Friday, February 25, 2011

The Office 717- Sent Packing

Spoiler Alert...Thanks to another Nashville storm and the good people at Comcast, my internet and cable went out last night, and I was unable to file my review for The Office to TV Fanatic. So below is my review of "Todd Packer." Before reading any further, watch the ep, stop peeing all over the walls, then read what I have to say.

Packer- "It's great to be among friends...until then, you suckers will do."
Kevin- "Nice. We got burned."

Well this was definitely the calm before the storm. In "Todd Packer" we received a less than stellar episode after a very strong run through middle of this seventh season. The storm is brewing though, as the departure of Michael Scott seems to be on the horizon.

Like when he realized his Threat Level Midnight wasn't so hilarious a week ago, Michael Scott showed growth as a man when he let his good friend Todd Packer drive off to Florida. If Michael were to rank the funniest people on the planet, he probably would have put Packer up there with Bill Cosby and Steve Martin. It seems that Michael has finally learned that Packer's inappropriate behavior is not always a positive thing, which puts the man one step closer to becoming a well respected individual. At that point I can gladly say the character is ready to move on from Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

While it was completely appropriate for Jim and Dwight to send Packer packing, it doesn't mean that he didn't help create some laughs while he was around this week. Kevin in particular benefited the most from his presence. Packer's fat joke made Kevin admit that he actually needed to lose weight, and Kevin's response to Packer's "three muskaqueers" reference was that it was "mean but funny." Nice job by Brian Baumgartner.

And anyone that can get Jim and Dwight to team up gets a gold star from me. Jim was in the zone as he was pranking Dwight while teaming up to prank Packer. Jim had some good ideas to get back at Packer, but Dwight loving all of Jim's ideas was what made the whole plot so funny.

Finally, there was the Pam and Andy plot. Ugh. It was sweet and all how Pam worked things out for Andy and his new computer, but nothing about it made me laugh. Jenna Fischer is really just a straight man, but Ed Helms wasn't doing much to play off of her here. They definitely should not have dropped Erin out of the story so quickly. Her getting so stressed out about the ants for Dwight was one of the best parts of the episode.

So after another sweet moment between Michael and Holly, as they hugged it out to the tune of funny voice impressions, another episode of The Office starring Steve Carrell ended. Are you all going to miss him as much as I will?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Survivor Week 2- Pre-Tribal Tribal

Spoiler Alert...Below are the results and a few thoughts from last night's Survivor: Redemption Island. So before reading any further, watch the ep, congratulate your opponent on a victory, then read what I have to say.

Boston Rob- "Let it be a lesson to you...government jobs: stressful."

I think Jaydon was correct...this seems to be a pretty good cast of characters in the early going. Having the mainstays of Boston Rob and Russell doesn't hurt, but between Phillip and Ralph, and maybe if some of the crazy young girls step up to the plate, we could have ourselves a pretty good season.

Phillip continued to be a nutbar this week, but he definitely acted out his role the way Boston Rob wanted him to. You have to give the Former Federal Agent credit, he takes things seriously. In this case he took the role of actor extremely seriously, and it was hilarious.

I hated Boston Rob's move to get rid of Matt in that I own Matt in this game of Fantasy Survivor, but I loved it as an early shake up in the game of Survivor. He could have gotten rid of Kristina or Phillip in that situation, but this way he was successful of three things. 1) He got rid of a guy who is both a physical and social threat down the road. 2) He kept two contestants that are disliked and nutjobs in the game for a while longer (easy to get rid of later). And 3) he flushed out the idol. A truly veteran move by Boston Rob...unless Matt is such a good competitor that he outlasts everyone on Redemption Island and comes back to give Rob his comeuppance. Unlikely, but possible.

So until next week, look at how badly Jerry and Scrags are killing Shraydon and myself in this week's fantasy update...

