Tag Archives: s1e03

You people must’ve trained with the heathens… come upon us unbeknownst

"Friendly" Competition

“Friendly” Competition

Three episodes in and we get a significant expansion to Deadwood’s already sprawling cast.  It’s yet another testament to the show’s superbly balanced ensemble that the arrival of the Bella Union crew still isn’t enough to make the series feel too crowded.  The opening of the new saloon proves that Al’s power isn’t absolute and that certainly isn’t a bad thing, but it’s hardly a problem that needed addressing at this point.  The “status quo” of Deadwood was barely established enough to qualify for the name and Milch is already introducing a disruptive element.  It’s a bold move that pays immediate dividends. Continue reading

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Everything Powerful is Dangerous

Don't try to stop me, I have dual touch screens

Don’t try to stop me, I have dual touch screens

“The Asset” is a significantly better episode than “0-8-4” and (hopefully) points to the promising direction this series will take.  Power or, more to the point, super power is emerging as SHIELD’s dominant theme; who should have it, what they’ll do with it, when it should be taken away.  This episode succeeds by focusing on the human consequences of these questions.  Again, it is (unfortunately) the guest star who delivers the dramatic punches, but there’s also some character-building among the main cast, the most important of which is to tie Skye’s twisted loyalties into the show’s main theme. Continue reading

Don’t Make People Into Heroes

Wait, I haven't finished explaining my master plan

Wait, I haven’t finished explaining my master plan

“The Great Game” almost brings Sherlock’s first series to a conclusion as brilliant as it’s beginning.  This episode’s pretty much perfect for 95% of its running time.  Sadly, the other 5% comes at the climax and while it’s not bad, it’s not great either.  We’ve seen plenty of mad men put heroes through the gauntlet but this story still manages to feel fresh, not in the least part due to the continued Holmes/Watson chemistry and the increasingly negative light it sheds on our hero.  Moriarty brings out both the best and the worst in Sherlock and it’s unfortunate that their escalating cat and mouse game comes to such a disappointing conclusion.  A climax really needs to surpass everything that’s come before it and it seems as though the bar was just set too high for this one. Continue reading

I Hate This Smallball Crap

house_of_cards

Episode three sees House of Cards showing signs of improvement in some areas, while its shortcomings in others are exacerbated.  Claire’s still far from a great character, but she’s at least given something to do here besides be a bitch.  Small as her part in this episode might be, it’s a critical expansion of this world beyond Frank, all the more so because his story’s starting to feel a bit stale.  There are some interesting hints at things to come, particularly in his relationship with Zoe, but the A-story didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. Continue reading

Quickly! To the Angelmobile! Away!

You'll never catch me being soulful and mopey

Three episodes is hardly enough time for the word “best” to mean much, but “In the Dark” at least has the virtue of being fun.  It may be unfair, but backhanded compliments are about all that I can muster at this point.  After the blistering awesomeness of Buffy Season 3, “fun” episodes like this one tend to be met with a shrug.  It doesn’t help that most of the credit for making Angel  watchable this week goes to the guest star rather than the ensemble.  While there’s still a bit of goofiness in how he ends the episode, Spike’s in good form throughout most of it.  If only he’d leave some of that mojo behind. Continue reading

Marriage of Figaro

Let's buy some happiness

Episodes like this one leave me baffled as to why I don’t love Mad Men.  The writing and acting here are as sharp as anything on television and, what’s more, stories about identity issues and suburban angst are generally right up my alley.  I’m truly at a loss for why the last hour left me cold.  I find myself appreciating this show on a technical level without becoming invested in what’s on screen and I can’t blame my detachment on needing to write about it.  I felt the same way the first time I watched this show.  Oh well, this fact should at least make for an interesting write up even if it doesn’t make for very entertaining viewing. Continue reading

Fear is for the Winter

It’s at this point that I must admit that having read the books may be a serious obstacle to effectively reviewing Game of Thrones.  There was really no part of “Lord Snow” that didn’t work and the acting, writing, and production values of this show continue to equal or surpass anything else on television.  And yet, much as I enjoyed all of this, I was never really wowed and I think it’s because I was never surprised.  I’m delighted with how true this series is staying to the novels, but I have a strong suspicion that I’m under-appreciating what a unique achievement it is in the medium.  Continue reading

The king stay the king

As organic as The Wire feels 95% of the time, there are still occasions where it reveals itself to be a television series.  Forgivable on any other show, these scenes are like smoking in a nursery on one this good.  Continue reading

I ain’t never going to beg you!

This episode blew my mind.  For the first time in a long time while watching the tube, I stared at the TV and thought “Holy CRAP! That was AWESOME”. Continue reading

Death isn’t the end

I’m once again struck by how human Dexter behaves in this episode.  I wouldn’t call it a dominant theme (as it was in episode #2( but “Popping Cherry” opened with Dexter explaining his hatred of funerals.  His inability to understand grief may be singular, but who among us hasn’t been unmoved at a funeral? Continue reading