Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Opinion Five-Spot, WE 5/1/11 - The Voice, The Office, Law & Order: CI, The Killing, The Chicago Code

Here's my Opinion Five-Spot for the week ending May 1, 2011:

The Voice - This ain't my genre, and it's been several years since I watched a full season of a talent competition (I think season 2 of American Idol?) but what do you know, I actually found this one pretty interesting! The "blind audition" phase has a Shark Tank vibe that I kinda dug. Adam Levine stood out as someone really taking the "strategy" of team-building seriously, and he snagged both people all four judges wanted. Will I be interested beyond the blind auditions? I'm quite skeptical based on the promos. But I was impressed with the production so far.

The Office - I dedicated all of last week's Five-Spot to remembering Michael Scott, but I felt I should comment on the Carell finale. I loved it. I don't know that I'd put it in the all-time classic column (my standards are ridiculously high to get into that club, and this ep wasn't uproariously funny) but I really liked that the episode avoided the big theatrics that some previous eps this season had used in place of the smaller moments. This one had a lot of small and really good moments, with the highlights being his teary goodbyes with Jim & Pam. And those shoulda been the highlights.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent - I notice similarities between Law & Order: CI and the NFL labor situation. NFL fans "just want football" no matter how it happens, and Criminal Intent fans (or at least this one!) "just want Goren and Eames." Maybe they spent a dishearteningly small amount of time explaining their return, but I just felt it was nice to see them back on the case. And D'Onofrio looked a little livelier than in some of his later episodes. I hope they get to at least a little character stuff before the season's out, but this Jay Mohr guest turn was enough to make this an entertaining hour.

The Killing - I'm still fine with The Killing, but my enthusiasm has waned a lot since premiere night. Much of what seemed to elevate this show above the typical procedural early on - I'm thinking specifically of all those scenes with the parents grieving - now seem to be dragging down the proceedings. Just get back to the investigation already! This may not be a procedural, but it's sure got its share of formula. Every episode seems obligated to include a "Linden is gonna finish this up and catch her flight!" scene and a "Billy Campbell won't compromise his ideals to help his campaign!" scene.

The Chicago Code - This show's been plugging along for awhile putting out decent episodes that are far from must-see (I've often been up to a week late catching the last episode, so it hasn't exactly been something special.) But this looks to be a show finally ready to kick into another gear as Teresa declared open war on Alderman Gibbons last night. So I'm more stoked about what's ahead than about recent goings-on, but I will say that a lot of the "Liam almost blows his cover" scenes do have some genuine tension. Hope he makes it through OK!

More Five-Spots in the Index.

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