Tag Archives: TNT

SHOWDOWN: Franklin & Bash v. Suits

That’s right – I have a new  post category (which I’m hoping I can make into a weekly thing). SHOWDOWN, a platform from which to nitpick at the usually excessive, often disturbing, and usually embarrassing amount of similarity between multiple series and all their various elements. The purpose of SHOWDOWNs is partly to point out the lack of creativity in the world of television, yes, but also to examine possible reasons for why, despite rampant sameness, some shows succeed so much better than others. Also I’m breaking down the SHOWDOWN into several Points of Comparison, awarding points to the victor in each of those, tallying up to find an overall winner, and pretending that this practice isn’t totally ridiculous. Go!

THIS WEEK’S SHOWDOWN: LEGAL BUDDY DRAMADIES ON SUMMER CABLE

SERIES:  FRANKLIN & BASH (TNT) and SUITS (USA)

POINTS OF COMPARISON: LEAD DUO, SUPPORTING CHARACTERS, STORY PROGRESSION, TASTE LEVEL

Leading Duo

The success of any buddy comedy lives or dies with the success of its buddies to garner the affection of an audience. Nobody wants to watch a buddy comedy starring Voldemort and Gollum. (OK, lie. I would totally watch that.) The two characters need unquestionable appeal, individually and especially as a pair.

Franklin & Bash: The leads of this show fit a classic pattern. Of the pair, one is more handsome than goofy and one is more goofy than handsome, one has family issues and one has romantic issues, both are charming, and both are totally loyal to each other. Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are both absolutely perfect for their roles and for each other. My disappointment with this pairing is that they are sometimes too similar and that the interplay is minimal. At least in the episodes I’ve watched, they seem to work individually for the most part and come together only to recount and occasionally knock out a kneeslapper courtroom scene. In a scenario rather backward from the usual, Franklin and Bash seem different on a superficial level but grow less distinct the deeper you dig. I enjoy the cooperative comic elements, but I could do with a little more conflict. Any argument between the two is distinctly lacking in heat. There’s no question these guys are fantastic and fun to watch, but they don’t hold up well to critical analysis. Once you look past the hilarity of their banter-y, frat boy antics, they’re actually sort of…boring.

Suits: The leads of this series are more Odd Couple than bromance BFFs. The two are clearly polarized in several ways. Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) is older, handsome, suave, well-educated, and prides himself on being the reason lawyer jokes exist. Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is the problem-child-with-a-heart-of-gold, supergenius, slightly dorky type. They are balanced beautifully and share equally in both the dramatic and the comedic. The rapport between the two is phenomenal, as is the growing development of their relationship, which leads in turn to development of the individual characters. Basically you couldn’t hope for a pair better complemented, performance- or character-wise. That being said, it could fairly be argued that their relationship leans more toward the mentor/pupil side and therefore they don’t exactly qualify as “buddies.”

Winner: I don’t think there’s a winner here. I definitely prefer the pair from Suits, but I can’t argue that they are the better buddy comedy leading pair.

Supporting Characters:

You can learn a lot about a show by how well-conceived, well-developed, and even well-cast the smaller roles are. Series do not survive solely on the power of great leads alone. (Y’know, unless the show is, say, Moonlighting.) Supporting characters also represent the possibility of sideplots, which in turn represent the possibility of long-term appeal.

Franklin & Bash: I have two names for you. Reed Diamond (of Dollhouse, at his snarky antagonist-but-not-a-bad-guy best). Malcolm McDowell (in what is possibly my favorite role of his ever). If these two were the only supporting characters in the series, Franklin & Bash would be the most hilariously enjoyable show ever. But no. Instead, we are also subjected to Dana Davis (one of the worst things to ever happen to Heroes) as an ex-con private investigator who does all of F&B’s legwork, Kumail Nanjiani as a prissy acrophobic computer research genius prone to vomiting, and Garcelle Beauvais as the sexy older woman who is supposed to be so impressive and intelligent but for some reason still sleeps with overgrownfratboy Franklin. Those latter three are all extremely one-dimensional and even more uninteresting. Pindar (Nanjiani) was the primary focus of the resolution of an episode, perhaps the pilot (I’ve forgotten…), and it almost ruined the entire thing. There are two other recurring characters who I suppose might qualify as “supporting,” Bash’s one-that-got-away Janie (Claire Coffee) and nonspecific-lawfirm-employee Debbie (Alexandra Holden), but neither of them have any personality whatsoever, so they are hardly worth mentioning.

