Heroes – Season 1, Episode 23 – How to Stop an Exploding Man

May 25, 2007

I’ll admit this episode wasn’t my favourite of the season.  It seemed to wrap things up a little too simply and had a few too many flaws for me.  Specifically why Sylar needed to confront Peter to get him to explode (was it to set himself up to replace Nathan in the future?) or why Peter couldn’t just fly off himself given his ability to absorb other heroes’ powers or why Hiro didn’t lob off Sylar’s head or why Parkman thought his mind reading power would be of value fighting Sylar.  Lots of holes.

Still, I love the show with its really rich mythology and there’s definitely some promise in the set up for next season.  The background that is being hinted at around the older age of Heroes is intriguing and I understand we’re going to see what happened to the previous generation next year.   I like that the show has its intricate background but still is able to end a season wrapping up most loose ends for the story (just like in comic books and on Buffy).  The characters may be a bit cartoonish but they are likable and I enjoy visiting with them every week.  That’s really all someone can ask for.

Avi’s Episode Rating: B-

Avi’s Season Rating: A-

24 – The 10 Most Ludicrous Moments In The History Of 24

May 25, 2007

One of my regular readers Yoni sent me a link to this pretty funny article.  I’ve complained about this show enough and this article echos my belief that the show this season was as flawed as previous seasons but that up to now people were willing to endure the silliness.  While I write tonight I actually am watching the finale of this season which truly is silly.  Does anyone care if Jack’s nephew gets killed, Ricky Schroder gets blinded, Chloe gets tired, the Buchanans get fired or even if Russia goes to war with the US?  Enough ranting though, check out the article.  It’s good for a laugh.

Lost – Season 3, Episode 22 – Through the Looking Glass

May 25, 2007

All I have to say is WOW.  All the hype about this episode being game changing for the show was true.  The last two season finales that were as memorable in terms of changing the show’s status quo were the finale of season 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica when the show jumped a year ahead with the fleet settled on New Caprica and even closer another JJ Abrams special in season 2 of Alias when Sydney woke up in Tokyo with Vaughn married and 3 years gone by.  I felt the same excitement and anticipation last night for the next season of Lost.

I happily avoided all spoilers but part way through I realized that Jack’s story was a flash forward (despite the confusing reference to Jack’s father being alive).  I also wasn’t surprised that the person he called was Kate.  Regardless, this does not mean that I didn’t love the twist.  The possibilities that the episode open up are just way too numerous and exciting.  Will the show start on the island and flash forward with the characters.  Will the show move to the future and flash back to how they got there.  Are the characters still on the island and the flash forward only a possible future?  Who was in the coffin?  Is time travel key to the show?  Why did Jack want to get back to the island?  How many flashbacks that we’ve seen are actually flash forwards?  I’m not dedicated enough to track down all the clues but I look forward to reading the speculations over the next 9 months.

I assumed last week that even though he didn’t die last week that Charlie’s story would end tonight.  Still, put the episodes together and they gave him a great send off.  It reminded us why we liked Charlie so much during that first season and put up with him even when he was annoying last year.  Great death scene.

Other great moments with Hurley and the Magic Bus saving the day, Jack’s great performance from letting Jin, Bernard and Sayid “die” to his future breakdown, the return of bad ass Sawyer killing Mr. Friendly, the rebirth of Locke (and my pick for future death), Ben’s warning to Jack about Naomi, Jack flying hoping the plane will crash and many, many more.

After a mediocre first 6 episodes, the show slowly redeemed itself and did what I thought was impossible given where the show was 9 months ago.  It’s given me hope that the writers not only know where the show is going but really may have had it planned out from the beginning.  It’s a long way to February but I’m excited.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A+

The Season is Over

May 25, 2007

Tonight is the first night of the rest of my summer.  No new TV to watch tonight (unless you count unaired episodes of the already dead Studio 60) and some slim pickings for the next few months.  Still, don’t mistake slim pickings for low quality.  We still have the end of The Sopranos, a lot more Entourage, Big Love, Rescue Me and a couple more HBO shows.  I’ll write more about the summer schedule as it gets released.

I am going to spend the next few days writing up my thoughts on the last bunch of sweeps episodes.  I might not write in as much detail as I would normally but I’m going to be going for volume.

My “best of” list for the season will be coming in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned.

American Idol – May 22 – The Final 2 Perform

May 23, 2007

I haven’t written about the show in a few weeks.  A lot has been written of the demise the past few weeks of the 2 who were most likely the best singers in the competition.  As my regular readers know I don’t disagree that LaKisha and even more so Melinda had killer voices but I don’t think either deserve to win Idol.  It’s not that they won’t have careers but we have to go back to the show’s roots in the UK when it was called Pop Idol.  That’s what the show is supposed to be finding – the next chart topping pop idol and a great voice isn’t enough to be that.  It requires stage presence and ultimately an ability to display something unique in the songs they put out.

