Robot Television Roundup Oct 5 – 11 [Spoilers]
Welcome to the Robot Television Roundup. Sometimes there’s just too much television to cover, but the Robot Television Roundup is here to help. Inside you’ll find quick thoughts about episodes of our favorite television series that we just weren’t able to review, and maybe some quick news.
Homeland: Beirut is Back
Jacob: This week’s Homeland was a landmark for several reason. First off, it was a great episode that contained a scene (on the rooftop) that should not only guarantee Claire Danes another Emmy, but if there is any justice in the world it will also solidify a nomination for the excellent Mandy Patinkin (Holla’). Secondly, it contained a closing bit that will be the pendulum of the season, if not the series as a whole. (SPOILER) If the reveal is played straight and the reveal of Brody’s tape to Saul leads to the downfall of Brody and the reintegration of Carrie then it should be excellent and really signal that the series means business. If, however, the show reveals Saul to be a mole who covers for Brody, or some triple-quadruple-double agent sneaks in to kill Saul before he can do anything it will show that Homeland is little more than the latter years of 24 at its worst, only with a better ensemble. Either way this decision should have repercussions throughout the series as it moves forward.
Last Resort: Blue on Blue
Billy: [Note: Last Resort airs on Thursday nights, the same night this post is compiled, as such GFBR will usually be a week behind when covering the show in the Roundup.] Last Resort is the one new show this fall that I am really genuinely excited about, which makes the terrible ratings all the more crushing. While this wasn’t a great episode, excellent performances from Andre Braughner, Robert Patrick, and Scott Speedman (I know, I was just as shocked) keep me continually interested. I’ve got my concerns with regards to the longevity of the series, and the “action” sequence revolving around Russian Speztnaz invading the island didn’t soothe my nerves. Regardless, I’m excited to see where this show heads.
Jacob: Before you read any further know this: I’ve seen the promotions for Nashville. They are terrible. Since that’s out of the way, here’s another fact: Nashville is one of the best new shows you’ll see this season. The show’s central focus seems to be on the power struggle between Connie Britton’s aging country star (think Faith Hill) and a pop crossover up-and-comer played by Hayden Panettiere (think Taylor Swift with overt sex appeal). The way that this story will continue into a great drama is if they follow through with the outstanding acting in the pilot, as well as the interesting threads left available after episode one comes to a close. There are political aspirations for the taking, long dead love triangles available for dramatic tension and deep-seeded familial drama to tap into. This is a show worthy of 44 minutes of your time. Trust me.
Revolution: The Plague Dogs
Billy: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the most interesting aspect of the series continues to be the brewing war between the rebels and the Monroe Militia and Miles’ role in the both of these two factions. It’s slow going; the gang is still focused on saving Danny from the Militia, but I can just imagine that the series is headed towards an out and out war between these factions. I mean, the show is called Revolution for a reason. I don’t think this episode would go very far towards changing any minds about the series. Tracy Spiridakos is still the weak link here, but I was very happy to see the departure of Anna Lise Phillips’s Maggie, a character that I had no investment in at all. With her gone (in the present day story, at least), maybe Revolution can spend some more time with Elizabeth Mitchell’s character.
Jacob: It has been nothing but good news for both NBC and fans of their new series Revolution. The series started with ratings highs for the network and continues to be a strong draw for a channel that has seen better days. After averaging around 10 million viewers after a handful of episodes, NBC has announced a full season order for the season, which, although it isn’t unexpected, is still great news all around. The series as a whole hasn’t completely grabbed a hold of me, but for the 10 million or so people who seem to be enjoying it so far NBC’s message seems to be simple: more is on the way.
Jacob: CW’s Arrow finally premiered this week and after months of news and casting articles it was finally time to see how this DC adaptation worked. The answer, to my mind, was adequately. There were problems. The caliber of acting was average but not outstanding; the dialog was difficult to listen to at times. There were also many good aspects of the pilot. I thought that the action, for one, was incredibly solid. Not only does Stephen Amell look the part of Oliver Queen, but the stuntmen and woman, as well as the action choreographers, seem to have a good handle on what they are able to get away with on their limited budget. Going forward, I see Arrow as a more adult Smallville. His secret must be kept, he must learn more about his family’s past, and he must take care of all the people on his mysterious list. Although the show could easily slip, I see it having a Nikita upside of entertaining action on a weekly basis.
How I Met Your Mother: Nannies
Billy: I desperately want HIMYM to be good again. Like, I really, really miss the quirky Lost-inspired comedy that I fell in love with oh-so-long ago. The second episode of the season did little for me (aside from confirming that Victoria and Nick would be out of the picture in the new few weeks, thankfully) and had the unfortunate side effect of making me loathe Barney for a bit. But the jokes with Lily and Marshall looking for that special nanny were pretty good, and I think Chris Elliott is pretty great as Lily’s father.
Supernatural: What’s Up, Tiger Mommy
Billy: Supernatural returned after an improved season (not a great season, mind you, but certainly an improvement over the dreadful Season 6) and I’m tentatively excited to see where it’s going. The first two episodes of the season have seemed to shy away from the “monster of the week” aspect of the series. Even here, the episode opens with a random monster killing someone, but the plot only briefly touches on the monster’s actions, but it was pretty awesome to see Sam use Thor’s hammer to smite the monster, played by Vancouver character actor Alex Diakun. The main thrust of the plot, focusing on Kevin Tran and the Winchesters rescuing Mrs. Tran and then attempting to win a “word” of God at a pagan-god-hosted auction was interesting and different enough from past episodes. It was also pretty cool seeing Lauren Tom in the flesh. You might know Lauren as the voice of Amy Wong on Futurama, among many, many other programs.