Assimilating Tactics: Returning Television Shows – Spring 2010 – Review – Part I

The returning aspect of genre shows a couple series trying to find that strain to be able to keep their impact pertinent while still having enough stories to tell. “Burn Notice” still has that edge to it but with Michael being in Miami almost three years and running out of excuses, the idea looms. With Chuck, it is similar but has the small miracle of reinvention with a new challenge. “Fringe” has the most still moving because it allowed the most mysteries yet to be solved. While not “Lost”-sized, it does give enough, although Walter is starting to be normal. Still good writing across the board on all three show a wonderful quality.

Burn Notice The aspect within Michael Weston is his ability to create change. The split season adheres to this with Fiona almost losing her battle with both the affections of her spy as well as her life. The interim of more spy mercenaries keeps the barbs coming but the essentials of what keeps Michael in place ultimately will come down to Fi. The aspect of her almost being killed should have affected him more but something truly needs to come to a head. Sharon Gless’ mother character is becoming more aware giving the piece a boost from another area (especially when Tyne Daly, her Cagney & Lacey co-star) shows up in an episode. With the importance of his burn starting to wane, despite the show still moving with pace, the question becomes one of an end date unfortunately, because like LOST, “Burn” needs a goal to reach for which will allow for an intention of purpose since, because its characters are not ones to wait, seems a forgone conclusion.

Chuck With the limitations of our intrepid bungling hero getting his training wheels taken off, one would figure that the possibilities were endless. However two things need to give cadence to prudence. And this lies in the budget because taking Chuck further requires more creativity. While he doesn’t turn out to be the spy in motion everybody hoped he would be because his emotions got in the way, the dynamic has changed somewhat because he is now gaining a little bit of respect while still saying all the wrong things. The best thing to keep moving is the Sarah/Chuck romance which always needs that “will they/won’t they” possibility to keep it going. While the Rachel Bilson romance had possibilities, the show runners decided to keep it Sarah centric. However in flashback mode, we learn that it was Chuck that placed a kink in letting work get in the way of his dream girl. Ultimately a new play both for Chuck and Sarah comes into play that creates an interesting dichotomy even though it might be one to alienate some of the viewers. However, the casting of Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh is a smart movie but for him and the show because it gives a rival suitor that can supplement overt genre fans. The question of course is where to go. “Chuck” still does have a story to tell but is it enough to keep NBC from cancelling it. After all “My Name Is Earl” was just starting to hit its stride when the plug was pulled so nothing can be taken for granted.

Fringe With the aspect of the other side being relegated away from the forefront and Agent Dunham’s limp moving more and more away, the connection of mythology has been playing lighter with subtle hints unlike last season where we saw a tinge of her powers on top of the building. The one realization that is not even subtle anymore is the fact that Walter actually seems to have brought Peter back from the other world since he seemed to have died there. This is not spoken outright but the conclusions seem clear. Walter, as played brilliantly by John Noble (who deserves an Emmy nomination) seems to becomiing more congnificent which drives down the elements of comedy but make him more resilient character since he is now starting to realize what he has wrought over the years. The aspects of the past and essences of time travel are now being examined but not truly brought to light although the interim images are now having pertinence with the seahorse mentioned directly in passing.

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