Suits: Just one name for this series, but it is way more important than the two from Franklin & Bash. GINA TORRES. I will be honest, her presence is 100% of the reason I actually watched this show. I saw ads and had little-to-no interest (certainly not enough for me to remember it was happening at all). And then somehow I stumbled across the information that Gina Torres was in the show. And here we are. And of course she totally lives up to her own reputation – elegance, strength, and subtle humor are the words for her always. Another familiar face, although perhaps not a familiar name, is Rick Hoffman, who pulls out the stops on obnoxious assholery and plays that guy you want to hate so beautifully that you love him for it. Meghan Markle is Rachel, The Love Interest, who actually has quite a bit of character and background information already. She is both a useful instrument for story progress and just plain likeable. Finally, Donna the Secretary (Sarah Rafferty). Of all the regular characters, Donna has the least screen time and would be the easiest to marginalize and caricature-ize. And maybe she is a caricature, but I Don’t Care. The woman is hilarious. The one time so far I’ve laughed out loud (and started to tear up) for an extended period at this show, it was her.

Winner: Suits. By a landslide, not even just because of how bad Franklin & Bash‘s supporting characters are. As phenomenal as the lead duo is, I am at least equally entertained by and interested in the supporting characters of this series.

Story Progression

The issue with epis0de-based long-form series is keeping them interesting. It is fairly inevitable that individual procedural-type shows are going to be fairly cookie-cutter in terms of format: problem, conflict, solution, resolution. This is why CSI cases get weirder and more impossible every year – to make sure the audience doesn’t get bored. And so, series also have to make sure there is some measure of progress with the overall storyline, whatever that may be, in every (or at least every other) episode.

Franklin & Bash: I’m honestly not sure exactly what the long-term story arc of this show is supposed to be. I believe it has something to do with the fact that Franklin and Bash are trying to fit their unconventional selves into a distinguished law firm. Which is a great premise. But it would go over a lot better if one of the main schticks was not their super eccentric boss. As in, it would go better if there was any sort of conflict there at all. The other primary, extended plotlines are one emotional/personal conflict per lead character. For Jared Franklin, it is some sort of daddy issue that seemed pretty well established and without chance of resolution at the end of the episode where it was introduced, but this will probably go on for as long as it possibly can. For Peter Bash, it is not-exactly-unrequited love: his ex-girlfriend, whom he still loves, is marrying someone else, but he insists (in one of the most embarrassingly corny moments I’ve seen in awhile) there is still a chance. We the audience are not privy to any information on the history of these apparently doomed relationships and are not allowed any time to make a connection with the non-lead characters involved and so, basically, have no reason to care. As far as the episode-to-episode content of Franklin & Bash, it is well-written and well-acted if nothing else. There’s always a Reed Diamond snark scene, always a Malcolm McDowell wackiness moment, and always a phenomenally borderline ridiculous courtroom showdown. And, y’know, there are worse things.

Suits: The major flaw in Suits‘ plot-related long-term storyline is that it is based on a short-term arrangement. Mike is Harvey’s not-really-a-Harvard-grad intern/protege/underling, and the main conflict is keeping every other character from finding out that Mike is not actually allowed to be doing the job he is doing. So while the illusion maintained, the story works out well. Once the inevitable revelation happens, no matter how creative I get, I cannot conceive of a way for the plot to continue without becoming unbearably stupid. That said, the interpersonal plot arcs in the series are incredibly well-done. Obviously, Mike and Harvey’s relationship is the most prominent, and it is very well-crafted. But also compelling are Mike’s attempted romance with Rachel and Louis’ (Hoffman) relationships with everyone. Even the history of the relationship between Harvey Specter and Jessica Pearson (Torres) inspires a good amount of fascination.