Fantasy Results

Montecito Lancers

Russell- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Ralph- W2 (2), Im (8), Idol found (10)= 20
Krista- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Sarita- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Week 2= 50 Total= 86

My Orbitz Account

Mike- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Steve- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Stephanie- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
David- W2 (2)= 2
Week 2= 32 Total= 68

Slay or be Slayed

Matt- Votes (-16)= -16
Grant- W2 (2)= 2
Ashley- W2 (2)= 2
Natalie- W2 (2)= 2
Week 2= -10 Total= -6

Fuchsia Federal Agents

Boston Rob- W2 (2)= 2
Andrea- W2 (2)= 2
Phillip- W2 (2), Votes (-8)= -6
Kristina- W2 (2), Idol misuse (-10)= -8
Week 2= -10 Total= -16

Free Agents
Julie- W2 (2), Im (8)= 10
Francesca- Redemption Island

Justified 203 Review- A Thrill A Minute

Boyd (to Dewey)- "I know that if you stay here, you're not long for this earth, son."
It just keeps getting better and better. Even though "The I Of The Storm" did not contain one scene with Margo Martindale, the second season of Justified continues to impress.

The rest of the cast stepped up their respective games, as this week's criminals were mostly characters with whom we were already familiar. At the front of that pack was Dewey Crowe and all of his ridiculous behavior. Dewey had me laughing at him, laughing with him - and afraid for his life all in one episode.

Of course, I was laughing at this freak as he finally received his reward for stealing the prescription drugs back. Watching those two ladies make out while he sat and watched in his tighty whiteys? Hilarious.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 203 - "The I of the Storm"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Tree Hill 816 Review- For The Kids

Julian- "Eating ice cream is the best part about Little League...except for maybe catching butterflies."
One Tree Hill covered the idea of having children this week, along with the relationships these children then have with their parents. It wasn't as good as some recent episodes, but not nearly as bad as some earlier in the season.

Let's start with Brooke and Julian, who were attempting to adopt a baby from a 19-year old pregnant woman played by Leven Rambin. Rambin seems to be in everything these days. After I first disliked her character in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I proceeded to dislike her characters in Grey's Anatomy, the two episodes of Scoundrels I watched, and ,most recently, as a red head in Wizards of Waverly Place (yes, you read that correctly).
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 816 - "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chuck 416 Review- Movin' Out (Morgan's Song)

Morgan- "I don't know. I gotta finish packing up and then I'm gonna head out that door dude, and I'm just gonna open myself up to the universe.'
Chuck- "So, moving to your mom's?"
Morgan- "Yeah. Yeah, pretty much straight over."
It was a week late for its Valentine's Day theme, but "Chuck Versus the Masquarade" had enough going for that I was able to look past that. This was the third straight quality standalone episode, but it also delivered the possibility of more involved arc: dealing with the daughter of Alexei Volkoff.

Vivian is the heir to the Volkoff empire, but what will that mean moving forward? Will she be the next big bad? Or will she actually assist Team Bartowski? Maybe this leads to a reunion between Daddy and Daughter Volkoff by the end of the season. I definitely won't complain about a return of Timothy Dalton.

It had long-term implications, but "Chuck Versus the Masquerade" also worked quite well on its own. Put on your lingerie with wings and then we can take a look at how the Chuck Triple Threat played out...
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 416 - "Chuck Versus the Masquerade"
Round Table

Saturday, February 19, 2011

30 Rock 515 Review- Good Job Spanking

Liz- "I'm sorry is that another magazine about meetings?"
With Tracy Morgan recovering from surgery, I was worried that "It's Never Too Late For Now" might falter from an absence of ludicrous lines and situations. Fortunately, I was wrong.

I give a lot of credit for that to the decision to highlight Pete and Frank in the C story. No offense to Kenneth, but these two were far less annoying than his presence tends to be.

