The Week That Was: October 20th Edition

I'm afraid I'm still being lax where Dexter is concerned. I'm now three episodes behind with my viewing, I can't put my finger exactly on why I'm behind with watching it - I think it's a combination of my disappointment over the third season and the sheer amount of television I'm behind on already.

I have queued up to watch the following:
The Sopranos Season 3, 4, 5 and 6
Sons of Anarchy (Halfway through season one)
Breaking Bad - Season 2

And I'm back watching the third season of The Wire ready to start writing about it.

Mix this in with the ridiculous amount of time I spend commuting each day and I dunno, Dexter's just sort of languished and been left unwatched. I guess I'm saying "convince me to watch Dexter guys!"

Onto the television I have been watching:

How I Met Your Mother:
"The Sexless Innkeeper"
Another frankly fantastic episode from the HIMYM crowd, for once it wasn't the Robin/Barney or Lily/Marshall storyline which got the biggest laughs from me. It was actually Ted's 'Sexless Innkeeper' story. Especially the "It's a poem" justification as to why the tales of the sexless innkeeper were being told as if it was Dickens.

I'm absolutely miffed that this show hasn't released more Region 2 seasons on DVD. Get your butts out to the shops and pick up the first season guys. Convince them to hurry up and release the next three seasons. If not for the enjoyment and hours of excellent comedy you'll get from it, then for me!

"Advanced Criminal Law"
The little comedy engine that could continues to pick up speed and pile on the steam, this weeks episode was nothing short of superb. I just love the way the show took the core concept from the pilot episode and expanded on that - creating this growing, living universe filled with bitter, cynical comedy that also feels uplifting and upbeat.

When Senor Chang threatens to give everyone a zero unless whomever it was who cheated on the test with a crib sheet, Britta stands up and takes the fall. Then Jeff offers to give her legal counsel on the entire thing - which results in this wonderful flip-flopping of events that bring the brilliant Jim Rash (who played Fenton in That 70s Show - one of my favourite recurring characters) back as Dean "I go both ways" Pelton, Senor Chang and Professor Duncan together as the tribunal on Britta's case.

You've also got Abed learning about how 'friends mess with each other' and then taking it to a new level in an attempt to get back at Troy, while Annie and Pierce (Chevy Chase who's on amazing form) sort of bond together over the creation of a song for the college.

The episode ends with a classic and somewhat beautiful Pierce moment, which was quite moving and beautiful. But still laced with that cynicism which I'm beginning to love about Community.

Curb Your Enthusiasm:
"The Hot Towel"
This episode was a step back from the breakneck joy of the Seinfeld reunion storyline, giving us classic Curb - but with a subtle and brilliant Seinfeld reference built into it. After Larry hurts his hand with a hot towel he's unable to undo a bra because his 'undoing left hand' is out of action. The resulting scene homages a conversation from Seinfeld (George of course being based on Larry David.)

JERRY: Don't be so sure. Look at George - he's on his ninth date with Betsy, he still hasn't gotten anywhere with her.
ELAINE: What's his problem?
JERRY: Well, every time he tries to make a move, something screws up. Like on their last date, they were on the couch, but she was sitting on his wrong side.
ELAINE: Wrong side?
JERRY: Yeah, she was on his right side. He can't make a move with his left hand. Can't go left.
ELAINE: He can't go left.
JERRY: No! I'm lefty, can't go right. What about women? Do they go left or right?
ELAINE: Nah, we just play defense.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the return to classic Curb as it mixed things up. I also loved Christian Slater's part in the show.

The Office:
"Niagara" & "Mafia"
Seriously, how good was Niagara? It was pretty much the best episode of The Office I've seen in a long time and well deserving of the hour long episode. It also could have served as a fantastic season ender - or even a wonderful note to end the show on. So in some ways I'm a little surprised they've 'spent' it so early on, but I assume they've got some great comedy direction for Jim and Pam now they're married.

Who'd have thought it all those years ago eh? Unlike their British counterparts J&P have actually ended up together. It was a wonderful and sweet episode that is amongst the best I've seen in a long time, not so sold on the morning sickness joke, it was clever - but also exceptionally lowbrow, a little too lowbrow for The Office I think.

Mafia was back to a more standard form, I did enjoy Oscar explaining that the balance of reason in the office was out of kilter with Jim and Pam away on holiday. I also enjoyed watching Kevin single handedly ruin their honeymoon without even meaning too. But the main plot, Michael worrying about an Italian American selling him insurance turning out to be a member of the mob, was a little too late. A few years earlier, with The Sopranos still on the air, and it would have worked.

30 Rock
"Season 4"
I'm not sure about the season opener for 30 Rock. It had it's share of funny moments, many of them revolving around Tracy Jordan, but it was also a little uneven at times. The dynamic between Kenneth and Jack was fun, with Kenneth proving to be an almost unassailable wall of incorruptible virtue - until he got his own way and then realised that he'd have to lie to cover up what actually happened. I also appreciated seeing more of Scott Adsit who often feels woefully underused, he's a funny guy, exceptionally funny, and he needs more screen time and more story lines.

Solid, but it didn't blow me away.


3 comments so far.

  1. MediumRob 20 October 2009 at 21:57
    Agreed about 30 Rock and Community is just brilliant - much better than 30 Rock right now.
  2. Dan 20 October 2009 at 23:09
    Rest assured, Dexter S4 is already better than S3, in my book. Or, at the very least, we're making more headway at this stage than we were last year.

    I doubt it will ever get back to its former greatness entirely* (the idea's just not fresh anymore and they've most run out of truly fascinating things to say), but S4 has been great fun. I bet you'll watch ep2 and then launch straight into a mini-marathon.

    * Well, the last ever season stands a very good chance, whenever it happens.
  3. MysterLynch 21 October 2009 at 02:27
    Season four is good, but not great, thus far.

    Lithgow is fantastic and it is great having Lundy back.

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