Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Snowy morning catch-up

As I watch the winter's stubbborn refusal to go away, time to finally offer my own thoughts on Monday night's "Heroes" and "24," plus last night's "Gilmore Girls" and "House," all coming up...

You fine people have covered almost every aspect of "Heroes" in your comments, so I'll just add a few random thoughts:
  • While it was a strong episode overall with plenty of cliffhanger goodness to drive us crazy over the six-week break, it wasn't as good as last week's all-HRG and Claire hour, losing in emotional resonance what it tried to make up in business. I wouldn't want this show to become season two or three of "Lost," where most of the characters disappear for weeks on end while one person gets a spotlight at a time, but I think I'd like to see "Heroes" try at least a handful of single-focus episodes a season.
  • The Sylar/Peter cliffhanger would be scarier if we didn't know that Peter has to live to be involved in the nuke story, and that Future Hiro has seen him with a scar. Still, nice of Sylar to finally cut Peter's stupid hair.
  • Why would Linderman hire Jessica to kill Nathan if he was going to offer him the vice-presidency? Fienberg's theory is that Jessica wasn't supposed to kill him, just get rid of the feds and scare him into taking Linderman's offer, but Niki sure seemed to think Nathan's life was in danger from her alter ego.
  • The Haitian's "higher power" is Nathan and Peter's mom. Nicely done, a surprising revelation that at the same time makes perfect sense.
  • Either Ando is secretly a mole for Linderman, or Linderman's casino security is awful. You make the call.
Moving on to "24," I'm still not feeling this season. There are isolated good moments, like Lennox turning in Chad Lowe at the earliest opportunity, and Powers Boothe is going to be a more interesting figure than D.B. Woodside, but I still don't feel like a nuke actually went off in the LA area, and Jack is being dumber than usual with his method of assault on the consulate and inability to let Chloe know what was up. (Couldn't he have just kept his cell phone on in his pocket or something?) Even more than Daniel Craig's James Bond, Jack is a blunt instrument, but he's shown himself to be capable of slightly clever thinking in the past (see him stinging Logan last year), and I get bored when the plot rests on Jack thinking only with his fists and the nearest torture implement. (Also, Sam Raimi deserves some kind of royalty for stealing the cigar cutter gag from "Darkman.")

I feel like I'm still watching "Gilmore Girls" out of habit rather than anything in the show itself. I was glad to see Rory finally call Logan on his tired act of being a jerk and then pulling a grand gesture to make up for it. It was nice to revisit the lingering issues of Lorelai and Rory's time away from Emily, even though the recasting of Mia was distracting (if they hadn't done it, they could've run a scene from "The Ins and Outs of Inns" in the previouslies). But the humor doesn't really feel there right now; Zach, of all people, was the only character to make me laugh last night.

Very, very good "House," in both the patient storyline (Kurtwood Smith was wonderful, and seeing Hugh Laurie and Dave Matthews jam on the piano was a treat) and the "cancer" plot for House. I'm torn on the latter, though, since on the one hand I appreciate that the writers are letting their main character be pathetic and despicable to the degree that he would fake cancer to get high, but on the other hand this should be the final nail in the coffin of his career at this hospital, if not in medicine. After everything Cutty and Wilson did for him during the Tritter mess, he cheats his way through rehab and then pulls this? This is not a man's whose judgment on anything should be trusted anymore. I know that the show has always bent plausibility with the stuff House gets away with, but this felt like him going too far even within the rules the writers have laid out.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I didn't think that Lindermann was originally going to offer the VP to Nathan. I took more as a way to prevent Nathan from killing him. But I could be wrong. I'm finding that the older I get, I catch/remember fewer small details in previous and current episodes. *sigh*

rukrusher said...

Re: House

Since the final scene has him heading into the bar to be a real person I guess the writers just wanted to show just how far down House's "bottom" is before he attempts to change. I agree, it was over the top, I was actually hoping the patient LUKE N. Laura was his Father but could not remember where the show left off with his father, I know he called his mom at Christmas last season, but that is all I can recall. Still, if someone I cared about pullled this one, it would be a long time before I trusted them and if he was just a mentor for my career, I would say three years is enough, I am moving on. Which might be what the show needs to go to a new level, these three young professionals need to move on to new challenges.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Smith was heartbreaking. I loved him in this episode. And I also loved the agog, almost manga-esque look on Cameron's face when she said "you faked Cancer? To get high?"

K J Gillenwater said...

I liked the kiss between Cameron and House. Cameron did it purely to try to get House's blood, but he seemed to be drawn in to her and show some real feelings...only to figure it out in the end that she was just trying to distract him.

I knew immediately House didn't have cancer. Couldn't figure out why he was faking it, though. Kind of a strange reason because House seems less dependent on constant drug-popping all of a sudden. He doesn't seem desperate for a high in any other aspect of his life at the it just didn't fit for me.

Anonymous said...

Re "House": couldn't help thinking of Kurtwood Smith and Robert Sean Leonard in "Dead Poet's Society". As for House's cancer treatment scam, what surprised me the most was all three of the residents getting passionate about saving him. Cameron, yeah, but Foreman and Chase? Their love-hate thing with House usually tips heavily to the hate side of the scale. As for the realism of keeping him around Princeton-Plainsboro, well, medical realism has never been what this show's about.

Anonymous said...

I missed 24 but might watch it online - anyway, here's a fun comparison of Wayne Palmer and Eli Manning:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't decide what was most upsetting about House last night: House possibly having cancer, House possibly "opening the door" to being a real person at the end there, or watching horrible medical experiments happening to Dave Matthews. Ain't nobody hurts Dave on my watch.

