Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Justified 307 Review- Robert Quarrels

Quarles- "I'm just gonna put a smile on my face, and eat a nice plate of steaming shit...unsalted."
"The Man Behind The Curtain" marked the midway point of Justified's third season, and what a first half it has been.

This week's installment might not have matched the bar set by some of the episodes that came before it, but it succeeded in moving many pieces around before we head down the back stretch of the season.

There may not have been an exciting episodic story, but the eponymous Robert Quarles made up for that with sheer intrigue. We learned so much new information about him, both in actual history, as well as in what he is like after watching put his hand in all of those different honey jars.

Quarles is investigating Raylan, he is trying to figure out Boyd's deal, he's bribing the sheriff, he's handling his pseudo brother Sammy, and by the end of the hour, he is paying a visit to Gary Hawkins in Tulsa.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 307 - "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Voice 205 Review- Pick Your Team

That was fun. After four weeks, five episodes and nine hours, The Voice has completed its season two Blind Auditions, and it was certainly a pleasant change from the bore fest that has become of other singing competitions.

Each coach rounded out his/her respective team, but Blake Shelton did it with the most style this week. Whether it was a joke about murdering Christina, or one about wanting Adam Levine in a sexual way, the country star had me laughing out loud on a number of occasions.

Now let's take a look at the four teams, and who they added in the final round. We will start with the defending champion, who also had the best success rate when hitting his button this season.

Team Adam
12 contestants on 20 turn arounds = 60%.

Current Members: Tony Lucca, Kim Yarbrough, Angel Taylor, Pip, Katrina Parker, Chris Cauley, Nathan Parrett, Mathai, Nicolle Galyon, Karla Davis.

New Additions
Whitney Myer from Reno performed "No One" and was able to get all four of the coaches to turn around. I didn't think it was one of the better performances of the season, but I really enjoyed how excited she got as they all began turning their chairs around. She eventually chose Adam after he spent some extra time wooing her. Christina also made a last ditch attempt to pick up Whitney, which was when I noticed that even Xtina - the least articulate of the four - makes some really good points. That's not something other singing shows can say.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Voice, head over to TV Fanatic.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Office 816 Review- She's Bugging Me

Jim- "How many buttons do you have?"
Dwight- "40...always."
"After Hours" was a perfect example of the positives and negatives that arise by The Office's decision to split the cast into two for at least a few episodes in the middle of season eight.

Essentially, a super group has been formed in Tallahassee, joining together for some of the best characters on the show. Dwight, Pam-less Jim, new and improved Stanley, Ryan, Dwight, a surprisingly funny Gabe, and the better of the guest stars from last season's finale in Catherine Tate, are here in one place, and it made for some darn hilarious escapades this week.

While I'm not sure how to react to the idea that Pam's Replacement wants to hook up with Jim, I do know that everyone's reactions to it have been hilarious. Jim acting awkward around her, Stanley turning the other cheek and Dwight all but expediting the process was great.

Nothing was better, though, than when Jim tried to get out of it by telling Dwight he had bed bugs. Whether it was asking Jim about the bug's mood, spraying Pam's Replacement with chemicals or jumping under the covers in his underwear to catch the bugs, Dwight was on fire in Jim's hotel room.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 816 - "After Hours"

30 Rock 609 Review- Real Life Is For March

Tracy- "It's just fan mail. I mean would you read a bunch of letters from people who look up to me?"
"Leap Day" was an episode of 30 Rock I respected a whole lot more than I laughed at.

Between the creation of this fictitious holiday, everyone's absurd involvement in the day's festivities and especially the development and execution of the faux movie starring Jim Carrey, the outing was a lot of fun, if not all that overtly funny.

Steve Buscemi, who earned his second 30 Rock directing credit this week, made the episode enjoyable. Everyone watching Kenneth direct traffic as the office's very own Leap Day William, or the fantastic transitions between Leap Day past, present, and future for Jack, are a couple of examples of the magical feeling to the half hour.

