Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TV Report

Okay, I really need 2 Broke Girls to keep Ryan Hansen on for some time. It's so nice seeing him on TV again, and his presence on my Weekly Kat Dennings Delivery System is only going to elevate it for a change. God, how fucking cute is he? Dick Casablancas forever, man.

:: I'm really liking this season of American Horror Story much better than the first (which I also dug). The first season was just throwing out every horror device as a sort of homage/mixer and creating something wild and unbelievable. This season is more focused, more direct. Both styles are interesting, but this one's more compelling.

:: Speaking of compelling, how incredibly good is Boardwalk Empire this season? I think this is the best season of this show so far. I didn't really care too much about Jimmy Darmody, to be honest, and with him out of the way and Nucky more in the center of things (he's finally stopped trying to be so above it all and finally accepted that he's a god damn gangster), I'm much more invested. Now that that whole over-the-top Jimmy/Commodore/Gillian freak show from season 2 is mainly over, the show gets to be more dramatic and more about bootlegging and this sort of Shakespearean figure Buscemi is playing and less about the surrogate father/surrogate son stuff that to me was always a distraction. Bobby Canavale is especially making this show energetic with his sort of chaotic, unpredictable energy. This week's episode was particularly intense and emotionally involving. It's one of my favorite shows going right now.

Also Homeland.

:: I am so tired of the guest hosts singing during the monologue on Saturday Night Live. It's been their lazy go-to for years, and it's almost never good. Yes, Anne Hathaway has a strong singing voice. Yes, she's pushing a musical. But unless you're going to build good comedy around it--and they almost never do--I don't care.

:: I always love it when Roger Bart's on Revenge. I guess after this week's episode he won't back for quite some time. Worth it, though, because the way the episode got to that resolution was pretty masterful. I saw a lot of people so far this season worrying that the show was getting too lost in its own mythology, but this week's payoff was handled so well that it makes the seven-week wait completely worthwhile. Sometimes the long con is worth the effort, people. It's storytelling, not constant instant gratification.

I do not, however, believe that Nolan Ross shops at Target. That whole thing was grating.

:: I kind of get annoyed when a show like How I Met Your Mother decides that supporting characters they need to get rid of are suddenly even more annoying or more comically stupid than they've ever been before. And it's stupid to keep the romantic tension of Barney and Robin going. Oooh, will they get back together? Well, considering last season's finale flash-forwarded to them at their wedding, I'd guess yes. Too many trips to the Robin romantic tension well, guys. She's so much better as comic relief or in the rare instances when who she's dating isn't the main element of her character. You get her mooning over Ted (again) or Barney (again), and she ceases to be an engaging character. It's like her agency dissolves, and it's boring as a viewer.

Just another week on How I Banged a Whole Bunch of Women Including Your Beloved Aunt Robin Before I Met Your Mother.

:: I feel like there are a lot of shows, sitcoms especially, that are phoning it in right now. It's weird to go online the next day and see people giving fawning reviews to Parks and Recreation or The Big Bang Theory, which I think are really just kind of coasting right now. I don't know what several critics were talking about when they were praising that absolutely wretched, completely unengaging South Park season finale.

:: Becca's got me completely hooked on RuPaul's Drag Race now. I'm also surprised by how much I enjoy Shark Tank; business is always kind of exciting to me in short bursts. Fox has started another season of Kitchen Nightmares, but I'm becoming really ambivalent towards it. I spent the summer watching a lot of episodes of Restaurant Impossible, and that show is much more practically interesting. I like seeing the process of rehabbing a restaurant on a certain budget and showing people how to cook (it's because of that show that I figured out how to do clarified butter, which has pretty much changed my life). It's not a wish fulfillment, overcoming-emotional-obstacles show like the American version of Hell's Kitchen. I'm just a little worn out on the soap opera aspects of it and wish it was more about the actual physical process and the practical, almost DIY aspects. Hell's Kitchen has too much of a tendency to go drama drama drama drama and then the triumphant results in the last 7 minutes. It's gotten stale.

:: I watched Malibu Country. I thought it was cute. It's traditional and not, you know, good exactly, but it's not the abomination the critics are bemoaning. It just doesn't try very hard. I like Reba. I like Lily Tomlin. It doesn't insult my intelligence, it just doesn't try to be the nation's 63rd clone of Arrested Development. NBD.

:: And then there's Castle, and all I can say is... thanks for actually being the show I used to love again. It's great to have you back.

:: Sidenote: gave up on The Mindy Project, don't miss it. Also The X-Factor.

1 comment:

Kal said...

It's like you are reading my mind again. Boardwalk Empire is such a treat. 'You can't be half a gangster' is the perfect tag line for this season. I thought they were crazy for killing off Jimmy but they knew what they were doing all the time.

Seeing Louis CK just do his act last week reminded me how much I hate that musical opening on SNL too. He knows what works for him and doesn't feel like he needs to show off. It was glorious to see. But the singing has got to go. It could be worse - Gordon Levitt danced like a stripper.

Homeland is still amazing though I do cringe whenever I see Carrie's cry face.