Circumstantial flummery from a would-be spoonbean hustler.

fall tv and vancouver studios

It being season premiere week and all, it’s not a good time for my cable to go out. Being the resourceful individual I am, I managed to see most the shows I was hoping to by hopping from friends and family houses. Thanks guys, although now that I look at it, it’s sort of odd that I just turned up demanding control of the remote. Such is the nature of my television habit. Anyway, episode reviews…

Arrested Development had some crazy adverts running this week, post Emmy wins. How you can’t just love Jason on site, I don’t know, but the episode was as always top notch. I’ve decided to use my TV viewing powers to try and help AD out, cause those cancel happy bastards that control TV have made me very angry lately. So we get back from summer break and while mini distasters continue to burn around Michael, things have leveled out. Gob makes me cry. Taste my sorrow! I love the new story points with him and his son, I think it’s going to add a lot of humanity to the characture that is GOB! Tobias just perpetually freaks me out, but was less freaky although he worked at “Swallows”. And could freaking Henry Winkler get any funnier? I keep waiting for him to pull down his pants and have Roy Orbison tattoo’d to his ass. The Scientology joke- I love you evil bastards! Arrested Development – #41 – The Cabin Show gets an A.

NCIS returns in the midst of that very evil season finale, which I’m still really perturbed about. One thing they did really well was to have Sasha Alexander as various imaginings of Kate from the other cast members. I think my big fear was that I couldn’t see these characters without Kate, I couldn’t see them grieving in any way- which really they didn’t approach in this episode (which is have of a two-parter). So by have each character imagine Kate in a very DLM/Sixth Sense sort of way, it was facilitating a transition. This show really stays under the radar, moreso that Bellasario’s JAG did, because I think it’s a bit more blue collar than JAG, and the characters are really a lot more oblique. It’s a nice combination. I have to admit, I like all the characters on the show so much I get suckered easy, so there were some sniffly moments. Having Gibbs go against type was superb, brilliant stroke of writing there. Ducky and Gibbs’ chauvanist speech was really fun too. It was a fun and bittersweet episode, with such a well defined villain as Ari everything just sings, action and tension just hopping along with the story. NCIS – “Kill Ari” pt 1 gets a B+.

House this week was really exceptional in all the ways last week’s premiere fell flat. I like LL Cool J, I think he’s a very underrated actor who plays to type better than most of his music cum television contemporaries. He did a great job. Seeing Hugh act smashed, while not in fact slipping up on the accent was very fun, reminding me my favorite scenes are with actor’s playing Drunk- cite A Philadelphia Story. But the premiere was very toned down from the early season 1 episodes. Hoping for things to pick up and Tuesday really did. You’ll note Sela Ward didn’t inject herself into the story (although I’m not quite on board with the Sela haters; I just think her character is a bit superfluous) This episode was lots of awkward. In a good way. Chase’s scene with the MRI little girl, that was oh so horribly uncomfortable, and likewise was House’s realization that he is infact less brave than a little girl. My favorite summation of the episode- The last person that tried to hug House, he killed! Albeit briefly. Cancer girl’s eyes were weeeeird. Freaking me out dudes. Cinematography/Editing this ep was a B+ which is pretty high as House goes, it’s not exceptional, I like lighting and color they play with, but the editing is pretty standard. It doesn’t distract though, s’good. Whole scenes composed in Hugh Laurie XCU- well I like, but may perhaps be a bit much. House 2×02 – Autopsy gets an A-.

Last review of the week is for Mandy Patinkin’s new CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. Being completely honest- I’m watching it because of my love for Dead Like Me. Now I’m not expecting DLM, and god knows we have more than enough Crime dramas on TV for heaven’s sake! But. It’s Rube. Take that as explanation enough.
So the show starts at FBI wherever doing FBI whatever and Rube aka Gideon in this instance- and please, if you’re going to follow the naming conventions of Gibbs/Horatio/Grissom/House/insert-antiquated-quirky-forenames then I have to say, DON’T BRING ATTENTION TO IT IN THE EPISODE. I love naming shit. I really do, I love thinking up character names, it’s like my favorite part of the writing process, but the show OPENS with random baby naming scene were we hear Gideon, ehhh… Is it just the G’s and H’s? If it was G’s turn I could have gone with Grayson- steward, Gerard- brave, hardy, Gordon-great hill or I could even go with Grover even though it just means trees.

