TV Review: The Mentalist 4.14 “At First Blush” – Stooges in a Comedy Troupe

Isn’t February sweeps time? Isn’t this the time of year that we get juicy Red John episodes to tide us over to the next sweeps period? Was the revelation at the end of last week’s episode supposed to tide us over until May? I mean, that was a pretty big ender last week – everyone in CBI plus the FBI knows that Red John is alive, Darcy suspects that Jane knew this fact and I’m sure the rest of Lisbon’s team suspect that as well. So, what do we get this episode? Not one mention of it. I can understand Darcy not being there. Catherine Dent is a recurring character, and won’t be in every show. But, the rest of the team just goes on like nothing has happened? So do Lisbon and Jane? What surprises me about At First Blush (★★) isn’t that no one references the bombshell from the episode before – that is par for the course after all – but that such a dull episode with no relation to the overall story happened during sweeps.

Three things of import happened in this episode, two to do with Cho. Funny, since last week I mentioned that Cho was criminally underused. One, Rigsby finally noticed and mentioned Cho’s dependence on painkillers. Two, Summer finally pushed Cho to admit he liked her and they made out in the elevator. What is it with CBS shows and elevators? I’m happy for Cho and, by the standards of The Mentalist, this romance was practically whirlwind.

The third is less an event than the planting of a couple of seeds by the lawyer, Porchetto, who failed to convict Jane of Food Court Red John’s murder. Porchetto has zero patience for Jane and who can blame him? When Jane declares that the woman Porchetto is trying for murder is innocent because she loves her parents, it’s too much. After Rigsby and Van Pelt visit the original investigating officer, asking questions about his investigation, Porchetto goes to Lisbon and, after he complains about Jane and Lisbon does her standard defense, Porchetto declares that Jane isn’t the problem, Lisbon is. This after the investigating officer laughs at Rigsby and Van Pelt, calling them stooges in a comedy troupe. Give props to The Mentalist for addressing through the show what I have thought for over a season. How will these two little nuggets of discontent play out in the team? Probably not at all. Lisbon was going along with Jane’s ruse and joking around with him in the very next scene. But, at least they acknowledged that her biggest weakness is Patrick Jane. Baby steps. Next up on my list of “Ways to Jolt The Mentalist Out of Its CBS Procedural Rut,” make Jane wrong for once.

Other Thoughts:

  • The episode was directed by Roxann Dawson who I remember fondly from Star Trek: Voyager as B’Elanna Torres. She has become quite a prolific director.
  • Next week’s episode features the return of Morena Baccarin as Erica Flynn, a woman who unnerved Jane like no other. Yea!

What did everyone else think? Glad about Summer and Cho? Irritated or not about the lack of mention, even in passing, of the Red John bombshell? Do you think The Mentalist needs to jolt itself out of its procedural doldrums? If so, how would you do it?

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12 Days of Boredom 2011: Day 4 – Television

This is not a Best Shows of the Year List. Why? I don’t watch enough television to be able to say, “Of all the shows on TV, these are the best.” I only watch what I’m interested in and there are many great shows out there that do not interest me for one reason or another (Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Men of a Certain Age, Breaking Bad, Community), shows that are going to be included on professional critics’ best of 2011 lists. Even though my husband thinks I watch too much television, I’m not a professional critic and have neither the desire or time to watch everything.

With that said, the shows below are the ones I watch that consistently delivered quality story, characters, visuals and mood.

The Good Wife

The heart (Alicia) and soul (Kalinda) of The Good Wife.

The Good Wife made my list last year at number five but has moved up to number one this year, leapfrogging two premium cable shows that will get all the end of year accolades from the pros. Maybe I’m being a contrarian, picking a network show from the Geritol Network as my favorite show. Or, maybe The Good Wife simply delivers the best mix of  “technology, modern politics, family life, sexuality, workplace politics, friendship, love, and forgiveness” on television. Every week. Consistently. Robert and Michelle King are merciless with their characters, taking them places they need to go, places that are logical and true to who the characters are and not what is convenient for the story or comfortable for the network suits. At the end of season 2, they torpedoed Alicia’s life in four episodes, destroying her friendship with Kalinda, her marriage to Peter and moving her into an ill-advised relationship with her boss. This season it has been fun watching the repercussions of all that play out. There was no quick reconciliation between Alicia and Kalinda – it has taken four episodes for Alicia to have a simple conversation with Kalinda and, even then, I don’t think Alicia looked at her. What I think is most brilliant about The Good Wife is that a casual viewer might not realize that with each episode of everyday happenings, they are setting up bombshells for the future. In that way The Good Wife is like life – rarely does one realize at the moment of decision, word, action or inaction that it will have consequences that will reverberate throughout other people’s lives.

