Thursday, October 16, 2008

episodes: big bang theory, how i met your mother, house, the mentalist, eli stone, pushing daisies

The Big Bang Theory: This was not a very engaging episode. I don't find this show to be particularly funny -- but there certainly are some funny lines. Sheldon's always a riot, but Leonard and the other fellows are such a drag. Penny has potential to be interesting, but she's really just enabler. She's simply there to point out how dorky these guys are. I think that the characters could be fleshed out more. Oddly enough, the most stereotyped character (Sheldon) is also the most realistic. But still, this episode did bring us this gem:
Awkward guy: You don't have to worry about Penny anymore. You have hundreds of Croatian women waiting for you!
Awkward guy: You can use my username, WealthyBigPenis.

How I Met Your Mother: I agree with most of the criticisms about this last episode being formulaic, and according to a comment on Alan Sepinwall's recap, the whole intervention gag was stolen from Mr. Show, right down to the "we're having too many interventions" intervention). And at first I was in defense of the character Ted because I think Josh Radnor's cute and likable enough, but Ted is not a very interesting character. Although, his mispronunciation of encyclo-day-dia/ren-ay-ssance allowed for Robin to respond, "It's douche-y, not douche-ay." I always feel awkward about episodes that deal with moving on, and this one did not handle the transition well. First they're moving out of the apartment and packing everything up. With five minutes left in the show, they decide to stay because they have too many memories in the apartment. Then with two minutes left, it switches back to growing up and moving on. It just range false to me. But... there was a flash forward to one year later and fans are going crazy trying to decipher the hidden messages. Ted's not wearing a wedding ring. Robin's sitting suspiciously close to Barney. Speaking of Barney, as per usual, he was the best part of the show. Dressed as an 80 year old man, he convinced a young woman in a bar to have sex with with his former younger self in the efforts to save humanity from global warming. Well, it made sense in the show... and it was hilarious. This storyline escalated into Barney creating a bet with Marshall that he could get a 22 year old to make out with him in his 80 year old costume.
Barney: Every year, there are hundreds of 22-year-olds coming into bars, and call me Glass-Half-Full, but I think they're getting dumber.
House: I still prefer House's relationship with private investigator Lucas, but at least this episode showed me his relationship with Wilson. Throughout the past four seasons, I've continuously asked, "Why in the world are they friends?" and now I have my answer. I get it now. But why are the original threesome still part of the credits when they only have 2 minutes (tops!) of screen time on an episode? And does anyone still care about them? And why is the new threesome so uninteresting?

The Mentalist: This episode was better than the second, but not nearly anywhere near the awesomeness of the pilot. On the one hand, I like that the show isn't like Bones. I like that Simon Baker and Robin Tunney share few scenes together because when they are actually in a scene, it works. On the other hand, I wish they had more scenes together because when they have separate scenes, the show is fragmented. Why was Baker's Thomas Jane making sandcastles on the beach? To show that he's quirky? Unfortunately for the writers of the show, there are too many comparisons to be made about this show. Now, the writers could fix the disjointed nature of the narrative by having Baker tag along on the police action, but that would be too similar to USA's Psych. They could put Baker and Tunney in more scenes, but then the dynamic would be like Bones and fans would immediately start reading into sexual tension. (As it is now, there's a mutual respect between the two of them -- and I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoy Tunney's character. She's feminine and masculine, guarded but still smiles in secret. She's not a bitch; she just gets the job done. It's real progress for female representation.) I wonder if maybe the writers can give Baker's character something to obsess over -- like a hobby, not like the Red John murderer. Or perhaps an enigmatic female character that he can't figure out or read, and she lasts a couple of episodes. There just needs to be something tying the episodes together. Still, it's better than Fringe.

Eli Stone: More to come on this later. But just so you know, this is one of my favorite shows. :)

Pushing Daisies: Truffles? A nun died because of truffles? Sigh. They finally have an episode where Chuck can actually examine her life-as-limbo and to question her faith (Mother Superior tells her she will get to know her mother in heaven, but she's undead so now Chuck is debating dying for good), but it doesn't last very long. Ned tells Chuck that her aunt is actually her mother. At least now the show can get out of the convent and put Olive back in the Pie Hole. Is it just me, or is every episode pretty much the same as one before? I love Lee Pace. I love Kristin Chenoweth. I love the premise and production design of the show. But the bad puns and the annoying characters just aren't enough to satisfy my creative needs. Also, the storylines just don't work for me. I repeat, truffles?

I'm going to be really busy for a while due to grading midterms and writing papers, so I probably won't be posting for a few more days. I'm half-tempted to only post once a week now...

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