The beginning of a new year is always a good time to look at and reevaluate things and that is exactly what I have decided to do with my weekly TV posts. For starters, they are coming back after a long break. I’m also changing up the format a bit so instead of spotlighting one episode of the week that stood out to me, I’m going to provide some brief (and occasionally not-so-brief) thoughts on the various shows I watched this week, including those I’m catching up on/watching for the first time, and I encourage you to do the same. If there is a show that inspired a lot of thought or emotion in you this week, I want to hear about it!
- The Good Wife: Yet another fantastic episode. Alicia’s prep debate with Peter was another great moment for Julianna Margulies and I’m still really enjoying Marissa’s presence, especially when she’s interacting with Eli. The real star of the episode though was Matt Czuchry. The trial and conviction process has been overwhelming to Cary and as the episode progressed, the more you could see that exhaustion and apprehension on his face. It made the moment the sentence was thrown out that much more striking as the relief washed over his face. The exhaustion was still palpable but you could also feel the weight being lifted off his shoulders as he sank into Diane and Kalinda.
- Galavant: Looking back, this was still the most fun I had watching TV all week. I liked the music even better in the second episode and I am a sucker for a good training montage. I’ve also already become rather fond of both Galavant and the Princess and their interactions (plus they sound lovely together) so I’m even more in this for the next three weeks than I initially thought.
- Sleepy Hollow: I don’t understand what is happening with this show. Part of the problem is that I’m still not connected to Katrina at all and I feel like she keeps becoming more important to the plot, which now seems to be about reforming the first two Horsemen. I could get excited about Katrina in a situation where she, Ichabod, and Abbie all team up and take down the forces together as a team instead of as separate individuals and occasionally pairs. Have Katrina teach Abbie about magic. Have Katrina and Ichabod have a conversation that goes well. Just do something more with this potential dynamic, please. This show works because of the chemistry between the characters but as more people get added to the group, the pairings that made this show great are also fading or becoming less prominent.
- Agent Carter: I absolutely loved it. It was a great start to the season. I love watching Peggy fight because she is incredible at it but it was the emotional moments, especially in episode 2 that make me so drawn to this show. Peggy trying to push everyone else away so they don’t end up as collateral damage hurt to watch. So it was really nice to see Jarvis get through to her and tell her that emotional connections are OK because that’s how you can have the strength to save the world. I also loved the juxtaposition between Peggy fighting McFee and Nurse Carver waiting to be rescued by Captain America. That’s not who Peggy is and that wasn’t her relationship with Steve and she’s proud of that fact. She saves herself.
- The Mindy Project: I am still so happy for the development of Mindy Lahiri as a confident professional woman. She may have less serious interests than some of the other doctors in the fellowship and she may love to dress in bright colors but it doesn’t make her any less competent and she’s starting to embrace that. Danny sees her skills and is very proud of them and she’s finally seeing them too. She doesn’t need Danny in California to make herself look good, she can do that with her skills, and that’s the most important lesson people can take away from this episode. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to share your life with someone but you don’t need them to be strong, fulfilled and successful. The best partners allow you to shine on your own and recognize your own gifts. In the B-plot this week, Jeremy’s inability to understand basketball made me laugh incredibly hard this week. They are finally doing good things with Ed Weeks and Jeremy’s character and it’s paying off.
- Chicago Fire: I occasionally forget how much I like Herrmann because there are so many characters on this show that I love. But he was my MVP this week for both sending Cindy to go with with Boden and Donna and then for going himself. Boden is the strong leader who is there for his house whenever they need him but sometimes those leaders need support too and Herrmann was so willing to help his friend through this difficult time. They are a family and family takes care of each other and it never fails to be beautiful to watch. Elsewhere on the show, I am increasingly frustrated with the Matt-Gabby plot but Monica Raymund is doing some great work. What these two needed was to sit down and actually have an adult conversation, not for Gabby to decide to leave and hope Matt stopped her. I want Gabby to be happy and I do think that some time away from Matt will ultimately be the right decision but I didn’t want it like this. I am excited for the potential for a better friendship between her and Brette though! I need it after Shay’s death and so does Gabby.
- Empire: This has the potential to grow into a really fun show with an incredibly talented cast. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more of what this show is capable of.