I really loved every moment that this pair was together on screen. Their vicious in-fighting like they were Lennon and McCartney - even down to the Asian woman that was getting in between them - was fantastic. The fact that it began one minute after starting their band made it that much more hilarious.
To read the rest of my review of this week's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 515 - "It's Never Too Late For Now"

The Office 716 Review- Clean Up On Aisle Five

Michael (as Scarn)- "It's gonna take a lot more than a bullet to the brain, lungs, heart, back and balls to kill Michael Scarn."
We were treated to another episode in a fantastic stretch of The Office this week. Between "Classy Christmas," "Ultimatum," last week's "PDA," and now "Threat Level Midnight," we've witnessed some of the best episodes in years.

Back in the early days of the show, some of my favorite scenes were when Michael went to improv class and turned every sketch into an action movie about Michael Scarn. When I realized we were about to witness an entire movie of Michael over-acting as an action hero, I didn't know how to contain myself.
To read the rest of my review of this week's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 716 - "Threat Level Midnight"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Survivor Week 1- The Past Returns

Spoiler Alert...Below are the results and a few thoughts from last night's season premiere of Survivor: Redemption Island. So before reading any further, watch the ep, put on your fuchsia underpants, then read what I have to say.

Well Survivor is back and the big hullabaloo is that they have brought back Russell for the third time in four seasons, and Boston Rob for his fourth time on the show. I understand the criticism of the decision, and I may even agree with it a few weeks down the road, but for in the present I am just glad to be graced by Boston Rob's presence again. My love for Russell waned during his second time on Survivor so I'm not as excited to see him back. I do know that he will be more interesting than the usual cast of characters they bring in so for the time being I'm perfectly fine with this creative move.

As for the civilians in this edition of Survivor, only three really stood out after week one. The three that were showcased in the episode were Phillip, Francesca and Kristina. I hated all three of them. Now here is where things get tricky. I didn't like Coach Wade at all throughout the first couple of episodes on his first season, but then grew to love how absolutely ridiculous he was. Will the same thing happen with me and the crazy out of control Phillip? We can only wait and see. I'm curious to see how Jaydon feels about him seeing as that he named his fantasy squad the Fuchsia Federal Agents.

And as another Fantasy Survivor season begins, it seems we had the strangest draft yet. It appears Mags and Larry have all member of the purple tribe, while Jaydon and I have all members of the yellow tribe. It should make for some interesting scores early on in the season, especially if one tribe continues to win challenge after challenge.

Fantasy Results

Montecito Lancers

Russell- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Ralph- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Krista- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Sarita- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Week 1= 36 Total= 36

My Orbitz Account

Mike- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Steve- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Stephanie- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
David- W1 (1), Im (8)= 9
Week 1= 36 Total= 36

Slay or be Slayed

Matt- W1 (1)= 1
Grant- W1 (1)= 1
Ashley- W1 (1)= 1
Natalie- W1 (1)= 1
Week 1= 4 Total= 4

Fuchsia Federal Agents

Boston Rob- W1 (1)= 1
Andrea- W1 (1)= 1
Phillip- W1 (1), Votes (-8)= -7
Kristina- W1 (1), Idol (10), Votes (-12)= -1
Week 1= -6 Total= -6

Free Agents
Julie- W1 (1)= 1
Francesca- Im (8), Votes (-16)= -8

Justified 202 Review- Through The Belly

Mags- "I never had a girl. Just those damn boys. I'm looking forward to our time together, Loretta."
I thought Justified improved greatly throughout its first season, and showed much promise of in last week's premiere, finding the right mixture of episodic storyline and long-term serialization. "The Life Inside," however, returned a bit too much to the procedural format I hoped the show had moved on from a while ago.

When not much of the week's story deals with the long-running plots - in this case, the Bennetts, the Crowders, etc. - one's enjoyment can depend on who the criminals of the week are. I can think back to season one and pick out the episode with Alan Ruck as the dentist as one of my favorites because he was so engaging as Raylan's adversary.

That didn't happen for me this week with Jess, Jamie and the EMT.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 202 - "The Life Inside"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Tree Hill 815 Review- Being Chased

Haley- "You love me?"
Nathan- "Of course I do you, dork. With all my heart."
All three holiday-themed episodes of One Tree Hill this season have been extremely enjoyable. Both Halloween and Thanksgiving were successes, and this week's "Valentine's Day Is Over" definitely did not stray from that pattern.