Boardwalk Empire

Any show that has the courage to kill of their number two lead at the end of the second season deserves to be at the top of all end of year lists. I still can’t believe that amid driving rain and next to a unfinished war memorial, Nucky Thompson pulled out a gun and shot his surrogate son, Jimmy Darmody, in the head. Twice.  It was the only logical resolution to the season long battle between the two men but it was still shocking because that just isn’t done on television. Creators and networks don’t let their main character get shot in the head by the other main character. Unless, of course, there is a contract dispute. Then all bets are off. But, the decision to kill Jimmy Darmody was driven by the story, not outside business influences. As wrenching as it was to see Nucky pull the trigger, I admire the hell out of the show and network for having the courage to do the unthinkable. That wouldn’t happen on network television. Ever.*

*Sure, Once Upon a Time killed off a “main character” Sunday night as well. But, the differences in the two deaths are vast. Sheriff Graham was nothing like a lead, he had little to no development as a character outside of Sunday night’s episode and it is yet to be seen what kind of impact his death will have on the show. Jimmy’s story was 50% of Boardwalk Empire for two seasons. His death is going to leave a huge hole. The two are hardly comparable. 

Maybe Jimmy’s death will give some of the other story lines room to breathe. I would like to see much more of the colored world of 1920s Atlantic City. Michael Kenneth Williams is brilliant as Chalky White and needs much more to do. I would like to see women other than Margaret take a larger share of screen time. I’m hopeful that they explore what it is to be a professional woman in a man’s world with the character of Esther Randolph. And, I hope that if Agent Van Alden has to be a part of the show that they do a better job of giving him something to do. According to the creator, Terrence Winter, there will be a 16-18 month time jump when season three opens. I can hardly wait.

Game of Thrones

Based on George RR Martin‘s sprawling, multi-novel epic, Game of Thrones should be unfilmable. I believe I read somewhere that the actor who performs the audio books has a world record for number of voices/characters performed. Books with that kind of scope have to be pared down so much to fit on the small screen that they become a shadow of their former selves. Not so, Game of Thrones. It is faithful to Martin’s vision to its core. The characters, the visuals, the stories, even the music. The show took some flack in its first season, spawning anger on the internet with the off-screen death of a direwolf, the objectification and subjugation of women and even inspired the creation of a new word, “sexposition,” story exposition told during sex. Game of Thrones made me uncomfortable at times, even though I read the books and knew beyond a doubt that George RR Martin is far from a misogynist. In fact, as the story unfolds, his strongest characters are women. But, there is a difference in reading and seeing what happens to women in this male dominated world. Like Boardwalk Empire, GoT killed off a main character at the end of the season, a death that happened in the novels and that had to happen onscreen for the story to move faithfully forward and, like the book, season two looks to get more complicated and interesting.

Fringe

Though I’ve been a bit disappointed in the first half of season three, Fringe is still the best (and only?) sci-fi show on network television with a trifecta of brilliance – acting, story and characters. Due to low ratings, this could easily be the last season of the show. I hope they work out the kinks of this season and end strong.

Revenge

Oh, the soapy goodness of Revenge. I’ve been a bit lukewarm on the last couple of episodes (note the lack of reviews of them) but overall, Revenge is the best new network show of Fall 2011.

The Hour

A British mini-series that didn’t know if it wanted to be a period workplace drama, political drama or spy thriller, somehow this little show still worked.

Falling Skies

I’m glad that cable networks schedule original programming year round. If not, a show like Falling Skies would never make it to screen. There isn’t enough story there to justify a 22 episode season. In fact, a 22 episode season would doom a high concept show like Falling Skies.** Even with only 10 episodes for this show about an alien apocalypse, there were a couple of clunker episodes. The finale made up for it, bringing Noah Wyle’s character’s season long obsession with protecting his children at all costs to its logical, and disturbing, conclusion.

**Once Upon a Time is a show that would be better served on cable for these very same reasons.

Other Television Shows

Show I wish I had subscribed to Showtime for: Homeland – but I’m reading all of the critic reviews each week.

