Monday, May 31, 2010

In Treatment: Week Four (1.16 - 1.20)

The show has become more of a soap opera, with certain story developments feeling more than a little contrived, but the general quality of the series is pretty much the same. Paul continues to be exposed as an idiot, and Sophie's storyline takes a dramatic (if lazy) turn.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The X-Files: Red Museum (2.10)

Okay, so there's the beef. And there are some growth hormones. Along with the creepy religious cult. Oh, and the dazed teenagers with "He/She Is One" written on their backs. And the peeping tom living in the mirror, too! Forgot that one. As you may have guessed, this episode is a whole lot of ideas thrown in the pot with little resolution and, unfortunately, little point. It doesn't help that the conspiracy hoodoo feels tacked on right at the end there.

The X-Files: Firewalker (2.9)

A bad attempt to recreate the success of two first season classics, in this case Ice and Darkness Falls, Firewalker is made all the more disappointing with the fact that it's the first real episode with Mulder and Scully back together and working as a team. After waiting so long for The X-Files to be reopened, it's ridiculously annoying that their big comeback episode is so appalling.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The X-Files: One Breath (2.8)

So Scully's back. Was Gillian forced to come back as soon as possible, or did maternity leave just not exist for TV actresses back in 1994? Either way, she deserves a lot of kudos for coming back on the show probably days after she gave birth. One Breath, at its heart, is about morals, and Mulder has to make a choice between potentially saying goodbye to his close friend, or revenging her abduction. In the end, Mulder chooses Scully, a decision which possibly saves her life, and definitely stops him from flying off the deep end.

In Treatment: Week Three (1.11 - 1.15)

The Sophie and Jake & Amy episodes are quickly becoming my favorites on the show, and I think that it may have something to do with Laura. The other three sessions are so incestuous now with their constant discussions of Paul, Laura and now Alex that it's becoming almost suppressive. So when we get that welcome breather with two self-contained sessions, the show for me improves a little.

Nip/Tuck: Rose and Raven Rosenberg (2.9)

It's a transparent metaphor, but undoubtedly a powerful one. Like Rose and Raven Rosenberg, Sean and Christian can be split apart, but they'll never be as strong as individuals. The two together is where the talent happens.

Nip/Tuck: Agatha Ripp (2.8)

Some of the best Nip/Tuck episodes feature a McNamara/Troy patient whose crisis parallels everybody else's personal crises. This episode is one of the more obvious examples of this, with a central storyline that is mirrored in the actions every member of the main cast commits.

Nip/Tuck: Naomi Gaines (2.7)

Famke Janssen just won't quit it. She's already stolen the show, but now she's running with it too. The writers have created such a venomous woman, but one you can't help but love. There's nothing more appealing on these kinds of shows than a female character that can run circles around every other character, wrapping them all around her little finger, while barely breaking a sweat.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Treatment: Week Two (1.6 - 1.10)

One of the most successful things about week two was the turnaround in sympathy towards the characters. Kate, somebody we barely know, suddenly became one of the most emotional characters on the show. Elsewhere, both Paul and Laura revealed sides to themselves which were neither expected nor particularly likable. This show keeps surprising me.

Nip/Tuck: Bobbi Broderick (2.6)

Ava Moore didn't make a huge impression in her first appearance, but she completely storms through the show in this episode. The best scenes were undoubtedly the ones between her and Christian. They have chemistry that practically leaks off the screen, and it's amazing to see these two powerful, sexually-confident titans go up against each other. Their banter is hilarious, each line being another back-handed compliment or a brutal insult. Ava casually blackmails him into giving her what she wants, and Famke Janssen clearly loves this role. The scene where Christian harshly sticks the botox into her head and she barely flinches was awesome, and there was something so raw and sexy about it all. These two plain rock together.

Nip/Tuck: Joel Gideon (2.5)

Ever since the end of season one, we always knew the beautiful relationship between Christian and Wilber would end in sadness. Joel Gideon sees the end of the road for their father/son dynamic, and it's an undeniably weepy closer.

The X-Files: 3 (2.7)

I'm always been a fan of vampire stories played mostly straight, with blood-drinkers operating in reality. Hollywood is too a great locale for these stories, a town obsessed with youth a natural setting for those kinds of modern-day vampire tales. So, for me, 3 was a pretty good detour. It doesn't have the greatest of reputations, and there are of course problems, but it's a neat bridge between two very important episodes.

The X-Files: Ascension (2.6)

Very much an episode of two halves, the first being the relentless pursuit of Scully (complete with gratuitious action scenes), the second being shocking and human drama. Like all the best "conspiracy" episodes, I loved the real sense of helplessness that Mulder experienced here. And that helplessness doesn't come more obvious than with Scully's abduction. Just having her vanish, without any proof of her being taken, is probably worse than just having her be murdered. That feeling of complete isolation, and no understanding or indication of where she's gone? It's devastating.