The Bottom Three
1. Chuck: Christ, someone put this show out of its misery. Timothy Dalton was fun for awhile, but now he’s old hat. Plus, how many times are they going to reset this goddamn show? Also, a prenup episode? Yes, it seems, “Chuck” will move through every single step in the relationships process. What’s left now? A bachelor party? An episode on the vows? Another episode about the wedding night? I’m exhausted with this show.
2. Castle: I still really like the sweeps month episodes, when they shake things up a little. But the regular procedural episodes have become painfully predictable, so much so that last week, I watched the first ten minutes, took a guess as to who the killer was, and fast-forwarded to the last five minutes for the reveal and this week’s incremental progression on Kate and Castle’s love relationship. And I was right on who the killer was, by the way.
3. Fringe: Come on, y’all. Even those of you who love this show unconditionally had to have some problems with this episode. A cartoon? Moving the consciousness of Bell out of Olivia and into a computer? The shark who had been jumped over earlier in the season actually came along and jumped another shark this week.
The Top Ten
10. Happy Endings/Breaking In: I really liked the pilot of “Happy Endings” (see review) but there was some drop-off in the second episode, though it still delivered a few solid lines and having the gay guy be the “straight” stereotype is smart. The second episode of “Breaking In,” however, I actually liked more than the pilot because Christian Slater let it loose and even made a few nods to his earlier film characters. He’s chanelling Hard-On Harry/J.D. from Heathers and it’s fantastic. Plus, Alyssa Milano, y’all.
9. Modern Family: This week’s “Modern Family” wasn’t as good as most weeks, focusing too much on the play at the end with an “F” word climax that felt a little cheap for this show.
8. 30 Rock: The storylines that don’t revolve around Liz and Jack’s relationship aren’t always the best, but “30 Rock” delivers more one liners each week than any other sitcom on the tubes, and this week was no exception. “Can we order lunch from IKEA?” Man, if only that were an option in life.
7. The Killing: Now in its fourth episode, the show has fallen into a bit of a formula: Drop a bombshell, spend the first half of the show ruling out the show, and the last half hour developing a new lead before dropping another bombshell in the last three minutes. Don’t get me wrong: The bombshells are fun, and the performances on this show are amazing. But it needs a slight change of pace to keep it a little more unpredictable.
6. The Borgias: How much would it suck, if you were in love with your sister, to officiate her wedding to another man? These are the kinds of things you learn in “The Borgias.” Also, that it’s totally OK for the Pope’s mistress to attend the wedding of his daughter, but not the mother, if she’s not nobility. Oh, and Giovanni Sforza is a really unpleasant asshole.
5. Justified: The writers this week wisely let “Justified” simmer down after several weeks of fireworks. They stopped and reset the plotline, developing a new rivalry between Dickie and Boyd, pushing Mags aside for the moment, and ratcheting up the political tension between Raylan and Art and the sexual tension between Raylan and Winona, and good God, I went eat gravy off that woman. But then, there’s also the matter of the two mysterious gunmen in the final moments of the episode as well as Raylan’s misgivings about continuing on at his job.
4. Parenthood: About 42 minutes into this week’s episode, after Adam Braverman said to his wife that he had no idea what to say to their daughter, Hattie, after discovering she was having sex, I turned to my own wife and said, “In about 14 minutes, he’ll say the perfect thing.” Because that’s what “Parenthood” characters do in the end. They always say the perfect thing.
3. Good Wife: On the one hand, after all that build-up toward the election, it was a little anti-climactic to give so little attention to election night and the results. On the other hand, Julianna Margulies’ reaction to finding out that Kalinda had slept with her husband pretty much ensured her next year’s Emmy Award.
2. Parks and Recreation: There really wasn’t a competition until “Game of Thrones” came along — last week’s “Parks and Recreation” was a near perfect episode, sprinkled with the perfect amount of Ron Swanson quotables, a Fred Claus reference from Jean-Ralphio, an adorable flirtation between Ben and Leslie, and, if I’m not mistaken, Andy and April just pushed Jim and Pam down a flight of stairs and became network television’s cutest goddamn couple.
1. Games of Thrones: Not my genre. Not my kind of show. But goddamn, that pilot episode kicked the shit out of cool and made awesome its bitch. See TK’s full review here.