The Fortnight in TV: Oct. 13th-26th, 2013

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I dropped the ball last week and didn’t get around to posting a “Week in TV” post. So now I’m posting two week’s worth of TV watching. Lucky for you guys, Shocktober has kind of taken control, so my TV watching has been considerably low. So here is what I’ve been watching for the last couple weeks. Enjoy.

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New Episodes

This section covers the episodes I watched of shows that aired a new episode this week.

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The Walking Dead – 401 – 30 Days Without an Accident & Talking Dead – 301

Airdate: Sunday, October 13, 2013

Watch Date: Sunday, October 20, 2013

I’ve been back and forth with The Walking Dead, pretty much ever since the series premiered. One moment, I’m singing the show’s praises, the next I’m lamenting a lackluster finale. Despite my never-ending love of zombies, I went into The Walking Dead’s fourth season premiere (under the tutelage of the show’s 3rd showrunner) with low expectations.

My expectations were met. I like that the prison has become a community and that there is some light sense of normality. I’m really excited about the casting of Lawrence Gilliard Jr., who played D’Angelo Barksdale on The Wire. I really hope he stays around for a while.

I have to admit that introducing the flu is pretty clever. And I like how new showrunner Scott Gimple promised a very character-driven season when he appeared on Talking Dead. He promised all the threads laid out in the first couple episodes will be followed through to completion. Those words gave me some high hopes for the season.

The Walking Dead – 402 – Infected & Talking Dead – 302

Airdate: Sunday, October 20, 2013

Watch Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I don’t really care about Michonne hunting for The Governor. I really don’t care about The Governor in general, actually. The two characters he interacted with the most last season (and worked the best with) are gone and his “assault” on the prison was such a letdown that I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t appear this season at all.

As for what actually happened this episode, I’m very interested in finding out what’s going on in the prison. Who is killing people and who is feeding the walkers? I’m curious. My guess is Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) based solely on the fact that he’s the one new character so far that’s been given the most screen time without being killed off. My guess is he’s an agent for The Governor. If I turn out to be right, I’ll be disappointed that I called it in the second episode. We’ll see though.

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Parks and Recreation – 605 – Gin It Up!

Airdate: Thursday, October 17, 2013

Watch Date: Friday, October 25, 2013

I was devastated Friday when I realized I missed the 4th episode of this season. I usually have such a lock on the show’s I watch so that this never happens but it did. Sigh.

Luckily, “Gin It Up!” was a fairly standalone episode. I can tell that Tom’s new love interest is going to be a welcomed addition to the cast. Hopefully she sticks around for a while. Seeing Tom trying to impress women is one of the show’s strongest points and Tatiana Maslany plays off Aziz well.

This episode also featured some nice scenes that explored Leslie’s relationship with Donna. It was a nice touch. I also loved every Accountant vs. Lawyer scene that Ben had. Those were actually the highlight of the episode for me. I love it when a series show’s a peak at some underlying world or dynamic that’s skewed from our own way of life. It’s something Parks and Rec does very well.

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How I Met Your Mother – 905 – The Poker Game

Airdate: Monday, October 14, 2013

Watch Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I had a random thought after last week’s episode. This is completely baseless and I have no idea if this is the reasoning behind Marshall’s season-long road trip plotline, but I wonder if it was hard to get Jason Segel back for the final season. I remember reading or hearing that Segel was going to exit the show after two more seasons. This was four seasons ago.

So I wonder if he took a deal to have a reduced schedule. I’m sure if that’s the case, there are articles to Google. Given his screen time in this week’s episode, it’s a moot point. Or maybe not, though, since his scenes were all in one location and could have been knocked out in a day.

The episode itself was charming. I really like the little moments between Barney and Robin. I’ve been really vocal about how much of a problem I’ve had with Barney and Robin’s journey to the altar. I felt like the proposal last season was more about the writers securing an endgame for themselves than it was about the logical place for the characters’ story to land. But it seems like the writers are using the final season’s concept to retroactively re-develop Barney and Robin’s story.

How I Met Your Mother – 906 – Knight Vision

Airdate: Monday, October 21, 2013

Watch Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So, Barney and Robin’s love story literally killed a man. That’s not a very good omen. The episode was another “fun” sitcom episode of the show. I’m starting to get concerned that we’re 6 episodes into the final season and we haven’t really gotten any “final season” vibes since the premiere. I’m sure things will ramp up soon. Hopefully. And I really hope we see more of the Mother. The premiere is starting to feel like a giant tease.

I really liked Anna Camp’s role in this episode. I hope she recurs throughout the season.

Rewatches, Catch Ups and Independent Viewings

I’m nearly always rewatching a series, catching up on a show I’m behind on or going through a show I’ve never watched before from the beginning. This section is devoted to those viewings.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine – 103 – The Slump & 104 – M.E. Time

Airdates: Tuesdays October 1 & 8, 2013

Watch Date: Monday, October 14, 2013

This show is still going strong. These two episodes were strong displays for the series’ supporting cast. M.E. Time featured guest star Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as a medical examiner with a dead body fetish. It was surprising to see something so dark on network TV. It played well.

