Friday, January 29, 2010


Why yes, I am enamored with that collision of words, thank you for noticing!

Castle: Started out amusing, with Castle as the #9 most eligible bachelor in New York, and going to great lengths to hide rumors of a romantic link between he and Beckett, from Beckett. Once that ended though, the story got a little slow, and culminated in a fairly predictable pas de deux on a "oh so coincidental" set of dates (Castle with Ms. #3 and Beckett with Mr. June). The editing was sharp, cutting between Castle and Beckett trying to puzzle out the case to their respective uninterested dates, unfortunately the writing wasn't up to par, and so my interest was waning. The wrapup wasn't even that entertaining, since they apparently couldn't spring for a big black snake to at least give us that much of a sight gag. Castle jumping/shrieking when shot at was funny though, but not enough to make up for the episode. Only average can do better!!!

Leverage: Great episode tonight, as they swing for the fences by bringing back Nate's nemesis (Sterling) and ex-wife (Maggie). Loved the tensions between Sterling and the Leverage team; starting with Elliot beating the crap out of him, then Hardison's frequent references to almost blowing him up, and finally with even Tara becoming fed up with him. The "I really hate that guy"/"Now you're part of the team" exchange between her and Elliot was such a well-written moment. Elliott really shone in the episode too, taking over once Nate and Maggie were taken hostage. Sterling managing to get yet another promotion off of the hard work of Team Leverage was nice bit, although he may have earned it with his performance when Parker needed a distraction. Another great episode, and I can't wait to see what comes next week.

Thursday comedies were reruns, so enjoy the final Dollhouse tonight (if you're into such things), and I'll be working on doing a season's worth of catching up on it and some final thoughts about yet another entry in "Joss Whedon's Case Against Fox".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Only Heroes today

Oh Matt Parkman. Just when I think you couldn't get any dumber, you do something like this...

...and TOTALLY redeem yourself!

Okay, it's going to take way more to get me back on the Heroes bandwagon (which doesn't exist, because I can't imagine anyone defending this show anymore), but that was a pretty badass scene. When we left off last week, Sylar had come to Parkman to get him to take away his powers, thinking them to be the source of his insanity/homicidal rage/sweet eyebrows. Parkman fails to do so, so Sylar starts to go all cuckoobananas on Janice. Parkman has a quick huddle with his wife, who breaks with tradition for this show by offering good advice and tells Matt to "bury him". Parkman summons all of his powers of rack focus and shaky cam, and goes through the clip show of Sylar's mind, finding his deepest fear: of dying alone (thanks Hiro!). He pulls a "Dad move" and traps Sylar in his own mind, all alone...which is pretty awesome, I'm not gonna lie. Someone on the show is a Poe fan, because Parkman goes all "Cask of Amontillado" on him. For the record, add bricklaying to the list of things Parkman sucks at.

However, Peter picks that time to drop by, after dreaming a little dream of Emma, Sylar, the carnival, and the puppet master making Emma keep playing. After a depressing visit to mom, he comes to Parkman to find Sylar, then takes Parkman's power (without even asking! What a douche!). Quick scan of the pamphlet that is Parkman's mind, and he zips downstairs to wake Sylar up. Parkman does a little mental mumbo jumbo to Peter though, and Peter ends the episode wandering a deserted downtown area.

If that was the whole episode, I could have given it a high grade (if I actually gave grades here), but unfortunately it just wouldn't be an episode of Heroes without a few torturous scenes involving...

