As Seen By Rae: Monday Night Television from HIMYM to “Heroes”   

Hiro comes face to face with his hero, Kensei, on last night's episode of 'Heroes'.One of the things I hate about getting to see pilots early is that premiere week ends up not being quite as exciting as it could be. My real premiere week starts next week, when I finally get to see some new episodes of the shows I liked and can see if they’re living up to their pilots and hype. Meanwhile, my returning favorites are new this week but they’re suffering from high expectations. I have all summer to wallow in the parts of the shows that I love so that when these first episodes come around, I’ve made it almost impossible for any of them to really blow me away. I can’t wait until we’re back in the routine so that I can go back to having normal expectations of my shows!

I say of that to prepare you for the fact that, while I enjoyed the episodes I got last night, none of them were outstanding. In fact, I enjoyed the new episode of Prison Break the most. However, I am so happy to finally have new episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Heroes to discuss. And, quite frankly, even an episode of Heroes that is mostly set up thrills me more than most other TV these days. I also gave the pilot of The Big Bang Theory another shot last night. Read my thoughts on that and the others below.

On my schedule for tonight: Bones, Reaper, Boston Legal, and Cane


How I Met Your Mother – 3×01: Wait For It

First, can I just say how visually amazing I found that overhead shot of the black umbrellas with the one yellow umbrella weaving it’s way through the crowd? It probably helps that one thing I love about this show is how they always set up later stories. I suppose I should find it annoying that they tease us like that but, let’s face it, there was never any hope of meeting “the Mother” this early. So, I appreciate that they are at least setting up what’s to come later. In a way, it actually reassures me because it shows they’ve actually thought about how they are going to handle the reveal and now have to follow through with it.

Back to what actually did happen in last night’s episode, I must admit that I was a little disappointed in Mandy Moore’s guest role. She was a little too much (not her fault) and I didn’t really find her scenes all that funny. Enrique was more amusing. Speaking of, what the hell was up with Robin’s hair?! I’m a little worried about Robin’s role as I could feel my feelings for her regressing. It took me a long time to warm up to her and I hope this episode isn’t an indication of how they are going to integrate her into the show this season because I fear I’m going to fall right back off the Robin wagon. Although, imaginary Robin and her new boyfriend having sex while surfing/sailing (whatever it is they were doing) was pretty great and I did love the “argument” she and Ted had there towards the end. Ok, maybe I’ll be fine once we get past the awkward they’re-not-dating-anymore stuff.

What else? Loved Barney’s overwhelming need to be Ted’s wingman interfering with his desire to nail the any girl. It’s so true to character. I also loved Marshall stalking him and warning him about the slap bet. It’s so silly but it’s the kind of silly that I love about this show.

Overall, this wasn’t the best episode and I was hoping for a bit more from the premiere but, even when I don’t absolutely love an episode, I still enjoy the show. I think I’m more excited about next week’s show when we’ll be free of impossible premiere week expectations and big name guest stars. This show is at it’s best when it focuses on the core group instead of bringing in too many other characters.

 

The Big Bang Theory – 1×01: Pilot

Weirdly enough, this was the only pilot I re-watched last night. Probably because CBS just sent me a screener of the final cut yesterday and, seeing as some of the other TV bloggers out there seemed to love this show, I felt like I owed it another chance. Verdict? Still as painfully unfunny as I thought the first time I watched it. The only punch-line that made me laugh was the “not to mention imaginary” line from Sheldon when Leonard is talking about the babies he’ll have with Penny. It sounds like I’m being overly harsh, I know, but I honestly don’t get what anyone can find to like in this show and I’m sure it doesn’t help that the one female character is not one that I can relate to on any level. Clearly this show isn’t for me.

 

Heroes – 2×01: Four Months Later

I’m curious what the reaction to this episode will be. Here’s the thing, I love this show. I’ve actually done a good job of not obsessing about it this summer so I had absolutely no expectations going into this episode and I think that definitely helped. It was a slow starter but I’m ok with that. The one problem with the way they ended the show was that they now had to reposition everyone and show us what was going on. It did kind of give them a blank slate to work from but it also meant that there was going to be mostly set up and very little actual action.

