Gus Against Malvo
Fargo, the sort-of-remake-sort-of sequel-sort-of-something-else-entirely of the beloved Coen brothers film, ended its ten-episode first season this week. “Morton’s Fork” doesn’t give the audience a straightforward triumph of good over evil, though Malvo does end up dead. Instead, it’s Gus who does the deed, not Molly the (now) police chief—an act that showrunner Noah Hawley pointed out over at Grantland means Malvo partially succeeded in his mission to act as Fargo’s resident corrupting influence. This probably isn’t goodbye for Fargo itself, but it is goodbye for this particular generation of characters; next season, if there is one, will be a complete reboot.
Louie and Pamela
The fourth season of Louis CK’s FX show arguably wasn’t its most successful, but it did feature a wildly ambitious six-part episode—unprecedented for CK’s one-off-centric style—and an unlikely answer to the prolonged will-they-or-won’t-they between Louie and Pamela. After three seasons of rejection and a majorly uncomfortable encounter in “Pamela Part 1,” the final two episodes have the characters…going on dates! And having sex! There’s no guarantee anything will last until next season, but for a show that’s so consistently sad, a happy-ish ending might have been the boldest thing CK could do.
The Return of Rectify
Sundance’s molasses-slow drama about a recently exonerated death row inmate returned this week, and the jury’s still out as to whether it’s yet another in a string of Sundance home runs or the “slow TV” trend gone way too far. Personally, I think the network that gave America Top of the Lake and The Returned deserves the benefit of the doubt, but don’t take my word for it—just look at the mind-numbingly beautiful final shot of the premiere, which puts two best friends in white against a background of bare trees.
Awkward. Hits an All-Time Low
For an excellent dissection of just how far MTV’s Awkward. has gone astray, look no further than the AV Club, where Myles McNutt took a break from his regular schedule of not recapping the show to eviscerate its midseason finale. Basically, ten episodes into its new show runner, Awkward. has yet to figure out how to advance the plot without turning a character into an actual psychopath. Oh, and the production team hasn’t figured out how to make the shooting location (probably Southern California) look like it’s snowing.
Dominion Touches Down
Nothing says “summer TV” like a goofy SyFy show based on a goofy movie from a few years ago. Dominion is a post-apocalyptic, angels vs. humans vs. each other mess, heralded by some of the more ridiculous-looking subway ads in recent New York memory. Its premiere on Thursday night featured ham-handed exposition, a gutted-out Las Vegas, and most horrifying of all, Giles from Buffy with an American accent. Dominion is no Battlestar Galactica, but it’s excellent televisual junk food.