Friday, May 21, 2010

What a long strange week it has been

Sorry for the delay in updating, I've been moved to days at work for the summer, so my viewing and blogging schedules have both been thrown out of whack. Also, it's season finale time, and a lot of shows are happening. I'm going to throw out some quick thoughts on the week that was, with a few shows getting an expanded treatment coming up.

How I Met Your Mother: We finally get the payoff to "The Wedding Bride" teaser from earlier in the season, as Tony tells his version of the Ted/Stella/Tony love triangle. Chris Kattan is funny as "Jed Mosly", although the rest of the movie scenes play as really heavy handed parody of the rom-com genre. Doesn't advance a whole lot of the meta-story, but next week's "Dopplegangers" should kick off the Marshall/Lily stuff going into next season.

Castle: Season finale, and a doozy. The first few minutes was remarkably done, making the reveal of the actual circumstances of the case a true surprise. Bringing back the writer's poker game was very welcome, and the separation anxiety of Alexis going off to her pre-college program was a good parallel to Castle and Beckett's situation. All the elements paid off down the stretch; Beckett breaks up with Denning just as Castle seemingly reunites with his ex-wife/publisher. A summer in the Hamptons awaits, and the possibility of Castle not coming back to the police (although we all know how that will end up). See you in the fall, indeed.

Lost: I'm hesistant to dig too much into this episode with the series finale coming up on Sunday, so I won't. The one scene that still sticks with me is Ben shooting Widmore, stating "He doesn't get to save his daughter". Amazing work, and coupled with Ben seemingly about to find the family he'd always wanted in the Alterna-verse, it ups the stakes for the fate of those versions of the characters going into Sunday. Alterna-Desmond is pulling strings and setting players in motion (much like Jacob) for something big. Not-Locke wants to use Desmond to destroy the Island, and Jack has taken over for Jacob. Still, smart money is on Jack not being the Protector by the time it all wraps up Sunday night. Sawyer seems like the obvious choice, Hurley seems like the obvious choice in retrospect on Monday morning. The campfire storytime by Jacob was well done, even if it was a big shot of exposition for the sake of the people who want questions answered. It does speak to the overarching theme of "choice" however, and that theme should be prevalent for the finale. There will be a massive Lost post by Monday or Tuesday though, and I'll go over everything as a whole (as will most humans alive).

Community: Wow. Well done Dan Harmon. Managing to be both a season finale, a deconstruction of season finales, and then some intangible third thing at once; this episode did in 22 minutes what many sitcoms never accomplished in their entire runs. Most of the other characters are pushed aside for the denouement of the Slater/Jeff/Britta triangle. Slater wants another shot at Jeff, Britta is finally realizing her feelings for Jeff, Jon Oliver is finally back!, Troy spends most of the episode eating a giant cookie, which then becomes a metaphor for his relationship with Abed...just so much to process. Then the Tranny Dance. Britta's war of words with Slater was so well done, as was her speech when she thought she'd won the title of Tranny Queen. Jeff's reaction (run) was also better handled than a lot of similar situations would have been. That all leads up to...Annie. Annie was going to run off to Delaware with Vaughn, putting her conveniently out of the way for a while. She talks to Jeff, Jeff confides in her about how Slater and Britta represent the two sides of who he is...the Jeff he could be, and the Jeff he is...then Jeff and Annie kiss. Hard. The love triangle has become a love Flux Capacitor. That's how you do it.

The Office: The "Sabre printers catch on fire" storyline that has been creeping in these past few weeks comes to a head, as someone ratted out the company, and Jo (Kathy Bates in her best guest appearance of the season) is out for blood. Andy, Pam, Daryl, Kelly (who Tweeted, and Woofed it) are all to blame, but in the end, Michael jumps on the grenade in order to save everybody's job. For all the ups and downs (some real, some only percieved) that this show has had the last few seasons, the scene with Jo and Michael in her jet is one of the best written, best acted moments in the entire run, and shows that this show still has a lot left in the tank. Steve Carell is supposedly leaving the show at the end of next year, and this hopefully signals a possible turnaround for the luck of Michael Scott, especially with the likelyhood of Holly coming back to the office. Also, Dwight is trying to buy the office building that houses Dunder-Mifflin. Surprised that didn't come more into play tonight. Looking forward to next season as well.

30 Rock: Speaking of having something left in the tank, last night's episode made up for a lot of sub-par episodes from this season. Continuing last week, Jack manages to make up with Nancy, allowing Liz to stop stalling the wedding (although it made for many good comedy bits). On the way to Wedding #2, Liz runs into Matt Damon's pilot "Carol", who is not only a big TGS fan, but is also the male Liz Lemon. She almost scares him off with a big crazy speech at Cerie's wedding, but he makes it back in time for Grizz's ceremony. As much as I liked Matt Damon in this role, I can't imagine he's going to be a regular cast member for the fall, so we'll see how this ends. Also, Jack managed to knock up Avery (prompting Nancy to dump him), and Kenneth overreacts to a possible promotion and move to Los Angeles, and manages to get himself fired. All cliffhangers that will not be resolved until September or later. Still, a strong end to a shaky season, and hopefully this kind of momentum is carried over to next year. Next season. Whatever.

Doctor Who: So the saga of Dr. River Song meets up with the Weeping Angels. Two great stories that didn't go all that well together for me. Don't get me wrong, I still liked the episode, although the second part way more than the first. There were a lot of great bits, but they didn't solidify into a cohesive unit for me, which hurt it somewhat. I liked the usage of Angel Bob as a way of getting under the Doctor's skin, and his speech at the end of Part 1 was kinda cool, but with a hint of cheesy under it. Some people may like a strong character coming in and being able to fluster the Doctor, but it seemed more like Song was able to do it because it was written that way, not because her character is just that capable of doing it. Amy remains both adorable, and a magnet for trouble. The second half is another piece of my "This is all related to the Tennant finale" theory, with the Doctor agonizing over tossing himself into the Time Crack in order to save...well, everything. The ending was a little telegraphed, waiting for the Doctor to catch up to us in figuring out that he could toss the Angels into the Crack and solve both problems. The bit with Amy blind and alone in the middle of the "forest" was such a great scene though, and the usage of gravity in the episode was consistent and elegant in its simplicity. At times, it felt like it could have been a really good single episode, instead of an unevenly paced two-parter. By the end though, it all felt like a prelude for the last five minutes.

Yep, they kissed. The Doctor takes Amy back to her house, she spills her guts...and throws herself at The Doctor. I'm glad they didn't keep stretching it out, and I'm really looking forward to "Vampires in Venice" this week (since I don't skip ahead...cheaters!). Oh, and then the idea of "Time can be rewritten" isn't to be forgotten in all the shipper glee either. Amy doesn't remember Daleks. Remember this fact. Remember it well.

Lost on Sunday night, and then a day to let it sink in. I've also got to catch up on Chuck, and give some thoughts on this show, and whether it really needs to stick around any longer.

Also, Heroes is officially canceled. Heroes is one of the reasons I started doing this in the first place (you know, to kick it on the way down), so it's like a death in the family...but a good one, like an old uncle that no one likes. Goodbye forever, Heroes.

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