Claire. Sigh. Okay, so she swings by Bennet's place (who is off being in full HRG mode again, so we're going to call him that again) for a talk, only to bump into Blonde Agent, who decides to let Claire in so she can bask in the glorious assault plan (which apparently consists solely of "headshot, boom!"). She bails, and then goes straight for Samuel like the good little idiot character she is. She convinces Samuel to turn himself in, and then as he's giving, surprise, a speech to the rest of the carnies, someone opens fire on them. Babies and pets probably believe that it's HRG firing the shots, but everybody else waits until the inevitable reveal of the second gunman (just like in Dallas!). HRG picks him off, but it's one of Multiplicity Man's clones, then HRG gets coldcocked by another clone (or the real thing, who actually cares anymore) and dragged to the carnival to get blamed for the shootings. Meanwhile, Lydia catches a bullet and Samuel lets her make out with his soul so that she can explain what just happened for the aforementioned babies and pets. Thus, we learn our two lessons for the day: Claire is dumb, and the writers think we are equally dumb.

Oh yeah, and Blonde Agent gets shot and calls Tracy Strauss. Oh boy, more Tracy Strauss.

No HIMYM this week, but new Castle is on deck. Deuces! (as the kids say)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dammit, who forgot to tell me that Burn Notice was back!

It used to be so much easier: new shows begin in September, end in May, and that was it. Now we've got seasons starting whenever they damn well please, and shows taking mid-season breaks and then coming back with new episodes. Burn Notice is in the midst of Season 3 on the USA Network, and when we last left Michael Weston, he had given up a chance at getting unburned in order to save Fiona from Irish assassins (which would be a great Boston sports franchise). Tonight has him dealing with the aftermath of his decision, and picking up Fi's clients, since she's out of action with a bullet wound in the shoulder. The client is a woman whose husband was killed in an insurance scam car accident, and who is being shaken down for money by the guys behind the scam ring. The usual job for Michael, only this one gives us sweet vehicular action (for the guys) and sleeveless Michael (for the ladies). We also meet our subplot, a mystery assassin who seems to be several steps ahead of Weston and the gang, and whose motives have yet to be uncovered. Spooky, I know.

The real meat of the episode is in the scenes with Michael and his mother, who they recruit to help persuade a records clerk to get them some files. The first time, they just need one file, then Mrs. Weston befriends the clerk/asset. That backfires later when Michael needs her to blackmail the clerk in order to get the rest of the files that he needs to put the gang away. The scene where she gets the files out of the clerk is great, but the real heartwrenching moment is when she confronts Michael on what he has to do to get the job done. "Do you really think it's about the money!" is a killer line, and really sells us on the motivations behind Michael Weston and why he wants his old job back so badly. Everything works out in the end, but we'll see if this has any character repercussions down the line. Good job, Burn Notice!

Friday, January 22, 2010

How The Office Ruined Thursday

I was all set for some new Thursday love, but The Office had to go and ruin it with a clip show. Okay, Computron and Fake Stanley were funny, but still. Sigh...

Community was good tonight, putting the underutilized Troy into the spotlight with Britta as both of them were secretly taking...GASP...a dance class. I'd like to think that we as the tv watching public have moved past the "boys can't enjoy dancing" storyline, and yet here it is. I was hoping for something different with the ending, but nope, there's Troy prancing in to save the day. Jeff and the hot Statistics teacher (okay, I'm going to start taking notes next week, I promise) have become an item, which leads to a funny bit about the official student/faculty relationship form, but then goes right back into tired cliche mode by having Jeff get spooked by the term "boyfriend". At least it doesn't drag on, and it does lead to a stunned Britta on stage watching Jeff and Slater (yes, Slater! I remembered!) hold hands and be all couple-y. Well, I don't know whether to be happy that the Jeff/Britta storyline is going somewhere, or be sad that it's back, since the show was doing so well without it. Also, not nearly enough Annie.

30 Rock had some fun with Boston thanks to a Miami road show that got hijacked by a lornlorn Jack Donaghy. The digs at Boston were funny, and Tracy going off on Fake John Hancock for being racist was the highlight of the show, especially the "Patriots suck!" bit near the end. As much as I like Julianne Moore, and her accent, that storyline seems to be way too choppy. Whether it's due to Moore's availability or what, it still makes it harder to get into it. The rest of the episode was pretty average with Liz having to make up a fake NBC exec in order to keep the rest of the TGS team from revolting. In the end, all that happens is Lutz gets a little too much screen time. Not the best episode, which is disappointing after last week.

