Tag Archives: s1e10

One Mistake at a Time

No, I don't know what they were thinking either

No, I don’t know what they were thinking either

Well, that wasn’t bad.  Actually, I’ll say that it was pretty good.  Was it?  “Fixing SHIELD” has become such a high bar that it’s impossible for any one episode to meet it, a fact which makes stories like this one hard to evaluate.  While “The Bridge” still embraces many of the show’s flaws, it takes some steps to address others; should I criticize it because it can’t erase nine weeks of poor decisions in one fell swoop?  No, but I also shouldn’t pretend that it exists in a vacuum.  Much as this episode might work as a piece of entertainment, the show’s still underachieving. Continue reading

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Rebellion on all Fronts

house_of_cards

Does this make three decent episodes in a row for House of Cards?  If they’re not careful this thing could actually become worth watching.  Episode ten maintains the streak by continuing to address my main problem with the top half of the season; it now looks like Frank could fail.  There’s still nothing daring going on here and a lot of the subplots continue to fall flat, but it finally feels like there’s a story happening.  I might even go so far as to call it a good story, as the road to failure is a lot clearer than the road to success.  Frank’s still relentlessly executing his plan, but there are finally elements in play which he can’t control and the unknown serves as an ample source of tension. Continue reading

Why couldn’t it have been mono or herpes?

Just wait 'till season four, then see who's laughing

Well, here we are.  This is the point in Angel’s original run where I wrote the series off.  I caught the rare episode in the years that followed, but it wasn’t until after my first Buffy re-watch that I gave the series a second shot.  It’s not that “Parting Gifts” is particularly bad, at least not by Angel standards, but it only exacerbates the identity crisis that has plagued the show since the beginning.  Killing off a main character was exactly the sort of shakeup Angel didn’t need but, now that it’s done, awkwardly slipping Wesley into the status quo was probably the worst of all choices. Continue reading

Long Weekend

I can think of worse ways to induce a heart attack

Well now, that was… great; not the caveat laden great that I’ve ascribed to nearly every episode of Mad Men thus far, but (finally) great on an emotional as well as technical level.  I expect great narratives to take me on some sort of emotional journey, and it’s been frustrating to see this series be so good at so many things while missing this fundamental necessity.  “Long Weekend” not only delivered the emotion, it did so in a way that actually felt like a culmination of the series up until this point.  I’m not saying that this made those first nine episodes worthwhile, but I think I get it now, and it’s so simple that I’m a little embarrassed.  I can’t connect with the characters on Mad Men because they’re all disconnected people. Continue reading

There are no men like me, only me

Well, that was epic.  One of the advantages of consistently undermining fantasy tropes is that, when you actually play them straight, they can generate astonishing impact.  “Fire and Blood” hits a lot of the beats we expect from epic fantasy but, coming from this show, they all land as seminal moments in history rather than clichés.  It feels as though the characters and the show came into their own in this episode, which is saying a lot as they already felt fully realized.  Continue reading

And then he dropped the bracelets

“The Cost” really gives us some of the best and worst of The Wire’s first season.  The complement sandwich seems like the best way to handle this situation and so I’ll start off by saying just how masterfully the conclusion was handled. Continue reading

Shame on you

Our past is inevitably defined by our present.  Damages has been playing with this idea, more or less effectively, since the premiere, framing everything in the context of its aftermath.   The set up adds weight to some moments in “Sort of Like a Family,” Continue reading

When someone says the place is haunted, don’t go in

It may be premature to claim that Supernatural has hit its stride, but after two very good episodes in a row I’m feeling pretty enthused about this series.  Those worried about how much gas Supernatural can get out of repurposing old horror stories Continue reading

It’s hard for me, you know that

“Seeing Red” throws Dexter as far out of his comfort zone as we’ve seen.  It’s not just the panic attack inducing bloodbath but the mounting strains on his personal relationships that do this.   Continue reading

We just knew

Arguably the strongest asset The X-Files had was its ability to change gears from week to week.  It’s the kind of “we can do anything” freedom that most shows are afraid to cope with but, with the right creative team, can lead to some truly exciting television. Continue reading