligned as the CSI fanbase, I should give it another chance.

Guest Star of the Week:

Canyon and I are among that small subsection of humanity that doesn't hate David Schwimmer. In fact, by the end of Friends, he was the only actor who still made us laugh on a regular basis. His appearance on 30 Rock as Greenzo, the demented manifestation of rabid ecological awareness, was inspired.

"Good job. Leave all the lights on for the invisible people." He's everything I would become if I didn't try so hard to keep my eco-fear under control.

Musical Moment of the Week:

Amanda SummersDaughterofFeySummers, nee Tanen, distracting a grumpy wedding crowd with an impromptu version of Milkshake, complete with pipe organ backing and random choral embellishment, in the latest twist-packed installment of Ugly Betty (with only one reference to Wicked this week!).

Is Becki Newton the best comedic actress on TV? It's a toss up between her and Tina Fey right now.

Saddest Scene of the Week:

Friday Night Lights' Jason Street (Scott Porter) is one of the best-written characters on TV, but has been in a rut for several weeks now, with a catastrophic trip to Mexico behind him, and much angst over his future. For a teenager with no movement below his chest, he's doing well, with the love of his entire town, a job coaching, and a loving family, but still he's searching for something. Tough news for Coach, who has to grudgingly accept his resignation, but good news for us, as we get to see more of his journey, and yet more of the best writing and acting on TV right now.

I'm not ashamed to say that this scene left me with a moon-sized lump in my throat, with both Coach and Street expressing their respect for each other, and fear that they have let each other down. I have yet to get tired of saying how incredible this show is. Apologies if you, the reader, have become tired instead.

Stunt of the Week:

Bionical Woman
returned to conquer TV with its flat dialogue and unimaginative plotting, but did happily feature a great moment with Jamie grabbing some French terrorist by the ankle, swinging him over her head, and slamming him down on to a table.

The fact that she only has one bionical arm and no bionical spine and thus would have been snapped in two by such a maneuver can be ignored, as can the fact that her Xander-lookalike partner doesn't think it odd that his supposedly 100% organic love interest just hurled a guy through a 180 degree arc without breaking a sweat. It was a great physical stunt performed with style and shot prettily. Thumbs up for that, showrunners! And thumbs down for everything else.

Most Wasted Former Mutant Enemy Actor of the Week:

For once, it wasn't Adam Baldwin in Chuck. Reaper had a small role for Mercedes McNab this week, playing an immortal bad girl.

She was great, but didn't get much screen time or many funny lines. Anyone who's seen her in Buffy and Angel knows how hilarious she can be, so this was immensely frustrating.

Stupidest Moment of the Week:

In this week's Bionical Woman our wide-shouldered heroine was on the trail of an ill-defined terrorist in possession of a list of some nebulous import. As this terrorist was played by Cylon scumbag Callum Keith Rennie we hoped for some improvement over the usual shittiness, but instead we got this horribly set up scenario involving plastic surgery. The first time we properly see him is a photo of him with the most outrageous aviator mustache in history. Good disguise, CKR!

It's still recognisably him, though, which makes later scenes utterly ridiculous. Jamie and her wide shoulders go to a ball in Paris to intercept him, though she doesn't wear an old man mask or spray infrared spray on the back of anyone's head as in Mission: Impossible. The gimmick here is that CKR now looks so different from his Biggles photo due to extensive plastic surgery that only a Jamie-Eye-Cam picture of his iris is good enough to identify him, so she goes around the room scanning all of the guest's eyes, until she comes across CKR, sans mustache. Even though he looks almost exactly the same, the only thing that makes her suspect he is the terrorist is that he won't meet her gaze.

Firstly, why? He doesn't know she's Bionical, so why is he looking away? Secondly, HE LOOKS LIKE THE PHOTO!!! Those screen caps are not out of context; that's exactly how the big cosmetic change was shown on screen. Just arrest him, dammit! But no, instead Jamie and the Xander clone follow him and allow him to lock them in a closet. Semi-Xander is so pissed he doesn't notice Jamie has super-strength, either when she breaks down a metal door or when she flips a guy up in the air, over her head, and then back down again. If all of these covert operatives are this unobservant, no wonder terrorists can avoid capture with nothing more than alterations to their face fuzz.

The "You've Arrived, Sir!" Acting Triumph of the Week:

Glenn Morshower has been stoic and noble and great in several series of 24, mostly just acting as an audience surrogate in the presence of the super-heroic David Palmer. In Friday Night Lights, he broke hearts left, right and centre this week, compromising himself by burning evidence in an effort to keep his son, Landry, out of jail for murder.

It was all the worse for being such a doomed effort, and while we've been fretting over the future of our beloved Landry for weeks now, it seems we're going to have to add his dad to our list of things to be concerned over. Still, now we've seen what Morshower can do. Let's hope he gets cast in juicier roles than Secret Service Agent #5 in various dull action shows (not counting 24, obviously).

Grin of the Week:

Ray Wise!

Of course Ray Wise. What the hell did you think I was going to say?

No comments: