Tuesday Night Television Review: January 27th, 2009


Another week, another on-the-go review typed on an uncomfortable cell phone. From this you can learn two things about me:
1) I have status
2) I wouldn’t be doing this if I had something better to do.

This Tuesday saw the return of another hour block of Scrubs; but since SVU and The Mentalist were nowhere to be seen, I decided to add another show into my “Rockin’ Review RotationĀ©”: Fringe! I caught last week’s episode as well and I chose against reviewing it, but I suppose fate had a different plan in mind. Once again, I am fate’s bitch.

I have recieved WAY too much criticism about how boring and wordy my posts are and since I am a genuinely great guy, I am going to use minimal effort to solve these problems. Expect pictures and more spaces, but I promise there will still be 100% wordy bullshit.

Scrubs: Season 8 Episode 5: My ABCs
Scrubs: Season 8 Episode 6: My Cookie Pants
Fringe: Season 1 Episode 12: The No-Brainer
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Scrubs: Season 8 Episode 5: “My ABCs”
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scrubs-myabcs1

This was the episode of the season I was waiting for… At long last an episode that focuses on these damn brand new interns. J.D., Dr. Cox, and Elliot decide they are going to each personally take an intern under their wing for mentoring; enter Ed, Katie, and Denise (my favorite).

The good: This episode did manage to cause some laughs. The opening sequence with Dr. Cox ripping into the interns was classic Cox ranting that managed to sound completely new while sounding all too familiar. Everyone else managed to get in a few good lines here and there as well, but nothing entirely memorable.

The bad: This episode totally let me down. Did I learn anything new about these interns? No. I didn’t. Just like with Courteney Cox’s character, the first one note impression that was delivered in the premiere was just expanded further to be the same one note. Allow me to summarize: Ed is abnoxious and arrogant (and has yet to make me laugh), Katie is stuck up on the outside, but a manipulating bitch on the inside, and sweet Denise has no soul. I know there are more to every one of these characters, but no, I have to be fed the “we’re disappointed with these young new interns” storyline. Wasn’t that the plot of the season premiere?

To make matters worse, this also marks the first time Denise (who J.D. calls “Joe”) actually shows up on screen and doesn’t say something so rediculous that I am forced to laugh. Obviously this day was bound to come, it’s just disappointing that it had to be in an episode that had so very little else to offer.

And then there’s Seasame Street… Yeah… I’m done. I’ve really got nothing to say about this. I don’t think it worked, it felt wrong, and I was a little creeped out.

Was this episode written AND directed by Bill Lawrence? Damn you! Apparently they really wanted to let the viewers know that these interns seem to be troubleĀ  and will need to walk a long epic road of redemption to win our hearts; but I gathered that from the premiere, and I would have been OK with them sprinkling in reminders of this throughout every episode, but I don’t feel they needed to devote a whole episode to making this point… again. Did anyone else see something in this episode. Please let me know if you did. As I stated earlier, this episode did manage some laughs from me; this saves it from dropping below the halfway mark in my rating scale.

Rating: 5 (out of 10)

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Scrubs: Season 8 Episode 6: “My Cookie Pants”
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Yes. I was also disturbed by the title of this episode. After its lead in episode I was filled with fear that it would involve the Cookie Monster… Fortunately for everyone on the planet, this was not the case.

The plot of Scrub’s second half revolved on J.D. and Elliot’s blossoming “new” romance, a new Chief of Medicine storyline, and more Denise (Joe) character moments.

The Good: Laughs! My Cookie Pants brought several great comedic moments from all around. Little stunts like Turk’s breaking into J.D.’s house to steal cookies, Dr. Cox pretending to talk on a cell phone, or Bob Kelso using a ball of yarn to patronize, all weave in between different plot points to fuse together a great episode.

I’ve praised my love for Denise (Joe) several times over already, so it should be no surprise that I am extremely pleased to be getting yet ANOTHER episode involving her character. This little story arc tried going off of the setup we’ve been given already in showing that she really has no emotion or empathy. Although nothing was really surprising from this segment of the story, it did do a great job at evolving her character just enough so you don’t hate her (although that statement is biased because I could never consider doing such a thing). The interplay between Denise (Joe) and J.D. worked really well too. Now they just need to work on those other damn interns…

Dr. Cox vs. Bob Kelso = Badass Television

Dr. Cox vs. Bob Kelso = Badass Television

Another fantastic story element involved Dr. Cox being offered the position of Chief of Medicine. (You might call that a spoiler, but really, if I have to type any summary of the following Scrubs episodes, there is no way that’s not getting mentioned.) This was my favorite part of episode and I give all of the credit to Ken Jenkins and John C. McGinley. Bob Kelso and Dr. Cox have fantastic on screen banter and every moment they were together resulted in fantastic gloriousness (that’s a special phrase only critics can use). There were too many moments to list that I loved, so I’m not going to try.

