Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quick TV musings

Don't people say that all the time in their blogs? "Musings"? Maybe "thoughts"? Anyway, here's some quick reviews (or whatever) of some shows I recently watched:

Rome, episode 2.5:

This was a pretty good episode, although I'm still not sold on the new actor playing Octavian. Someone said the character was supposed to be 19 in this episode; surely the old actor could have played that age. Weird. I liked his takeover of the senate, which let to more sniveling reaction scenes from Cicero. Probably my favorite part of the episode was when Agrippa rescued Octavia from an, um, unsavory location. When she's forced to admit to Atia that she was at an orgy, Agrippa says, "[It was] the early stages of an orgy! The Bacchic rituals had not yet begun!" And I liked the scene with Antony and the general he defeated, then recruited. James Purefoy is a good scenery-chewer. And then there was the odd reunion at the end of the episode; weren't Octavian and Antony at each other's throats? Then when they see each other face to face, they hug like all is forgiven? Weird. I'm sure there will be more to the situation. We'll see.

Battlestar Galactica, episode 3.14:

This was also a good episode, better than the last one. I like when they take a look at the workings of the fleet, or in this case, the management of refugees. Plus, an interesting spotlight on Helo, a character who often gets shuffled into the background. My favorite moment was when he punched Tigh, then Tigh said, through a bleeding smirk, "You better get that hand checked out." I always like characters like that, the lovable (maybe only to me) assholes. Tigh has gotten especially assholish since his experiences on New Caprica. Good for him. Oh, and we had the return of Hallucinatory Baltar! I liked that twist, that "Caprica Six" was seeing Baltar in her head like he was seeing her. So it's good to see him again. It seems like we're in the lull between "event" episodes that bookend the halves of each season, so I expect the next few will be more like this one. I'll keep watching and find out.

Extras, episode 2.5:

Man, nobody does painfully awkward comedy like Ricky Gervais. He gives us a taste of what's to come with the beginning of the episode, where he's forced to autograph a picture for a makeup girl when he doesn't remember her name. But that's nothing compared to the climax, when his homophobia wins out against his artistic impulses when he's supposed to kiss a guy in a play directed by Ian McKellan. That scene goes beyond "painful" and becomes "excruciating". Wow. This is a great show. Next week is the season, and probable series, finale. It was fun while it lasted!