Monday, December 12, 2011

Tonight's TV Talk: 'Hawaii Five-0', 'Rizzoli & Isles'...

TV Talk for Monday, December 12th 2011

Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 10pm) - S2, Ep12: "Alaheo Pau'ole" - Castle should be taking notes. Danny (Scott Caan) and Lori (Lauren German) did "Cuffed" best. But seriously, folks, this is how you do a lighter episode of a procedural. Going into the episode, I was worried about Chin (Daniel Dae Kim)'s wedding's side of the story; I thought it would be just an elaborate excuse to get all of the characters together before the break. But really, once you get even just a few of those characters together (in this case, the guys), I wanted much more of than and less of the case. But then the episode dove deeper into the complexity of the case, a body found in an old war bunker, utilizing McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin)'s Marine training and some glow sticks, and I wanted more of the case. And there you have my general mental state every Monday night while watching Hawaii Five-0: everything is so on point I can't choose between the A and B story; I'm fascinated by them both. Though tonight I did wish they were woven together more because tacking something so sweet and innocent on after such a heavy moments of prison threats and breaking death news was a bit jarring and kind of put a damper on the celebration for me, if not Chin and Co themselves. Admittedly, it didn't seem like they were going to get to the ceremony after all tonight because the minute Five-0 was on the case, it was like they forgot the clock was ticking down to Chin's wedding, in addition to them needing to close the case. I can't imagine he wasn't worried about still being on the case and missing his own wedding! But Chin is cool, calm, and collected-- all the time-- even when in the face of crazy, twisty turns, like tonight's extortion of a missing guy's family. No other procedural does such a great job at creating complex, oftentimes actually scary crimes but peppers them with some of the dumbest people of interest ever. It's nice to have a sense of levity without compromising realism; Hawaii is a gorgeous place, but even pretty places have seedy underbellies, and people are stupid no matter where they live. Sometimes those stupid people are even the law enforcement-- even temporarily. Five-0 may not take things at face value when a body is found in a war bunker with an ID on him that ends up not really belonging to him, for example, but even they still hit a bunch of speedbumps until they eventually get to their guy. And they always manage to have the guy in their grasp for a moment before moving on, assuming he's just a witness or victim or bystander or whatever. I guess that's indicative of how many people they usually talk to on a case (basic odds), and I guess it's also indicative of the level of these sociopathic criminals; they can pull one over on even the best TV cops. But not the best TV cop watchers. I never thought there was any Sean, not in present day, not alive. The photo looked Photoshopped from the jump, and not just quick or lazy art department Photoshop but the kind that was necessary for the story. I didn't expect Danny to catch that-- he's like the crotchety uncle who still types with two fingers-- and I didn't think McGarrett spent enough time in front of a computer doing more than just looking up mugshots, but Lori? She should have caught that. If she wasn't still fighting the new girl jitters, that is. And speaking of new blood, I can't say how great it is to see Tom Sizemore on television clean and sober for a change. He may not be entirely in fighting shape-- he certainly shouldn't go toe-to-toe with O'Loughlin anytime soon-- but I kind of like having him around, and I have a feeling he may come in handy if McGarrett ever gets into a (local) jam. Or if McGarrett decides he needs an ally in looking into Joe (Terry O'Quinn). As it is, Joe actually could go toe-to-toe with him, and right now, he doesn't even have the element of a surprise (even if informal) investigation.

Rizzoli & Isles (TNT, 10pm) - S2, Ep13: "Seventeen Ain't So Sweet" - I don't buy it, show; Jane (Angie Harmon) actually got excited about her high school reunion? I mean, enough to want to dress up for it. Sure, there was a guy involved, and sure it was short-lived, but it was still a huge breakthrough for her towards being a real woman. And I'm not saying a woman has to put on a dress to be real. I'm just saying Jane has weirder social behavior than Maura (Sasha Alexander), the woman who treats every situation and outing, including and especially this reunion, as a social experiment. I also didn't buy Jane's ex-Marine guy having to stay overseas. I don't trust his shifty accent or "good ole boy" looks. It also didn't help that he was so insistent on pointing the finger at specific classmates when Jane gave him the news. No compassion, kind of what you'd expect from a soldier, but no surprise or pause, either. The way he just kept popping up on Jane's computer, wanting to know about the case. I'm sorry, but shouldn't that be a red flag to her? Maybe I watch too many conspiracy movies, or perhaps my recent marathon of season five of 30 Rock is sticking in my brain harder than expected, but I kept expecting Jane to flip off her webcam and us to see him pull down the sheet serving as a tent backdrop to reveal he's really right there in Boston but not interested in seeing her. And, you know, probably because he made the homemade silencer, having bigger fish to fry than getting laid at this reunion. Man, some people really do mature since high school! I'm not one of the viewers who sees any subtext to Jane and Maura's relationship, so I wasn't looking for that to be the "go to" at the reunion when Jane had no other reason for being unmarried, with no kids, without a brownstone or whatever she said was the cool thing when she was a teenager. A brief mention for Giovanni (Matthew Del Negro)'s sake? Fine. I'm just glad it didn't blow up. But I am glad something did. A murder where the most likely suspect is someone you went to school with back in the day-- and most likely hated? That is my kind of happy place. It's nice to see that Jane's contempt for others stretches beyond her actual friends, family, and co-workers to distant acquaintances that she maybe once called friends or at least peers, though. And as much as I shouldn't have, I enjoyed watching her be on the other end of that contempt for a change. Mostly because it came from Teddy Sears, and he could say whatever he wants, just as long as he smiles. What? He can say whatever he wants, but I don't have to listen to it if it's misogynistic. And I kind of can't blame his on-screen wife for wanting to be rid of him. Watching Jane investigate, I was easily superimposing my old ex-classmates' heads onto the bodies of the actors being questioned. I found myself snickering "They see your value now" and wondering just how much of a kick she may have been getting out of finally being the popular one. I admit, I had those thoughts, too-- of going back to my high school reunion on the eve of some big event that would make everyone think of me fondly from now on. If it was because I solved or prevented a murder, who would be the most likely suspect based on stereotypical types or the personality traits our faulty memories recall? It was so fun to imagine, I almost got lost in my own version, which isn't saying much about what aired, but which may be saying a lot for a good ole fashioned mystery novella I begin writing over holiday hiatus! And I'll be writing a part for Giovanni; he's kind of my favorite these days. Everything else was just, as always, "too easy." No family members had issues with exhuming bodies; the P.I. just readily handed over his photos; the victim just happened to be running his mouth to everyone (clearly he didn't watch crime shows!), etc. I had much more fun with the brief moments we were allowed to see glimpses into the characters' youth. I would have had even more fun if the shooter was Casey (Chris Vance), creating some crazy elaborate alibi. But no, it's always the mean girl...

Also, I'm going to skip the Korsak (Bruce McGill) ex-wife stuff because it's irrelevant. It has nothing to do with a case (well, not this week, anyway), so I'm just not that into it.

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