Archive for October, 2006

Rob’s Bullet Reviews #2a — The Search For Intelligent TV Progamming in the Universe (This Time For Sure)

October 18, 2006

Okay, okay, I’ve learned my lesson — so I’m typing this into Word (actually, WordPad) and then cutting and pasting so that I don’t go and lose the whole thing just as I’m posting it again. So here’s seven — count ’em, SEVEN — Bullet Reviews:

Grey’s Anatomy — “What I Am” (Original Air date: 10-12-06): The show demonstrates why Ellen Pompeo is its *real* secret weapon by giving her great comedic material with Meredith’s appendicitis storyline. The episode loses two steps of a grade (1 step = a +, straight-letter or – ) for having Meredith chose Derek for any reason. Derek’s 10 years older than Meredith — even if he weren’t one of the attending doctors, they’d still be creepy together. Grade: A-.

Heroes — “One Giant Leap” (OAD: 10-09-06 — told you I’m playing catch-up): The show’s main flaw is that so far, it’s slow-moving, with too much plot and not nearly as much characterization as it thinks it has. However, this episode is redeemed by its autopsy-slab twist ending. I bet Clare’s guidance counsellor told her she needed to be open to new experiences! Grade: A-.

Battlestar Galactica — “Exodus, Part 1” (OAD: 10-13-06): The episode starts out on a low-note by copping out on the shock cliffhanger ending of the previous episode and letting everybody significant survive. But the main prison-camp storyline, part Great Escape, part Stalag 17, while slow and somewhat baroque, ultimately redeems the episode. Grade: B.

ER — “Parenthood” (OAD: 10-12-06): Grey’s has definitely forced ER to find its sense of humor in all the right ways — Morris is now bonafide comic relief; they’re now starting to remember that, hey, that Maura Tierney chick was on NewsRadio — and aren’t they going full-on Meta by writing Sara Gilbert’s ability to pop in and out of the show between bad-sitcom gigs in as Jane’s mysterious and Radar-O’Reilly-like ability to appear a half-second before you want her? And speaking of MASH connections, doesn’t Gates remind one of Trapper John, M.D.’s “Gonzo” Gates? Grade: A-.

Law & Order — “Fear America” (OAD: 10-13-06): Terrorist murders informant, makes it look like white supremacist did it. Yawn. Reliable but unspectacular comfort food procedural storyline. The show’s going to have to do better than that if it wants to stick out among the 8600 other police procedurals on television right now. The new cast members, particular Milena Govich, are a good start, but geez, the somnambulant Sam Waterston’s still got to go. Grade: B-.

Smallville — “Wither” (OAD: 10-12-06): Is it just me or is the show trying to get even with the movie division’s restrictions on the use of the entire Batman mythos and certain parts of the Superman mythos by giving us such a lame and blatant rip-off of Poison Ivy? On the other hand, I’d like to see this Green Arrow spun off into his own show, preferrably not under the helm of the tone deaf Millar and Gough. Grade: B-.

Supernatural — “Bloodlust” (OAD: 10-12-06): Amber Benson is a real sweetheart in real life (she spends time with every person in her line at Comic-Con), so it was quite amusing to see “Tara” reincarnated as a good vampire in this episode. The moral dilemma that her clan of vampires puts the boys in upends the entire premise of the show in a very good way. Grade: A+. So if you’re not watching this show already, what’s your lame excuse?

Told you I had seven Bullet Reviews this time.

Coming up next: Studio 60 (possibly even a longer review), Doctor Who, HIMYM, Veronica Mars and why I’m giving up on The Nine after two episodes when I hardly ever give up on anything.

— Rob

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Rob’s Bullet Reviews — Episode 2: The Search For Intelligent TV Programming in the Universe

October 18, 2006

. . . is forthcoming.  Crap.  The dog ate my homework.  I had SEVEN reviews all typed out and somehow, the software didn’t save it to publish, so it’s lost.  Will rewrite the whole darn thing in a text document and then cut-and-paste to here when my headache has gone away.

