I tend to watch a lot of television through the week – and PVR a whole lot more. Here are some of the stand-outs from the past week, for me:
Rizzoli & Isles: Season 3, Episode 4 – Welcome To The Dollhouse
The opening moments of this episode were some of the creepiest I’ve ever seen. A bunch of wee dolls in a dollhouse, sitting around the dinner table like a little family. Then more and more dolls – bigger dolls – until finally we see a woman tied to a chair, with a man in the shadows, yelling at her.
“Will you tell??”
She shakes her head in terror, and begins to plead for her life, when the man’s arm raises, with something in his hand, and crashes down violently onto her skull.
The next time we see that woman, she is perched on a bench at a bus stop, dressed in retro, ill-fitting clothes, garish make-up, with a huge gaping wound on her head.
Just like a doll.
There was so much going on in this episode, and I loved every moment of it. By now, the main cast have all long-since found their rhythm with one another, and the characters live and breathe right in front of us from week to week. Leads Angie Harmon (Det. Jane Rizzoli) and Sasha Alexander (Dr. Maura Isles) were outstanding as per usual, and I am very happy to see them back to getting along again. They really do make an incredible team when they work together.
Everything involving Korsak (Bruce McGill) this week was a joy to me – from finding and rescuing the dog, “Barney Miller”, to having to give her up again, to lamenting that she wasn’t the dog working the case with them…all of it was so well done – so quietly perfect – that I couldn’t help but be entertained.
I also, unfortunately, can’t get the real-life fact out of my mind that young, talented and beautiful Lee Thompson Young (who plays Det. Barry Frost) took his own life just over a month ago. Every time I see him on screen something twists in my gut and I feel so much empathy for his friends, family and coworkers that I can’t help but hang onto each moment he appears in the show now. Such an incredible loss – I try to treasure what we have left, knowing in retrospect now that the end of our time with Det Frost is near.
Mom: Season 1, Episode 1 – Pilot
I actually don’t watch many comedies anymore – Hot In Cleveland and Seed are the exceptions of late – but I’d been seeing commercials for this one in recent weeks, and they always made me laugh, so I thought I’d give it a go. SO glad I did! First – you can’t go wrong with Allison Janney. At all. In anything. Ever. So that alone is a decent reason to at least check this show out. But if you like slightly irreverent, off-beat humour (as I do), then you’re likely to settle in and stay a bit. French Stewart delivered one line while the opening credits were still rolling that had me laughing so hard I had to text it to Tim, if that’s any indication!
We first meet Christy (Anna Faris), a newly-sober mom of two (Sadie Calvano and Blake Garrett Rosenthal) who’s trying to get her life back together, despite the many temptations and obstacles in her path. One such issue is the re-emergence of her own former-addict mother (Allison Janney). Add in an ex-husband (Matt Jones) who can’t seem to make child support payments, the married boss with whom Christy is having an affair (Nate Corddry) and the knowledge that her teenaged daughter has been having sex with her boyfriend (Spencer Daniels) for some time now, and suddenly sobriety isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Generations of love and dysfunction pile up into one very promising sitcom – I can’t wait to see if they can build on the already strong foundation established in this pilot episode!
Face Off: Season 5, Episode 7 – Living Art
I can never properly express how much I truly love this show. The commercials that aired before the series premiere had me intrigued, but I was hooked by the end of that very first episode, and my adoration of the show as a whole grows with each and every episode. This season, I was thrilled to see the veterans vs newbies twist happening at the start, and now that we are so many weeks in, everyone remaining has my utmost admiration and respect. Talented freaking peeps all around!
Of course, like everyone else, I have my favourites. Of the remaining newbies, I think Eddie has more to bring to the table, so I hope he sticks around longer and finds a way to pull off the makeup he sees in his mind more often. Laney as well…I’m not totally sold on her all of the time, but her talent when she gets things right is unmistakeable. Of the vets, I love Alana, Laura and my all-time number one fave, Tate. Actually, Miranda kicks ass when she hits her stride, too. I just don’t adore her work as consistently as I do the other three.
