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  1. wknt3

    S12.E16: The D & D Vortex

    I think that was totally in character. Shatner has an entirely different "energy" than Bob Newhart/Professor Proton. Much more aggressive and without the self doubt that makes his obvious interest less threatening. Just like she was totally skeeved out by Howard, but was sweet to Leonard and eventually married him.
  2. To be fair things have changed a bit. But it's a topic Bill loves because his answer is to do what he wants - not push social issues that he doesn't care about, focus on economic issues in 60's terms, etc. because voters in swing states respect passion on issues like the environment and universal healthcare, but are sheep who can't past Fox News when it comes to transgender bathrooms. It was another good panel and the scripted bits were solid. And Bill usually moved on just I started rolling my eyes. Like when he was talking about how there are no public intellectuals in the US (when he books them on his show regularly) or when he started in how Americans are uniquely influenced by anecdotal evidence and don't pay attention to science right before doing basically the same thing when it comes to health (like he always does.)
  3. wknt3

    S20.E16: Facing Demons

    (My post seems to have disappeared into the ether. I guess I'm a victim too now. Let's try this again) The Good: Benson didn't get ALL the screen time even though this was clearly all about her in the end, as advertised. I liked that somebody else was the one to get through to Cassidy and do the interviews with other victims even if it was the showrunner's pet character. It made it much more tolerable. There did seem to be a different tone to this latest version of The Suffering of St. Benson - they came pretty close to suggesting that maybe she was wrong. At least as close as they could come without risking the wrath of Mariska. Some nice work by the guest cast. Carisi got a few nice moments even if they were all too brief. Dean Winters. I like him even if I don't necessarily like what they've done with Cassidy. The promo for the next episode looks promising. The Bad: Not nearly enough Fin. I wish we could see him having a heart to heart with Benson instead of Rollins. I know that with Giddish being pregnant, the Fin-centric episode, and the budget cuts we're probably getting a lot less Fin for the rest of the season, but it still sucks. Too much BS (Benson Stuff). The whispering, the constipated faces, all of the stuff we hate so much. Overall this was a much more competent execution of a plot that has been done to death the last few years. It was kind of meh, which is probably pretty good considering I expected to actively hate it. I appreciate that they are trying to balance things out a bit more.
  4. wknt3

    S44.E13: Don Cheadle / Gary Clark Jr.

    I think these posts pretty much sum up the two problems with the cold open. I was surprised by how negative the reaction was as I thought it was meh to OK until I saw some actual clips. I had seen some mentions and articles and thought the sketch was supposed to playing on the reaction to parody the original, but having seen it now I have to agree that it was beyond parody or satire. The other bigger problem is the one I've brought up before - Alec simply isn't inspired unless he is particularly pissed off at something Trump has said or done recently. When there isn't passion, but simply a general disgust it always is at least a little flat unless the writing is spectacular. I think one of the lines summed it pretty well when he talked about his personal hell of playing president. I agree that they should let him retire, but I'm not sure that solves the bigger problem of how to deal with a reality that is already verging on self-parody and farce and requires a different approach than SNL is used to.
  5. wknt3

