First off, some thoughts on Cougar Town and Community this week.

Cougar Town
S2E05, Keeping Me Alive
Yet another stellar episode. It wasn’t as gut-bustingly funny as the other episodes this season have been, but it had a lot of great dramatic and character moments. I especially enjoyed Jules and Bobby ironing out the kinks in their ex-spouse relationship, as well as Travis and Ellie coming to terms with their snobbishness. This wacky sitcom (whose title card this week asserted is 100% cougar-free) is my current favourite show on television.

Community
S2E05, Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples
I just didn’t understand this episode. Why was Pierce acting out? What was the point of the main plot if all it resulted in was Shirley and Abed becoming humbled and gaining some respect for each other? Was all that fake religious satire really necessary? This was just another case of the show failing to use satire well and attempting to mask this failure as a satire of satire. Hey, Community: if something doesn’t make sense, mocking how little sense it makes doesn’t make it any more comprehensible. Got it? Now, please ditch the meta crap and tell real stories. Also, if you’re going to employ the overused parent/rebellious-teenager trope, like you did in the Jeff/Britta/Pierce subplot, you have to do it at least ten times better than that.
This season has been uneven so far. I fear that the writers are running out of ideas or are trying too hard to be “meta.” They need to take a step back and remember that the charm of the show lies in fun character stories and wacky community college hijinks, not in smug, so-called “cleverness.” I’m hoping for better in the weeks to come.

 

In other news, I recently watched the entirety of Fringe from the beginning. The first season was lackluster, too slow, and too horror-focused. The second season was a substantial improvement, and its two-part season finale* left my head spinning; it was one of the best season finales that I’ve ever seen. So far, season 3 has been stellar (even if my brain vomits a little bit when it thinks about Peter sleeping with Fauxlivia).

I’ve also caught up with Bones out of morbid curiosity. Unsurprisingly, season 6 has thus far been much better than the back half of season 5, but it obviously hasn’t been as good as the first three seasons. It’s nice to see an improvement, but I don’t think that I have the patience to tune in regularly. I’ll keep catching up whenever I have time.

Coming up, I’m planning** some entries on Facebook, television romance, and the relationship between writers and fans. Stay tuned.

 

* I’m aware that the two constituent episodes aired a week apart from each other, but in my head, they flow as one two-part episode. In any case, even “Over There: Part 2” taken by itself is one of the best season finales that I’ve ever seen.

** When I say that I’m planning an entry, I mean that I may or may not write it.

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