Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 12/5/10 - Survivor, Psych, Fringe, The Office

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending December 5, 2010:

Survivor - My goal was to not get too redundant with these, but here's Survivor for the fourth time in five Opinion Five-Spots. How can I not talk about DoubleQuitGate? Plenty have voiced their distress that Na'Onka and Purple Kelly are still on the jury after quitting, but what amazed me was how nobody on the show thought about the quitting in terms of alliances or game dynamics. It was all about the morality of quitting. I guess it just goes to show how little actual gameplay there has been in this rather subpar season.

Psych - I haven't seen Twin Peaks, but the tribute episode was great on its own merits. Maybe I was just in a good mood, but I chuckled at quite a few little bits of dialogue. And while I knew Ray Wise was returning from the promos, I vaguely remembered him being on the show previously as a priest and wondered how they'd pull that off. They pulled it off by just bringing back the priest!  It's always good to see him in a comedic role (RIP Reaper) so even if it was kinda weird bringing him back, I am more than fine with it.

Fringe - Fringe seemed to skate by for a couple seasons as one of those shows where all everyone talked about was its "potential." Last Thursday's episode was the full realization of that potential, with amazing performances by Torv and Reddick and another great score from Michael Giacchino as the Livs switched universes and alt-Broyles was sacrificed in the process. Seemed like the perfect episode to take the show into winter hiatus, but there's one more next week. I hope it doesn't take 'em home on an anti-climactic note.

The Office - Yes, even as someone who's written off reading Office reviews because I still like the show much more than everyone else, I can admit that seven seasons in there's a lot of redundancy. But it's great that even seven seasons in, there are little character notes that have always been there but never truly touched upon, like Oscar as "smartest guy in the office." Throw in the fact that this was one of those fairly rare latter-day Office episodes in which Dwight was a human being, and it was a highlight overall.

The Walking Dead - Yet another week of me drinking the Dead Kool-Aid. Many have pointed out that this felt like much more than one episode of material, and I don't necessarily disagree with that, but that rushed feeling actually kinda amped up the intensity for me. I don't get the sense this is gonna end up being a particularly mythology-laden program, but it was nice to get a couple little morsels in this ep. Here's hoping season 2 can be anywhere near this good or even take a Breaking Bad-esque step up.

More Five-Spots can be found in the Index.

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