Capsule Reviews: ER and Survivor

I’ve fallen a bit behind in my TV viewing the last week and as much as I’d like to do long reviews and recaps I’m going to do some shorter ones over the next day or 2 to catch me up.

ER – Season 13, Episode 4

Another great episode. I don’t know what’s up with this show but 13 is shaping up to be a very lucky season number for this show. As recently confirmed, because of a ratings resurgence, the show which was originally supposed to air uninterrupted this year now will follow it’s normal on-off pattern over the season. I don’t care too much about ratings but I will say that the show has had a creative resurgence that merits the higher ratings. This week’s episode introduced the always excellent Forest Whitaker (robbed from a deserved Emmy nom and a win for his work on The Shield) for a 4 episode arc as a patient who is suing Dr. Kovac. The episode did a fantastic job flipping back and forth between the characters’ testimonies in court and flashbacks of what happened in the ER, alternating perspectives as it went. Whitaker and Visnjic are to be commended for portraying their characters as simultaneously sympathetic and culpable with the clear message that regardless of who the jury favours neither of them are coming out of this winners.

Avi’s Episode rating: A

Survivor – Cook Islands, Episode 6

It’s been 13 seasons and although I know a lot of people wrote this show off a long time ago I’ve stuck with it, until now. I can’t attribute this change to a single factor but a whole bunch of things. I’ve written in previous posts about the increasingly uneven balance in any given episode between challenges and the character dynamics that originally drew me to this show and this remains an issue. I thought this week’s episode where both teams are forced to kick off a team member is a cheat on the basic rules of the game – losing teams kick people off, not winning teams. This isn’t a twist, just a cheat. Also, I really don’t care that much who wins or loses. I watch the show and 20 minutes later I can’t remember who gets kicked off. This isn’t a good sign.

Here’s the most important reason I’m dropping Survivor. There are way better shows to occupy my time with. In addition to the shows I watch week to week, I have an entire queue of past shows that I’ve recorded but have yet to watch. All of these are better than Survivor.

Avi’s Episode Rating: Irrelevant

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