FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (March 10)

By TV.com Staff

Mar 10, 2013

For having just lost an hour of sleep—don't forget to set your clocks forward, folks!—we're feeling pretty optimistic about television's last seven days. No joke, it's like the "WTF" is only here as a formality this week. So let's get right to it: Here's what we didn't like but mostly what we DID like about TV in the past half-fortnight.


An NFL player puts ESPN's Skip Bayless in his place

Skip Bayless is the Michael Jordan of cocky, contrarian, loud-mouthed sports-talk jerks, and Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman let him know as much on the ESPN show First Take. Four minutes of glorious putdowns for one of the television personalities who deserves it the most.

Comedy Central's Nathan For You

Nathan Fielder attempts to help small business owners find success with unusual and silly tactics, but it's his deadpan humor and unexpected results that make this show one of Comedy Central's funnier new comedies. There's mad genius at work here; it's like the American version of Canada's The Jon Dore Show.

Characters? On The Walking Dead?!

Michonne, Carl, and Rick got their best material of the season in "Clear," a perfect example of how good AMC's gorefest can be. Special shout-out to Lennie James for a fantastic performance as a broken man. And let's not forget about those brave, brave rats.

Switched at Birth's all-sign-language episode

The ABC Family series did an entire episode with almost zero spoken dialogue, relying on the deaf characters' sign-language skills (and subtitles) and direction to set the tone. And it was riveting. Incredibly brave television done incredibly well; bravo, showrunner Lizzy Weiss.

Bob's Burgers claims the throne

Without much fanfare, Bob's Burgers has become simultaneously one of the funniest, sweetest, and weirdest sitcoms on TV, and an episode like "O.T. the Outside Toilet" proves why. A heap of ridiculousness built on an E.T. parody in which Jon Hamm guest-starred as a toilet—with AI and Neil Flynn as its mercenary pursuer—resulted in a tender portrayal of Gene's strange but heartfelt bond with said toilet, and the lengths to which the Belcher family will go to support one another.

The Good Wife's oddball... romance?
Just when we thought Carrie Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni couldn't get any more befuddlingly delightful, The Good Wife went and paired her with Kyle MacLachlan, perhaps the only man in the business who can match her off-kilter charm. After only a couple episodes, their flirtatious/adversarial chemistry is already one of the best treats the show's ever given us.

The trailer for Louis C.K.'s upcoming HBO comedy special 

He even writes new material for his promos! And with Louie off the air until 2014, we'll take every nugget we can get. 

The Winger reunion on Community

No, James Brolin wasn't quite Bill Murray, a common fantasy casting choice for Jeff's dad, but the much-criticized show managed to get Jeff's long-anticipated reunion with his father just right. Brolin and Joel McHale worked well together, and McHale delivered the appropriate combination of fear, pain, anger, and confidence in delivering what was perhaps the most important Winger speech of the character's life. 

How Stuff Works' "The Real Al Swearengen" podcast

The show's "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast often touches on historical figures seen in popular TV shows, but perhaps the most interesting subject thus far has been Deadwood's Al Swearengen, given that the real-life version is even more absurd than the fictional one. Skip to Part 2 of the most recent installment to jump right to his time in the town of Deadwood, though truth be told, Part 1 is interesting too. Did you know that Swearengen served in the Civil War?

Damon Lindelof's continued trolling of Justin Bieber and Justin's Bieber's ridiculous, yellow/spiked hat:

It appears to have started with the tweet above and it's only escalated from there...

Check out Lindelof's Twitter feed for plenty more where that came from

SNL's Familiar Faces Parade, helmed last night by grand marshal Justin Timberlake

As Timberlake said, expectations for his fifth hosting turn were ridiculously high. But he delivered, as usual, and he did it with the help of some greats. Steve Martin! Candice Bergen! Dan Aykroyd! Nice work, SNL. Also: Stefon's Donald Duck impression deserves a prize. 

Delocated's series finale
Adult Swim's hilarity-fest came to a sad, but funny, end on Thursday night (or Friday morning, to be accurate), as Jon played out his own Bourne Identity adventure. Though Delocated never broke through to the mainstream, its followers were a dedicated support base and its main character's assholery will be missed. Now go get baked and marathon this puppy!


