Friday, April 25, 2008

Sleep Deprived Fridays - Why The Thursday Night Lineup Is Going To Kill Me - Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, Lost, The Office

Ugly Betty - Twenty-Four Candles - Ep. 214
Grey's Anatomy - Where the Wild Things Are - Ep. 412
30 Rock - Succession - Ep. 213
Lost - The Shape of Things to Come - Ep. 409
The Office - Night Out - Ep. 411

Technically each of these deserves their own post, especially the return episode of Lost which just had me speechless the entire time, but I don't really have time today or this weekend, but here's some quick thoughts/raves about the ultra jammed Thursday night of new TV! It won't be coherent but between being busy and staying up later to jam as much TV on Thursday nights that I can, the Friday workday is really painful so my brains not all here. Someone pass the caffeine please?

First of all! Yay! It's all back! To celebrate, TheTVAddict Dan and I finally met up to watch (on his snazzy HD... seriously, I need to upgrade) the ABC lineup with 30 Rock in between (I snuck in The Office as I was getting ready for bed).

Now, CRAP! They're all back! Poor Supernatural, Survivor, My Name Is Earl, Scrubs all get pushed for viewing at a later date and I stayed up way too late again to watch the 5 that I did, so here starts a month of sleepy Fridays!

Ugly Betty: Dan wasn't too impressed but the pretty vibrant colours on his HD screen was enough joy for me to enjoy this expository episode that pretty much reminded us about everything that was going on without moving that much forward. It also brought back Gio into the story (thank GOD!) after she had just chosen Henry over him, thus making us think that Gio would be done from this show forever. Now he's back to being a possibility!

Especially after Charlie returns to subtly steal Henry back from Betty.

But it was Betty's birthday and she dreamt of a fairy tale one, giving us the soapy dramatic fairy tale episode instead of a gut busting funny episode but that was okay with me (as long as it doesn't happen too often). What Ugly Betty excelled at was the balance and quick turns from soapy to emotional to comedic in constant rotation. Take the comedic element out and it feels like centrifuge is going to spin off and break.

Gabrielle Union was back as Wilhelmina's sister and if there was a guest star who could fit in more perfectly with the hilarious dramatics of this show, please let me know, because Union never really did anything after Bring It On! that was able to use her don't-sh!t-with-me look as well as Ugly Betty has, and her showdowns with Willy are fantastic, I just hope their are bigger secrets in her closet that is worth all this build up about her past (Willy hinted it was a murder, but whom? and why?)

There are minor funny bits with Amanda, funny bits with Marc, but because they are still separated, the zing is missing. We want the zing back. Being bitchy. Together.

Renee with a drunken Marc was probably the best (if not necessarily original) bit of the night, and Renee's continued showdown with sister Wilhelmina gave us the best soap opera bitch looks for the night, but an inclusion of Amanda would have added that nice needed comedic touch. Can you imagine Renee and Amanda together in the same room? Rowr.

In another tender moment, Alexis cuts Claire budget for “Hot Flash” for her new magazine, but after a pep talk from Betty, Claire continues her project with her prison mate friends, much to Alexis surprise. Love Claire so anything to keep Judith Light on the show!

Now if only Hilda and Justin got more lines tonight, other than Hilda sussing out Charlie’s suspicious appearance.

Grey's Anatomy: It's Back! No, I mean, it's back to form! Back to the Season 2 quality high that made this THE show to watch. Before the Season 3 off-camera stir that seemed to drag the show itself with it, no, last night, Grey's Anatomy was BACK and better than ever this season, which was already on an upward climb (though it's hard not to from the low it dug itself into last year). The funnybone was also back, with an episode that balanced between serious emotional dramatics of both the cases and the doctors lives with some hilarious scenes keeping the show in the perfect melodramatic bubble it began as.

George and Izzie seem back to their old best friends selves and there was almost no hint of their big mistaken sex phase. Callie and Hahn are best friends and Christina is jealous, Alex is still misunderstood but Richard starts seeing that, and Bailey pretends to ignore the surgical competition Alex, Christina, Meredith and Izzie have all while Lexie steals things from the hospital to decorate her and George’s (uh, when did that happen?) new derelict pad. And Meredith? Still moppy but it didn't feel as musty as before. I could deal with her this week, maybe because it's been a while.

