The Boob Tube Review: Dec. 8, 2011

Every week, we discuss the television we've been watching. There are usually plenty of spoilers, so beware:

Dexter: "Ricochet Rabbit"
Season 6, Episode 10, Showtime

I was so jacked about this season. I've been urging people to watch it, putting my TV-watching reputation on the line. "Mos Def!" I cried. "Molly Parker!" I wept. "Colonel Adama and snakes in bellies and the most magnificent tableaus!" I whispered. I assured people, friends, that the days of Julia Stiles were in the past: "this season is better! The best perhaps so far!" Like a Harlem Globetrotter spins a ball on his finger, I trained myself to shed a single tear and hold it, glistening on my cheek. I gestured emphatically. I knocked over pint glasses, sending beer gushing forth in a heavy handed metaphor for my love for the season. It was a beautiful time of heady, carefree recommendations.

Then they started focusing on Harrison. A lot. The least charismatic baby of all time. Then they killed Mos. Then Molly. Then stuck Adama in a freezer. Now without the razzle-dazzle of the glorious guest-stars (sorry baby Hanks), we're left to just watch the sad hijinks of the Miami PD. A police department that six seasons in, has yet to convict, nay, arrest a single bad guy. We've got Quinn and Batista doing some sort of buddy-cop thing, Deb's on the verge of realizing she's in love with her brother, Doakes 2.0 has been relegated to the background after introducing the word tableau to everyone's vocabulary and Matsuka went from lovable pervert to... nope, he hasn't changed and he was never lovable; he does seem to be doing less work though. The intern is the only one who is doing any sort of police work. Remember the days of yore when Dex took precautions beyond wearing gloves and henley shirts? When he didn't call 911 on his cell and if he had to he'd at least disguise his voice? Also when like three episodes ago when he was like "I love my weird, creepy horror movie kid!" and actually spent time with him? Is it Brother Sam's death? Is it just finally a psychotic break? Is it the Dexter writers? Is it lazy writing to just ask questions instead of making solid points? Will there ever be any answers?

Oh and the florist? What the goddamn fuck was that? When Deb called the florist about who sent the flowers to Jessica Morris on the day she died and the florist says: "yeah... OH MY GOD Thomas Matthews". What was that? Did the florist somehow know it was the Thomas Matthews? That would be a spectacular assumption. It's not like his name is Bill Blair. And Deb didn't say "I need to know who sent this dead escort flowers the day SHE WAS POSSIBLY MURDERED". Maybe something else just happened at that moment. Maybe they were watching Walking Dead and zombies didn't attack? Anyway long story short, my reputation is ruined. Thanks Dexter. At least I still have books? - Alex Snider 

Grand Designs: "The Great British Property Scandal Special: Kevin's Grand Design"
Season 11, Episode 13, Channel 4

It's a pretty simple premise: people build their dream homes. Usually, they're in the British countryside; without exception, they're ambitious: restored heritage properties; environmentally-friendly cutting edge designs, cost-effective experiments. Each episode follows the build from the laying of the foundations to the day the family moves in. For anyone interested in architecture or design, it's a fascinating and weirdly entertaining process to watch. And it helps that the owners are sometimes pretty eccentric to boot.

But it's the host, Kevin McCloud, who makes the show. He can be a bit of a prick, for sure, but in the most well-meaning and entertaining way. He is, it would seem, a bit of a modernist at heart. He longs for architecture to be transcendent: for each project to achieve a perfection in design, execution and synthesis with its surroundings that soars gloriously in a life beyond that of the mere mortals who created it. And he's there, on site, asking questions, making critiques, reminding the owners, contractors and architects of that perfect ideal as they struggle with the real world problems involved in building a home: the growing costs, the tight schedule, the English weather – not to mention their own idiosyncratic tastes (ahem, people who built their home of out tires, I'm looking at you).

It has all added up to make Grand Designs my strange obsession of the moment, as I try to track down whatever episodes I can find on this side of the Atlantic. And there are a lot to choose from: the show has been on since 1999. It's currently airing its eleventh season, one I'm dying to see. In tonight's episode McCloud has finally taken his own plunge, and begun building his very own Grand Design. Pleeeeease let it be on the Internet in the morning! - Adam Bunch 

Misfits: "Episode Six"
Season 3, Episode 6, E4

Ohhhh Misfits. It's only been a few weeks since I discovered the show, watching the first two seasons in quick succession and now finally having caught up in real time with the third. It is an amazing show. Like Skins if all the sex-crazed, drug-addled teenagers had superpowers. Dark and funny and smart. 
Or at least, it used to be. For the first two seasons.  Especially the first. And then the actor who plays the main kid left to go be in movies and apparently all the writers must have quit, too, because this third season has been one lonnnng nosedive into suck. Really? A going back in time to kill Hitler episode? Really? And who thought it would be a good idea to make it so that all the kids can switch powers? Whole swathes of interesting and unique superpower based character development gone in one fell swoop. Bulllllshit.
But seriously. The first season. Go stream it now. - AB  

Frozen Planet: "The Last Frontier"
Episode 6, BBC 

David Attenborough is a god. For the last 50 years, the lovable English narrator/biologist has been teaming up with producer Alistar Fothergill to make the best, most intelligent, most breathtaking nature documentaries in the history of everything ever. Their latest, Frozen Planet, is something of a follow-up to their smash success, Planet Earth. This time they focus on the Arctic and Antarctic, exploring the effect the seasons have on the vast white spaces and sprawling glaciers of the coldest places on earth. The second-to-last episode was especially fascinating, looking at the small populations of human beings who call these frozen places home. The final episode – about climate change – just aired in England last night. And it turns out it will, in fact, be airing on North American television early next year – after the Discovery Channel had earlier decided not to show it. Because environmentalism is too controversial. For the Discovery Channel. Ugh. Thankfully, they reversed their decision this week. - AB


The Boob Tube Review appears every week. You can find all of them here.


Alex Snider said...

Wait, is that the correct usage of jacked?

Post a Comment