Biggest Disappointment: A Gifted Man – a colossal waste of Jennifer Ehle and Margo Martindale

Show I Used to Love But Don’t Anymore: Modern Family – the characters have become shrill and unlikable.

Show I Struggle to Write About: The Mentalist – procedurals don’t translate well to weekly reviews and The Mentalist doesn’t do enough Red John centric episodes. I write about it anyway because those posts routinely get the most hits.

Show That Frustrates Me : Castle – put the two leads in a relationship then I’ll watch regularly.

Show I Love, DVR, But Never Get Around to Watching: Parks and Recreation – I love Leslie Knope and Company. Why don’t I watch this show religiously? Why, why, why?

Show That I Want to Love But Leaves Me Cold But I Watch Anyway: Once Upon a Time – I have no explanation why I keep tuning into this snoozer. Maybe I’m waiting for it to find its groove? I wish they had killed off the Evil Queen in the last episode instead of Sheriff Graham. That would have been a shocking game changer.

What’s Come Before

Day 1 – Health and Fitness

Day 2 – Apps and Websites

Day 3 – Cooking

What’s Next

Day 5 – Photography

Day 6 – Live Entertainment

Day 7 -Home Improvement

Day 8 – Books – Non-Fiction

Day 9 – Books – Fiction

Day 10 – Writing

Day 11 – Movies

Day 12 – Swamp in Review

TV Review: The Good Wife 3.11 “What Went Wrong” – Alicia’s glacial attitude towards Kalinda thaws

Scene from a better time.

And it’s about time. I completely understand that Alicia’s attitude toward Kalinda and the complete severance of their relationship had to happen, that it was true to Alicia’s character that she would hold the grudge, but The Good Wife is a better show when Alicia and Kalinda are friends. I’ve said it many times before and it continues to be true – Juliana Marguilies and Archie Panjabi have the best chemistry on the show, though Marguilies and Noth are a pretty close second. All season long Alicia and Kalinda have been trying to fill the hole that the loss of the other has left in their life and they have both failed, miserably. Whatever relationship that was budding between Cary and Kalinda was torpedoed by Dana coming on the scene and Cary arresting Kalinda during “What Went Wrong.” I suspect Kalinda’s heart to heart chats with Will over a beer had more to do with connecting to Alicia, through information from Will, than being Will’s friend. Now that Alicia doesn’t have Will in her life, personally, she is completely bereft of friends, save her brother. Her attempt to reconnect with an old tennis friend from her days as a stay at home mom is disastrous. That they have nothing in common is quickly apparent. Diane’s offer of friendship is more of a mentorship than anything; I don’t see these two ever talking of anything other than legal strategy.

Which leads us back to Alicia’s friendship with Kalinda. She discovers, through internet Jesus and her son about Kalinda’s role in “saving” Grace. After bailing Kalinda out of jail, Alicia steps up and thanks her, which Kalinda quickly deflects. The conversation is awkward and a little heartbreaking, even as it offers a glimmer of hope that these two can find a way to move forward as friends. Alicia’s attitude toward Peter seems to have changed, as well. I’ve no doubt that the Crisis that Wasn’t with Grace brought out the connection between the two. But, it is interesting that the episode immediately after she breaks it off with Will, she tentatively, and probably unconsciously, starts drifting back toward the two relationships that grounded her before the affair started.

The case of the week was interesting but only as it served the character development. “What Went Wrong” (&$9733;&$9733;&$9733;) moved people and relationships into position for what will, hopefully, be an exciting second half of the season.

Other Thoughts:

  • Peter all but threatens the headmistress to accept his kids in the private school. Is that an abuse of power? Yes. Better watch out, Peter.
  • Wendy Scott-Karr shows her hand to Will and tells him the real target of her investigation is Peter. What will Will do with that information? I wish he would go to Peter with it but he won’t.
  • The lady obsessed with buttons was hilarious. I love the way The Good Wife taps into the little idiosyncracies of modern life and a fanatic focused on a fringe interest is a big part of the internet and blogging culture.
  • “Really, you have nothing to thank me for.” Such an odd thing for Will to say. Alicia thought so as well. What did he mean, I wonder?
  • Alicia admits to her brother that she wasn’t in love with Will, just the excitement of the affair and the sex.
  • For the first time since their falling out, Alicia volunteers to work with Kalinda. Kalinda’s smile when it happened just warmed the cockles of my heart. Kalinda has played Alicia’s anger just right. She knew that pushing wouldn’t have worked. Her patience and understanding is paying off. However, I predict that she will eventually snap at Alicia, feeling betrayed, and they will repair their friendship after that.
  • Diane’s 100% business attitude is impressive. She has always been cut and dried about her relationships with everyone, wanting Cary to win the contest in season one but choosing Alicia in the end because it was more valuable for the firm. Getting a commitment from Will to terminate Alicia if Peter’s office goes after the firm because of problems in their marital relationship. Forcing Will to break it off with Alicia one week then offering to mentor Alicia and encouraging her to get on the partner track the next. I believe Diane wants to help her but I also believe she will sacrifice Alicia in a heartbeat to save her career and the firm. I predict that is exactly what happens at the end of the season.

