Saturday, September 3, 2011

What I'm Watching Now #9 (September 3, 2011 Edition)

I thought last week's batch of programming was bad, but this week's was equally lackluster, and it might have even been a little bit worse, on average, than last week's.  It almost seems like the writers are just going through the motions to get to the individual season finales, and it almost seems like how everyone acts the last few weeks before graduating high school.  No one really seems to care, and everyone just seems to be phoning it in.  Writing these blog posts about mediocre TV is kind of like pulling teeth, but I'll do my best to plug through.  My inspiration will be yesterday's cancellation of HawthoRNe (I'll let you determine what that could mean).  Here is 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?

Mondays:

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

This week's episode was another lackluster offering.  I'll call this week's "monster" The False Prophet.  It involves a guy (who always plays bad guys) who uses his Alpha ability to convert and trap people in a cult-like atmosphere.  His power has a very deadly downside, and Dr. Rosen has the largest test of his career, when trying to fight The False Prophet.  The episode is VERY notable for the extremely risque sex scene between Nina and Hicks.  Through the clever use of visual effects we were blocked, ever so slightly, from seeing a very graphic sex scene.  It was pretty astonishing to see, but other than that, there was not much to note in this episode.  That was the second episode, in a row, that I thought was very average.  I think it's intentionally limping into what will be a very exciting (season) finale, so we'll see if thing are better next week.

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

In the tradition of naming my TNT Monday nights, I'll give this one the loosely titled "Inside Job Monday".  In this week's episode, we continue to be hit over the head with Brenda's case.  In this particular episode, both story lines deal with a leak.  We get the impression that there is a leak inside Brenda's unit (Commander Taylor, anyone?), and a bad guy is in need of police protection to testify in what appears to be a RICO type trial.  This person appears to be in danger due to a leak.  It had a lot of interesting twists, and was a pretty good watch, probably the best in the lackluster week of programming.

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

In this episode, a man is killed and his son is injured in what appears to be a mugging.  Upon deeper inspection, much more is going on here, and nothing appears to be random.  Isles also has a gentleman caller, and she doesn't tell Rizzoli about him.  There were fewer great character interactions than normal, in this episode, but if you paid close attention, you got to hear this gem of a line.

Detective Frost (when commenting on the smell of a foot "medication" Detective Korsak uses):  It's like a skunk made love to a farting dog.

It was a pretty good episode, but wasn't anything earth shattering.  I like the casting so much on this show that it gets me past the usually unbearable Angie Harmon (even she gets me past her usually unbearable self with the way she does her character).

The Big C (Showtime, 10:30pm EDT)***
Most recent episode rating-**.5

Sean is melting down.  Paul's metabolic age is way too high.  Lee appears to be heading on his way out, and Cathy makes sure he doesn't die without placing his hands on her naked boobs (things like that make her character incredibly weird).  The new character, Poppy, convinces Adam to accompany her to her 20 year high school reunion.  She wants to prove to those people that she wasn't such a "freak" in high school.  So, clearly, the best way to accomplish this is to take a "15 year old" to the reunion.  Poppy is a very emotionally stunted person, and her end in this series will probably be extremely ugly.  This series is so uninteresting that I'm really just going through the motions watching it.  It really is a shame that the first season was so great, and that they couldn't even remotely maintain its momentum.  Another big thing happens at the end of the episode, so you'll have to watch the episode to find out what that is.

Wednesdays:

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

This was the best episode this series has had in a long time.  That's why I bumped it up to a whole 2.5 stars.  Where is the T.K. growth that we were told would happen?  Does it come in the form of him talking about where he grew up?  Yes, but it doesn't come in the form of changing his behavior.  The terrible J.D. story line finally finished up this week, as well.  In the third story line, the kids convince Dani to let them stay home without a babysitter when she goes away with J.D.  Of course, this doesn't go well.  The final story line involves a "Bartman" type thing.  After that episode, it's clear we should all go easy on those unfortunate souls who "curse" our favorite sports teams.  Just typing "Bartman" here will probably drive traffic to my blog.  I'm sorry "Bartman", whoever you are.  

I have a real problem with series that try to mimic professional sports.  They just can't do it accurately, and it comes off really stupidly, every time.  Necessary Roughness is a big offender in regards to this, and the idea that a mascot could cause a fumble seems really out of control ludicrous to me.  It seems to me that if that happened the referees would immediately call a dead ball, and possibly even a re-kick.  I don't think what "caused" the "curse" could actually happen in real life, but yay for artistic license...I guess.  The way it's going, maybe the Hawks will win the Super Bowl!!!!!!

Thursdays:

Burn Notice (USA, 9pm EDT)*****
Most recent episode rating-***.5

I never thought I could say this, but I was actually disappointed with this week's episode of Burn Notice.  It was more along the lines of how they used to do the traditional spy episodes.  I really felt like they were just trying to get to the finish line of next week's season finale.  The main story wasn't really any fun, and the spy story was just to lead up to the big season finale, with a cliffhanger.  I think the season finale will be great, so I'll let the series slide, this week.

Suits (USA, 10pm EDT)****
Most recent episode rating-***.5

Pay attention closely for something in this episode.  When you see the "news" article about Harvey Specter's past in the D.A.'s office, pause it.  I thought it was strange that they cut away from it so quickly, both times they showed it.  My wife and I love to pause text on the screen, anyway, so it was a no-brainer for us to pause it.  The first graphic has the most text, so I would suggest looking at it first.  If you read it, you will see that it has a myriad of problems, not the least of which is a word that is misspelled.

As for the episode, it was okay.  It had some really comedic interactions, always at the expense of Louis.  However, in this episode, the main case really wasn't the point of the episode.  Could it be because Louis felt so passionately about it?  Who knows?  The writers sure love picking on this a-hole.  The next story line is about Mike's girlfriend, and the Rachel "triangle".  I hate the girlfriend character, and wish they would send her off to Montana.  The final, and most important, story line was regarding Harvey and his former boss, and mentor, the District Attorney.  It turns out that Harvey's mentor is a dirty scumbag, and the Attorney General is out for blood.  Harvey's reputation is very much at risk, in this story line, and you will have to see for yourself whether he gets out of this very serious jam.

In the promo for next week's episode, Mike's old buddy appears to be back from Montana, and he's about to find out that Mike is sleeping with his ex-girlfriend.  Based on how USA series like to have explosive season finales, this one should be no different.  I don't really understand why USA allows the showrunners to "blow up" their shows in the season finales, but it happens way too often.  Is it rebellion?  I don't know, but after what happened with Fairly Legal, nothing will surprise me on USA.

That's the weak week that was.  Thanks for reading.

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