FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (June 29–July 5)
Happy Birthday, America! Look, we'll be honest—we kind of forgot it was your birthday, so we didn't have time to bake you a cake or buy you a gift. Oh, ummm, never mind! We did get you a gift, it's this list of FTWs and WTFs from what we watched on TV in the last seven days! Yep, we put it together just for you, no one else, just you. So here it is!
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't finished watching this week's new episodes (of Teen Wolf, True Blood, Under the Dome, etc.), we suggest that you hold off on reading this story until you do.
Teen Wolf lightens up
Season 3B was great, but it was dark and creepy and people died (RIP). And while we loved the focus on Dylan O'Brien's Stiles as much as the next person with eyeballs, if we're being honest, we much prefer the Stiles of "117," a guy who cracks jokes, talks about always being the little spoon, and brings back fond memories of Cousin Miguel.
Yay Eric's alive! Boo Eric's dying!
We knew Pam would find Eric eventually, and we're happier it was sooner rather than later, especially now that we know he's got Hep-V. Considering they're the sole relationship on True Blood that doesn't make us want to bang our head against a coffin, we're going to need the show to make like Coldplay and fix him ASAP.
The Fosters takes a breather for a house party
It's a tale as old as time: Parents go away for the night, kids throw a house party, chaos ensues. When Stef and Lena left for a quickie babymoon at a resort and put Brandon and Callie in charge, the kids transformed an impromptu jam session that Brandon was holding with his new band into a full on party, with plenty of raucous behavior and booze. The joy of the episode came largely from Callie's insistence on being the responsible one, labeling the house as "off-limits" with masking tape and small signs, and then watching her desire for control slowly unravel as the night progressed. It was as close as to a farcical set piece as The Fosters can likely go, and it worked very well.
An old nemesis saunters back into 24
The second half of 24: Live Another Day has offered one of the best runs in the show's history, and the fun continued this week with the return of the evil Cheng Zhi. It was great/awful to see a major villain return, but the episode made such good use of him that it was just what the series needed. With only two hours remaining in 24's half-season revival, Jack has a lot of old demons to vanquish. We can't wait to see him try.
Seinfeld turns 25
The vaunted NBC comedy is 25 years old this week, and it's still shaping sitcom today. What better way to spend the holiday weekend than with reruns of Jerry and the gang?
Nathan For You takes a lie-detector test
The genius Comedy Central program returned for Season 2 on Tuesday, and host Nathan Fielder had an auto mechanic take a polygraph test while giving customers estimates to show that he was honest. But when Fielder took the test himself to prove that it worked, the bit evolved into Fielder trying to deny that he'd pleasured himself to online porn.
Comedy Bang! Bang! gets a Ramsay-esque makeover
Frequent Bang Banger James Adomian stopped by the IFC talk show to play a parody of celebrity chef and professional curser Gordon Ramsay in a running gag called Talk Show Rescue, a spoof on Ramsay's Hotel Hell and Kitchen Nightmares. Adomian killed it, and the entire episode was fantastic thanks to great appearances from Alison Brie and Paul F. Tompkins as a bizarre Werner Herzog.
Community is saved!
Yeehaw! Err, Yahoo! The Six Seasons prophecy will be fulfilled thanks to a late save from Yahoo!, which wants to host more than just your junk mail e-mail account. The Greendale gang is returning for another season and will headline Yahoo!'s upcoming Yahoo Screen effort, another competitor in the online original programming field. Dan Harmon's on board, as is most of the cast. We can't wait to see how will more creative freedom will effect the innovative comedy. And will we hear Annie drop some F-bombers?
U.S. goalie Tim Howard saves Ned Stark
The U.S. may've gotten bounced out of the World Cup this week, but it wasn't for a lack of effort on goalkeeper Tim Howard's part. And the internet was quick to bring Howard's stopping power to television shows with some fantastic Photoshop work. Our favorite is the above image from Game of Thrones, but we also enjoy Howard's protection of a key House of Cards character.
Video evidence that everyone from Orange Is the New Black was on Law & Order at some point
We're not joking. Pretty much everyone!
Under the Dome returns and it's still unintentional entertainment, just like we like it
After a nine-month break between seasons, one might've expected CBS's Under the Dome to correct some of the flaws it suffered during its freshman year, but nope. It returned as bad as ever, which is exactly what we wanted from this show that we love to dislike. There were so many highlights to choose from (R.I.P. Officer Linda! The birth of the Magne-dome! Big Jim's inexplicable suicidal attitude!) but watching Angie spill when the magnetic waves knocked her unconscious wins our Dome Moment of the Week.
Iran's take on Modern Family
Haft Sang, an Iranian version of Modern Family, debuted this week, and the adaptation wisely chose to stick to what worked with the original by copying just about everything. Except for Mitchell and Cam, because they're gay. Oh, and obviously the characters based on Gloria and Hayley are going to have to cover up a bit more. And there are no alcoholic drinks on the series. And no boy-girl friendships. And Manny didn't have a crush on a girl in the pilot. And the episodes are twice as long as the American version. But as you can see in the video above, just about everything else is the same. So... uhhh, congrats?
The Leftovers might be great, or it might be boring
Damon Lindelof is back on television and the results are... mysterious! The debut of HBO's newest drama was at times stunning and at others aimless, preferring to ignore the big question surrounding the show's premise—why did two percent of the population vanish?—in favor of smaller ones: What the F is going on with this cult, this guru, and these dogs? But we're still wondering whether there's a compelling character-driven show here, or if it's another collection of questions that will never be answers.
Did A tAke a vAcation from Pretty Little Liars?
It's been WEEKS since the Liars heard a peep out of the infamous A. No texts, no smoke signals, not even a nice basket full of rotten fruit. It seems kind of rude to just abandon your cause after devoting every waking hour to harassing four girls who aren't smart enough to move out of Rosewood. But the series really seems to be sticking to this "Shana is A" thing, which still seems ridiculous, because COME ON. Would it be weird if we said we're starting to miss that little A**hole?
Hieroglyph is canceled by Fox before it even airs
In January, Fox announced that it was doing away with pilot season in an effort to embrace year-round programming. It was a bold move, and in the wake of Kevin Reilly's recent exit, the network appears to be rethinking that endeavor. Fox canceled the ambitious Hieroglyph, which was ordered straight-to-series and expected to debut in early 2015, after only filming one episode. Hmm, that sounds a LOT like a pilot to us, Fox! Please check yourself before you wreck yourself (even more).
Tyrant runs away from its gross moments
The pilot episode of the FX freshman drama provided some truly unfortunate scenes featuring sexual assault, and this week, Tyrant scrambled to make the perp of those crimes seem less nasty. It didn't work, and in retrospect, it only made the initial actions worse. If you're going to be awful, commit to it—or something.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? The series finale of Californication? The season finales of Penny Dreadful and Nurse Jackie? The debut of Reckless on CBS? Share your own FTWs and WTFs in the comments!
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