Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This Last Week in TBG TV: October 5 – October 9, 2009
ESPN: 30 for 30 - "Kings Ransom"
I'm a sucker for these unnecessarily serious, snack-sized sports documentaries. This was a very strong debut. I was living in Long Beach at the time the NHL's Los Angeles Kings acquired Wayne Gretzky and director Peter Berg captures the city's vibe from the summer of 1988. Points for giving a good amount of time to the rumored influence of Gretzky's wife – former actress ("Police Academy 5"!) Janet Jones – on the deal. Demerits for the amount of time Berg, himself, is in front of the camera. Grade: B+
Law & Order - "Great Satan"
I'm not sure how many times L&O has trotted about the "terrorist" storyline since 9/11, but this was one of the better ones. My only beef was the plot point that involved the NYPD indirectly supplying a terrorist group with a C-4 detonator. No one – not the cops, not the lawyers – are held accountable, even when the explosives are used in the bombing of a synagogue. Successfully! I want their bosses to write MY next performance review. Grade: B
Community - "Social Psychology"
The show is so close to awesome, but still hasn't found a way to make all of its narratives interesting (never mind "funny") from week-to-week. The Jeff and Shirley stuff was an unexpected display of effective chemistry and the payoff made me (almost) care about the Britta character for the first time. Hated, hated, hated everything about the psychology experiment, though. Hated it. Grade: B
The Office - "Niagara"
M'man Low Resolution Joe nipped by Pam/Jim bitching in the bud. By and large, though, I thought the "moment" was carried out about as well as it could. I thought the reflexive domino vomiting and lacerated nut sack stuff was way too over the top in the other direction, though. Almost as if the writers were saying, "See? We can still be 'The Office' even after we hotshot our biggest storyline!" And, am I only man on planet earth who'd never even heard of that Chris Brown wedding video thingie? Grade: B-
Law & Order: SVU - "Solitary"
This week's most absurd SVU moment: Heaven help us – we might have to award the "most absurd SVU moment of the year" award just three episodes into the season. Try'n follow along: Stabler sets his sights on an ex-con suspected in a brutal assault. Turns out Stabler was wrong about the guy. When he goes to apologize, the "innocent" ex-con throws Stabler off a roof. Stabler survives, but that's not the absurdity. The ex-con blames his behavior on the time he spent in solitary during his first bid. Stabler attempts to see things through the eyes of the guy who tried to kill him, I guess, so he "goes into the hole" for three days. The goofy camera zooms and stock "prison movie" background music were something out of Cinemax at 2:00 AM minus the boobs. Stabler emerges from solitary – naturally, he thinks he's been in for a LOT longer than three days – and pleads for leniency…for the guy who threw him off a roof.
Cougar Town - "Don't Do Me Like That"
I have no business finding simultaneous waxings, manicures and pedicures funny…but, here you go. This show has lost more than 30% of its viewers since it premiered three weeks ago and if I may offer up some free advice – dial down the caricature qualities of some of the supporting cast. Big ups to anyone who could forward this to Busy Phillips and Brian Van Holt. Grade: B
Modern Family - "Come Fly with Me"
The Costco scenes hit so close to home, Mrs. Bootleg and I mutually agreed that she is the "Cameron" character. We've had that exact same moment where she stumbles across some long-wanted gadget at Costco and simply can't hide her glee. I remain most impressed with this show's heart or, more specifically, its ability find its heart after intentionally flying an airplane into someone's face. Grade: B+
Accidentally on Purpose - "One Night Stand"
Wait, wait, wait…pregnant women experience an increase in sexual appetite? On what f****** planet?! We're in danger of experiencing the first DVR casualty of the new fall season, kids. This show is inoffensive fun, but its forgettable plots (Zach can't sleep with Billie because his hand is stained orange from sunless tanning lotion?) aren't worth my valuable DVR real estate. Grade: C+
Still on the DVR: FlashFoward (2)