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Person of Interest “Nautilus” Review (4×02)

1 Oct

Person of Interest - Episode 4.02 - Nautilus - Promotional Photos

“It wouldn’t be the meaning you want.”

“It’s the only meaning I have.”

The first half of “Nautilus” throws us into what seems to be another “case of the week” episode, but a flip is switched at the midpoint of the hour when it’s revealed that Samaritan is behind the creation of the game Claire’s playing. Through this revelation, the writers begin to draw ideas and characterization from last week’s premiere, effectively setting up the rest of the season when all’s said and done.

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Battlestar Galactica “Lay Down Your Burdens, Parts 1 and 2″ Review (2×19/2×20)

29 Sep

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“People vote their hopes and not their fears.”

The opening sequence of Part 1 is masterfully executed, with each scene flowing into the next and building a sense of dread as we see characters in dark places. Sharon, closed off and distraught over the “death” of her daughter. Tyrol, beating Cally after he has a nightmare of his suicide. Baltar, behind in the polls and taking Hera’s death as his own daughter’s death. As we see throughout the two episodes, there’s a bigger picture to all this dread: with a presidential election coming up and with morale so low, if hope should present itself in the form of a new planet, then people will even go so far as to elect Gaius freaking Baltar as President.

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Masters of Sex “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” Review (2×12)

29 Sep

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“The key is, it takes both of you to make a leap of faith, of trust, working together.”

A high level of trust is needed to be intimate with someone, to bare all like so many people do in this finale. The highest level of trust–the deepest bond–that we see is between our two central figures, Virginia Johnson and Bill Masters, and the interesting thing about this relationship is that the more they trust each other, the harder they fall. By putting faith in each other, by trusting each other, by working together, they wind up losing the other people in their lives.

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Boardwalk Empire “Cuanto” Review (5×04)

28 Sep

Cuanto

That’s more like it. After three weeks of solid, but not quite great, episodes, Boardwalk delivers a thoroughly entertaining hour of television that makes good use of the indelible history seeping up through every orifice of the show’s relationships. Some things never change, indeed, and even though power shifts and people die, the cycle of the environment will always pull you back in.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Undercover” Review (2×01)

28 Sep

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 2.01 - Undercover - Promotional Photo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is such a well-realized show, one that effectively set up its various character dynamics in season one and continues to develop them with ease and laughter. As we head into season 2, we know where everyone’s at, and all the character beats that are hit are completely in line with what we know about the characters. The comedy derives not from cheap gags, but rather from the little quirks we’re familiar with or from the relationships we’ve seen.

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Saturday Night Live “Chris Pratt/Ariana Grande” Live Blog and Review (40×01)

27 Sep

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We’re back! As always, check periodically for updates.

STATE OF THE UNION: This is a fine start to the season–predictable, of course–especially considering we’ve had a plethora of bland political cold opens before this. Kenan Thompson’s descriptions of the school bus (“it’s yellow”) are definitely the best parts of the sketch, and Jay Pharaoh’s physical comedy makes for some laughs as well. I was expecting Beck Bennett=Roger Goodell, though. GRADE: B-

RIP, Don Pardo.

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Transparent “Pilot” Review (1×01)

26 Sep

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“I don’t know how it is I raised three people who cannot see beyond themselves.”

The title of the series, Transparent, is a perfect encapsulation of what this show is about. On the one hand, you have the obvious play on words with “trans” and “parent” placed side by side, but on the other, you also have the actual meaning of the word transparent: having thoughts, feelings, or motives easily perceived by others. The show is about perception, about how we see who we see, about how societal and personal values may clash, about whether or not we can still love while looking at someone through a different lens.

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