Josh Zuckerman on 90210
Naomi, hilariously, may not have been able to reconcile having a crush on sweet science nerd Max right away, but I’ve loved the actor who plays him since he showed up on The West Wing as the memorable know-it-all kid who made Josh’s “list” in the brilliant post 9/11 episode “Isaac and Ishmael”. One of the most beautiful shows on TV needed an actual nerd (hot newspaper editor Navid wasn’t cutting it) and 90210 found just the right way to bring him in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, despite what it may seem, 90210 really does have a good sense of real people-ness (most of the time, except when it comes to the people in Annie’s stories, they’re all nuts). I liked that Naomi liked Max (and pretty quickly too, she didn’t need a ton of time to get to see past his exterior, she just liked him, and Naomi has always been quick to identify what she likes). I loved that Max didn’t really like Naomi (The fact that he could admit she was hot but still not be into her was amazing. Even more amazing- the writers’ willingness to let him underestimate her by reading too much into her obvious flaws, exactly what the audience did before we got to know her). I really loved that the show acknowledged that meanness isn’t tied to social status and had the nerds be just as cruel to Naomi as she’d ever been to them. And I super de duper loved how damn cute they were together. What I didn’t love? How easy it was for her to change what I imagine was a pretty firmly made up mind about her (easy’s not that interesting), the fact that he kissed her only after she promised she “really liked him” (a trademark move of the insecure) and the way her blue makeup rubbed off on his face (I get the joke, but it was really kinda icky). But yay Max! and yay 90210’s writers for a brilliantly handled story! and yay Josh Zuckerman, welcome back to my TV!
The Ensemble of Raising Hope
Last week’s episode about co-dependence framed by a story about secondary guardianship and a hilarious hostage situation perfectly highlighted what makes this show surprisingly sweet. The family at its core (and Sabrina, her too) is one of the most strangely functional on TV. They need each other but more importantly they complement each other.
The Pawnee Harvest Festival
Although I missed Rob Lowe, last week’s Parks & Rec was awesome! Andy and April’s story was funny and incredibly touching in a brilliantly character-specific way; Tom’s buck-passing was hilarious and the Native American “curse” story damn clever. And the best thing? BEN! Adam Scott’s well-meaning, awkward and wonderfully deadpan character has quickly become one of my favourites and the snails-pace progression of his relationship with Leslie is fantastic! Any faster and it’d lose its brilliance. Watching them move off her defensive hatred of him to the awesome friendship they have now has been perfection, and it’s onwards and upwards from here.
“Loser Like Me”
Regionals this year were great over in Glee-town. It was a solid episode that gave Quinn some interesting material for the first time in awhile and inspired huge smiles as Kurt and Blaine finally went for it (I say “finally” because it was highly anticipated and super adorable. I was less impressed that after making a big deal about Blaine’s bad relationship skills and the fascinating complexity of them as a couple, the show didn’t really take their time getting them together). But the best thing really was the songs. There were some great covers, as per usual, but it was the original songs that stole the show. I was worried about them, I really didn’t think the show could come up with anything good enough to match the hype of them doing original songs. But the fun of “Hell to the No” and the hilarity of “Trouty Mouth” started the show off on the right track. While “Big Ass Heart” was fine and Rachel’s balled was decent, it was “Loser Like Me” that I really loved. It was perfect- capturing the exact tone of the show and its favourite themes (and motifs) without preaching, pandering or demanding pity. It was triumphant in exactly the way that confident “losers” really should be. I loved it.