FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (December 15)
If you're reading this, congratulations! You made it through another Friday the 13th without dying! How many black cats did you trip over? How many mirrors that were being carried across sidewalks did you crash through? Did you find a zero-leafed clover? When you stumbled into the indoor umbrella store, did you fall down and accidentally spring them all open like a room full of loaded mousetraps? No matter what terrible fortune befell you on Friday, obviously your luck has turned around like 540 degrees because it's FTW vs. WTF time, a sure sign that things are on the up-and-up. Put some horseshoes on your rabbit's foot while you peruse what we thought was good and bad about television this week. And there's a comments section at the bottom of the page where you get to make your own list! See? Everything is coming up YOU!
Joe Morton, Eater of Worlds on Scandal
Sure, we're still (mostly) intrigued by the mystery of Olivia's mother, and Jake taking on a leadership role at B613 is fascinating in its own right, but Scandal's mid-season finale mostly existed so Joe Morton and his Eli Pope could destroy the universe with an extended diatribe about all the bad things his character's had to do to make it, which contrasts with how Fitz has been handed everything and still whines about it. Morton's been great on Scandal from the beginning but this was his best moment to date, and one of Season 3's best as well.
Hawaii Five-0 revisits a painful chapter in U.S. history
Bikini babes and shrimp-peddling food trucks took a break this week for an episode that focused on a part of U.S. history that the government would rather have us all forget: the Japanese internment camps that opened following the attack on Pearl Harbor. "Ho'onani Makuakane" benefited from an emotional performance from guest-actor James Saito, who played a man seeking revenge on a decorated Pearl Harbor vet who shot his father in an internment camp. With impressive flashbacks to the devastating attack and a focus on the injustice that was suffered by the innocent Japanese-Americans who were wrongfully rounded up in aftermath, H50 explored a dark time for America from all angles and delivered one of its best episodes yet.
Grimm's "Twelve Days of Krampus" was awesome
The first half of Grimm's two-hour mid-season finale may
have been a painfully dull waste of time, but the second half, the
demented and delightful "Twelve Days of Krampus," was the sort of twisted
take on seasonal tropes that manages to overcome the saccharine nature of holiday TV and bring joy to our eggnog- and whiskey-soaked hearts. Krampus was like the evil Batman of
Christmastime, eating the bad kids and leaving coal in his
justice-serving wake. Meanwhile, Monroe turned his house into a festive
firetrap, Rosalie was sad about it, and in the end, they continued their
fine tradition of being perfect in all ways.
Almost Human remembers that it's a show set in a weirdo future
For a couple of weeks, Almost Human seemed to really, really want to convince viewers that it's was just like any other cop show, one that just happens to include a robot. Thankfully, this past Monday's episode threw a whole bunch of random sci-fi-y stuff into the pot: Clones! Surgically-enabled psychics! Robot truck destruction! And wouldn't you know it, it was really entertaining. Funny how that works.
Trophy Wife celebrates the holidays with the Green Fairy
It's no coincidence that the best episodes of ABC's new comedy involve its characters getting absolutely hammered. "Twas the Night Before Christmas... Or Twas It?" lacked a visit from Santa, but it compensated with a stop-over from a bottle of absinthe (courtesy of a surprise culprit). Flaming Christmas trees, wild animals, and a bathtub full of Warren's teacher came together in an episode that focused on this show's greatest strength: bringing this oddball family together without the bitterness of typical in-law squabbles. Oh, and a perfect Ace of Base dance routine!
Bob Barker returned to The Price is Right
Ninety years young, one of the medium's greatest returned to the post he was born for this week as part of his big birthday celebration. And Barker got to do the barking: Instead of a disembodied voice choosing contestants, it was Barker himself who told them to "Come on down!" Happy Birthday, Bob! Keep neutering those pets!
The damn bird that keeps messing with Harlan County in Justified's Season 5 promos
First this crow went and left some bloody footprints on Raylan's hat. Then he gathered up the rest of his gang and they all pecked holes in his trademark cap. Now he's messin' with Boyd Crowder! Dang, bird! You got some stones on you! Is this a way of telling us that Boyd and Raylan are going to face a serious murder (as in crows)? Is this the Night's Watch's way of saying that Boyd and Raylan have to protect the Wall from White Walkers and other threats to Westeros? Or are these crows merely symbols of this season's bad guys, the Crowe clan? Okay, obviously it's the latter but we'd be willing to bet that Raylan would seriously kick some Lannister behind.
Reign left no story neglected in its mid-season finale
Reign used its final episode of 2013 not to set the stage for the second half of the season, but to put giant Olde English exclamation marks on what it'd already established. "Fated" sent a major character to her death in a halo of blood, kicked off a dazzling chain of dramatic events like a world-class pyrotechnics
display, and burned down its fairy-tale love story before sending its
lead character running off into the unknown with her heart broken and a hot new
guy by her side. Not bad for a show that was laughed at by most critics.
