21 July 2011

The Watcher: 07/15/11 - 07/21/11

Sorry for the lack of ALPHAS this week. Didn't really feel in the mood. I have all of FALLING SKIES that have aired, but haven't checked 'em out yet. Blimey. But until I play catch up, here's three brand spankin' new episodes!

RESCUE ME S07E02 – “Menses” (20 July 2011) – Last week’s premiere episode was less than the show at its high standards, but “Menses” is the series at its comedic height. Actually, y’know, it’s not fair to compare the two, given that they aim to achieve different things: the premiere was mildly setting up the main elements of the final season, and “Menses” hilariously shows Tommy’s living situation with his wife and daughters (and Sheila), the crew’s attempt to help Lou pass his physical examination, and continuing to plant the ‘9/11, ten years later…’ arc that will probably become paramount in this final run. The 9/11 stuff aside, “Menses” was brilliantly written and acted, with all the ladies hamming up their characters to a ridiculously cartoon degree. Luckily I’ve never been in the situation Tommy faces this time out – and I hope I never will – so I dunno if the girls’ multiple freakouts is at all genuine or the humorous concoction of Leary and his writing pals. Either way, I loved it. I don’t mega care for Lou and his health issues, and I’m anxious to see where his character ends up, but everything his buddies did for him this episode was brilliant, including the therapy session with Garitty which includes ‘frequent masturbation’ and homosexual undertones. Maura Tierney’s return as Kelly was also welcome, albeit short; I hope she returns again before the series is out. Overall, quite the enjoyable episode. Score: 9.7/10

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY S04E02 – “Rendition” (15 July 2011) – For some reason, “Rendition” really didn’t do it for me. Sure, there was the sexy gorgeousness of Dichen Lachmen of DOLLHOUSE fame playing evil CIA Agent Lyn (who works for comedy man Wayne Knight, who seems to take his orders from some higher authority (possibly alien in origin? I’ll be pissed if this becomes another ‘government-conspiracy’ type story – we don’t need another one of those, we really don’t), and the funness of the airplane attendant repeatedly and vigorously denying his homosexual tendencies, but overall, the episode still felt a little flat. I want Torchwood kicking ass and taking names again, and it looks like the ending of “Rendition” will be offering just that from here on out. It’s nice to have Rex finally on Team Torchwood, and Gwen and Jack ready to do what they do best, I just wish I liked it a bit more. Maybe a repeat viewing will improve my enjoyment factor, eh? Although not highly entertaining, I did find myself amused by Vera demanding the top scientific/pharmaceutical minds of the world to help her find a cure for arsenic on a plane; that was sorta fun. Also worth noting is that before I posted this review, looking for a good screencap, I realized I completely forgot about Pullman's free murderer character and his evolving arc. Well, the good news is that Pullman did a fine performance, the bad news is, I still don't get why he's in the show to begin with or where his character could possibly be going. The next episode is written by ex-BUFFY scribe Jane Espenson, and I am very, very much looking forward to that. Here’s hoping Espenson can create some real drama and get TORCHWOD back on its feet. Score: 8.4/10

TRUE BLOOD S04E04 – “I’m Alive and on Fire” (18 July 2011) – The last two episodes were great entertainment, but “I’m Alive and on Fire” was a bit less. Its instances like this that showcases TRUE BLOOD’s adapted novel vibe: the narrative moves at the chapter-by-chapter flow of a novel, not by conventional ‘story/theme: episode’ type setup most shows have. A cool thing to do, but it has its positives and disadvantages. For example, although Jason escapes the panther pack and even manages to kill one of ‘em, and we get our first glimpse of the Wicked Witch of the past, “I’m Alive and on Fire” hardly sizzles when a memory-wiped Eric isn’t onscreen. At this point in time, it’s the free-loving Eric and the blazing chemistry between actors Alex and Anna that made this episode worth watching. I mean, you could totally tell Sookie wanted to snog herself some Eric! Awesome scene. And I still sincerely hope Sam can find some happiness with his shapeshifting partner, even with this (convoluted) subplot of the weredaddy of her child stalking her. And I loved me some Evil Child Syndrome with Arlene’s baby. Finally, some chaos is going down. Looking forward to how this all evolves. Score: 8.1/10

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