The 2012-2013 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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It’s time to (belatedly) celebrate the end of the television season by giving out meaningless awards!

Sorry for being so late with this. I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t had much time to reflect on the TV season that just passed. But more importantly, I had a lot of frustrations with TV dramas this past season, which sapped my motivation to do these awards. But this has become somewhat of a tradition at the blog, so despite the drama categories being even thinner than last year (based on what I watched), I’m still going to pick my favourite performers and TV shows. The awards can be found after the jump. More

The Marathon: Castle

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I stopped watching Castle some time in the middle of season 4. Looking back now, I can barely remember why. I know that I stopped watching after “Cuffed,” which was a ludicrously awful episode, but one terrible installment isn’t enough to turn me off a show for good. Maybe I had an immature “this show has jumped the shark!” moment, or maybe Castle had dropped in quality and “Cuffed” was just the nail in the coffin. Without rewatching, I guess I’ll never know.

In any case, when I was feeling sick last week, unable to do anything other than passively absorbing images on a screen, I suddenly got a whim to catch up on Castle. So I binge-watched it, catching up on just over a season’s worth of episodes to where it is now. And surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. Like, a lot. More

Pop Cultural New Year’s Resolutions for 2012

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At the start of every year, I make the same new year’s resolutions: get in shape (not going to happen); keep in touch with friends and family (not going to happen); and work/study harder (definitely not going to happen). This year, I’m keeping those same resolutions, but I’m also resolving to make some resolutions that I can actually fulfill. Saying “I’m going to start the day with sit-ups, push-ups, and jumping jacks” is a far more concrete goal than “getting in shape,” for example.

I’m applying the same principle to my pop cultural resolutions this year. Usually, I simply say that I want to watch “more” movies and “less” TV, or something of the sort. But this year, I’ve decided to lay out some clear, attainable goals. I doubt that I’ll achieve them all, but at least I’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at having achieved some of them by year’s end. More

The 2010-2011 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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With the 2010-2011 television season more or less over and summer TV about to begin or recently having begun, it’s time to take a look back at the best that the past year brought us.

Before we dive in, I have to make one thing clear: I don’t watch most television shows, and I barely watch any cable television. I do watch a lot of television on the whole, but not nearly enough to make a fair assessment of what was truly the “best.” For that reason, the awards will be skewed towards the shows that I watch. So don’t go crying about my failure to include The Good Wife, Mad Men, or Friday Night Lights. I don’t watch those shows. With that mind, let’s get started! More

Cliffhanger Anger

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I’ve had the idea for an entry like this kicking around for a while, but I think it’s appropriate to post it now that we’re in the final weeks of the broadcast television season and shows have started airing their season finales. Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen 6 season finales, all of which ended with cliffhangers.1 (That includes How I Met Your Mother, but we’re not going to talk about it here. That could open up a whole can of worms that I don’t want to deal with.) I enjoyed 5 of them (i.e. all of them except HIMYM’s), but the twists at the end of 4 of those 5 left me confused (Fringe), apprehensive (Chuck), frustrated (Community), or just downright mad (Castle).

I’ve already talked about the Fringe, Chuck, and Community season finales elsewhere, so let’s zero in on Castle. The specifics of the episode aren’t important. What matters is that the episode ended with Beckett getting shot and Castle professing his love for her. I didn’t like this cliffhanger for reasons that I’ll elaborate on shortly.

So, which show had a cliffhanger that I did enjoy? Surprisingly, Hawaii Five-0. The episode ended with Kono under investigation, Danny’s family heading back to New Jersey, Chin working for the HPD, and McGarrett in police custody. After the jump, we’re going to take a look at the Castle and Hawaii Five-0 season finales, and why the cliffhanger in the latter worked while the one in the former didn’t. More

Déjà Vu: Thoughts on Castle’s Two-Parter

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Earlier this week, on Monday, Castle concluded its two-parter with “Countdown.” The first part, “Setup” had aired the previous week. Castle did a similar thing last season with “Tick, Tick, Tick…” and “Boom!”

I don’t write much about Castle. It’s a lightweight, quirky procedural that doesn’t lend itself well to extensive commentary. It’s almost always very good, but rarely excellent or mediocre. But “Setup” and “Countdown” were somewhat of a deviation from Castle’s usual formula, so it’s fitting that I write a bit about them, especially in light of what I wrote about the most recent episode of Fringe. I complained that this season’s flashback episode of Fringe was an attempt to replicate the magic of the original, and in the end, it fell short.

I feel the same way about “Setup” and “Countdown” vis-à-vis “Tick, Tick, Tick…” and “Boom!” Both pairs of episodes were built around the same framework. I understand the desire for writers to run with what has worked in the past, but attempting to relive past glory rarely produces results that compare to the original. More

Episode Review: Castle, S3E11, Nikki Heat

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There’s a thin line between not taking oneself too seriously and self-parody, and Castle crossed that line in “Nikki Heat.” Castle’s shift into full-on comedy didn’t work well. The jokes became the focus of the episode, and the case got buried under all the humour, even culminating in a gag where Natalie talked the suspect out of committing suicide by reciting cheesy dialogue from the Nikki Heat screenplay. Furthermore, while I could accept that Natalie’s method acting would allow her to do a reasonable impersonation of Beckett, I just didn’t buy that she would also be able to do Beckett’s job. Beckett is supposed to be a good detective, and if Natalie can learn to be one after a few days of observation, then that devalues Beckett’s abilities. I also didn’t appreciate that Castle was sidelined in the actual crime-solving and didn’t do much other than providing some quips here and there.

I enjoyed some of the jokes, and I enjoyed watching Ryan propose to his girlfriend (played by Seamus Dever’s real-life wife, Juliana), but overall, I thought that “Nikki Heat” was an experiment that didn’t quite work.

I definitely won’t be reviewing Castle on a weekly basis. It’s not a show that I watch very closely or attentively. But it can be a lot of fun, so if you like lighter procedurals, such as Bones and White Collar, you might enjoy this one as well.

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