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Nightfly's TV Week in Review #7 (Week of 08/22/10)

Written by Nightfly on Tuesday, August 31 2010 and posted in Features
kevinOuthouse tvphile Nightfly reviews his favorite shows from the previous week of television.
Nightfly's TV Week in Review #7
(week of 8/22/10)

written by Nightfly

No single network dominated this week nor did a single story type (action vs. drama).  I resisted the urge to list shows just because they aired summer finales, or just because they typically make the list.  Curiously, none of my scripted List shows were finale episodes... even though some very good finales aired this week (most notably Burn Notice, HawthoRNe, Army Wives & Memphis Beat).
* Potential Spoilers Below *

6. Covert Affairs - "Communication Breakdown" (USA)
Auggie gets a field op and goes {shirtlessly} rogue in this deadly episode of love reuniting under the gun.  Canadian beauty Liane Balaban, as Natasha Petrovna, is his mission and his former (abandoned) love in this super-cool, adrenaline fueled, test of the heart.  Anne Dudek (Danielle Brooks) & Emmanuelle Vaugier (Liza Hearn) get some overdue screentime in this chaotically romantic installment. Auggie's fight scene was severe.  Poor guy just has too many beautiful femme fatales in his life... he's like trippin' over 'em.
Liane Balaban & Christopher Gorham

5. Lie to Me - "Exposed" (FOX)
Poor Lightman and Foster just can't catch a break in the love dept.  FOX hasn't focused such a spotlight on torture since 24 wrapped production.  Tough guy Max Martini, as undercover Agent Burns, gets tortured harshly for nearly the entire length of the episode while girlfriend Dr. Gillian Foster (Kelli Williams) is forced to helplessly look on... begging to treat him whenever opportunities arise (i.e., lulls in the torturing).  One might think Cal (Roth) would dial down the pressure in such a precariously volatile situation, well, such a person obviously doesn't know Dr. Cal Lightman very well.  Martini, Williams & Roth pour on the acting intensity in this painful nail biter.

4. Rizzoli & Isles - "Born to Run" (TNT)
As much as I love Yoga wear, I really love women's one-piece running suits.  Jane & Maura sport team P.U.K.E. running suits in literally every scene of this  homicidal race against time, and mass panic!  Not since 'Agent Cody Banks' has Harmon looked so hot!  This week's mystery traversed 22 miles of terror in the form of the (fictional) Massachusetts Marathon, wherein a vengeful runner methodically murders the unprosecuted criminals that destroyed her family years earlier.  Another case of wealthy justice and its relative difference from ordinary/peasant justice frame the drama in which guests Balthazar Getty and Kelli Garner compellingly contribute.  Jane calling Isles, "Talking Google" made me lol.

3. Psych - "Ferry Tale" (USA)
Craig, played by guest Chi McBride, is a character I won't soon forget.  Reginald Hudlin helmed this outrageously humorous offering, and together with guest star Kevin Alejandro (Jesus from True Blood), the laughs this outing were as dangerous as they were witty.  Shawn & Gus rock the boat in this hostage-taking tale that dares ponder how off one's moral compass will get when desperate?  Amidst multiple boatjackings, car theft, and gunfire Chris Tucker and delicious Horchata receive sweet shout-outs! Note to producers: more Jules please!!

2. Leverage - "The Rashomon Job" (TNT)
This epi hilariously juxtaposed the disparate recollections of Nate's team; what they did, how they did it, and how they originally perceived each other (around 2yrs before knowing who each other were).  Comedic exaggerations rule the day in this parallax recounting of an irresistible dagger heist gone bad. Guest John Billingsley (ENT) accentuated the raucous fun.
Christian Kane fixin' to cut Aldis Hodge

1. True Blood - "I Smell a Rat" (HBO)
"You're mostly human", Bill tells Sookie... comforting words to be sure.  I didn't find it "lame" that Sookie's a Fairy (part-Alien) but it is a little unexpected in the vamp v. werewolf genre.  This seemed to be an episode of answers, as well as haunting flashbacks and unforeseen revelations.  Jason, Sam, Jessica, Edgington and Pam were impressively featured.  Bill's disinvitation, the healing properties of 'Vamper Juice', and Crystal's werepanther transformation were audacious developments!  Eric/Sookie shippers surely enjoyed the ample kissing they did this week, however, I doubt Eric's chaining her to the basement earned him many romantic trust points. Nan Flanagan's attempt at PR damage control in Edgington's wake was amusing, and lovely guest star Arielle Kebbel (as Charlene) tragically illuminated Sam's backstory.  Lafayette's & Jesus' ancestral spirit journey was the high point for me.  When Lala the Conjurer and Jesus the Sorcerer team up look out, hookahs!  Jesus made a wonderfully adept guide for a first time V user.  True Blood = Best Show on TV! Period.

