Here’s a look back at the best and worst of TV in the past week (Sept. 11-17), and a look ahead at what’s coming up.
1. “Top Chef” (Bravo). As a whole, it wasn’t a great season. But the finale from Singapore was outstanding. It came down to talented chefs doing what they do best, and the end result appeared to be one of the most successful finale meals the series has seen. Angelo’s sudden illness and Kevin’s surprising win added nice bits of drama.
2. “Being Human” (BBC America). Forget “True Blood,” this is the best supernatural series out there. Last week’s penultimate episode of Season 2 was one of its more emotionally gripping ones, with George’s heartbreaking realization that he can’t be normal (such a shattering moment of realization when his girlfriend’s daughter screamed in terror at the sight of him), and Mitchell’s lust for bloody revenge after the vampire massacre. That scene on the train, brief as it was, managed to be terrifying.
3. “Terriers” (FX). Already my favorite new show of the fall. Hank and Britt aren’t the best private eyes — far from it — but they’re the most fun to watch. I loved that scene this week where they were trying to think of a name for their detective agency, something that got across the point that they’re scrappy, and when they take hold of a case they’ll be tenacious . . . . and then, nahh, nothing came to mind. (Psssst: How about Terriers?)
Honorable mention: “My Boys” (TBS) ended its four-season run with a satisfying pair of episodes, ending with each character about to embark with new directions (or at least new priorities) to their lives. That’s a show I’ll miss a lot. “Covert Affairs” (USA) ended its season with a bang, with Annie off on missions to London and Sri Lanka and ending with a life-or-death cliffhanger. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FX) was very funny, but I think I laughed even more during “The League” (FX). Thursday will become a comedy super-night once those two bookend with “30 Rock” and “The Office” next week.
1. “Survivor” (CBS). First episodes are always kinda slow, there are just too many people to introduce. But this one seemed more boring than usual. I’m not sure what my favorite worst part was: Jimmy Johnson’s dry heaves or the young tribe’s ridiculous song & dance number when they showed up to the challenge.
2. “The Great Food Truck Race” (Food Network). Nom Nom wins again. This has gotten soooo boring.
3. “True Blood” (HBO). Too many characters and too many plotlines shooting off in every direction. You’d think a season finale would have either a cliffhanger or a resolution; there wasn’t either.
Dishonorable mention: “Entourage” (HBO) finished another blah year with Vince’s not-at-all convincing (or satisfying) descent into drug abuse. “Top Chef Just Desserts” (Bravo) let us know that there are a lot of whiny pastry chefs out there. “Gossip Girl” (The CW) was as ridiculous as usual. But it gets a little tiring when every single problem and conflict could be resolved with a 5-minute conversation between characters. Of course that never happens until it’s too late. And “Bachelor Pad” (ABC) was terrible, but that was to be expected. What was up with changing the rules halfway through the show, though, and becoming a Sandals resort? Wasn’t it supposed to be about singles, not couples? Whatever, I don’t care.
Looking forward to . . .
Hang on, everyone, next week is the official fall launch. Look for new episodes of pretty much all your favorite shows. These ones are at the top of my list:
1. “Boardwalk Empire” (9 p.m. Sunday, HBO). The original Jersey Shore tough guys. Can’t wait for this.
2. “Fringe” (9 p.m. Thursday, Fox). This is filling my need for a complicated show with a dense mythology now that “Lost” is done. Now that Olivia is stuck in a parallel universe, things are going to get interesting. Errr, more interesting. This trailer just makes me giddy:
3. “30 Rock” (8:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC). Lemon and the gang are back. And Matt Damon’s still around, wearing his pilot’s uniform.
Wow, I just realized I watched way too much TV last week. Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/thatwarmglow.