So whatever. Gideon- powerful warrior is pulled off his medical leave because someone is getting killed over a fucking Datsun Z- which I suppose is reason enough to die. We know he’s on medical leave because we get the line “Guess medical leave is over early, eh boss?” So now Gideon’s either incompetent, had a major trauma recently, or insane. Well he’s being backstabbed into review by a protege so apparently he’s not incompetent, so crazy/trauma it is.
His main intro scene is this monologue about I told them this and that, I watched Silence of the Lambs too many times, I am the fucking guru of mindkillers, which also indicates I am probably insane but I won’t use my insanity for evil! I’ll be like BATMAN! Too the Batcave! Maybe subtlety is overrated, I dunno. But don’t you think Gideon knows his medical leave is over when they pull his ass out of the classroom and tell him to get on a plane? And remember, I want to like this show- I’m in love with Mandy at the moment, and I want every reason to see him weekly!

Onward to Vancouver-read-SEATTLE- where apparently they’re just using EVERY set from Dead Like Me except Der Waffle Haus. So far. And I am not joking. The Gas station where Bear mauls protesters- check. Downtown Vancouver where George meets toilet seat- check. Throw in the Prison where Lionel Luthor switches bodies with Clark Kent to Jimmy Eat World music, and possibly George’s street, although it was dark, so I couldn’t quite tell. And Gideon is sporting a very Rube-like sweater which is apparently a very Mandy-like sweater, and also a very Bob Siegel my writing prof-like sweater as well. I think maybe they just filmed the pilot of Criminal Minds between takes of Dead Like Me, which I guess is cool.

About 30 minutes in and DJ Squalls- yes from Road Trip- shows up as Serial killer #1. At this point my brains are melting out of my ears, so I actually start to get into the show. They do some interesting blue screen transitions, all of which I’m not getting into that much but I’m starting to like Gideon’s zone outs cause they are progressively getting stranger. This shows the most promise, they do some good sound editing and dialogue layering and some closeups on Patinkin, which I do enjoy and then slam back into scene. It’s very mental- and it’s about the most effective method the whole episode had for making you think the character was unstable. Unstable is good. Stop putting this shit in the dialogue and have him zone out more!

So now Gideo’s amazing powers of assessment, more powerful than the kid with 187 IQ- (187 that’s murder, yo!) and he figures all the shit out. DJ is a wannabe who uses the MOST INSANE computer lock software ever only to make his password Enter Sandman. Which would have been better if they had played the song, as that opening riff would have distracted me to the fact that was a stupid plot thread that wasted about 19% of the storytime. Although I sort of like the Dinozzo-like Shemar Moore, but I’m superficial like that. So blah blah blah we have a showdown at the DOCKS which probably read like:


Gideon spots Tim holding Heather, who might as well be a sack of potatoes for all the character development she got. But believe me we care about the fact that she’s going to die. Really.


Put down your gun! I’ll kill her!


Yeah right, I’ve been saving this snappy dialogue for the whole hour. Now listen while I goad you into shooting me while my partner caps you from behind.

Gideon goads Tim into SHOOTING him. In the arm. Partner-girl caps Tim from behind. The end.


And for the whole thirty seconds it took to deliver it, it really was the only interesting dialogue the whole damn episode. And then everyone’s back on the plane flying home, and Greg or whatever the hell his name is in this show, talks, and Gideon shares his whole the world is crap everything we do doesn’t matter, and blah it’s over.

So will I watch it again? Probably, just to see if it gets any better I’ll stick around two or three more episodes. The next episode is written by series creater Jeff Davis, who also wrote this one, with another director and the third by Aaron Zelman and a third director. So I’m feeling it out, even though right now I’m not impressed. There’s some marginally interesting bits and pieces, most of falling on Patinkin as the potentially deranged Gideon. But I guarentee he won’t live up to this, so they better start making the other folks more interesting. Criminal Minds – Pilot – Extreme Aggressor gets a C. And only then because I got to stare at Mandy Patinkin for an hour.

Also caught the new Chris Rock Show, Everybody Hates Chris which I’m not going to write up but will continue to watch, as there’s some fine acting, the new Survivor:Whereever which I may forgo if people don’t actually start eating each other, CSI which still manages to disappoint me everytime I watch now- oh and wow new opeing graphics!!!1die1. Fall shows are keeping my eyeballs busy. Hopefully can get my Cable back on shortly- which is all related to windshields of doom, but I’m making a push to finish the draft of N&D; this weekend, so maybe it’s for the best.

Going to a show at King’s tonight, will miss BSG sadly, and I’ve got some thoughts on new episodes of Justice League Unlimited but I’ll save those for later. Au revoir mes amis!