Winner: I’m gonna have to give this one to Suits as well. Franklin & Bash might have more long-term potential with such an open-ended storyline, but I care a lot less about the story and so don’t really care about said long-term potential.

FINAL TALLY: Franklin & Bash – 2, Suits – 0

I guess it’s no surprise I’m giving Suits the win in this SHOWDOWN.

The two series are fairly well-matched in terms of comedy, writing, casting, and production value. The major difference for me is connectability. Franklin & Bash puts the majority of its energies into entertainment value. And yeah, the mere concept of a lawyer shotgunning a can of beer as part of his defense case is pretty damn entertaining, especially when that antic leads to a victory. But even beer and boobs and bravado get dull after awhile. Suits has its own faults, overbearing USA-typical product placement among them, but there is a certain amount of soul to it. There is a human quality, personified in the Mike Ross character, that Franklin & Bash has no chance of matching. If you’re just looking for a fun show to bide the time until that fall season premiere you’re waiting for happens, I recommend both series equally. But if you want to add to your permanent repertoire of shows to track, I suggest you check out Suits.

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This Week 3/7 to 3/12

So yeah. I guess I’m back.

I’ve spent the last…however long its been…mostly hacking away at my To-Watch list of old. Progress so far: Seasons 1 and 2 of Damages, Seasons 1-3 of Dexter, rewatching Season1 of Dollhouse, attempting to watch The 4400, and then also watching hours and hours of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Next up is Season 1 of The Closer, and I’m very excited.

BUT. Time goes on. New things air. And I try to keep up, or at least catch up.

MONDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
8pm – The Event on ABC (2-hour midseason return!)
9pm – The Chicago Code on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy

Of these four, I’m only current on The Event, and that’s only because there haven’t been any new episodes since my Great Catch Up of early January. Actually, I haven’t even started The Chicago Code yet. But people I trust tell me I should, so.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
10pm – White Collar on USA

GWYNETH PALTROW IS BACK ON GLEE!!! (Which reminds me. I finally caught back up on Glee after my period of disenchantment. And I LOVE IT again. Good times.)

WEDNESDAY:
10pm – Justified on FX

Question for Wednesday: is Mr. Sunshine worth watching? I’ve been curious.

THURSDAY:
9pm – Bones on FOX
10pm – Facing Kate on USA

This week on Bones: continuation of the “sniper arc” I keep hearing about. What makes that actually exciting: Arnold Vosloo!

FRIDAY:
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS
9pm – Fringe on FOX

I really need to catch up on Fringe. I miss it.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Zach Galifianakis and Jessie J.) on NBC

In Big Screen Brain news, I just saw The Adjustment Bureau. Expect a review in the next couple of days.

This Week 1/17 to 1/22

Well, the Golden Globes are tonight. I’ll see about doing a post on that. Maybe. For now, the schedule for the coming week. Woo.

MONDAY:
8pm – Chuck on NBC (midseason return!)
8pm – House on FOX
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
9pm – The Cape on NBC
9pm – Lie to Me on FOX
9pm – Being Human on SyFy (series pilot!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS
10pm – Harry’s Law on NBC (series pilot!)

I should probably just take House off of my schedule. I’m not watching it and, from what I hear, that’s not a terrible loss.

TUESDAY:
8pm – NCIS on CBS
9pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS
10pm – Southland on TNT
10pm – White Collar on USA

I have now removed V, Detroit 1-8-7, and No Ordinary Family from my schedule. Because, honestly, it just isn’t gonna happen. Ever.

WEDNESDAY:

Oh great. American Idol is starting again. (Bones marathon on TNT or NCIS marathon on USA? I think so.)

THURSDAY:
9pm – Bones on FOX (midseason return!)
10pm – Fairly Legal on USA (series pilot!)