    S09.E15: Blues

    Random, disconnected thoughts for a random, disconnected episode: I would be far more interested in the Danny deals with the emotional impact of Linda's death if they didn't mix them in with epsiodes where he was the same RoboDetective he's always been. I know that IRL it's not always a straight line, but it would be nice to maybe see him think a bit more about his own safety and tactical considerations and maybe not get into gun fights and kick down doors based on hunches and his faith his aim is better than the bad guys. Speaking of Danny the best thing Frank could do as top cop is set up Danny in Boston. Or Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, etc. The guy is a crime magnet and can't run a simple errand without running into a violent felony. I'm sure NYC's crime rate would drop enough if Danny moved to more than offset the cases he miraculously closes. Plus Frank might get Rev. Potter off his back since getting Danny out of NYPD probably decreases NYPD officer involved shootings by like 25%. I'm surprised so many people liked the Jamie/Eddie interactions this week. On their own they were OK, but they just kept reminding of all the reasons they shouldn't be working together, especially in a supervisor-subordinate situation. Plus that whole plot was just another instance of the show pushing the whole discredited extreme "broken windows" nonsense. I'm going to type something I never thought I would about this show - Eddie was right. The whole idea was a waste of time and money that would have been better spent elsewhere. I did like the Anthony/Eddie scenes, although that was entirely based on Steve Schirripa's masterful work. They would have been even better if he was working with someone with a better sense of timing who could pull off the reactions. And I loved the scenes where he was telling her that there was more than one way to be a good investigator. Anthony is basically Danny with some self awareness, played by someone who can actually act. Frank's story was just sort of there. The only scenes I really liked were him with the staff which were great always. The rest weren't bad per se, just very repetitive and meh. Personal theory - Frank wasn't really shining his shoes. Sid just caught him in the middle of his hair coloring regimen and Frank had to cover.
  6. Yeah I thought it was really good panel, even if David Frum was a bit too much in "professional cable news talking head" mode most of the time. I wish if he was going to half ass his day job to go play Vegas for a few extra bucks he would do it on a week he has a crappy panel. It was a deli according to President Obama. I remember him telling the story with the punchline being that when it came to hand gestures it "rendered him practically mute.” To me it was as frustrating as the rest of the show - a mix of funny and insightful observations along with Bill's self absorbed nonsense ("in my day we didn't mind a boss throwing a few binders at our head") and in the end failing to take the next step and make the obvious connections. I just wish Bill would do as much homework as John Legend.
  7. wknt3

    The Office (US)

    I think the reason in universe was pretty clear - Toby was the person telling Michael no, and that even though he was the boss he still had to follow rules and processes and couldn't do whatever he wanted. The closest they ever came to stating it outright on screen though that I can recall didn't come from Michael, but from Andy when he became manager and told us that he never understood why Micheal hated Toby, but now he does when Toby tells him he can't fire Nellie for no reason.
  8. wknt3

    Law & Order: Criminal Intent

    Aasif Mandvi was booked that week.
  9. wknt3

    S20.E15: Brothel

    The Good: Fin! They actually gave us a Fin focused episode. I was pleasantly surprised since I figured after last week it would be all about why Liv is really awesome and totally correct to be all about the victims and just forget about what we said last week. We got the most Fin Snark in quite a bit (loved the bits with the shoe - "cobbler-client confidentiality" and the Cinderella line, and his remark about how he had no trouble believing bored husbands hired prostitutes) AND the most serious moments as well. Plus he actually ran a tactically correct raid, letting the heavily armed ESU team lead the way! Jennifer Esposito. Really good performance and nice chemistry with Ice-T. It was nice to see them keep using the whole squad. Even though Fin was front and center, they didn't push Carisi and Rollins totally into the background and forget about them. They even managed a bit of subtlety with Rollins personal reaction to prostitution. I would have preferred a bit more in Giddish's performance, but it was nice that they trusted us to remember and didn't hit us over the head with it. Plus the scene in the squad room at the end was nice. They tried to acknowledge rules and reality before disregarding them. Although I would have preferred at least some nod to the past when Benson was pushing Fin to contact IAB. It was nice she backed down pretty quickly, given the number of times she has pulled the same sort of thing, but I wish they had made it explicit. At least they didn't ignore the issue completely. No family drama! The Bad: The whole St. Benson ministers to the wronged woman scene at the end was unnecessary and weakened the episode a lot. The time would have been better spent giving some depth to the judge's motivations (either undercutting them by revealing that they had found the money/discovered there was more to the story/talked about how he was going with a psych defense/etc.), giving us some resolution on other plot points, or even just expanding the other scenes at the end. Mariska's overacting, I know that that's pretty much a given at this point, but it bears repeating, and it's more obvious in weeks like this when there is actual good acting to contrast it with. Kolfax. Not John Rothman's fault, just poor writing. His scenes with Barth excepted they never seemed to really figure out where they were going in the writing. The promo for next week has me worried. Overall this was a solid, if unspectacular episode which attempts to do a classic SVU story, and mostly succeeds. Another B/B+ with major points added for actually giving us a Fin-centric episode and points subtracted for Benson's nonsense and for not figuring out a motivation for the ultimate perp. It still feels like they'e marking time before a final record breaking season, but at least it's watchable and even good at times.
  10. wknt3

    S20.E15: Brothel

    Maybe for the combination of number of characters played and number of episodes appeared in? A quick check of IMDB confirms what I thought - there are actors who played more characters across the franchise (most of them "that guy/gals" such as William Hill, Nancy Ticotin, and Michael Cullen) and I'm sure that Leslie Hendrix, JK Simmons and some of the arraignment judges have her beat for number of guest star credits across the franchise without ever appearing in the opening credits. It does seem really unusual though - most of the performers the casting people liked that much seemed to get a recurring role before racking up so many characters or were hired on as a regular by the franchise or some other series.
  11. wknt3

    Erin and Kelly. Also, Why Drop the Mayor?

