Posts tagged TV

A Hot Version of Murder She Wrote? [Dollhouse]

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Is it just me or have the past few episodes of Dollhouse brought the more ethical, non-kinky imprints to light? Admit it. When you first heard of the premise of the show your mind went right to Dirty Naughty Land. It’s OK. I think that everyone did it. Lately though we’ve been seeing the humane type of engagement where the Actives just help people that have had some sort of suffering in their life (ie: Patton Oswalt’s character in Man on the Street) or people that just need a friend (ie: Topher in this week’s episode). Then there are just paranoid rich people who have high powered friends. That’s where Echo goes off to this week.

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Did You Get a Man Reaction Here? [Dollhouse]

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Another week, another episode of Dollhouse, another engagement gone wrong. Is anyone else seeing a pattern here yet? I understand the urge to start the series with a few stand alone stories to allow the viewer to get acquainted with the Dollhouse universe, but it doesn’t take that long to do that. I don’t know about you, but I figured out how this set-up worked after the first episode. Now we’re five episodes in and this routine is getting a little old. The stories are a little interesting, but I want a full arc here to satisfy my appetite for serialized Television. Getting these little tidbits of information about Alpha or whatever the hell Agent Ballard is not accomplishing this week is just not enough. Let’s talk about this week’s episode though. (more…)

“Gray Hour” In More Ways Than One [Dollhouse]

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Four episodes in and where do we stand with Dollhouse? Is it time for FOX to pack up their toys and go home? Not just yet (I hope). This week’s episode, “Gray Hour” wasn’t as impressive as previous episodes, but it did add to the overall story of the show. While each episode has been largely stand-alone in nature, there has been an overlaying story arc (Alpha) that has been set up as we go along. The show isn’t perfect though and things need a little bit of work. (more…)

Dollhouse AKA: Holy Shit That’s a Lot of Information

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I’ve read that Joss Whedon is purposefully avoiding an overlying arc for the beginning of Dollhouse and is instead focusing on 7 stand-alone episodes to start off the season. If that’s the case, then what the hell did we see on Friday night? Yes, the “engagement” was a stand-alone mission, but we got so much more. Seriously, by 9:57, I was thinking to myself “Wow, there’s a lot of information in this one episode.” That’s really surprising. Not that I’m thinking while watching TV, but that we’re bombarded with enough back-story to make the writers of Lost blush and so early on. And yet, there’s still a lot of mystery to the show, as well as many unanswered questions. Let’s take a closer look.

So at the end of the first episode, we were given a very brief glimpse of Alpha, the mysterious male active that went rogue. No other information was given aside from the fact that he seemed to like to cut people. This episode gave him a bunch of info on his background and how he went AWOL. It seems that throughout the time that Alpha was being imprinted with various personalities, he started to gather bits and pieces of each one and developed a composite of them all. The result was an unstoppable killing machine that hacked up a bunch of guards and several actives, but Echo was left untouched. Another “luckier” victim was Dr. Claire Saunders (Amy Acker) who had her face cut up and scarred beyond repair. We saw Saunders’ slashed face in the previous episode and I [incorrectly] theorized that she was a former active who received those injuries on the job. It seems that even though Saunders is a relatively minor character in the Dollhouse, she has a lot going on behind those scars. (more…)

The Office: What Happened Here?

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So lots of stuff happened in the past two weeks for our Office co-workers. Let’s take a look at some of the major things here though.

So with Holly’s unfortunate transfer, the logical thing to happen would be the return of Toby. Somehow Michael went a full week without notices the guy was back. His reaction to this horrible truth was perfect though. Just a full fledged scream of “NO!” held for as long as the camera could take it. Poor Toby. He was really put through the ringer here. Sure, he went to Costa Rica, but aside from the fact that he wasn’t working there really wasn’t much to be excited about what with his injuries and all. Then he comes back and Ryan and Kelly are making out in the next cube and no one cares about his pictures and Michael and Dwight try and frame him for having an illegal salad in his desk. The guy should take some anger lessons from Andy. Let’s see some rage or at least a backbone out of you, Toby! (more…)

The Office: Please Don’t Break Up My PB&J

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So can we take a minute and talk about last night’s episode of The Office? I really wasn’t impressed with last week’s “Employee Transfer” but this episode was just firing on all cylinders (Did I just make a car reference? Or is that a reference to a gun? I honestly don’t know what it’s a reference to, but I thought it would be applicable here). “Customer Survey” was just great. It touched on the major characters leaving folks like Stanley and Meredith in the background. Even without a strange remark from Creed, the show was still pretty damn good.