Darn you Comedy Thursday! I am, on the other hand, really looking forward to Conan's last show. Not because it's the last show, but I'm interested to see how he goes out. Team CoCo!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Yes, they are so good, I've combined them into one delicious block of awesomeness.

Castle: What an episode! Tying the murder to Beckett's mom's killer came pretty much out of nowhere (well, except for last week's preview), and it made an average case much better. Not a lot of detection going on, although the Johnny Vong running gag was funny. It was the last few minutes of the episode that really sold it. The realization of the real killer, Castle putting his own money up to help catch the killer, Castle taken hostage, Castle's headbutt-fu, Beckett performing CPR on the killer at the end...great moments all, and the little coda with Castle and Beckett added a little more to their relationship without it going into "I love you, smoochy time!" territory. Plus, now we have the "who got Beckett's mom whacked?" question to carry us through the rest of the season.

Leverage: Awesome awesome awesome episode. Backstory on Nate, two cons in an hour and a half's time, hot redhead client...all the bases covered, and then some. Plus, instead of a shoehorned in Sophie appearance (seriously, I love Gina Bellman, but I'm ready for her to be back full time), we get Nate drinking again. Lot of stuff to take in, and only a few more episodes of Season 2.5 to do it in. Loved the reveal at the end, loved the loan shark's bastardization of the Leverage motto, loved the hiding places for the "emergency fund", loved the fat guard who ran away from Elliot. This is the episode to show people when they ask "is this show any good?". Because, yes it is good.

Scrubs and Better Off Ted: Both pretty darn good this week, with Scrubs finding a good groove with its med students, and Turk and Cox becoming a great duo. BOT, meanwhile, had a bagel tossing game and the very unsettling scenes of two people having sex via a translator programmed with Phil's voice. Really funny scene though, and worth watching for that alone. Actually, that was about the bulk of the episode, but it doesn't matter, it paid off and thus was worth it. Thursday comedies up next, and that'll be the week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NBC Monday Disappoints Me, But Not For The Obvious Reason...

With nothing of note happening on Sunday (because I just can't bring myself to care about 24 anymore), Monday had some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, we had a Neil Patrick Harris-directed episode of How I Met Your Mother to start me off with.

"Jenkins" was a fairly innocuous episode, not advancing much of the plot, but it was a much needed Marshall/Lily episode. Marshall has some of the best bits of the show; tonight it was stopping off at a college bar to defend his 2009 Skeeball title (as "Big Fudge"), and then freaking out over being the Reacher and not the Settler in his relationship. Unfortunately, since NPH was behind the camera, the episode suffered from a distinct lack of Barney. Guest star Amanda Peet (who ruined Studio 60, there I said it) filled in admirably, albeit only as a catalyst for the Reacher/Settler story. The only payoff to the storyline was Lily calmly taking off her scarf and earrings as Marshall and Jenkins relate the story of the kiss, then Lily goes total MMA on Jenkins, making Marshall feel loved...and scared. Very scared.

The other half of the episode was Ted discovering that his students all watch Robin's morning show specifically for the "But,um" drinking game. As someone who knows a "But, um'er", I was more amused by this than I had any right to be. The ending was ripped straight from the "24 drinking game"(where people would drink every time Jack Bauer says "Dammit"), and how Keifer Sutherland discovered the game's existence and made it a point to ad lib a few extra "dammit"s per episode, to help get the kids good and wasted. Decent episode, but a little bit of a letdown after last week.

Now for NBC. I'm man enough to admit it: I liked Heroes this week. Not a lot, and it was solely because they led with their one-two punch: Hiro and Sylar. Granted, the quality was drug down, mostly due to Claire, Samuel, and the borderline stupidity of the Hiro storyline.