Kelly Clarkson is still the best example of someone who was able to use her presence and her voice to cut loose from the crap Idol mold singing songs like “A Moment Like This” to put out one of the best pop albums in years with fans who never watched her or anyone else on Idol.  Chris Daughtry is another example of someone who didn’t win but stuck to what made him unique to kick Taylor Hick’s butt on the chart.  You may respect Jennifer Hudson for winning an Oscar but be honest with yourself – she won for being a good broadway actress on film which doesn’t mean she’s going to be selling albums anytime soon.  Melinda and LaKisha will sell albums (likely on an R&B chart or on Broadway) but will anyone who is upset that they didn’t go on to the finals actually buy them.  My guess is no.

Enough of my ranting.   Let’s talk about tonight’s show.  After fast forwarding through the fluff we finally got to the first performance 15 minutes in.

Blake kicked it off with his still rather cool version of Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name.  I think the beat boxing is a little over done by him already but there’s no arguing that he probably the most original person ever on an Idol show and he’s brought something unique to every song he’s performed.   A good producer and some sound editing will help him put out a pretty interesting album.

Jordin did some Christina Aguilara song and let her great voice do the work for her with some amazing vocal gymnastics with a pretty complex song.  This is the kind of song that will sell albums for her.  Simon, enough with the young comments – they add no value.

For me the first round is a draw.

Blake did She Will Be Loved and showed good professional restraint by knowing not to beat box in every song (something I was concerned he would do).  To me the vocal was a little rough with the song sounding a bit out of his comfort zone in parts.  Still, Randy’s right it’s good to hear how he handles diverse songs and Simon’s right that it wasn’t distinguishing enough for a final performance.

Jordin sang A Broken Wing and again showed off her pipes.  This is what I like about her, even her voice showpiece songs demonstrate something marketable that I just didn’t see in Melinda or LaKisha.  She doesn’t just hit the notes but she also has the star quality that the judges often talk about.  Randy’s right – age has nothing to do with anything.

Second round goes to Jordin.

Blake’s final song was the obligatory Idol song This is My Now written by some guy in the audience who won a song writing contest.  I hate to say that this song was no better than any of the other Idol songs the contestants get stuck with.  It lacked what I think The Sopranos’ Hesh called the She Loves You principle.  Have to agree with the judges – the song was completely wrong for Blake and makes you wonder what they were thinking giving it to him knowing he would suck at it.  Way to screw him Idol producers.  If he loses he really does have grounds for appeal.

Jordin sang the same song and did a better job with it.  Still, a crappy song is a crappy song.  If the producers can’t find better songs for them to sing and release as singles, they should change this part of the competition.

Third round to Jordin by acclimation.

I guess Jordin is going to win.  I won’t know though.  I’ll be watching Lost.

Back to the Blog

May 23, 2007

I’ve been away for the past few days but I’m happy to say that I’m back and ready to bring you my thoughts on exciting sweeps action.  The next few posts will cover some of the great and not so great from the past week including American Idol, The Sopranos, The Office, Heroes, Brothers & Sisters and The Shield.  I may also hit some of the items making news.
So without further ado…… Avi start your fingers.

Veronica Mars Cancelled – sounds for real this time

May 17, 2007

After reports that kept going back and forth it sounds like Veronica will not be renewed next season.  I’m disappointed but truthfully if the last couple of episodes were an indication of be the direction of the show (stand alone, silly mysteries of the week with melodrama mixed in that would be more appropriate for 12 year olds)  then maybe it’s for the best.  On the flip side the possibility of fast forwarding a few years to Veronica in the FBI as the next Clarice Starling working on long mysteries was a really cool premise and if that would be the direction then it’s our loss.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

CBS’s Fall Schedule – News from the Upfronts – Day 3

May 17, 2007

Let me state up front that I will not be watching any new CBS shows next year.  Here’s a quote from CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler regarding the fall season:

“As we talked over the season, we said we were going to throw out the rulebook, try new things, we were going to make up the game as we went along….Part of it is we’re where we are because the schedule is strong.  We’ve got the ability to try new things, and I figure it’s better to do it from a position of strength than when you don’t have that kind of power.”

All I have to say is bulls**t.  As I’ve written many times before and the past season proves me right CBS has no appetite for anything that isn’t a procedural.  Theoretically Ms. Tassler is right, as the network on top it should be in a position to take risks.  Mark my words though any show that doesn’t instantly deliver strong ratings will be cancelled.

Do I sound bitter?  You’re right, I am bitter.  First Smith.  Even strong ratings for Jericho out of the gate wasn’t enough to save it in the end.  I’m not going to watch any new CBS show that doesn’t last a minimum of 8 weeks.  It’s just not worth it.

For a full rundown click here to check out TV Guide but here’s my take on the CBS schedule.

The Great: How I Met Your Mother got renewed by the skin of its teeth.

The Good: Not watching many CBS shows means more time to watch shows that have a chance.

