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Thursday, October 12, 2006
TV Round-Up
Lost: The Glass Ballerina
Up front, I have to admit that the Sun and Jin backstory is not the most compelling, so I was a bit disappointed to see them go it so early in the season.

When the story started up, I was worried that season three was going to repeat the same mistake season two did--re-examining the same events and day on the island from 18 different angles (anyone remember last year how we saw three episodes showing us where various people were when we first went inside the was fun the first two times but after that, I was ready for the show to start moving forward). I'm glad that Lost seems to have broken that pattern here. Yes, we did cover some of the same day, but it was from a wildly different persepctive. We got to at least see what Sayid and company were up to on the boat during the same time period. Also, the storyline is moving forward a bit.

I do have to wonder something--why do the Others not want the castaways to have the boat? What secret are they hiding? Is there something that had Sayid and company kept sailing around the island they would have discovered? Also, Ben claims he was raised on the island and I wonder--is this true? We saw Alex again last evening (talking to Kate while Kate was breaking rocks), who also appears to have been raised on the island. It seems as if the Others are fascinated with taking children and raising them on the island...but for what purpose? Are the Others, perhaps, the children of the original Dharma Initiative families who rebelled against their parents somehow?

And why does Ben have everything wired and is observing everyone? He seems to be some kind of spider in the middle of web, observing everything. But for what purpose is he doing it?

Let me admit that when Ben took the chair into talk to Jack, I was having Battlestar Galactica season-premiere flashbacks. All you needed was Ben to whip out his sunglasses and you'd have almost the same scene, though I think Galactica's was far more compelling. (It had Dean Stockwell, who is just plain great in everything he does...) I do wonder why Ben is so interested in Jack. Is it that he feels some kind of connection as they're both the leaders of their respective tribes? Or does it go deeper? Is Ben perhaps romantically attached to Juliet and sees Jack as some kind of threat? Or is there a rift between Ben and Juliet and Ben wants to break Jack first? It is interesting to see how both sides are trying to break Jack. (Could it be good cop/bad cop?)

As cynical as Jack was last week about the information they had on him, why was he so quick to believe that the Sox had won the World Series? He never questioned if it was some digitally maniuplated footage and sound to make him believe or to break his will. And what exactly does Ben want in return from Jack? And will Jack give it to him or just pretend to go along in order to get back to the other castaways?

Meanwhile, Kate and Sawyer are put to work...breaking up rocks. I don't quite understand why the Others have them do this, other than so Sawyer can test the defenses and figure out an escape plan. But maybe that's part of what the Others are doing--observing how these two react to being locked up. Of all the castaways, it's Kate and Sawyer who have the most experience being on the run from the law and escaping, so perhaps the Others are looking to beef up security in this area. Or maybe they just want to watch Kate do some manual labor in her sundress....not that there's anything wrong with that.

Intersting that Sawyer's kiss is a calculated move. Or was he just saying that to cover up his true feelings for Kate? After all, this is the man who never lets anyone close to him.

You know, there are times I just love this show.

And then there are others I don't. Pardon me while I can't get up much interest in the Sun and Jin storyline. The early scene shows Sun lied to her father about breaking a glass ballerina. It show a pattern of lying to men in her life, despite being caught in the deceit. I guess that Jin knew of Sun's betrayal as he alludes to it here. Also, you have to wonder if the baby is really his. I also wonder--the scenes we've seen earlier in the show when Jin comes home upset with blood on his hand--do they take place directly after the events we saw here?

I don't think we really discovered much new about the characters here. I think a lot of us had wondered if Jin was really the father of Sun's baby..and now we have it confirmed that may not be the case. I wish I could say it should be interesting to find out, but honestly it's just not the compelling to me. I do like the way Jin feels like an outsider and how his instincts are often on the money. And the scene where he loaded the gun so efficiently as Sayid looked on in awe and horror was great.

But other than that, this plotline didn't really do a lot for me. At least we got it out of our system early and we can now start to focus in on the other castaways as season three progresses.

