Television

TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Michael C. Hall in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Beauty and the Beast " | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

After the “!!!!” moments of last week’s episode “Practically Perfect,” it makes sense that in feels like both DEXTER the series and Dexter the character (Michael C. Hall) are taking a little time to recover from various shocks and plan ahead. A good portion of “Beauty and the Beast” is concerned with Dexter’s dilemma over Lumen (Julia Stiles), the young woman who was captured and tortured by Dexter’s latest target. Problematically for Dexter, Lumen witnessed him killing Lumen’s captor. Dexter tries to nurse Lumen back to health – she’s got criss-crossing cuts all over her back – while trying to figure out what he can do that won’t cause either of them to die. Harry’s shade (James Remar) urges Dexter to kill Lumen, as the number one rule remains “Don’t get caught,” but Harry instead tries to get the wary woman to trust him. When she does, it turns out that Dexter’s victim wasn’t her only tormentor, and now that Lumen knows she’s not going to be killed, she wants payback.

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TV Review: CHUCK – SEASON 4 – “Vs. The Couch Lock”

Adam Baldwin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Couch Lock" | ©2010 NBC

Someone behind-the-scenes at CHUCK must have been paying attention to how much the quality control had been suffering the last couple of weeks and made some drastic changes that got the show back on track. With “Vs. The Couch” we get a Casey-centric episode which finally gives the under-utilized Adam Baldwin some cool stuff to do after being sidelined the last couple of weeks as his character had an “injury.”

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON TWO – “Duets”

Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet in GLEE - Season 2 - "Duets" | © 2010 Fox/Adam Rose

After a couple of bumpy weeks, GLEE gets back to basics with a solid story that forces the show choir kids to put on their best “Duets” for a free meal at a restaurant called bread sticks. The competition really brings out the best (and some times worst) in the students, as they all vie for the prize. It also allows the show to focus on the characters themselves in simple and effective ways.

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. The Coup d’Etat”

Ryan McPartlin and Armand Assante in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Coup D'Etat" | © 2010 NBC

There are only a few shows I look forward to week after week like CHUCK, yet the first part of Season Four has produced three rather lackluster episodes in a row. The show is fumbling. It doesn’t know what to do with the relationship between Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) resulting in silly shtick like (“is our relationship going good?” “Would she marry me if I asked her?”) as opposed to finding quirkier ways of handling these topics that don’t feel as forced.

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Practically Perfect’

Julia Stiles in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Practically Perfect" | ©2010 Showtime/Cliff Lipson

Bless DEXTER. Five seasons in, it still has the ability to surprise us with twists small and large. In “Practically Perfect,” the show is paying off so many threads already that we aren’t missing the one huge arc of a season-long villain. The show runners have said essentially they can’t attempt to top John Lithgow’s Trinity Killer right away, and that seems a sensible assessment. Instead, they give Dexter (Michael C. Hall) a whole new kind of problem.

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TV Review: GLEE – SEASON 2 – “Grilled Cheesus”

Cory Monteith in GLEE - Season 2 - "Grilled Cheesus" | ©2010 Fox/Adam Rose

When you’re going to take on religion, take it on head first and do something powerful with it or humorous. Don’t do something like GLEE does with “Grilled Cheesus” a rather sucky episode that has its intentions in the right place, but yet again doesn’t know how to deliver the goods. Falling somewhere between sappy (Kurt’s dad has a brain aneurysm and is in critical condition in the hospital) and silly (Finn prays to the image of Jesus that ends up burned into the toast of his grilled cheese) it’s a weird blend of spiritualism and comedy that never quite comes together.

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TV Review: CHUCK – Season 4 – “Vs. The Cubic Z.”

Steve Austin in CHUCK - Season 4 - "Vs. The Cubic Z." | ©2010 NBC

Something has definitely been off with CHUCK in its fourth season. Maybe making Chuck (Zachary Levi) more of a spy has actually taken the edge off of why the show was so charming in the first place – he was an average guy put in extraordinary circumstances he was incapable of dealing with alone. Add to that the “will they or won’t they” relationship between Chuck and fellow spy Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) completely gone since they’ve consummated and become a couple. Now the show has had to stoop to relationship woes to keep their romance alive and chemistry. Unfortunately, when the relationship woes include Sarah upset that Chuck eventually wants to have kids and get married, it seems so pat and obvious for a show like CHUCK that’s always been so clever and different in the handling of this type of material.

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Preview: It’s three cheers for The CW’s HELLCATS

Heather Hemmens, Matt Barr, Aly Michalka, Robbie Jones and Ashley Tisdale in HELLCATS - Season 1 | © 2010 The CW/Andrew Eccles

This may be the last year for Tom Welling playing Clark Kent on The CW’s SMALLVILLE, but he’s already lined up his next gig – as executive producer on the new CW drama HELLCATS about competitive cheerleaders. “I thought it was a great story, had a lot of heart and found it very interesting,” says Welling at this summer’s CW’s TCA press tour. In terms of dividing his time between the two series, he adds, “fortunately, HELLCATS also shoots in Vancouver, ten minutes away from SMALLVILLE.” “It’s a huge benefit,” says Welling. “We have a fantastic crew on both shows […]Read On »

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TV Review: DEXTER – SEASON 5 – ‘Hello, Bandit’

C.S. Lee in DEXTER - Season 5 - "Hello, Bandit" | ©2010 Showtime/Randy Tepper

The DEXTER episode “Hello, Bandit” has a lot in common with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) – now that both have gotten past the shock of Rita’s death and figured out the direction they’re taking, they’re both slowly getting back to normal. This is understandable, but there’s a certain amount of clean-up and waiting for things to return to normal that’s more realistic than it is engaging.

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