Let’s start with one of my pet peeves. The timelines on this show drive me up the wall. Yes, I am going to bitch about that again. It took me almost half of the season last year to finally accept that the writers just didn’t care if their stories were happening on the same timeline. I get flashing from one story to the next and that you can’t just skip entire sections of a story because of how quickly time has moved elsewhere but it’s really fucking distracting. I think there might have been a point there when an entire day passed somewhere else and Claire was still sitting in the gym. Grrr. Or Alejandro and Maya’s continuous night. Ok, sorry. Deep breath and moving past this issue. Except that I gotta point out that four months did NOT pass in Hiro’s timeline!!! Of all the time issues that bugged me this episode, that was the worst of all. Theoretically he can travel in time so I guess we can hand wave it as him being on a different timeline but that seems ridiculous. Last season, the same amount of time passed for him regardless of where in history his physical body was residing at the time. Why’s it different now?

Sorry. Moving on. At first I didn’t get what the hell Mohinder was doing and all I could think was about how everyone was going to bitch about him still whining to people about the genetics issue. Then he talked to HRG and I realized it was all a trap and then I loved it. I’m still a little unsure who they were baiting but I know that I’m supposed to be. Is Matt in on it? I’m guessing yes since we left those three working together last season. I kinda dig those guys all being on the same side.

I’m a little confused about Matt’s walking away from his wife considering that she was pregnant and there are ways I can fanwank it but I think this was one area where we could have used just a wee bit more exposition. Normally I’d say I’m ok with waiting to find out that information but this show is historically bad at ever filling us in on things. They have such a large cast of characters to juggle that I think they honestly forget some of these little details at times. I do like that he and Mohinder are taking care of Molly. Not sure who would ever reward them custody but Molly and Matt were very cute together. What’s up with her drawings, though? Are those people with powers that she’s seeing? I got that they were supposed to be just like the photos Mama Petrelli and Hiro’s Daddy got but does that mean she’s seeing the person who is eliminating them in her mind or seeing them all get the photos? Molly’s power sometimes confuses me.

Did I mention having the Midas touch be a power is awesome? Because it totally is.

Aww, poor Claire. Not only does she have to start a new school, she has to become a completely different person to make sure she stays out of the limelight. I don’t know what I think about her annoying lab partner but I knew he was going to have a power. It’s possible I had been spoiled for that over the summer and forgotten. He was annoying me with his whole robot speech, but teenagers who think they are so cool by being non-conformist annoy me so that probably explains that. I hope he gets a little better because I love Claire and I don’t spend time being annoyed at her scenes with another character. I did love the HRG/Claire moments. Aww, she brings out the best in him. Except, what’s up with giving her a car just like that? Ok, ok, I know he has some things to make up for in the past so I guess this is one case I can actually get behind a parent gifting their teenager with a ridiculously expensive car. The scene at the dinner table was pretty funny. Ah, family. Then Claire called Nathan and I like that she’s been calling him instead of just breaking off contact. What the heck happened though?! (This is the good kind of not knowing what happened and being excited to see it get revealed over the season.) One final note about Claire, even when she’s not allowed to be “special” we still have to get at least one or two scenes in with her doing stupid things just so we can see how she heals. Will the writers ever get tired of exploiting Claire’s power?

Look at that, I completely forgot to mention HRG and the scene at the store. I see that he likes to talk the talk but when it comes to walking it he’s not so great. He tells Claire not to stand out in anyway and there he is totally acting like he’s better than his manager. True, it helps that his manager is a dick but his behavior also makes him stand out and could put the family in danger just as much as Claire’s could. And, yes, I say that even though I loved his putting the manager in his place. Ha.