Thank goodness for this Thursday!

FRIDAY:
9pm – Fringe on FOX (midseason return!)

…you’ve got to be shitting me. Fringe‘s Friday Death Slot premiere is titled “Firefly“? Can we spell “death sentence”? Jesus.

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

This Week 1/3 to 1/9

MONDAY:
8pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family (midseason return!)
10pm – Castle on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (midseason return!)

This week’s episode of Castle brought to you by the excellent and intriguing title “Nikki Heat.” It’s gonna be a good ‘un.

TUESDAY:
8pm – No Ordinary Family  on ABC (midseason return!)
9pm – V on ABC (season premiere!)
10pm – Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Southland on TNT (season premiere!)

Except I actually don’t watch any of these. Maybe I should take them off my schedule…

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX (2-hour midseason return!)

Also, there’s a Bones marathon on TNT.

THURSDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

FRIDAY:
9pm – CSI: NY on CBS (midseason return!)

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Jim Carrey and the Black Keys) on NBC (midseason return!)

SUNDAY:
9pm – The Cape on NBC (2-hour series pilot!)
9:30pm – Episodes on Showtime (series pilot!)
10pm – Shameless on Showtime (series pilot!)

Tis the Midseason

It’s that time again. Midseason return/premiere schedule. Go!

Monday January 3
8:00pm – Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Castle on ABC (midseason return!)
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS (midseason return!)

Hey, I could actually catch up on time to watch PLL! But that really doesn’t matter because I’m mostly just SUPER jazzed about more Castle.

Tuesday January 4
8:00pm – No Ordinary Family on ABC (midseason return!)
9:00pm – V on ABC (season premiere!)
10:00pm – Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Southland on TNT (season premiere!)

…I probably will not actually watch anyof these. But I thought I’d include them just for kicks. (Question: Should I be watching No Ordinary Family?)

Wednesday January 5
8:00pm – Human Target on FOX (midseason return!)

Happy half-birthday to me!

Friday January 7
9:00pm – CSI: NY on CBS (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Blue Bloods on CBS (midseason return!)

Sunday January 9
9:00pm – The Cape on NBC (2-hour series pilot!)
9:30pm – Episodes on Showtime (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Shameless on Showtime (series pilot!)

Not gonna lie, all three of these shows look semi-ridiculous. The Cape is about a cop who gets framed and goes all caped vigilante on his city and, honestly, it looks even stupider than it sounds. Episodes is about Matt LeBlanc (playing himself) ruining the marriage of a British couple. And Shameless is just the newest in a long line of excellent British shows being stolen for and ruined on American television.

Monday January 10
9:00pm – Lie to Me on FOX (midseason return!)

Tuesday January 11
8:00pm – NCIS on CBS (midseason return!)
9:00pm – NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS (midseason return!)
10:00pm – Lights Out on FX (series pilot!)

In Lights Out, a former heavy-weight boxing champ starts working as a debt collector to make ends meet. Doesn’t pique my interest, but FX’s original series track record is pretty good and so should this be.

Wednesday January 12
10:00pm – Off the Map on ABC (series pilot!)

Basically it’s Grey’s Anatomy, but without indoor plumbing.

Monday January 17
8:00pm – Chuck on NBC (midseason return!)
8:00pm – House on FOX (midseason return!)
9:00pm – Being Human on SyFy (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Harry’s Law on NBC (series pilot!)

Being Human is another of those ripped-off Brit shows. Harry’s Law is a legal drama with an incredible cast that will most likely be at least fairly decent…but, frankly, I’d just rather have The Whole Truth back. (Oh, wait, wrong network…) Also…I can totally catch up on Chuck by this day…right?

Tuesday January 18
10:00pm – White Collar on USA (midseason return!)

I’m getting the impression that this show has only gotten better. I should work on catching up at some point.

Thursday January 20
8:00pm – Bones on FOX (midseason return!)
8:30pm – Perfect Couples on NBC (series pilot!)
10:00pm – Fairly Legal on USA (series pilot!)

