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Nightfly's TV Week in Review #15 (10/17/10) - Nikita, Caprica, DCC & more!

Outhouse tvphile Nightfly reviews his favorite shows from the previous week of primetime television.


Nightfly's TV Week in Review #15 (week of 10/17/10)
written by Nightfly

Though FOX dominated last week (in multiple categories), this week no network appears more than once on my Scripted List.  CBS claims two (2) of my four (4) Sitcom slots with exceptional offerings of $#*! My Dad Says & HIMYM.  Regretfully, last week's column lacked an accompanying Trivia Question of the Week, rest assured this installment has one. Top Chef: Just Desserts seems to own my Guilty Pleasure Award, now having snatched it three weeks in a row.
Between now and next Sunday premieres worth catching include; Hollywood Treasure (SyFy), Meteorite Men (Science), and next Sunday's The Walking Dead on AMC.  And don't miss the American debut of Steven Moffat's Sherlock tonight on PBS!
* Potential Spoilers Below*


6. Undercovers - "Not Without My Daughter" (NBC)
In this epi's Daily Update review I assumed Lizzy (Mekia Cox) knew the same secret Shaw (McRaney) does, upon second viewing however, it struck me she could be talking about an entirely different secret altogether.  Perhaps she was talking to their mother?  Speaking of, I wonder when we'll get to meet her.  This week the Blooms infiltrate North Korea, acquire a strategic piece of equipment, successfully retrieve a scientist-defector, fight off French double agents, and rescue a brave teen bringing a family back together in the process!  On the downside, they miss their own anniversary plans as well as Lizzy's (ninety days drug/alcohol free) sobriety ceremony.  Charles Rahi Chun (Scrubs) nearly took Guest Star of the Week honors for his impressively dramatic turn in this tense and dangerous mission.  Who woulda thunk, with all the "sexpionage" talk, that Hoyt is still a virgin? (hehe)  Linda Hardy, her catfight with Gugu, and lovely Irene Choi were among the brightest spots in this exciting & entertaining episode.

5. Lie To Me - "Dirty Loyal" (FOX)
Dividing lines grow deeper between Gillian and Cal when The Lightman Group is jeopardized by Cal's ever closer relationship with Det. Wallowski.  She and her partner are under intense scrutiny by Internal Affairs over a series of gangland deaths committed by a banger we ultimately learn is Detective Farr's illegitimate son.  Out of guilt, Farr had reflexively covered for his criminal offspring throughout his life but when the crime he covers up is murder the truth must come out.  A potentially pivotal episode in Lightman's and Foster's partnership.
Lie to Me
Monique Gabriela Curnen & Tim Roth

4. Hawaii Five-0 - "Nalowale" (CBS)
A smartly executed blend of story and action fueled this well-paced episode, highlighting a wealth of guest stars and introducing Masi Oka (Heroes) in what fans hope will be a recurring role.  Beautiful Michelle Borth (as Lt. Rollins) & Taryn Manning return in this dramatic story that also gives Jean Smart some shinetime.  Although cool guest stars from The Wire & Homicide: Life on the Street impressed, my personal faves were Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400), and Patrick Gallagher (Coach Tanaka on Glee).  O'Loughlin kicks butt in this installment - another of my favorites from this series so far.
Masi Oka
Masi Oka as M.E. Bergman in "Nalowale"

3. Boardwalk Empire - "Night in Ballygran" (HBO)
Atlantic City's annual Celtic Dinner is embarrassingly raided by Agent Van Alden this episode thanks to Margaret Schroeder and the Women's Temperance League.  Buscemi and Macdonald gracefully display their acting mastery (as always) in this provocative episode featuring the tragic suicide of vivacious Pearl (Emily Meade, My Soul To Take).  Pearl was one of my favorite characters - her beauty and effervescence will be missed.  I'm so glad her death occured offscreen - that's not a moment I wanted to see.  Michael Stuhlbarg (as Arnold Rothstein) captivates in his single scene, fearing being fingered for fixing the World Series.  Will Angela (Aleksa Palladino, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) let Grandma Gillian raise Tommy?  Will Eli's rousing speech win him re-election?  What's next for Margaret?  All questions I can't wait to learn the answers to.
Empire Boardwalk
Kelly Macdonald & Emily Meade

2. Caprica - "Things We Lock Away" (SyFy)
Drew Z. Greenberg pens the stunning death of Tomas Vergis, Amanda's penetration of Willow's polygamist home, and the fateful first meeting of New Cap City's two infamous 'Death walkers.'  Clarice spares Lacey's life and, after gleaning the location of Zoe's backup data, sends her to Gemenon for more training.  Daniel finally reclaims his company in this epic installment showcasing multiple moving portrayals of Zoe Graystone by Alessandra Torresani.  Genevieve Buechner returns as Tamara Adama in arguably the most striking chapter of this story yet.

1. Nikita - "Resistance" (CW)
This exceptionally strong entry reveals staggering truths about the death of Niki's fiancé and the depths of Division's depravity.  Though Maggie Q's forceful prominence is assumed in this series, named after her character, the remarkably impressive talents of Lyndsy Fonseca (as Alex) keep reminding me this incarnation is equally hers.  Kind of amazing, since I certainly didn't originally sign up for The Alex Show, nevertheless she's become a huge part of why I love this series.  If this story signals the new directional approach of the show I'm happily satisfied.  I'd trade an important single shot over machine guns making noise everyday of the week!  Guy Ferland should become one of this series' regular directors if not a supervising producer, imo.

Guilty Pleasure Award - Top Chef: Just Desserts - "Black & White" (Bravo)

TC:JD primarily keeps landing here because I simply don't get 99% of the creations they concoct.  The egos of Team 'Go Diva' as well as the prolific flamboyance overall help me justify this series' routine placement in this less than flattering slot.  Guest judge Michael Laiskonis oversaw a savory Quickfire Challenge and the celebratory Elimination Challenge commemorating the 128th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Times newspaper.  Erika Davis was sent home.  Yigit (sounds like "eat") won with a cake, mousse, compote, ice cream combination.  Morgan calls himself "Shaq" for elbowing Heather's lip, and, in light of his recent controversial wins I'd like to see him go home sooner rather than later.
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Guest Star of the Week: Jennifer Morrison on How I Met Your Mother (CBS)


Clicker.com

Trivia Question of the Week:
Best known as 'Agent Diana Skouris' on The 4400, Jacqueline McKenzie sorrowfully guest starred in this week's Hawaii Five-0.
Post 4400, she was the female lead on which short lived cerebral FOX series?
Jacqueline McKenzie
Jacqueline McKenzie (2010)

Current Medal Standing:
BlueStreak:
Dragavon:
Fintan:
misac:
Psivage:
Punchy:
~ last week's answer: American Family  {Winner: Dragavon}
---------------------------------------------
* Outstanding Sitcoms *

4. $#*! My Dad Says - "Not Without My Jacket" (CBS)
Laughs abound when Ed accidentally violates his own house rule immediately after (publicly) punishing Henry for it.  Josh drives both storylines by borrowing and lending Henry's baseball jacket, and by Vince's learning that he and Bonnie had a brief fling years before she met him.  Shatner's a riot in this ridiculous laugher featuring guests Bob Stephenson (Se7en) and Paula Cale.  Amid all the hullabaloo Henry finally makes time with gorgeous Brooklyn Sudano (Rain) as Zoey.  The outrageous funeral scene alone makes this epi a 'must-see'.
Preston Jones
Preston Jones as Josh

3. How I Met Your Mother - "Architect of Destruction" (CBS)
Jennifer Morrison (House) guests in this week's bewitching examination of womens influence on Marshall & Ted.  While Mosby debates taking a controversial dream job, Marshall frets over the knowledge that his sexual escapades and attributes have been thoroughly discussed between Lily and Robin.  The tiny junk of Robin's new guy humorously plagues Marshall's thoughts, as does the image of Robin watching his lovemaking.  Morrison made this one extra special, demonstrating excellent comedic chops and proving she can lead a sitcom of her own in a second.  The costumes highlighting Ted's changes for women were fun.  Aly in nightwear is always a plus!

2. Running Wilde - "The Party" (FOX)
Steve wrestles with the conundrum of trying to throw a most extravagant "unnecessoirée" while doing it as humbly and eco-friendly as possible (definitely no elephants).  His Emmy instigated "discount twizzler garbage" themed party is stocked with foodstuffs from Puddle and Steve's first visit to a wholesale bulk warehouse store.  Elements like the random hawk attacks and cocaine covered orgy dome made this episode one of the week's funniest.  I'm sure it was a throwaway line, still it'd be funny if Jake Busey makes an appearance in the future.  Keri Russell continues to charm.

