Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Foot: Best Episodes of 2010 Part 2 of 5

Welcome to Day 2 of the Best Episodes of 2010 celebration. Another five episodes from various series will join the prestigious ranks of the Blog Formerly Known as Jacob's Foot's Episodes of the Year list. Show runners will no doubt celebrate by arranging for their network's PR department to send some screeners The Foot's way to assure the highest quality of reviews or, most likely, will simply ignore the tweet I send them with the information that their show landed on my Best-Of list.

Yesterday, I celebrated episodes from shows such as Sherlock, Luther, Community, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Mad Men. While some of those shows will have another episode or two make the list before the week ends, none of the shows will appear in today's post. So which shows await to join the likes of Community and Mad Men? Are episodes from Fringe, Breaking Bad, Rubicon, Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Office, Hellcats, The Defenders, Sons of Anarchy or Bones waiting in the wings? No, because I do not watch any of the shows listed. I'm only a humble blogger, trying to watch various shows with the luxury of screeners and whatnot. I'd like to watch several of the shows listed above while others I only included for laughs (i watched and wrote about two Hellcats episodes in September). But, indeed, let the celebration continue with today's episodes:

DOLLHOUSE--"GETTING CLOSER"--Written & Directed By Tim Minear

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Only three episodes of Dollhouse aired in 2010 but quite a few websites remembered as "Getting Closer" and the series finale ("Epitaph Two: The Return") have gotten love. Dollhouse was a show that experienced a number of growing pains in the first season. The second season, as a whole, rocked. Joss Whedon, Tim Minear and the rest of the writers figured out how to tell their story in their own way. Plus, with the chances of the show surviving beyond the second season being small, Whedon went all out to show what he wanted Dollhouse to be all along. And it was awesome.

"Getting Closer" is a chaotic episode. It's full of sleeper actives, Rossum shadiness, flashbacks, gun shots to the head, pain and suffering and a shocking revelation about the co-man in charge of Rossum. We learn about what Caroline did to find herself as an active in the dollhouse, as well as the connection between her and Halverson. The second half of the season became a quest for the characters to take down the dollhouse. With sleeper actives on the scene as Echo tries to get imprinted with the memories of Caroline, some death will happen. The death has ramifications, and only temporarily delays the reveal of the man behind the scenes of the Rossum corporation. Additionally, the shocking death pays off a rather tense relationship between two other character (in fact, that relationship was THE highlight of the early episodes of season two).

Dollhouse will probably be the most ignored Whedon show of all-time but the series came together as a great 26 episode story about sexuality, power, political power and free-will.

LOUIE--"BULLY"--Written & Directed By Louie C.K.

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FX gave Louie C.K. the opportunity to produce whatever show he wanted without interference from them because Louis C.K. promised the network that he would make the episodes for very cheap. The show's a collection of short-films rather than a conventional TV series. Louis C.K. turned sitcom conventions upside down with his HBO comedy and he turns conventions of cable TV upside down. Louie allowed the comedian to produce episodes about God and religion in schools, his issues with parenting, growing older, being single and a dad, heckling.

The best of the series is "Bully." The episode's most famous for the second-half in which Louie follows a teenage bully home (who, with his friends, insulted Louie and his date) to confront his parents only to learn that the parents, though decent people but with flaws, probably hold a good deal of responsibility for how their son behaves towards other people. The story ends with Louie and the kid's father, sitting outside, relating about the difficulties of parenting and supporting a family. It's terrifically done. The first half of the episode is hilarious as Louie remembers learning about sex from his father and his school. "Bully" represents exactly what Louis C.K. aims for each and every week--a collection of moments that anybody from anywhere can relate to.

TREME--"WISH SOMEONE WOULD CARE"--Written By David Simon & George Pelecanos--Directed By Dan Attias



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"Wish Someone Would Care" is an episode I wrote about in this very blog after it aired because it's a great episode. Treme deals with post-Katrina New Orleans as various characters try to salvage the remnants of their life pre-hurricane but each and every character struggles. The character whose struggles are most evident in the episode is Creighton. With an eerie cheerier disposition than the dispisotin he had at Mardi Gras, in addition to assigning his class The Awakening, one figures that something very wrong is going on within Creighton's mind. And, indeed, the man couldn't take it any longer. He was overwhelmed and overcome by the post-Katrina New Orleans and didn't believe the city would recover. Simon, Pelecanos and Attias are quiet in Creighton's final hours. Creighton enjoys his favorite New Orleans food, listens to Annie's beautiful violin playing and then takes one final ride on the Ferry. Meanwhile, Chief Lambeaux's story allowed the viewers to learn more about the Housing Projects nightmare in New Orleans (that Spike Lee spent tons of time in his documentary).

PARTY DOWN--"STEVE GUTTENBERG'S BIRTHDAY PARTY"--Written By John Enbom--Directed By Bryan Gordon

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The only show that had worse ratings than Terriers is none other than the excellent Party Down. "Steve Guttenberg's Birthday Party" brings the gang to Guttenberg's house for a birthday party but, in fact, the birthday party's been cancelled; however, Guttenberg wants Party Down to hang out since it is his birthday. The episode gives the audience a glimpse at the talent that Roman and his writing partner possess at hardcore sci-fi specs. It turns out that Roman refuses to take notes, and his script is really bad; however, Henry makes the script so much better after Guttenberg encourages the aspring actors to act out the script. Henry gets a chance to remind himself that he possesses talent and ability far more greater than what being the manager of Party Down requires. The episode's hilarious but every episode of Party Down is. Roman's reluctance to change anything in his script says so much about the great character that is Roman DeBeers. Also, Guttenberg steals Kyle's date at night's end.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES--"BRAVE NEW WORLD"--Written By Brian Young--Directed By John Dahl

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Scoff all you want but this CW show can produce outstanding episodes like the second episode of season two that turns Caroline into an awesome vampire. It also had a carnival, Bonnie lighting Damon on fire. The show can swing and miss but then it hits grand slams like this one. Alan Ball and his crack team of writers would be wise to take instructions from Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Caroline Dries, Andrew Chambliss and company for how to write a non-Joss Whedon vampire show. Here is my original review: http://blogs.wcuquad.com/2010/09/17/the-foot-review-of-tvds-brave-new-world-plus-the-funnest-song-ever/

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.