This show should have had a post of its own. I haven’t even talked about Hiro and Kensei or Daddy Nakamura’s death or Alejandro and Maya or Nathan or Peter. It feels good to really have things to say about a show! Since this paragraph is kind of random anyway, I should note that there was an obvious shout out to last year’s pilot and I’ll be damned if I can remember it now. Can any of you help a girl out? It was a line that was said during the pilot that they repeated here although it wasn’t said the same way or even, I think, by the same person. Still, I did love it being in there.

Ok, let’s talk about Hiro and Kensei. First I’ll say that I love Kensei already. I can’t wait to find out what his power is. I assume he knows about it, no? According to the tales Hiro was repeating about his hero, I get the feeling that Kensei had already done some of the things he’s lauded for in the history books. That makes me want to discount the idea of Hiro being the one who actually does the things his hero did. Plus, didn’t Hiro already find out that he can’t actually change history that much with Charlie? Wouldn’t that mean he couldn’t do the things himself? Of course, that makes no sense because we’ve seen that his interference with Peter did change the past/future according to the show. Ignore the rambling TV whore in the corner. Ok, so he could still be the one behind Kensei’s actions but that just seems to obvious. I guess it’ll depend on whether Kensei knows about his power or not. Or whether that damn eclipse we saw at the beginning of that section is what jumpstarts it for him. Hmmmmm. I like that!

I think my favorite part of the entire episode last night was when Kensei takes off his mask and Hiro puts his glasses back on to make sure he wasn’t imagining Kensei being some white dude. Heh. It was just a funny sight gag. Plus, I just like that Hiro always gets the funniest lines. It should be fun to see that storyline play out. Even though it’ll be sad for him to return and find out that his dad was murdered. I sense a more serious Hiro in our future.

Speaking of, who the hell is the mysterious hoody wearing person killing off the “big” powers? We know whoever it is didn’t actually have anything to do with some of the deaths Nakamura mentioned but clearly he/she is taking advantage of the situation opened up by those deaths. And how did Nakamura know who it was when there wasn’t anything too distinguishable about the person? I want it to be a female just because that’s not the obvious assumption and would explain the outfit. Will Nathan be there to protect Mama Petrelli? As much as I hate her, I like her being alive.

Which brings me to Nathan and Peter. Suddenly Adrian’s out of control hair earlier this summer makes SO MUCH sense. That is some craziness there. How quickly he fell in the last four months. What I want to know is how many people know he’s alive. He’s living out of Peter’s apartment and drowning his sorrows. Did he decide to leave his family or did he decide it was better that people believe he’s dead? That might explain the beard. Then again he’s clearly got the whole guilty conscience thing going on what with his seeing a burned up Peter in mirrors. Eeep. That was not a pretty face. Is that what he last saw of Peter or does he really think Peter’s dead? SO MANY QUESTIONS. And they all lead to Peter, chained in that freight box and not seeming to know his own name and wearing that symbol. Oooh…

See, even if I didn’t think it was a great episode, I think they’ve done a great job at setting things in place. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

 

Prison Break – 3×02: Fire/Water

Imagine my surprise when this was the show that kept me the most engaged last night. I debated not watching this one until later but I’m glad that I didn’t. Things are moving pretty quick in Panama! I somehow missed the deadline the crazy lady, “Susan,” gave Linc and Michael last week. Did they know that they only had a week last week? Not that it matters. I love how that forces the character and therefore the show to move quickly. Gives me up that we really won’t be spending the entire season in SONA.

First up, I am a little confused by Whistler’s girlfriend’s use of the note. As I suspected last week, he was trying to send her another message via Michael’s dead body so isn’t it odd that she was able to get into the safety deposit box without it? Wait. Was he just sending the same note out every time not knowing when she’d be there to actually get it? Ok, that makes a lot more sense than what I was thinking. I’m an idiot. Guess I need to start wearing my glasses while watching my Monday night shows. Anyway, back to the girlfriend. I did love Linc walking right up to her and taking the bird guide from her and his switching it out later. When he didn’t really fight having to give the book up, I knew he hadn’t given “Susan” the real one. My only question is how she got to be in her current position if she couldn’t see through such an obvious ploy.

