Back... with Black

Almost filled my DVR by taking a vacation, but I'm finally close to caught up. Rather than comment on shows from three weeks ago, I'll concentrate on those from the last few days.

The Black Donnellys: Just the pilot, but wow. Fresh off The Departed’s Best Picture win, another Irish mob drama announces its presence with authority. This tale of four brothers struggling to find their place in the neighborhood doesn’t sounds like the most original idea, but it’s shot with style and acted with sincerity. The pilot airs again Thursday– watch if you missed it.

American Idol: After a staggeringly bad debut, a couple of the guys rebounded, like strangely-named Sundance Head. Some fell off the table – looking at you, Sanjaya. It’s quickly getting down to a few-horse race (Chris Richardson, Blake, maybe Phil), so it’ll be good to get to the co-ed shows, as many of these men are just grist for the pop music mill.

Veronica Mars: This season’s second case (who shot the Dean?) closed with a whatever. The campus rape case wasn’t great, but at least you cared about whodunit. The twist in this one unfortunately involved finding out that it wasn’t one unlikeable character responsible, but several. The Logan/Veronica relationship is the main thing keeping this show going. Here’s hoping the standalone eps help.

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? After an awkward intro on American Idol, Jeff Foxworthy re-emerged from redneck jokes to host a game show where stupid adults match wits with smarmy children. It’s marginally amusing to watch contestants struggle with grade-school questions, but mostly just points out that everything we learned at that age was worthless. I’d say Pass, but – Fail. And Worst. Theme. Song. Ever.

Amazing Race: All-Stars: After whipping around the world 10 times, this show went the retro route, bringing back teams you loved and teams you loved to hate. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to raise this show out of the rut it’s been in for years. It’s still a lot of waiting in airports and missing cabs, and exotic destinations don’t deliver much impact.


Goodbye to The OC, Bitch

I've kind of abandoned the Limerick Critic gimmick for now, but dusting it off for my...

Ode to The OC
There once was a show – The OC
That died from a rough Season Three
The show ended well
Lots of wedding bells
Here's to a long life on DVD!



Still out of town and mostly out of touch, but couldn't resist popping in with a quick Mile-a-Minute Comment about last night's Grey's. And updating the Quote of the Night. Anyway, about the show – in a word, wow. In 60 words...
Grey's Anatomy: This ep was one of those that makes me glad I finally decided to watch a “doctor show.” As the Empire Strikes Back of this three-part arc, it hit all the right notes and pulled all the right punches. Say what you will about Grey’s; it’s melodramatic, it’s dogmatic, it’s a bit too eccentric… but add that it’s terrific.


These little town blues...

...will be gone in a few short hours. I'm heading out to the Big Apple to surround myself with toys and movies. Back in a bit over a week to get back to TV and movie reviews.


Mile-a-Minute Catchup

The last few nights’ shows, 60 words or so per each. If the count’s off, feel free to blame Bill Gates or that animated paper clip in Microsoft Word.

Veronica Mars: As much as I love this sassy new Nancy Drew, I feel like Veronica’s lost in space. The first two seasons were built around year-long story arcs; trying to break that pattern seems to have sent the show floundering. Characters and plots come and go, and the news that the last five eps will be stand-alones is particularly discouraging.

Friday Night Lights: Despite its second best night of ratings, The Dillon Panthers’ future is still in doubt, on and off the field. There’s only so far critical acclaim will go. Anyway, fairly standard episode this week… which means it’s fairly fantastic. Great relationship stuff, romantic and otherwise, throughout the entire ensemble cast. Maybe the most honest show on TV.

Smallville: This show gets better as it gets more “super.” Justice League Junior is floating around, classic hero Martian Manhunter saved Clark last week, and this episode featured the best break from the original “no flights, no tights” rule when Clark flew Lois across the moon to one-up her former boyfriend, Green Arrow. Lex & Lana’s relationship is still ick, tho.

The Office: Wow. Killer ep. Set up all the things that make the show sing and knocked ‘em down in style. Have to agree with some other posters that this Office may have outdone the British Office. It’s not quite an apples to oranges comparison, maybe more like oranges to tangerines, but still – these Dunderheads are reliably brilliant.

The OC: To borrow a bit of Seth’s comic fanboy lexicon… retcon alert! Heavy flashback episode inserted Taylor into the gang’s past and played with the various Cohens’ futures. While I appreciate recasting the flashbacks (as opposed to actors trying to play 10-30 years younger), the choices were odd – apparently Kirsten had a lot of work done and Sandy was JFK, jr.


Oh well, Marcel

Going back to Mile-a-Minute style for a while, as my limerick muse is taking a break. So, 60 words or so per show on...
Top Chef: Ilan and Marcel go chef-o a chef-o in the season finale. Ilan's spiced-up Spanish beats Marcel's molecular gastronomy, which I think is a shame. They're both killer cooks, but Marcel's a visionary.

The episode overall was remarkably restrained for reality TV. No hokey flashbacks, no strained reunion, no over-gimmicked final challenge. Glad to see there’ll be Top Chef 3.