Hiro: Passes out in Bennett's apartment and dreams a trial for his crimes against the space time continuum. Bonus points for bringing back Hiro's father and Adam Monroe. Extra bonus points for Hiro's mom and the sword fight with Hiro and Adam. Minus a few points for the deus ex machina of Hiro's mom curing his cancer (or whatever the hell happened...was it surgery, was it magic...I no longer trust this show to answer anything satisfactorily), but I'm just happy that the brain tumor stuff is out of the equation now. Granted, the cynic in me is dreading the next terrible way that they'll de-power Hiro again, but at least we got this one good moment out of it.

Sylar: Only Zachary Quinto can make long scenes with Claire seem interesting, and he deserves a medal and a raise for pulling it off tonight. Long story short, after a heart to heart (and then heart to shapeshifted heart) chat with Claire (and I do mean long), Sylar realizes that getting rid of his ill-gotten powers may be the key to happiness (spoiler alert: it won't), and Claire realizes that she's totally gay for Gretchen (spoiler alert: I still won't care). The last scene with Sylar popping up at Parkman's house was nice, even if it does mean more Parkman.

Samuel: Oh geez, all of this carnival crap was so that he can re-enact Hallmark cards with good old whatshername? Great, now Samuel is finally "all evil", and it's for spurned love? What a steaming pile. This can only get worse now that most of the side quests are ending and we appear to be gearing up for the slow plod to the season (please be series) finale.

Finally, since Castle wasn't uploaded in time, I decided to give Chuck another try. My history with Chuck goes like this: I watched it, was amused for a while, got more and more annoyed by the repetitive storylines, then gave up on it early into season 2. However, with the media blitz (and Seth Meyers had it right, NBC is riding Chuck to success or failure this year), I decided to give it another shot. And guess what, it's right back where it was when I quit on it.

Here's what I didn't like about Chuck:

-The Buy More. The characters there were all fairly unlikeable, and the storylines there just seemed to exist to kill time or to awkwardly dovetail into the main plot.

-Morgan. One of the more unlikeable characters in television history.

-Chuck himself. One of my television pet peeves is the "eternally reluctant hero". Every week seemed like the same thing; he's got these abilities (the Intersect), he doesn't want them, he sucks at using them, then he reluctantly does it by the end of the episode, rinse and repeat next week.

The first episode of this season has Chuck growing a big homeless guy beard after breaking up with Sarah in order to be a spy, then sucking so much at being a spy that he gets kicked out. The conceit for this season seems to be that Chuck doesn't just "flash" on information anymore, he can also flash new abilities, so it's just Season 1 again with the occasional kung fu fight. At this point, it's just Greatest American Hero (nerdy hero with unstable abilities he can't control; love interest and grizzled spy as partners) done badly. Even better, they manage to reboot everybody back to the Buy More too, putting everything I disliked about the show right back where it was in the first place. I may give it another couple of episodes, see if they manage to evolve the concept, but I'm not looking forward to it.

Happily, there's a new Castle to look forward to, plus more Scrubs and Better Off Ted. Also, new Leverage this week (and I've made at least one convert since last week).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday is Here! Everybody Grab Your Favorite Japanese Body Pillow!

Good night tonight from NBC Thursday; combining strong stories with some well-placed guest stars.

First off is Community, which featured frequent Dan Harmon collaborator Jack Black as Buddy, a heretofore unnoticed member of the Spanish class (with funny flashbacks) who wants to join their study group. Jeff takes over the student newspaper, with Annie as his ace newshound, while Abed attempts to groom him in his new persona as the Hawkeye Pierce of the group. Abed's pop culture fixation would be grating on another show, but Community allows him to follow his pop culture asides to the absurdist end, leading to Jeff wearing Hawaiian shirts and Abed building him a still. Other funny bits were Pierce's new collection of ironically funny t-shirts, Buddy's bit about throwing off the group's rhythm being interrupted by the opening credits song, and then the kicker at the end; Owen Wilson as the leader of the "cool" study group that Buddy really wanted to join.