Perfect Couples comes from minds behind 30 Rock and Friends. Fairly Legal stars Sarah Shahi and Michael Trucco and I have been waiting for it for two years. So guess which of these two shows is the one I’m going to be watching.

Friday January 21
9:00pm – Fringe on FOX (midseason return!)

Oh shit guys, Fringe has been relegated to the Friday Death Slot.

Wednesday January 26
10:00pm – Face Off on SyFy (series pilot!)

Normally I avoid competition/reality shows like the plague. But a competition/reality show about special effects makeup? Hell yes!

Thursday January 27
8:00pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW (midseason return!)
9:00pm – Nikita on the CW (midseason return!)

Monday February 7
9:00pm – The Chicago Code on FOX (series pilot!)

It’s just another cop show, but it’s shot on location in Chicago and really wants to be the next hardxcoreawesome thing.

Tuesday February 8
8:00pm – Glee on FOX (midseason return!)

Wednesday February 9
9:30pm – Mr. Sunshine on ABC
10:00pm – Justified on FX

Mr. Sunshine sounds like an awful everyman semi-comedy indie film come to television. But more glamourous because, well, that’s just how it works.

Monday February 28
10:00pm – The Event on NBC (midseason return!)

Tuesday March 29
9:00pm – Body of Proof on ABC (series pilot!)

Crime procedural slash personal drama centered around an M.E. It could easily be interesting and fun. It could just as easily be awful and boring.

Wednesday April 6
9:30pm – Breaking In on FOX (series pilot!)

Oh look, Christian Slater‘s back. Again. Trying to make it as a television leading man. Again.

Wednesday April 13
10:00 – Happy Endings on ABC (series pilot!)

It’s another of these melodramedies about attractive young people and their romantic shenanigans. But I will admit, it has a pretty good cast.

New Year, New Shows

I’m at least few hours early in most timezones, but Happy 2011!

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, which I don’t make and certainly wouldn’t keep if I did, I’ve made a somewhat prioritized list of new/old series I’m going to attempt to at least introduce myself to over the coming year. God knows how many of these I’ll actually get to, given that I don’t have a particularly great amount of spare time and new shows are popping up all over the place. BUT. These are shows that I am really interested in seeing, so hopefully I’ll make some headway in the coming months.

NEW SHOWS
(As in, new to me…some of these are actually rather dated.)

1. Sherlock

People keep insisting that I need to see this. And given my adoration of anything Sherlock Holmes related, they are correct.

2. Terriers

Somehow I still haven’t seen any of this even though I have been dying to. Catching up in time for new episodes (which, hopefully, there will be) is a priority.

3. The Walking Dead

Another show that is actually new and that I just haven’t quite found the time to start watching yet. But I will. Because, well, zombies!

4. Dexter

I watched the first two episodes of Dexter way back when this whole Melted Brain thing started. But I didn’t get any further, even though it seems like Dexter would be my kind of show. Due to prodding by people and my realization that trying to start Dexter and Six Feet Under in the same weekend might have been a terrible plan, I am going to try again.

5. Twin Peaks

Yes Laura. I need to watch this show and I promise I am going to.

6. True Blood

I don’t actually have a huge amount of interest in True Blood, but I am going to watch it because I am hardly in a position to write an extended treatise on contemporary vampire fiction if I don’t. And I really want to write that.

7. The Closer

Now that this show is entering its final season, I guess it is as good a time as any to start watching. I love Kyra Sedgwick and, after enjoying all the promos so much, my watching and enjoying seems only inevitable.

8. Moonlighting

I reference this show all the time. So I should probably back that up by actually knowing what I’m talking about.

9. Deadwood

Timothy Olyphant. Ian McShane. Brad Dourif. Paula Malcolmson. Late 1880s. Outlaws. Why haven’t I seen this yet?

10. Star Trek: The Next Generation

Watching this series will probably be an on-going effort, and it is not much of a priority. But I know I have seen a few episodes that I have really loved, so there must be more. And, well, it’s Star Trek. That’s pretty much reason enough.

