My trip to LA seriously screwed up my TV viewing. The days I was gone were some of my heavy TV viewing days. I gave up on posting as I watched and have opted instead to lump a couple weeks of viewing together. I’m one episode behind with Friday Night Lights and with another airing this week I think I'll just wait until I'm completely caught up. I will say the first two episodes of the season pleased me far more than I expected. Cast shakeups are worrisome, but the show, thus far, is handling them well.
And I’m working on a rather lengthy White Collar post. Let me tell you, people, I’ve fallen hard for that show.
In the meantime, here are some thoughts on the last two episodes of House and Bones.
I enjoyed ‘Known Unknowns’. I'm pretty sure House's costume was a shout out to Hugh Laurie's Black Adder days, but I wonder how many watching failed to get it?
The old team was together, working well together and not calling House for help every five minutes. OMG, they were being competent doctors!
House/Cuddy, for the first time, did not make me gag. Which should have been a sign that Cuddy has a new boyfriend. And it’s Lucas! I had read that Michael Weston would be returning to the series, but I had no idea in what capacity. I can’t say I see sparks flying between the two, but Cuddy did seem happy and, in my opinion, happier than she would be with House.
And just when I thought House perhaps was getting back on track after an abysmal fifth season, there was ‘Teamwork’. Alan Sepinwall has a great write up about the episode and inherent problems in the series. Though, unlike Alan, I do like Cameron.
One comment left in response to his post particularly resonated with me:
The show is no longer about the characters or the medical procedural, it's about the agenda. And the agenda is House/Cuddy, Thirteen, Foreman and Taub.
I feel the one big problem with the show, and it began last season, is the disconnect between what the writers find fascinating and what the audience does. They’ve introduced new characters and series regulars that, as far as I can tell, no one has taken to. And they are hell bent on selling a relationship that a large percentage of the audience does care to see.
I can’t say Huddy would bother me so much if they acted as people their age would act when embarking on a relationship. However, if House truly cared about Cuddy, he would leave her alone. Lucas seems like a good guy who is interested in a future with Cuddy. He even embraces the role of dad. In ‘Known Unknowns’, Wilson still has to give House tips on how to win over Cuddy, including pushing House to volunteer to babysit, something House only begrudgingly offers to do. From next week’s preview, it looks as if House’s plan to ‘win’ Cuddy (or should I simply saw win?) involves ruining Thanksgiving and destroying her happiness with Lucas.
My issues with the series really came to a head during the final scene between Cameron and House. Jennifer Morrison – who still has no clue whether or not she will ever be back on the series – did a great job with the material she was given. But the material sucked. There were so many unbelievable moments packed into that one scene. Cameron blaming House for Chase’s actions. Cameron walking away from Chase after struggling for so long to overcome her commitment fears. Chase allowing his marriage to fall apart after his long pursuit of Cameron. And in a moment of pure crazy, Cameron informing House, and by extension the audience, that she knew he nearly let the patient die just to get his team back. Seriously? Now, House has done some wild and selfish things over the years, but he has never allowed a patient to almost die just for his personal amusement.
And that one alleged action erased all the character growth House has experienced over the previous episodes this season. I’d probably be more angry about that if not for the fact it’s clear the writers are writing for the moment (seriously, how can they not know if one of their stars will be returning?) and the story at hand rather than with any thought towards character consistency.
I was never a fan of Zack. I was actually pleased when he was written off the series. And I’ve enjoyed the revolving group of interns, all of them. But if I had to pick one intern as my favorite, it would be Wendell. He's earnest, hardworking, down-to-earth and he just seems to fit really well into the group. However, I didn't anticipate just how well he would fit in.
I may have squeed a bit (on the inside, since I was watching the episode on a plane) when Wendell and Angela kissed. It’s not that I’ve been looking for those two characters to hook up - actually I thought I saw a bit of a spark with Cam in a previous episode - but I find the relationship intriguing and it may mean he’s used on the show more.
In hindsight, I should have seen it coming. Wendell’s friendship with Hodgins has been growing so a romantic relationship with Angela is going to make the friendship awkward and the show is all about awkward relationships.
I’m not sure how long lived Angela and Wendell will be. Initially, I thought it would be a one night thing, following Angela’s nearly six months of abstinence. But that final scene between the two, in which Booth witnessed Wendell stroking Angela’s arm and Angela not pulling away, seemed to take place days later and leads me to believe there will be a relationship of some sort for some length of time.
Of course, I fear poor Wendell getting his heart broken once the writers decide Angela and Hodgins are meant to be together (though I'm personally over that relationship since the WTF breakup between the two). I loved how the scene unfolded leading to the kiss. Wendell states he has $40,000 in student loans and is an unapologetic meat eater. Yet, as his eyes shift from the photo Angela holds in front of her face to Angela's eyes and he sees just how much this means to her, he apologizes and digs out his last $45 to give to her. While I can find Angela rather opinionated and preachy (and her lashing out at Brennen and questioning their friendship was just plain hurtful), she seemed genuinely floored by Wendell's gesture.
As for Brennen and Booth, thus far this season I’ve been pleased with the development of their relationship. I feared I would find Booth holding back on telling Brennen how he feels frustrating, but, surprisingly, the relationship hasn’t regressed. It’s clear to everyone but Bones how Booth feels about her. And after Sweet’s WTFness in the season premiere, telling Booth his love for Bones was merely the result of the tumor, his conversation with Gordon Gordon reveals his book concluded the two were in love.
Of course, correcting the wonkiness with Sweet's characterization leads to new wonkiness being created. Booth’s forgetfulness, holding objects with the other hand, and various inconsistencies in Booth are determined not to be the result of the tumor, but his love for Bones. Huh? I’m not sure how unrequited love changes the way you walk or hold your cellphone.
Thursday night is my busiest night of television and it will soon be busier, but that's OK because I think this could be a very good move. From The Futon Critic:
USA is about to give "White Collar" a new partner - "Burn Notice" - and a new home - Thursdays. The news was confirmed to the site exclusively this morning. The Jeffrey Donovan-led drama will return for the back half of its third season on Thursday, January 28 at 9:00/8:00c. "White Collar" will then follow at 10:00/9:00c. The series wraps the first half of its freshman run on Friday, December 4 at 10:00/9:00c.
The one "Oh, No!" in this is that I'll have to go nearly two months without my show. :(
And, finally, I may be giving up on V. I'm not caring about any of the characters, nor that the earth is in grave danger, and the plot twist I saw coming from a mile away.