  — Rob

PS:  To torture tease you, the categories below list the shows I was reviewing.  Okay, from last week, not this week, but still . . . that’s why it’s known as playing catch-up.

Rob’s Bullet Reviews: Episode 1: A New Thang

October 16, 2006

Okay, if you’ve been reading this here blog for a while, you know that I’m sick a lot (for a variety of reasons).  That doesn’t mean that my committment to the blog has gone down — it just means that I’m a perfectionist and if I start writing before I’m, like, recovered, that may mean that I start entertaining you with stream of (altered, by, like, not feeling so good) states of consciousness.  And since I want this to be a TV Blog rather than a Rob Talks About Whatever the Hell Is On His Mind Blog, I’m not going to go to THAT wellstream too often.

But one of the great things that being sick allowed me to do was think more about the type of reviews that I’m going to do.  And I came up with, “Hey, I’m gonna do reviews in three sizes:  Small, Medium and Large.”  No, I didn’t make that up.  That was exactly what I was thinking, treating reviews like they were McDonald’s Freedom French Fries.  (Mmmmm.  French Fries.) 

 So here’s my first installment of Rob’s Bullet Reviews.  Rob’s Bullet Reviews are my court of desperation expediency.  It means that I’ve seen the episode, I’ve decided on a grade, but I prefer to talk more at length about the show at some other time if ever.  So you’ll see the episode title, Original Air Date (I’m kinda giving up on episode numbers for this season for everything but Gilmore Girls — that’s the real casualty of being sick a lot.  But I digress . . .), Grade and perhaps a one-liner, either a joke or some brief comment about an actor/character/story point I liked/hated.  Bullet Reviews will come in bunches of about 3, 4 or 5 and I’d like you to consider them as starting points for the comments section for that post, where, of course, I’m likely to join in the conversation and inadverantly tell you what I really think about the suckitude of Desperate Housewives (Oh, god, I think I just accidentally committed myself to watching at least one full episode this season if I can stomach it.  I’ll put it off until Spring, when the show’s been given the maximum chance to Not Suck before I watch a full episode again.) about the given episode.

So thus commences the first installment of Rob’s Bullet Reviews:

Lost — “The Glass Ballerina” (Original Air Date:  10-11-06):  I’m giving this one a grade of A- even though I’m a Jaterboi.  (Robspeak:  “Jaterboi = fan of Jack-and-Kate-without-being-a-Shipper of said Ship.”)

Ugly Betty — “The Box and the Bunny” (OAD: 10-05-06, and I told you I was sick for a while):  This is the simultaneous spoof of and embracement of soap opera that Desperate Housewives desperately wants to be, but can never be because Marc Cherry lacks Salma Hayek’s taste and judgment.  Grade:  A+

My Name Is Earl — “Larceny of a Kitty Cat” (OAD: 10-12-06):  I have a cat, I like Amy Sedaris.  Grade:  A-.

The Office — “Grief Counseling” (OAD:  10-12-06):  Relatively underwhelming.  I think they killed the one joke of Michael’s aversion to death early in the episode.  Grade:  B+.

CSI:  Original Recipe — “Fannysmackin'” (OAD: 10-12-06):  Despite the unforgivable presence of K-Fed, this episode is so clever, featuring great performances by the main cast, especially Greg, and is capped with so brilliant a closing monologue from Grissom that I give the episode an A+.  Despite the unforgivable presence of K-Fed.  (Did I mention that I despise no-talent tabloid fodder like K-Fed?)

Okay.  Discuss.  Release the Hounds.  Say Something.

— Rob

PS:  This one’s dedicated to the Row 1 Regulars of the now-defunct Watch With Kristin chats at E!Online, in particular, to thursdaymorning, who now has something to read on mondaymorning.

My Two-Word Review of “Jericho” 1.1-to-1.3

October 6, 2006

Battlefarm Kansactica.

Okay.  Six more words:  But I kinda liked it anyway.  Three more words:  Especially Sprague Grayden.  Six more and out:  Despite the presence of Ashley Scott.