11. Damages

I do not like legal shows as a general rule. But there are a couple exceptions, and I’m guessing the phenomenal acting this series is reputed for will make this one of those exceptions.

12. Jericho

This is just one of those low-priority, minimal-investment sci-fi series from the past decade that I feel like I should watch, just to be able to say I have.

CATCH-UP SHOWS
(As in, shows I say that I watch but that I am actually reeeeeally far behind on.)

1. Chuck

I WILL CATCH UP ON CHUCK. IT WILL HAPPEN. GODDAMMIT!

2. Fringe

I watched the pilot of this show when it aired, but for some reason I have never kept up with it. And now I am so far behind it is depressing. But everything I hear says that the show has only gotten more and more awesome, so it is time to make an effort to get with it.

3. Justified

…I actually only watched the pilot and half of the next episode. So yeah. Should probably rectify that, stat.

4. The Vampire Diaries

See: my reasons for starting True Blood. Also, I want to see if all the plotlines I was expecting after S1 are actually coming to be. (I’m pretty sure they are.)

5. Lie to Me

I’ve been told that, after a rather lackluster first season and a half, this show has gotten quite good. I want to see if that’s true.

6. Supernatural

Catching up on this show is actually not a huge priority. I have seen S1, S2, and most of S3. Most likely I will wait until the series ends and consecutive reruns start on TNT.

…wow. That is a lot more shows than I thought it was. I guess we’ll see how this all goes. My brain may actually melt. Yikes.

Merry Christmas Special

I did not grow up watching all those stop-motion animation Christmas television movie specials that are actually horrible but no-one wants to say so because they grew up with them and have thus assigned a huge amount of sentimental value. ALSO, my family has never been big on Christmas movies. I think I’ve seen It’s A Wonderful Life once, ever. Likewise Miracle on 34th Street until last night when channel flipping landed me on AMC. White Christmas is a different story because it’s an early-fifties era musical and that was basically my childhood. But I digress. Point is, I don’t watch real Christmas specials.

Unluckily for me, television series really like to make their own special holiday episodes.

Luckily for all of us, this gives me review fodder.

So, without further ado, a quick review of four of this year’s Christmas Special Episodes.

Human Target: “The Other Side of the Mall”

Dear Human Target,

If you’re going to do a Christmas episode, maybe don’t revolve the whole thing around how much the main character hates Christmas. It kind of ruins things. It’s bad enough to do a holiday-themed episode. You could at least make an effort to get into the spirit a little. Funny as it is to send the team down light-vomited suburban holiday lane to the tune of “Where are we?” “Hell.”, the whole thing just ends up lame. Also, semi-metal rock n’ roll riff Christmas carols? You have ruined ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Forever’…and it wasn’t that good to begin with. Thanks for that.

Love,
Melted Brain

Best quotes: “Wow. You’re an excellent whistler.” and “You are what we in the custodial arts like to call…a douche.”

Glee: “A Very Glee Christmas”

My expectations for this episode were really low, so I guess you could say they’ve been fulfilled. Basically, I found the lack of inspiration embarrassing. Least original Christmas special ever. And all the more disappointing because Glee is capable of doing better when it actually tries. But not this year. Glee seems to be having some major writing problems this year and is getting worse by the episode and I could go on, but that’s not really the point right now. So, let me break this review down into pros and cons…and I’ll try to come up with an even number of each, because it’s only fair:

GOOD:
1) Brittany still believes in Santa Claus: Touche, Glee. If there is anything to make me at least accept a Christmassy Christmas special filled with Christmassy Christmas spirit…Brittany believing in Santa and the whole club teaming up to make her time magical is it. AWWWWWWWW.
2) Coach Beiste: This was actually just a good episode thing in general. I’m really pleased she’s becoming incorporated into the show in general. Dot Jones is a much better element than Coach Tanaka (Peter Gallagher) ever was. And the Arty-slash-Brittany gift? AWWWWWWWW.
3) Baby It’s Cold Outside: On behalf of fangirls everywhere, thank you. I don’t care that the script had to take a completely ridiculous and unnecessary side trip. I will bet you any amount of money this is the most popular part of the episode. (But I still feel the need to remark: Chris Colfer singing the low part in a duet with another dude is frickin’ weird.)