I usually start out with what did NOT work, so let's change things up and take a look at the positives: The Chase/Chuck dynamic continues to be a highlight. I once again give props to Stephen Colletti, but let me also mention what a great job young actor Michael May has done the past few weeks.
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 815 - "Valentine's Day Is Over"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chuck 415 Review- Yeh Yeh Cats Fight

Chuck- "Honestly, how well do you know Amy? I mean is anyone really that perky?"
After John Casey got his A-Team-themed episode a while back, it was only a matter of time before Sarah received the same treatment. Her old pals came to the forefront in this Charlie's Angels-type episode, "Chuck vs. the Cat Squad."

It was the second straight stand alone installment, both of which have been a nice change of pace. The mission itself kept me interested, the level of attractiveness of the Cat Squad didn't hurt, and there was enough long running plots on a personal level to keep my thirst for serialization quenched.

After a second straight episode without Jeff, Lester and Big Mike, I'm afraid we did hit a bit of road bump in terms of comedy, though. Let's take a look at how the Chuck Triple Threat held up this week. But, first, get that lip stick off your shirt.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 415 - "Chuck vs. the Cat Squad"
Round Table

Friday, February 11, 2011

30 Rock 514 Review- Captain's Log

Jack- "Yes my daughter is Canadian-American, but I'm going to treat her just like a human baby."
In the famous words of Randy Jackson, this was just aight for me. While I was pleased with all three storylines, there weren't enough moments cracking me up to make "Double-Edged Sword" a classic installment of 30 Rock.

Matt Damon, of course, knocked it his part out of the park. In what I assume is his final appearance on the show, Damon proved once again how hilarious he can be. Maybe I'm just a guy that enjoys airplane humor, but Carol continuing to make his passengers wait "a half an hour!" got me every time.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 514 - "Double-Edged Sword"

The Office 715 Review- Hook Up Zones

Holly- "I'm not saying it won't be hard, but we can make it work. That's what she said."
Yup, it's love. There's love in the air. A point Michael and Holly were trying to drive home throughout "PDA." It wasn't my favorite episode of the year, but seeing my favorite couple together and happy made up for the less than plentiful amount of laughs.

All the smooching and crazy touching between Michael and Holly had its moments of hilarity, but none of it as good as the joking these two used to do during their courtship.

That is not to say that Steve Carrell didn't continue to crack me up on his final run on the series. Between "whispering and tickling have their place in business" and his idea for making the closets in the offices into "hook up zones", he almost had me rolling on the floor.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 715 - "PDA"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Justified 201 Review- My My Miss Apple Pie

Doyle Bennett- "Word travels. You and your hat are famous."
As discussed in our review of last summer's finale of Justified, I loved the ambiguous growth of both Boyd Crowder and the relationship between Boyd and Raylan Givens throughout the first season.

Was I then upset that Boyd was missing from about 90% of this second season premiere? Not at all.

The writers eloquently gave us a taste of that ever so fantastic Raylan/Boyd dynamic, and then sidelined it to introduce what I assume will be the main crux of season two: The Bennetts.

Unlike its FX relative Sons of Anarchy, which inadequately spent its entire season dealing with the aftermath of the previous season's finale, "The Moonshine War" allowed the audience to become engaged with a new set of problems for Raylan, while setting Boyd's vengeance on the back-burner.
To read the rest of my review of last night's fantastic Justified season two premiere, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 201 - "The Moonshine War"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Tree Hill 814 Review- These Girls Aren't Gonna B-Dazzle Themselves

Chuck (to Chase): Nice they make 'em for guys?
I am in no way condoning two gimmick episodes within a span of three weeks, but One Tree Hill kind of pulled off a cape and mask-based theme here with "Holding Out For a Hero."