Let’s see what we had to work with. The episode started out with Michael trying to put a band-aid on his broken heart by lying to his co-workers. Instead of explaining what happened last week with Holly, he told them that they were engaged. That’s the logical next step, right? Surprisingly, his employees were excited and happy for him. Maybe they all care about him even if it’s just a little bit. Unfortunately for Michael, a call to his mom brought the truth out and that was the last we heard about it. I didn’t like how this thread was just dropped. If the first few episodes of this season has taught me anything, it’s that Michael has indeed found a soul mate in Holly. Let’s hope that they find a way to get back together. (more…)

James Knows DVDs: Prison Break: Season One (2005)

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On the surface, I should hate a show like Prison Break. It’s a ridiculous premise and it’s got the usual over-the-top storylines that FOX is famous for. Somehow, I just got so drawn into this show. The idea might be crazy, but the show does a great job in building and maintaining suspense over several episodes. By the season finale, my knuckles were white and my heart was ready to beat right through my chest.

The aforementioned ridiculous premise starts simple and then gets entirely out of control. After exhausting (just about) every possible aspect of the justice system, Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) gets himself thrown in prison in an effort to save his brother Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) who’s on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Wait. There’s more. Michael’s firm designed the prison so he had all the plans for the place on the outside. The logical thing to do is to get an elaborate tattoo across his torso so that he could take the map inside with him. He’s developed a finely tuned plan to get his brother out safely. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, the best laid plans of mice and men…OK, I don’t know how the rest of that saying goes. Basically his plan gets fucked up. (more…)

Did My DVD Watching Break My TV Watching?

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This week saw my regular TV broadcast viewing get a little bit smaller. After a pretty disappointing episode, I threw in the towel with Heroes, a show that I’ve been an avid supporter of since Peter jumped off a building in season one. I also didn’t even bother watching the week’s episode of Fringe after I’ve been pretty mediocre about the series since the beginning. I just don’t care anymore. I’ll spend that hour watching a DVD, maybe even a TV show on DVD.

All is not lost though. I still plan on tuning in to catch Pushing Daisies and Life each week, the only two shows that have managed to cross the line between online viewing and actual initial broadcast viewing. I’ll also be checking in for my regular fix of The Office as well as 30 Rock which premieres this week.

They're trying to figure out why I'm not watchingSo what happened? I’ve only really started watching first run programming on Television recently when I got back into a few things. Up until then it was purely DVD. But after last year’s Writer’s Strike and a looong summer of great DVDs, maybe I’m just a little jaded. My tolerance for Television shows has definitely gotten a lot shorter. I want entertainment and I want it now. It’s bad enough that I have to sit through the commercials when I watch TV, but now I have to wait around as you eventually get to your point (Fringe, I’m looking at you). I just don’t have the patience anymore.

My best guess is that after watching so many complete seasons (and series) on DVD alone has spoiled my viewing of first run shows on Television. Why bother watching an episode a week when I can plow through the entire season in a weekend once I get the DVD? Plus, no commercials or annoying pop ups telling me about some other show I’m not interested in. DVD has replaced my TV shows.

Now, I know that one could argue that with the invention of the DVR, I could probably have a similar experience. I just recently acquired a DVR and I’ll be honest and say that it’s still set to record Heroes and Fringe for the entire season. Will I return to watch them though is the question. I think another would be if I’d be more comfortable watching a show like Fringe if I hadn’t seen any of the episodes before and just picked it up as a blind buy next year.

My TV is not dead though. As I mentioned, there are still a handful of shows that I’m watching on a regular basis and come January, I’ll be ready to check out the return of Lost as well as the premiere of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. But will those last? Or do I have such high standards for TV now that I won’t be able to hold on to them?

James Knows…TV: The Office: Episode 3 – Baby Shower

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Each episode of The Office walks a fine line between incredibly awkward and absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately, there are some occasions where the show just falls into the strange and almost not funny abyss. I felt that last night’s episode “Baby Shower” had a few such falling moments. That’s not to say that the episode wasn’t good. It basically redeemed itself in the end, but the entirely unwarranted testing of Jan’s stroller by Dwight and Jan singing for no damn reason in the middle of her baby shower just left me on the edge of my seat, but not in a good way. I was sitting there waiting for the twist. Where is it? You’re supposed to have something weird happen followed by something that’s really funny. But the funny part didn’t come. Sure, Dwight had a few fun lines during this road test, but it just felt entirely out of place. (more…)

Heroes Hoedown: Chapter 5 – Angels and Monsters

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I was filled with hope last week that the show’s writers had somehow managed to right this sinking ship that Heroes has become. I mean, here was an interesting twist and some great character driven story telling even if it held too much to the crazy time travel nonsense. Then there was this episode. Ugh. It’s like the writers thought “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we had everyone in the show act entirely out of character and do shit they’d never ever do?” Yeah! That would be awesome! If “awesome” meant “a piece of garbage.” (more…)

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