UNDECIDED:
Island of Misfit Toys: Great echo back to the early days…but so saccharine I wanted to cry.

BAD:
1) The Jew Problem: Puck decorating a Christmas tree? JEWFAIL. Rachel singing not just one, but two Christmas numbers? JEWFAIL. The fact that the Glee Club has two Jews very obsessed with being Jewish could have been a jumping off point for making a Christmas episode with some actual valuable social commentary the like of which Glee supposedly is still capable of. But NO. No. Instead let’s just ignore that. Because Christmas is too commercially dominant for us to do anything else. I mean, it’s not as if there are any Jews in showbiz or anything.
2) The Sue plot: I am embarrassed by how lame this was. Sue as the Grinch. Really. Wow. Let’s talk about low-hanging fruit from the obvious tree.
3) The end: And of course, how else could this episode possibly have ended but with a hair joke. Wow. Merry fucking Christmas to you too, Glee. Motherfuckers.

Best quotes: “This year, Glee Club’s going full-Santa *CRAZYEYES*” and Schue’s ideas for Sue-mas gifts (1 – robot dog, 2 – a soul)

Leverage: “The Ho Ho Ho Job”

Honestly, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode. It just wasn’t that noteworthy. It was an average episode of Leverage, but with Santa. And not even very much Santa. Yes, yes, Parker’s obsession with Christmas was kind of cute fun. But that was about it. Christmas in the mall. Wa. Hoo.

Eureka: “O Little Town”

The whole “telling a tale of Christmas past” is a bit heavy-handed. BUT, Eureka is beyond tongue-in-cheek enough to handle it. The episode works because it’s a totally standard episode of Eureka…it just happens to take place during Christmas. We get Taggart back, which is awesome. There is nothing funnier than a gangly Australian trying to explain Santa Claus with science. Except for maybe  an ENORMOUS ROLLING CHRISTMAS BALL ORNAMENT. (YESSS.) The can of Christmas cheer was excessively creepy, but the episode ended on not just the right key, but the right note exactly. Kids who go “That’s way too sappy…but good story” is the perfect sappy holiday touch that doesn’t make the audience want to die. And, final note: I usually don’t approve of changing of credits/opener to incorporate holiday decor, but Sheriff Carter in an elf/Santa/whatever-that-was costume? Admittedly pretty hysterical

Best quotes: “Tell me about it. I had to ice my hot toddies.”

 

 

Merry Christmas from Melted Brain.

This Week 12/6 to 12/12

I am watching the Rizzoli & Isles marathon on TNT all day. That is a fun thing. A less fun thing: no new episodes until summer. LAME. (But at least it’s been renewed!)

Tonight:
10pm – Castle on ABC
10pm – Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Castle is back!!!! Also, lack of new Chuck means that catching up isn’t becoming any more daunting, which is nice.

TUESDAY:
8pm – Glee on FOX
9pm – Eureka on SyFy

A Glee Christmas special? I’m very afraid.

WEDNESDAY:
8pm – Human Target on FOX
10pm – The Whole Truth on ABC

The Whole Truth has been cancelled, actually. But I guess we get a few more episodes.

THURSDAY:
8pm – Bones on FOX
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW
9pm – Fringe on FOX
9pm – Nikita on the CW

FRIDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SATURDAY:
11:30pm – Saturday Night Live (Paul Rudd & Paul McCartney) on NBC

SUNDAY:
9pm – Leverage on TNT

Shows that can totally pull off a three-episode Christmas special: Leverage.

This Week 9/5 to 9/12

Guys, guys, FALL TV STARTS THIS WEEK. GET EXCITED.

Tonight:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – Leverage on TNT (season finale!)

