Tag Archives: The Hamptons

Royal Pains – “Strategic Planning”


“Strategic Planning”

June 18th, 2009

Ah, the ol’ second episode switcheroo. It happens more than you’d expect, really, for some pretty obvious reasons: when a show is in its infancy and needs to make sure that it keeps viewers’ attention, that second episode is extremely important. “There Will Be Food” wasn’t necessarily a far better representation of what the show will do, but the continuity of Tucker, who is without question the show’s most likeable Hamptonite, was the smart decision in terms of convincing us that the rich won’t be too heavily dehumanized or even necessarily fall into the same one and done patient formula of other procedural medicine shows.

“Strategic Planning” is pretty much what I expected the show to be, and in some ways what I was hoping it wouldn’t become, but in the end it’s all pretty inoffensive. By recreating the environment in which an episode of House is capable of taking place, and by essentially playing out an episode of House in that environment, the show isn’t doing itself any favours in the originality department. Combine with a lifeless Evan storyline, and some issues of continuity on the Jill/Hank front, and the hold on airing the episode makes a lot of sense. That being said, though, the episode also does a lot to explain how Hank’s business is working, and why Boris would be willing to rent out his guest house to a concierge doctor, which contributes enough to the show’s universe to forgive this well-acted, well-intentioned but ultimately well-treaded territory.

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Season Premiere: Gossip Girl – “Summer, Kind of Wonderful”

“Summer, Kind of Wonderful”

September 1st, 2008

When a show skips over a period of time between a finale and the following season’s premiere, there is an extremely recognizable phenomenon that rears its ugly head: exposition. Whether it’s through steamy bedroom scenes, long monologues or phone conversations, or just about any other contrivance you can think of, the show will spend more time telling us about the past than actually showing us much of anything about where the show is heading.

As a result, the season premiere of Gossip Girl kind of leaves me not just pondering the future, as Kristen Bell suggested I do as the (literal) fireworks went off at episode’s end, but also questioning whether the show that struggled with consistency last season has gained any new perspective to even things out. From the looks of the premiere, they have made some choices that seem to reflect a knowledge of some of its characters, but when others seem so far off the mark it’s hard to necessarily say that the show has a chance of breaking out into something more accomplished in the year ahead.

If we have some faith, however, let it lie in the fact that all of that exposition and the prequel-like nature of this episode seem to indicate that the real action of the season has yet to begin.

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