FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (March 29)
There were a surprisingly large amount of season finales this week and even a few cancellations (Mind Games, Enlisted, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), which is a reminder to us all that life is a fragile, finite thing. Before we wrap up the best and worst of the television week, please observe a moment of silence for your March Madness bracket, that two-month-old tub of sour cream in your fridge, and oversized sunglasses. [silence for a moment] *sniff* And now let's take a look at this week's highs and lows of the last seven days on the small screen!
Teen Wolf nails its best run yet
We already knew that Teen Wolf is the Platonic Ideal of a
teen supernatural thriller, but it's also possibly the greatest TV show
of all time apparently? This fourth batch of episodes proved that it's
not only at the top of its game creatively, it's willing to take huge
risks in order to freak us out and keep us thrilled. The Japanese
mythology brought an unexpectedly fresh spin on the usual supernatural
tropes (not to mention a thoughtful handling of the under-acknowledged
Japanese-American internment camp tragedy) and the Nogitsune's stint
inside Stiles' brain made for a terrifying villain simultaneously
familiar and unknowable. And then came the tragedy. Allison Argent's
death crystallized just how strong the love interest archetype can be
and not only promises to have an impact on the characters moving forward
but will make our ability to rewatch previous seasons downright
impossible. Too sad! At this point it'll be hard for Season 4 to stack
up (and its sheer number of new characters will give it a definite
reboot feel), so it's important to acknowledge what's we've just seen: A
Golden Era series experiencing a golden era of its own.
There really was a ring bear at Robin and Barney's wedding on HIMYM
AND IT WAS ADORABLE. Our only regret is that we didn't get to see the flower girl-iilla.
Justified's exploding cigarettes
After a season of everything going wrong, something finally went right for Boyd in "The Toll" when he rigged a box of smokes to blow up in Mr. Picker's lap. The result was one of Justified's most graphic deaths, and one of Mr. Crowder's most direct quips. What's more, the episode gave Justified the most direction it's had all season. [Thanks for the .GIFs, Vicky!]
Glee gracefully bows out of Ohio
There was no last-minute save in the cards for McKinley High's New Directions; the glee club officially disbanded this week due to lack of funding, and from here on out, Glee will embrace its New York state of mind on a full-time basis. It's been a bumpy road, but with the aptly titled "New Directions," the series let bid Lima goodbye with class, sincerity, and a lot of hope for a better, brighter future. Also: Brittany's back!
Misha Collins' directorial debut on Supernatural
“Mother’s Little Helper” saw the return of Grandpa Winchester (HI HENRY! HI!) and the extent of Abaddon’s evil machinations revealed. Sam took her soul-army-in-progress rather personally and Dean struggled with wanting to slaughter all the things, all while Collins' sharp directing decisions made the whole episode feel vintage creepy in a great way.
The Americans serves up more Martha and a particularly elite wig
While Philip spy-sat a Mossad agent, Clark's sister "Jennifer" visited Martha for a little white wine-soaked damage control, trotting out a contender for The Americans' best wig to date. A dash of "church lady" and a pinch of of Thelma Mae Harper helped Elizabeth disguise herself for an evening of learning a little too much about her husband's talents in the sack. It was a funny thread that provided just enough emotional disruption to Elizabeth's world, planting seeds of possible marital discord in an already tense relationship and adding some humor to what was ultimately a very heavy episode.
Suits breaks Louis's heart... twice
Louis gets shafted a lot on Suits. He's not cool or classy. He's not one of the popular kids. He's just a brilliant lawyer who wants to be a good human being, but it seems like he never quite gets there (for any extended period of time, at least). A heart attack in court landed Louis in the hospital and forced the staff at Pearson-Specter to examine their relationship with him, then forced Louis examine it right back. What could have been hokey and forced ended up being a loving homage to the most under appreciated partner at the firm... except for the unfortunate end to Louis's quickie engagement to Sheila. We're so not okay with their split, but "Heartburn" was a great episode nonetheless.
HBO swings for the fences, submits True Detective to the Emmys' drama races
We all assumed that HBO would follow FX's lead with American Horror Story and enter Hart and Cohle's adventure as a miniseries, but the network had other plans. True Detective will instead compete as a drama, pitting it against Breaking Bad's final season, Mad Men, House of Cards, and so many more great shows. And while the news was initially met with some confusion—True Detective would've cleaned up as a miniseries—we think it makes sense. HBO hasn't won many Emmys in the prestigious drama categories recently, and True Detective, complete with the McConaughey comeback narrative, is the channel's best chance to win one in years (sorry, Game of Thrones).
