Sunday, November 13, 2011

TV Report: Weekly Drama Rankings

Posting this way later than expected, but Sunday got way busier than usual. In any case, it was an interesting week of TV with a couple of shows I usually love delivering weak episodes while shows I haven't showed much love to in recent weeks stepping up.

1. Executive Order 13224 (The Good Wife) - Who knew a critically-acclaimed drama can be so damn funny? And yet last week's episode did just that. It's even more incredible since the Case of the Week was pretty serious as it involved torture and terrorism. But of course the show was able to mine comedy from all the loopholes and red tape and secrecy that Homeland Security inflicts when it's such a case like this. My favorite were the re-enactments of the blacked-out documents with the people getting bleeped out for every blacked-out word. Also liked Diane and Will arguing whilst Alicia was in the room about what they will or won't do with Alicia in the room. Guest star Carrie Preston also brought the funny representing Alicia against the government. "I. Am. Swamped. Look. At. All. This. Paper." Oh, I laughed so hard. I didn't even mention the hilarious scene with Diane and Kalinda overhearing Alicia's ringtone when they were talking to Will who was supposedly at lunch. Uh-oh. The sexual harassment video to end the episode was the perfect capper.

2. And Those We Left Behind (Fringe) - Another masterful episode slowly unraveling the mystery of Peter's disappearance (and now re-appearance) with a purely cool sci-fi concept of time bubbles and time loops. It's a bit heartbreaking seeing Peter try to deal with a version of Olivia and Walter that doesn't know him and more importantly doesn't trust him and the three actors are impressive in conveying all the emotions that are inherent in this situation. As far the the time bubble storyline, that too was it's own brand of heartbreak as real-life couple Romy Rosemont and Stephen Root played a couple separated by mental illness.

3. Truth or Dare (Pan Am) - This episode had a few moments that reminded me of the show I fell in like week those first few weeks of the fall season. First, Collette was back and actually had more than one line of dialogue which is always a plus. Her face when flying the plane was exquisite. Dean also becomes a somewhat interesting character when she's in proximity. The respective romantic story lines of the two sisters were just a tad melodramatic, but I think all of the actors involved handled themselves well. It was especially great seeing Friday Night Light's Gaius Charles back on my TV screen again.

4. The First Time (Glee) - This was the show's best episode of the season which isn't really saying much, but it IS something. Even with the deliberate focus on the episode on Kurt and Rachel losing their virginities, the show was still able to give plenty of time for the other characters more notably Beiste quest for love (made me cry), Mike's continued disagreements with his dad, and Karofsky's evolution. The latter especially was nice as it gave Chris Colfer and Max Adler a really beautiful scene to re-connect a bit. They even introduced a new character, gay Warbler Sebastian, without making it as forced as last week's. You know what else this episode had going for it? Barely any Shuester and not even a token appearance by Sue. Naya Rivera as per usual musically stole the episode.

5. Snow Falls (Once Upon A Time) - Wasn't a huge fan of the pilot and was only okay with the second episode, but this episode I really, really liked. Maybe it's the hopeless romantic in me, but seeing Snow and James' first meeting in fairy land and seeing them apart in the real world tugged my heart. In essence, this episode finally gave me a reason to care and that's important for any show. Also glad to see David Anders on my TV again. He didn't do much, but I'm hoping for more in future episodes.

6. Nightfall (Terra Nova) - Last week I said I'd give this show one more episode before I fully gave up on it. Well damn, because last week's episode didn't suck. It mostly helped that the show's weakest link, Hunter, was mostly in the background. But by doing so it enabled Skye to be developed as a character in her own right. The Maddie-Mark stuff was just a bit too saccharine, but I also liked that they're developing Maddie a bit. The whole black out stuff had potential and wished they were in more danger than what actually transpired, but it was still one of the more exciting story lines the show has offered in awhile. We finally do meet Taylor's wayward son in the end and I'm hoping we'll get to the Big Picture stuff in the next few episodes.

7. Maybe We Can Get a Dog Instead (Ringer) - Some good developments happened in this episode, but my favorite is the long-time-coming reunion between Malcolm and Bridget. It's also nice that slowly but surely everything is working out for her with Andrew accepting Malcolm, Machado getting tricked yet again, and everyone believing she lost the baby. She's also making Siobhan's life a bit difficult with Tyler thinking Siobhan was lying to him (which she was doing anyways). The student-teacher plot line is worrying and cliche. Make it stop.

8. Balcoin (The Secret Circle) - This show is not afraid to go dark especially with what they are doing with Jane. Yes, it makes Charles look more evil, but he did burn down a house with Cassie's mom in it in the pilot. The questionable loyalties of Jake is less interesting since I've seen it done in many fantasy shows before and the actor is not a good enough actor to convey this ambiguity. The introduction of Holden and learning more about Cassie's dark magick background was good. No new episode until 2012!

9. Beeware (Grimm) - Despite its relatively low ranking this week, it was still a generally solid episode. I just thought it's a bit suspect that they are already branching out with non-Grimm monsters which kind of makes this show indistinguishable from Supernatural. With that said, I did like that we got a brief glimpse of possibly something bigger happening the background. Nick's scenes with Adelaide were particularly riveting.

10. Heartbreak Hotel (Castle) - I love this show, but this episode was a complete filler. Sure Nathan Fillion , Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever looked amazingly hilarious in their Elvis getup but I'd be hard-pressed to remember any other detail about the episode. Oh right, Alexis threw a party while her dad was away while Beckett and Gates sort of bonded. Shrugs.

11. Season Seven, Time for a Wedding! (Supernatural) - I didn't like this episode. I wasn't a fan of super-fan Becky when she was first introduced and I still don't like it. And the whole situation of her essentially almost-raping Sam, even if it never happened, was still too skeevy for me to enjoy the episode. The one great thing about the episode was the all-too-brief return of Crowley. Nice seeing him explain the lack of demons attacking the boys as he wants them to focus on taking out the Leviathan.

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