Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tonight's TV Talk: 'Person of Interest', 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'...

TV Talk for Thursday, December 15th 2011

Person of Interest (CBS, 9pm) - S1, Ep10: "Number Crunch" - For some reason I thought Paige Turco was returning in this episode, which is the main reason why I tuned in. But I guess I should have expanded to "full view" of the promo photos because instead it was Bridget Regan guest-starring (and really, those who don't even look *that* much alike). Regan was fine, but Turco's character was so dynamic a few weeks ago, I thought she would have been the perfect reluctant partner for Reese (Jim Caviezel). Especially in an episode where Reese was going to be pulled at the seams trying to save four people at once. And I do think this show needs more strong female blood. Carter (Taraji P. Henson), even in her own backstory episode, was softly underused, and if she's going to be a foible to our "hero," needs to just get out of the way. Thankfully, though, the Carter-involved shooting seems to be kick-starting a way for her to be both integral to the story as well as integral to Reese's privacy and safety while the higher ups in the police hunt for him. It's unfortunate it took to episode ten to get there, but it got there, so small miracles, right? The rest of the episode, I'm sad to say at this stage, was just plain blah. For a "complex" case of four separate numbers-- four separate people-- being targeted, not a whole lot happened. For one thing, two people were picked off so easily, it really wasn't complex at all. I thought-- or at least I was hoping-- there would be more difficulty in trying to find the connection between the four and then follow all of them, trying to step in before the fatal moment. Sure, there was one kind of cool explosion, and Fusco (Kevin Chapman) proved his ignorance yet again by actually wondering aloud (and to his colleagues!) how a Congressman's kid's indiscretion would get covered up-- but it was more of the same: Reese taking surveillance, Finch (Michael Emerson) using tech-dialect that sounds like an odd advertisement for generic cell phones; Carter and Co chasing down the same case, just a few steps behind Reese and Finch. I know that's just how procedurals work, but just once I would love to see this show edited so that Carter is actually the one out in front of the case. It would be so much more interesting if there was a power shift in the middle of the season-- if things we assumed to be true about Reese only turned out to be assumptions we made because he was being presented as a hero. He's clearly a man with a dark past, and he holds a lot of guilt and remorse in his heart. Personally I think the detail that he killed his ex-partner should turn out to be true. Because he got paranoid, got sloppy, got emotional and reckless. Maybe his mental state isn't nearly as stable as we think. Just because we never go home with him doesn't mean he's always as put-together as he is when walking down NYC streets in shiny suits. In fact, usually people who focus so crisply on such an appearance are the ones that have the most to hide. Just because you're paranoid, as we've learned tonight, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

In completely unrelated news, tonight Reese called Finch by his first name, and I immediately went 'Who's Harold? His name is Atticus!' aloud before I realized my mistake. Has it just been a long day for me or does my subconscious just want this show to be richer and deeper a hell of a lot faster? Yeah, I'm going to go with the latter.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX, 10pm) - S7, Ep13: "The High School Reunion Part 2: The Gang Gets Revenge" - I don't even know where to begin with this episode. I watched it back-to-back with the first part, and though I definitely feel the two of them could have been combined into one tighter episode, some of the strongest moments didn't happen until the second half-hour. Dee (Kaitlin Olson) having to bust the Aluminum Monster back out? Amazing. The gang's "routine"? Priceless. You knew it was going to fail even worse than "The Nightman Cometh," and even when seeing it performed from the POV of their own minds, it was awkward, but that end note for Mac (Rob McElhenney) was gold. Of course, knowing what it really looked like to everyone else in that auditorium takes this episode, and this show, really, since this is the note on which it will end, in a new direction. It's getting increasingly harder to laugh (at or with or whatever). As the gang gets older but not quite matures, and their behavior gets more and more outlandish, I'm honestly beginning to feel bad for them, and laughing at them makes me feel bad about myself. There are moments where their mental states appear to be degenerative. Schmitty (Jason Sudekis) level degenerative. Which is a problem because even Schmitty thought they were too much at one point. Especially Dennis (Glenn Howerton)'s of late. Maybe it's because I'm maturing, but there were more moments in this episode than in the entire series where I was just plain uncomfortable. When Dennis ranted and raved in the hallway about how he was a Golden God, and all of his so-called friends and loved ones could do nothing but stand by and listen to him, I saw a cry for help and a bunch of overgrown children ill-equipped to handle the situation. That was a big bummer for me, especially as a way to end the season. But thankfully Charlie (Charlie Day) is becoming more fully formed, even if he still huffs paint and can't successfully close with the Waitress. The look on his face when Schmitty swooped back in at the last minute was priceless. He's a real boy in there, and I just wanted to give him a hug. I know what would help me snap out of that no-fun funk, though: a sequel to "Nightman Cometh!" Make it happen, RCG!

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