Mary’s Week in TV Geek: a quick and Fringe-y round-up

Here's a quick look at what I watched recently (mostly last week)...

castle

Castle
We finally saw the much touted “kiss.” Castle and Beckett (Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic) were rumored to share a kiss during the January 24th episode, and indeed, it happened!

I have not kept up with the show enough to really judge whether there has been true romantic tension between the police detective and her amateur side-kick. Often TV shows set up these very contrived couplings because the anticipation of a hook up attracts viewers. And sometimes writers can leave things open ended, striving for a more organic process in character development and dynamics. Of course this encourages fans to weigh in, hoping for romance to bud between their favorite characters.

And by the way, the kiss was really a subterfuge. Castle and Beckett were outside a building where Beckett’s fellow detectives, Ryan and Esposito, were being tortured. They had to create a sort of diversion so they could lure some sap badass away from his guard post to save the cops inside.

So, dear readers, you tell me, do you hope for more than this kiss? Are Castle and Beckett suited for each other? Is he Sam to her Diane?

State of the Union address
I have to confess that I’m fairly lazy when it comes to the political scene. I probably would have skipped the SOTU if it weren’t for other family members watching. But I can’t hate on Obama, I can’t hate on government in general, and it’s probably a good thing that these affairs are telecast on numerous network stations. And I did think the Sputnik reference was quite apt!

American Idol
I've got mixed feelings about AI. I do not care for unscripted television all that much, and AI, although a bit higher class than a show like Big Brother, is exploitive. Granted, some contestants are purposefully there for a silly ride, like the gent who was dressed from head to untalented toe in a blue body suit. For others, we hope they are there just for shits and giggles, but then they seem genuinely disappointed when they do not advance to Hollywood for later rounds. You have to wonder – like the judges surely question – “what were they thinking?”

And then I wonder, what are the producers thinking? Why do we have to see such embarrassment, shame, and even anger? Ratings, of course. Yet, we watch. Not too far removed from our ancestors in Ancient Rome, giving digital thumbs up or down, really. 

Human Target
I can’t believe I missed the last HT episode. Three cheers for DVR!  Speaking of sexual tension, are Chance and Ilsa being set up as a possible couple? There have been a few long glances, and lots of arguments. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Anyone else?

Off the Map
I don’t know about this one. Shonda Rhimes has given us some popular shows in Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, but despite an interesting premise (earnest, young, and attractive docs working in a remote foreign village), the show didn’t feel like a winner to me at all. Given Rhimes’ other successes, I want to like this one, but don’t feel compelled to program the DVR just yet.

Bones
I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a full episode of Bones. Not because I don’t like it -- I think this is more of a scheduling issue. But last week, the whole family had just watched Idol, and stuck around for Bones. What an opening! Serial killer Heather Taffet AKA The Grave Digger is being led to court for an appeal hearing under heavy guard. While outside her transport van, a sniper shoots and her head literally disappears in a spray of blood (and other nasty things). Although none of us are overly squeamish, I was still surprised with the amount of gore. However, the show is appealing, I love a good procedural, and the character inter-play is well done. I hope to follow Bones a little more often.

Fringe
Since moving recently to the Friday Night Death Slot, advertisers, industry observers (no pun intended), and of course fans are speculating if Fringe will survive. It’s been a great season so far, and yes, even with much of the action taking place over there. The last two post-holiday episodes have been absolutely amazing. In “Firefly,” not only were we blessed with guest star Christopher Lloyd, we followed a seemingly improbable string of events that were based on the “if only” moments of life. The moments that began with Walter bringing the other Peter to our side and led up to the present day, those are the moments that make your breath catch in your throat. Once you breathe again, you realize that circumstance and fate are inescapable.

Last week’s “Reciprocity” was immediately reminiscent of the classic story Flowers for Algernon, with Walter echoing the Charlie’s problems of dealing with intelligence lost. Since Fringe’s inception, we know that Walter was supposed to have been very brilliant, but after spending years in a mental hospital, his cognitive skills were doubtful. As the show developed, Walter’s intelligence surfaced more and more, although he still struggled to recapture everything. In Reciprocity, his need became more urgent. Massive Dynamic’s work on the Doomsday Device has stepped up and Peter’s intrinsic tie with the machine is scary. If Walter can think like “Walternate,” maybe he can keep Peter safe.

One thing that might help is to break the encryption on Olivia’s computer. Bolivia (or Fauxlivia, as she is now referred to), kept detailed notes of her time spent in our universe. Naturally that information is crucial. And eventually they did crack the code using a song lyric. Explains Walter, giving us one of the best quotes of the 2010-2011 TV Season, “Fauxlivia has ruined U2 for all of us.”

(An aside -- upon review of my notes from the first part of Season Three, the very last bit I wrote was, “Bolivia scores U2 tickets after having sex with Peter. Yes, she had sex with him. Couldn’t you just cry?”)

Speaking of Peter, his connection with the fancy machine scares everyone, including him. Exactly how scared he is... well I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that for me, the latter part of “Reciprocity” was filed under “didn’t see that coming."

Please check out the video, it’s a hoot.

By MaryKay15

About the author

Entertainment writer and essayist from the Boston area

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1 Comment
On: Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Great round up mary !

Your take on Bones really took me aback. It's kind of crazy that standards on U.S. broadcast networks are such that a person's head exploding in a shower of blood and guts is totally fine while sexual content and language is far more restrictive. Kind of indicative of U.S. cultural mores in some ways, I suppose ? 

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