This might be my favorite episode of the season so far, but that’s mostly because it only focused on the things that I love the most about the show. There was no Carla, very little if any extra interns, great Janitor lines, Dr. Cox and Kelso banter, Denise (Joe) story and patient interaction, and J.D. was not very whiny. With that kind of combination I cannot complain, but if you actually miss Carla, or intended to see more between J.D. and Elliot, or if you find Denise (Joe) annoying or boring; you will like this episode alot less than I did.

Rating: 9.6 (out of 10)

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Fringe: Season 1 Episode 12: “The No-Brainer”
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So it has finally come to this. I really didn’t want to review this show, because it’s one of those shows with overarching story points, and in order to really get down to the things you like/dislike about the episode, those points play a huge role. Things will have to be spoiled, so if that bothers you, you probably shouldn’t read these reviews; and if there’s ANOTHER reason out why not to read my reviews then it feels REALLY pointless to write it at all.

Like I did with the Mentalist, I feel compelled to get some things off my chest when it comes to ranting about this show. Fringe is compared to the X-Files quite a bit. I am not offended by this. I love the X-Files. I wish there were more shows like the X-Files. When comparing this show to the X-Files, you might wind up saying “Well this just isn’t as good”. That’s where my logic gets a little fuzzy. The X-Files is one of my all time favorite television shows, so hearing “it’s not as good” is just… well… it’s god damned obvious. I say that about every show I’ve ever watched (EVEN 24!), because deep down inside, I do not enjoy them as much as I enjoy the X-Files. If I don’t punish Jack Bauer for this, why would I punish Olivia Dunham? I think it’s fantastic that there is another Sci-Fi show on network television and as long as it doesn’t suck balls, I encourage more and more of them to appear.

I think in alot of ways The X-Files prepared me for this show, because tonight’s episode barely made mention to anything involving the pattern or any of the crazy overarching conspiricies going on in this show’s mythology. We were brought back to a by-the-numbers case, or in the X-Files day: a Monster-of-the-week episode. What I love about Fringe’s mysteries is, for the most part, they manage to be really intense and disgusting. This week’s episode delivered in spades in that department. A computer virus caused people’s brains to melt out of their head. These were just truly disgusting images, and the show was getting such a kick out of it, they would CONSTANTLY shove these disgusting pictures in your face all the time; and when they couldn’t come up with a reason to flash someone with a picture, there’d be another death and we’d have to visit another disgusting ass crime scene.

If I had to see an image like this 8,000 times, you might as well look at it while reading this

If I had to see an image like this 8,000 times, you might as well look at it while reading this

The one thing I do not like about this show’s cases however, is that they always take away the awesomeness of the crime/murder/thingy. They always dumb down the really badass scenes you see into some hallucination and wrap it around scientific mumbo jumbo. The show has clearly crossed the realm of believability with teloporting people out of prison and allowing people to walk through walls; so why the hell can’t I really have killer butterflies with razor sharp wings!?!?!?!?

Another thing I’m torn on with this show is its characters. I really like Olivia Dunham and Walter and Peter Bishop; but the show really hasn’t given me a lot to work with. Again, I credit the X-Files for preparing me to expect character development to happen randomly and sparingly; but even the X-Files managed to make a stronger case for its main characters right out the door. This show has yet to give me ONE truly compelling thing to make Peter Bishop a real and likeable character. He just sits around, always winds up doing the right things, and drops the most cliche and cardboard cutout dialogue you’ll hear in modern day television. I feel I’ve been given enough to deal with Olivia and Walter, but Peter just feels really off and out of place still.

All in all, I feel this was a very enjoyable, if not standard, episode of Fringe. The case was fantastically disgusting, we were given a little more meat to the Walter/Peter relationship, and we were even given the tiniest glimpse into Walter’s past. I wouldn’t be surprised if this show stays this vague and generic for a while, it’s doing pretty well so far, so they won’t be in a rush to go anywhere. If we can say that this is an example of the run-of-the-mill, stereotypical, every day Fringe episode, I would be OK with that.

Rating: 7.5 (out of 10)

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That wraps up the television episodes that I watched on Tuesday night. I’m going to start taking a more proactive stance towards covering a few more shows that I watch. Expect me to cover the new show “Lie to Me” and hopefully a few more in the future. As always, please let me know what you thought of any of these fine television shows and let me know where the error in my logic is. Thanks for reading! Until next time…

– Kyle

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~ by axknel on January 28, 2009.

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