FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (June 29–July 5)

By TV.com Staff

Jul 05, 2014

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 WolfTrue 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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  • Bottron Jul 07, 2014

    I don't quite understand how Seinfeld turning 25 is a FTW. I like Seinfled, maybe a little more than the next guy, but it;s kind of like saying "FTW- 'Time continues to move forward'".

  • Whedonrules Jul 07, 2014

    FTW: Series finale of 'Californication'. Only thing missing from the final season was an appearance from the lovely Madeline Zima ('Mia'). They did a great job in the final season and the finale was excellent. Not too much Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) and not enough Marcy Runkle (Pam Adlon). Hank's new son kind of worked better than 'Becca' ever did and Heather Graham got a nice story and had a nice run as did Michael Imperioli. This show has shared the same seven season time span as 'True Blood' and 'True Blood''s final season (so far just utter and complete garbage) could have taken a cue from Hank Moody on how to close out a long running pay cable show.

    FTW: 'Salem' So bold as to do a 13 episode freshman season (probably could have been canceled if it wasn't so damn good) and we the fans are going to want more when its over in 2 weeks. (Definitely will be checking out WGN America's second offering 'Manhattan'.) So much more fun to tell a story about witches and have them actually being witches. I loved you 'AHS: Coven' but THIS 'Salem' ... that is how you tell a story about witches.... LET THEM BE WITCHES! TEAM MERCY! If you are not watching or DVR'ing this show but are watching time slot competitor 'The Leftovers' then I feel bad for you. I really really do.

    WTF: 'The Leftovers' - the editors here who have a soft spot for Lindeloff don't have the guts to just say this new show, despite some great casting, is a dog. And a sad sad dog at that. Its like all of the worst parts of 'Lost' - the parts that never made any sense and were never explained. When you put on a show and it seems as if the creators are laughing about the fact that they are the only ones that are going to 'get it' its usually because it's not working for anyone else at all. If I want to see Amy Brenneman in a show I'll find her in her husband's infinitely better effort at a 1 hr drama (than this show that just seems to want to be smarter than me.) ' Reign'. Please tell me this dog is in danger of cancellation. Its going to be up against a returning 'Masters of Sex' next week and then no one is going to be checking in on this crawling exceptionally sad dumpster of a show. You don't premiere this in the summer not even if you are HBO. This is no FTW at all ..... its a WTF all the way.

    WTF: SOOKIE STACKHOUSE remains the suckiest character to ever grace my television screen. That is all. Please 'True Blood' make her demise awesome oh who am I kidding she's safe, she's the star..........Kill her and get back some cred.. When its the final season of your show and people are more interested in Jason's awesome new vamp girlfriend 'Violet' than 'Sookie' freaking 'Stackhouse' - 'True Blood' cannot possibly be going out the correct way.

    Just to note: THAT IS A 2 HOUR BLOCK OF CRAP ON HBO ON SUNDAY (only 11pm is safe with John Oliver). IS THE MIGHTY FALLING?

  • ktfahel Jul 07, 2014

    The 25th anniversary of "Seinfeld": the biggest "who cares" of the week. Like the child in "The Emperor's New Clothes", I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the show was boring.

  • Gudbjorg Jul 07, 2014

    Ok, so the last season of Californication wasn't the greatest but Rocket Man was such a perfect ending of the show

  • Whedonrules Jul 07, 2014

    Hank and Karen on the plane and 'Rocket Man' was a fitting ending. I thought it was one of the better seasons. 3rd best behind 2 and 1. At least Heather Graham got a better part than Maggie Grace.

  • Muderboy Jul 07, 2014

    Okay, I watched The Leftovers pilot today. 2% of the earth's population suddenly disappears and tjhis is what the give us? Liked some of the characters, but they have to do better than this. Too much cryptic crap and not enough real shit. But I will give it another go. Lindlehoff hasn't disappointed me yet. Wait, what?

  • JamieHaxby Jul 07, 2014

    FTW: Yahoo comes out from 90s nostalga to rescue the best comedy on TV. Six seasons, check. Movie next! And it's time for Jeff/Annie, especially after the setup in the season 5 finale. And bring back Levar and Troy! Maybe a crossover with Reading Rainbow?

  • Tanis_Ketra Jul 07, 2014

    FTW: Community is miraculously saved! And in the process Yahoo! may have finally saved themselves as well.

    WTF: The Leftovers had one of the worst pilots I've seen in a while. The whole episode felt jarring at best. Jumping from dogs gone wild mystery to cult mystery to other cult mystery. And did we really need the Laurie Garvey mystery? The reveal that she didn't get raptured but actually joined a cult didn't really add anything to the plot. Instead it kind of detracted from the scenes prior with her daughter acting like she had disappeared (for real) and her husband barely acknowledging her at heroes day.
    I'm not giving up entirely on the show just yet. I will wait and see if the show decides to put the same amount of time and energy into constructing compelling characters as it has already put into creating these (not very compelling) mysteries.

    FTW: Max and Charlie Carver from The Leftovers. The twins were great and the only bright spot in this debbie downer and loon infested universe :)

  • Whedonrules Jul 07, 2014

    That's it you found the only thing about that pilot that was redeemable, 'Lynette' and 'Tom Scavo''s twins ;)

  • Tanis_Ketra Jul 08, 2014

    Well due to my (perhaps unhealthy) obsession with Teen Wolf. I prefer to think of them as the werewolf twins, Aidan and Ethan :)

  • danharr Jul 07, 2014

    FTW The Leftovers just give it time microwave generation.

  • ionee24 Jul 06, 2014

    FTW: "These are not our dogs anymore" (The Leftovers)

    Because those were really not our dogs anymore...and, judging by that weird white noise when the mob went homicidal on the guilty silent people those may not be ourselves too.

    Creepy start for a series.

    WTF: Don't die Eric!!! We already got you back! And you just lost a grandchild! Don't do this to Pam!

  • AlexFrey1 Jul 06, 2014

    WTF: The Leftovers
    the title is referring to the writing staff and the cast. It is horriffic, it is excrutiating and even more pretentious as LOST has ever been. While LOST had a great cast and was entertaining per episode The Leftovers is rambling on about things we don't care about and just like Lost any question will be answered with 32170234 New Questions and only one will be answered. I'd rather watch my ginger nails grow instead of watching this terrible ambitionless show. It will be canceled anyways.

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