Sure, there were some outright funny moments, but not nearly as many as the standard episode of 30 Rock. Tracy thinking that Dot Com is his imaginary friend is absolutely hilarious, especially when Dot Com continues to give him evidence to the contrary.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 609 - "Leap Day"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Survivor Week 2- Let Me Squeeze By

Colton is the absolute worst and I am so mad that I picked him over Leif right now.  Larry is looking real good in the Champions League because he has three guys on his squad, but I know my big investment in Chelsea is going to come through in the end.  Jack also has a solid guy duo of Troyzan and Bill, while Jaydon's decision to go with three broads is already proving to be the worst decision in Fantasy Survivor history.  The only one in worse shape is Rizzo down in the Developmental League, who after two weeks, already has two members gone.  Rizz should just be happy that Fantasy Idol starts up soon.

Champions League


Michael -86: Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= -76
Kat -79: Votes (-4), W2 (+2)= -81
Jonas -6: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +8
Tarzan +8: Reward (+4), W2 (+2)= +14

Last Week -163: Team Total= -135


Troyzan -41: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= -27
Christina -64: Votes (-4), W2 (+2)= -66
Kourtney -45
Bill -36: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= -22

Last Week -186: Team Total= -160


Jay -71: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= -57
Chelsea -129: W2 (+2)= -127
Monica -14: W2 (+2)= -12
Colton +8: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +22

Last Week -206: Team Total= -174


Matt -86: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= -72
Kim -109: W2 (+2)= -107
Alicia -4: W2 (+2)= -2
Nina 0: Votes (-24)= -24

Last Week -199: Team Total= -205

Free Agents
Leif +9: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +23
Sabrina +11: W2 (+2)= +13

Developmental League


Jay: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Chelsea: W2 (+2)= +2
Bill: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Christina: Votes (-4), W2 (+2)= -2

Week 2= +28, Team Total= +48


Troyzan: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Kat: Votes (-4), W1 (+2)= -2
Colton: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Monica: W2 (+2)= +2

Week 2= +28, Team Total= +48


Matt: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Kim: W2 (+2)= +2
Alicia: W2 (+2)= +2
Tarzan: Reward (+4), W2 (+2)= +6

Week 2= +24, Team Total= +44


Michael: Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +10
Jonas: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Nina: Votes (-24)= -24

Week 2= 0, Team Total= -11

Free Agents
Leif: Reward (+4), Immunity (+8), W2 (+2)= +14
Sabrina: W2 (+2)= +2

One Tree Hill 907 Review- Was Lucas Scott Here?

Julian- "I gotta go to prison with Brooke."
Dan- "Prison huh? They're gonna love you there."
I imagine creator Mark Schwahn's pitch to Chad Michael Murray, attempting to get him to come back to One Tree Hill for "Last Known Surroundings," sounded something like this:

"Hey Chad, we have this episode about halfway through our final season in which absolutely nothing happens. We would love to get Lucas to come back so that the audience won't be completely bored out of their mind. Let me know what you think!"

Of course, I'm speaking hyperbolically, but without the first appearance from Murray since the season six finale, this episode would have gone nowhere.

With Murray, "Last Known Surroundings" was a nice trip down memory lane. It was not only a reminder of the old days, but of how great Chad Michael Murray was as a leading man for six years, and how lovable of a character Lucas Scott can be.
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tre Hill 907 - "Last Known Surroundings"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Justified 306 Review- Oxy Morons

Arlo: Sneak up on a man like that; good way to get yourself shot.
Raylan: By you in your boxer shorts there? I think I got the drop on you this time, Arlo.
This was the first time in season three's early run that I wasn't jumping up and down with excitement during and after an episode of Justified.  That's not to say that "When the Guns Come Out" wasn't still great, because it was.

It was filled with a shotgun shootout, a fight on a moving trailer, and plenty of great moments that began to move a number of the pieces around on this gigantic hillbilly chess board, so it was definitely a satisfying hour.

As is usually the case with Justified, let's start by talking about these great villains.  Both Quarles and Limehouse had their own moment to chew up the screen while exemplifying what their respective character is all about.  Oh, and it goes without saying at this point, but McDonough and Williamson were once again wonderful.

Quarles is a man who enjoys being the bad guy.  It's fun for him, so when Winn told him that Raylan busted up their oxy clinic, he just laughed, took a puff on his cigar, and said that it was "awesome."  The guy enjoys this part of it.  Quarles set out to learn more about the Marshal who was onto him, so finding out that he and Boyd work together, and that Raylan's dad is part of Boyd's crew, was just another step in the right direction for this carpetbagger's fun game of life.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 306 - "When The Guns Come Out"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Voice 204 Review- It's Ladies Night!

Blake- "Never touch another man's button."
The fourth edition of The Voice's Blind Auditions was highlighted by a number of strong female vocalists. Naia Kete, Charlotte Sometimes, and especially Mathai had me intrigued from their first notes. Who did you think was the most impressive from this week's installment?

Two things from this week's episode need to be noted before getting to the actual auditions:

1. I will never get tired of watching Blake Shelton bow to the audience after making a comment they enjoyed.

2. Carson Daly aggressively cheering for every contestant to get picked while back stage with their families is the funniest thing about this show.  I can't tell whether he is sincerely rooting for every single performer, or if he's just feigning it for their friends.

Now let's get to the teams, which are starting to fill up. With only one Blind Audition episode left, every team either needs two or three contestants to fill its squad.

Team Adam

Current Members: Tony Lucca, Kim Yarbrough, Angel Taylor, Pip, Katrina Parker, Chris Cauley, Nathan Parrett.

New Additions
Like I mentioned at the start, Mathai was my absolute favorite of the night, and maybe the best audition thus far. She showed vocal strength, a great falsetto, perfect control, nice tone, she had fun on stage, she showed some sass, and took a fantastic Adele song and made it different. Is there really anything more you could ask for?
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Voice, head over to TV Fanatic.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Office 815 Review- I'm Not Bored. I'm A Pirate

Erin- "Ryan switched his name tag to his pants, so now it's like if you wear yours on your shirt you're a total dip, but if you switch you're a copy cat."
"Tallahassee" had all the pieces to come together as one of the best Office episodes of the season, but the driving force behind it - Dwight's battle to become the Special Projects Vice President while dealing with a big of appendicitis - was not funny.

They were able to play humor off of Dwight's pain - like him continuously thinking he was poisoned thanks to the return of pranking Jim or leaving a message to his infant son telling him to kill Mose in order to keep the beet farm to himself - but much of the back half of the episode was Dwight's struggle between pain and drive... and it was kind of boring.

What wasn't boring, though, was that cold open. How great were Dwight's wake-up calls? Screaming in Pam's Replacement's ear, suffocating Stanley and having Erin seduce Ryan were all great, but the best was the fact that Jim was ready for Dwight with a prank.

This was an old school, well thought it, motivated Jim prank. He ransacked the room, left a briefcase full of money, got fake blood to spell out "It was Dwight," and fell out of the closet like a corpse. Classic Jim. I love this Jim.
To read the rest of my review of this week's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 815 - "Tallahassee"

30 Rock 607 Review- She's A Joker

Jenna- "Oh don't be so dramatic. That's my thing, and if you take it away from me I will kill myself...and then you."
Did Batman need to get rebooted again? Isn't the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale series still going on? Oh, sorry, apparently "The Tuxedo Begins" was just 30 Rock's way of parodying the superhero movie style of the first Nolan film.

It wasn't nearly as funny as some of the earlier episodes this season, but the half hour was certainly enjoyable... especially from the rooftop scene onward.

