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Written by Nightfly on Tuesday, September 07 2010 and posted in Features
Nightyfly Television ReviewsOuthouse tvphile Nightfly reviews his favorite shows from the previous week of television.

#8  (8/29/10)

written by Nightfly

TNT reasserted its summer superiority once again claiming three (3) of my six (6) Scripted slots in a week dominated by drama (over action).  Even campy Warehouse 13 took a dramatic turn which, combined with solid acting, garnered its first Top 6 List spotlight.  As summer's end arrives, so do the finales and repeats, but there's also some early premieres.  FX's Terriers is a premiere I'm looking foward to this (upcoming) Wednesday.
Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day holiday!
* Potential Spoilers Below *

6. Warehouse 13 - "Vendetta" (SyFy)

A surprisingly well written and acted episode, including recurring guests Tia Carrere & Jaime Murray, won this series it's first Scipted List placement that wasn't in the Guilty Pleasure category.  Artie's Soviet past catches up with him, putting his family in deadly jeopardy... and the mystery of H.G. Wells' bronzing is mournfully addressed.  While Artie, Pete, Myka, and Wells pursue Artie's murderous old contact, Claudia shadows Todd and learns his protected secret as well.  Intensity over silliness felt right for this series this week - more please!  Wells' reinstatement as an Agent was a wish fulfilled (though certainly not for Artie).
Jaime Murray, Farin Tahir & Saul Rubinek

5. The Closer - "War Zone" (TNT)

Shadowing Kyra's Emmy win was a powerfully forceful performance in a deadly story of the warzone known as Los Angeles.  Guest Gary Cole, as military liaison Maj. Dorset, added to the drama involving soldiers shot dead days after returning home from war.  Pope (J.K. Simmons) both apologizes to Brenda and learns that he's not on the short list for Chief after a case that pushed 'Major Crimes' to its limit.
Kyra wins the Emmy for The Closer

4. Dark Blue - "Jayne Wayne" (TNT)

An epi as dramatic as it was action-packed saw Jaime put through the ringer after getting bested by a lowly punk, then going undercover (bruises still fresh) as a junkie to bust a crew of DEA imposters.  Guests Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Joel Fisher (The Riches) did excellent work this episode in vastly different roles.  Nicki Aycox delivered the strongest acting I've seen from her in years.  Carter and Rice continue to grow as a team and as a couple, and their concern for Jaime this week was well played.  The opening and closing gun battles made this the most explosive entry on this week's list.

3. Lie to Me - "Darkness and Light" (FOX)

When Coach Dawkins (guest Dean Norris) hires The Lightman Group to find his runaway daughter, Cal's daughter Emily (18yr old Hayley McFarland) finds herself observing the investigation for a journalism paper for school.  Natalie Dreyfuss (niece of Richard) plays the damaged daughter that, believing her father murdered her mother in front of her as a toddler, Cal & Gillian rescue from the drug & disease addled world of unlicensed-untested porn.  Misunderstood Deception and Protective Lies are emotionally examined in this tale of woe.  Eli's promotion to VP was not as suprising as the romantic chemistry nearly consummated between him and Ria (Monica Raymund).  All involved were at the top of their games.  Would you lie for the one you love?
Natalie Dreyfuss, Kelli Williams & Tim Roth

2. Rizzoli & Isles - "I'm Your Boogie Man" (TNT)

Michael Masse (The Crow) and Billy Burke (Twilight) return which always means Hoyt is tormenting Jane again.  Rizzoli, Korsak, and Isles all reveal touching moments of anguished self-doubt in this sorrowful installment.  With Stockholm syndrome as his weapon Hoyt turns his sights on Frankie, choosing to hurt Jane by hurting her 'baby'-brother.  Rizzoli's intimate confabs with Korsak & Maura, individually brought tears to my eyes, and the climactic end in Jane's home was stunning.

