As I mentioned in the comments section for the morning column link, working as a solo critic has cut into my blogging time, and I've gotten weeks behind on commenting on some shows. So, while taking a break from today's marathon of "Sleeper Cell" season two, some quick thoughts on, in order, "Friday Night Lights," "Grey's Anatomy," "Gilmore Girls" and "Dexter," and if there's anything obvious I've left out, we can get a discussion going in the comments. Tally-ho and all that...
Well, turns out NBC didn't show the "Friday Night Lights" homecoming episode out of order, as Tuesday's show clearly took place after the previous one. This wasn't one of my favorite episodes, but even when the show isn't clicking, I can always count on the family dynamics at the Taylor household to keep me engaged. (Taylor had one line about how, contrary to opinion, he does understand women, that I really wish I had written down so I could cite it exactly. The phrasing was very nice.) I would care more about the poor, doomed Riggins brothers and the Street/Lyla/Riggins triangle if the actors playing Riggins and Lyla didn't feel better-suited to "One Tree Hill," and as fair as they've tried to play Street's recovery, him participating in a Murderball scrimmage four or five weeks after he was paralyzed? Huh? I get that it's TV, and that this was around the point where the producers saw the writing on the wall and started cramming as many ideas in as they could before cancellation, but would it have killed them to wait at least until the Panthers season ended?
(On the plus side, NBC is moving the show to Wednesdays at 8 in January, which gets it out of the way of "American Idol" and gives me a Wednesday night show I actually want to watch. Last night's schedule was so barren on every channel that I toggled between "Mythbusters" and the "Clerks II" DVD. But we already talked about Pillowpants and the Listerfiend back in July.)
I'm starting to think I'm not cut out to be a "Grey's Anatomy" viewer much longer. The turducken-sized Thanksgiving episode had the show firing on all cylinders in a way it hasn't since that time Coach Taylor blew up real good after the Super Bowl, and yet it still bugged the hell out of me. Again, we're in the Denny Duquette area where characters are doing indefensible things that both their friends and the audience are supposed to forgive them for in the name of friendship, characterization, whatever, and I just can't do it. When Meredith shut McDreamy down on the subject of whether she should have ratted out Burke and Cristina, it was close to brick-throwing time again. (Ditto Izzie expecting an apology from George when he had exactly zilch to apologize for, given the history and the current circumstances.) The show is still the show; I'm just at or near my limit for what I'll swallow to get to the good stuff.
Speaking of treasure being surrounded by trash, Paris and Doyle's hip-hop dancing was about the only thing keeping me conscious for most of the latest "Gilmore Girls." I like Michael DeLuise when he has a good script and/or director (notably as Sipowicz Jr.), but take either or both of those away and he's always a half-step away from offensive overacting; my head hurt so much listening to him that I barely even noticed the rest of the Luke subplot, and I've lost whatever interest I may have had in the drawn-out process of Lorelai realizing the mistake she made in marrying Christopher.
If I've been sparse in commenting on "Dexter," it's because the show is so consistent both in what it does and how well it does it, and there are only so many different ways I can compliment Michael C. Hall for acting like a man who's always acting or admire the artful framing of the murder scenes. Things have gotten veddy interesting, however, now that the Ice Truck Killer's identity is known to us, and Sunday's serial killer couples weekend to Dexter's ancestral home was a creepy change of pace. I haven't read the book, but knowing that there are sequels (and that the TV show is going to continue), I have a sense of where things are going. But I look forward to hearing at the end of the season how much the show borrowed from the novel and how much had to be invented for series TV purposes.
Back to watching Oded Fehr get kicked in the nuts a lot. To paraphrase a very wise man, "Sleeper Cell" season one had heart, but "Sleeper Cell" season two has knees to the groin.