Sunday, August 7, 2011

What I'm Watching Now #5 (August 7, 2011 Edition)

Well, it comes as no surprise to me that last week's edition of this feature fell very flat.  You give the people what they "want" and then they turn away, once they get it.  I guess that's the chase or something.  However, once I was prodded in the direction of keeping the feature, you are now stuck with it.  You asked for it, so you're getting it.  Last week's edition had one click, so I'm not expecting much of anything for this one.  I try to put at least one piece of comic gold in each one of these, so maybe that will make you attempt to find it in each one.  That's enough whining, let's get to talking about what I'm watching now.

Ratings Legend:

*Don't waste your time
**Some people may like it, but overall, it's not going to change your life if you watch it or miss it.  Shows between 2 stars and 3 stars are on the line of watchable.
***Solid, watchable show.  If I give something 3 stars, I think you can safely watch it, and usually enjoy it.
****You should definitely watch this show, at least once.
*****Why are you not watching this show?


Alphas (Syfy, check local listings)****
Most recent episode rating-****

The sides continue to be formed on Alphas, and this week had quite a "shocking" turn of events.  In this week's episode, we found out who was pulling the strings behind the group that is on the other side (not Dr. Rosen's group) of the Alphas equation.  This episode is also beginning to give the idea that Gary's allegiance has the potential to change.  Stay tuned for this developing story.

The Closer (TNT, 9pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-****

Monday night on TNT was the child abduction block.  This story was pretty sick, and came off as a little bit unrealistic as a "revenge fantasy".  Usually, shows that tread this line have the person with the revenge fantasy realizing that what was dreamed of often doesn't have the same closure in reality.  The person who committed the crime showed no remorse, whatsoever, for what he did, and it was out of nothing more than petty revenge against a person who had turned his life upside down.  For a more realistic and better telling of a story like this, you should watch the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Consumed". 

The most interesting thing about this episode is that the case actually began to make Brenda find a conscience in regards to her terrible misdeed from last season's finale.  What she did had similar motives to what the killer in the case had.  Things are starting to take shape for how Brenda will exit Major Crimes, and I think it will potentially end in a prison sentence, or her conscience eating her alive.  Those are my initial guesses, though I reserve the right to change my mind upon seeing more of the story arc.

Rizzoli & Isles (TNT, 10pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-**

If you read my last edition of this feature, you will know that I said the reason this show works is because of the relationships and character interactions.  However, no one read that, so I'll say it again.  This show works because of the relationships and character interactions, NOT because of the cases.  For the second part of the TNT child abduction block, the show focused on a case.  There was almost no humor in the episode, and character interactions were kept to a minimum.  When the show is like this, it's like any million and one police procedurals I have seen.  If you missed the episode, you didn't really miss anything, and if you saw it, I hope you were disappointed.  It looks like humor will be making a return in next week's episode, and I hope this is where every episode goes in the future.  Please stay away from making the case the major focus of the show.  That is NOT why it works.  K thx bye.

The Big C (Showtime, 10:30pm EDT)***
Most recent episode rating-***

This wasn't a bad episode, but I am just not feeling any of the characters in this show, anymore.  I have no connection to anyone, and there are so many bad sides to each character, that they aren't even fun to watch, anymore.  The series tries to show us that there is a dark side to everyone, but a lot of that is just clumsy, and I'm really sad that these characters, who I used to care about, have become so one dimensional.  That's just my opinion.  I just have never become this involved with characters, on a TV show, and ended up so disappointed with their character arcs.  I do have to admit that with the way the parents act, in the show, it's no wonder the son is so messed up.  At least they got that right.


Memphis Beat (TNT, 9pm EDT)***
Most recent episode rating-****

That was the best episode I've seen of this show.  It was a great case, with a lot of convolution.  That was a very tight detective show.  I enjoyed it a whole lot.  As a joke, in every episode, I always look at the wealth of Memphis stock footage in the establishing shots.  I always say, "Memphis, Memphis, Memphis, Memphis, New Orleans".  In case you don't get what I mean, this show is apparently shot in New Orleans, but thinks the best way to fake Memphis is to put a bunch of stock footage shots in the show.  I've never been to Memphis, so I guess I have to give it a pass.  I still think it's very humorous how many of these shots they put in every show.  My only negative comment about the show is that I really, really wish they would cut out the dang sangin'.  Please cut out the sangin'...PLEASE. 