Instead of The Office, we get a double shot of 30 Rock, which knocked it out of the park on both pitches. First, Jack and Kenneth break into Nancy's (Julianne Moore as Jack's high school love) place to retrieve a drunken New Year's message, then Liz's recently outed (by her) gay nephew comes to New York to visit (and party), and finally, Tracy is having a daughter and must now reevaluate his views about women. Oh, and Jenna is fake dating James Franco in order to throw the media off of his alleged relationship with a Japanese body pillow. And that's just the first episode. The episode had its hits and misses, but the ending with Liz's threeway with James and Kameiko-chan was the best moment of the night.

The second episode revolves around Danny, the new guy on TGS, and Liz and Jack's war for his affections. BLACK LIGHT ATTACK! Tracy invites a woman into his entourage, Jenna is forced to embrace her true age, and we meet "Tom", Liz's mustache. Tina Fey does an amazing job at continually "uglying herself up" for gags, by the way. Toofer's diatribe about the strategy behind Quidditch (while at a hockey game) was a great throwaway joke, and it's good to see more of the writers.

In all, great night of television, although I can't wait for The Office to come back. Dollhouse should be wrapping up this week, so I'll get ready for that big Dollhouse marathon and some thoughts on the series.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesdays Are Of Moderate Importance!

Okay, not as exciting as "Mondays Are Huge", but Wednesdays just got better starting this week with the returns of Leverage and Tosh.0. Tosh.0 isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, and I prefer Web Soup, but Daniel Tosh is funny and engaging plus the show delves a little deeper into the clips they show, and thus it's worth your thirty minutes.

Leverage, on the other hand, has grown into one of my favorite shows, and it's great to see it back on. This is the second half of Season 2, so we're only getting 6 episodes before the wait for Season 3. Still, six episodes of Leverage is six hours of love and warmth, so I'll take it.

The basic premise of the show: Timothy Hutton plays Nathan Ford, a former insurance fraud investigator whose job it was to track down thieves, con artists, etc. He put together a team of expert thieves to play Robin Hood and go after bad guys and help good people. It's a basic premise, and the BBC series "Hu$tle" did the same thing very well (worth tracking down, by the way). With the longer American seasons, we get a lot more character development, and the characters and the humor are where Leverage departs from the shadow of Hu$tle and becomes its own show.

The characters: Nate Ford is the Mastermind, the guy who runs the cons and changes plans on the fly when things go badly. Season one was about him being full of anger at his former employers, who refused to pay for an experimental treatment for his dying son. This sent him spiraling into alcoholism, something he has (seemingly) kicked for season two. He has a former relationship with...

The Grifter: Sophie (aka, many other identities), played by Gina Bellman of "Coupling" (and other things which I haven't seen). She's the heart/mom of the team, currently semi-written out because she got all impregnated and stuff. Then there's

The Hacker: Aldis Hodge as Harrison, the tech nerd of the group. He's the guy who creates the cover identities for the cons, and one of the great Easter Eggs for fans is for them to try and figure out where the names come from, and how they're linked to the episode.

The Hitter: Christian Kane as Elliot, the "heavy" of the group. Has gotten a lot more backstory than some of the others, but he's a great character. The fight scenes on this show have been well crafted, and he executes them well.

The Thief: Beth Riesgraf as Parker, the world's best (and most dysfunctional) cat burglar. Socially retarded and unbearably adorable.

Also in these episodes is Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) as Sophie's temporary replacement. She's not only hot, but also helps newcomers get acquainted with the dynamics of the regular team.

I really don't want to get too into the show here, as seeing the relationships and characters evolve over the course of the season is part of the charm of the series. The extra bonus is that writer/co-creator John Rogers breaks down every episode on his excellent blog, Kung Fu Monkey (, as well as answer questions from fans. As a future television writer, being able to look inside the process is incredibly interesting, plus Rogers is a great storyteller. Anyway, I'll give you all a week to watch, catch up with some previous episodes, and then I'll be reviewing episodes on a regular basis starting next week.

