Search This Blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 Weekly TV Recap (April 20 - April 26)


Sunday April 20th

Game of Thrones (HBO), Episode 3 "Breaker of Chains"

Brief Description: After the thrilling episode of last week that included The Purple Wedding, there was no way that "Breaker of Chains" wasn't going to be a let down. Game of Thrones is at it's best when it can stay in one location for a long period of time. That's what made Season 2's "Blackwater" the show's best episode. Spending so much time at Joffrey's wedding was just a delight, so going back to the normal pace filled with a litany of scenes was disappointing. I get it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. We're at the beginning of the season, so characters and arcs are still being set up. Once the season goes along and these arcs come to a close is when the show gets really good. 

Mad Men (AMC), Episode 2 "A Day's Work"

Brief Description: Creator Matthew Weiner is a true artist. There's so many things to talk about and discuss on this show, and so much symbolism and themes pouring at you. I can understand why TV critics love the show, but the show's getting extremely boring. Mad Men is starting to feel like a book your forced to read in a high school English class rather than a show that brings your satisfaction.

Silicon Valley (HBO), Episode 3 "Articles of Incorporation"

Brief Description: For the first time this season, I finally enjoyed an episode of Silicon Valley. The show is full of great comedic actors and stand up comedians such as Kumail Nanjiani, TJ Miller, and Martin Short and for the first time I feel like these actors were able to just be funny. While there was of course a problem to be solved (this week getting naming rights to Pied Piper), the scale seemed smaller which allowed the humor to be bigger.

Tuesday April 22

The Mindy Project (FOX), Episode 20 "An Officer and a Gynecologist"

Brief Description: I think "An Officer and a Gynecologist" made me realize why The Mindy Project has never taken the next step to comedy greatness like shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation did in their second season. It's because those NBC shows were grounded in reality and created a jokes off of that realism. The Mindy Project gets stuck in cliche, hackney sitcom scenarios like "Mindy takes in an 18 year old female patient while her cop father harasses both of them" and "Danny pretends to be Jewish at a dinner with a rabbi to generate more business" Sure it got some laughs ("I'm not even all that Jewish, the theme at my bar-mitzvah was Christmas in Connecticut!") but it shouldn't have to generate laughs this way. Plus, the episode was in desperate need of more Adam Palley who only had one and a half scenes to shine.

Fargo (FXX), Episode 2 "The Rooster Prince"

Brief Description: I loved how last week's pilot episode reminded me so much of the movie "Fargo". I really don't like the works of The Coen Brothers, but I absolutely love the movie "Fargo" so having an hour long TV show to remind me of the movie was great. In "The Rooster Prince" it not only deviated from the pilot in terms of tone and style (despite the same writer and director) but it introduced the audience to so many new characters and story lines that it wasn't all that satisfying at the conclusion of the episode. That being said, I can't wait to see where everything leads and is building up towards.

Thursday April 25

Parks and Recreation (NBC), Episodes 21 & 22 "Moving Up"

Brief Description: In its Season 6 finale, Parks and Recreation proved why it truly does belong in the discussion for one of the best shows currently out there. It not only is still funny after 6 full seasons, but it brings with it heart, warmth, and every positive emotion you can think of. Because Parks and Rec has always had poor ratings, each season finale feels like a series finale. Now that the show finally got a guarantee that it will be back for at least one more season, it ended with an episode so good that I honestly wish there weren't any more episodes. "Moving Up" closed so many story lines while still being a great stand alone episode, that I wish we were done with the Leslie Knope saga.


Arrow (CW), Episodes 1, 2 & 3 of Season 2

Brief Description: I completely understand that Arrow will never be a "good" show by any objective measurement, and the fact that it airs on the CW and the fact that Vince Gilligan will never run this show means that its ceiling is limited. But hot damn is it making the most out of what it has to play with. Arrow sucked me in during the first half of Season 1 by being a superhero show, and so I stayed during the CW, soap opera stuff during the second half. Either Arrow took a page from Suits or Justified playbook and actually took a leap forward in its second season or it's planning on slowing down during the second half of this season again. Either way, I really enjoy what I'm seeing so far. The show is almost completely devoid of any romantic entanglement (at least for the moment) and is actually dealing with "real superhero problems" like Oliver Queen's loss of identity. To truly reach "A+" status, the show needs to slow down, start having one main story arc, and becoming less serialized. But since that will never happen, I'll just take the show as it is, which at the moment is much less CW-y.

Legit (FXX), Episodes 1, 2, & 3 of Season 2

Brief Description: During Season 1, Legit was mainly just a platform for stand up comedian Jim Jefferies to tell a visual representation of his stand up jokes. As Jeffereies says in one episode when he's forced at gun point to tell a joke, "I don't tell jokes, really. I'm more of a story teller." By failing to have themes and events that  truly carry over from one episode to the next, Legit was never all that good, but it was always really funny. Season 2 tries to be more thematic, but it comes at the expense of jokes. It's still pretty funny, but not as funny as Season 1. I'm hoping it starts to pick up steam as the show goes along.

The Americans (FX), Episode 1 of Season 2

Brief Description: I saw every episode of Season 1, mainly out of curiosity and because people said it was good versus because I actually enjoyed it. People kept saying that Season 2 was even better than Season 1 and it gets rid of most of the problems that accompanied the first season. However, I think the biggest problem that I have with the show is that I don't really care for the main characters (played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), so when they get into deep trouble (which happens quite a bit) I don't have any sympathy for them which ruins any tension the show is trying to build. That problem still exists for me in Season 2. There are too many good shows in 2014 for me to spend my time watching a show that I don't like. I'd rather spend my time watching a "crappier" show than I thoroughly enjoy like Arrow rather than spend it watching a "better" show that I don't personally care for like The Americans. I may end up binge watching the rest of Season 2 later in the year, but it will not be anytime soon.


Bates Motel (A&E) Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 1
Service Available to Stream: Netflix

Brief Description: Bates Motel seems like an inferior Dexter, and I am not a Dexter fan. The big moments are big and shocking analogous to that of Game of Thrones, but the smaller moments are uninteresting, unappealing, and inconsistent. When you have these big moments (like what occurred at the end of the pilot here), the effects and aftershock of the event need to be treated with the same respect as the big moment itself. Having these moments solely become plot points is the recipe for a mediocre show. I don't see and I haven't heard Bates Motel gets better, so I don't think I'll be watching this show anymore.

Veronica Mars (CW) Episodes 2 of Season 2
Service Available to Stream: Amazon Prime

Brief Description: I watched Season 1 of the show so I could at least get somewhat of a grasp on the 2014 movie. Season 1 helped a lot, and I thought the movie was excellent. Now it's time for me to catch back up on the show. I don't think it's incredibly well written, but hot damn does it still make me want to keep watching more of it.

My Name Is Earl (NBC) Episodes of Season 2
Service Available to Stream: Netflix

Brief Description: After binge watching all of 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and Parks and Recreation, I needed a new half an hour comedy to binge watch. I landed on My Name Is Earl. It's not particularly good, but it's just mind numbing enough that I watch it without any complaints.


If you would like to comment on this post, please visit our Facebook page