Sunday, February 26, 2012

TELEVISION: This week's top moments in entertainment

With February sweeps winding down, I think most viewers (like myself) were expecting a little more.

Most shows pull out all the stops for sweeps events.

Instead, this week was pretty much a compilation of all things ‘meh.’

That’s not to say there weren’t a few highlights – and even more lowlights.

What are they?

5. A lot of fans were excited about Chad Michael Murray’s return to his old stomping grounds on ‘One Tree Hill.’ I wasn’t one of them – I’m not a big fan of Murray’s off screen antics (let alone his on screen brooding). Anyway, what did we learn about Lucas’ time away from his friends and family? Not a thing – except Murray needs a haircut. This was essentially a waste of a guest spot. Of course, Nathan’s whole “kidnapped by ghetto basketball gangsters and dirty cops” storyline is a waste of ink anyway. I think most fans would agree that killing off Nathan would be a slap in the face to the show’s most loyal base – I doubt they’ll really go there.

4. This is the final season for ‘Desperate Housewives’ (thankfully) so it’s quite a surprise when the writers manage to surprise us. I mean, I think most people are just watching out of habit now. The performances aren’t particularly appealing and the writing hasn’t been fresh for years. Just saying. Anyway, the fun return of Orson on ‘Desperate Housewives’ – and the slow reveal that he was the one blackmailing Bree and her friends – was actually a fun little twist as the show winds down. I was hoping he and Bree would get a happy ending before I realized he was a blackmailing tool – eh, I still hope they get a happy ending. Hey, she’s not perfect either. 

3. Winona leaving Raylan on FX’s massively entertaining ‘Justified’ was a head-scratcher. I mean, she had just finished saying she was done trying to change him. They had just recently been searching for houses. They’d been shacking up for months. Oh, and they’re expecting a baby. While I find Winona to be the most boring character on ‘Justified’ I was surprised by the turn of events and her comment that she’d been “gone for weeks.” Really? Then who was that living with Raylan and making baby plans? That being said, Boyd is still a riot. I’d watch Walton Goggins read the phone book.

2. ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has been teasing the mother reveal for a really long time. It’s time for a little payoff. This week, the show went back to the well and revisited Robin and Ted – something that has been over for years. Really? How are fans supposed to invest in Robin and Ted when we were told that Robin is not the mother in the first season? Personally, I would like her to be the mother, but that would make a lot of what the writers have told us over the years false. The show can’t keep idling in a holding period. It’s time to introduce the mother. I think what’s really going on here is that the writers have written themselves in a corner and they’re not sure what to do – either make Robin the mother or definitely let it go. Holding on is just hurting the overall legacy of the show. And, if Robin isn’t the mother, please don’t saddle Barney with her again. They have zero chemistry as romantic partners – and no one wants to see the Barnacle settle down.

1. NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ almost always delivers an emotional wallop. This week was no exception. First off, what’s a romantic reunion without a declaration of love (followed by a steamy kiss) in the rain. I think just about everyone was relieved when Jasmine and Crosby finally got over their issues and reunited. That wasn’t the most emotional moment on ‘Parenthood’, though. That honor goes to Julia – who was happily going to spend some time with her new son – when she witnessed Zoe (the birth mother) with the baby that was promised to her family. No words were spoken between the two women, but the devastation on Julia’s face spoke volumes. After everything Joel and Julia did for Zoe, it was really a slap in the face. While I would never force a woman to give up her child, what Zoe did to Joel and Julia was really a little cruel. That being said, with the season finale coming up this week, who else thinks Zoe is going to have a change of heart and give the baby back to Joel and Julia?

Honorable mentions:

In a moment reminiscent of Lady Macbeth, Lori urges husband Rick to do something about her former lover (and possible baby daddy) Shane by not only saying that Shane thinks Lori belongs to him but that he thinks he’s a better leader than Rick. Way to push his buttons Lori.

On the ‘Big Bang Theory,’ Sheldon is thrown off course by his barber’s sudden illness. No one else can cut his hair because they don’t have his full hair cut records. Sheldon is always a fish out of water, but the final scenes with him finally giving in and letting Penny cut his hair (with an oops moment) were hilarious.

‘General Hospital’ completely flubs the death of Robin Scorpio-Drake – a character that debuted in 1985 and has never been played by another actress – by totally making it about resident mobster Jason Quartermaine. Way to ruin what could have been a beautiful story GH.

‘The Daily Show’ is always about pointing out hypocrisy. This week’s segment on birth control and forced internal sonograms was especially poignant, though. The satire was so sharp that the state of Virginia dropped the proposed mandate after ‘The Daily Show’ made their point. If a show on Comedy Central is making you rethink your point, you should have thought better about it in the first place.

‘Switched at Birth’ takes another shot at becoming a soap opera when the usually reliable Emmett starts drinking as part of his speech therapy. This is, of course, after he announces he wants to drop out of school. Anyone else see a teen drinking story around the corner? Can’t ABC Family try to be just a little more realistic?

What do you think? What were your top television moments?


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