Friday, September 25, 2009

What Did You Watch This Week?

Last season I blogged about Dollhouse every week and I don't think I'm going to do that this season. But I will want to talk about it every week.

Last season I hardly watched any TV and what I did see was seldom in real time (I love hulu). That will probably be true this season too. But this week I did manage to catch a bunch of shows and many of them were in real time.

Big Bang Theory. I think it was Maureen who recommended this. I did not see it last season so I thought I'd try it. I liked it and I'd watch it again. The geeky guys were hilarious, although I wonder why there are no women physicists in their fictional world. All week I was looking for an opportunity to say "Damn your Vulcan hearing ..."

Castle. I caught the season opener on Monday night in real time. Last season Castle betrayed the trust of Beckett by going against her wishes in investigating the death of her mother. So he had to get her trust back. And in the end he did so by the simple act of apologizing; saying he was wrong and he was sorry. I bought it. Because Nathan Fillion is so damn cute. And of course because I witnessed the immediately preceding touching scene with his daughter when she asked him why boys always try to justify themselves and don't just say they are sorry. ::sniff:: I caught an interview with Fillion where he admitted that in real life his character would probably be really annoying. Yes, he would. But if he were Nathan Fillion I'd probably put up with him. My favorite line was when he watched them lift fingerprints off of the interior of a glove and compared it to CSI: “Whenever they do this sort of thing on CSI, they always do it to music in poorly lit rooms. Kinda reminds me of porn.”

Glee. Maybe the oddest show on television right now. And hard to explain to anyone who hasn't watched it so I embedded the extended trailer below. This week I watched on hulu. The high school football team (which has never won a game) finally wins a game once they learn to dance and lip sync to Beyonce's "Single Ladies". Yes, on the football field. Very funny. Trust me. It was. I find this show surprising; I never really know where it is going to go. For instance, I would have predicted that it would have taken Kurt all year to admit to his dad that he was gay. Wrong! It took him three episodes and his dad was not only fine with it but admitted that he had known since Kurt was three years old when, for his birthday, Kurt asked for a pair of 'sensible pumps'. You had to be there; it was funny. I love this show because the message is: Don't let society slot you into one category. You can be more than one thing.

Bones. Last year I saw most episodes on hulu but I did catch the first two episodes of this season in real time. Something seems to be missing this year and I'm not sure what. I actually like the peripheral characters on this series better than the two main characters and maybe there just hasn't been enough of them. Nothing really stands out from this week's episode for me except for Brennan's coldness toward the intern, Wendall, who is going to lose his scholarship. I love that Brennan is so literal but sometimes her complete lack of emotional maturity is annoying.

Flash Forward. I watched this on hulu because someone I worked with told me it was good. It was the premier episode and it was ... weird. It stars Joseph Fiennes who I don't think I've seen since he was in Shakespeare in Love. He plays an FBI agent married to a surgeon with a young daughter. Early in the episode every person on the entire planet passed out all at once for two minutes, seventeen seconds - causing horrific traffic accidents, plane crashes, patients dying in surgery and other catastrophes. I had a hard time watching because parts of it were graphic. During the blackout each person went to a date into the future - April 29, 2010. Fiennes ends up running the investigation into what happened because he had a vision that he was working on it. His partner had no vision of the future. Does that mean that in six months he'll be dead? Is this the real future? Or not? Or is it, as one character said, "ghost of Christmas future" stuff that makes you change your ways.

Dollhouse. Amy Acker. I am sooo going to miss her on this show. Claire's psychological games with Topher were wonderful. Lots of humorous dialog in this episode (written by Joss Whedon) mixed, of course, with pathos. "Just dealing with some vermin." "My entire existence was constructed by a sociopath in a sweater vest." The scene in Topher's bedroom was maybe the strongest scene yet on Dollhouse (excluding Epitaph One). Of course we had the obligatory sex in the episode - and I don't really care that Paul Ballard looked pained - he's participating in this prostitution. As Adele DeWitt was careful to point out to him. It was, however, a cleverly written episode for those of us familiar with last season - an engagement within an engagement. And her glitch "who did they make me this time" was perfect. Tahmoh Penikett was much better in this episode than in almost all of last year. He does much better playing dislikeable than he does playing ambiguously likeable. Or maybe he's just better playing opposite a good actress like Olivia Williams than he was playing against the not quite mediocre Miracle Laurie. It was a strong first episode. But let's hope it gets even better. And let's hope for more Victor in the next episode. And at least a few more great Amy Acker episodes.

We can talk about all the implications and moral questions raised by Saunders/Whiskey's various conversations in the comments. :)

[Update: 9/26/09: (fictional) Senator Daniel Perrin is Twittering. And has a website under construction. Very clever. Although I notice he isn't quite as good a Twitterer as(real life) Sen. Claire McCaskell. ]

Now, check out the Extended Trailer from Glee: