A Week in TV - November 2012

A Week in TV – The Baldies (18th Nov 2012)

Before we head into this week’s post, which features a serial killer, a different direction from Bones and the continued excellence known as Fringe, news came in a few days ago that the first major casualties of the current television season had been confirmed – ABC’s 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort. Both weren’t doing well in the ratings so it wasn’t a surprise, but both shows had promise that will unfortunately not be realised in the future.

Also, your thoughts on the following episodes/shows, as well as your own highlights of the past week, are highly welcomed in the comments section below.

 

Dexter – Chemistry

Remember last year when Dexter had its sixth season, which happened to be mediocre? I do, and it made me fearful that Dexter’s good days were over, and that things would be downhill from then until the end of the show. Then season seven came along and wiped all of those fears away.

This week’s episode continued the trend of this season so far in that it was fantastic. This season has been mostly about exploring Dexter and Debra’s relationship since she discovered he liked to chop people into pieces in his spare time, and they’ve handled it so well. Things became even more interesting between them this week when she asked him to commit murder – something I didn’t expect to happen for quite some time, if at all. Seeing where that heads this weekend will be very exciting indeed.

I also greatly enjoyed the scenes between Dexter and Hannah, even though we can all tell it’s doomed to end in tragedy, death or something of the sort. Considering his own sister has asked him to kill her, things are inevitably heading into tricky waters but for the time being, it’s been fun to watch them together. Yvonne Strahovski is a great, not to mention attractive, actress that pulls off the role of murderous seductress very well, and she and Michael C Hall share excellent chemistry together.

As usual, I continue to see no point to the existence of either Batista or Quinn, and I would very much like them to either get a storyline (Batista) or just be killed off because they’re pointless (Quinn). Season seven’s strength is coming from multiple areas but scenes involving those two definitely aren’t in that category.

As season seven continues, it’s hard to believe that just a year ago the show was experiencing arguably the worst season it had produced up until that point. Things have improved so exponentially this year and from the looks of things, it’s going to continue getting better.

 

Bones – The Patriot in Purgatory

It’s rare that Bones has an episode that impresses me nowadays. Ever since the sixth season, my love for the show has just depleted and I sometimes find myself tuning in every week not out of love but out of habit. Impressive episodes just don’t seem to come along that often anymore, until this week of course.

This week was a little bit different for Bones. Instead of having to solve yet another grisly murder, the story revolved around an unknown set of remains that were identified as being from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. There was no murder to investigate, only the process of unravelling the mystery of what became of the set of bones sitting in front of them. It was a break from the typical formula and it worked well.

Despite the episode’s humourous moments that are typical of the show, the core at the centre was very much serious. Although Bones deals with gruesome murders and killings every week – typically dark material – it’s mostly a light-hearted affair. It’s not often that it deviates from the formula like it did this week but when it does, it gets to shine. It’s a pity these kinds of episodes are interspersed so widely apart.

Back to the episode and I appreciated what angle they were going for and how it allowed us to see several of the characters in a different light, such as the interns. Although I felt like the episode veered close to shoving the 9/11 event down our throats at certain points, it mostly worked well, and much better than the average Bones episode for sure.

In regards to season eight so far, it’s been fairly average. The pilot was good and so was this week’s episode, but the middle was just typical Bones. I always find myself wanting a little more from the show whenever I watch it besides the weekly murder investigation and sometimes my desires are fulfilled, but most of the time they aren’t. I doubt I will be as fond of the show again as I used to be while it remains on the air, but episodes like this week’s remind me that Bones is capable of delivering the goods when it wants to.

 

Fringe – Five-Twenty-Ten

As we cross the halfway mark for Fringe’s final season, the stakes and odds are getting increasingly higher. Some people aren’t big fans of the current season because it ‘doesn’t feel like Fringe’. I disagree. Fringe has shown before that it can do story arcs brilliantly and this week’s episode was further proof of that.

Let’s start with Peter’s transformation. Yes it’s horrible to see the character we’ve watched for years slowly turn into an emotionless drone but it’s being done greatly. We saw last week how he gained the ability to teleport and learned the quick reflexes that the Observers have. This week saw him start to walk, talk and lose his hair like one and if I’m honest, it all leads me to believe that things are not going to end well for him. It pains me to say that, but I can’t see any other solution to his current predicament other than him travelling to Observer land with the rest of them or dying to prevent himself becoming one.

Also, Walter had some fine moments this week, particularly between him and the returning Nina Sharp (finally!). We’ve always known that Walter pre-brain surgery was a cold bastard and that the loveable version we know and love only existed because of the holes in his head. It’s sad to see the character going through a change so drastic in personality but John Noble knows how to put in a terrific performance and he did just that again this week.

As we had last week, there were a few nods to the show’s history in this week’s outing, namely the mysterious cylinders and the face-melting gas that were both featured very early on in the show’s first season. I like these little inclusions from the past purely because it almost feels like the years of watching the show are being rewarded. Plus I was always interested in what the cylinders were actually for and now I know.

I’ve said it before but I cannot predict where Fringe is heading next. With only a handful of episodes left before the show departs for good, I can only hope that they bring the current story to a satisfying end as well as bring the show to a fitting conclusion. I’ve heard theories that Peter will turn out to be the first observer, that there will be a sort of reset switch and everything that has happened will be reverted and life will continue without the invasion having ever happened and vice versa. Regardless, Fringe continues to impress with its fifth season and with three weeks to wait until the next episode, it’s going to be hard to wait for it to continue.

 

 

Now for the ratings, and it wasn’t a good week for Once Upon a Time, which hit a series low 2.7 rating on Sunday night. Quite why such a dramatic drop from last week occurred is a mystery to me but I suppose that two sub-par episodes in a row don’t help.

Sunday evening also saw CBS’ The Good Wife struggle to hit a decent 18-49 demographic rating, with its 1.7 – easily being beaten by ABC’s Revenge and Fox’s Family Guy, despite gaining more viewers than either of them. It’s clear that the show skews quite old compared to the competition which is unfortunate because it decimates nearly all other network shows in terms of quality, at least in my eyes.

On the subject of skewing old, ABC’s Castle once again underwhelmed somewhat on Monday evening, as its 1.9 was easily beaten by the likes of Revolution and Hawaii Five-O. The show cleans up the competition in total viewers but often falls short in the demo. It’s not a worrying sign for the show just yet but obviously I’d like to see more. This week’s episode was a tad polarizing amongst the fans but clearly it didn’t do much harm to the rating.

Wednesday saw Arrow perform well once again for The CW (1.2), as well as NBC continuing to see average-but-acceptable numbers for Chicago Fire (1.6). Elsewhere, Fox’s The X Factor recouped from its mediocre ratings last week to achieve a 2,9 score – winning its timeslot. No doubt the absence of The Voice worked in its favour.

Grey’s Anatomy and Person of Interest continued to go neck and neck on Thursday evening with their respective 3.2 and 3.1 ratings. Both cleaned up the competition, however. The biggest figure of the evening came from CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, which gained a mammoth 5.7 score and 17.6 million viewers. I don’t watch the show but boy is that HUGGGE.

Finishing the week were Fringe equalling its 0.9 figure from last week and Grimm falling slightly for its fall finale. Despite that, however, the show is doing just fine and will no doubt see a third season in the future.

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