Occupy Sunday Night TV – Can’t we spread the wealth?

Earlier this year when CBS announced The Good Wife‘s move to a Sunday timeslot I was irritated. I

The Good Wife (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

viewed Sunday night as a television wasteland and a slap in the face to CBS’s most critically acclaimed show. How wrong I was. Sunday night, on network and cable channels alike, is a murderer’s row of critically acclaimed television. Some of these shows are on the other side of their prime (Desperate Housewives), some are popular with viewers but met with skepticism with critics (Once Upon a Time), some are insanely popular and critical hits (The Walking Dead) and others are just trying to hang on by the cleverness of their conceit (Dexter). How is someone supposed to choose what to watch? My DVR can only record so much and with the NFL on, it can’t record two things while I watch a third. First world problems, man. First world problems.

7:00 pm

  • Once Upon a Time
  • NFL

8:00 pm

9:00 pm

  • Pan Am (ABC)
  • Hell on Wheels (AMC)
  • Hung (HBO)
  • Homeland (Showtime)

This isn’t even a complete list of what is on Sunday night. I have only included shows I watch regularly, have watched at one time or another or would like to watch if I had access to the premium channel.  Nor have I included shows that are not currently airing but that air new episodes on Sunday night (Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Treme, Breaking Bad). In fact, I could pull just about any critically acclaimed drama (one thing these all, with the exception of Hung, have in common is being an hour-long drama) out of the hat and it most likely airs on Sunday night. Though I love having a DVR full of great television Monday morning, watching everything and reading The AV Club and What’s Alan Watching after sure does kill Monday for any sort of productivity.

Tell me, gentle readers: What do you watch on Sunday night? Which show do you watch live? Do you read recaps from television critics as well?

Sunday Night TV Round Up: The Good Wife, Pan Am, World Series, Boardwalk Empire

Family watching television, c. 1958

Because I can't find a good image through Zemanta, here's a random family watching tv in the 50s. Image via Wikipedia

When my husband and I were newlyweds, Thursday night was Good TV Night. We would buy Marie Callendar pot pies and sit down to watch Friends, Seinfeld, ER and whatever spare comedies were sandwiched between. One year and 10 pounds later, we stopped eating the pot pies, but Good TV Night continued until Friends and Seinfeld went off the air. Since then, there hasn’t been a night with consistently good television like Thursdays on NBC in the late 90s, early 00s, though it looks like Sunday night is taking a run at it. Unfortunately, all the shows I want to watch are on different channels, leading to some pretty serious DVR acrobatics. It’s about time I move the DVR out of the family room and into a room where it can record two shows undisturbed while we watch a third. That’s a first world problem if I’ve ever heard of one. Brief thoughts on each show below.

The Good Wife

I’ve long lamented the overarching story and the problems that come with it (The Mentalist, Castle) and while The Good Wife‘s overarching story is about how messy life in the 21st century is, not a serial killer or murder conspiracy, they have been able to create a nemesis for Alicia Florrick in Dylan Baker’s Colin Sweeny character. The man is creepy, funny and a cold blooded murderer. Alicia is repulsed by him but, even so, she doesn’t want to see him dead, especially as the result of a State’s Attorney sting coordinated by her frenemy Cary Agoos. Sweeny works so well as an ongoing character and “nemesis” for two reasons: one, Dylan Baker. You can tell he has a ball playing the character and Juliana Marguilies has just as much fun playing opposite him. She is the master at eye-rolling whatever outrageous remark that comes out of Sweeny’s mouth. Two, The Good Wife uses Sweeny sparingly. He has been on three episodes in three years and two of them can be considered some of the series best.

