FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (August 25)
Oh gosh, this is the last week of August, guys! Could it actually be time to get serious? September is looming, which means summer is almost over, and that means we have to buy new Trapper Keepers and erasers and pencil boxes! Not for school, no no no, but for our honors course on the new fall season, where homework is making .GIFs of The Vampire Diaries, recess means catching up on whatever's on our DVRs, and final exams are finale exams and they happen in late May. But first we have some pass/fail report cards to fill out as we look at the best and worst of the week in television.
New Girl's turn on The Writers' Room
Sundance Channel and Entertainment Weekly's regular writers' powwow continues to delight, and this week's New Girl
panel—featuring creator Liz Meriwether, Nick Miller himself (Jake
Johnson), and executive producers Brett Baer and Dave Finkel—was truly
entertaining. Naturally the full episode's not online, but if you can
track it down via On Demand or more, uh, nefarious means, it's at least
worth a look for the improvised story-breaking of an episode called
"Mouth Party," which we now totally want to see. Oh, and if you weren't a
fan of the period humor in Season 2's "Menzies," check out this (unembeddable) clip; sounds like it could've been wayyyyy worse.
Teen Wolf nails another finale
Serialized dramas live or die by their finales. Teen Wolf's have been excellent since the beginning, and the Season 3A capper didn't disappoint. Neatly tying together one of the show's most elaborate
and ambitious plots to date (a sort of supernatural Mexican standoff
between three different factions), it also took the time to delve into
artful philosophical concepts, and to provide some truly rich emotional payoffs.
Feeling very much like a season-ending conclusion rather than mid-season
cliffhanger, this finale respected our need for closure and
made us even more excited to see what the next batch of episodes will
bring us. New monsters, new heartache, even more labyrinthine
storytelling— bring it on.
Michael Westen stabs Garret Dillahunt to death
Well, actually it was "Simon Escher," the crazy man who was
instrumental in framing Westen so many Burns ago. The heart-piercing
followed Mikey's realization that the CIA doesn't care what sort of
psychopaths they have to consort with in order to get the job done. Then, as if that
wasn't enough to put him on bad terms with the government organization,
he went on to admit to Brotherman James the real reason he's been
hanging around. For a show that relies pretty heavy on a procedural
episode structure, these last installments are actually keeping us guessing, which is a good place to be.
The Bridge's dubstep bath salts guy!
FX's bordertown police drama isn't shy. Proof? Look at this weirdo hammering out some beats and freaking in the buff with a sock on his dong. Just one of many odd little details this kooky show delivers on a weekly basis.
True Blood's Eric Northman showed us his wiener
The Season 6 finale was like two episodes in one, and while we're a little on the fence about the mid-episode six-month time jump and Sam Merlotte becoming the freaking mayor of Bon Temps, Alexander Skarsgard went full-frontal. That goes a long way.
The Soup celebrates 500 episodes... live!
Joel McHale's weekly clip show marked a major milestone with a pair of live episodes that were mostly like any other episode of the series, but with a little extra pizazz. BJ Novak, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Adam Corolla all dropped by, and the show scored its largest audience of the year. So meaty!!
Breaking Bad coined a new euphemism for murder, "Send him on a trip to Belize," and the Belize Tourism Board had a field day, even offering several cast members free trips to the country. And then one Reddit user whipped up that beautiful postcard you see above.
TLC's The Man with the 132-lb Scrotum
But what is this show even about and who is the main character?
Maxine just *appeared* on Under the Dome, and she's mixing her metaphors
We're not sure why Natalie Zea decided to squat in some poor schmoe's house for eight episodes while two of her employees ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, but we do know she's terrible at crafting a properly threatening and consistent metaphor:
Maxine: “You have quite a few secrets buried in your past, Barbie. I would hate for those secrets to get dug up for everyone to see.”
Barbie: “Oh, please, please, dig them up.”
Maxine: “Careful what you wish for, Jimmy, because while I’m digging, I might accidentally reveal a few of the pies you got your fingers stuck in around town.”
She couldn't've just stuck with the buried secrets? Suddenly there are baked goods involved?! Maybe the pies are buried? Pirate Pastries! Or maybe another one of her operations—aside from collecting gambling debts, selling drugs, and setting up fight clubs—is an All-In-One Hole-Digging and Dessert Shop? Come to think of it, that might actually do well in Chester's Mill...
A&E's Modern Dads
It's great that men can be at the forefront of a reality show, and that A&E's making an effort to portray a group of "characters" who aren't constantly fighting, drinking, or f*cking, but this show about
four stay-at-home dads is a horrible watch. In addition to being mostly
staged, the show dismisses its stars' wives as props, and the guys themselves ham it up in front of the cameras with the type of personalities that prove they shouldn't ever breed again.
The recent comparisons between Breaking Bad and Lost
Yes, Breaking Bad had numbers and it put them on a lottery ticket. Okay, Lost had numbers and it put them on a lottery ticket, too. Yes, there was an underground meth lab on Breaking Bad, and yes, there was an underground hatch on Lost. Yes, "Walt" and flashforwards. But please, stop trying to make connections where they don't belong. Let Breaking Bad be Breaking Bad, and let Lost be Lost. Are we supposed to compare ABC's upcoming lottery drama Lucky 7 to Lost, too? (.GIF from ibtimes.com)
R.I.P. Elmore Leonard
One of America's greatest contemporary authors passed away this week, and he'll be greatly missed. In addition to a rich portfolio of novels and short stories, Leonard wrote the ditty that Justified is based on and consulted on the show frequently. He also penned the source material for several influential movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Jackie Brown.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?
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