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Monday, April 03, 2006
TV Round-Up
Smallville: Hypnotic
You ever get the feeling that a show you're watching isn't running the episodes in their intended order? Or maybe it's just the producers think we won't notice little detials like--oh that Clark and Lana supposedly broke up for good as the end of the huge 100th episode because Clark wouldn't come clean about the fact that he's got super powers so he could save Lana from death but make himself and the rest of the cast miserable....

Oh wait, I forgot. Maybe Jonathan's death pushed Lana back to Clark for a while and she stayed with him to help him through a rough patch. Thing is--I think the five seconds I put into coming up with a reason as to why Lana and Clark are still together on the show is more than the entire writing staff of Smallville did.

As good as the first half of this season was, the show is really sinking back into the same mistakes that plagued all of season four. Maybe we just had all the build-up to the 100th episode and we put all our eggs in that basket. But whatever the case, it better start picking up some momentum here soon.

And maybe it will because--woo-hoo, James Marsters is back as Brainaic! Forget all that random stuff about freaky girl who can hypnotize Clark into being her errand boy and sex slave (meanwhile, Clark once again punches his card for doofus hall of fame when Lana goes -- my room is free tonight Clark and Clark totally turns the offer down!). Let's just feature entire epiosdes that have Lex and Professor Fine chewing scenery and threatening each other. Now that is good television my friends. I am far more interested in whatever nefarious plot that Brainaic has hatched and why he needs four copies of himself to do it. Cause that seems new whereas the hottie back in Smallville taking advantage of Clark and pitting him against Lex just seems like been there, done that.

But at least Clark and Lana are broken up for good.....maybe. Who knows? With this show you're never quite sure.

Doctor Who: Aliens of London (Part 1 of 2)

Doctor Who has always been built around cliffhangers. So much so that during the first few episodes of the new series, I kept looking for moments that could be cliffhangers in the classic format.

And now we get our first one of the new series.

Looking back on "Aliens of London", it's not as good as I first thought but it's not a bad as I seem to recall. It's a decent enough set up with some interesting ideas. The idea that Rose's family would be that upset that she'd up and vanished for a year was nice. Suspecting Mickey is also a nice touch. But as is obvious with all of Russell T. Davies scripts, he has some good ideas but he just doesn't connect the dots as effectively as he should. I like Jackie being so pissed at the Doctor that she calls the authorities on him but this ends up helping things.

Also, I kept hoping that somehow we'd get some mention in the file of what to do with aliens pop up that step one is--find the Doctor. If we're to believe that UNIT is involved and that the Brigadier was involved it these protocols, that would seem to be priority one. And it a series that is full of shout outs to the past and homages, this would have been one that made this fan-boy's heart skip a bit. In a good way.

Anyway, if you want to read me blather on longer about the story, I do so here.

Veronica Mars: The Rapes of Graff
Watching "The Rapes of Graff" I get the feeling this is to be the final catch-your-breath, stand-alone type of story for the season. And yet, it's not really a stand alone story since it could be setting up next year (assuming CW is not a bunch of turkeys and cancels the show!) and it may have given us some big clues about where the final few episodes of the season are going.

Veronica and Wallace visit Hearst College for the weekend. Hearst is a local school and while Veronica seems to have the scores to get in, it doesn't meet her basic criteria for a school of being really, really far from Neptune. Because this is Veronica and she can't go anywhere without a mystery finding her, she soon finds herself embroiled in a mystery. Seems that Troy VanderGraff is there as well and is accused of being a rapist. Sure, he's a jerk, but he's not that or so he claims. He enlists Veronica to help him clear his name, which Veronica does by finding out the rape is part of a pattern of such crimes and one occurred before Troy was on campus. We don't get a culprit caught, but we do see Veronica catching the eye of a dean at the school. That said, what I liked about this plotline was that we got to see Veronica investigating something outside of her comfort zone. She doesn't have the same access and resources she does at Neptune so to see her thrown for a loop like that and adjust to it was a nice touch. Hopefully should she end up at Hearst next year (assuming CW is not a bunch of idiots...), we'll see more of this.

Meanwhile, other things are going on. Lamb is caught on tape with a high school student. And it seems Cliff had his briefcase removed from him, containing a bunch of files related to Logan's case. Which was dismissed at episode's start but may be back on the plate since he wouldn't leave Hannah alone. Though it seems as if her father's only option was to ship her off to Vermont. Not sure he can change his testimony and then change his mind again. If anything, this would be a huge point for Cliff on the stand to blast the witness credibility. Of course, it's not like Logan would look really good since it would appear he was only using Hannah to get to her dad.

And now the Fitzpatrick's might be behind the bus crash. I still say it's the mayor who is once again absent from things. But I wonder if he used the Fitzpatrick's to faciliate the bus crash...

The Sopranos: Fleshy Part of the Thigh
As I've said before, The Sopranos enjoys a unique spot in terms of storytelling. Since the season is pretty much guaranteed and HBO would run it in whatever order David Chase tells them, it allows the show to build up a storyline. Also, running it without breaks helps to keep the momentum and build it up. This week we see Tony continue to improve. Though we see there is still fallout from his being in a reduced capacity. Tony has a new lease on life and his new found compassion and outlook that every day is a gift is surely going to come back to bite him. Also while he was out of things, his lietunants got a taste of power and how to operate under the radar or without his consent..and they seem to have got used to it. Esp. Paulie who ignores Tony's promise to the mother that her son won't be harmed if the company sells.

There are some who'd calls this seaon slow moving. I'd say no more so than usual. The show has always been about setting things up for a pay-off later. And as long as we get the pay-off I will give them the benefit of the doubt if the early episodes seem a bit slow moving.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/03/2006 09:30:00 AM | |
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