Saturday, January 24, 2009

TV: Is there anything good on?

Spoilers below...

24: 12:00 - 1:00 pm
It's still early enough in the season that 24 can continue to barrel along without much concern for how its various plot threads will end up colliding. This episode doesn't have as much action as the previous ones, but it does offer the usual "time is running out!" scenarios that this show does so well. Jack comes up with a rather inventive and semi-plausible way to force Mobotu from this panic room, and he even gets to fake-kill someone again.
We also learn that the President's administration is riddled with secret bad guys who want to help General Juma, and this corruption extends to the Secret Service, who murdered the President's son, and now plan to murder her husband. Has there ever been an administration on this show that didn't have at least one traitor in it? And there was the time that the President himself was the bad guy. No wonder all the good guys became independent contractors.

House: Painless
A fairly formulaic hour, with the usual patient with mysterious ailment, misdiagnosis, inane subplot, misdiagnosis, inane subplot leads House to the correct diagnosis. To shake things up, this patient is super-suicidal, but the writers ultimately try too hard in trying to draw parallels between the patient's life and House's. At the end of the day, the patient has a great life that's been marred by chronic pain, whereas House has a rotten life of his own making that is made worse by persistent but managable pain. The episode also continues the out-of-left-field Foreteen romance, but I don't think anybody really cares.

Burn Notice: What Doesn't Kill Me...
We begin season 3 with (spoiler alert!) Michael surviving the explosion, followed by a brief car chase. Michael feels like shit, so he cheers himself up by taking the case of the week, and actually seems really gung-ho about helping his client for a change. The client got scammed by a fake hospital, so Michael and company break out the usual bag of tricks to scam the scammers. Unfortunately, we've seen some of these tricks already, from the interrogations to the "trick the one guy into thinking you killed the other guy" scheme. As per usual, the crooks are idiots and are easily played by Michael. Also as per usual, Michael doesn't collect a fee, leaving one to wonder how he pays for all those gadgets and guns.
In the ongoing plot, we learn that Karla didn't try to kill Michael, and that someone else is now screwing with her plans. This show may have become a bit too formulaic, but I'm still curious as to where things go from here.

Monk: Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door
This episode guest stars Gena Rowland, who apparently has had an extensive career in Hollywood (according to IMDB) but never hit it big. The big mystery of the week involves the theft of an egg-eating machine (it's dumber than it sounds) and an unfortunate security guard who was killed. Sadly, the mystery this week is one of the poorer ones, and I imagine that most people figured out the trick to the killer's alibi by the first half hour. Somewhat more interesting is the exploration of Monk's issues with his mother, who abandoned him when he was a child. Gena Rowland's character stumbles into Monk's life, and Monk quickly comes to accept her as a surrogate mother. But given his poor experiences with phony friends, Monk becomes suspicious of this new figure in his life. I liked this subplot, if for no other reason than it seems to actually suggest a tiny bit of awareness of how Monk's experiences in previous episodes might affect him in the present. While this show remains adamantly episodic, a tiny bit of continuity never hurt anyone. Of course, all the changes in Monk's life are undone by the end of the episode, so back to square one by next week.

Battlestar Galactica: A Disquiet Follows My Soul
Another excellent episode from an excellent series. Many of the issues that I had with the Cylons so suddenly becoming cozy with humanity are starting to be addressed. As it turns out, not everyone is as ready to make nice with the toasters as Adama and Apollo. Zarek is causing trouble in the quorum and Peg-Leg Gaeta is contemplating mutiny. Things come to a head as Adama orders all the ships to accept retrofits of Cylon technology, which requires Cylons boarding the civilian vessels. To make matters even more complicated, the Cylons want citizenship and Tyrol finds himself on an episode of Jerry Springer. While this episode has the usual superb writing and acting, it mostly serves as a setup for the next one, which promises to be quite shocking.
Also, old people have sex. You know you want to watch.

1 comment:

Th. said...


Monk's episodicness is the only thing keeping me from loving it.