Scrubs and Better Off Ted have been on ABC a LOT over the holidays; I assume ABC is trying to get all the episodes aired before LOST comes back next month. I like that I'm getting to watch these episodes, I just worry about either show being able to find an audience with such a truncated airing schedule. Both shows have potential, and work well paired with each other. It'd be a shame for either one of them to be canceled at this point.

Scrubs has been making a difficult transition from "Classic Scrubs" to "Scrubs: Med School", partially because some of the older characters have been eating up a little too much screen time. Don't get me wrong, I like the older characters, but it makes it hard to find a way to resonate with these new characters if JD keeps popping in. They've done a good job of finding new stories to tell with the new med students, and Turk and Cox have been great in their new role as teachers/mentors at Sacred Heart. JD was the heart of the show for eight years, but that role has to pass to Lucy for the viewers to be able to make the connection with her that they'll need to in order to build the audience. The jokes are still solid though, and the stories are still as strong as they ever were. There's definitely enough there to warrant another season.

Better Off Ted, meanwhile, really has their game plan in place, and executes it strongly every episode (I can't say"every week", because it's been on four times this week). It's a very well done workplace comedy that's been infused with a major dose of the quirky, and it balances out well. It's another show that would benefit from a steady time slot, as it's the kind of show that grows on you the more you watch it. The only concern is that there's not much room to grow with the concept, so if they ever run out of stories to tell, it'll go downhill fast. As of now though, I can see it easily going another two seasons so long as the ratings are there.

Finally, I need to roll back to Sunday and the Simpsons 20th Anniversary special. In 3-D. On Ice! The episode wasn't that great, unfortunately, although Anne Hathaway is a good guest star for them, and I wouldn't mind her as a semi-regular on the cast. Still, not the strongest thing to roll out there before a 60 minute documentary about how great you are.

So this documentary. First off, I'm not a fan of Morgan Spurlock, and so the more he was in it, the more annoyed I got. I don't know how much money they paid him, but they got robbed. They sat down with Simpons voice actors, future and current writers and producers, Matt Groening, even Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mike Judge, and Seth Macfarlane, yet only gave us brief snippets from them. Instead, we waste time by having Spurlock go globetrotting to give us fairly uninteresting pieces on Simpsons merchandise collectors, a trip to the "real Springfield" in Oregon, and a minor squabble about Groundskeeper Willie's hometown. Give me 30 minutes of Groening in a room with Parker, Stone, Judge, and Macfarlane, and I'm sold. It was a documentary that tried to everything and accomplished nothing (except reminding us that Morgan Spurlock is still alive and collecting air miles). The best bits would barely have filled a half hour slot, so they'd better not be holding a lot of good deleted footage for a DVD release.

The return of Thursday Comedy Night is tonight, so set those DVR's, or whatever it is you people use to watch television on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Return of Big Monday Entertainment!!!

That's right kids, Monday's are huge here on GtT, and tonight was the return of How I Met Your Mother, Castle, and that other show.

Castle leads us off tonight, because I actually watched it live tonight. I've been looking forward to this thanks to the Twitter account of one Senor Nathan Fillion, who has been positively giddy about working with Alyssa Milano for this episode. Apparently the Double Captain has a wish list of people he'd like to have guest star on Castle, and everyone's favorite witch/daughter of the Boss made the cut. The case itself was decent, as a bridesmaid turns up dead the day of Alyssa's (aka, Kyra) wedding, which gives us lots of time with her in a wedding dress looking just spectacular. Castle and Kyra used to be an item, which pays off with a great picture of Young Nathan and Young Alyssa together. Most likely Photoshopped, although I like to think that they worked together in their salad days and saved a snapshot. A BOY CAN DREAM, DAMMIT!

