Heroes and Castle weren't online tonight, but I did catch How I Met Your Mother!
"Robin 101" was an okay episode. Nothing crazy great, just chugging along with the "Let's turn Barney into a boyfriend" storyline. I expected it to be a more organic change, but it does make sense for them to just have Ted teach a class on Robin to Barney. Creepy, but with elements of love. It just didn't gel as an episode to me though, probably because Lily and Marshall (and even Robin) were fairly uninvolved in this episode. Marshall was especially absent, with a beloved barrel his only real contribution. Is Jason Segal shooting another movie or something? Or are they saving him and Lily for a bigger storyline later in the season? Anyway, there's no such thing as a bad episode of HIMYM, so this gets my lowest possible rating of 14 stars.
FlashForward was a step or two back after the 8 (or more accurately, 12) steps forward in episode 1. Little girl Charlie is CREEPY. Her proclamation on D. Gibbons at the end of the episode was only missing the "LOST Horns" to put the perfect ending on the hour. Dimitri gets some more confirmation on his "he'll be dead before six months" theory, as a fellow "no-flashback'er" gets shot, and he gets a phone call with the exact date of his death. Yeah, creeeeeeepy.
Also, we meet FF's version of the Others; the mysterious people who may have caused the Blackout, or at least know a pretty good amount about it. I've got to say, if I ever need to remove incriminating files from my PC, I'm probably going to go with something less extreme than "submerge them in flammable liquid, then drop lighters in it". Just saying. The Wall O' Clues gets a couple more additions to it, and it remains to be seen whether a simple act like burning his friendship bracelet will alter the future any for Agent I-Can't-Remember-His-Name-At-The-Moment.
Last week's House ("Epic Fail") was nice, giving us a House without Princeton-Plainsboro, and the remains of Team House (Foreteen and Mort the Jew) trying to keep the diagnostics department going without Medical Jesus in the big chair. The POTW using the internet to diagnose his own case was an interesting twist, playing off Foreman's lack of confidence, although I did see the ending (House solving the case online) coming a while away. I'm not calling it obvious, more of a reward for the informed and loyal viewer. Thirteen had the line of the night with her assessment of House's cooking ("It's the best thing I've ever had in my mouth. And yes, I'm also counting that thing you're thinking of right now"). Good episode, even if status quo looks to be on its way to being restored. On the other hand, I haven't seen last night's episode yet, so I could be pleasantly surprised. Plus Mort the Jew might still be gone.
And let's wrap it up with some cartoons.
Simpsons: Meh. I've been a Simpsons defender, and I still don't know that I could handle a world without them. On the other hand, they keep mining weak stories out of dated references, and they can do better. Or should.
The Cleveland Show: Another departure for Seth McFarlane, as this is more of a "Full House with bite" at this point in its run. There's still a few cutaways, but the uncomfortable/edgy humor is mostly replaced with straightforward (ish) storylines. I like it, I just have to ease into it, especially having been indoctrinated by Family Guy.
Family Guy: Last week's Multiverse episode was greatness, tonight's episode was a little disappointing as a follow-up. I honestly prefer Family Guy when it's more of a loosely-bound half hour of gags...like a sketch comedy show that's loosely based on a family dynamic, rather than a full narrative. This episode had a little too much narrative, and it's material that they covered better in the originally unaired "When You Wish Upon A Weinstein" (although I did appreciate the callback to that episode). Not even the Superfriends opening could make up for it.
American Dad: Somewhere in between Family Guy and The Cleveland Show lies American Dad. I went through a period of not caring much about this show, but I am happy to have been proven wrong. AD still manages to combine dark humor, weird storylines, and pop culture references, but with a much more cohesive plot. Simpsons has the cred, and Family Guy has the cult following, but American Dad is the anchor of the Sunday night animation lineup. This is the show that should have been nominated for the Emmy.
Heroes, Castle, and will I ever watch Bored to Death? Stay tuned.