The Bad: Putrid sounding new sitcom that is contributing to the death of the genre.

The Ugly: No Jericho and more than 80% of the schedule is either reality or a procedural.  So much for risk.

8 pm How I Met Your Mother – Whoo, hoo.  The best traditional sitcom on TV and the only one I watch.

8:30 pm The Big Bang Theory – Even the description makes me want to change the channel.

9 pm Two and a Half Men – Blahh.
9:30 pm Rules of Engagement – More blahh.
10 pm CSI: Miami – I can’t believe people watch this.

8 pm NCIS – Come on.   How old is the viewing audience on this network?

9 pm The Unit – Always liked the cast but never could watch the show.

10 pm Cane – I like Jimmy Smits and Hector Elizondo and it looks like a good family dynasty kind of soap.  I give it 4 weeks.

8 pm Kid Nation – Interesting concept but I can’t believe real parents would let their kids do this.

9 pm Criminal Minds – More dumb procedurals
10 pm CSI: NY – Look another CSI – who cares!

8 pm Survivor – Had a great last season so it merits another try from me.

9 pm CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -Still don’t care.
10 pm Without a Trace – One of the few procedurals I watch and like.

8 pm Ghost Whisperer – Snore.
9 pm Moonlight – Vampire procedural, I give it 3 weeks.

10 pm Numbers – More dumbness.

7 pm 60 Minutes – This is still on?
8 pm Viva Laughlin – Just sounds weird!

9 pm Cold Case  – Oh look another procedural.
10 pm Shark – Can you say another procedural.

I’m laying odds now.  Of the 5 new shows only the stupid sitcom will still be on the air this time next year.

ABC’s Fall Schedule – News From the Upfronts – Day 2

May 17, 2007

On Tuesday ABC announced it’s fall schedule. Click here for a full review from TV Guide.

Here’s a quick summary:

The Great: Errr. Nothing obvious. I guess Lost starts in January.

The Good: I’m optimistic about some of the new dramas particularly the Wednesday line up and Thursday’s Big Shots.

The Bad: What About Brian is cancelled but I’m not really too broken up.

The Ugly: Heavy reliance on reality.

Here’s my quick take on the ABC schedule.

8 pm Dancing with the Stars – Didn’t care before and don’t care now
9:30 pm Sam I Am – Promising looking sitcom that I will try

10 pm The Bachelor – I can’t believe this show is still on.

8 pm Cavemen – Silly, silly, silly. Ad as TV show-what will they think of next.

8:30 pm Carpoolers – More stupidity.
9 pm Dancing with the Stars the Results Show – Also don’t care
10 pm Boston Legal – I’ll post separately on this but after the season ends, this show is off the list. It gets progressively ridiculous week after week.

8 pm Pushing Daisies – Definitely unique looking with described as: an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy. Worth giving a try.

9 pm Private Practice – I may not have liked the pilot but I definitely love the cast and think it’s worth a try. I’m far more likely to watch this than its parent show.
10 pm Dirty Sexy Money – Great cast and neat soapy premise. I’ll be watching.

8 pm Ugly Betty – Didn’t watch this season and won’t be watching next.

9 pm Grey’s Anatomy – I’ve lost interest in this show the past few months. It’s on the bubble with me for next year.

10 pm Big Shots – Good cast of TV favourites with Josh Malina, Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott and Titus. I’ll give it a try.

8 pm Men in Trees – Nope
9 pm Women’s Murder Club – Don’t care.
10 pm 20/20 – Still more no

7 pm America’s Funniest Home Videos – This is still on?
8 pm Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – Come on. More crap.
9 pm Desperate Housewives – I’ve given up on this show.
10 pm Brothers & Sisters – One of the great new shows from the past season.

Cancelled are: What About Brian and George Lopez. I liked What About Brian but I’ll live without it.

The Sopranos – Season 6, Episode 18 – Kennedy and Heidi

May 15, 2007

Is there anyone who watched last night’s episode who’s jaw didn’t hit the ground about 7 minutes in when Tony ended his nephew’s life.  Sure we’ve seen the tension between them escalate but to see it happen this way was as shocking as intended.  Unlike my comments a few weeks ago that Tony’s gambling problem was completely inconsistent with the character, tonight was dead on.  Tony has always been a narcissist who sees himself as the hero of his story despite the despicable things he does – whether it was “saving” Pi-O-My, giving his daughter the car from a degenerate gambler to “teach” her, killing Tony B himself rather than letting Phil do it – killing Chris to “protect” his baby is just par for the course.  I loved how he kept trying to get anyone to agree with him that Chris deserved to die and no one bit.

So does Tony remind you of anyone specific that brings the show full circle?  I’m confident that Livia’s spectre will be making an appearance in the final therapy session of the series.

Another great moment was AJ realizing that he’s not cut out for his father’s business, something Tony has known for a long time.  I still don’t think it’s going to end well for him.

Down to the final 3!

Avi’s Episode Rating: A