- The Big Bang Theory: This week’s episode was so much closer to the show I was The Big Bang Theory was. I don’t enjoy watching a group of people who supposedly care about each other snipe and be mean. I want to see the moments of growth and support without the need to run away from that emotion. The Howard and Raj story was especially lovely and Simon Helberg really knocked it out of the park. Howard may not have understood why Raj needed to go to temple but he wanted to support his friend however possible. Him asking if he was dressed OK was a nice touch. Similarly, please give Jim Parsons more scenes like the one in the store with Leonard. I know he’s great at the more detached side of Sheldon but he’s capable of showing a much more humanized Sheldon who does understand and feel and hurt and that’s a Sheldon I want to see.
- Parenthood: It’s safe to say that I am in no way prepared for the final three episodes of the season. This was my favorite episode of the week. There was so much that I loved that I’m going to attempt to do this second in list form to keep my thoughts somewhat organized. First, this show conveys emotions without words so well. The opening scene with the various Braverman siblings getting the call about Zeke was so well done that I was tearing up from the first second of the episode. Second thought that is mostly unrelated to the episode as a whole, JOEL AND JULIA SLEPT TOGETHER! I’ve missed this Joel who comes to the hospital with coffees for everyone and stays because he loves this whole family so much. Can we please keep him for the rest of the show and can we keep having Julia want him around? The “he’s my husband” line was delivered perfectly and destroyed me. Third, Hank is my non-Braverman MVP for the week. He may not know what to do or how to react in emotionally-driven situations but he wants to. He wants to be there and he wants to help and that speaks volumes about him and the depth of his feelings for Sarah. He comforted Drew and reassured him that the love of a parent (or grandparent) is stronger than any anger or hurt. His timing wasn’t the greatest but he’s all in and I want her to be all in too (also, I know Sarah resembles Lorelai sometimes, but I was slightly distracted by the Luke/Lorelai parallel in this moment). Fourth, to continue the theme of supportive relationships this week, was the support that Kristina and Jasmine gave to their husbands. They may have different goals but each of their wives legitimately wants what is best for their husbands. They want them to be happy and fulfilled and they will support whatever it takes to make that happen. It can be stressful and it can cause tension but they’ll root for their husbands every time. Fifth, Zeke’s scene with Amber and Drew was perfect. He is such a good grandpa to these two kids and they love him so much. It makes me miss my grandpa and makes me so emotional every time they interact. Finally, the final scene of the baby shower. There were three generations of women celebrating what it means to be a mother and a family in preparation for their newest member. Because Amber’s baby is a Braverman and that means this family will be there every step of the way. They’ll be there with support and love and advice and comfort and celebration through every milestone for both Amber and her new child. The advice they gave Amber was so reflective of who each character is and what they have been through and if I can throw in a little bit of cast trivia, Amber’s letter from her mom wasn’t read because it was a letter that Lauren actually wrote to Mae because they have become like a family. It’s this type of scene that Parenthood does so well and that I will miss so much when it ends. It embraces emotion and family and support in a way that most shows aren’t right now and it’s been a special one to watch.
- Borgen: This week’s episode was 3×05 “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” and I adored it. It took a look at the sex work industry in Denmark (though ideas are applicable around the globe) and it presented a broader look at the issue while giving the (fictional) sex worker a voice in the debate. I was just thrilled with the way it handled the topic and I was fascinated to see all the different angles taken by the show. This has been such a rewarding show to watch and I think this may have been one of my favorite episodes.
- Broad City: I watched the first three episodes of this show this week and I like it but I’m not really sure why. Both Abbi and Ilana are kind of disasters but somehow that makes me like them more. The one thing that I know strongly attracts me to this show is their friendship though. These two have the type of solid friendship that comes from years of history and complete acceptance of the other person just as they are. Ilana may never understand why Abbi works so hard as the gym cleaner in the hopes that one day they may let her lead a class and Abbi will never share Ilana’s ability to be completely herself and confident in that, but Ilana will continue to buy Abbi weed so Abbi can’t have too much at any one time and Abbi will continue to go along with Ilana’s crazy schemes for money becase they love each other. And that’s something that is worth watching for.