March 12, 2006

A Television Viewer's Diary for 3/5-3/11: Battlestar Galactica

Come one, come all, come see what I saw! Or something like that....

Anyway, what follows is a glimpse into what I watched last week. For better or worse. I know I watch too much and may lack focus, but my enjoyment should be clear. I watch it like a drug, without a TV, I might as well be a black tar heroin addict looking for a hit.

Best show I watched this week: Battlestar Galactica
Worst show I watched this week: Joey

Sunday 3/5.
  • Malcolm in the Middle (FOX 7pm). Hal and Lois head off to spend time with Francis, celebrationg 1 year of sobriety. They find him needing a cosigner on a loan for a business he wants to start, they further find out that he isn't even an alcoholic and demonized his mother to his AA brethren. Back home, Dewey finds the spare car key, Reese and Malcolm proceed to torture him to try and get the key as they plan their day of destruction. This series is a shell of its former glory. Pretty much the only interesting character left is Hal, he is consistently funny, and the only reason to watch. **
  • 78th Academy Awards (ABC 7pm). I watched the whole broadcast this year, I ended up with a final tally of 15 out of 24 predictions correct. Jon Stewart did a fine job as host. It may not have been the most exciting broadcast, but I was entertained enough. ***

Monday 3/6.

  • WWE: Monday Night Raw (USA 9pm). The Road to Wrestlemania is in full swing. HBK and Vince continue their buildup as Shawn is forced to face Shane tonight. We also get a couple of Wrestlemania rewind matches, rematches from past shows, with Triple H vs Kane and John Cena vs The Big Show.
  • 24 (Fox 8pm). A special night of back to back episodes. Still not sure how I measure this up to last season, but I am liking it a lot. Lots of goings on for our intrepid heroes. Lynn's sister is murdered and the keycard obtained by the Russians. Jack is reunited with his daughter, who appears to be having some mental issues. The President is being urged to instate Marshall law in LA. The biggest thing is that a cannister of Cen Tox is let loose in CTU, causing Jack and a few others to whole up in a conference room and a well liked character dies. Nothing beats this! ****

Tuesday 3/7.

  • Joey (NBC 8pm). I used to try and like this show, but this return to television are not helping the moderate memories I have. This episode is awful, unfunny, and just plain sad. Joey is getting an action figure, but they screw up and he has the body of a woman, then a second screwup makes him black. Then his friend is dating his neighbor, who he still likes, and his sister is pregnant by Adam Goldberg. I think the Joey character is great, but this is a pale imitation of the Friends years. *
  • Scrubs (NBC 9pm). A patient is dying, she is a favorite at the hospital and Cox and JD are having problems dealing with her impending demise. Dave Foley guest stars as a shrink trying to help the patient and the docs. The Janitor tries to help Ted get some leverage on Kelso, and Eliot has relationship troubles with Keith which Turk tries to take advantage of. Not one of their better episodes, but it is still better than most other sitcoms. ***
  • The Unit (CBS 9pm). I did not see all of this as this timeslot suddenly got very crowded. What I did see of it I liked. The David Mamet produced show follows a Special Forces unit, but also deals with the wives left behind at home as they go off to fight. I like Dennis Haysbert, as the unit leader he has a very imposing persona. This show has potential, I just wish it had a different timeslot.
  • Sons & Daughters (ABC 9pm). This has been called the heir apparent to the departed Arrested Development, I think the low ratings prove it, at least in initial popularity. After watching the first couple of episodes, I am not sure I like it. It is populated with all sorts of dysfunctional people in a variety of configurations that come together in embarrassingly explosive ways. It will be interesting to see if the show is given time to develop. ***
  • House (Fox 9pm). An elderly man comes in with what appears to be a sexually transmitted disease, but his heart is found to be essentially disintegrating. House has to find a transplant for him or he'll die. He isn't a prime candidate due to his age, but House doesn't give up. An accident victim dies in the ER, is an organ donor, but has gonorrhea, so her organs are not viable. House finds a way of getting that heart put into the man, and then cure the disease in the new body. Interesting workup. It was nice to sdee Greg Grunberg on TV again, I always liked his character on Alias. ***

Wednesday 3/8.

  • Bones (Fox 9pm). A plane crash leads to the discovery of bone fragments that do not appear to come from the victims on the plane. The investigation turns up a man who is looking for his father, or may be the culprit of the disappearance. The team has to deal with a condescending Dyson as Booth is not directly involved in the entire investigation. We also get to see a frozen pig go through a wood chipper. **.5
  • Invasion (ABC 10pm). Moderately intriguing. The aliens are now living a much more exposed life, and the crazy girl from the migraine commercials is on the run and pregnant with a herd of aliens. The daughter is in the hospital after not being taken by the lights. I sort of like it, but am not completely enraptured. **.5

Thursday 3/9.