Something that struck me about M.E. Time is that the show seems to work a little better without Chelsea Peretti. Her nihilistic, blasé tone is an acquired taste that’s more likely to wear itself out fast. She seems to be playing an edgier version of Aubrey Plaza’s April Ludgate from Parks & Recreation. While I’m on the subject, Joel McKinnon Miller’s Scully character seems to be Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s answer to Jim O’Heir’s Jerry Gergich.

I don’t want Brooklyn Nine-Nine to try to thrive as a knock-off of Parks and Rec. It has the talent to excel on its own. Hopefully these characters come into their own as the season progresses.

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Boardwalk Empire – 405 – Erlkonig

Airdate: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Watch Date: Monday, October 14, 2013

SPOILERS HEREIN

Man, this episode hurt a little. Let me start with Nucky and Willie and then work my way toward the heavy stuff. I liked the scenes between the uncle and nephew. I’m curious what will happen when Eli catches wind of it. It may put a wedge between the brothers since Eli’s a little prone to jealousy.

Next up is Van Alden and the Capones. Man, I love when the show teaches me something. I didn’t know about Capone’s brother being gunned down on April Fool’s Day 1924. When it happened, I was stunned. The show occasionally uses its setting to pull off impressive and notorious historical events and this one was really great. Al’s reaction has me anxious to see how the character grows from here.

Finally we have Eddie. Damn. That ending hurt. I really like Brian Geraghty as Agent Knox and the case his building against Nucky (and the rest of the gangsters, it seems) has me on the edge of my seat. I really liked the way he handled his interrogation/confinement of Eddie. He’s a very interesting character and not someone who should be underestimated.

Eddie’s final scene, in which he pens a note and then jumps out of the window, was upsetting. I love the character and loved how close he and Nucky became last season. But he’s gone and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Boardwalk Empire – 406 – The North Star

Airdate: Sunday, October 13, 2013

Watch Date: Monday, October 21, 2013

It’s been a week since I watched this episode. My favorite part of The North Star was Eli searching for the translation of Eddie’s note and having no suspicion of Knox’s disloyalty. Knowing the truth about him and knowing about the investigation in general makes me really nervous. I’m curious to see what happens next. I just need to find the time to do it.

family-guy Family Guy – 1202 – Vestigial Peter

Airdate: Sunday, October 6, 2013

Watch Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I’m writing this a while after watching it and I honestly don’t remember much of the episode. I can really say that about most of the more recent episodes of Family Guy, This episode’s main plot involved Peter suddenly having a half-born fetus attached to his shoulder.

That was the only thing memorable from the episode. Maybe I’ll watch it again and have more to write about but that’s pretty low on my list of priorities. So this will just have to make do. This episode was okay,

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Parks and Recreation – 603 – The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip Off Classic

Airdate: Thursday, October 3, 2013

Watch Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 

Whenever Parks and Rec gives Leslie her town’s rival Eagleton to play off of, the show goes up just a notch. I really like seeing Kristen Bell in the show, too. She’s just all around awesome and I hope the Pawnee/Eagleton thing is going to be a season-long arc.

The subplot involving Ann and April in Bloomington was cute. But it also seemed a bit like course correction on the writers’ part. I feel like they set up the vet school thing for April not knowing that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe were leaving. This episode just felt like they were dumping a plot idea so they could keep some of their characters in Pawnee.

Overall it was a good episode.

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Bob’s Burgers – 401 (A River Runs Through Bob) & 402 (Fort Night)

Airdates: Sundays, Sept. 29 & Oct. 6, 2013

Watch Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I’m a little astonished that Bob’s Burgers has lasted into its 4th season. That’s not meant to be a slight against the show or anything, quite the opposite actually. I’m surprised that a smart, offbeat comedy can find enough of an audience to survive the debilitating wasteland of network television.

Season 4 has started off well. My favorite of the two episodes was probably A River Runs Through Bob. It was a fun episode that focused nearly exclusively on the family (the exception being the survivalists). Though, Fort Night was a fun episode.

I’m beginning to view Bob’s Burgers as a suitable Family Guy substitute. Family Guy has been hit or miss for a while. It’s nice to have a consistently funny cartoon sitcom to fall back on when Family Guy under performs.

Miscellaneous

Here’s where I throw in anything TV-related that happened this week that doesn’t fit in the sections above and/or isn’t big enough to call for its own blog post throughout the week.

downtonabbey

I considered buying the first three seasons of Downton Abbey on blu-ray since Target had it for about $55 and I happen to have a $21 gift card. But I’m always hesitant to buy TV show box sets, much less sets for shows I haven’t seen. My plan was actually to buy the collection and then watch an episode or two on Netflix before opening the set. That way, if I had a Mad Men situation (in which I just flat out didn’t like the series), I could return it no harm, no foul. But I was running late for a movie so I decided not to buy it. Not yet at least.

My question to anyone reading this: Is Downton Abbey blind buy worthy? Show your work. Please and thank you.

2 responses to “The Fortnight in TV: Oct. 13th-26th, 2013

  1. Yes, Downton Abbey is definitely worthy!
    The storylines are great and it’s different to any other show, I watched it on Netflix but it’s worth buying.
    Plus, Maggie Smith is hilarious in it.

    Like

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