As Jack stood in the dark, using his deep ominous voice to explain to Liz what his plans were to help the city, I got wrapped up in the moment. Liz was there, finally taking her turn into full superhero villain mode (crazy hair, strange clothing, Joker-esque lipstick), which made the fact that she was using the city to her own benefit the final piece to the puzzle.

The rest of that story, with Jack flipping Liz into the trash, and the crowd of New Yorkers applauding the event - which included Mr. Met, the Statue of Liberty and the singing prostitute - was all the more entertaining.
To read the rest of my review of this week's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 607 - "The Tuxedo Begins"

Survivor Week 1- So Happy Together

It's 11:15 p.m. Thursday night, and I have yet to start watching and reviewing 30 Rock and The Office, so no analysis of Survivor's premiere this week.  Enjoy the fantasy scores from week one...

Champions League


Michael -95: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -86
Kat -80: W1 (+1)= -79
Jonas -15: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -6
Tarzan -1: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +8

Started at -191: Team Total= -163


Troyzan -50: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -41
Christina -65: W1 (+1)= -64
Kourtney -15: Stop Challenge (-10), Leave for Health (-20)= -45
Bill -45: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -36

Started at -175: Team Total= -186


Matt -95: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -86
Kim -110: W1 (+1)= -109
Alicia -5: W1 (+1)= -4
Nina -1: W1 (+1)= 0

Started at -211: Team Total= -199


Jay -80: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= -71
Chelsea -130: W1 (+1)= -129
Monica -15: W1 (+1)= -14
Colton -1: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +8

Started at -226: Team Total= -206

Free Agents
Leif: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Sabrina: Found Idol (+10), W1 (+1)= +11

Developmental League


Matt: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Kim: W1 (+1)= +1
Alicia: W1 (+1)= +1
Tarzan: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9

Week 1= +20, Team Total= +20


Jay: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Chelsea: W1 (+1)= +1
Bill: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Christina: W1 (+1)= +1

Week 1= +20, Team Total= +20


Troyzan: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Kat: W1 (+1)= +1
Colton: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Monica: W1 (+1)= +1

Week 1= +20, Team Total= +20


Michael: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Jonas: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Kourtney: Stop Challenge (-10), Leave for Health (-20)= -30
Nina: W1 (+1)= +1

Week 1= -11, Team Total= -11

Free Agents
Leif: Immunity (+8), W1 (+1)= +9
Sabrina: Found Idol (+10), W1 (+1)= +11

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One Tree Hill 906 Review- Road To Redemption

Julian- "Great pep talk Dan. No wonder your sons love you so much."
Dan Scott's road to redemption may have started a while ago, but it became much more obvious during "Catastrophe and the Cure" that it may indeed be the main overarching theme to One Tree Hill.

Sometimes it's thought provoking to take a step back and look at an entire series, figuring out what it really was all about. The events that occur - whether it be pointlessly written storylines, or actors leaving the show - can change the path of the show, but at the end of the day a story is being told.

Over the course of nine seasons of One Tree Hill, that story may end up being about a man making a number of awful decisions on his way to rock bottom, and then finally finding redemption. Whether his family - and the audience, for that matter - accepts said redemption, after all of the heinous crimes he committed, is exactly the kind of grey area that would make the ending to this story so interesting.

If viewers still can't stand Dan Scott - as I know many cannot - and aren't willing to forgive the man for the many awful things he has done over the years, then this might be a more difficult pill to swallow. I, on the other hand, believe this character has paid his dues and is ready to redeem himself for many of his wrong doings.
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 906 - "Catastrophe and the Cure"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Justified 305 Review- The Cadillac of Beans

Dewey- "These are the end times for Dewey Crowe."
The bad guys turned on each other two weeks ago in "Harlan Roulette," and it happened once again in "Thick as Mud" when Layla shot Lance before getting gunned down herself by a tranquilized Raylan laying in a bath tub.

In no way is Justified returning to the Elmore Leonard school of writing for villains too much, but if even if the series continued to use this style over and over again, it would be okay. It's extremely entertaining.