Tate’s been my guy since season 1, and I was thrilled to see him back this season. He’s been killing it, too – until this week. First, his scary-ass injury in the lab with his mold was CRAZY. I was worried about him overall, because if he’d lost the use of his finger, it could affect the rest of his life as a make-up artist, let alone the rest of his competition. I loved seeing everyone come together to help him out while he was getting stitched up, and when he was first sculpting that castle I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. But the end product really was mostly cool costume and not so much make-up. So disappointing this time, but I loved his foundation challenge (with ELVIRA!!!), and at least he survived to see another week.
Miranda’s piece was way better than she gave herself credit for…she really doesn’t know her own talent, does she? And I about cried for Alana when she was frantically trying to finish her piece at last looks and ran out of time. It actually wasn’t as bad as she feared, either, but when it was announced that she was safe, I think her reaction was pretty genuine. Sometimes we get so close to our creation that we can’t see the big picture, and I believe that’s what happened in her case this week. It wasn’t as good as she wanted it to be, but that doesn’t mean it was bad.
I think it was a no-brainer for Laura to win again this week, though. Holy hell, that piece of work was AMAZING! It took my breath away as soon as the lights hit, and I found myself wanting him to move around so I could see more than just the front of the “painting”. So many layers and textures and colours – gah! Absolutely stunning. It was like a Picasso character stepped out of a painting and was standing right in front of you. Ridiculous. The woman is an insane talent, and I look forward to everything she comes up with from week to week.
Almost as much as I look forward to seeing what pops out of Tate’s brain next.
Lucky 7 - Season One, Episode One
This new show had its premiere this week, as well, and while it started out kind of like I expected, it quickly turned into something all its own. The fact that Bomb Girls’ Anastasia Phillips and Gabe Grey are both in it meant that I was definitely going to tune in and check it out, but the storytelling of this pilot episode has ensured that I will be staying on for awhile!
The basic plot is simple: a group of gas station employees win the lottery – and they win huge. I’d expected a bit of background on each character before their big win, and we were duly provided with such. But none of it went down the way I’d expected – I didn’t expect a pair of employees/brothers, to rob their place of work. I didn’t expect one of the employees to have left himself out of the winnings. And I didn’t expect a mysterious vote breakdown when it was determined that one of the employees hadn’t helped pay for the ticket himself.
Each character is their own person already, and by the end of the pilot, it’s pretty obvious to the viewer that – while they may not all be alone in the outside world – they really only truly have one another to count on going forward. I am very interested to see what happens next!
The Michael J. Fox Show – Season One, Episode One and Episode Two
I suspect Tim will want to write about this one in more detail, so for now, I will just say a very hearty WELCOME BACK, MICHAEL!!! So happy to have you back on my TV screen! You have been very dearly missed! <3
Person Of Interest
This show has made me paranoid and thrilled since it first began to air, so I was very happy to settle into this week’s season premiere. The show hit the ground running right out of the gate, and by the end of the opening credits, it was evident that gang was, in fact, all here. Carter (Taraj P. Henson) looks amazing this season – whether in uniform or her civilian clothes. She will kick ass regardless of clothing or position on the force. Shaw (Sarah Shahi) is an aweome addition to the crew, as well, and I love that she is still doing things her own way. It keeps Reese (Jim Caviezel) on his toes, and puts Finch (Michael Emerson) into the position almost of being the confused father of a headstrong teenaged daughter. Agent Shaw is, of course, very capable, but she needs our guys in a very different way from what they are used to, and I love that dynamic already. Root (Amy Acker) is rocking the psychiatric/prison hospital and, though I suspect she won’t be in there long, I do love how threatening she can be without a phone and wearing her jammies. Creepy as hell! Fusco (Kevin Chapman) has pulled himself together into a good, competent and trustworthy asset over the years, and any time Enrico Colantoni shows up on my screen is a happy day for me.
The season is off to an incredible start, and for the rest, I say bring it!
Elementary returned this week – seeing Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson in London for a bit, and getting to meet Sherlock’s brother was an interesting treat.
As well, Revolution came back with a bang, and while I wasn’t sure how into much of the episode I was, as soon as all that stuff with Aaron happened, well, colour me back on board!
Survivor this week wasn’t fantastic, but I think that might just be because every time I try to like Colton, he opens his mouth and makes me feel like I accidentally let cancer get in again. I hope he leaves soon, because there’s drama for the sake of drama, and then there’s just…disease. He makes me not want to watch anymore.