Meanwhile, back in the prison, I see that Michael is actually more sympathetic to Bellick than I am. Of course, there’s a possibility I wouldn’t be able to help myself if I were actually seeing him suffer like that in person. Either way, it just ends up biting Michael in the ass. I know, I know, he had to do it to get information but, still, he just ends up having to work twice as hard because he uses kindness to get what he wants. Thank goodness he found a way to secure Whistler’s safety because at least now he’s got one person he can trust. Not that I think he can really trust Whistler but at least they have a reason to watch each other’s backs.

The water thing was kind of cool even though I’m still a little confused about what he did exactly. I’m ok with that, though, as not fully understanding stops me from questioning the probability that what he did would actually work. Or, ya know, why the water was only spilling out of one place but whatever. I’ll just continue to wave my hands in the general direction of my screen and think about other things about the episode. Like Sucre! Aww, I seriously love Sucre. His appearance makes any episode better for me. I’m not ashamed to admit I got teary when he called Maricruz. Poor Sucre. He just can’t win. And, yet, I can’t wait for him to team up with Linc because it means I’ll get to see more of him.

So… how the hell did this show manage to reel me back in?! I really do think it’s partly due to not having any real expectations about it. My other shows all have to try and overcome the time I’ve had to build up expectations over the summer. Even PB’s premiere didn’t interest me as much as this second episode. I wonder if any of the premieres this season will end up wowing me?

One other note, I see a lot of people saying they gave up on Journeyman about 20 minutes into the show which means that the writers made one fatal mistake. The best part of the episode, the hook, is too far in… it was the thing that really made me want to keep watching next week and people didn’t even stick around long enough to see it. Oh well. It’ll be interesting to see the fast numbers for last night and see if that was a common trend.

 

5 Responses to “As Seen By Rae: Monday Night Television from HIMYM to “Heroes””

  1. 1
    Harper47 says:

    I loved Mother. Honestly, I’m beginning to wonder if this show can even be unfunny. They have terrific pacing, the jokes and sight gags are funny and each character has their zone where they rule.

    You do make a good point about Robin. She was very subdued in her reappearance; so much so that you have to wonder if it was deliberate. I don’t like her new hairstyle either. But there were glimpses of fun Robin from last year and I have hopes that her role was deliberately damped down a little this ep.

    (And Alyson – bangs do not work for you. Grow them out – now! )

    I loved the Slap Bet Countdown, the Tramp Stamp, Marshall geeking out over Gael, the fondue pot, etc.

    As for Heroes – I was very pleasantly surprised. I expected more of a setting it up, lots of expositional type stories, esp. when it started with Snorehinder doing his usual gig. But I love Midas man (he’s always great at weaselly type of characters) and then the Hiro/Anders show was superb.

    I don’t care what they do with it – as long as David Anders continues with his snarky self – I’m there.

    I’m intrigued by the new villain. This is the one Molly talked about in the finale right? The eyes are very freakazoid and if some scary voice kept chatting me up in dreams, I’d be rattled too.

    I applaud the jettisoning of Mrs. Matt, and Mrs. Nathan as they were plot points that never worked for me.

    I also loved the ending.

    Things I didn’t love – running bro/sis. Nothing about them worked for me. Still – the positives far outweighed the negatives for me and I was thrilled I liked it so much.

  2. 2
    afrocurl says:

    I still hate BBT, and I will not watch that.

    At the suggestion of another friend I watched Heroes last night, and if the showrunners wanted to set up that people could watch this season without last, it worked pretty well.

    Nathan’s crazy hair isn’t so much the depression, I think as some role Adrian had (I think he talked about it at the TCAs and I know that the pictures from that night have the crazy beard.)

  3. 3
    Steph says:

    I watched Journeyman, and I won’t lie I thought it was ok, and then the end hit and now I want to watch next week!!

  4. 4
    Spadada says:

    Prison Break was my favorite show last night too! And after I said I was going to drop it this year… Shoot!

  5. 5

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