I had a great night of viewing, starting with House, then Castle, and then went back and watched How I Met Your Mother online. After all that goodness, I didn't want to spoil it with Heroes, so I'll go back and check that out in a day or two.
House: Great great great episode. House, who has been having Vicodin-induced hallucinations, checked himself into a psychiatric facility at the end of the last season. This season opens with a nicely shot detox montage, at the end of which House is ready to check himself out and go back to doctoring. However, the greatness of Andre Braugher refuses to recommend that House get his medical license back unless he agrees to more therapy. This gives us a good hour of "House meets crazy people", as well as "House tries his usual tricks to get his way", which Dr. Andre is having nothing to do with. The second hour is where we start the healing, and it slows down a little. I kept waiting for his annoying roommate to be another hallucination, but I suppose that was too obvious.
We got two great House moments though: The first where he sings "For He Is An Englishman" while faking a urine test (how long have the writers been holding that nugget of gold back?), and the second where he briefly transforms into Rappin' Greg during the psych ward talent show (talent show? really? REALLY?). House manages to grow as a person by the end of the two hours, but we'll see how much of that sticks when the season begins in earnest next week.
This episode did two things: 1) Made sure that Hugh Laurie will win a freaking Emmy a year from now, and 2) Made pretty much the entire supporting cast irrelevant. Sure, I like Cuddy, and whats-her-name, and I still miss Cutthroat Bitch, but you can drop House into any group of people and be entertained. If I was a character not named House, Wilson, or Cuddy, I'd start lowballing my salary demands when contract time came back up.
Castle: Man, I forgot how much fun this show is. As the second season picks up, Castle has finished his latest book, "Heat Wave", featuring his new character Nikki Heat, based on Detective Beckett (who grew her hair out a little and got a lot hotter). Beckett is still pissed at Castle for digging into her mother's murder, however, and she has to be forced to drag Castle along for the Murder of the Week this week.
This episode was everything I like about this show: Nathan Fillion is just a charming dude, the pace of the show is brisk, a lot of the jokes come from out of nowhere and actually make me laugh out loud while I'm watching. Tonight, a body is stolen, then found with its innards cut out of it. Castle makes a one liner about how "someone hated his guts", and then puts on his sunglasses....umm, I mean, then the other detectives react (as they should) with amazement at how corny that line was. The moment was played for subtlety, and it worked really well.
This is honestly a show that needs an audience, and is really easy to get into. It's all the meat of your average procedural, but with a new and exciting sauce that makes you want to come back for more. That sauce? Awesomesauce.
How I Met Your Mother: Tonight's season premiere was that odd mixture of entertaining and disappointing. I didn't have anything about the show that I didn't like, but it was just very light on substance. Most of the episode was based around assigning a definition to the Barney/Robin relationship, which is a little cliched for this show, but they still managed to sidestep the issue in true HIMYM fashion (Barney and Robin will just lie to the others about being a couple). The B story about Ted's first day as an architecture professor (or is it proffessor?) was very light on content, or even a moral. Marshall stakes out the C story, doing a whole lot of nothing (except messing around with a whip), but still being funny. Jason Segal is gold, and I hope the show doesn't lose him to films any time soon.
As an aside, Neil Patrick Harris killed it at the Emmys this weekend. Track down some of his clips on YouTube, especially the opening show number and his bit after Jon Cryer beat him out for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. The man is greatness.
The plan is to bask in this TV goodness for a while longer, then I'll get out of my nice warm bed of quality and step on the cold linoleum floor of Heroes...I do it for you. <3