Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday Prime Time TV – So Much to Watch, So Little Time

As my moniker indicates, I like to watch TV. A lot. But I also like to have a life. It can be very time consuming to get into detailed commentary on every show I watch during prime time, and Tuesday night seems to be the toughest to tackle. Of course, I always have to do very detailed summaries of all the shows in the Law & Order franchise, which sometimes leaves me little time to cover some of the other great shows. The viewing crunch is very noticeable on Tuesday nights, where there is House, Fringe, NCIS, Without a Trace, and Law & Order SVU.

So to be able to have my say on these shows, I’m going to give some brief commentary on those that I think were the high – and low - points of the night.

Warning, Don't Touch The Rug!
First, let me cover the dog of the evening. I’m sorry to say that House may have just jumped the shark. Or, shall I say, grabbed a breast and THEN jumped the shark. This show took a horrible turn a few weeks ago in the episode ”Joy” where House (Hugh Laurie) and Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) shared a kiss, and then House agonized over it in ”The Itch.” I begged, I prayed that they wouldn’t go any further, but my pleas were not heard. To make matters worse, with the hostage crisis that occurred in last week’s episode, “Last Resort”, where Cuddy’s office was used to hold the hostages, she decides to take over House’s office while hers is being redecorated. Wearing clothes more fitting for a streetwalker (even House asks her why she’s dressed like that), she practically throws herself at House, setting the image of women in high management positions back another 20 years. My advice to Lisa Cuddy is to find someone much younger to get laid and give her a baby, and leave the rest of us alone. It’s embarrassing, frankly, and Hugh Laurie must be ashamed that he is even a part of this storyline. If he isn’t, he should be.

Fringe is probably the best new show I’ve seen in a long time. It’s quirky, it’s got interesting story lines, and it’s got a great cast. Anna Torv, who plays Agent Olivia Dunham and Joshua Jackson play well off each other, although I admit at first I wasn’t too sure about Jackson. But the real star of the show is John Noble, who plays Dr. Walter Bishop, the mad, crazy, but likable scientist. Tuesday’s episode, “Safe” involved bank robberies to obtain some time travel equipment that Walter Bishop stashed away in safe deposit boxes years ago, and it leads to the escape of a psycho from a prison for psychos like him. It had the right amount of suspense, humor, and hints of a bigger story, and it can suck you right in. This is one show that is on my must watch list, and if you haven’t had a chance to see it, they will be re-airing it starting from the beginning on Fox each week until new episodes return in January. I encourage you to catch it.

I just wrote about NCIS the other day (NCIS – The New Hot Property) and this week’s episode - “Road Kill” - was another solid show. It involved street fighting, which ended in murder by car crash. I found myself more interested in Tony DiNozzo’s (Michael Weatherly) air guitar techniques, though. The interaction with the cast is what keeps this show moving at a quick pace, and the hour flies by. Well, it could also be because I record it on my DVR and zip through all the commercials, but you get the picture. Even a crime show can work with the right amount of humor, and NCIS seems to get the balance just right.

Without A Trace
I admit, I haven’t finished watching this episode as yet. It was titled “Push Comes to Shove” where a hospital doctor disappears. I started to fall asleep during it. What’s bad about that is that I DVR the show and watch it the following day, so I really don’t have an excuse for falling asleep during the first 15 minutes show. I don’t think it’s a bad sign for the show itself, I just think that Anthony LaPaglia sometimes bores me into drowsiness, even when I watch him early in the day. I like Without a Trace but it needs…something.

Law & Order SVU
This week’s episode, PTSD, was about Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) going a little off the deep end as far as her post traumatic stress from her attack during an undercover operation 6 months ago. From the show previews, I expected an exaggerated emphasis on Hargitay during the episode, but have to admit that while she was central to the case, the episode was better than most of what we’ve seen of SVU for the season. Sure, there was no Chris Meloni in this episode, but since we’ve been force fed his family drama ad nauseam over the last several episodes, it suited me just fine that he wasn’t there with all his excess baggage. But, the SVU writing and producing teams need to watch that someone’s obvious desire to get an Emmy for either Hargitay or Meloni doesn’t make the show too soap opera-ish. It needs to take the lead from its Wednesday night “mothership” series, Law & Order, which is really putting out some great stuff lately, with DA Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) stirring the pot both inside his office and out. SVU also needs to cut their losses with Michaela McManus, as her acting skills are as wooden as a sequoia.

That’s it for this Tuesday’s viewing. Out of all the Tuesday shows, I think House needs the most help. If it continues with the House and Cuddy silliness, they may find themselves losing more of their precious demographic to NCIS. Someone needs to get House and Cuddy laid, but not with each other. Their sexual tension just isn’t pretty.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your reviews of these shows. I watch all of these myself. At least in January, House will pair with 24 on Mondays. That move will leave me with 5 shows instead of 6 on Tuesdays. I agree about House, if viewers wanted a show with doctors acting silly they could watch ABC shows : Scubs, Greys Anatomy or Private Practice. House should be above those shows.