    Kelly wasn't the Attorney General, she was Inspector General originally, before she resigned because she just liked Frank too much to oversee and investigate him. It gets a bit confusing as there was also the NYS Attorney General doing basically the same plot, about civilians trying to exercise oversight of the police and why that's a bad thing. When she came back last leason she was the Corporation Counsel asking Frank to look into a case to avoid having an Assistant Corporation Counsel suing NYPD, which set up the whole Baker undercover thing. Incidentally since CBS seems to be desperate for exclusive content for their streaming service I'd watch a "Baker Undercover" series starring Abigail Hawk investigating politically sensitive cases around NYC.... As far as the mayor is concerned there are a couple of possibilities. One is it's a casting thing and they don't want to box themselves in until they know if Lorraine Bracco is coming back. The other is that the mayor character has usually been a proxy for commenting on national politics and it's possible that the Bracco character was conceived expecting something different than what happened and the show hasn't figured out if they want to comment on that or not since it's likely to alienate their core audience.
  12. wknt3

    S09.E14: My Brother's Keeper

    We really don't know what process was followed. I think it's fairly realistic it would quickly be escalated since it's a conflict between detective and patrol and between 2 family members of the commissioner. I could see several scenes pretty similar to Sid and Garrett at lower levels of command as they concluded that stepping into this pile was above their pay grade. They are great actors who elevate whatever material they are given. And you're right about more of them together without Frank - they have a great dynamic that works even better when they aren't being defined by Frank (which pushes Sis into being a caricature so that Frank can look reasonable by comparison, Garrett into being the voice of realism and pragmatism that is proven wrong by Frank, and makes Baker the door holding "stand by your man" loyalist.) In Blue Bloods world the right thing to do is to never back down, no matter what the tactical situation or your better judgement might call for. Considerations like "background" or unnecessary risk to yourself and others can be safely disregarded because after all the only danger is that someone will be hurt who could have been shot by the criminals anyways and only evil liberal wimps care about over aggressive police tactics instead of under aggressive policing. That's an interesting take that I hadn't fully considered. I'm not sure they're fully aware of what they're doing or where they're going with it. They never seem to follow through when they have a plan so we're probably better off if this is just developing organically. I have had a sense with some of her stories this year that it's another time where they want to have Frank be wrong,, but can't manage to actually follow through.
  13. wknt3

    S20.E14: Part 33

    I don't think that was the motivation in this case. I'm pretty sure that this was designed as a bottle episode, and the whole point was to keep the guest cast to the bare minimum. Plus they would have had to have her come down in the middle anyway if they wanted to maintain any conflict or ambiguity. I think it was in character for Rollins as much as that description applies at all this season. She has been a mess, and her attitude towards victims, witnesses, and perps has been all over the map. Not the only one. As I said I liked it, with serious reservations. I couldn't not like any episode that has Benson getting smacked down! I think with a few tweaks of the script ( I would have loved to have seen them talking about the wife reporting spousal abuse to the NYPD and how much the record could be trusted and some more about the victim's history with Carisi) and better direction (it wasn't just Mariska overacting this week and we've already discussed the extremely questionable way they went with Annabeth in the courtroom) it could have been a real standout although I'm sure it would have been controversial like any departure from the formula is for a procedural.
  14. wknt3

    Law & Order

    I've said this here before, but it bears repeating. That scene may be the best piece of acting in the series. It's a master class in how to convey extreme emotion and drawing in the audience while staying restrained. Not a single extraneous sound or gesture. It's too bad that the franchise completely forgot over time that you could do a powerful personal subplot this way. I don't expect every actor to be Steven Hill, but the writers certainly could learn a thing or two!