It helped that the comic book stylings, spandex costumes and super hero names were relegated to only one storyline. While I was worried early on that this whole super hero business came out of nowhere, and it wasn't going to be able to ever come together in the end, things changed when Haley got the phone call from the girl at the crisis center. That “nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh Haley” really made it work.
To read the rest of my slightly generous review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 814 - "Holding Out For a Hero"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chuck 414 Review- A Dirty Blonde

Fatima- "Did you ever think your storied life as a spy would come to an end because you picked up a girl in a bar?"
Roan- "Actually, yes that's precisely how I thought I'd go."
Well, he's no Timothy Dalton. But John Larroquette's return to Chuck as super spy Roan Montgomery in "Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible" was a nice way of coming back strong after last week's finale-like masterpiece.

There was only a bit of action, but plenty of laughs and heart. So after you apologize for the accidental touching in the changing space, let's take a look at what went down with the Chuck Triple Threat on this week's episode.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 414 - "Chuck Versus the Seduction Impossible"
Round Table

Friday, February 4, 2011

30 Rock 513 Review- Good Sweatshirt To You

Jack- "I can get you into a restaurant where you watch a child play with a bunny, and then you eat the bunny."
Kenneth- "Isn't that just Easter?"
Can I be completely unimpressed with an episode 30 Rock, even though there were a bunch of gags that I thought were funny? Absolutely, and such was the case in "¡QuÉe Sorpresa!"

While I loved the voice activated television bit, many of Liz's one-liners, and the performance by SAG President Ken Howard as Kabletown boss Hank Hooper, the whole thing felt a little flat compared to last week's "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning."
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 513 - "¡QuÉe Sorpresa!"

The Office 714 Review- I'm Gabe and I'm a Weirdo

Gabe [reading]: Is that a palm tree or did Gabe get skinnier? Either way, let's pee on it.
As Steve Carrell's final season on The Office continues, he stepped back into the main storyline on "The Search." It made me very happy.

But as much as the installment made me laugh, it also made it clear that it's the show's ability to go sweet and sentimental that makes it so great.

Indeed, the heartfelt moment between Michael Gary Scott and Holly Flax on a rooftop in downtown Scranton highlighted the action of "The Search." The attraction between these two is so great, and it is played so well on a weekly basis Carrell and Amy Ryan, that it's imposible not root for these two kids to make it by season's end.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 714 - "The Search"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One Tree Hill 813 Review- Turn on the Faucets

Julian Baker- "Guess this is my lucky day."
If you like One Tree Hill, you loved "The Other Half of Me." This week's installment took me back to the days when this show could so easily pull at the heart strings of its audience, and made me forget any negative things I have had to say about the series in the recent past.

In our most recent edition of the Chuck Round Table, I was asked if I teared up during the final scene of the episode. My answer was no, but that I was never afraid to reveal when I get a bit too emotional watching fictional characters.

Which brings me to my main argument for why this week's One Tree Hill was such a fantastic episode: There were two - count 'em, two! - moments in "The Other Half of Me" when it got extremely dusty in my living room.
To read the rest of my glowing review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 813 - "The Other Half of Me"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chuck 413 Review- Push It Pretty Good

Alex- "Whether you like it or not day, I'm not going anywhere."
Casey- "Neither am I."
Morgan- "Good luck trying to get rid of me guys."
When the first set of episodes of season four were ordered, "Chuck Versus the Push Mix" was created to be the season and maybe series finale. After NBC picked up Chuck for a full 24 episodes, this week's installment became just the 13th one of the season.

Creator Josh Schwartz Tweeted fans that this was "the episode you've been waiting for." He said "the last 5 mins of episode 13 are the best 5 mins CHUCK has ever done." Needless to say, my expectations were extremely high. However, because of all the hype, I was a little disappointed.

If this had actually played out as the series finale, I would have been much happier with it. Everything wrapped up nicely and all of our favorite characters finished the hour healthy and happy.
To read the rest of my review of last night's great but slightly disappointing Chuck, head over to TV Fanatic.

Chuck 413 - "Chuck Versus the Push Mix"
Round Table