Quick Takes: The Office, Harper’s Island, Rescue Me, Better Off Ted, Survivor

Here are some quick takes from the week in television…

The Office

So two episodes this week sandwiching the premiere of Parks & Recreation. I don’t know if that was a good idea for Parks & Rec because being sandwiched between two episodes of The Office just made it seem even lesser than it already was.

Anyway, the repercussions of Michael quitting continue to reverb not just with him and his new employees Pam and Ryan, but also through the Dunder-Mifflin office.

Jim is being royally screwed over by the new boss and Dwight and Andy. And I like it. It shows he isn’t the know-it-all he seems to think he is lately and knocks him down a peg or two. But it also makes you want to root for Michael’s eventual return and getting rid of the new boss.

Of course, Creed delivers the punch as he always does in each episode with his “pancakes are supposed to be round” and “I don’t want these then” lines to Michael.

Dwight and Andy… well I guess after Angela’s become a slut, they need to find something for them to do. But not everything went well…

Dwight and Andy and John Denver? WIN.

Dwight and Andy and blood rushing to their penises conversations? FAIL.

And speaking of wins and fails. Fail on me thinking having Ryan back would be cool. No. He’s even more obnoxious now, and not in a funny way.

And Win! on the Michael Scott Paper Company’s first sale as well as Pam’s great development from excited employee to begging for her job back to being encouraged again to being the top salesperson at the new company (so far).

Harper’s Island

CBS Thursdays, 10pm

This series has an interesting premise. A wedding party featuring a group of two dozen guests arrive on a mysterious island getaway off the coast of Washington with a bloody past.

This 13-episode limited series (“mystery event” as CBS likes to call it) is very interesting and has great potential to be fun.

A murder promised every week and a mystery to keep everyone guessing until the finale, it’s got a good set-up. But I think the only thing missing is even small hints at character development.

We barely got introduced to hem in the pilot, let alone dig into their lives more, but there was no connection to the characters at all except for best buds Abby Mills and Henry Dunn (Elaine Cassidy and Christopher Gorham respectively). Of which, Abby has a connection to the bloody past of the island. Her mother was one of seven victims of a serial killer that preyed on the island a couple of years ago.

It can be great fun, but I think the disconnect if not addressed in the 2nd episode will keep people from wanting to tune in. Who cares if one of the characters die if I don’t even know who they are?

That said, it is great seeing so many actors I know from tons of other places. To name a few, the beautiful Katie Cassidy and Jim Beaver (from Supernatural), Victor Webster (from Days of our Lives) and Harry Hamlin.

Lots of potential here as well, they just have to have been able to keep the show moving and exciting, but also giving us more insight into the characters.

Rescue Me

FX Tuesdays, 10pm

I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since the last new episode of FX’s awesome Rescue Me.

I definitely enjoy the show. It’s mix of drama and comedy to bring to life the (almost exaggerated, but always exciting) lives of New York City firemen.

Rescue Me is probably my favorite FX drama series they’ve done and they’ve gone through a lot of excellent standout episodes.

But now, it will be interesting to see how the series plays out in its 4th season .

Better Off Ted

ABC Wednesdays, 8:30pm

Well, like I said in my review of Parks & Recreation, comedies like this aren’t going to be a huge hit with the greater viewing public.

Better Off Ted is a very quirky comedy about the Research and Development department of Veridian Dynamics, a huge global conglomerate that may have absolutely no morals when it comes to profit.

But that’s supposed to be funny, and it is thanks to great performances, notably by Jay Harrington as Ted, head of R&D and Portia de Rossi as Veronica, his boss.

From the dry humor to the breaking of the fourth wall to the silly and absurb… it all clicks for an enjoyable 30 minutes.

Survivor: Tocantins

CBS Thursdays, 8pm

It has been a long time since I’ve watched an entire season of Survivor all the way through. But I think I might just do it this season.

The gameplay has been very good this season, you’ve got secret alliances and strategies changing by the minute.

Last night’s episode was awesome drama-wise until the cop-out ending, but I guess it was unavoidable with Joe’s leg probably getting cut off if he didn’t leave to get medical attention.

I only wished they continued with Tribal. That means all that perfect planning was for nothing!

And while I can’t stand Coach and think Brendan is awesome, it is great seeing all this strategy coming in to play, something I haven’t seen on the show in a long time (or at least in the half-seasons I did watch the last few years).

I have to hand it to them, they are all playing the game, which is what Survivor is all about. No one is just skating by anymore. People are making alliances, working behind other people’s backs, that’s what the show is about. What makes Survivor special is you have all this backstabbing, but the show is still quality television. The beautiful scenery (in HD!) definitely helps too.

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