Midseason Report Card: Parks and Recreation, Season 4

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If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that I’ve adopted somewhat of an unpopular stance on this season of Parks and Recreation. Simply put, Season 4 just hasn’t really clicked for me so far. I’ve outlined the reasons for my ambivalence in my episode reviews, but I’ll attempt to give a brief summary after the jump. More

Midseason Report Card: Fringe, Season 4

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Fringe has found itself in a tricky position this season as it has tried to establish a brand new timeline, essentially relaunching the show. Has it worked? We’ll take a look after the jump. More

Midseason Report Card: White Collar, Season 3

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This season of White Collar has inspired some strong opinions on the Web. There are people who think the show had gotten too cuddly last season with Peter and Neal becoming chummy and are loving this season’s Nazi loot storyline. On the other hand, there are people who think that the storyline has ruined Neal and Peter’s relationship and has been no fun to watch. It’s not my intention to disparage anyone’s opinion on that or any other White-Collar-related matter. At this point, either you like the Nazi loot storyline or you don’t. Either you hate Sara or you don’t. Either you think the wit and banter are enough to compensate for the sloppy writing or you don’t. I don’t, on all three of those counts, so you can probably guess where I stand on this half-season of White Collar. If that’s enough of an assessment for you, then I’m not forcing you to read on.

Oh, you’re still here. Damn it. I guess I have to write an actual report card in that case. Some thoughts about White Collar’s third season follow after the jump. More

End-of-Season Report Card: 18 to Life, Season 2

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18 to Life is a charming little show. That’s a diplomatic way of saying that it doesn’t aim high but it doesn’t often disappoint. Season 1 deftly mixed comedy and sweetness, but got stuck in the rut of having too many plots centred around a conflict between Tom and Jessie. Season 2 expanded the show’s horizons a bit. More

End-of-Season Report Card: White Collar, Season 2

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It’s been a strange season for White Collar. In its summer run, it delivered top-quality cases every week and featured some of the show’s finest episodes. Its winter run was considerably messier, culminating in a string of episodes that were fraught with plot holes and lazy writing. I’ll make what I can of this quality yo-yo after the jump. More

End-of-Season Report Card: Human Target, Season 2

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Grrrrr…

Grrrrr…

Grrrrr…

That’s the collective growl of anger coming from Human Target’s fan base as they watched former Chuck writer Matt Miller turn their beloved show into a sappy Chuck-Lite, complete with – you guessed it – a will-they/won’t-they dynamic! After the jump, we’re going to look at what happens when a show goes horribly, horribly wrong. More

Midseason Report Card: White Collar, Season 2

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I know that this has been long-delayed, but I’ve waited until now to write up this report card for two reasons. 1) I didn’t think of the idea of writing midseason report cards until November of last year, at which point White Collar had finished the first half of its season long ago. 2) I figured that I might as well delay it until shortly before the season’s winter premiere so that it would be relevant in at least some respect. With that it mind, this report card won’t be very lengthy. White Collar isn’t the deepest of television shows. After all, it airs on the USA network, a channel whose mission seems to be to produce the most generic, repetitive television series possible. But somehow, White Collar has managed to stand out above the rest with its wit and charm, which is why I continue to watch it. More

Midseason Report Card: Cougar Town, Season 2

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If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t really want to write this report card. I don’t want to grade Cougar Town. I don’t want to analyze it or pick it apart. I just want to make up words of praise (“It’s stupendifluous!”) and gush about how truly excellent this show has been in its second season. Cougar Town is, without a doubt, the funniest, silliest, and most heartwarming show that I watch. What makes it so great? I’ll try to be coherent about it after the jump. More

Midseason Report Card: Fringe, Season 3

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If you’d asked me way back early in season 1 if Fringe had potential, I’d have laughed in your face and told you to go watch a real television show. Fringe was kind of a joke when it started out. Many viewers derided it as an X-Files rip-off. The acting was terrible, the cases were pedestrian, and the show as a whole lacked a coherent narrative.

Fast-forward to season 3 and none of that is true anymore. The show regularly entertains, week after week. There are compelling characters portrayed with nuance by talented performers. Moreover, the alternate universe has greatly expanded the storytelling possibilities. Fringe is now must-see television. After the jump, we’re going to take a closer look at what has thus far been the show’s strongest season. More

Midseason Report Card: Community, Season 2

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I’m back, and what better way to come back than with Community’s midseason report card?

“Uneven” and “inconsistent” aren’t good adjectives to describe Community’s second season. Those words connote a mixture of good and not-so-good, and that isn’t what the season has been so far. A better way to describe it would be “violent roller coaster of quality operated by a carnie hopped up on meth.” Season 2 has brought us brilliance and garbage and everything in between. Sometimes, it has made me fall out of my chair laughing, and other times, it has been so excruciating to watch that I would have rather taken several swift kicks to the groin. More details after the jump. More

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