It’s that time again! Every week, we here at [Insert Pop Culture Reference] each like to share something that we loved this week. Because being a fan is all about spreading the love, and we’re all big fans of well, pretty much everything under the sun. Comment and tell us what you’ve been loving this week!
Stefanie: While I could rave about how the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy proves that this season has the staff of Seattle Grace back to being the surgeons I love (and how much I love the callbacks to earlier days — Dr. Chen! Remember when she was just an intern and Meredith undermined her all the way back in episode TWO?), I’m not gonna. Not anymore than I just did, at least. (I love you, Mark Sloan.) No, no, what I loved this week was Glee.
For the first time, completely, utterly and unabashedly, I loved every minute. Kristin Chenoweth is the perfect guest star for this show and every number was perfection, not only in terms of its performance but in its placement within the story. Letting Lea Michele and Kristin Chenoweth share “Maybe This Time” was a stroke of genius that had me in absolute paroxysms of delight, and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve listened to “Alone” since Wednesday night. No, I can’t, it’s too embarrassing. This was easily the best episode of the show yet and the first where I’ve had absolutely no complaint (well, other than that Will really took the wrong lesson out of meeting that waiter, didn’t he? But “he dumb” isn’t really a critique). A+, Glee.
Scott: There are, currently, about three different solo Wolverine titles coming out. There’s Wolverine, currently titled Dark Wolverine and about his son, Daken, who I, frankly, don’t give a damn about. There’s Wolverine: Origins, in which his ridiculously complicated backstory gets even more complicated and features a bad guy who is basically Wolverine drawn with more claws and bigger hair.
And then there’s Wolverine: Weapon X, which has been (accurately) described as the one where Wolverine fights guys with laser claws and guns that shoot cancer. That, on its own, would be enough to shoot it to the top of the list, as far as his solo titles go, but it’s more than just a cool sounding gimmick. The plot concerns a resurrection of the old Weapon X project, in the form of a black ops squad given healing factors, adamantium skeletons, and the aforementioned laser claws. Issue #4 dealt primarily with Wolverine fighting just one of these guys, and killing him took the entire issue, leaving 11 to take out in the conclusion.
I’m going to link two pages here, with the proviso that if you intend to read this series, at any stage – and I would recommend you do, in fact – do not click these links.
They set a trap on an oil rig. He says he has to make a stop before he goes there and I assume they’re about to pull out the same overused MacGuffin that’s been popping up in Wolverine stories ever since it was introduced. I was wrong. I was gloriously, fantastically wrong.
On top of that exceptional moment of badassness, there’s the appreciation for Wolverine by someone who gets him, that he’s more than just a brawler, that there is more to him than one-liners and fight scenes. It’s a Wolverine story done right; a smart badass dealing with a problem he feels responsible for, a conspiracy, an innocent or two getting drawn in, and some backstabbing to boot. At issue five, this one’s looking promising.
Laine: It’s not often that the pilot episode of a show will really hook me. With so much to accomplish in a short time, this is pretty understandable; that’s why I usually give it a few episodes before I make a decision. This week, though, I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of Flash Forward on my DVR, and man, I am damn glad I did.
There’ve been so many ads for it that I was honestly beginning to doubt it would live up to the hype. The premise admittedly sounds kind of hokey, if intriguing: everyone on the planet blacks out at the same time, for two minutes and seventeen seconds, and for that time, sees roughly six months into the future. And by everyone, I mean everyone. I was really only interested because it was advertised during Lost, and, more importantly, I love Joseph Fiennes.
For a concept like this, though, it is executed fantastically, bringing Lost to mind without being too similar. This early in, it’s set up the kind of mystery that makes you want to keep watching, no matter how bizarre it seems (I won’t say much more than that; I’d rather have people watch than give away too many details right now). It goes from chilling (a little girl sitting up in bed after her flash forward saying only, “I dreamed there were no more good days”) to touching (the main character in bed with his wife after she reveals that her flash forward had her with another man) to downright creepy all at once, with just the right amount of humor thrown in to make it, you know, watchable.
Most praise-worthy, though, are the actors. Both Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) and Sonya Walger (Lost) are so far fantastic as the aforementioned FBI agent set on investigating the cause of the blackout and his wife, dealing with the consequences of what she’s told and, in his case, what he hasn’t.
Leshia: The season 4 premiere to Showtime’s smash hit Dexter was fabulous, as expected by anyone who’s enjoyed the series over the last few years. The show’s had its occasional stumbles, but the hits have always far outweighed the misses. None of this is news. The ‘holy crap awesome’ standout part of the episode (and likely the season from the looks of things), however, was far and away John Lithgow’s turn as the much-hyped Trinity Killer, this season’s big bad. While he was naked a lot more than I think I’m comfortable with (a LOT more), in his few short scenes he was equal parts intriguing, emotionally wrenching, and full-on check-behind-the-doors-when-you-walk-into-a-room terrifying. If this is a sign of things to come (which, judging by the formula Dexter really likes sticking to for its story arcs, it is), we ain’t seen nothing yet from Lithgow. Expect another Guest Actor Emmy nod in his future.
Angel: I’ve been watching a LOT of television lately. Somehow, even more than normal, now that I’ve got Netflix instant watch, and one series that has completely taken me by surprise is The IT Crowd. Three seasons long so far (with a Christmas episode scheduled for this December and a fourth season commissioned for next year), it currently runs on Channel 4 overseas.
The show chronicles the exploits of IT workers Roy and Moss, and their boss Jen, who knows absolutely nothing about computers. If it hadn’t premiered a year before it, I’d call The IT Crowd Britiain’s answer to CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. The show’s hilarious, filled with pop culture references and nerd humor. I finished all three seasons in a little under a week, and the show has fast become one of my absolute favorites, if only for exchanges like the one seen here.
If you like The Big Bang Theory, odds are, you’ll like The IT Crowd, if not only because you’ll get the incredibly geeky jokes.
Chantaal: Whereas Scott had the mental fortitude to keep sane and somewhat unbiased in his Stargate Universe review, I was nowhere near the same. I love Stargate. I loved SG-1, I was crazy about Atlantis, and I loved the premiere of Stargate Universe. It did have its ups and downs, and I agree with everything Scott pointed out in his review, but to be honest, none of that really matters to me. No Stargate show’s ever been perfect, but seeing the legacy live on, seeing new characters (even if they’re newever versions of familiar characters – Scott/Eli are definitely this generation’s Jack/Daniel and Shep/McKay) deal with what the circumstances they’ve been thrown into, seeing that gate light up thanks to the ninth chevron — like, goddamn, people! THEY DIALED THE NINTH FREAKIN’ CHEVRON. I just. Aagh! I can’t describe how happy it made me, especially the last 30 seconds.
The whole Stargate mythos, the universe, it’s all something I love dearly, and I’m so, so happy to have a Gate show back on my TV.