Call me gullible, but I'm surprised every time.  ust as it was revealed - obviously or otherwise - that the two nurses were working together, one knocks off the other with a bullet to the back? That doesn't seem normal, so when it happens, I'm taken back by it, and excited to see what will happen next.

This week, in an unsurprising event, Raylan saved himself from the crazy woman by shooting her in the chest through the body of her victim. It might not have been the most bad ass move Raylan has ever done, but everyone was certainly shocked that it actually worked. Including Raylan.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 305 - "Thick As Mud"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Voice 203 Review- Join the Pip Rally!

Blake- "A lot of people don't realize Cee Lo is normally asleep during the show, and that's why he wears the big sunglasses."
It was a good night for Adam Levine on The Voice. Not only did the Maroon 5er gather four new team members, and remind us all that he won last year's competition yet again, but he proved that he is easily the best at stating his case to the contestants.

Levine uses rational, eloquent and convincing arguments to persuade youngsters - with all celebrity coaches staring them in the face - to join Team Adam. Blake's witty insults, Christina's embarrassing attempts to match and Cee Lo's "take me or leave me" attitude have yet to contend with Levine's abilities as a "salesman."

Let's take a look at the performances from the third installment of the Blind Auditions by breaking down The Voice Teams...

Team Adam

Current Members
Tony Lucca, Kim Yarbrough, Angel Taylor.

New Additions
Adam's great night began with a boy named Pip. Yes, just Pip. The bowtie-wearing 19-year old belted out a great version of "House of the Rising Sun" that got all four of the judges to turn around, a feat that went unmatched for the entire episode. The kid's performance was very strong, if not exceptional, and he will do well on Team Adam.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Voice, head over to TV Fanatic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Justified Exclusive- Erica Tazel On Understanding Rachel Brooks

Through 30 episodes of Justified, we're all still getting to know Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks. The same can be said for the woman behind the badge, Erica Tazel, who learned of her character's Tennessee upbringing only a few days before shooting last week's "The Devil You Know."

Just as Mr. Limehouse did, the audience learned during the hour that Rachel is a southern girl hailing from Hendersonville, Tennessee. Tazel is also from what many consider the south, "born and raised in Dallas," she told me over the phone late last week, which helps the actress "draw on the rhythms" of her family.

"Any time I feel like I'm getting away from that," Tazel continued, "all I have to do is have a five-minute conversation with somebody from home and I'm like - oh yeah, there it is."

The viewers gained more of an understanding of where Rachel comes from last week, but it was in "Cut Ties" - when Rachel hid in the attic and took out the intruder with a single shot - that we learned more about why Art Mullen refers to her as his best Marshal.
To read the rest of my exclusive with Erica Tazel of Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quiet Poolcast- The River and Luck

This weekend T-Time and I discussed the series premiere of ABC's The River and the second episode of HBO's Luck, before turning to some Over/Unders in this podcast.

Here's the timeline:

The River: 0:00 - 9:58
Luck: 10:04 - 16:33
It's Always Sunny: 16:56 - 20:52
Happy Endings: 20:58 - 22:53
The League: 22:59 - 26:02
Fringe: 26:07 - 27:46
Awake: 27:52 - 29:57

Listen Here

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Office 814 Review- He's A Man On A Mission

Kevin- "I do deserve a vacation. Sometimes Batman's gotta take off his cape."
Like most of The Office's eighth season, "Special Project" wasn't all that hilarious. Unlike most of The Office's eighth season, though, it showed some purpose, which kept things interesting.

Said purpose begins and ends with the titular project and what it did to focus Dwight Kurt Schrute. The beet farmer has been funny all year long, but it wasn't until he took the reins of this project, and got his team into the conference room, that things really started to fall into place.

