Tune In / Tune Out: Week of September 29, 2013

As we enter the third week of the fall TV season, some shows are standing out, for better or for worse. These are the episodes that were notable to us.

Tune IN

Trophy Wife – The promising family dynamic that was set up in the pilot was even better in the second episode of the season. The most refreshing part of the show is the fact that the so-called “trophy wife,” Kate, has a genuine and overwhelming desire to be part of the dysfunctional family she married into. Marcia Gay Harden is fantastic as Bradley Whitford’s first wife, and Michaela Watkins is hysterical as his second wife. The role of Hillary, his oldest daughter, was recast with Bailee Madison, who helped to take this show to a whole new level in the second episode. –Kerry

Once Upon a Time – While the third-season opener wasn’t a stunner (How do you top the Return of Magic?), it set out some interesting potential story arcs for the episodes that will air between now and Winter hiatus. I have high hopes the show will keep the story from devolving into a convoluted mess, similar to season two, and that characters who have been ill used in previous seasons will be given purpose beyond being someone else’s plot device. (Or that the show will simply leave the characters alone to peacefully continue their fictional lives.) – Moff

 

Elementary – Nearly every main actor brought their A-game this week, starting with Lucy Liu and including Jon Michael Hill, who plays Detective Marcus Bell. For an episode that was Joan-centric and involved a case about complicated mathematics, it still managed to be about Sherlock and the way he affects the people around him. This show is only getting better. – Kerry

The Blacklist – Parminder Nagra’s character was introduced to the show, and I’m slowly falling in love with her. James Spader played a great Reddington, and Megan Boone is keeping up with him. The soundtrack and story were both wonderful, and I enjoyed the twist. The only reason why I would say Tune Out right now is because I’m not the biggest fan of Boone’s hairstyle. – Becca

Tune OUT

Bones – Normally, I love this show. I was hesitant when it first premiered because I wasn’t sure how well David Boreanaz would differentiate himself following his stint as Angel on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: The Series. But the cast was convincing in their roles; the murder-of-the-week stories (generally) clever; and the balance between the character moments and the police procedural elements deftly handled. But this week’s episode felt off, with a storyline that revolved around FBI psychiatrist Lance Sweets. It’s not the first time Sweets has been the focus of an episode, but as one of the emotional fulcrums of the show (along with Seeley Booth and Angela Montenegro), there was a noticeable lack of friendly interactioBan between the main characters. Furthermore, despite some smart staging, this episode’s pacing felt like a writer from The West Wing had walked all over the script. – Moff

 

The Millers – It was bad. Unlike “Dads,” this show had some potential on paper, because Will Arnett is always funny, and Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges seemed promising. The premise wasn’t terrible, either. But everything went about as badly as a pilot could go. Did we mention the fart jokes? Yes, that’s fart jokes, plural. Nothing elevates a witty and well-written pilot like a good fart joke, right? – Kerry

Hostages – The plot was a little too predictable. It would be easy to skip this episode, and not be lost in the story line. – Becca

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