Archives For TV

If there’s anything that last night’s episode of Girls proved, it’s that Judd Apatow‘s true home is television. The writer/producer/director is famous for The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, but his roots are in programs like The Ben Stiller Show, The Larry Sanders Show and Freaks and Geeks. Now, I love what Apatow has been exploring with film. He’s made some great movies himself, and though they’re flawed, films like Funny People are remarkably honest comedies. Girls, the show created by Lena Dunham, is Apatow’s first foray into TV since Undeclared in 2001. While Lena Dunham is clearly the creative mastermind behind the show, one look back at Tiny Furniture reveals a slightly different sensibility at work in her newest venture.

The most recent episode, ‘The Return’, makes it obvious that the Apatow style has bled into Dunham’s work. First of all, the episode lists Apatow as a co-writer, which is signal enough, but that also shines a light on Apatow’s influence as a producer on the rest of the series. While I did enjoy Tiny Furniture a good deal, it suffered from an overriding air of melancholy. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it made the film feel like it was taking itself ever so slightly too seriously. Judd Apatow’s work has always had hints of melancholy, yet he always balanced that out with goofiness to bring out honesty in his characters instead of depressing self-indulgence. This is what he brings to Girls and it’s reminded me how much I’d love to see him make TV his focus again. Click to read more.

Inspired by this great A.V. Club piece, I have decided to try my hand at picking one of my favourite TV shows and describing its worst episode. And heck, why not making it a semi-ongoing series!

Firefly, Episode 13: Heart of Gold

The show only had 14 episodes (and a movie), but there is no doubt in my mind that the only one that is not very good is Heart of Gold. There are definitely a couple other “lesser” Firefly episodes, but Heart of Gold is the one I often skip when I’m re-watching the series. It’s not that the episode is outright bad. It’s really not. The episode even has a couple classic moments, mainly involving Jayne.

Unfortunately the rest of the episode is just forgettable. It feels like the episode was a bit of an afterthought. Had the show gotten a full 22-episode order this episode would have been considered pure filler. There is some important development regarding the Mal-Inara situation, but even that feels forced, and it was never a driving element of the show to begin with.

The worst thing about the episode is that it actually feels out of place with the rest of the show tonally. This is a little unexpected considering the Western cliché of it all, but it’s the truth. The sentimentalism of the episode. The reasons for the crew getting involved. None of it feels like regular Firefly. It all seems out of touch with what makes Firefly so good. Sure, the show has a sentimental streak, but it reaches that through a combination of sly sarcasm and general cynicism. It also doesn’t help that the idea of the Firefly crew protecting a brothel seems silly even in concept.

Though I wouldn’t say that Firefly has any outright bad episodes, Heart of Gold definitely comes the closest, and for that it is the show’s worst episode.

I watched “LOST”, like so many did, but unlike many I was actually quite satisfied with the ending of the series. I thought it was a touching finale for all the characters I had grown to know and love over a period of almost six years.

But that doesn’t mean I am blind to the fact that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse basically played the plot by the seat of their pants and the narrative didn’t exactly fit together like a well-oiled machine. I don’t really mind that fact, but I can’t deny wishing that the show and all its mysteries had been a little more planned out so that they could pay off better. And now, at the San Diego Comic-Con, Lindelof and Cuse have revealed a deleted scene from the Season 1 finale that shows they really did plan it all out, and that maybe things make a lot more sense than we originally thought.

Or, you know… probably not.