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Catching Up: "Criminal Intent," "HIMYM," "Two and a Half Men"

By admin Published: October 10, 2007

I've been in the office most of the day, and last night's viewing is stuffed into a DVR at home. But while trying to find the top of my desk, I hit a USA Network episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." And I did see Monday's "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men" from my recordings, so I have a few thoughts there.

I also have a LOT of thoughts about the next two episodes of "Mad Men" -- tomorrow night's and then the season finale -- and am trying to decide what to say now and what to save until after you see the telecasts. That's a separate post, in any case, save for yet another recommendation that you tune in.

And so to the jump. ...

Men

"Two and a Half Men." Still funny. And nice to see Charlie in a situation where he was uncharming to a woman. Of course, we've seen him with women in his age ballpark before -- when he was, er, dating Alan's girlfriend's mom. But that was not exactly an attempt at a relationship. And, if there's an early trend this year, it's Charlie's relationships. Not only did we have this dating-a-contemporary story, which will continue in coming episodes, we had him bonding anew with his mother.

Thought "HIMYM" was a nice rebound from a bad episode a week ago. Not enthralled with the Robin stuff, which seemed to struggle just to set up her losing Dr. Awesome to the waitress. But I liked Barney and Marshall in video-game combat, and was thoroughly amused by Ted's adventures among women. Nice touch, too, to have the women be teen-TV icons: Danica McKellar, of course, from "Wonder Years" and Busy Philipps from "Freaks & Geeks." (I know, "Dawson's Creek," too, but I put that aside.) Sepinwall pointed out to me that Philipps did no scenes with former "F&G"-er Jason Segel, bypassing a TV reunion; in the story, I guess it wouldn't have made sense for them to be on-camera together, but I couldn't help wondering if there was some old issue there.

"Criminal Intent" was the episode kicking off its first-run telecasts on USA Network (a corporate sibling of NBC), a Goren-Eames episode that was less of a how-catch-'im with Goren bringing down some smarty-pants than a whodunit, and one full of Eames's past. Very emotional but not too good. I am beginning to understand viewers' reservations about Goren's increasingly sloppy appearance; he's just a mess in these, even when he is supposed to have cleaned up. And "CI" is most fun when it's going full "Columbo," chasing the bad guy we've already recognized. And I've yet to warm to the Chris Noth episodes, so I don't have a lot of reasons to go looking for this, regardless of where it airs.

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