So yes, Beckett has the federally mandated amount of jealousy towards the former flame, but the case wraps itself up with the expected number of twists, and a slightly softer side of good old Rick. Worth watching just for the opener, with Castle having to free himself from being duct taped into a chair (on purpose). Also, since I watched it live, I got to watch the preview for next week's episode, which promises to reopen the matter of the murder of Mom Beckett. Having The Bachelor as a lead-in doesn't hurt either (and good work following The Bachelor with a wedding themed episode, oh magical ABC elves).

How I Met Your Mother celebrated it's 100th episode tonight, and really loaded it up for the longtime fans. The main plot was Barney having to give up suits to score with hot bartender Stacy Keibler, but we also got a big step closer to The Mother, as Ted meets The Mother's roommate up at school and dates her. I really dug the scene at dinner where the roommate is complaining about all the things The Mother does, as Future Ted keeps stopping the story to talk about how he loves each of those things. It's a sweet moment that this show specializes in.

Barney's bartender conquest leads to a funny Tim Gunn cameo, and then the much ballyhooed musical number that closes out the show. And wow, what a musical number. I already knew that NPH (Gay Man of the Decade, for the record) has the musical chops, but I was still impressed by the performance. HIMYM needed a "Ted" episode, and it delivered. NPH directed episode 101, so I can't wait for that.

Heroes was the last thing I watched, and even though it delivered more than it has in a while, it still managed to annoy me. Hiro finally gets some screen time, hatching a plan to get himself committed to the asylum in Florida where he hid Mohinder two months ago so that he can break Mohinder out. Lucky for them, it has the worst security in the history of anyplace that has ever needed security. Ando is able to Hadouken the doors at will, and fiddle around with the drugs on the cart (given out during visiting hours, why not?) without any interference from the orderlies (I'm sorry, Stormtroopers). He does have to pop Mohinder's pill though, leading to Wacky Ando Shenanigans. Honestly, the thing that pissed me off the most about this part was the "zany Hiro/Ando music" in the background the entire time of the escape. It could have been a badass rescue scene, with Ando's Kamehameha Waves and Mohinder's Hulk strength, followed by Ando zapping Hiro back to normal. Instead, it looks like a damn circus act, and is just another reason why Masi Oka needs to jump to Big Bang Theory or something and stop with this nonsense on NBC.

I didn't even have time to be mad about the return of Mohinder, because Parkman is back too, being torn away from his live as Mr. Mom in order to help Bennett make contact with Samuel's...wife? Loved one? Stalkee? If they explained it, I damn sure missed it. Anyway, with Parkman involved, it's bound to get screwed up, and it ends with Vanessa in the hands of Samuel, Parkman telling Bennett to go home and get his house in order, and Bennett...actually going home and getting his house in order. Wow, that actually worked. He makes out with Blonde Agent, and starts to reconnect with Claire. Maybe there's hope for this show after all.

Oh wait, there's Peter and the Deaf Girl. Never mind. Peter talks to Deaf Girl about the compass marks, then Mom Petrelli comes in to screw everything up. Peter grabs her power, dreams about her playing cello in the carnival while Sylar stalks up behind her, then he wakes up and...smashes the cello! Way to FlashForward (oh hey, that show's still on?) Pete! Oh yeah, and Lydia can mentally contact Sylar, but that'd be way too cool to follow up on, so look for that to come back in a month or something. This week's Heroes falls somewhere between "Better than it has been" and "But that hasn't been very good since after Season 1".

Finally, I wanted to address NBC's total botching of the Conan/Leno situation. Plenty has been written about it, but I want to throw my ideas into the mix. Here's what I hope happens, in order:

A) Leno takes the classy way out, retiring from nightly television and clearing the way for Conan to continue letting the Tonight Show evolve into some really good television. Leno spends time spending his millions of dollars, writing new jokes, and eventually tapes an HBO special that shatters all kinds of records and leads to his own Broadway show. NBC, meanwhile, starts putting TELEVISION back on at 9PM.

