The Best of the Best
Due to the Fourth of July preempting last week’s “Boob Tube,” this week’s installment will include the best television of the past two weeks.
Royal Pains “No Man is an Island” Hank and Evan spend the weekend on the private island of a wealthy family as their doctor and nanny, respectively.
Rescue Me “Torch” A gruesome death takes its toll on all the firefighters, and leaves Tommy questioning his stoicism.
Better Off Ted “Bioshuffle” The leaking of acidic goo (or “ass-goo” for short) forces a shuffling of offices that throws everyone out of their comfort zone.
WARNING: After the jump, THERE BE SPOILERS!
Royal Pains: For most of its run, Royal Pains has been light summer fluff, paling in comparison to the uniformly superior Burn Notice. This week, though, Pains seemed to finally crack the summer entertainment formula. The lifestyle porn standard of the show was turned on its head when Hank and Evan ended up on remote island in the ocean with no technology. Obviously things went awry, and we were treated to some actual humor, drama. This episode also included a healthy dose of MacGuyver medicine, something Royal Pains should stick with if it wants to distinguish itself from the other various medical shows out there.
Rescue Me: Hands down the best episode of the season, and certainly in the running for best of the series. The one weakness the episode had was continuing the Garrity musical numbers, which after three episodes in a row have lost their novelty. The dead child was handled brilliantly, with the camera focusing only on Tommy, not moving, as he covered the body. In the background you see the other firemen just looking on in shock that Tommy was strong enough to do that. The tragic death echoed throughout the episode as every character struggled to come to grips with it, uniting the scenes in a way that rarely happens on this show.
The real highlight was Tommy in the bar, with the best use of the ghost conceit that we’ve seen so far, being told that he has been dead inside since the day his son died three seasons ago. That scene did more to explain who Tommy is as a character than five seasons of the television show put together. Hopefully the Rescue Me will be able to reach these heights again.
Better Off Ted: Another strong week from the funniest show of 2009. At this point, this show is more consistent week to week and has a higher percentage of its jokes hits than 30 Rock was this spring. This doesn’t mean that 30 Rock is going to lose its crown soon, but it does mean that their is a new kid on the block who shouldn’t be underestimated. Not much more to say about this one, except I really love the sight of Portia de Rossi holding a gun.