Why can’t I have a week when all my favorite shows air, Internet friends? Do the writers and actors know I occasionally rip on them, despite my fervent enjoyment? Well, at least the shows that did air this week were actually pretty awesome, so maybe the lords of the media haven’t decided to really punish me yet. Let’s get to it, starting, as always, with that love story that simply won’t end, How I Met Your Mother.
In actuality, last week’s episode was a lovely bit of television, and an expected but fun twist on the regular format of How I Met Your Mother. The episode followed the Mother (a preview of How I Met Your Dad, maybe?) as she experienced the trauma of first love lost, and witnessed Ted making a fool of himself in the wrong classroom (remember you guys? that’s how she met him!). Cristin Milioti is a fresh face and a nice reprieve from the central cast, who you can tell have lost a good deal of steam. Weirdly, this episode had me wishing that the whole series was shorter in the first place; I ended up caring more about Milioti’s twenty minutes than Ted’s… many, many days of air time.
New Girl was kinda tremendous. Jess and Cece got invited to a party at Prince’s house, and Nick accidentally blurted out that he loved Jess. Good start to an episode. As usual, Schmidt, Coach, and Winston had some great moments (Fire and Ice), but the best part of the whole thing was Prince coaching Jess on how to reveal her love for Nick. I agree with the rest of the cast in saying that Prince is magic. So, yes, a pretty good installment overall, with a rad cameo and stellar performances (Nick drank a bunch again, and his dancing was superbly awkward). I have a feeling that Nick and Jess are in for some kind of breakup scenario (American television loves lumping the “I love you” and breakup together), but I bet the writers and cast will deliver on that too, as they have so far with every other situation.
Agents of Shield did not air, and I am beginning to remember why Joss Whedon is fantastically terrible.
Community was awesome. I know I repeat myself when I say this, but Dan Harmon is so back, you guys. He’s brought heart and intelligence back to the struggling show, and the results are awesome. Annie, in this last episode, went up against the crazy bureaucracy of Greendale, and became something of a villain herself (she channeled Gary Oldman at one point and I was very pleased). Nathan Fillion guest starred as a corrupt janitor, and his swagger integrated well into the character dynamics. The rest of the gang tried to decorate for a dance, but of course caused a catastrophe, and Abed fought spoilers with all his heart (and got his heart broken, but that quickly resolved itself). Really, Community is sprinting ahead of anyone’s expectations, each episode better than the last. And although Troy is no longer there, the rest of the cast pick up the slack and are delivering some quality stuff.
Elementary (top image) wasn’t it’s best last week, but it was solid, and reminded me of why I’ve been conflicted over which modern Sherlock Holmes I like better. In the last installment, Sherlock and Joan pulled a case from Sherlock’s unsolved box and encountered priceless fossils, a murder plot, shady artifact dealing, and academic intrigue. But also, Sherlock had to figure out how to deal with being a sponsor, a task that forced him to work with his not so blatant human side. Jonny Lee Miller’s performance was spot on, as usual, in that he really showed us Sherlock’s weaknesses; he’s entirely unsympathetic, and that makes him interesting to watch. Benedict Cumberbatch is a better Holmes in many respects (he really is Sherlock in all his English glory), but the creators of the BBC version have turned the guy into a nearly unbeatable superman. It’s actually a little weak, writing wise. Elementary may not be as epic, but at least Sherlock isn’t an infallible, overpowered character that gets by via deep voice and piercing eyes alone.
Now gear up, because this week will be one hell of a television week, if post Super Bowl episodes have anything to say about it.