B) Leno doesn't take the classy way out, and Conan skips out. The money is at Fox, but I'd love an hour of Coco on Comedy Central right after Jon and Stephen (or possibly before them). What he loses in money, he regains in cool factor, plus the outpouring of public support after his royal shafting. He'd still get the A-List guests, plus the awesome B and C-listers, and he'd have crazy amounts of creative control. The advertising rates would go through the roof.

C) Jeff Zucker is eaten by a tiger.

Either way, I hope the best for Conan, the middlest for Jay (I respect him, but he really needs to take a stand and help Conan out of this jam), and nothing but scorn for NBC. Well, for Zucker anyway. I can't lose my Thursday night 3/4 comedies.

Back soon with...something? I have two months to catch up on FlashForward, I'd like to marathon Dollhouse, and LOST comes back very soon. Mmm...LOST.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My holiday from Heroes

Hey gang, I'm back from my hiatus, and ready for...ahh crap, Heroes.

Yes, Heroes was the first show back from the winter festivities, and it was a double-barreled blast of boring. As is easiest, I'll be breaking it down by characters:

First off, Hiro. The Jamaitian did some white guy voodoo on him, and he teleported out of the circus. He shows up in Japan, spouting random pop culture jargon, and stops the world's slowest purse snatching in front of the largest crowd of disinterested people ever. The cops deliver him to Ando, and several segments of tired "Oh hey, I think he's making comic book nerd references" later, they figure out he's supposed to go to Florida. That's it. That's two episodes of storyline for Hiro; he was in one place, and now he's going to another.

Claire: She's doing happy go lucky grunt work at the Sullivan Brother Carnival, then Lydia pulls into second place in the "Smartest Character on Heroes" contest by tricking Claire into walking into Dirt McGirt's trailer and seeing a Primatech box, instantly turning from "Idiot who walked eyes-wide-open into a cult" to "Idiot who is going to attempt some espionage, even though she's an idiot". Multiple Man won't leave her alone though, until she tricks him into an ambush at the *sigh* House of Mirrors. Then she leaves to go to Nathan's fancy military funeral and has a heart-to-heart chat with Peter.

Ahh that Nathan is officially dead, he's decided for the 9th time to be more of a hero. His first heroic act, getting shot by a disgruntled office worker after his cunning plan to bore him to sleep with a long monologue doesn't work. Unfortunately, Claire eventually shares her power with him, so he's able to heal up and try to save the world some more, one long stare at a time.

In the only remotely cool thing that happened in this doubleheader of suck, Bennett gets the drop on Speedy McGonzales and Abu Ghirab's him in the freezer of a chinese restaurant. After beating the crap out of him (offscreen, of course) for information, he's just about to start carving him up when the ex-partner/future lover/current nap inducer changes his mind, and instead they play all nicey-nice to get the layout of the carnival. Unfortunately, Bannett says the word "normal" about 70 times in a 4 minute conversation, which spooks Speedy and he bails.

Samuel takes on the monumental task of attempting to make anyone give a rat's ass about Dr. Deafenstein (or if you prefer, Deaf-N-Furter), revealing that he sent her the cello (and showing the giant ass compass painted on the back, conveniently not shown to the audience before now...probably because the writers didn't think about it until just now), and then having her use it to play Pied Piper to a homeless hero with the power to encourage plant growth. Samuel and Gardener Guy go back to the carnival where they use their powers to create a suburban lawn. Fascinating stuff, for reals. For really reals.

Anyway, Sylar (Smartest person on Heroes, for the record...third place is a tie between Bennett and Sylar's baseball cap) finds out that he can't kill anymore. Instead, he uses whatever forgotten empathy crap to swipe Lydia's power, then he gets a sweet magic tattoo which turns out to be a picture of Claire. We end with Sylar outside of Claire's window, and the return of Chuck. It's a show I watched, fell out of love with, but everybody says it's gotten better. I'll believe it if I see it.

Anyway, new Heroes tonight, 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother, and some 20 years of Simpsons thoughts. Smell ya later.