The Geek Seek: the 3 weeks in geek TV ending 14 Nov 2010

What is this?! A time warp? A space bubble mired within the depths of a chronological time-mare? Or, perhaps, a case of simple sloth, work doth undone? How would one have thou TV recaps… ah well. I’ll leave out the excuses (Rock Band 3) and move right on to the meat of the matter, and to make up for lost time (in the most logical manner) I’m going to cover each show 3 weeks at a go. At this point we’re easily 1/3rd of the way through most of the season (save one new debut, The Walking Dead), so if by now you haven’t caught on with any of them you do have your work cut out for you. Maybe you should just start on the Walking Dead? Read on to find out!

The past 2 episodes of Chuck has been about the proper introduction of Linda Hamilton aka Mary Elizabeth Bartowski aka Chuck’s mom! Psychotropic drugs and bumbling handlers aside, the story really fixates on the situation between Chuck and his mom – a freshly baked CIA agent against a rouge CIA agent. The questions do keep surfacing – has Mary totally gone rogue, or is she a triple agent? One suspects with the whole happy-go-lucky glow that the show has (no recurring character is truly evil) she’s going to turn out to be a triple (or quintuple) agent who will die saving Chuck’s life, but that might just be me speaking. Also – very nice to see Timothy Dalton being less of a spy (and even less of a timelord) and and feature as Mary’s MI6 handler, he did appear to be having a lot of fun being in that role. In the end, questions about Chuck’s mom gets answered – or do they? We do have quite a lot of episodes to go…

The Event
Guess what? I totally skipped watching this, so I will randomly guess the score it might have merited.

Totally a blast. Watch. A masterclass in superhero TV. I am full of hyperbole. Maybe that is my power.

The Big Bang Theory
Looks like our break in reviewing coincided with the break in Kaley Cuoco leg (pun intended!). We spend the first episode learning about Raj’s sister Priya (Aarti Mann) and her past with Leonard, the second had Eliza Dushku guest starring as an FBI agent checking out on Howard’s background, and the third marked the return of Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette, each of them presumably to take the load off Penny as being the main (and only) lady in the series. Penny did make a return by the second episode, but each role has been mostly sedentary, and you can definitely see her limping behind the bar – so kudos to her for being a trooper and continuing to entertain us! While Priya’s role was rather disposable and Eliza Dushku had a most throw away guest starring role (it’s very Greta) I think on a whole the show is beginning to pick up some steam again, with the usual rehash of Leonard’s loneliness and Sheldon’s weirdness either being ignored or evolving into something bigger. Definitely quite a number of laughs per episode. And yes, I would like to see Indiana Jones with those extra seconds.

A zombie episode, a mean girls/ mystical secret garden spoof (with Mean Girl Hilary Duff!) and a bottle episode – Community continues to try to take each genre and break it as much as it can, while totally showing the love and reverence it has for each trope. But there lies a problem – if Community goes down this path we might just be better off reading TV Tropes, so it’s a good thing that the entire first season helped with getting us to love each character. I’m not saying the episodes aren’t enjoyable, I can be quite a huge TV/film geek, and watching and recognising these tropes are half the fun for me – but I wonder how the regular viewer will take these episodes, especially when you strip the trope away and the reason for the episode’s existence gets that much weaker. Still, MASSIVE points for that Han Solo-esque return from Abed.

No Ordinary Family
The problem: There is no way Jim can keep this up without that police officer getting even more suspicious that he is already. I know Jim is all lawful good and wanting to do things the right way, but given that he’s a vigilante… One episode focused on how reliance on powers can end up having the wrong outcome, and the other about family dynamics. It’s nice to see JJ going past hiding his powers to fully embracing them, but other than that the show is doing a bit of a slow down in terms of moving the plot forward. Only the first episode had anything to do with the company, with Stephanie finally finding out that there are other superhumans out there, but in the next episode it is quite plainly forgetten (for now.) Still, it’s a very light hearted show, having avoided taking too dark a turn so far, and one can’t expect it to be like Heroes (season 1). But the weird thing? Ending an episode with Cee Lo Green’s F- You? That might have been the radio edit, but it was so, so weird hearing it on a family show.

Fringe returns! And promptly continues to barrel forward (albeit a little slower than before) in terms of plot. It feels a bit sad, as if the series is moving towards its conclusion, but whether or not that turns out to be true, Fringe maintains its position as my favourite show on the air. It might have taken 2 entire seasons to build up the mythology, but now we’re reaping the rewards in spades. It’s hard to get into details without spoiling the plot, but saying “Fauxlivia gets close to being found out, stuff happens” isn’t going to cut it. The “freak of the week” continues to tie in strongly with the overall plot, and hey! It’s twin brothers Aaron and Shawn Ashmore acting as… twin brothers! Wonder why nobody’s thought of this before. Has anybody?

The Walking Dead
This might be a zombie show, but it’s definitely about the characters. Don’t go in looking for scares, for shocks are few but the tension is high. It’s a testament to the writers’ and actors’ abilities when I care so much about them just 3 episodes in, and wow, it’s been a crazy ride so far. This is amazing, must watch television. Why haven’t you started watching yet?


The technological backbone of, Alvin’s machinist-nature also ensures that this blog remains alive when the unpredictable Murphy’s Law comes into effect.

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