  • CSI (CBS 9pm). The team is being followed by a reality crime show, which doesn't help the investigation much. A young woman is raped in her home, in the same apartment bilding that a fire is reported in. It turns out that the fire is just a smoke bomb, and it is linked to a similar incident a prior. A man posing as a fireman is setting off smokebombs in order to get inside the apartments of young women to satisfy his foot fetish. ***

Friday 3/10.

  • Las Vegas (NBC 9pm). Are terrorists plotting to blow up the Monticito? Is the new masseuse getting a little frisky with the clientele? Will Gunther and Wolfgang kill each other? Is Mike really working security at a fast food joint? Are the new waitress uniforms really bikinis? Is Sam not quite as hot as she thinks she is? These questions and more answered during another exciting episode! Fun show, will it last in its new time slot? ***
  • Monk (USA 10p). A toothache leads to the uncovering of a murderer. Randy Disher, owner of said ache, reluctantly goes to the dentist. While under the gas, he starts coming to and witnesses the dentist (played by Jon Favreau) and his assistant fighting with ultimately killing a man. He reports this to the captain, who immediately discredits him. Disher quits in disgust and returns to his first love, music. A love which does not agree with him terribly well. In the end, Randy is proved right and Monk saves the day. THe best sequence had Monk strapped to a dentist chair while the doc asks if he has seen The Marathon Man. ***
  • Stargate SG-1 (Sci-Fi 8pm). The hunt for an anti-Auri weapon continues. The team is led to a planet which was once inhabited by Merlin. They find another sword in the stone and an angry black night. While they try to get Merlin's technology, a super-gate is discovered. The search does not turn up anything and the team, aboard their latest starship, along with a Jaffa fleet and an Asgaard ship are utterly decimated by the Auri ships coming through the gate. Aboard an Auri ship is a pregnant Valla. Interesting episode, big things are afoot. ***
  • Stargate: Atlantis (Sci-Fi 9pm). The season finale has the Daedalus and crew facing down the recently arrived Wraith hive ship that appeared last week. This time, they have a deal. They wish to gain the retro virus to use against rival Wraith factions, to create an alternate foold source. The exhange goes well enough, and the plan looks like it will work out. But then, the Wraith go back on their word, capturing McKay and Ronin, while a virus infects and steals some data in Atlantis. The Wraith have located Earth, and we are all in trouble. ***
  • Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi 10pm). This is the 90 minutes of television that I was waiting all week for, even more than than the 60 adrenalized minutes of 24. We start with the rescue of Sam and those left behind on Caprica. In the process finding the Cylons have abandoned the colonies. We then have the build up to the presidential election, with Rosalyn trying to fend off Baltar. The main sticking point is the potential colonizing of what has been dubbed "New Caprica." But who really wants this? The newly power hungry Baltar, or the Cylon that has his ear? As this debate goes on, a conspiracy is uncovered which plans on rigging the election fro Rosalyn, and no less than Colonel Tigh is involved. Unfortunately, the plan is found out and Rosalyn's win is rescinded and Baltar is given the election. He immediately orders the colonization to begin. We jump ahead a year. Things don't seem so good, there is rampant poverty, and Baltar is living it up in a rather hedonistic manner. Kara is married to Sam, who is sick, and is unable to get any help. Tigh leaves the Galactica. The Battlestars have a scarce crew. Then disaster strikes, the Cylon fleet pops into orbit. The Adama's lead the fleet away, leaving those on the surface behind, where Baltar surrenders. This was one heckuva finale, now the trouble is waiting until July to see new episodes! ****

Saturday 3/11.

  • Justice League: Unlimited (Cartoon Network 10:30). Roulette is controlling various League members and pitting them in battles for money. Black Canary is discovered as a subject by Huntress. The plot escalates until there is a battle featuring those two along with Vixen, Hawkgirl, and Wonder Woman. The fight sequence is spectacular, nicely choreographed and animated, not to mention lenghty. ***.5
  • WWE: Smackdown (UPN 8pm). Preempted from its usual Friday night perch by the World Baseball Classic, we get some Saturday wrestling. This was a pretty good show, featuring the main event of Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle taking on Randy Orton and Mark Henry.
  • TNA: Wrestling Impact (Spike 11pm). Better wrestling than WWE, I wish these guys had a 2 hour show! This show had matches including Alex Shelley v Chris Sabin v Sonjay Dutt, AMW v The Naturals, and the main event 8 man tag, Shannon Moore, Matt Bentley and the Diamonds in the Rough taking on Rhyno, Ron Killings, and Team 3D. ***

That is all for this week.

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