Overall grade, Episodes 1.1-1.3:  B-

Review: Lost 3.1 — “A Tale of Two Cities”

October 5, 2006

Vague-ish Recap:  Is almost beside the point.  It’s a remake of any random episode of The Prisoner.

Comments:  I liked Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet, but what the hell is going on?

Episode Grade:  a Fish.[1]

  — Rob

[1]  Yes, that goes back to the old joke, “How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  The answer:  a fish.”

Review: Gilmore Girls 7.2 — “That’s What You Get, Folks, For Makin’ Whoopee”

October 4, 2006

Which is what I think Ms. Goldberg’s parents said.

Vague-ish Recap:  Is beside the point.

Comments:

1)  If I were Chris, I’d have pressed charges for assault.  What Luke
did was totally in character and totally, at this point, unforgivable.
He needs to take an anger management class at the very least because,  well, I don’t think he should be around anyone, much less Lorelai, much less any kids he might have eventually with Lorelai, much less April with that temper.  I now fear for April.

2) Loved Rory taking on the parent role in the instant-classic
Asian-themed Scene.  Clearly, Lorelai did the whole shebang as her
attempt to wallow with Rory over Logan and it backfired into a classic
Gilmore Girls Role Reversal, with Rory playing the Mom scolding her
kid for, well, sleeping with Married!Dean or something.  Rory,
however, was perhaps a bit *too* angry, going into Emilyland in her
rant afterward.

2a) Loved Lorelai’s response, “I’m not perfect.”

2b) Loved the part of Rory’s hurt where she admitted that she was hurt because, “you didn’t tell me.”

3) *FINALLY,* the costuming is starting to show an uptick.  Loved both Lorelai’s sporty brown dress with her ever-present long-dangly
necklace and both Rory’s blue dress that she wore to her first visit
to Lane and her red shirt that she wore to her second visit to Lane.

4) Sometimes, it pays to know the Spoiler, as with Lane, I kept
saying, “Nine-Month Parasite!”

5) Loved the contrast in attitudes between Lorelai and Luke and the
situation:  Luke was constantly in denial saying, “I’m okay with it,
I’m okay with it until Liz laid it all out for him, shattering his
delusion by saying, you never really moved in, (shades of Nicole) and
you never told her about April (zing!  bullseye!).  Luke’s reaction is
to decide that he and Lor were never meant to be together — cynical,
fatalist.  Lorelai, by contrast, appears to admit to Sookie and then
to Rory that she indeed would have gone off and eloped with Luke had
she not boinked Christopher.  Which makes Rory’s laying into her about it right, if perhaps too much in a more than a little Emily-like way.  While I wish that Lorelai were stronger and had been sure that she would have stayed broken up with Luke whether she slept with Chris or not, this way, IMO, leaves the chance for reconciliation open.

6)  Calling them brats (as I’ve seen a mad fan or two call them) and then objecting to it misses the point:  they ARE brats.  Rory calls Lor on it and says, you don’t wallow by eating Chocolate Chip Daddy Dough, Liz says, you shut her out.  And Lorelai herself admits, “I’m not perfect.”  (Compare that with Lane’s desire to be perfect before she becomes a mother.)

Despite Lorelai’s clearly poor choice to use Chris as her wallow comfort food, it’s through Lorelai that This Relationship (with Luke) can be saved — ummm, *if* Luke can take some anger management classes and/or start seeing a shrink.  Right now, I don’t trust him around anyone.

7) I wonder if the shout-out to Sandra Oh is going to result in a
shout-out to Gg on Grey’s Anatomy.

Episode Grade:  A+

  — Rob

PS:  I’ll be doing some kind of essay/think piece on Gg this season sometime soon depending on what episode they’re on when I write it — in addition to my bullet reviews, which often neglect the quality of performances and quality of script *besides* the plot.

LORELAI: I am so done with plans. I am never, ever making one again.   It never works.  I spend the day obsessing over why it didn’t work and what I could’ve done differently.  I’m analyzing all my shortcomings when all I really need to be doing is vowing to never, ever make a plan ever again, which I’m doing now, having once again been the innocent victim of my own stupid plans.  God, I need some coffee.