FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (January 5)
Can you believe it's already 2014!?!?!? We're still writing "2005" on our checks. Kids born in 1993 can legally drink now. We're closer to the year 2047 than we are to 1980. And yet we're still decades away from perfecting the technology that automatically sorts out FTWs and WTFs from the week of television! But even when cyborg TV tastemakers cross the picket line and start replacing their human counterparts, we'll roll up in our Rascal scooters and say, "We did it first, with all the love and tenderness of a flesh-and-blood-bodied person!" And then our dentures will slip out and we'll fall over dead while FTW/WTFbot declares The Real World: Alpha Centauri totally FTW-worthy. Until then, enjoy this very human-created edition of FTW vs. WTF!
Always the underdog, Nikita closed out its four-year run
with a fine finale that didn't try to do too much and instead focused
nicely on the show's core characters and themes. We'll always wish it'd had a few more episodes to make some real noise in the final season (like it would have killed The CW and WBTV to do 10 instead of six), but
"Canceled" featured the correct combination of twists, girl fights, and
Community made us more excited to go back to school than ever
Our beloved sitcom isn't just back on the schedule, it's BACK back. The Season 5 premiere, now with more Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna (yay!), recaptured the magic of the Community we used to know by starting things fresh and simple. The past was mostly left behind, forced in-jokes were absent, the end tags were weird and dark, and the series' heart was beating once again after taking last year off. It's GREAT to have you back, show.
Downton Abbey's Lady Mary is ONE TOUGH COP
As you prepare for the Stateside premiere of Season 4, please take a moment to consider Michelle Dockery in a TNT cop show with co-star Michael Chiklis (even though it'll make you miss The Shield.)
VH1 starts a new New Year's tradition with Happy Endings for all
The channel known mostly for shows about the spouses of mobsters and basketballs
celebrated its first syndication get with an a-MAH-zing marathon of the gone-too-soon comedy Happy Endings. Needless to say, we watched
for eight hours straight while we rehydrated on New Year's Day. Someone
remind us why this show wasn't a hit again?
FINALLY! A Puppy Bowl fantasy league
The big game is coming back to Animal Planet and among the awesome new details—including a halftime performance by Keyboard Cat, a visit from YouTube superfeline Lil' Bub, and penguin cheerleaders—is the addition of a Puppy Bowl fantasy league. Now gambling degenerates and housewives will have even more of a reason to tune in!
What do you get when you combine the viral-news site's famously link-baity headlines with everyone's favorite famously yellow TV family? One of the best mashup Tumblrs we've seen in a while, that's what.
Eagleheart airs its best episode ever (so far)
Say, here's a question: What do Cold War paranoia, the term "sixty-shining," and shoes so polished they reflect deadly beams of light all have in common? They each factored into Eagleheart: Paradise Rising's magnum opus entitled "Spats," which aired this past Thursday/Friday (dang Adult Swim midnight showtimes!). With a welcome visit from Mr. Show's Jill Talley and an LOL every .2698 seconds, this tale of a town's feud between shoe-shine boys and "business men" was a season highlight in a string of crazy-good outings. So far, the series has crammed together several hilarious storylines that could each hold their own as individual episodes, and the momentum just keeps on building. To those who saw it, all we can say is "Shine-shine, shoobalee shine..." (we also say the same thing to those who have yet to view this piece of entertainment fiction as well).
Doctor Who's Christmas Special made us mad, sad, and glad
As far as recent Doctor Who episodes are concerned, "The Time of the Doctor" felt like any other outing from the back half of Season 7: a little convoluted, kind of scattered, and generally uneventful. Except it wasn't just any other episode; it was Matt Smith's final adventure as the Eleventh Doctor, and for that reason it was kind of a letdown. It dragged a bit as the Doctor was stranded on Trenzalore, and it was devoid of any emotion for most of the hour as the series caked more and more aging makeup on to Smith's youthful face to drive home the notion that there would be no regeneration this time. You know, until Clara cried and whispered some words into a wall and the Time Lords granted him a new set of regenerations because that's what the story called for. Which is fine, we guess, but nothing about "The Time of the Doctor" felt all that emotional or exciting. At least not until the final few minutes, when Smith delivered one of Steven Moffat's patented monologues as only Smith could, and the realization hit us that this really was the last time we'd see him in the iconic role. At that moment, we stopped being angry with Moffat's sloppy storytelling and remembered just how wonderful Smith's eccentric Doctor could be. We were happy, we were sad, and then Smith took off the bow tie for good and Karen Gillan's Amy Pond returned to say goodnight to Eleven and it was like Niagara freakin' Falls up in here. Goodbye, raggedy man. We'll miss you.
A U.K. village will rename itself King's Landing to promote Game of Thrones
For one week, the small town of Kings Langley in the U.K. will rechristen itself King's Landing after the name of the capital of Westeros to help push sales of Game of Thrones' Season 3 DVD set. That's great, but this news doesn't get a full FTW unless Kings Landing also appoints a jerk boy as mayor, defends itself from a naval attack with fluorescent-green firebombs, and turns every other cottage into a whorehouse. And while we're at it, let's get the Minnesota Timberwolves to call themselves the Direwolves, and President Obama to go by King in the North.
The Natasha Leggero/SpaghettiOs/Pearl Harbor survivors controversy
The absurdity of the outrage over a joke made by the Burning Love star starts in the headline above: It involved a comedian who's respected by her peers but not well known in the mainstream, hoop-shaped canned pasta that even The Walking Dead's Governor wouldn't eat, and the survivors of one of the greatest domestic tragedies in our nation's history. Basically, SpaghettiOs tweeted a clearly WTF statement, and Leggero's response—"I mean, it sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew"—inspired all sorts of uproar. But what we liked about this whole thing was Leggero's steadfast response to all the misplaced vitriol directed at her: "I wish I could apologize, but do you really want another insincere apology that you know is just an attempt at damage control and not a real admission of guilt? Let me just try instead to be honest. I'm not sorry." If a joke about old people having dentures is a reason to take to Twitter and threaten someone with death, then what were we fighting WWII for?
The Big Bang Theory's uncertain proposal
We're feeling pretty conflicted over this one, guys. On one hand, "The Hesitation Ramification" featured some real, heartbreaking conflict, which is absolutely FTW—not only did Leonard and Penny kick off 2014 with some true, character-building struggles, but as a result, Sheldon and Leonard did, too (let's just ignore the fact that the guys' touching heart-to-heart was undermined by Sheldon's stupid "Kick Me" sign). However, on the other hand, we'd hate to see Penny and Leonard break up for good over this, so here's hoping we're in for some enlightening feelings-sharing sessions next week.
ABC's promotion (or lack thereof) for The Assets
The first new drama to premiere in 2014 was The Assets, but you probably didn't know that because ABC hardly marketed the show at all. Without looking, do you know what it's about? Did you know that it
debuted on Thursday? Did you even know it existed? If you didn't, you're not alone; the series' 0.7 rating in the adult demo earned it the title of "lowest-rated drama premiere for a major network ever." So you're off the hook, Do No Harm! (P.S. Even if you didn't watch it, and you probably didn't watch it, you can read Cory's review here!)
The Duck Dynasty franchise has launched its own line of guns
The show's firearms brand will include shotguns and semiautomatic machine guns. YOU DON'T STAND A CHANCE, STUPID DUCKS! Also, is this great timing, or what?
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?
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