Monday, February 13, 2012

Tonight's TV Talk: 'Hart of Dixie', 'Castle', and 'Smash'...

TV Talk for Monday, February 13th 2012

Hart of Dixie (The CW, 9pm) - S1, Ep14: "Aliens & Aliases" - I'm sorry, but from the minute Lemon (Jaime King) was told to relax, I knew this was going to be one fun episode. Lemon relaxing? Really? I feel like that woman wears a corset to bed! So I was not at all surprised to watch her take notes while doing yoga, but the fact that Wade (Wilson Bethel) actually got her to loosen up? Priceless. I knew that man was a superhero! He didn't even need alcohol to do it-- well, not at first. She put on those "Roxy" clothes all on her own. And suddenly she was someone new, someone, yes, admittedly a little sluttier, but someone much more interesting to me. The stick was pulled out of her you-know-what, and when George (Scott Porter) walked into the bar and watched her on the dance floor, his face lit up in a way we had yet to see. Suddenly it became perfectly clear why he loved her and why he was marrying her-- he fell in love with that girl, and somewhere along the way, she buttoned up. Now he's just living his life for the few moments she lets her hair-- and her guard-- down and lets that girl out for the night. I never liked Lemon more than when she hangs with George and Wade. I hope Wade is the best man at the wedding! I also hope she finds away to bring that side out of her more otherwise their relationship should be doomed. And if the show tries to convince me otherwise, I will call shenanigans. From the moment I heard "aliens" spoken in the show, though, I felt certain this was going to be a tumor, so when it turned out to be lead poisoning, I was somewhat relieved-- a tumor would have just been heavy for a show this silly, but also, it was the road less traveled in terms of procedural elements. Zoe (Rachel Bilson) kept one man's secret about the source of his lead poisoning from his wife, so what's another little secret between even better friends? I was happy to see Lavon (Cress Williams) confide in her about his relationship with Lemon, but I did feel it put her in a bad position. She's a terrible liar. And the fact that she's not really friendly with Lemon makes her more easily inclined to not-so subconsciously "accidentally" let it slip. I'm personally eagerly awaiting that moment-- to see to whom she lets it slip and so on (I hope it's Wade!)-- but I just hope it doesn't come on the eve of the wedding. That's a bit cliche, and this show is better than that.

Castle (ABC, 10pm) - S4, Ep15: "Pandora" - How much did you love Alexis (Molly Quinn) in the field with Lanie (Tamala Jones)? Was it just me? Because I finally found the show I want to watch week after week: those two sassy ladies solving crimes and taking no shit from the (mostly) idiots with whom they work. Though, I have to say, faking the audience out with the initial kidnapping of Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) and having them turn up in an underground lab ala "Castle" on Chuck was a bit of an unintentional homage that warmed my nerd heart. My favorite episodes of this show tend to be the dramatic long-arcs. I'm not really sure what it is, but I'm inclined to credit the longer, film-style length, with the extra care the writers seem to take with these intricate stories. Everything felt on point tonight-- from the cute character moments of banter between Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Castle and Beckett, to the weird little facts we learned about characters, to the twisty path the crime clues led Beckett down and even more complex connections to the CIA and Army and one stone-faced but really quick-handed man (David Chisum). This one being the start of a two-parter that more than fit the bill. Trapping its lead couple together in confined quarters and including a high profile guest star (Jennifer Beals) to come in and shake up the character dynamics were just bonuses. Beals is the new Chief this show should have had, but sadly she's a bit above the NYPD's pay grade and thus can only last for a couple of hours. I say sadly because I also loved the sex eyes that she was making at Castle, complicating the dynamic with Beckett that has been building and receding consistently since day one. If Beckett isn't going to bite the bullet and tell Castle she heard his "I love you"-- or if Castle isn't going to muster the cajones to say it again-- then they need to move on. The dance is getting tiring. So why not have Castle move one with a steamy Beals encounter? That's not professional, and I don't care. She soars in this type of material, and I'd like her to find a home on one of these series that is actually sticking around. Besides, if and when things go south between them, it can act as the final catalyst to have Castle say 'You know what? My relationships fail because I really just want you.' And then he can kiss Beckett for real, and we can all just move on.

Smash (NBC, 10pm) - S1, Ep2: "The Callback" - Once again, my thoughts could not be contained by a mere paragraph. Please click here for my full analysis and review.

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