Archive | April, 2015

Louie “Bobby’s House” Review (5×04)

30 Apr


“Bobby’s House” tackles the questions about the Louie-Pamela relationship brought up at the end of “A La Carte”, and it’s a gloriously uncomfortable episode that further beats Louie down. That happens both physically and emotionally, as Louie not only gets into a confrontation with a woman and gets beaten up, but also is flat-out rejected later on by Pamela. The latter is especially a gut-punch for him because it follows a role-playing sequence in which he pretends to be a woman named Jornetha; brilliant name aside, it’s also a clear reversal of gender roles, and the cringe level is ratcheted up to 110% throughout. That’s Louie for ya, folks.

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Person of Interest “Asylum” Review (4×21)

29 Apr


“The world is about to catch fire. Here’s your last chance to look away.”

Recently, Person of Interest has explored what happens when the old guard comes into conflict with the new, when finesse and intelligence go up against sheer power and influence. By drawing parallels between Elias/Dominic and The Machine/Samaritan, the show is delivering two compelling stories that intersect to form a greater tapestry, and it’s a masterful way to handle plot and character; it’s also a wonderful way to set up what should be a thrilling season finale next week.

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Orphan Black “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” Review (3×02)

25 Apr


“You don’t fight in these conditions. You run.”

This season of Orphan Black is exploring the idea of community, of families in all definitions of the word. In a world that’s all about survival, you have to figure out how to balance the needs of the family and the needs of the individual, and it oftentimes comes down to several incredibly difficult choices; in the end, you’re just hoping everyone makes it out safely, and even though you’d kill to stay with your loved ones, sometimes, letting go is necessary.

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Louie “Cop Story” Review (5×03)

23 Apr


“So, if you feel stupid around young people, then things are going good.”

That grammar bothers me. Of course, it’s also a pretty nice representation of a younger culture, of a state of language that isn’t quite so concerned with the proper, more “adult” grammar. It’s a theme that plays out throughout “Cop Story”, a brilliant episode that emphasizes the slow fading that arrives with increasing age, that tackles the perceived irrelevance of the old guard in society.

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The Americans “March 8, 1983” Review (3×13)

23 Apr


“They’re Russians.”

Season 3 of The Americans was the culmination of several seasons of work, of meticulous characterization steadily built up by these wonderful writers and actors. No more did Philip and Elizabeth live double lives free from the suspicion of their daughter, and no more were they able to wait before having to confront the question of Paige’s future head on. In the season finale, “March 8, 1983”, the show takes a contemplative approach as it moves toward the next chapter of its story, and it’s a great way to close out the season.

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Friday Night Lights “Always” Review (5×13)

21 Apr


*This was written several months ago, but I only just got around to posting it.

Take it all in. You’re on the largest field you’ve ever played on. You’re simultaneously in awe and living in the moment, and the crowd’s roaring as you dig your feet into the ground. You can smell the food and the sweat and the grass, and you’re ready to run. The ball’s set down and kicked, and it traces an arc in the air as you look up, seeing it spiral closer and closer and closer. Then, all background noise fades away, and it’s just you, the ball, and your team.

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Mad Men “The Forecast” Review (7×10)

20 Apr


“It has to get better.”

The ad is all about capturing the future, about predicting future trends and desires and mindsets. It draws you in, displaying image after image of a new life you can make for yourself…if only you had that one product. Because Mad Men is built around the ad, the show’s oftentimes dealt with the future, asking its characters whether they’ll be able to move on and change, whether they’ll be able to answer their own glaring questions: What’s next? What does the forecast of your future say? Is the forecast accurate?

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Orphan Black “The Weight of This Combination” Review (3×01)

18 Apr


“I’m not your people.”

Orphan Black seems to always be teetering on the edge of a cliff, a quick push all it needs in order to descend into chaos. The writers have been able to juggle the show’s plethora of plot points effectively, though, and they’ve been able to sustain an overarching storyline without losing control of it. It remains to be seen whether they’ll keep it up–I have confidence they will–but right now, season three is getting off to an exciting, intense start. The premiere is a bit of a scattered episode, but it holds your attention for every second of its running time.

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Louie “A La Carte” Review (5×02)

16 Apr


“There’s more than one way to be together. Do all roads have to lead to ruin?”

Louie’s been in a rut for a while now, unsure of where exactly he wants his life to go and what he’d like to do outside of comedy. At certain points, he’s simply giving up, unable to push himself to move forward and unable to be “fun”. It’s a theme that’s been emphasized over and over again during the show’s run, and “A La Carte” tackles it nicely throughout its three vignettes. This is a half hour that brings up memories of the early episodes of the series, and it’s one of the most purely hilarious episodes we’ve seen in a while.

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