Guilty Pleasure Award - The Gates - "Identity Crisis" (ABC)
Yes, there are certainly a couple cable shows that could've landed here instead, but, for ABC's resources and the talented cast in this series I just can't excuse the poor quality episodes that continually come from this otherwise talented production team.  This week a guest [FBI Special Agent] vampire crashed The Gates and despite the engaging talents of actress Katheryn Winnick (and a sword fight in a dojo), the epi's pacing & plotting fell really flat with me.  As Andie's dire condition continues, the extra time with werewolf Lexie (Rachel DiPillo) has been a deliciously welcomed surprise.  Christian's brash kidnapping move made for a great cliffhanger.  Refocusing away from the Police Chief could be the magic bullet that fixes this show.  At least one installment without a scene in the police station would be a positive step.  It's The Gates, not Miami or L.A.,... can't a single day go by without police involvement?
Katheryn Winnick & Rachel DiPillo
Guest Star of the Week: Chi McBride on Psych (USA)
Trivia Question of the Week:
Kevin Alejandro appeared on two of this weeks Scripted List shows.
Name his character in Psych's "Ferry Tale"?  [Answered Already]
Kevin Alejandro

Current Medal Standings:
BlueStreak: mvp
Dragavon: mvp
misac: mvp
~ Last week's answer: Sen. Robert Kelly {Winner: misac}
* Reality Shows *

3. Design Star - "Lights, Camera, Action!" (HGTV)
In a world where so many shows get it wrong, this one actually got it right.  Though I condemned many of the judges decisions along the way, season five's final two contestants both genuinely deserved the grand prize; a show of their own on HGTV.  L.A. based designer & stylist Emily Henderson bested Michael to win, and in so doing became only the second Design Star winner I've ever agreed with.  Unique to Emily's win is the fact that I'll probably watch her show because her concept was groovy + she seems really sweet in addition to being very talented.  HGTV already aired a 1hr special entitled, Secrets From a Stylist, which was a fun preview peek inside Emily's upcoming show!  Glee co-creater, and close personal friend of Emily, Ian Brennan's home got to be her first official HGTV stylejob!  If you happen to see a replay of Emily's Secrets... make sure to check it out.
Emily Henderson

2. American Chopper: Sr. vs. Jr. - "ESAB Bike" (TLC)
The feud continued this week with a court decision which both sides claimed as victory?!  Mikey keeps making the smart moves as he hires a much needed assistant and repels a Machiavellian move by Paul Sr. to woo him away from Paul Jr. Designs.  To their discredit, mockery of Paul Jr. remains a cherished pastime at OCC, and Senior persists on taking the low road in all matters concerning his sons.  Welding leader ESAB commissioned an OCC themed bike, just as the Knights of Columbus regretfully fell out of their deal to be Paul Jr. Designs' first build.  Wisely, Junior takes Vinnie's advice to break in their new equipment with a House Bike of their own that they can share 'n showcase during roadtrips... making it (yet) another web-themed bike may not be so wise though.  For my taste (having grown up a Steelers fan), the ESAB bike doesn't look too bad - it looks like it'd be a fun ride.
ESAB Bike by OCC

1. Whale Wars - "Vendetta"/"To the Ends of the Earth" (Animal Planet)
Paul Watson's Sea Shepherds at long last got the job done - seriously curtailing this whaling season!  Bob Barker's $5 million donation, and the icebreaking ship bearing his name, made a decisive difference.  More whales were saved this hunting season than were killed [a Sea Shepherds first]!  Approximately 528 whales were saved, yielding the thinnest whaling harvest the Japanese have experienced in all the years of Watson's efforts.  Seeing the whalers cry and whine after clearly teargassing themselevs was priceless.  Heroic Pete Bethune, Captain of the $2 million sunken Ady Gil, brought inventiveness and energy to the campaign that invaluably helped produce the most successful WW season yet.  He's earned my respect and admiration.  Animal Planet will be a airing a special about Pete Bethune's Japanese adventure/imprisonment Sept 6th titled, Whale Wars: From Pirate to Prisoner.  Look for it.

Finale episodes doing their best to be poignant made this an especially difficult week to select my List.  I meant to watch the preview of Animal Planet's upcoming Blood Dolphin$ series but missed it.  Maybe that's for the best cuz that appears to be a show that'll mostly just make me sad.  I assume I'll see it eventually, or at least give it a try.  If anybody here saw it lemme know what you thought.

Thanks for your continued interest in this column and I hope to see you again next time for my eighth (can you believe it's been that many already) weekly List!

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About the Author - Nightfly

A proud member of NBCUniversal's and A+E Television Networks’ Digital Media Teams, Nightfly routinely interviews producers, creators and stars of various network programs and films with a concentrated emphasis on the Syfy channel. Formally educated in Communications, Computer Science and Music, his résumé reflects more than a decade broadcasting in the fields of television and radio. With pieces routinely published at ScreenFad and Press Pass L.A., his primary areas of interest include TV, film, music, web series, comic books, fashion, pen 'n paper RPG gaming as well as various other pop-culture topics. An avid Twitter user, Nightfly supports the arts, the entertainment community, numerous charities and crowdfunding projects through his journalistic netizenship and non-partisan, multicultural-centric activism.

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