The CW apparently just discovered Twitter

The CW aims to be the network of the Young People (a group whose definition changes depending on when and why you ask CW executives) and often trumpets how successful their shows are on streaming platforms (you know, because the audience is so young and streets ahead). Yet, somehow, The CW just created official Twitter accounts for each of its shows—as in, on March 7, 2013. As much as we'd like to give the network any benefit of the doubt for its regular and generally funny failures, this weird move signals how misguided it can be.

The proposed ideas to save Up All Night

Michael Schneider of TV Guide wrote an expose of NBC's disaster of a comedy, which has undergone more change than a Real Housewife's face. Among the behind-the-scenes proposals: a show that went back and forth between a single-camera comedy and a multicamera comedy when the series was shown from the baby's perspective and a show-within-the-show concept in which the stars were playing actors on a show called Up All Night. Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, you still didn't leave fast enough.

What's on your list of TV loves and hates for the week?

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  • waytoomuchtv02 Mar 13, 2013

    Please tell me the writer of this article knows that Nathan Fielder is Canadian...

  • JT_Kirk Mar 11, 2013

    FTW to Star Wars: The Clone Wars finishing its season out on an emotionally mature note, drumming its main character out of the order to which she's lived her whole life rather than a cheap death.

    WTF to Star Wars: The Clone Wars for calling it a "season finale" and then today announcing it's a series finale.

    WTF to King of the Nerds for the most painfully anticlimatic and thoughtless final episode which ultimately gave way to the worst choice possible as the winner for the worst reason possible (she never beat anybody in anything so nobody was mad at her).

    FTW to Archer for an excellently silly episode told in flashback with a twist worthy of Verbal Kint.

    FTW to White Collar's plan of sending a tiny zeppelin off the top of the Empire State Building, originally built as a zeppelin mooring station, tres clever.

    FTW to Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson's Thursday episode, reuniting Ferguson with Zach Braff who he met almost 25 years ago on an unsold pilot, which they showed a clip from that was '80s-tastic, and then after that fun having Gillian Jacobs on to fill for Alison Brie who was sick, and Jacobs was gold! Cute as a button and fun and interesting and showing how different she is from her character on Community.

    WTF to audiences getting abandoned by the networks (except Tuesdays, which is another WTF, why just Tuesday?). FTW to Tuesday though.

    WTF to Fox for moving Bob's Burgers and American Dad, what was the point of that? Now the more family-friendly show ends up in the latest slot at the end of the block.

    FTW to TV.com for allowing commenters to write "TV.com" without erasing their posts.


    Your stuff:

    WTF to TV.com for including this week's SNL in the article?!? I thought the unspoken rule was "nothing after Friday". It was a great inclusion of faces though.

    WTF indeed to Up All Night's disaster, great article though.

    That was an awesome Louis CK promo.

    Bob's Burgers was a total FTW.

    Kyle MacLachlan's character isn't being flirty, he's being date-rapey, and her reaction "uh, no" which seems quite reasonable.

    Skip Bayless didn't seem to understand the problem, so I don't know that he got put in his place.

    That Nathan For You clip made me cringe, the only part I liked was when "Santa" showed his full height against the mall cops. But the premise was just awful and not funny.

  • dh4645 Mar 12, 2013

    i agree about the finale of king of the nerds being anticlimactic, but celeste is hot, so it's forgiven. danielle is kinda hot too, but she is so bitchy and cry-y she was annoying. she was less annoying on the playstation nerd competition the tester

  • JT_Kirk Mar 12, 2013

    Seems like a dubious reason to grant someone "king of the nerds", pretty much the antithesis of reasons actually.

  • KiowaWoolley Mar 11, 2013

    Ferguson is always a FTW! The episode with the actress from Vikings was super as well.