I hate to say this but Eli Gold is wearing a little thin. The more time we spend with him, the less I like him. I love Alan Cumming and Eli added a shot of energy this show was lacking, but this season has focused mostly on the smug, self-satisfied and abrasive aspects of his personality. Eli came alive for me when they humanized him with the America Ferrera storyline. They need to do something like that again, soon, or I fear I’m going to start rooting against him.

Then there is Kalinda Sharma’s incredible shrinking screen time. Okay, Robert and Michelle King, you’ve had your fun with splitting up with BFFs. It’s time you start laying the groundwork for them to patch it up. Seriously. Kalinda and Alicia’s 21st century Cagney and Lacey routine is what kept me tuning in for the first two seasons. Not the will they or won’t they between Alicia and Will. Let’s face it, Juliana Margulies has more chemistry with Archie Panjabi (and Alan Cumming, and Dylan Baker, and Lisa Edelstein!) than Josh Charles. I hope that Kalinda’s refusal to help Eli help Peter will be the first brick laid in the road back to the girls reestablishing their friendship.

The subplot about Alicia hiring a new associate was interesting for the change in the office dynamics. She made a potential enemy of her divorce lawyer! and she realized that not only was she a charity hire but that she can’t count on Will’s unconditional loyalty. I guess there are limits to the perks of banging the boss. Everyone has an angle and has debts that need to be repaid. I think the realization that she was a charity hire hurt her psyche more than Will’s abandonment.

Other Thoughts:

  • As a parent, I can relate to Alicia’s sorry attempt to explain just why she doesn’t want her daughter and tutor to do the flash mob dance video thingys. It’s impossible for Grace to see that she is exposing herself in a way that she will never be able to undo. Not literally exposing herself, but childish things such as internet videos are there forever.
  • Lots of focus on Grace this season but very little on the son, whose name I can’t even think of right now.
  • Because the writer’s are good about using real world events, I have no doubt that trampboarding is real but I still don’t understand it.
  • Zach!
  • Watching Alicia drink tequlia shots with Celeste and not Kalinda broke my heart a little bit. Okay, a lot. When Alicia said she didn’t have any girl friends, that sound you heard was my heart shattering in a billion pieces. *sniff*
  • I wanted to tell Celeste the reason why men didn’t compete with her is because they all want to sleep with her.
  • So, is Will really like Celeste? I don’t know, but I do know that Will’s ethics or lack thereof will end up being what breaks Alicia and Will up. At least that’s my prediction.
  • I know we have to have Peter around but he isn’t very interesting.

Pan Am

The only reason I watch this show is because of the clothes, hairstyles and history. It is eye candy, nothing more, which is why it only deserves bullet points, not complete paragraphs.

  • Luka!
  • Why do they keep focusing so much time on the least interesting character, namely Laura? We need more Collette and soon.
  • How about giving Sanjeev a bit more to do than say things like, “At least you didn’t jujube his wife.”
  • They really want us to root for Ted and Laura becoming a couple, don’t they? Too bad they’re just not that interesting.
  • Christina Ricci is the biggest name on the cast but has, to this point, had the least amount to do. Does that make sense to anyone at all?
  • The spy stuff is the most interesting thing about the series, except the clothes. Why aren’t they paying Kate to spy?

Boardwalk Empire

It’s not hardly fair to write about a show like Boardwalk Empire in the same post as the flyff (heh, that’s a typo but I’ll leave it, get it? flyff for fluff?) of Pan Am, especially when Boardwalk Empire went out of its way last night to gross me out by showing two grisly murders. After getting over the gore, my thoughts turned to just out out of their depth Jimmy and Eli are. Eli, drunk and angry at Nucky’s refusal to forgive him, takes some sort of old timey tool at some ward boss or another (I can’t tell any of those guys apart) and accidentally on purpose slits his throat. Eli throws him on the ground and, after a second or two of indecision, decides to finish the job and bashes the guys skull in, imagining it’s Nucky the entire time. I covered my eyes when blood and brain matter started flowing. What did the random ward boss do? Nothing but question Eli about the Commodore’s health. Okay, he was freaking out a bit, but nothing that warranted being brained with an old timey tool. We’ve all suspected it but this rash action proves it (as does Eli’s “solution” being calling in one of his deputies to help him move the body!), Eli is an idiot.

