Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 3/6/11 - The Chicago Code, Justified, America's Next Great Restaurant, Breakout Kings, The Event

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending March 6, 2011:

The Chicago Code - Haven't seen this week's episode yet, just going by last week's, but I think my verdict on this show is that it is pretty compelling when Delroy Lindo is on the screen and relatively run-of-the-mill when he isn't. Alderman Gibbons is definitely one of TV's best villains of the moment, in part because I just want to find out what the deal is with him. That guy alone has me still watching. Jason Clarke and Jennifer Beals are better than I thought they'd be before the show began, but still nothing amazing.

Justified - This is probably my favorite drama on the air right now. Last week's episode was particularly busy, having to deal with the standalone story for Raylan's partner Rachel plus a host of other serialized threads, but I thought it pulled it off pretty seamlessly. Right now there are lots of people like Margo Martindale's family and Boyd Crowder lingering on the edges, and I have to feel like the show's setting up all these pieces and will become even more awesome in the second half (as it did last season). Can't wait.

America's Next Great Restaurant - I thought this show was pretty intriguing. Episode one was basically a poor man's version of Mr. Spotupj unscripted favorite Shark Tank, mostly because it had to try to squeeze 21 Shark-style pitches into an hour, but I'm definitely gonna give it another couple shots (maybe till Shark Tank returns 2.5 weeks down the line) because I want to see what the show looks like in a more conventional "challenge" format and I think some of the restaurant ideas are kinda neat.

Breakout Kings - The pilot for Breakout Kings was an OK episode of TV. It was no Leverage; the gang of cons was mostly pretty bland, but the episode was held up on some level by Jimmi Simpson and Nicole Steinwedell's characters. The problem? Steinwedell was recast after the pilot in favor of Serinda Swan. Maybe she'll be just as appealing as Steinwedell, but I think she would have to be for the show to remain watchable from my view. I can't say I think the odds favor that, but I'll try it again next week.

The Event - In fairness, the two-hour return of The Event did move along pretty snappily. Some stuff did happen, like the rescue of Leila's sister and the breakout of Inostranka. But watching two hours of the show consecutively was kinda illuminating; when you watch that much at once, you get an even more concentrated dose of the deliberate vagueness and the jerk-arounds with respect to the true nature of the group of aliens. It's not a show that I think is gonna hold up on DVD, but I'm still watching it in this form.

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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