Catching up with my DVR

I've been traveling for a few weeks and my Tivo has gotten rather ahead of me. So here's a few notes as I catch up --

I'm enjoying Castle, mostly because the relationship works so well between the two leads. They need to be careful though: in the last few episodes the Castle character has come up with entirely too many brilliant (though a tad obvious -- the wife did it, duh) case-breaking observations that somehow never occurred to Beckett. They need to keep the relationship balanced. Yes, Fillion is the reason I started watching, but Fillion + Katic is the reason I keep watching. Beckett must remain equally smart or the show devolves into Castle Explains It All For You. Which doesn't sound nearly as much fun.

I've held off on reviewing Dollhouse. Partly because I didn't want to say bad things about a show put together by so many people whose past work I admire so much. But also partly because, though I didn't like it, I couldn't stop watching it. There was something there... but what?

I watched the "game-changing" episodes (6 and 7) with interest. But still, the show didn't quite click. We found out Echo's big secret past identity... and she was a whiny student activist. Yawn.

But I kept watching. And got rewarded for my patience with episode 9 ("Spy In The House Of Love"). Aside from the fact that Olivia Williams finally got the chance to remind us that she is a wonderful actress and not some ice-queen stereotype, this episode also changed my perception of the show.

I always assumed this would be a show about Echo trying to find her true identity. And when we found that identity -- so early on and so uncompellingly -- I was disappointed. But maybe that was the whole point -- to tell me that my assumption was WRONG. I'm not sure what the show is about, but maybe I'm not supposed to know yet. Keeping the audience guessing this far into a short season is playing a long, dangerous game -- particularly on Fox Friday nights -- but I've never liked shows that lay it all out for you in episode one and then keep repeating the formula for years. So count me in for the ride. Even if that means I'm getting hooked on another serialized show about to get yanked off the air and leave me hanging...

Speaking of which, Fox folks: please give Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles another season! Yes, things got a tad baroque this year, but man did they pull it together in that cliff-hanger of a season finale. I really, really, really want to see where they're going. That was some high-class genre acting, plotting and writing. As for the complaint that it's too "charactery" and not "actiony" enough: who's making that complaint? No one I know. And no one who loved character-heavy Terminator 2, one of my fave movies of all time. And not for the explosions.

That's all for now. More to come as I work through the backlog...

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