  • vicbjones Mar 11, 2013

    FTW: Boyd Crowder's dirty car windows on Justified (because cars on TV shows usually show no sign of ever having been used); Charlie's weird sense of honor allowing the warden's daughter to live on The Following (in the absence of the Emma-Paul-Jacob triangle, this may become the most interesting part of the show); the uninterrupted tracking shot of Sheldon, Leonard, and Howard entering the high school, with them rounding corners, which seemed like an unusual choice for a sitcom.
    WTF: Joe Carroll's attorney walking around loose to be killed. I'm no legal scholar, but I doubt attorney-client privilege covers facilitating kidnappings, and even if you accept that Claire didn't tell the FBI about the lawyer telling her to go alone to a location or she'd never see her son again, it seems like the older Black sheriff who was "in charge" of her security detail should have been able to deduce that the lawyer had something to do with Claire shaking his tail at the restaurant. That and Joey's being a little more trusting of Emma almost felt like all the characters had forgotten what had happened two episodes before; Ryan's torture of David (because the show wasn't reminiscent enough of 24 already, and wasn't part of the reason Parker was brought in supposed to be because the agent she replaced let Ryan break Joe Carroll's fingers?); Bill O'Reilly blowing up at Alan Combs and calling him a liar (talk about the pot calling the kettle black); Justin Bieber's meltdown in London (not a fan, but I don't take joy in seeing some young person's life going off a cliff).

  • ChrisODriscol Mar 11, 2013

    FTW: Elizabeth's (Kerri Russell) beatdown of Claudia on The Americans this week.

    "Show them your face!"

  • Grumpyclown Mar 12, 2013

    totally forgot to put that on my list - i think margo martindales facial expressions afterward added to it

  • Whedonrules Mar 11, 2013

    WTF/FTW: This sites ignoring of "Banshee" is the WTF. Seriously, how could the Should I Watch be so utterly and completely wrong??? Fantastic penultimate episode. That is how to get your entire cast of characters moving for a finale. Its been setting up perfectly the entire season. From Anna/Carrie showing the effects of last episode's beat down for an entire episode (kudos to the writers) despite her utter desperation and the realization that the fear she has had for 15 years is upon her. I say it every week and I'll keep saying it - Ivana Milicivec is giving the performance of the year. This episode gave us the most f'd up family reunion of all time. Simply the terror of Rabbit in her home and Ivana Milicivec doing most of the acting without speaking. (Poor Gordon - he still knows absolutely nothing and his son has been kidnapped - he has no idea what to be most afraid of and Russ Blackwell is just nailing this part - in lesser hands or crappy writers I think it'd be easier to dislike Gordon.) This episode also clearly set up Odette Anabelle as someone to be reckoned with in the tribe and she didn't even have a single line of dialogue even though she was in the entire episode including the post script. The slowly developing relationship between Jun and Sugar. ("I never would of pegged you for a slum lord.") Every scene with the two of them is pure gold. The fight b/w Hood and Kai Proctor and what it portends for the future. The final scene with the "Assault on Precinct 13" vibe that is setting up. 50 minutes and not a single wasted frame. Not a single line of wasted dialogue. That is how to make an episode of television. FANS KEEP TALKING hopefully they'll figure it out some day.

    FTW: Gannicus making it out alive. Next week should be great seeing as how its airing on The Ides of March.

  • Vicky8675309 Mar 11, 2013

    Well said!
    Maybe you could do reviews on Bashee? Ivana Milicivec's performance has been outstanding and she killed it the last 2 episodes. The most badass (human and flawed but relatable and likable) woman/mother on tv. Everything you and the other comments have said about Banshee is spot on.

    FTW: everything about Banshee's last episode
    FTW: Spartacus and Gannicus (my 80s heavy metal hair band god; lol). I loved the Gannicus-centric episode~flawed but heroic character

  • anneso129 Mar 11, 2013

    WTF: not enough new stuff to watch this week
    FTW: like tv.com said: the all ASL switched at birth episode (well done) and the good wife!

  • smithinjapan Mar 11, 2013

    The Walking Dead episode, as well as the ending of the Spartacus episode, but even though I don't watch football and have never heard of that TV sports announcer, I am going to watch the clip when I can as it sounds awesome!

    WTF: Just the dearth of new episodes in general.

  • brag0031 Mar 11, 2013

    WTF - post sweeps reruns

    FTW - SNL's best episode in a long, long time.

    I wish I could've been a fly on the wall in the SNL writers' room when the NuvaBling sketch was first pitched.

  • DavidJackson8 Mar 11, 2013

    Hehe, while I didn't care for most of that First Take video, despite my hatred of Skip Bayless, I love how the video ends.

    Sherman: I use facts to support what I say. Explain to me your facts.
    Bayless: But Darrelle Revis?!

  • flyboy183 Mar 11, 2013

    FTW... The parking garage scene in "Go On." Possibly the best 30 seconds of TV ever!! Scored by Band of Skulls too! Three thumbs up! ;)

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