Since the show crossed the line into complete implausibility a long time ago, I wasn't too concerned about what this latest event would do to House's medical career. The most genius moment (aside from the piano playing) was how the residents' faces went from joyous to aghast when they found out what House was up to. (And glad to know I'm not alone in wishing Smith and Leonard could have had one tiny scene together, for old time's sake.)

Unknown said...

>>watching horrible medical experiments happening to Dave Matthews

This should be a weekly series.

Ted Frank said...

It seems to me that Jessica and Nikki aren't always completely aware of what each other are doing. And didn't Jessica tell Nathan that his two choices were to capitulate to L or to run? That would imply that Nikki wasn't going to kill Nathan, just threaten him and confirm he was unarmed and unwired.

Ted Frank said...

Though I have to think that killing two FBI agents puts Linderman in a heck of a lot more trouble than anything else that he could be up to.

Tosy And Cosh said...

Anyone else suspect the annoyingly multitalented Laurie wrote the piano piece himself? Or did anyone recognize it from elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Re: House

The House in peril plot is very hard to sustain. He can't go to jail, that would end the show. He can't die of cancer, that would end the show. And the audience knows they're being played with. It worked better when he went up against Chi McBride, you couldn't be certain what would happen. The other problem is that the House with cancer took over the storyline. The patient's story was lost. The main problem is that House is becoming one-dimensional. He never moves forward emotionally. He seems to be impervious to incredible displays of affection. Why does Dr. Wilson still count House as his best friend? Why does Wilson take the abuse?
Speaking of abuse, how about audience abuse? Who programs Fox? House is no longer a weekly series. We now have to wait three weeks for each new episode. OK, we're promised nine straight weeks of new episodes. And you should quit complaining. Very Pavlovian, Fox.

Anonymous said...

I really disliked the House "brain cancer" storyline, too unbelievable for me, even for House.

But man o' man did I dig when House and Dave Matthews played the into to "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats.When House knew when to clap, it made me smile. The coolest doctor ever....

Now if he would just join Britney in rehab...

Anonymous said...

I thought the last two Gilmore Girls marked a return, of sorts, to the early days. Last week's episode with Lane's baby shower was the first time a Gilmore episode had me feeling something more than mild indifference. This week there were some nice moments between grandmother-mother-daughter. That said, the magic isn't there anymore for the most part. There are flashes but that's it.

Zodin2008 said...

So many "House" and "Gilmore" comments over "Heroes"...a shame.

Anyway, I agree that nothing will top last week's HRG and Claire-centric episode and I agree again that the show should mostly have episodes mix in several characters.

I suppose it's possible the shapeshifter could be Peter for the future, but yes, we know Peter will survive.

Speaking of new female characters, I am extremely disappointed that a few weeks back, "Heroes" would briefly introduce us to the Hana Gitelman character, only to relegate her potentially fascinating character to the NBC.COM comics of "Heroes". I was very much looking forward to her character and I hope they write her into the real show and not just the comics.

As for "24", yes, Jack was pretty dumb on Monday and it seemed so unlike what he would do to just walk through the front door and then get taken down.

And even more stupidity from the Russian who was helping Jack and then leaves the door open, which was so obvious he was going to get killed.

I also agree that Powers Booth will be a massive improvement over DB Woodside. Massive.

Anonymous said...

I'm still believing that Jack's lapse has to do with being tortured for years in a Chinese prison. That's my fanwank and I'm sticking to it, heh heh!

Anonymous said...

Every House peril seems to have a reset button:

Look, I can run 8 miles, even though I have no muscle in my thigh! Now I can't.
Foreman has brain damage. Now he doesn't.
I'm on trial for drug trafficking, and now I'm off the hook.
I'm in rehab! but I'm still on drugs.
Now, cancer?

What is House made of? Teflon?

(and btw, they're Fellows, not Residents. They are already (board certified?) doctors in one specialty each. and yes, I watch too many doctor shows)

Something bad should happen to House, just to prove to us that it's actually possible. (but it would have to go on for more than 5 eps before we'd believe it, now)

Personally, I am more likely to believe Izzie can get away with cutting the LVAD wire. The only way that's not just as career ending as House's antics is that she has less prestige. (she less experienced too, but even 26 year olds have enough common sense to not purposely kill their patients. and yes, I know, she was beyond reason at the time, but her superiors?)
House isn't any more "real" than Grey's. (there's just fewer couples)

(that thing they were playing had a name?)

savethewetlands said...

i think 24 is missing the boat this season by not really showing us the tens of thousands (or however many it is now) people who have been nuked; just hearing someone say, "20,000 people are dead" doesn't have the impact of the one scene with edgar, or the hotel scene with michelle and the rest trapped inside. the danger doesn't seem real; the threat seems very nebulous.

somehow i want to blame all of this on wayne palmer. we went from magisterial (david palmer) to fascinatingly creepy (last year) to, well, WAYNE? gimme a break. i wish sherry palmer could return from the dead and start stirring stuff up.

my husband and i had a vote the other night for the most awful and shocking scenes jack has ever been involved in. he voted for the very first time we ever saw jack, when he just cut the guy's head off because he knew he was going to be executed anyway (or something like that). mine has to go to jack's biting out the jugular vein in this season's opener. holy moley.

Anonymous said...

I was glad Peter finally got his hair cut, but is it just me or is Milo Ventawhoever slowly becoming a decent actor?