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Critical reviews of U.S. TV shows
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Other TV 6 - 12 December

Posted by The TV Critic on 12 December 2009 | 0 Comments

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Dexter - 411 - Hello, Dexter Morgan
I’ve already written a lot about how I’m not so keen on Trinity continually evading escape so I won’t dwell. The final sequence where he works his way slowly through the police department to find Dexter was excellent. It’s something which only TV shows can do as an art form. That sense of one world invading another. It’s the same feeling I had when Ballard and Alpha arrive in the Dollhouse. You as a viewer know the significance of everything Trinity is seeing before he realizes it.

Now of course the game is on and I hope the season finale shakes up Dexter’s world quite a bit. His relationship with Rita has been largely ignored. Or rather he has ignored her. It’s been noticeable how little time he has spent at home and the absence of scenes showing them bonding. It would be good to see that addressed. I like the La Guerta and Batista story quite a bit. The marriage made good plot sense to keep their jobs. But of course it artificially advances their relationship and you could see the discomfort of that settling in.

I know that the show is moving at a fast pace but Dexter didn’t spend much time ascertaining Beaudry’s guilt. In past seasons he would take the time to make sure each of his victims was guilty before he killed them. Especially after his mistake earlier in the season, you would think he might be more careful. It was good to be reminded of the monster in Dexter when he goes to such lengths to deny the world their justice just to satisfy his needs.

Modern Family - 110 - Undeck the Halls
I just finished watching Tuesday and Wednesday s comedy offerings. I think I was right to write no more about Scrubs it was more of the same. As for the New Adventures of Old Christine, yikes! That was awful.

As for Modern Family, it was another impressive and heartwarming episode. They really have a good thing going and are using the family structure to tell enjoyable stories. This wasn’t particularly funny but it was just good plausible Christmas stories. As I haven’t written about the show before, I should just say that Mitchell and Cameron are one of TV’s best couples. While Cameron understandably catches the eye and has the comic timing down pat, don’t ignore Mitchell. I always think people who look believably uptight on TV are doing a great job of acting. These two are convincing and believable and the funniest thing on the show outside of Jay’s patriarch role.

Community - 112 - Comparative Religion
I thought this was the best of the Thursday night comedies as it may well become in general. I really liked exploring the different religions of each character. It wasn’t made into a big deal but it adds another layer to their personalities and the potential jokes one could tell about them. So many other shows ignore a simple detail like this. The rest of the episode was so-so with the silly fight not feeling remotely real. But the whole fight training scene was pretty funny with Pierce trying to rile Troy and Jeff up. I like what they are doing with Troy. He is starting to say the kind of distinct lines which mark him out as a unique character. Last week it was his failed attempt to make a joke about the crab dip. This week it was him realizing that getting hit in the face would be a good story. I know people who think like that and the fact that he expressed it in typically dozy fashion was fun to see.

Parks and Recreation - 212 - Christmas Scandal
It’s interesting that Parks has tried to differentiate itself from The Office by making Leslie so competent where Michael is so foolish. It’s an interesting choice which works sometimes better than others. This story failed for a different reason. Parks has a tendency to go ridiculous on occasion, as it did a little with the Venezuelan episode. But the Councilman Bill Dexhart story was the most ridiculous thing they have ever written. It was completely unconvincing and on a show filmed like a documentary that just doesn’t work. He claims he had sex with four nurses and another woman at the hospital while his babysitter was giving birth to his child. That is an exaggeration which it is difficult to believe these writers accepted. Then the media begin making up rumors with no evidence whatsoever. If they did that they would get sued. And the overly litigious society we live in is a constant source of TV plot developments which make that aspect of the story even more implausible.

But it was good to see the continuation of April’s interest in Andy. His complete lack of awareness makes it especially fun to watch. Sergeant Dave will be missed, his earnestness was always fun. I think everyone involved needs to make Ann and Mark seem more convincing as a couple. Right now I’m not buying into it as much as I think they want me to. Some hugging and kissing would help.


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