The 2010 Refrigerator Rants Random Awards

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The last few weeks of December are filled with “best of” lists of everything from fashion to food to news to sports. Rather than merely adding to that jumble, I’ve compiled a list of random awards. (If you want to know what the best TV show of the year was, just ask someone who actually watches Mad Men. That won’t stop me from listing my favourites, though.) Some of these awards are good, some of them are bad, and some are just plain, well, random. The awards mainly deal with television, but some also deal with music, the Internet, print media, and movies. I’ve included runners-up for some of the awards. Read on for the winners, the losers, and the, um, “randomers.” More

Episode Review: Undercovers, S1E03, Devices

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Undercovers is only three episodes in, and it already has a formula. While on an international spy mission, Steven and Samantha hammer out their marital issues. Their mission is a failure, which gives Shaw a reason to berate them, but they later succeed and tie things up neatly before the end of the episode (which gives the show an excuse to display two attractive, half-naked people about to have sex at each episode’s end). Along the way, Shaw acts like a curmudgeon, Lizzy acts like a spaz, Leo acts like a douche, and Hoyt acts like a guy who deserves a wedgie. It’s a relatively unique formula, but it’s a formula nonetheless, which makes the show a bit predictable.

One thing that has confused me is that in this episode, Shaw kept threatening to fire the Blooms. However, in the pilot, he hinted that there was a reason behind their reactivation. What the hell is going on? Is there a reason for Shaw’s flip-flopping, or are the writers just being lazy?

In any case, I won’t be finding out for a while. I’m dropping Undercovers from my weekly viewing schedule. It’s not as if it’s particularly bad, but I’m pretty busy at the moment, and a show as formulaic as Undercovers just isn’t worth my time. However, I’ll almost definitely be catching up with it later, once it’s inevitably cancelled. (The show hasn’t been doing well in the ratings.) A ten-episode marathon of mindless entertainment sounds like a fun way to waste a weekend.

Thoughts on Television This Week

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I’ve been really busy lately, so I haven’t had time to write full-blown episode reviews for the shows that I watched this week. (And yes, for the purposes of this entry, the week started on Sunday.) So here are some brief thoughts on what I watched, after the jump. More

Episode Review: Undercovers, S1E01, Pilot

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Let’s get one thing straight: this review is unfair. It’s unfair because my first impressions influenced my opinions, and it’s unfair because I’m going to compare Undercovers to other TV shows. Really, Undercovers had a fine pilot episode in and of itself, but when placed in a wider context against other TV shows, Undercovers just isn’t very good. More

New Shows

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The 2010/2011 television season is about to start. Not many pilots look promising, but I’ll be checking out a few, just to see if I can find new ways to waste my free time. After the jump, I’m going to talk briefly about each of them. More

Chuck Rewatch, S3E03, Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte

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“Well when do we get to take a break from real life? When do we get to be these people again?”
– Ellie, looking at her wedding photos

There’s a new show called Undercovers debuting on NBC in the fall. It’s about a married couple that puts the sizzle back into their relationship by going back to work for the CIA. I don’t know how that show is going to end up being, but I’ve noticed that the promotional materials are trying too hard to push the idea that marriage can be fun and sexy. According to them, the best thing about marriage is the exciting adrenaline rush of romance and not the familiarity of a long, solid partnership. “Chuck Versus the Angel de la Muerte” seems to take the same position the issue at first, but by the end of the episode, we see that Chuck has a very different viewpoint on what a good marriage should be. More