Television had the post-Thanksgiving blues this week. Only two of my four favorite shows aired, and I’m unhappy to report that the pair of episodes in question didn’t have enough umph to make my week anything more than a disappointment (stop predictably failing me, television!). However, as usual, some international TV kept a smile on my face, and after I rant about my regular shows, I’ll tell you bout the others.
First, let’s talk about How I Met Your Mother. I kinda liked this episode, but to be totally truthful it wasn’t that funny; I may have been riding the high of last week’s episode. In this installment, Barney is in laser tag jail recounting to a furious Robin how he believed the rehearsal dinner (we’ve only made it as far as the rehearsal dinner, folks) would be held at a laser tag arena. Of course, there are flashbacks of Barney enacting ridiculous, bamboozling plots, complete with Robin’s horror at each. And there’s a subplot about how Lily can’t keep a secret. At the end, we find out that Barney’s delusion was part of a plan to surprise Robin with a skating rink Canadian rehearsal dinner, and even though it’s a pleasure to watch that unfold, the gags and arcs in the episode are all things we’ve seen before on HIMYM way too many times.
Elementary was a little off as well (that’s right, New Girl and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t air). You all know how much I like Jonny Lee Miller’s acting and his back and forth with Lucy Liu, so let’s skip those weekly accolades. Instead, I want to give a tip of the hat to John Michael Hill, who portrays Detective Marcus Bell, who, in this installment, gets injured due to Holmes’ reckless behavior and inability to follow police procedure. The main drama of the episode takes place in a courthouse, Sherlock having to defend his methods to skeptical law officials, but the best moments are between Bell and Watson, and finally with Holmes at the end. As well, we get to see a victim of Holmes unorthodox methods; the consulting detective costs a man his job after discovering a criminal record via his cell phone. Normally, we wouldn’t see the aftermath of Holmes bulldozing over peoples’ lives, but this time a fellow detective, Bell, is caught in the crossfire. Hill matches Miller well in the episode’s final moments, a promise to the viewer that this particular on screen friendship has a lot to go before it’s fully healed. However, the rest of the episode (the mystery, etc.) falls short.
So what do I do when half my TV shows don’t air in a given week? I’ll tell you, loyal Internet friends! Recently, a friend of mine (also a writer here) discovered a wonderful television program straight out of South Korea. Suspicious Housekeeper, based on the Japanese original, is a tremendously enjoyable and ridiculous soap opera, complete with sinister backstories, a mystery with more reveals per episode than anything on American TV, and perfect little comic moments. It’s absolutely the perfect sort of guilty pleasure television, but the writing and acting is actually, surprisingly, good. Currently it’s twenty or so episodes in, but I fully recommend you go stream each and every one immediately. For anyone who wants a mystery that will consistently stump you, dramatic music that’ll make you share an “oh no!” moment with whoever you’re watching with, and the best cliffhangers ever, watch Suspicious Housekeeper all the damn time.