Jimmy isn’t an idiot but he is easily manipulated, especially by his mother. Jimmy wants to think the best of his mother, than she is as good at the game as Nucky, but what he doesn’t realize is that the only power she has ever had has come from her willingness to spread her legs for the right, powerful people. Like all people with a false sense of their importance and intelligence, Jimmy makes a decision to get retribution against an old man who has more passion than power. The brutal way Jimmy and Richard kill the old man – scalping the former Indian fighter in his own home while shoving an Apache breech cloth in his mouth to muffle the screams – is going to infuriate Jimmy’s enemies more than terrify them. All he has done was confirm the old geezers’ idea that he is in way over his head. I suspect they will all abandon the Commodore and Jimmy and move toward Nucky.

Other Thoughts:

  • This episode was more focused than most, centering on Nucky, Eli and Jimmy and the fallout from the Commodore’s stroke. It is notable that Nucky deals with his problems politically – greasing the pockets (and members) of the Attorney General and the prosecuting attorney to ensure his indictment is thrown out.
  • The rest of the episode focuses on Richard and his suicide attempt in the New Jersey back woods. So many critics fawn all over the Richard Harrow character and, while I think he is interesting and Jack Huston’s portrayal is remarkable, this was the least interesting storyline of the episode.
  • No Agent Van Alden and pregnant Lucy Danziger. Thank God.
  • When Margaret saves Nucky from Eli, he doesn’t thank her. Instead he tells her to make sure the gun is loaded next time. Typical fucking man.

World Series

Come on Rangers. Bring the championship to DFW for the first time.

~*~

I meant to DVR Once Upon a Time and will try to watch it on demand or online somewhere. It looks interesting. As far as Homeland goes, it is killing me that I can’t watch it. I have yet to find a friend that has Showtime. If it wasn’t for Boardwalk Empire, I would cancel HBO and get Showtime. But, I’m following Homeland through What’s Alan Watching and The AV Club. Sounds like it’s getting good.

 

 

 

TV Review Castle 4.02: Heroes and Villians – “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Castle Season 4 cast picture, from Castle Wiki

Yesterday, I praised The Good Wife for avoiding the network television two step by moving Alicia’s story and character forward in a very real, organic way. I must confess that when I wrote that sentence, the show I was comparing unfavorably to The Good Wife was Castle. Still, I watched Castle’s second episode of season four,”Heroes and Villians” (★★★), last night because I’ve watched Castle for three seasons, I’m in the habit and there’s nothing else on my recorder so what the hell, right? My expectations were low,  since I know full well that this was going to be just like every other season – the beginning of a span of lighthearted episodes full of witty banter and mostly uninteresting cases. Then sweeps will come along and they will revisit the conspiracy behind Beckett’s murder, the least interesting ongoing storyline of any network television show currently on and possibly in history. There will be no change in the relationships or characrers and we will probably understand less about this Great Conspiracy than we did before. In short, the status quo will remain.

Castle should wrap up the conspiracy storyline this season and stick to what it’s really good at – witty banter, pop culture references, run of the mill procedural cases with interesting angles and occasionally shocking twists, the directorial style of Rob Bowman and the development of the Castle and Becket relationship. With the exception of the latter, all of Castle’s strengths were evident in “Heroes and Villains.” Castle was able to get his geek on and wow the squad with his knowledge of comics (which Beckett has, as well), Esposito, Ryan, Castle and Beckett wittily bantered ideas back and forth, the case took a couple of unexpected turns before going back to the most obvious suspect who had been the second interview. Part of me was hoping that the victim’s mother would have been the killer just for an added twist. There were holes, as in most of their cases, but the show played to its strengths and delivered a solid episode.

But. It suffered from some on the nose, “Well, duh” dialogue when Beckett told the exonerated police woman, “You’re a good cop and you’ve got someone who cares about you. Don’t be so driven by the past that you ignore your future.” Either this is Beckett being completely clueless (which she isn’t) or maybe she heard it from her shrink and is trying the idea out for size. Not that it really matters. Relationship realism is totally lost in the world of Castle.