HawthoRNe (TNT, 10pm EDT)**
Most recent episode rating-**

Christina Hawthorne goes to therapy!  These scenes really showed the shortcomings of Jada's acting skills.  Based on the words that were said, she was angry when she should have been resigned, resigned, when she should have been angry, uncomfortable (like creepy smiles) when she should have been distant.  This is more about bad directing than bad acting, but it's clear that Jada really doesn't identify with the character she's playing.  Forcing her to show the level of emotions she did, just really didn't work for how Jada plays the character as a giant superwoman.  If there's one thing we learned in this episode, it's that Christina Hawthorne has MAJOR daddy issues.  Her blame for her attack is extremely misplaced, and the feelings she has for psycho creep Nick make no sense, and are solely out of what she *thinks* he did for her.  See what I said above about revenge fantasies.  HawhtoRNe did it completely wrong.  Her emotions aren't real for what happened, and I feel it was more deficiencies in the acting, and direction of Jada, than the actual story.  I'm pretty sure this next episode is going to be the last episode of the season, and probably the series.  I do not expect Christina to survive the final episode of the season.  I've written too much on this episode, already, so now you'll just have to see what happens.  If you've watched one episode of this show, I know you've watched others.  Even as depressed as I am to be watching this STUPID hyperdrama, I'm still effing watching.


Franklin & Bash (TNT, 9pm EDT)****
Most recent episode-****

It sure looked like the whole series was getting blown up in the last episode.  It looked like F&B were being set up to fail intentionally, that Infeld was going up the river, that Hanna was being pulled away to New York, and that Carp was going to get his opportunity to be a Judge, provided he played his cards right.  There also looked like there would be a new replacement for Infeld.  But, as is the usual case with Franklin & Bash, everything was cleaned up quite neatly.  It was a fitting end for the season, and I will miss that I'm not going to get to see this show again for about a year.  I went in with extraordinarily low expectations, and came out with one of the most pleasant surprises I've had on TV in quite awhile.  You should be ashamed of yourself, if you've read any post I've made about the show, and still not taken the plunge into watching it.  Now, I will go cry myself to sleep for the fifth night in a row...

Necessary Roughness (USA, 10pm EDT)**.5
Most recent episode-**

The good news is that the kids were almost not featured at all.  The bad news is that the a-hole husband of Dani was featured.  Just the fact that this story line played out, at all, tells you how weak this series is.  The characters in this show are constantly played against how they're written, and I think the writers are in need of their own therapy, due to what they're doing to the show.  I doubt the show will get canceled, because it's pretty popular, and has just enough appeal going for it to get another season.  However, I stand by my assessment that this is just very average TV, with only a couple of bright spots.  The Dani and Nico characters are still the only true appeal of the show, but on a show with a lot of revolving characters, that is not enough to make a good show.

State of Georgia (ABC Family, 8:30pm EDT)*
Most recent episode rating-***** 

Don't let those stars fool you for the most recent episode.  Four aired, and that's the combined star score.  Only the first episode got two stars, the other three got one star each.  These are all airing way out of order, and it's no secret why.  The episodes with one star were terrible, and completely unfunny.  As for the other episode, I knew it was only a matter of time before Raven did P.W.O.R.N.  No, seriously, you have to say it out loud, because it sounds like PORN.  The episode with two stars features the P.W.O.R.N. story line, and was the closest thing this series has been to a Three's Company type misunderstanding.  It was clumsy, but it had some pretty funny moments.  They absolutely could not resist having at least a dozen jokes about P.W.O.R.N. (Poor Women's Out Reach Network).  Some of them were pretty funny.  After that episode, the other ones would make your bathroom stink.  In the unlikely event this series gets picked up for a second season, I will only watch the first episode of the second season to see what Raven looks like.  However, I don't think thinking that far in advance matters, because this show is D.O.A. in regards to ratings.


Burn Notice (USA, 9pm EDT)*****
Most recent episode-*****

The best scene in this episode, by far, was the scene where the Michael Westen impersonator left a voicemail for someone.  It was hysterical.  Scenes like that scene give the show 5 stars, even if the rest of the show was only 4 star worthy.  Use humor well, and you can get a higher rating from me.

Suits (USA, 10pm EDT)****
Most recent episode-***

Okay, this series ran into a major problem in this episode.  The first problem is that it felt like a season finale.  There was a lot of stuff going on in it, and a lot of it was bad.  Everyone who watches this show knows that this show is at its best when Mike and Harvey are working together.  That didn't really happen in this episode, and Mike's skill set is being questioned.  A logical conclusion to the season could be Mike Ross just walking away from the job.  Sure it would solve the fake lawyer issue, but it absolutely would kill the show.  I'm already guaranteeing a second season for this series, but we could end up seeing a re-tooling that could end up being as significant as the one currently going on for Fairly Legal.  I've enjoyed nearly every episode in the series, so I'm giving this one a pass.  However, I would strongly suggest staying away from these kinds of story lines.  They are problematic on a lot of levels.  We already know Mike is a young Harvey, and that Mike is just making all the same mistakes Harvey did when he started out.  The fact that Harvey acts like they're not as similar as they are is problematic for the show.  That act gets a little tired, after awhile.  It's clear there's a lot more to the Harvey character than shows on the surface, and I wish they would just stop with the one dimensional Harvey beats down Mike Ross scenes.  They're not necessary anymore.  That's Louis's job.

That's it for the week, I hope a tree falls in the forest AND people hear it (see it?).  I guess we'll see.  Thanks for reading. 

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