Arya, the Hound, and Hodor tell us what they think of Joffrey
As part of Game of Thrones' #RoastJoffrey social media campaign, three characters from the show offered their thoughts and impressions on the boy king everyone loves to hate. Arya made fun of the way he sits, and the Hound called him "a prick." But it's Hodor's thoughts on Joff (embedded above) that sum up the realm's worst person best.
Community looks like it's BACK!!!
We don't just mean on-the-schedule back, we mean Dan Harmon-era-brilliant back. The NBC comedy released two trailers for Season 5 this week, and both of them were funnier than most of Season 4. Ass Crack Bandit!!!
This "mind-blowing" poster for Syfy's upcoming series Helix
Yeah, it's safe to say this one will be making it onto our list of most anticipated new midseason shows.
Arrow turned in a great, jam-packed mid-season finale
"Three Ghosts" gave Oliver a mask (finally), it gave Roy superpowers (eh), it gave Barry superpowers for his own show (neat), it killed Shado (whoa), and then it revealed that Slade Wilson is alive and in Starling City working as Sebastian Blood's benefactor... oh, and that he has nasty, long-term plans in store for Oliver (hells yeah). Is it January 15 yet?
Captain Holt's pop and lock on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
There was no new Brooklyn Nine-Nine this week, but we like to imagine that Andre Braugher is still gettin' his flow on from last week's Christmas episode in this never-ending loop.
Saturday Night Live holds a 'secret' audition to find a black female cast member
Hey, good on SNL for responding to all the controversy and starting to search for black female comics. But it shouldn't
have come to this, and one comedian who attended the tryout said it was all a stunt to hush critics and that Lorne Michaels wasn't even there.
The Americans' promos give us barely "nichego"! (That's Russian for "nothing")
Yes, we are happy and thankful that America's favorite spy family is coming back soon, but these secretive promos basically just remind us of what we already know: The kids are still in the dark about their parents' espionage, and one Jennings might have to go down in order to protect the childrens. As always, it's Phil who reaches out to save Elizabeth. In once clip, it sounds like Phil is saying "Yeah?" while a quivering voice claims he "didn't tell them anything," probably referring to the Rezidentura" or even "Moscow." These are the themes we were left with when Season 1 came to an excellent close, so come on, let's get to the nitty-gritty. Like what's up with Beeman and Nina??? Will there be more Fleetwood Mac, or will we venture into the territory of D.C.'s own Fugazi??? And when the hell is the exact premiere date?
Is TVD (maybe) about to kill off its best character?
[Potential spoilers, you have been warned!] Can't decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but as of the conclusion of this year's mid-season finale, it appears that Katherine Pierce is going the way of the buffalo. Specifically if the buffalo had died of heart attacks because they were 500-year-old vampires who had suddenly turned human again and began rapidly aging. Because yeah, Katherine had a heart attack. Will this show actually kill off its best character? That would for sure earn it a WTF. But as long as Katherine is front-and-center and we're emotionally invested? That's a FTW. (Also Damon and Elena broke up but whatever.)
Tosh.0 will outlast us all
Comedy Central renewed web comedy for bros Tosh.0 for not
one, not two, but THREE more seasons. Why? Because there is a
never-ending stream of people getting hit in the balls on YouTube.
Khloe and Khlamar are khletting a Khlivorce
Is there nothing left to believe in in this crazy world of ours?
Sean Saves the World is hoodwinking guest stars
NBC has mastered the art of hypnosis and mind-tricked Guy Pearce (the guy from Memento and LA Confidential) and Portia de Rossi (Arrested Development, Better Off Ted) into appearing on its worst new show of the season. It was announced this week that de Rossi will play Sean's ex-wife and Pearce will play his love interest, neither of which makes a lick of sense.
Once Upon a Time, you'd best have a better world ready for us when that purple cloud clears out!!
The promos for the mid-season finale show that troublesome cloud of purple smoke sweeping through town again—when it clears it will either leave behind a fantastically appealing series reset or a lot less viewers. Don't disappoint us, show!
The Golden Globes blew it
Awards shows don't really mean anything, and out of all the awards shows, the Golden Globes mean the least. So is it any wonder that their just-announced nominations are awful? Among the snubs: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and The Americans, who all earned a big fat zero nods. And no offense, but Liev Schrieber, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Downton Abbey? The only thing the Hollywood Foreign Press is foreign to is good taste. "Dracarys" on the the Hollywood Foreign Press!!! (Thumbs up for Tatiana Maslany, though.)
Sons of Anarchy's Season 6 finale
Not only was it way too long, but the death of a major character carried way less weight than it should have. Not only was it the result of a misunderstanding, it really only happened in this episode because the writers needed a tragic event. Tragic, indeed.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?
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