It was just fun. It was fun watching Dwight finally managing. And not only managing, but managing a team that took him seriously as their leader. Even Jim, who didn't fail to mess with Dwight about showering together in Florida earlier in the episode, couldn't help but jump on board the Dwight train once the former Assistant to the Regional Manager started appreciating his team's ideas.

So now the group will be split, with Dwight and his minions enjoying the fun and the sun of Florida, while the rest of the crew stays in chilly Scranton, Pennsylvania. Seriously, though, with Dwight, Jim, Stanley, Erin and Ryan away from the office, I can foresee a problem.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 814 - "Special Project"

30 Rock 606 Review- I'm Female Lutz!

Tracy- "Let's prepare for the adventure of a lifetime! And then after we watch Fievel Goes West, we're gonna get you some action."
There are inevitable pros and cons to airing a one-hour episode of a sitcom. Some stories that wouldn't have the chance to develop fully in 30 minutes get to do so with the extra time. Then again, there are others that either drag on or are unnecessarily added due to the doubling of episode length.

30 Rock's super-sized "Hey Baby, What's Wrong" featured both of these pluses and minuses. Jenna and Pete dealing with the former's case of the yips, and Tracy and Frank helping Lutz be a dirt bag, were basically perfect examples of plots that would have been hurt by 21 minutes of run time.

With Jenna, we were able to diagnose the problem, watch her struggle through it and then fix it in a very well-paced funny story. The return of Dr. Spaceman, with his assumption that there is no field of medicine that deals with the brain, and finding out that Jenna has two more nemeses*, also added plenty of laughs.

*Count them now: Abigail Breslin (1), Flo at Progressive Insurance (2), and Gina Gershon (3) from "Today You Are A Man."

Without the added time for Tracy and the gang, we would have missed out on either him and Frank talking about the hilarious things they do to pick women; watching them try to get Lutz to do said atrocities; or Lutz hitting on Liz outside an Ikea and eating Swedish meatballs. Each of those layers of the story was funny.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 606 - "Hey Baby, What's Wrong"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One Tree Hill 905 Review- Dan Scott Started The Fire

Chuck- "Chuck Scolnik has never been more disappointed in you."
We came into "The Killing Moon" wondering what had happened to Nathan Scott. By the end of the hour, though, I had no better explanation of who took him, or for what reason, than when we started. Did you?

Dan did set his diner on fire on purpose. We know that. The question remains whether or not we should believe him when told Haley that all of his intentions were good. If so, he's just an old man that is trying to get closer to his family, and I can respect that. If he's lying, that would be a horrific character arc for Dan Scott.

Apparently Haley thinks he's lying, as she ended the episode with a call to 911. Not enough credit is given to Bethany Joy for her wonderful work on One Tree Hill, so I will take this time to shower her with praise for the fantastic job she did of portraying the worried wife.

Haley started out in a bit of denial, then began to worry, then seriously freaked out. At each point, Galeotti made the necessary changes in her demeanor, and had me believing every step of the way that she was seriously worried about her husband.
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 905 - "The Killing Moon"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Justified 304 Review- Each Our Own Devil

Boyd- "Don't you know, you're jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?"
Better "The Devil You Know" than the devil you don't. The episode title of Justified's fourth chapter of the year took on a bit of a literal meaning as Boyd's right-hand man, Devil, attempted to make waves within Harlan County corruption before meeting his untimely death.

As is usually the case, the popular idiom also took on its figurative meaning in a couple of fashions over the course of the hour. The most prevalent being Devil himself choosing to side with the devil he didn't know - Mr. Quarles - over the devil he had known forever, Boyd Crowder.

Devil probably would have been better off sticking with the low pay of the Crowder clan. If he just kept on doing what he has done over the years, it is pretty safe to say that Boyd never would have harmed him. He's straightforward that way.

