Archive for March, 2010

Psych: “Mr. Yin Presents”

10 March 2010
by R.A. Porter

In what I feel is a welcome sign of artistic growth, Psych has taken to ending its half seasons with episodes that raise the stakes for Shawn and Gus, giving Dulé Hill and James Roday opportunities to stretch their acting legs out a bit. This started with the mid-season finale of season three but the creators really set a high bar with last season’s finale, “An Evening With Mr. Yang.” Going back to that rich vein, tonight’s finale gives us the return of Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy, pictured above) and her unseen partner in crime, Mr. Yin. This time it’s Mr. Yin’s turn to put Shawn and friends to the test.

Roday does triple duty for this episode, starring and helming from a screenplay he co-wrote. Filled with subtle and not-so subtle homages to Hitchcock, this is the prettiest and most ambitious episode of Psych to date. It also has one of the most touching and peculiar scenes I expect to see on TV this year, something that would feel at home in a Wes Anderson film. And yet it retains its sense of fun throughout.

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White Collar: “Out of the Box”

8 March 2010
by R.A. Porter

While I find White Collar to be a decent diversion and continue to watch it each week, it’s failed to make the leap narratively. I’m sticking around because I think Matt Bomer’s got a lot of charm, I love Willy Garson, and I’m a long-time fan of Tim DeKay’s.1 Story-wise, they aren’t treading ground that I haven’t seen on dozens of other shows over the years.

I just don’t care if Neal ever gets back with Kate.2 I’m not sure how much I care about Project Mentor and Fowler and I haven’t found him threatening in the least. Noah Emmerich is a fine actor who can certainly be an intimidating presence and he’s doing what he can with what he’s been given, but there’s just no heat there.

And of course I’m still stinging from the cheap feint over the mid-season cliffhanger.

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  1. Plus, I keep hoping Natalie Morales is going to get a bigger role. []
  2. The fact that Alexandra Daddario is a blank as Kate doesn’t help the character’s cause. Why the hell is Neal smitten with such a non-entity? []

Burn Notice: “Devil You Know”

4 March 2010
by R.A. Porter

Over the last three years, Michael Westen has faced his demons, ghosts from his past, and – in Victor – a cautionary tale of his own future. In tonight’s season finale he meets something far worse: himself.

The monster whose crimes fill Michael’s burn notice has been locked in a dark hole, stripped of his freedom and the credit for his evil acts while Michael has roamed Miami. Simon’s life’s work is Michael’s burden. And Simon wants it all back. To that end he spent millions, double-crossed Gilroy, and broke into the bright light of South Florida to force Michael’s hand.

Guest star Garret Dillahunt brings his usual creepiness to Simon, and by moving with dancer’s grace and standing straight as a statue of Lenin, he imbues Simon with a definite Michael Westen-ness. This monster, more than Victor or Dead Larry or Brennan, is what much of the world sees when it sees Michael.

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