Other Thoughts:

  • The above referenced plot hole, if you can call it that, or maybe we should just call it tv police incompetence: why didn’t Beckett’s team go interview the bartender/patrons at the bar the victim came from, like the Lone Vengence Police Woman did? Then,when LVPW saw it was Beckett, a cop, picking up the button from the costume, why didn’t Lone Vengence back off? Beckett was about to do just what the LVPW did.
  • Nice moment when Castle and Beckett talk comic books and which hero they would be. Note that Beckett’s is Elektra and Rob Bowman, a producer/director of the show, directed the Jennifer Garner movie based on the character.
  • I like that the new captain is a bit of a hard ass. I bet she grows a big heart by the end of the season and starts to lurve Castle and the team. But, I hope not.
  • It is time for Kate to stop pretending she isn’t a Castle fangirl. Her denial about the Derrick Storm comic book was ridiculous.
  • I’m going to digress to last week’s episode and call Kate (and the writers) out on her reasoning behind her unsuccessful relationships. Ever think that your relationships don’t work because you aren’t in love with any of those guys? Maybe, just maybe, that’s why a relationship with Castle would work, ya think? Just another example of writers putting manufactured obstacles in the way of logical, organic relationship development for the sake of ratings.

TV Review: The Good Wife 3.01 “The Next Day” – “I suggest you slip it to her.”

Oh, The Good Wife, how I’ve missed you. Of all the premieres I was anticipating you are the show I was most anxious to see and not because of your season two cliffhanger.* I don’t care particularly about the weekly cases, though the Kings and company do a great job of making Lockhart-Gardner’s cases more interesting than most procedurals. No, what I love most about The Good Wife is the characters, those lovely, fallible, infuriating, unique characters and their messy personal and professional (note I’m not mentioning romantic) relationships.

*This ironic considering what a sappy romantic I am when it comes to television shows. I just wrote a review lamenting the lack of future action between characters because one is a ghost, for goodness sakes. Jeez, could you be a little more consistent, Melissa?

At the end of last season, Alicia severed old relationships – with Peter, Kalinda and Jackie – and embarked on new ones – a mentee relationship with Diane, romantic with Will and, against her better judgement, a professional one with Eli. Now, we get to see what all of that means for our girl. Peter’s knowledge of the way Alicia thinks means that she doesn’t have the advantage she once had in the courtroom. Her alienation from and refusal to speak to Kalinda has disastrous consequences for their client. Diane is complimenting her as one of the firm’s best lawyers – an almost unthinkable compliment in season one. And, Will? Well, he’s giving her a hard time, literally, and in more ways than one.

I like Alicia’s evolution to a stronger, happier but harder woman. It’s logical, reasonable and understandable. I applaud the Kings for moving her story forward instead of doing the network television two-step – movie the character one step forward, then two back. I know many people applauded when they ended the season with Alicia and Will finally succumbing to their attraction. I was glad because Alicia needed a liberating experience like that, not because it was with Will. (I still want to see the motorcycle lawyer from season one to return.) But, the evolution of the Alicia and Will relationship came at the expense of the Alicia and Kalinda friendship, one of the best relationships on network television. The idea that Alicia and Kalinda will be on the outs all season, that Alicia will continue to roll her eyes and be snippy and hateful to the woman who was her friend when no one else was makes me a very, very sad panda.

The season one premiere won’t go down as one of the best episodes of The Good Wife. But, even when The Good Wife is average, it is better than everything else on network television.

Other Thoughts:

  • Is The Good Wife the sexiest show on network television? It sure is the sexiest show I watch. I’m still fanning myself after the scene with Alicia and Will. Goodness gracious, how did the censors let that go? I’m not complaining, mind you…
  • The double entendres come fast and furious. I’m not sure which I liked better between “Am I? Giving you a hard time?” and Sophia’s “I suggest you slip it to her” comment to Cary about Kalinda.
  • Though, I do have to say, “NOOOOOOOO” to Kalinda/Cary. I just do not like Cary at all.
  • With the monotone voice, the Dorothy Hamill hairstyle and flash mobbing an Indian soccer team on the El, she’s comic gold. Gold, Jerry! Gold!
  • Diane was very perceptive about the chill between Kalinda and Alicia and Will giving Alicia a “hard time.” It won’t take her long to figure out what’s going on.
  • I’m sure that Eli’s dismissal of the Arab philanthropist will come back to haunt him.
  • The Good Wife is noted for exploring technology like no other show. This episode dealt with propaganda videos on the internet, flash mobbing and video games.
  • I guess I need to mention the hair. I hope the bangs get softened a bit. Right now, they kinda look like that awkward phase we all go through until we learn how to style our new haircut. There are some promo pics where the bangs look less severe.