1. True Blood - "Fresh Blood" (HBO)

Between Sam's drunken fit and Northman's vengeful day trippin', it would almost be understandable to overlook Tara's riveting scene with Andy, or Arlene's Wiccan 'family planning' ceremony with Holly.  Summer shined through her tears to gain my empathy, while the unusually unhealthy relationships of Jess/Hoyt and Jason/Crystal progressed.  Eric showed once again why this has been his season -- his negotiating with Edgington, Bill, and Pam all showcased great acting and dialogue.  Sookie's agonizing confusion was no joy to behold - will it fracture her and Bill's relationship permanently?  The Postmortem and In Memoriam this week were bloody fun.  I'd like to catch up with Sophie Anne and Alcide soon, they've both been offscreen for too long.

Guilty Pleasure Award - Rookie Blue - "To Protect or Serve" (ABC)

Much like ABC's The Gates, this summer series is undeniably engaging but suffers from a serious lack of action & intensity.  This week Andy fears her father may've killed a rapist from his police past.  T.O. Swarek gallantly helps her rule him out as a suspect despite some damning initial evidence.  Missy convincingly portrays the mental and emotional stress, panic, worry, and exhaustion accompanying life with (blackout) alcoholics.  Charlotte Sullivan (Gail Peck) charmed, and, The Guardian freerunning *underground superhero* storyline was amusing.
Missy Peregrym as Officer Andy McNally

Guest Star of the Week - Brandi Burkhardt on The Glades (A&E)
Brandi Burkhardt
Trivia Question of the Week:
Dean Norris dramatically guest starred in two of this week's Scripted List shows.
In 1991 he played a SWAT Team Leader in Cameron's T2: Judgment Day.  What other [one named] character has he played in the Terminator franchise?
Dean Norris

Current Medal Standings:
BlueStreak: mvp
Dragavon: mvpmvp
misac: mvp
~ Last week's answer: Northcutt  {Winner: Dragavon}
* Reality Shows*

3. Top Chef: Washington D.C. - "Gastro-nauts" (Bravo)

A dearth of (remaining) summer series, combined with an unusually entertaining epi propelled this show onto this week's list.  Chef Angelo Sosa returned to form winning both the Quickfire and Elimination Challenges this time.  The wine/meal pairing quickfire won him a trip to London, while his primary victory earned him a new Toyota and his dish added to the freeze-dried menu NASA lets astronuats choose from while in space.  Buzz Aldrin guested, Kevin scraped by yet again, and Tiffany surprisingly got sent home.

2. American Chopper: Sr. vs. Jr. - "Meteorite Men Bike" (TLC)

Tragedy struck Paul Jr. Designs this episode as a roofer fell to his death while repairing the shop.  Paul Senior reached out to Junior and Mikey but time and distance, having been in Canada at the time, lessened its impact to just another case of too little too late.  Junior, Mikey and Vinnie continue preparing the shop to function while the Teutul brothers continue nurturing their brotherly bonds.  Skeeter and the boys at OCC built a rugged offroad meteorite hunting bike (w/ sidecar) for Geoffrey Notkin and Steve Arnold (a.k.a. the Meteorite Men) to do their work in.
* sidenote: I caught a few epis of Meteorite Men this weekend and enjoyed it immensely.  Beyond the existence of Olivine crystals, I learned all kinds of facts about meteorites I never knew.  I highly recommend trying thier 2nd season premiere upcoming in October.

1. Top Gear: The Lost Episodes  (BBC-America)

This week saw an unusually focused installment as the episode revolved primarily around 'The Cheap Porsche Challenge', requiring the hosts to purchase and survive a series of tests in any Porsche they could purchase for fifteen hundred quid.  Richard was most frugal getting a 924 (w/ VW engine), May spent the next most on a 944, and *naturally* Jeremy spent all his money upfront on a sporty 928.  The challenge yielded one of the coolest, funnest, and funniest episodes I can remember.  Clarkson also runs a turbo-charged VW Golf GTI through its paces and gives a mostly praiseful review [Stig drives it too].  Sir Richard Cliff tied Sir Patrick Stewart's laptime as this epis "star in a reasonably priced car."

This week didn't make my list selection easy.  Psych, Covert Affairs, Leverage, and White Collar were all List worthy.  ABC's Rookie Blue even increased its dramatic intensity level this time (I'd like more of that please).

Thanks for your ongoing interest in my weekly review column.  I hope you'll join me for my ninth TV Week in Review next week!

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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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