Thursday Night TV Club – January 25th, 2007

So, let’s face it, it’s a pretty slow night for TV on paper. There are only three of Thursday’s big shows that are new, so in terms of numbers there isn’t much to go on. Despite this fact, however, there appears to be plenty to talk about nonetheless.

The worst thing for American viewers is that all three of the shows which are new all air at the same time. However, thanks to the joys of Canadian Simulcasting, The O.C., CSI and Grey’s Anatomy are all at different times through this evening. And thus, let us take a look at these three shows in terms of their performance last evening.

 

3. CSI – “Redrum”

While I will admit to not paying complete attention to this, it’s still interesting to see a procedural actually change a little with the introduction of a new character. Liev Schriber’s Keppler is no Gil Grissom, but I think that this is a good thing, as was shown here.

The reverse forensics approach (Hench the redrum, get it?) was a bit difficult to follow while watching only half-heartedly, but it’s something I like to see. It had these characters, usually working in relative harmony, pitted against one another, and then the happy reunion of everyone at the end.

Also, I haven’t watched much of CSI since the whole Grissom/Sara reveal, but even without Grissom on screen it felt weird. I’m definitely not shipping for those two, that’s for sure.

2. The O.C. – “The Groundhog Day”

Okay, so The O.C. is entering its final five episodes of existence, so we knew there would have to be some sort of drama at the centre of tonight’s episode that would lead us forward. Specifically, we needed to see some sort of drama enter the picture for the parents, as well as at least some sort of resolution to the whole Taylor/Ryan saga. And, in the end, we got most of this, to varying degrees of success.

As far as Taylor/Ryan are concerned, they’re very cute but the episode didn’t do much for them. Their resolution seemed forced, and Taylor was technically right: she IS crazy, and whether or not its endearing it’s dangerous. With only four episodes left, they need to be on the road to happy at this point, so let’s hope they head in that direction.

I was happy to see the Seth/Che love affair end quickly, and in the end it seemed like an excuse to bring Chris Pratt into play, which I guess is understandable. The entire thing was handled better than I expected, especially after last week’s ominous ending.

I must admit, Kaitlin and I are getting along, which is why I like Julie’s decision (As ominous as it might be) to dump Hercules for Bullet. While he’s abrasive, he seems genuinely good to Kaitlin, and for the purpose of their family dynamic it simply makes more sense. Plus, one of these two people lied about having a terminal illness. All of this said, I think Frank Atwood isn’t entirely evil and I expect him to either die a jerk or survive a decent guy, and I’m not too averse to his return. Still, Ryan has to end up with the Cohens as his key family, in the end.

But, I said in my “What’s New?” section that we needed some parental drama, and, uh…thanks? I wasn’t exactly expecting a pregnancy, although it was one of the two options to explain Kirsten’s illness. My immediate thought had been breast cancer, but I sensed that the episode wasn’t heading in a direction nearly dramatic enough to justify it. And, as a result, Kirsten is pregnant. It may be unlikely, it may be a bit sappy, but the idea of the Cohen family being able to move on after the show ends can’t help but add a positive spin to the show’s end.

Also: $10 says we’ll be seeing the Cohen offspring in a flash forward at series end. Seth as a big brother, for some reason, is somewhat entertaining me. And, considering how young they still are, we need to end up finding out what happened to everyone, it’s just that kind of show.

 

1. Grey’s Anatomy – “Great Expectations”

Oh, Grey’s. It’s a show so wrought in drama that it can begin on a dramatic note, continue on a dramatic note, and then end on a dramatic note, all fairly effortlessly. And, last night was no exception.

The race for Chief? Wrought with drama. We’ve got a former love triangle, a surgeon who for all intensive purposes should have been fired by now, and we’ve got a Chief whose decision to retire was based entirely on getting his wife back…and she’s off frackin’ another guy. As we head into February Sweeps, one wonders where things will head from this point.

Sex-crazed George? Since it’s all based on his father’s death, there’s some drama there, and it’s tough to categorize. George is a character that we’ve already seen emotionally damaged over his ill-advised fracking of Meredith, so it seems like the same basic territory. I’m hoping that it allows his character to go someplace. Bailey has been provided an outlet for her emotional issues with her free clinic, and George needs something like that, not just a hug from Izzy.

But, let’s get right to it. Double marriage proposals. Mind you, Friday Night Lights did a marriage proposal to end its episode on Wednesday (Although we got an answer, an ill-advised and hilariously stupid yes, there), but this one was different. When Burke asked Christina to marry him, it seemed heartfelt. Mind you, I don’t necessarily know how her refusing to apologize was so attractive, but they seem genuinely happy with the situation and I don’t see it as a tragic. She might withhold the answer, but I don’t see any huge drama coming out of it.

But, uh, George? Last time you went with big romantic gesture it was the above frackin’ incident with Meredith. That didn’t end well. You don’t do good with gestures, you do better with well though out plans. It’s a tough trip for poor George, as Callie has to say no. George is emotionally damaged, with cement in his heart, and she can’t marry him just because he asks her. It’s going to be heartbreaking.

Which is why Grey’s is number one. The episode did everything a good drama should do: Character development, Amish people, Interpersonal relations, closet chats, and a whole host of dramatic situations with implications for the future of these characters. More dramas need Amish people, by the way.

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