Monday, February 27, 2012

Tonight's TV Talk: 'Hart of Dixie', 'The Lying Game', 'Castle', 'Hawaii Five-0', and 'Smash'...

TV Talk for Monday, February 27th 2012

Hart of Dixie (The CW, 9pm) - S1, Ep16: "Tributes & Triangles" - For a moment when George (Scott Porter) was talking about his dad being proud of him, I thought his father was dead. Like Lemon (Jaime King) accused of him, I apparently *had* forgotten what his family did to him at Planksgiving. But it left me wondering: did George get the title because of legacy? Would that explain why older, obviously just as worthy townsmen like Brick (Tim Matheson) or Lavon (Cress Williams)-- hell, even Dash DeWitt (Reginald Veljohnson) were passed over? Or was picking the hot young guy the flashy thing to do? It didn't seem like the committee needed to get Bluebell reinvigorated in the MOTY-- they seemed to care too much as it was-- but you never know. Either way, I liked the segue it provided into Zoe (Rachel Bilson)'s own father figure issues, but I did not like her threatening to change her name. First of all, with all the paperwork you have to go through, it's not worth it; she'll never finish the process. For another, I don't need another show whose title doesn't fit past the first season! Nevertheless, the writers are doing a good job, just when the majority of the audience is Team Wade, on showing just how similar Zoe and George are and why they might make a nice match. George may be even more damaged by his father's disappointments than Zoe. After all, her disappointments are a bit more recent; his have been on-going since his youth.
To learn his dad is proud now and yada yada yada? I don't know; I think it's too little too late (and maybe more for himself, taking credit and feeding his own ego, than George anyway)-- kind of like how I feel Zoe's dad throwing her a bone by doing the surgery is too little too late (and more for himself and his prestige anyway). And the Team George stuff is too little too late. Personally I still believe she should be with Wade (Wilson Bethel), but I see the merit in giving it a go with George before she commits to that. Also, I just can't with Magnolia (Claudia Lee)'s crush on Wade. It is too adorable for words. Perhaps even as adorable as Wade's "I love you, man" speech (to be clear, I would have preferred he serenaded his buddy, though) or somewhat self-deprecating self-analyzation. Justifiable and honestly quite clever-- they do have the interest in music that bonds them, even if he isn't trashy enough (as many might assume) to take an underage girl up on her flirtation). Things seem to be moving faster on this show these days-- even with Lavon coming clean about his feelings and prior relationship with Lemon (even if his convo with Zoe was oddly reminiscent of "They don't know we know they know we know!"). That's something that could have been dragged out for seasons just to add to the triangle tension. Hell, other shows on the same network probably would still drag it out. Earlier in the season the lead up to such a town event as the MOTY would have been all episode long, too. I'm glad the pace has been picked up, even though I'm a little confused by the chronology here tonight: Magnolia and Wade were still planning their song for the MOTY after Zoe gave her speech about him. So was it just a two-part event? A pre-event before the main one? That's all kinds of kooky!

The Lying Game (ABC Family, 9pm) - S1, Ep19: "Weekend of Living Dangerously" - I guess it's a damn good thing Emma (Alexandra Chando) has a friend like Mads (Alice Greczyn), huh? Because without her Emma would just be passively flitting through Sutton's life. It's just a shame the writers didn't want to organically deliver the Ethan (Blair Redford) confrontation now, rather than force it at the eleventh hour in the season finale, though, because I didn't for one second Emma would get her backbone to come clean to Ted (Andy Buckley) and Kristen (Helen Slater)-- especially with their recent implying-divorce fighting-- before she got her backbone with Ethan. Well, okay, it wasn't Emma who needed the backbone here; it was Ethan. Just be a damn man, Ethan! I'm with Sutton: it shouldn't take you guys so long to figure things out. And poor Kristen. Her instincts may be right, but they're certainly decades too late. She's another one who needed more of a backbone because she accepted Ted's story a little too easily. That "very special moment" music in the scene with Ted and Alec (Adrian Pasdar) said it all: those two are skeevy schemers who scheme! Maybe they deserve Rebecca (Charisma Carpenter). And maybe she deserves them. I once thought she may have been assaulted, resulting in the child-bearing of the twins, but...holding onto that belief is just icky seeing her more recent behavior. There are a lot of flawed women on television these days, but that's just pushing it. I now believe she's some creepy stalker who slept with Alec's best friend to get close to Alec, and accidentally got knocked up. Yes, I saw the locket, but it was way too conveniently left out for anyone who would be snooping. I feel like it was a decoy. Though I'm still baffled by Pasdar letting something slip way back at TCA that Alec may be the father of the twins. That would only work if I was blatantly wrong about which guy she was in love with but right about the fact that she's using the BFF to get to him. Regardless, the whole thing just made me yell "Wear a condom!" at Ethan. Seriously, that boy has nice hair that a little kid should inherit someday but that day is not today-- not while she is still lying about who she is and he's one broken taillight away from being hauled off to jail again. He's the boy with the worst timing anyway. Oh, and this is apropos of nothing, but I feel compelled to point out: daylight in the cabin is lit like a terrible sitcom. "Oh, you crazy twin!"

(ABC, 10pm) - S4, Ep17: "Once Upon A Crime" - I feel like this episode was the writers taking out their anger that a stylized show like Once Upon A Time got so much early press this season. I mean, how else do you explain them killing off two of their key characters within the first ten minutes? Only to follow with a ticking clock over a third's life? I mean, there's something to be said for life imitating art, and fairy-tales are so in right now that a real life psychopath could get ideas about dressing up and/or killing young women like their once-favorite Disney princesses. It's a grim outlook (heh), but it's possible. That being said, I genuinely enjoyed it nonetheless. It was kitschy and fun and for once gave Castle (Nathan Fillion) a legitimate reason to be able to solve the case: because these murders, in their essence, were literary. Of course, the one time that would fit, he solves it on a visual clue anyway. Maybe he should look into Script Supervising... Though, the parallels to his mother (Susan Sullivan)'s own literary aspirations flowed nicely, as well. I did love Ryan (Seamus Dever)'s aversion to dolls here, too. It was such a small moment, but so perfect. And of course, the fact that it was oddly reminiscent of Dean Winchester (Supernatural) freaking out over the snakes in "Yellow Fever" didn't hurt! Yet, it was a little more understandable. Those dolls have dead eyes! I didn't love that Taylor Kinney was so unnecessary (of course, I wouldn't have liked it if he was so obviously the killer, ala Mickey in Scream 2 either). Blackmail is barely anything in a procedural, and a narrowly-escaped-victim is never just a lucky break.

Hawaii Five-0
(CBS, 10pm) - S2, Ep18: "Lekio" - It's always the husband! And I just have to say, pulling a Heartbreakers was not cool, show! But what *was* abundantly cool was utilizing James Caan as a spunky ex-cop to give the young guns a hard time. Calling his son "Hairdo" must have given him an extra tickle. But overall, his hard-nosed, old-fashioned gumshoe ways were skills that the Five-0 team could probably utilize again in the future-- more than just for his "marriage counseling." It's a good thing he's still on the island. And perhaps intrigued enough by their computer system to learn technology more advanced than a six-shooter. I liked his grouchy old man energy, but I liked that he introduced McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) to Original Ray's even more. It made Danny (Scott Caan)'s own grumpy old-young man energy pop that much more. He's not too far behind, the way he told his daughter her little friend was a demon child.

Smash (NBC, 10pm) - S1, Ep4: "The Cost of Art" - My in-depth analysis can be found here.

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