Loved the cases that fit into the overlying themes of Meredith’s post-Derek-breakup mood, with Jason O’Mara (Men In Trees) and Clea Duvall (Heroes) as a newlywed couple who get attacked by a bear that the groom provoked. It was nice to see Izzie take her carryingness too far for competition’s sake, giving Cheech Marin more tests than he needed.

30 Rock: Jack gets the top job he always wanted, beating his rival Devin (Will Arnet, who really needs to join this show permanently) and Jack brings along Liz to be his successor when he moves up and on.

I hope someone shows me a starting salary so that I can slap them silly in happiness like when Jack showed Liz her new salary, or when Liz enticed Pete to join in as a suit!

Will Arnet continues to channel the spirit of the business takeover that he started so well on Arrested Development and I love his rivalry with Jack Donaghy. I also love his fondness for Kenneth, but alas, he chooses marriage over love all in order to advance his career.

Meanwhile, Kenneth helps Tracy with his new miracle vision, a videogame about porn, combining men’s two favorite past times. It was so odd that I laughed anyways, even though I probably heard this conversation about a billion times while I was at an all-boys Catholic High School.

Lost: (a slightly longer if no more coherent commentary continued from my breathless rant from the middle of the night this morning) Seriously, WTF? OMG! GASP! ...!

The smoke monster!

Ben is off the island, in the Sahara, and it's Oct 25th 2005 (thus about a year after the crash)!

Ben tracks down Sayid!

Sayid found Nadia! Nadia is dead.

Ben uses this news to his advantage to secure Sayid as one of his “team”.

Alex is killed back on the island. In front of Ben who is unwilling to give himself up for her. His last moment attempt to lie and claim he's only a surrogate father doesn't work, when one of the "security" men from the boat shoots her execution style. Cue Ben's horrific look of pain in his eyes. Emmy? Please hand yourself over to Michael Emerson now. Thanks!

Ben tracks down Mr. Widmore (Alan Dale, first owning The OC, then Meade publishing, now the world?) and pronounces his revenge by seeking Widmore's daughter Penny and killing her in retaliation for Widmore killing Ben's daughter Alex. There are new rules now, new rules to an old war for the island Widmore used to have (uh, what does THAT mean?)

It was one powerful moment followed by tons more powerful moments. From Faraday's lie of the Morse code message (that Bernard could also decipher), angering Jack, to Ben opening up some secret passage way Indiana Jones style to unleash the smoke monster, to actually seeing the smoke monster grab the "security" men, to Sawyer's departure from the group, and the big showdown for Hurley, since Hurley is the only person that seems to know the way to Jacob’s cabin.

Seriously, they answered tons of questions by giving us tons more. Genius I tell ya!

The Office: Not as genius as before, but better than last week at least.

Michael and Dwight (ugh, these two again?) go into the city after Ryan starts enticing them with big city talk. They track Ryan down at a club where Dwight ends up making out with a hot sports chick and Michael tries to be cool while oblivious to Ryan’s drug addicted downturn. I have to admit though, the stupid jokes with Dwight and his obsession with Ryan's friend as a hobbit actually made me laugh, but maybe because it was late and I was tired.

Meanwhile, Mindy Kaling writes herself the best line, when Ryan asks if anybody has a question, her response was classic.

Everyone ends up working late and gets trapped outside the building but inside the parking lot where they get rescued by the cleaning crew who Oscar might like to add, happen to speak Spanish.

Toby makes an obvious pass at Pam that everyone notices. When Toby realizes his hand is on Pam’s legs, he quickly runs out and over the fence, leaving a befuddled Jim and Pam.

Still cute, but I do have to say, they are relying a LOT on Jim’s befuddled look for laughs this season.

So all in all, some ups a down from the night, with Ugly Betty and The Office having uneven nights (though still better than a lot of TV out there), but I'm happy enough from Grey's comeback, 30 Rock's hilarity and Lost just... well... being Lost!

Now I must get some proper sleep. Once I finish this "work" day... Someone pass me more caffeine please? Injections are fine...

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