27 January 2011

The Watcher: 01/21/11 - 01/27/11

S01E02 - "There Goes the Neighborhood (Part 2)" (24 January 2011) - Frankly, although I anticipated such a resolution to the cliffhanger in the premiere, I'm a bit disappointed. Well, a lot, actually. I understand the insanity that is the explanation and expectation of Josh's sister Emily to understand his 'condition' is rather great, so perhaps the predictable and cop-out fashion that story beat was resolved is best, but I can't help but think how much more interesting and dramatic it would have been had Josh been flat out honest and Emily to have seen a flash of the wolf before she was zipped outta there. That would have been some powerful stuff, and hell, it would have created more angst (!), which is what the writers are looking for. Speaking of the writing, I like the show, but can they scale back a bit on emphasizing the characters' desire to be human every three minutes and twenty-five seconds [not a exact science, mind you]? I get it, guys! You don't need to reiterate it all the bloody time. There's a little thing called subtlety that could be rather useful to you, right about now.

But the good news is that this cast is charismatic and has the necessary goods to keep me interested, so I'll keep tuning in. Sam Witwer is perhaps the breakout performance as Aiden, displaying all the lust for blood and restraining urge on his face for all to see. Theatrical, maybe, but he gets the point across. Sam Huntington seems to go for the more subdued performance, relying on his eyes and facial expressions to do the acting for him. As for Sally, not entirely set in stone about her yet, but I'm interested to see where her character goes, and I really hope the writers don't do verbatim what the British one did. Now that they've set up the characters and their specific dilemmas and fears, it's time for the Canadian writers to branch out and do their own thing. One thing is for sure: I can't wait to see how this whole Rebecca fiasco evolves with this series. Actress Sarah Allen displays just the right amount of sexuality and life-taking glee needed to make Rebecca a menace, but provides just enough of a hint of humanity that she might be redeemable after all. And Mark Pellegrino as Bishop: well, it's interesting seeing blond hair, for sure. The interaction between Bishop and Aiden is heating up, and hopefully the two will hit heads later on in the season.

"There Goes the Neighborhood" was a decent series opener, setting up the dilemmas and personalities of the characters nicely. The same chemistry inherent in the UK production is thus far absent, as is a real emotional weight to the series. But I'm still giddy, and I'd still recommend any interested parties in taking a dive into BEING HUMAN.

S01E04 - "Scales" (24 January 2011) - Oh my. The seemingly impossible has happened. Four episodes in, THE CAPE has produced a good, and dare I say it - layered - episode! Good thing I didn't decide to abandon the series, cos this just might be a indicator that there are good things on the horizon. Well, hopefully. "Scales" was all about Vinnie Jones being Vinnie Jones: condescending, tough, and ready to beat the shit out of people. He outs Peter Fleyming as Chess to a literal busload of passengers, but they just laugh it off, much to Scales' mighty pissyness. In the end, The Cape has to work with Chess to save the lives of everyone on that train, and Vince finds himself at odds with his own circus 'family', realizing that eventually, what they stand for will inevitably come to a head. Basically, "Scales" is a good episode because it's more complex than the previous ones, held some surprises, and wasn't all around painful to watch as the last three were. It enables the villains to be crazy and the good guys to be determined yet defeated. Everyone's at a crossroads, and it promises to elicit some juicy storylines from this as well. And I may be the only one in the world, but I'm sort of digging the idea of a Vince/Summer Glau hookup. Anyone else? "Scales" points the show in a positive direction. Now let's hope they keep it that way.

S04E12 - "Chuck Vs. the Gobbler" (24 January 2011) - Timothy Dalton. Yep, he rocked. I never saw Dalton as James Bond, as in I never saw those movies, but with this, HOT FUZZ, and his work as the Lord President in DOCTOR WHO, I have grown to not only appreciate Timothy Dalton, but love the guy as well, and he's doing fantabulous on CHUCK. Hell, Dalton, and the uber sexy new look for Sarah Walker, are the only reasons why this episode is at the top of the season. This whole rogue agent thing is a nifty but tired storyline, but it's the execution that has me a bit worried. Nonetheless, "Chuck Vs. the Gobbler" was the most entertaining and fun episode in a long while where I could just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. I dug Chuck using the Intersect to fight in prison. I didn't dig Captain Awesome and Ellie bickering over baby names, although I did like her complete ownage at episodes end. It's unfortunate Alex and Morgan's relationship is shown on the side and never given the appropriate and damn-well-deserved attention it needs to grow and get the audience emotionally attached. As for Casey, I can't wait to see how he bounces back and pissier than ever. Adam Baldwin needs more to do this season, and this seems like the right time for him to get his ass kickin on.

S03E10 - "The Firefly" (21 January 2011) - I love when events from the past come kicking people in the ass years later. When Walter stepped into the other world to retrieve that Peter Bishop, he set up a chain reaction of events that lead to this episode, "The Firefly", and the Observers are intent on making it right, even if it comes at a cost. Of course, the true purpose of the episodes events is told in the final seconds and offers up even more questions and potential juicy storylines that will see us through the next twelve (!!) episodes. One of the great things about FRINGE is that these characters make choices, and these choices absolutely have repercussions. It could be gathered that nearly the entire show is a result of Walter's choice to take the Other World Peter, that it's been Walternate's obsession with destroying us that occasionally triggers a majority of these scientific anomalies (that and William Bell, 'course). Guest star Christopher Lloyd fared better here as a out-of-lock ex-musician than he did in CHUCK earlier this season. By that, I mean that I can actually mostly understand what he's saying! The Peter/Olivia relationship is still at a standstill, but there is the slightest glimpse that maybe Olivia might be able to forge ahead after all. But, in true FRINGE fashion, something (instead of someone) interrupts the nice quite moment and life is on the line.

FRINGE did actually pretty good ratings in its new Friday night timeslot. Unfortunately for myself, FRINGE airs the same time as SUPERNATURAL on The CW, so I'm torn. SUPERNATURAL is nearly guaranteed to be renewed for a seventh season, yet FRINGE is up in the air. What do I watch and thus support? I love both shows, and I don't want FRINGE to go! Oh, the strenuous situations I face.

S01E02 - "Tea" (24 January 2011) - Just as compelling and dimensional as the premiere, "Tea" allows actress Sofia Black D'elia to shine. Whereas Tony was the hothead, know-it-all, talk-himself-out-of-any-jam dude, Sofia's Tea is a much more difficult character to fully understand. She's complex and interesting. A closet lesbian to no one but her family, Tea is struggling with finding a girl who challenges her, excites her, and isn't ashamed of who she is and what she does. Tea is attracted to another schoolgirl, and they spend a night together, but yet she finds herself drawn to Tony, and they share quite the awkward hookup. The chemistry with Tony and Tea is definitely there, and they seem like a good match: both are each others rivals, really. The episode ends without anything getting resolved (except the Stoner Man's $900 tab on Stan, which seemingly did get concluded), and I hope these plot threads linger and evolve in the next batch of episodes. For all the ridicule, ratings decline, and parental outrage concerning the show, I'd just say watch the damn thing. It's far more complex and intelligent and honest than any other 'teen'-oriented program on right now.

Thankfully - I mean, regrettably, there was no V tonight. Thank you, President Obama!

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