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Grey’s Anatomy — “Losing My Religion”: character unification

Because of my appreciation of Scandal, over Thanksgiving break I decided to give Grey’s Anatomy a second shot, given that my first impression of the show wasn’t so great. Over the course of the first two seasons, I’ve come to appreciate the show quite a bit. It has an intense focus on character, to such a degree that most episodes often feel plotless, simply because the characters are the ones driving the action. That’s how it should feel, but it’s not until you watch a master at work that you realize how many other shows rely on plot to drive a show. It only works because the characters are undeniably selfish at all times; they’re surgeons, sure, but they want things beyond the scope of their jobs, which is obviously where the show mines its drama. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in The Archives

 

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Scandal: Olivia Pope’s house of cards

Two weeks ago, the Scandal season two episode “Beltway Unbuckled” ended with a bombshell cliffhanger: Olivia Pope, Mellie Grant, Cyrus Beene, Hollis Doyle (recently introduced as an oil magnate), and Verna Thornton (the fixer who taught Olivia everything she know) gathered in a room together to discuss the “David Rosen problem.” That problem being David Rosen, then-former Attorney for the United States, chasing down a conspiracy theory involving Olivia’s newest team member, Quinn Perkins. It was, quite frankly, a bizarre way to end an episode. But here we are two episodes later, and suddenly it makes the most logical kind of sense. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in The Archives

 

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Arrow: Revenge of the Batman?

I guess now is as good a time as any to drop an opinion about The CW’s Arrow into the mix. A lot of people (too many to cross-reference, but you know who you are) have been comparing it both favorably and unfavorably to Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy. My fellow This Was TV contributor Noel Kirkpatrick offered a side-by-side comparison of the show to ABC’s hit soap-drama Revenge. Both comparisons are apt to make, but not necessarily for the reasons being given. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iRescue Carly”

Part of having one show end and two spinoffs begin is being able to celebrate the qualities of the characters that the audience has come to know over the past few years. It’s a more challenging prospect for Victorious given that Cat Valentine has only existed for a couple of years at most, but Sam Puckett entered the public consciousness with iCarly‘s success, and she has maintained high status both within and without the show for a variety of reasons, some of which are on display in “iRescue Carly.” However, it’s also worth noting the selfish desires on display, as those are often the ones that highlight character, particularly in sitcoms. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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Victorious — “Three Girls and a Moose”

Victorious being what it is, it can sometimes feel like the show is out of touch with high schoolers (and with their predecessors, the tweens). But more often than not, it’s succinct in employing its plots in ways that bring the characters to the limits of their insanities without crossing the line of disbelief. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in The Archives, Victorious

 

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iCarly — “iFind Spencer Friends”

Tonight’s episode of iCarly is rather slim, focusing primarily on the iCarly team’s attempts to find Spencer some grown-up friends for his birthday. But it highlights two important aspects of the show’s growth over the past five years worth mentioning. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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Victorious — “Opposite Date”

Tori and Beck in Opposite Date courtesy Nickelodeon

Victorious could well be considered a master-class in the art of the multi-camera sitcom. One of its biggest assets is in finding ways to fill up small, enclosed sets with a story so ready to be told that it’s bursting at the seams of the television. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in The Archives, Victorious

 

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iCarly — “iGet Banned”

iCarly: iGet Banned courtesy Nickelodeon

iCarly may be approaching its final episode, but it still has a few balls in the air that it can use to churn out a few good stories a week. Case in point: this week’s episode “iGet Banned” returns to T-Bo living with the Bensons as a plot point. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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iCarly — “iShock America”

Things were going well in “iShock America.” Two very funny segments involving a back-and-forth love-fest between Jimmy Fallon and iCarly led to the latter being invited onto the former. They travel to New York City (and travel is always one area where iCarly derives plenty of humor). Things go smoothly on the show, with everyone, including Freddie’s mom, watching and cheering. And then… Gibby’s pants malfunction. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in iCarly, The Archives

 

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Supernatural — “We Need To Talk About Kevin”

The big problem, broadly speaking, with Supernatural‘s sixth and seventh seasons is what appeared at first to be a general lack of focus, with subplots being dropped for seemingly no reason and twists coming almost from out of nowhere only to be the driving force for a while. In hindsight, though, what Sera Gamble and the writers of the show tried to do was actually not bad in theory: mimicking film, the show adopted a three-act story structure for both seasons, so as to allow for one-offs the writers had always wanted to do and the obligatory fan-service episodes that keep people coming back for more (“The French Mistake” did nothing if not unite the fandom for one brief week in the middle of the wasteland that was season six.) while still having a plot that moves forward regardless of anything else. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in The Archives

 

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