Thursday, October 23, 2008

More TV Rundown

Yesterday, I said that the new season of The Shield has been a little weak so far. Then I finally got around to watching this week's episode on TiVo.

Holy hell. Now that was what I was looking for! Talk about gut-wrenching. I barely took a breath from beginning (with Shane setting his plan to murder Ronnie and Vic into motion) to end (with Shane and family on the run, and every sin the Strike Team has ever committed on the verge of spilling out). How's that for raising the stakes? Brilliant, brilliant episode, highlighted by Shane's wild-eyed caged animal routine, punctuated by his flight from the Barn, and his evil wife Lady Macbeth -- I mean Maya -- confronting Vic's ex-wife.

What else am I watching?

--I've settled into regular viewing of House, which I used to watch sporadically at best, and it's been very enjoyable this year. I have to admit, I like the new team better than the old one -- in fact, I'd prefer Chase and Cameron just disappear entirely, rather than popping up in a random scene once an episode to remind us they still exist. I always love seeing Kal Penn, so his role as Kutner on the new team is much appreciated, and I like Taub a great deal as well. And as for Thirteen -- well, Olivia Wilde is just damn easy on the eyes, folks. Not that Cameron isn't, as well, but I feel like her character has been run into the ground. I'd also like to see the return of Lucas, the P.I. House hired this season, who last we saw was trying to start a relationship with Cuddy. (I haven't watched this week's episode, so maybe he's back already.) That could get interesting. Plus, I like the actor, who played Private Dancer on Scrubs last year.

--Pushing Daisies is amiable fluff. It's always gorgeous to look at, and I like the characters, and I get a kick out of the rapid-fire dialogue, but... I don't know, it just never quite gets over that wall. I'll keep watching it, but I think if I skipped an episode, I wouldn't cry.

--My Name Is Earl is just about done. After squandering all goodwill with that season-long prison/coma digression last year, I find that I'm now watching it out of habit, and not laughing very often. The Office, on the other hand, is still brilliant. Jim and Pam's engagement was handled perfectly, Amy Ryan is a terrific addition as Holly, the new object of Michael's affection, and the triangle between Dwight, Angela, and Andy is excruciatingly hilarious.

--Two imports have left wildly divergent impressions on me. I had high hopes for Kath & Kim, but the first episode was so unbearable I deleted it after five minutes. And I thought Life on Mars didn't have a hope in hell of succeeding, but I've loved the first two episodes, with Michael Imperioli's weaselly detective being the standout, and I look forward to more. I still don't see how they can extend the premise indefinitely, but I'm more than willing to see where it goes.

And there's probably some more stuff, but let's stop here. Any TV you've been especially loving or hating so far this season?

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