Devil's attempt at defecting to the devil he didn't know was exactly what got him in trouble. Who is to say what would have happened if he had made it out of Boyd's grasps safely, and ended up working for Quarles? Would he have had a similar fate? Most likely, but he didn't know that. Again, he doesn't know Quarles the way we do.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 304 - "The Devil You Know"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Voice 202 Review- I Want The Line

Lewis Jacobs/NBC
Maybe it's because we haven't had time to get annoyed by the coaches, or maybe it's simply that Adam, Blake, Cee Lo and Christina seem to be having such a genuinely fun time together, but The Voice returned with a second night of Blind Auditions that was just as entertaining as Sunday's season premiere.

Between the coaches goading each other to turn around for less than stellar acts, Blake taking bows after being told he's good looking, and even Cee Lo's ridiculous reading glasses, there was a lot of fun being had in those giant red swivel chairs.  My favorite, though, had to be Blake's admission that the contestants were getting "fooled by flash and boobs" in reference to Christina getting chosen a number of times early on.

Like Sunday night, the talent kept pouring in over the course of this two-hour event, as each coach picked up two more team members before the night was through. How do the teams stack up? And how are the judges doing at convincing the contestants to pick them? Let's take a look.

Team Christina
Jesse Campbell
Chris Mann
*The Line
*Lindsey Pavao

Christina continued her hot streak from Sunday, picking up the first audition of the night in The Line. The country duo of Hailey and Leland from Nashville chose Xtina over all three of the other coaches after their version of "American Girl" blew them all away. I enjoyed them a lot, and their harmonies were great, but I definitely would have wanted to hear Hailey sing by herself before turning around. Since they're a country act, I was surprised that they chose Christina over Blake, but it was also surprising since he turned around immediately.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Voice, head over to TV Fanatic.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Voice Season Premiere Review- To Turn Or Not To Turn

The Voice was extremely refreshing when it debuted a year ago. It was a new twist on the singing show genre, which at that point had grown extremely stale thanks to the same old same old from American Idol and America's Got Talent.
After skipping Talent again this summer, suffering through the Idol copy cat that was The X Factor this fall, and then snoozing through the Idol auditions for a few weeks now, The Voice once again reinvigorated my enjoyment of singing competitions with a stellar start to the second season.
It all starts with how great and sort of revolutionary the blind auditions are. The coaches facing away from the contestants, them having to make that decision on whether they want the singer on their team, and then the performer actually getting to choose which coach he wants to help him/her win the title... it all adds up to an entertaining hour of television, something that is very difficult to say about the audition rounds of any other singing show on television.
It also helps that the coaches are all charming and completely comfortable in front of the camera, and that everyone singing in the blind auditions can at least carry a tune.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Voice season premiere, head over to TV Fanatic.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quiet Poolcast- Fringe and Justified

In hopes of turning this into a weekly thing over at TV Fanatic, I got together with T-Time to practice a podcast this weekend. We discussed the recent happenings on Fringe and Justified, before delving into a few other shows with The Name Game and The Power Rankings.

Here's a timeline of the podcast so that you can skip by shows you don't watch.

Fringe: 0:00 - 12:00
Justified: 12:10 - 20:30
The Name Game
Chuck: 21:20 - 22:50
Suburgatory: 22:50 - 24:30
Once Upon a Time: 24:35 - 25:45
Treme: 25:45 - 27:10
The Office: 27:15 - 28:00
The Power Rankings
Game of Thrones: 29:20 - 31:05

Listen Here

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Office 813 Review- Call Of Fatherly Duty

Dwight- "That baby is a Schrute, and unless somebody taught Mose sex, that baby is mine."
The eighth season of The Office has had a difficult time telling funny stories. The humoursly awkward moments we used to get from Steve Carrell have turned into boring awkward moments with Ed Helms.

Thankfully, the show has survived on a few hilarious characters - notably Kevin and Dwight - garnering laughs simply based on their hilarious personalities.

That was no different in "Jury Duty," as Kevin was on fire with his disturbing accounting family tree, calling the baby fat and "Little Kevin," and buying the kid Call of Duty.