Please note, the exclamation point after the ‘season finale’ after Leverage actually indicates despair, not excitement.

MONDAY:
8:30pm – CBS Fall Preview on CBS (special)
9pm – Friday Night Lights on ABC Family (network premiere!/pilot!)
10pm – Rizzoli & Isles on TNT

I have never watched Friday Night Lights. I don’t know that I would like it. But ABC Family is airing the whole series starting anew, so here’s an opportunity.

TUESDAY:
9pm – White Collar on USA
10pm – Covert Affairs on USA

WEDNESDAY:
9pm – Dark Blue on TNT (2 hours!)
10pm – Terriers on FX

I neglected to mention Terriers in my Fall TV preview post (reason: I didn’t know slash forgot it existed). Terriers is, to the best of my opinion, a sort of unconventional cop show of the general FX variety – so, a wacky mix of hicks and major criminals. That part falls pretty well under the take-it-or-leave it umbrella. The reason you should watch Terriers is, it stars Donal Logue (lately of Life)! He’s a funny man. Still confused? Understandable. See a preview here.

THURSDAY:
8pm – The Vampire Diaries on the CW (season premiere!)
9pm – Nikita on the CW (pilot!)
9pm – Project Runway on Lifetime

I guess my foray into actually watching the CW is going to have to wait; I’ve signed away all my Thursday nights for September to Doing Real Things. But I will still make sure to watch these in a timely fashion! (And also finally get around to seeing The Vampire Diaries‘ S1 finale…)

FRIDAY:
9pm – Eureka on SyFy
10pm – Haven on SyFy

SATURDAY:

Nothing new is airing.

SUNDAY:
9pm – Rubicon on AMC
9pm – 2010 Video Music Awards on MTV/MTV2


What you can expect from me this week:

  • Review of Leverage season finale/season as a whole
  • Review of Nikita
  • Review of Terriers
  • special post of some variety

Emmy Winners 2010

Yeah, I kinda missed the ball on this one. But hey. This is the only way I manage to check for myself, and besides: this year was kind of exciting. As in, 30 Rock didn’t win everything, which is fantastic. (Clearly I am not a devotee.)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Jim Parsons as “Sheldon Cooper” in The Big Bang Theory
YES, YES, A BILLION POUNDS OF YES!
I really could not be more excited or delighted by any other outcome (yes, including a Matt Morrison win).

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Edie Falco as “Jackie Peyton” in Nurse Jackie
Didn’t really have too much care about this category this year. But Tina Fey didn’t win, so that’s fun and different.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston as “Walter White” in Breaking Bad
I was rooting for Matthew Fox or (as usual) Michael C. Hall. But this is juuuuuust fine too.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Kyra Sedgwick as “Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson” in The Closer
Congratulations! (I really didn’t care about this category this year…)

Comedy Series: Modern Family
Glee didn’t win?! OUTRAGE! SCANDAL! …just kidding. Modern Family is definitely deserving. Grudgingly as I admit it. Maybe next year.

Drama Series: Mad Men
God DAMN it. STOP.

Reality Competition Series: Top Chef
Huh.

Variety/Music/Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Aw YEAH. Eight years in a row!

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet as “Cameron Tucker” in Modern Family
Um, yay for you. I wanted Chris Colfer or NPH.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Jane Lynch as “Sue Sylvester” in Glee
BAM, BITCHES!

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Aaron Paul as “Jesse Pinkman” in Breaking Bad
Twas a good night for the Breaking Bad men.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Archie Panjabi as “Kalinda Sharma” in The Good Wife
Yay!

Writing for a Comedy Series: Modern Family
Oh please don’t mean that now Modern Family (instead of 30 Rock) is just going to sweep the comedy series Emmys and leave destruction in its wake.

Writing for a Drama Series: Mad Men
STOP. IT.

Writing for a Variety/Music/Comedy Series: The Colbert Report
Works for me. Not my favorite episode of the season, but there was a lot of really good writing this year so yay.