Jericho: The Walls of Jericho
I made the mistake of watching Jericho after Lost. Bad idea. Jericho is a nice warm-up for Lost but viewed right after it, it pales by comparison.

It probably doesn’t help that this week’s episode of Jericho was the weakest we’ve seen so far.

And it had the potential to be so good. It’s four days after the bombs fell and the town is starting to deal with some harsh realities–such as when some supplies of things run out, that’s it. For example, gasoline. The gas is needed to power the generator for the hospital and Eric promises some to keep the bar running as well. Our heroes scramble around town trying to find gas and get it where it needs to go. I do have to wonder why the mayor and the town government hasn’t stepped up with some rationing of some type. I mean, does it make sense that people are out driving around town like nothing has happened? Yes, it’s only been four days but it seems to me that the town leadership might step up and do some rationing. Because as we saw with the teens and the party, not everyone has the best interests of the whole at heart.

The one good thing I can say about that plot this week–at least Skeet didn’t come up with the plan. Oh sure, he was there running the plan but at least it wasn’t his.

Meanwhile, a stranger comes into town who is apparently part of the conspiracy of….well, whatever it is. I’m not quite sure what Hawkins and his group did or what role they play but we’re getting little tiny clues each week. It almost feels like they’re some kind of cell sent in to infilitrate the towns. For what purpose, we’re not quite sure. And how much you want to bet that little flash drive Hawkins had comes into play as something huge and big by season’s end? Call me crazy but I was having images of Jack Bauer chasing across L.A. to get a flashdrive as I saw that.

Meanwhile, Eric and his wife are having problems because he’s more interested in being down at the bar, having a drink and checking out his mistress than being at home with her. Or being a leader in the town. At some point, someone in this town is going to have step up and establish some authority or else it could really ugly, really fast. Last week we saw the Mayor slug his opponent for trying to use the situation for his own political gain, but honestly we don’t see the Mayor acting like the leader he was in the first episode. Maybe that’s part of the plan of the show…or maybe it’s just lazy writing. I am hoping for the fomer, but with this show it’s really hard to be sure.

Veronica Mars: My Big Fat Greek Rush Week
Nothing is every what it seems on Veronica Mars. That refers not only to the on-going mysteries that throw in one red-herring after another but also the individual episodes themselves. Most of the time it works but there are times when the show tries too hard to surprise us.

This wasn’t one of those cases where the show worked too hard.

Veronica joins the college paper and is assigned the story of cracking the secrets of the sorority. Veronica accepts the assignment, figuring that the sorority may be a lot like the 90ers from Neptune High. At first, it appears that way but as the story progresses, we find out that not only are there the stereotypical sorority gals in the house, but there are some genuines, authentic people with whom Veronica could have been friends. And then Veronica gets caught in a dilemma. She uncovers the truth but instead of being shocking and lurid, it’s the sorority coming together to help their den mother. Veronica faces a dilemma and ends up betraying both sets of her new friends and losing both. In one move, Veronica is shunned from two new peer groups, both of whom would have accepted her for who she was. Which is why when Veronica laments with Keith that she’s really messed things up, the scene rings so true. (Side note: is there any better father/daughter relationship on TV right now than this one? I think not…) And this all ties in so naturally to the on-going mystery of who the Hearst campus rapist is. We got some clues and right now I suspect everyone…well, except Veronica, Mac and Keith. But so far it seem as if everyone is a suspect and I am beginnng to wonder if this isn’t a group of people setting up these things. The girl on the ride home golf cart seemed pretty bitter and hateful toward the sorority girls. It might not be too huge a stretch to suppose she is somehow in on it, helping the serial rapist.

Meanwhile, we get to see the man behind Homer Simpson as a professor of sociology and a sociology project gone horribly wrong. We even got a little “d’oh!” homage. And another use of “frak” How can you go wrong?

posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/12/2006 07:16:00 AM | |
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