Friday, June 27, 2014

My Week in TV (09/06-15/06)

I am extremely late this week but that's what happens when you put off watching Orphan Black as much as humanly possible. Without further ado, this is the ranking of the Tv shows I watched a few weeks ago. Careful, there will be spoilers.

6. Orphan Black: "Things Which Have Never Yet Been Done" (Season 2 Episode 9)

I watched this episode and the last one back to back. I think that if I had watched this on its own I would have liked it even less because it is only set-up for the finale. Cosima is seriously dying, you guys, so Sarah and Siobhan make the very logical decision of asking an eight-year-old if she'd like to undergo surgery. She says yes because Kira is good, did you get that? Meanwhile Helena, is impregnated, learns the truth about her religious sestra's impregnation, puts a huge needle filled  with horse semen up the religious leader's ass, burns the farm down and runs away after freeing her religious sestra and her porny-faced lover. A busy couple of hours she has. Alison and Donnie have to dispose of Leekie's body but Vic and the hilariously-named Angela DeAngelis (as David put it, where is Professor Professorson?). And finally, for some reason, someone decided it would be a good idea to put the bad-ass Maria Doyle Kennedy in two braids. Two fucking braids that made her look like Lina Morgan. But don't despair, in the finale there will be Huisman and there will be dancing.

MVP: Tatiana Maslany as Helena keeps being pretty awesome.

5. Louie: "In the Woods Part 1" (Season 4 Episode 11)

Well, it happened. An episode of Louie that I did not like. I understand and appreciate the experimental approach to this season but I think these two episodes, and especially the first one, did not work very much. For once, the longer running time was duly noted and they did not feel as tight as other episodes. Also, the absence of Louie himself for so long was a bummer. This has nothing to do with the episodes themselves but with the beginning of the first part, I anticipated a couple of episodes dealing more directly with the relationship between Louie and Lily. And it's not like I hated them, the dynamics between young Louie and his two male influences in the episodes (teacher and dealer) are very interesting. But still...

MVP: Jeremy Renner as the shady dealer (aren't they all?). He is a really good actor and he should do more of this interesting stuff and less being brainwashed in Marvel.

4. Halt and Catch Fire: "FUD" (Season 1 Episode 2)

I liked this episode just fine but I was not very invested in it. "Something legal" happened that required the three leads to work on the "something computer" separately and they scream and they fight and they finally have a breakthrough when they decide to build a laptop. This sounds like I did not enjoy the episode but I actually did, although I guess it was more an enjoyment of the moment with all the actors and the hope that I still could understand the plot than an enjoyment for a later recap.

MVP: Lee Pace as Joe. He really sold the weird scene where he opens his shirt and shows his scars.

3. Louie: "In the Woods Part 2" (Season 4 Episode 12)

I should probably give this couple of episodes another chance because by the end of the second part I had warmed to it much more. I guess the whole thing makes more sense after you see it all, as it should be. I really liked how they played the escalation of the scales problem (am I funny yet?) and how the story was not sugarcoated at all. Also, the resolution with Louie learning to communicate a bit better with his daughter was a bit obvious but worked perfectly. And there was F. Murray Abraham, which never hurts.

MVP: This one goes to Skipp Sudduth as Mr. Hoffman in the role that (given the surname) was probably intended for Phillip Seymour. He is really good in the part and had a very easy, believable chemistry with young Louie.

2. Game of Thrones: "The Watchers on the Wall" (Season 4 Episode 9)

I was fully prepared to hate this episode. A whole hour up at the Wall? Why don't you kill me now? And then, something happened. Something like Neil Marshall is an amazing director. And the episode was so cool. I absolutely loath most of the characters that appeared in it (Sam, die, please). The main exceptions being Jon "puppy eyes" Snow and his bearded friend who died (sad face) on the fight with the giant. Yes, this episode had giants and mammooths and I liked it! But what can I do? Marshall knows how to direct action. He took a space so uninteresting as the wall (it's a wall. It separates two parts of the world. That's it) and divided it in several smaller spaces where the battle was happening and it was gorgeous, very easy to follow and breathtaking. So, a very nice surprise of an episode, indeed.

MVP: The kid who kills the fake Emma Stone, obviously.

1. Penny Dreadful: "Closer Than Sisters" (Season 1 Episode 5)

I am enjoying Penny Dreadful a whole lot more than I had anticipated. I love how it's like no other Tv show; it follows the beat of its own drum. It wants to introduce half the main characters in the second episode? It does so. It wants to keep secrets for twice as long as any other show would do? It does so? And this week, it wanted to spend its forty minutes providing backstory for the most interesting character, and so it did. And in an epistolar episode, no less. And it was glorious. Thanks, in no small part, to the amazingness that is Eva Green. She plays the young Vanessa with such innocence and joy that it is a pleasure to watch  her and it is a blow for us too when she discovers that her mother and Malcolm were having an affair. She becomes jaded and her powers start growing also thanks to the devil (in Malcolm's guise) who visits her at the asylum where she is. It might sound like a pointless exercise in filling out the voids but it was a truly great episode that captured perfectly the tone of the show.

MVP: Eva Green, again, quite obviously.

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