Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday TV Report

The big story last night was 30 Rock's live show (aka a super duper special SNL episode), which they gamely performed twice, once for the East coast and once for the West coast. I saw them both and both were pretty equal in terms of quality. The "commercials" in the West coast were better, but some of the line delivery were better paced in the East coast. With that said, the whole thing was... interesting. It was always going to be a tough sell, but as a one-off experiment, I think everyone involve should be proud of themselves and I quite enjoyed the cameos from Cheyenne Jackson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, and Rachel Dratch. I just hope they never ever do it again. You can see both versions on Hulu or

Community delivered one of its weaker episodes (which translates to still being a great episode relative to many other shows) especially when compared to last year's brilliant episode "Modern Warfare." And it's hard not to compare the two as both were non-subtlely paying homages to popular film genres. "Warfare" took on action films while "Basic Rocket Science" took on space films. The sum of its parts was actually fine, but when you get down to the parts (Annie wanting to transfer? Abed's subdued reaction to being left behind?) you see where the show could've done a better job.

On the other hand, Big Bang Theory, which I've more and more become frustrated with since there always seems to be a B-plot that I find not at all amusing (usually the non-Sheldon/Penny plots), was actually great last night. I usually cringe at Howard-centric episodes, but maybe it's because they wisely used their guest stars (Katee Sackhoff, George Takei, and Melissa Rauch), but the biggest laughs came from non-Sheldon moments, which frankly is refreshing. Not to say I didn't not like Sheldon-Koothrappali waging war at one another. In fact I also appreciated more screentime for Kunal Nayyar. Overall, very good episode.

Meanwhile in the drama front, it was a solid episode from both Grey's Anatomy and Fringe. Of course it's been too long since I've actually been excited over a Grey's Anatomy episode, but at the very least so far this season, I haven't hated anyone or anything outright which is progress. In fact I'm very much intrigue but what they are trying to do with Cristina. I'm also glad that I'm finally starting to get a handle on all of the characters again, their motivations and their behaviors. For so long, it seemed to me the writers just didn't really know what to do with their obviously talented cast.

Fringe continues to astound one episode after another. I am completely loving the alternating focus of the episodes from our world to the alternate world. Anna Torv continues to do a magnificent job portraying the two very different Olivias and I am not looking forward to the day when this plot line will end. The past two episodes have also just been great if we only focus on the plots. Last week we got an uber genius who was able to predict/manipulate impossible accidents while this week we get a shapeshifter! This show has just been on fire and I wished it was doing better in the ratings.

Speaking of ratings, yes, Fringe is not doing so great. It's not an outright failure especially considering the competition it has on that time-slot, but it's been a definite uphill climb. The same could be said about Community actually. Grey's Anatomy and Big Bang Theory are both usually in the ratings penthouse so no one needs to worry about their numbers. 30 Rock, while no blockbuster, is doing okay and in fact went way up due to the live show gimmick this week.


  1. I agree with you that 30 Rock should NEVER do a live show again...and it's not just because I don't like 30 Rock. I actually watched the entire live episode and found it to be very strange. Besides not being crazy about the show in general, I just think it was done poorly.

    But I disagree with you on Community. I thought last night's episode was a lot of fun. Yes, the whole "Annie's trying to transfer" things was odd and way out of left field, but I think they did such a great job of staging everything in the space simulator and bringing in so many space-themed zings. It's definitely not their best episode but I still thought it was pretty great.

  2. I think it is great they did the show live, and maybe they could try it again. I was so thrilled to see Louis Dreyfus make an appearance!!


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