1. Eastbound & Down - "Chapter 10" (HBO)
One of Kenny's most miserable chapters still managed to entertain thanks to the ingenious direction of Jody Hill.  The White Flame begins the epi on top of the world but ends it having lost the girl, quit his team, and stolen Sebastian's Lamborghini.  Vida's studio track wasn't hard to decode - Kenny's remix vocals were pimptastic.  Powers' inexplicable hatred of soccer is highlighted in this depressive corner of his hispanic adventure.  Stevie takes it to the next level with Maria, his first girlfriend, though by epi's end he's forced to reluctantly break up with her on Kenny's command.  Stevie surprisingly finds Eduardo Sanchez, and soon after destroying his home studio Kenny returns to steal Sebastian's car!  The chapter concludes with a guest appearance by Don Johnson astonishingly revealed as Kenny's dad.
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* Reality Shows *

3. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team 5 (CMT)
Solo routines and panel interviews are my favorite parts of the early auditioning process and this season's crop delivered.  This group's costumes were attractively inventive and the interviews yielded some laughs when the girls were asked the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner.  Kitty Carter's studio gets some early coverage as a group of potentials polish their solo routines under Kitty's expert tutelage.  Notable favorites from last season Kenley Minchew and Ashley Kelly fail to make it to camp this time, as does newcomer Lauren Gibler despite Judy Trammell's support for her.  No longer in the little mirrored room, this season all evaluations occur on the turf under the unforgiving eye of Cowboys Stadium's giant new Jumbotron screen.  This emotional episode documented the history making graduation of every DCC veteran to training camp - a rare occurrence indeed.  Auditioners Paula Tabares and Meagan Flaherty are profiled; both are promoted to training camp.  Fans of Bring It On, Hellcats and the like need to meet Kelli McGonagill Finglass & Judy Trammell, both classy ladies are a real trip.

2. Project Runway - "Finale pt.1" (Lifetime)
Having already designed their Lincoln Center collections, elimination of one of the last four designers was bound to be emotional, yet this was the most disturbing ever.  The exclusion of Michael Costello from Fashion Week sent him spiraling toward a direction that begged for a 72hr hold.  Gunn's visit to Andy's Hawaiian home was my favorite, by far.  Andy's homelife, though sparse, is for some a literal version of paradise.  Shockingly, Gretchen's homelife now lies in tatters.  Her relationship dissolved, penniless, and with no home of her own, Gretchen's hopes for a finale win are now nakedly desperate.  Fortunately, her stylish mini-collection earned her a spot alongside Andy and (odds on favorite) Mondo showing & competing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.  Singer-actress Jessica Simpson will guest deliberate on what Heidi calls, "the toughest decision in Project Runway history" on the upcoming finale part deuce.

1. Top Gear (BBC-America)
This week the boys amusingly fail to reinvent motorhoming, thereby failing to spare the U.K. of the glass-fiber menace that is caravanning.  Jeremy compares the new Porsche 911 Turbo with the Audi Spyder driven by Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, deciding both German 4WDs are losers because, as he and Hammond agree, 'high performance supercars should not be convertibles.'  The Porsche's active engine mounts address the roofless issue though, and Clarkson blatantly enjoys the engine sound of the Audi.  ALMA winning actor Andy Garcia touches on his family's flight from Cuba, the 1959 Cuban Grand Prix kidnapping, and almost runs over The Stig during practice as this week's "star in a reasonably priced car."  Driving the new Kia cee'd Garcia becomes the fastest American on the board (first and only American, actually) taking 3rd place overall, just under Peter Jones.  The homemade motorhome challenge is the roucous adventure you'd expect, complete with an uncontrolled cooking fire and total destruction of Jeremy's vehicle.  Comely Lauren's convertible hair tests were also a hilarious treat.
Audi Spyder
Audi R8 V10 Spyder (convertible)

Numerous quality shows nearly made my list this week including 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Better With You, The Defenders, The Good Wife, Two and a Half Men, and Rules of Engagement.  Especially interesting since so many FOX shows were absent thanks to baseball.
I apologize for not having a 14th column on the front page last week - you can find a link to its substitute in my opening paragraph or check it out here if you missed it.


Thanks so much for your ongoing interest in this weekly tv column (updated daily).  Please come back next week for my 16th installment and consider voting in this column's corresponding poll.
@ Twitter


Written or Contributed by: Nightfly
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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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