While Kevin rarely has much more than a few lines of dialogue per episode, Dwight continues to be a leading player... until he possibly spins off his own series next year.
To read the rest of my review of last night's The Office, head over to TV Fanatic.

The Office 813 - "Jury Duty"

30 Rock 605 Review- It's A Jack-Off!

Liz- "After six years, there's still room for growth in this friendship."
As Tina Fey smirked at the camera while reciting those words, I wondered if she and the writers were attempting to make a jab at those who might criticize 30 Rock for not evolving its characters in any way.

Then the thought vanished from my mind, because whether or not the show has done a good job of allowing its characters to grow over the past six seasons, "Today You Are a Man" - like many 30 Rock episodes - was funny enough that it doesn't matter.

Yes, Kabletown Jack finally figured out how to defeat Liz-Jack thanks to his realization that emotion can be used as a weapon (the aforementioned growth), but it was everything involving this contract negotiation that led up to that moment that made this yet another hilarious episode at the front end of this season.

The entire sequence after Jack found out Liz was using him as a coach, which included classic Donaghy, playing with himself, and the Jack-off, was fantastic. Then again, it couldn't even compare to how great the negotiations at the ice cream store were.
To read the rest of my review of last night's 30 Rock, head over to TV Fanatic.

30 Rock 605 - "Today You Are a Man"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Tree Hill 904 Review- Drug Dealers Beware

Dan- "If I catch you near my family again, I'll kill you."
Julian left Baby Davis in the hot car last week. Nathan didn't make it home on "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?." Indeed, One Tree Hill is not slowing down at all in season nine.

Seriously, how many more of these cliff hangers can we take before we start to black out on the regular like Clay?

I'll get to the latest in a long line of twists and turns for Clay (that I could care less about) later on. First, this Nathan issue needs to be addressed. The stuffed animal he had for Lydia was lying by the curb at the airport, so the most logical conclusion is that harm was done to him after landing in Tree Hill.

Who would want to hurt Nathan? The only person that we are familiar with that has the means, the history, and the motive is... Dan Scott, the father. We know he can do harm. He has killed in the past, his own brother in fact. Most importantly, if Nathan doesn't make it home, Dan gets to continue to spend time with Jamie and Lydia, the one thing that seems to make Dan Scott happier than we've ever seen him.

The only thing that makes me question this hypothesis is the timing. Haley and Dan had a conversation in the house around the time Nathan was supposed to be arriving home. It is definitely possible that he slipped out and kidnapped his own son in a matter of minutes, but it still would have been tricky to maneuver. I wouldn't put it past him, though.
To read the rest of my review of last night's One Tree Hill, head over to TV Fanatic.

One Tree Hill 904 - "Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Justified 303 Review- Cutthroat Pawn

Fogle- "You like old friends or something?"
Wade- "Well I set him up for Dickie Bennett, strung him up in a tree. I don't know, is that a friend?"
What Justified has become so wonderful at recently is not only mixing serialization with episodic stories so well, but also creating episodic plots that - in and of themselves - are integral to the seasonal arc.

That was never more evident than in "Harlan Roulette."

Wade Messer, who we were reminded hung Raylan up a tree last season*, worked for the pawn shop owning Glen Fogle... who worked for our beloved Winn Duffy... who in one way or another is involved with the all kinds of crazy Mr. Quarles, who we met in the season premiere.

(*Both Wade asking Fogle if hanging Raylan up a tree made them friends, and then Raylan shooting down their friendship by reminding the pill popper that he hung him up a tree and left him for dead, were hilarious ways of reminding the audience of their relationship.)

The weird and wild web of baddies continues to be connected, which made the story of JT, Wade and Fogle that much more interesting. Because we knew that there was a good possibility it would lead to Raylan running into Duffy again and/or Quarles for the first time, there were extra stakes tied to the story here.
To read the rest of my review of last night's Justified, head over to TV Fanatic.

Justified 303 - "Harlan Roulette"