Last night’s Community episode, Intro to Knots, returned to normal, which sadly in season four terms means that it's a show that I can barely sit through. What’s especially depressing is that being able to watch an entire episode of Community these days isn’t just normal, but also a compliment. I lasted maybe seven minutes in last week’s atrocious Muppets episode before I angrily shut off the television. I was so distraught that my whole brain was crying. I luckily did not have to press the power button this week as Intro to Knots managed to top Intro to Felt Surrogacy by simply being mediocre.
In SyFy's new show Defiance, Grant Bowler stars as Jeb Noah, a grim but witty Arkfall (alien ships/technology) scavenger, along with his alien daughter, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas). He’s a character that reminds me all too well of Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) from Joss Whedon’s space western cult hit, Firefly. In fact, the city of Defiance, with the famous Gateway Arch of what used to be St. Louis towering over it, has that familiar western theme to it. There’s a lawkeeper (sheriff) who keeps the peace in town and a cowgirl-dressed mayor (Julie Benz).
This week’s Game of Thrones episode, Walk of Punishment, perfectly navigates through the pitfalls of having the slow and deliberate pacing of a novel. It whisks you from character to character, from different ends of Westeros and across the sea to Slaver’s Bay, as smoothly as Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati) pirates the oceans. With an episode so plot heavy, Walk of Punishment could fall prey to the inherent dullness of these lulls, but instead it keeps things interesting through powerful imagery and strong acting performances.
This week’s episode of The Mindy Project perfectly represented why I love the show—and it’s not just because creator/writer/star Mindy Kaling is one of the most brilliant women working in television. No, ‘Santa Fe,’ was a great episode because it was funny, wacky, and developed the characters beyond a silly bit. The Mindy Project, with its romantic comedy core, could easily end up being a series of cruel romantic comedy sketches. For example, every episode opens with Mindy declaring her romantic fantasies, and this week was no different.
At long last, Matthew Weiner's Mad Men is back, and it has brought along its trademark brooding attitude (you know you love it). This two-hour premiere moves slowly with few grand events, but then so does the Great American Novel most of the time. It’s the same old Mad Men we know and love, but with more facial hair and pot. In this episode, death seems to follow the characters everywhere, both literally and figuratively. Much of the cast is preoccupied with feelings of hopelessness and fear over the imminence of their own demise.
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones, "Dark Wings, Dark Woods," seamlessly brought back series favorites Arya Stark (Maise Williams) and Jaimie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), along with a host of other characters that never made an appearance in Valar Dohaeris. Their return reminded me of watching The Wire, a show that admired for its storytelling. There were so many intriguing characters in The Wire, but not enough screen time in each episode to showcase everyone’s abilities.
Danielle Panabaker's Top Pop Picks
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