The Geek Seek: the week in geek TV ending 10 Oct 2010

I must apologise for the scarcity of posts, with one of us working the weirdest hours, another one deep into the job hunt and me deep in thesis writing, time for entertainment, not to mention blogination has been rare indeed (Sarah’s going to be #1 poster soon or something) – but that’s no excuse to provide your promised weekly dose of the latest in geek TV all the way from America (until Dr Who returns). I’m still watching the same few series, charting their rise and fall, but if there’s something out there you’d love for me to take a look a give a spin on, do give me a poke – you might just be able to nudge me into quality TV, and probably leaving some of the crappier series that don’t deserve the airtime behind. Things aren’t as dire as last week too…

As it’s a blast from the past for Chuck as we have not one, but two returning guest actors – Stone Cold Steve Austin and Nicole Richie. The whole Buymore side-story featuring Morgan trying to wrestle a crowd having queued for hours for the launch of “generic game A” (ok, Spy Attack) was a rather nice look of the other side of the whole utter chaos that is people queuing up for stuff. As geeks I think all of us are familiar with this, and as someone who has survived SDCC – I’d say I wouldn’t be surprised if they featured someone getting penned in the eye (what? too soon?). Things did degenerate in the end, possibly thanks to Jeffster – but that heralded the return of Big Mike! Man I was beginning to miss the guy. Stacy Keibler is this week’s Greta and got into a nostalgic fight with Steve Austin. Lots more fun bits like Heather (Nicole Richie) calling Chuck a “movie dork”, finishing with “I bet you have like a Tron poster in your room” really brought a good laugh from me, especially as they do the good old people crawling in ducts cliche. Still think you won’t enjoy Chuck? “Shut up, and let the poetry slam you.” – Jefster.

The Event
So… Two steps forward, one step back. The whole timey whimey thing should really be left to Dr Who, I started the episode pausing just to wonder if I’d missed watching the second half of the previous episode before they decided to flash back. Lots of suspension of disbelief is necessary to get through this epsiode, from Sean Walker very miraculously surviving a car crash, to actually being able to sneak into a police server and hack into a police mainframe (these police really need to up their security). The other story about an alien defector starts, and closes, within one episode, feeling like a waste of time, and right now it’s really hard to keep track on who is trying to blindside and out maneuver who, seeing that there are now probably three parties going against each other. What The Event, has, however, is the ability to write a pretty darn good cliffhanger, and that’s a stay of execution right there. For now. I know they want to weave a web of intrigue, but at this point I doubt they’ve even mastered the cross-stitch.

The Big Bang Theory
For a moment I’d figured that we won’t be seeing anymore of Amy Farrah Fowler since their plans for reproduction were derailed, but she’s back! As much as the character is a great foil for Sheldon (everybody should play counter-factuals), it feels like somehow Mayim Bialik isn’t quite able to inhabit her role as Amy Farrah Fowler just yet. Nothing entirely memorable about the episode, but the jokes are moving somewhat faster, and Howard and Penny did have a neat little moment. Strangely I did miss Penny, with her taking a step back from the main storyline, but at the same time, the episode didn’t feel draggy. Correlation? Possibly. Definitely an improved episode for a show threatening to get stale, so let’s just call it Zazzy.

At first watch, this was a slow episode compared to the heights of the previous two weeks – until one watches the genius of a side-story that involved Abed. It totally went past my head the first time I watched it, but this show has been known to be clever, and this time it’s with the camera angles. Since Abed was taken off the frontlines, things got way less meta (save the mention of us become liquid form), but it’s nice to feel as if the writers themselves are having tons of fun outdoing themselves in writing the show. This would be the third show discussing religion this week, and it did come off as trite compared to Modern Family and Glee.

No Ordinary Family
Broken… Tape… Recorder… here… Micheal Chiklis… Fun… To… Watch. And he is! No way I can deny it. Always nice to see a new spin on new powers – this time “Superman” is unable to stop a moving car… to rather silly results. A few times. Katie (Autumn Reeser) definitely deserves to be “best sidekick ever”, bringing quite a bit of enthusiasm to her role. Also a nice touch, featuring an issue of Wolverine: Civil War in the midst of featuring a family in crisis – to use their powers or not. Things do get resolved in the end, and we get strong hints of the deeper conspiracy unfolding. Not exactly the greatest show on TV right now, and probably not one to win Emmys, but when they’re having so much fun, it’s hard to say no.

And we go through the looking glass right into the other side, and how glorious it is. Fringe is required viewing these days, and this episode doesn’t disappoint. It’s amazing how we return to the very formula of season 1, the good old creepy of the week, but yet it’s so fresh and new. I’ll just put it down to the fact that the interplay between the whole new set of characters has been very well written, and right now they’re making it very hard for any of us to wish them harmful things, as other than the fact that Walternate is up to something nefarious, these people are really just doing their job trying to save the world. Micheal Eklund does an amazing job as Milo, a character with a Flowers for Algernon storyline, but throwaway character or not this was an amazing spin on the powers of the super-intelligent being that of calculating the odds and then proceeding to use the world as a huge Rube Goldberg device. Anna Torv continues to amaze… as do all the cast members doing their alternate versions, together with Charlie, who we’ve missed for so long, and Lincoln, who’s really a great substitute for Peter. Knowing that the alternate universe also has Star Trek? Priceless. (Maybe Nimoy brought it over?)


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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