Sunday, February 22, 2009

TV Viewing (2/15 - 2/21)

24: 4:00 - 5:00 pm

I haven't seen it yet, due to the President's speech throwing off my DVR. The Fox TV website wants to install some crappy media player on my system, so I'll probably have to wait to find a decent torrent of this episode.

House: The Softer Side

The medical mystery of the week involves a priest who's lost his faith. Naturally, he bonds with House over their mutual atheism. And Cuddy is being wishy-washy over whether to invite House to a Jewish naming ceremony. But there must always be an annoying subplot, and once again it involves Foreman and Thirteen. Dr. House apparently agrees with the viewers that the Foreman-Thirteen relationship sucks, as he tries to force them to break up. He rightly points out that being with Thirteen turns Foreman into an idiot willing to throw away his entire career.

As usual for this season, the episode is two-thirds decent, with some nice interaction between House and the patient. The Cuddy portions are a bit annoying, as she acts more immature and indecisive than usual, but the actors manage to bring out some genuine emotions from a shaky script. If you ignore the banal Foreman-Thirteen subplot, House remains one of the best procedurals on TV.

Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock

I'm a bit torn on this episode. There's some great character moments, especially for Baltar, and the acting is superb, as always. But the central conflict of the episode, whether the Cylons and humans can successfully blend their societies, is beaten like a dead horse that's then set on fire.

Adama is pissed that Galactica is being repaired with living Cylon goop. The Cylons want to take off and abandon the fleet. And the civilians are getting restless and angry because they're starving while Adama makes nice with the Cylons. Any one of these plot threads can lead to interesting drama, but this episode plays them all at once, necessitating a great deal of manufactured conflict and out-of-left-field behavior.

What ultimately saves this episode is the human drama involving Ellen (recently returned to the fleet), Tigh, and Caprica Six. There's a fascinating and tragic love triangle here, and Michael Hogan and Tricia Helfer act the hell out of every scene they're in. Only four episodes to go...

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