The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Arrested Development 3.02, Kitchen Confidential 1.02, Prison Break 1.06: A Chicken Orgy, Utter Tripe and a Riot!

Two shows stepped it up this Monday and brought themselves to another level. Another dropped off the face of the planet.

Arrested Development saw where it stood from last week, found it was good but not good enough, and took off from there. This episode was awesome. The structure was great and I particularly loved the writing in this episode. Also, Charlize Theron was phenomenal as the retarded(?) English girl. I didn’t think the writing could get better from last week but they surpassed things last night. The shows premise revolved around the plot that George Sr. was framed by the smelly-mouthed Brits who told him about a foreign contracting job, aka Iraq. George Sr. told Michael to investigate this further, which led Michael to Little England in the OC. It is here where Michael meets Charlize’s character, Rita. He convinces her to meet him the next day to get at the files in the English Embassy (where do they come up with this?!).

Charlize’s accent is the funniest thing ever, and at first I thought she was doing a horrid one on purpose. But it turns out she could be retarded as she is finger painting when Michael sees her again to break off their meeting. She doesn’t speak much and her character wears a bunny backpack, accentuating the fact that she could very well be retarded. If the writers go with that… Wow. That would be the funniest thing ever, to have your main character in the show fall for a retarded person. It would be SO un-PC but would SO be worth doing. I can’t wait to see how she plays out in the next episode.

G.O.B’s story arc, consisting of him avoiding his responsibility as a father by ditching Steve Holt(!), continues in this episode. The story arc serves as a foil to the relationships between George Sr. and his son’s and Michael’s relationship with his son, George Michael. I like how the writers make it seem as if GOB is finally turning to the good side, only to have him disappear in the tunnels, again avoiding his son. In this episode, most of the other family members are relegated to bit pieces and roles, such as Tobias as the chicken man with or without hair plugs. However, Lucille makes a grandiose appearance at the beginning of the show, with some of the most uncomfortable and funniest dialog ever with Michael. Her talk of experimenting in bed with George Sr., and her new found sexuality just about makes anyone cringe. And then when she mutters, “Mommy horny, Michael” referencing George Sr. when he was in jail, it just put me over the top. So funny but yet so wrong at the same time.

It is at the beginning of the show where the funniest thing I have ever seen occurs on screen. The Bluth family is notoriously known for their lacking interpretations of a chicken, and when they taunt Michael about his inability to find a date, they decide to mock him with their versions of chickens. George Sr. begins and is joined by Lucille and Lindsay, and let me just say, if I could have those 15 seconds and loop them forever, I would probably still be laughing now. The inside joke of this chicken dance just gets me every time. In all, a great episode and can’t wait for next week to see more about this English plot line.

Kitchen Confidential was after and I don’t think I will be watching next week. This show was not funny in any sense of the word and, truthfully, I don’t know how they green lit this show. The plot of catching the thief in the kitchen and it turning out to be the wrongly accused… done and done. There were no funny gags or lines in the whole of the episode and I feel the writers really don’t know what direction they want the show to go in. A sentimental show with anecdotes or a gag show dealing with the hell of running a kitchen. All that I do know, however, is they are failing miserably and perhaps they’ll find their feet later on, but as it is, the overly clichéd characters and plot lines make the show dull and drag. Someone else keep watching this show and tell me if it changes but I can’t sit through any more of this show.

Now, Prison Break. Wow. This show is awesome. As anyone who has read my reviews of the first three episodes know, the show was dragging for me. Too much emphasis on the stereotypical conspiracy angle, not enough on the suspense of the show, being in the prison with Scofield. My how the times have changed. This latest episode absolutely rocked my world. I could place it with Lost as the most suspenseful and adrenaline pumped shows on TV at the moment. They both do their jobs in different manners but Prison Break is coming into it’s own. This episode’s plot revolved around the prison riot that Scofield induced to ensure time to drill through the wall. And it was executed beautifully, if a bit deceitfully by Fox.

The tension of the show took off when we realize that the lockdown enacted by the guards begins to get out of hand and that the doctor is at risk in the infirmary. I felt the episode captured the chaos of the riot perfectly, as well as bottling that chaos and allowing us to sample it by showing us the rage the prisoners used to break out of the cell block as well as when they showed us the fight between Burrows and Teabag. Oh that fight, what a fight! The cinematography was spot on, with swift cuts and good movement to convey the craziness of the fight. It was out first real fight scene of the series and I felt it was done great. Burrows looked positively animal-like taking down the others and it was awesome that the fight was realistic enough to know that it was over when Teabag nailed him on the head with a pipe. No superhero antics helped it keep grounded in reality. The fight did not let down.

The exposition prior to the riot helped accentuate the intensity of the riot itself. When the doctor talks to Scofield through the fence about how she found out about him and Burrows, she arranges for Burrows examination to end as Scofield comes in for his insulin shots. We all know this was done since she has a soft spot for him and is needed to create some kind of emotional tie between those two characters. But what it also does is increase the tension when we realize her guard in the infirmary is taken out and she is trouble. Good writing in my book. When we also find out that the doctor is the governor’s daughter, the tension notches up a level. The writing is beginning to come together and it feels like they are hitting a nice groove of including twists and turns without making them feel forced. For example, when the writers had to include Teabag finding out about the break out, it surprised me and elicited a feeling of, “Oh shit!” The way it played out with Teabag beating the guard and throwing him around, it genuinely felt like coincidence that he found out about the break out. I thought it was clever that Scofield’s main antagonist was now included in on the plans. More good writing.

When Scofield returns to see Teabag, a guard and Abruzzi in his cell, we know the shit has hit the fan. And so does he. But, when he realizes the doctor is in trouble, he keeps his cool, tells Sucre to continue digging and then does what any valiant hero does. He goes to rescue the damsel in distress. Or that is what Fox would have you believe. And that is where Fox’s deceit comes into play. For the advertisements of this week’s episode, we were shown clips of the riot but also the fact that Scofield rescues the doctor from the ducts above. However, this is not so! This week’s episode ended with the “To be continued…” tag line, and we are again shown the same footage from last week! How deceitful Fox, how deceitful. Lying to us like that. I think it helped get viewers in and I guess this episode was as good as any to lie to viewers to make sure they saw one of the better episodes thus far. But, wow. I was absolutely pissed off at Fox for lying like that and making me wait another week for what I thought was coming this week. Shame on you Fox, for shame! Needless to say, a great episode which has me waiting for next week. If you haven’t gotten on the Prison Break bandwagon, now is as good a time as any!


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