Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Television Week in Review

Lost: A very strong episode, I thought -- the third season may turn out to be the strongest of the three (but I may only feel that way because we are not done yet). Last week I complained that Locke's actions seemed only generated by what the writers need, rather than what his character would do, but in this episode we understand the last one better -- he is on a dark mission that will culminate next week, and nothing is going to get in his way. He will kill people and blow things up because he can. Next week we get the Locke flashback we have been waiting since the beginning for, and I for one, expect it to be amazing. This week's episode also featured a pretty good secret in the flashback and a fantastically strong ending beat a moment before the credits. I am sorry for being vague, but I don't want to spoil anything.

In other Lost stuff, Sara noticed a bit of last week's episode that was horribly thought through -- I will put it in the comments, because, as much as I love the show, this made me laugh because she is dead right.

I also saw the new Saul of the Molemen, the new Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, and the new episode of Mr. Meaty. If you have not seen the last go find it on youtube. It is a fantastic puppet show on Nickelodeon about two guys that work in a fast food joint at the mall. The puppets are wonderfully grotesque -- the mouths crease in a horrible way; most grotesque of all is the shop owner, an insane Texan in a wheelchair who has a desiccated skull (with no nose) for a head, a wheelchair tricked out with horns, and a foppish assistant with a chip in his head. Great stuff that combines the edge of Adult Swim with something that is also fun for kids.

16 comments:

Geoff Klock said...

What Sara noticed in last week's episode of Lost is that in order to activate the failsafe in the case of invasion of hostiles, you have to beat the chess game and enter 77. So bad guys are going to take over and you want to blow the place up to keep them from getting anything useful -- SO YOU HAVE TO SIT DOWN AND BEAT A CHESS GAME. Even a master playing an easy level game would still need a while to checkmate. Not so well thought out.

Ultimate Matt said...

Mr. Meaty absolutely horrifies me; some of the kids at the group home I work at watch it and whenever it's on I feel extremely uncomfortable. One episode had something that appeared to be a satanic ritual sacrifice. It was deeply unsettling.

Matt Brady said...

Wow, looks like I'll need to check out this Mr. Meaty show. I've never even heard of it.

In other TV news, I watched the first episode of Andy Barker, P.I., and it was hilariously excellent. I have a review on my blog, but even if you don't want to read my prattling, I recommend checking it out next Thursday, and whatever day it moves to after that.

Oh, and I also did a sort of review of Afro Samurai last week, if anyone wants to read that. It's a weird anime show that was on Spike for a while. It stars the voice of Samuel L. Jackson.

Geoff Klock said...

U Matt: HA!

I forgot to add that I watched Eddie Izzard in the pilot of the Riches. I love Eddie Izzard, and I understand him wanting to pull a Hugh Laurie and go from Brit comedy to American Drama, but no, this was a bad idea. The description of the show describes Irish Travellers taking over the life of a posh family. Irish Travellers? Posh? These are Brit things. It might have worked like that, but Izzard as a guy from Alabama not so much. The show involves Izzard, who co-wrote it, stealing money from the gypsy king (no joke) and then taking over the life of some people who live in a place called -- Wait for it -- EDEN FALLS. ugh.

neilshyminsky said...

I missed the episode with the chess game, but it occurs to me that, on an 'easy' setting, it could actually be quite easy. The minimum number of moves needed for a checkmate is 4 - if the easy setting is designed so that the '4 move kill' will always work, then you'd need maybe 15 seconds.

James said...

Neil: But even that would require some unnecessarily elaborate "Just let me finish my chess game..." tomfoolery from the potential hostage.

Marc Caputo said...

Geoff: I have been an Izzard fan for a few years now and was looking forward to this. When all was said and done, I came away wanting to have seen more of their pre-flight life as the concept of an "underbelly" society was intriguing to me. It seems as if the show will play out like this: the Malloys will find that their lives are nowhere as weird as the lives of the "normal" folks. Which wouldn't be so terrible if for the fact that, as a series, it's open-ended. I'm beginning to gauge shows in terms of the number of potentially good years in their premise; this gets a "1" - the series should end with them working their way back into the "travellers"

Geoff Klock said...

Neil: you can beat a chess game in four moves but you have to start a certain way and your opponent has to make the two stupidest moves ever, in a row. If it was that easy to beat it would defeat the point of having the secret stuff on the other side of the game.

Marc: In terms of setting up conflict for the season in the pilot the Riches was great: gypsy people after them for stealing, an arranged marriage, her drug addiction, the murder which will out at some point, living someone else's life, and the hints that the people whose lives they stole may have been shady themselves. I just didn't like it and don't want more, especially after seeing EDDIE IZZARD'S ASS having bad sex with Minnie Driver -- WHAT WAS UP WITH THAT?

Marc Caputo said...

Geoff: Yeah...Eddie Izzard's ass...man, I needed ravens to pluck out mine eyes after that.
The show's probably not going to pick up much (or any) but DVR makes pretty much anything tolerable.
What can I say?

Björninn said...

After the godawful first episodes of the third season it's good to see Lost back in form. The hiatus did them good.

The chess game thing is silly, but I guess it ties in with one of the minor random "hints" from the first season, the White Vs. Black.. I seem to remember Locke finding some black and white pebbles in the now long-forgotten cave. But that's a stretch.

Locke seems to find these Dharma videos in ever more recent types of media, from a reel of film in The Swan, to a VHS tape in The Pearl and now a digital video file in The Flame. I don't know if this has been covered elsewhere and I doubt that it means anything, but it seems like a natural progression.

Still, after season 2 one would expect Locke to think twice before messing with a strange computer, no matter what game it's proposing to play. To have him carry the idiot ball like this is just way out of character, regardless of what devious schemes he may or may not be hatching.

craig taylor said...

The chess game ties in to Locke's love of "games", established in season one. From memory, it was episode two (maybe three) when he taught Walt to play backgammon. Locke holds up the two sides, and begins to tell Walt about one side being light and the other dark...

At the end of season one Locke and Jack are moving dynamite (which they will use to blow open the hatch), well aware of the danger (after Arzt who had just explained, and then demonstrated, to them the dangers of handling dynamite). Locke tells Jack about 'Operation' "I was always nailed by my funnybone". Jack asks Locke if he likes "playing games". Locke replies yes, he does.

So the chess game probably had a lot more to do with the games theme that is a part of Locke's character, than anything more reasonable.

Matt Brady said...

My wife and I watched the first episode of "The Riches" tonight, and we liked it pretty well. It's an interesting setup; we'll see where they go with it. I must say, I didn't really notice any hints that the real Riches were shady; what gave you that idea? I'll watch a few more episodes, at least.

Geoff Klock said...

Matt: the fact that they baught a house on the internet, that they moved to a place where they know no one and have no jobs but a lot of money. I could be crazy.

Matt Brady said...

Ah, that makes sense. Or it could just be something to manipulate the plot into position. But you're right, that was weird. I'll see if the next episode is any good.

Anonymous said...

Hey Geoff--

Travellers are real here in the U.S., especially in the south. Irish isn't quite what they are anymore. They are their own thing. American gypsies, etc.

Cheers,
Poormojo

Geoff Klock said...

PoorMojo -- thanks, I did not know that. What threw me for a loop was the fact that I first heard about Travellers when I was in England -- a soap opera had a plot where a new kid in town was a traveller and people were suspicious. Then the info box for my cable used the word "posh" also a Brit word, and Eddie Izzard is of course British. It all struck me as a strange way to launch a series about a family from Alabama who take over the lives of people in Lousiana.