Show title notwithstanding, Bar Rescue refuses to rescue a sh*thole bar
A typical episode of the reality series yields bartenders who get drunk while on the job, owners who think their place of business is a frat house, employees who barely show up to work on time, and lots of B.S.-ing. And what we got this past Sunday was a mixture of all that, plus a big helping of assault, a first in the show's history. The owner of "The O Face Bar" (yeah, classy) in Council Bluffs, Iowa assaulted one of his employees, then fired another for getting beat up by his manager. So when host Jon Taffer decided to walk away, we couldn't help but raise our glass in a toast, but also pour one out for the show's "51 successfully rescued bars" winning streak.
Another New Girl couple calls its quits
True American giveth, and True American taketh away. Jess and Nick’s break-up isn’t really a full-on WTF, because it's not a bad move for the story New Girl has going on; the show has been uneven at best in Season 3, and it we're open to whatever a return to a pre-"Cooler" state might hold. Plus, from a pesky realistic point of view, the S.S. Nessy had sprung a few leaks that were probably destined to take it down eventually. With that said: We’re still pretty sad about it.
ABC stops playing Mind Games
Mind Games said an involuntary goodbye this week after only five low-rated episodes, making it Kyle Killen's third show to not survive beyond a season (the first two being Lone Star and Awake). However, it's also Killen's third show that's been better than most things on network television. So while we're sad Mind Games is gone, we're hoping its axing will be the impetus for Killen to move to cable, where he belongs.
Beverly learned the truth about Hannibal and it got her killed
Bryan Fuller has been teasing an early-in-the-season character death for a while now, and pretty much as soon as Beverly agreed to take a closer look at the evidence against Will and further investigate the muralist, we figured she was doomed. We hoped it wasn't true because we liked Beverly; she was wry without being too silly (that job belongs to Brian and Jimmy), and a smart and bold, albeit reluctant, ally for Will in his time of need. But after discovering Hannibal's basement of horrors, she was caught and killed at the end of last week's episode, and this week she was the star of one of Hannibal's trademark murder art scenes. We're still recovering.
The Good Wife goes bang with a gun instead of a gavel
We knew Will Gardner wasn't long for The Good Wife, what with Josh Charles' contract ending and Lockhart-Gardner expanding to new cities. But we certainly didn't expect that instead of shuffling him off to another geographical locale, the show would shuffle him off this mortal coil in an out-of-left-field courtroom murder. It was shocking in that no one saw it coming and shocking because such violence is SO not The Good Wife's standard M.O. It was heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and sob-inducing. And, yes, like with Beverly on Hannibal, we're still recovering.
The Fosters' season finale almost buried us with all that drama!
Shows about angsty teens and their parents are predisposed to melodrama, but The Fosters laid it on a a little thick as it wrapped up its first season. Where should we start? Maybe with Timothy deciding that he didn't want to surrender his parental rights as a donor, but, whoops, Lena is pregnant with his baby. Need more? Brandon and Dani had sex. Not enough? How about Zack's mom having early onset Alzheimer's? Still not enough? FINE. It turns out that Jude's dad isn't Callie's dad, SO CALLIE CAN'T GET ADOPTED BY STEF AND LENA. Good grief, show. Tack on Brandon getting his hand smashed in a car door by a vengeful Vico just as he was accepted into a youth orchestra and "Adoption Day" was a histrionic sundae with too many toppings. Thank goodness we had the breathers of Jude questioning his sexual orientation and Jesus deciding to pull back on his ADHD meds so he date Emma.
Helix's finishes its first season with the bad kind of WTF
Syfy's festival of insanity has always been teetering on the verge of being just plain bad, and the sci-fi show's inaugural finale seemed like it couldn't wait to be done with its first season with a whopper of a goodbye. In the penultimate scene, someone learned she was pregnant, a severed head was tossed into a helicopter, a woman was murdered because she called someone by their first name, and the entire set of the first season was blown up. And it looks like the cliffhanger moved the show to France for Season 2. The good news out of all this is that Syfy renewed the show for a second season, meaning the writers at least have a chance to explain all these decisions.
The 100 pulled a Monty Python in terms of believability
Monty Python's Black Knight was obviously ridiculous and played for laughs, but The 100 apparently thinks we're idiots who don't understand the vast differences between a flesh wound and a GAPING HOLE IN A CHEST. After taking a pointy stick in the midsection in the pilot, we thought it was curtains for Jasper. But The 100 had different ideas.
Television Without Pity gets shuttered with zero pity
The venerable TV recap site is one of the forebears of the modern TV recap phenomenon, and it's being shutdown next week by its parent company NBC Universal. But to rub salt and lemon juice and angry piranhas into our wounds, NBCU isn't even keeping the archives—a wealth of television history—online. That's just criminal. Someone grab all the recaps and post them to a mirror site!
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? Arrow's "Birds of Prey"? The debut of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge on Syfy? A Survivor contestant quitting for the first time in the show's history? Share your own list in the comments!
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