FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (November 16)
How is your Movember mustache coming along? Tim's looks like a patchy piece of Velcro or Vanilla Ice's eyebrow (in his prime, obviously). But did you know that even if you can't grow a Magnum P.I. or a Ron Swanson face caterpillar, you can still show support for whatever it is Movember brings awareness to by printing out a copy of this week's "FTW vs. WTF," rolling it up, covering it in glue, dragging it along your carpet and sofas to pick up some hair, and then sticking it on your face? Do it! And then send a picture of yourself wearing your FTWstache to firstname.lastname@example.org. We swear we'll PayPal $20 to the first person who does. Oh wait, this is probably illegal, but hey, it'll totally be worth it. Must be over 18 or really stupid. Right and then after you hit command-P, check out what we liked and didn't in the week of television (as you'll see from the low number of WTFs, it was a pretty good week!).
Nick Offerman made a "Stachedance" video in support of Movember
The line between Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson and the actor who plays him continues to blur—did you see him Offerman discard those veggies as if they were poison?—but we don't really care, because this is the most delightfully absurd singing mustache video we've seen all week.
Chris Hardwick's @midnight is a fun new addition to the late-night TV lineup
Not only is the host's personality way better suited to "wacky gameshow" than it is to "Walking Dead discussion series," the guests he's had on in his first few weeks on the air have really been pretty stellar. The show is kind of like Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets Bunk meets the internet, and it's a tasty midnight snack.
When The Mindy Project is on, it's ON
Yeah yeah, Mindy Kaling's sitcom has been uneven since the beginning, but this week's episode was like a club that SNL's Stefon might frequent, because it had everything: Adam Pally's new character Peter bonding with Morgan by doing some weird sexting on Mindy's behalf. Multiple apartment break-ins featuring weird stalker neighbor exes and/or fake Veterans' Day parties. All kinds of URST-y moments for the Mindy/Danny 'shippers in the audience. Glenn Howerton's continued presence as the very-enjoyable-to-watch lawyer Cliff. The return of Ellie Kemper. And plenty of the smart rom-com send-up moments that Kaling does so well.
Burning Love and Eagleheart are only one episode into their new seasons, and they're already showing up almost all the other comedies on TV
This week brought the returns of E!'s Burning Love and Adult Swim's Eagleheart, two comedies that are better than nearly all of the fall season's new sitcoms, on broadcast OR cable. The Bachelorette spoof brought on funny guys Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Martin Starr, Rob Heubel, Ryan Hanson, Nick Kroll, and more to woo funny lady June DIane Raphael, and Eagleheart returned as loony and violent as ever, proving that it can do fake blood as well as any big-budget production.
Hell on Wheels will be back for a fourth season
Three years of general audience apathy toward the Western genre and a move to Saturday nights would have spelled doom for lesser television heroes. But not Chief Railroad Engineer Cullen Bohannon, who will be riding the Union Pacific even further across this fine country next year, thanks to a Season 4 renewal that will expand the show episode count from 10 to 13. So: More Swede being all severe, more Durant grandstanding, and more lovesick Elam getting into various fixes. The end of Season 3 barely wrapped up any storylines, and in retrospect that might've been a result of knowing such a decision was on its way. In any case, we're as happy as a pig in sh*t that all the choo-choo fun will continue.
The Headless Horseman finally returned to Sleepy Hollow
It's not that we don't enjoy the episodes that are Headless Horseman-free, because Abbie and Ichabod are definitely great on their own. But there's something really special about seeing a headless body wandering around town, shooting up laboratories with automatic weapons and then slashing people with axes. Not only does he bring a lot of life (and death, HA!) to the series, he can always be counted on to raise the stake. Plus, he just looks really cool. And we could watch Abbie and Ike try to destroy his skull all day.
Modern Family gets a boost from some Comedy Central stars
It's been difficult to say anything nice about Modern Family as of late, what with its Emmy-hogging and its midlife over-reliance on cliches and sitcom tropes. But Workaholics' Adam Devine has been a welcome—albeit weird and somewhat creepy—addition as the Pritchett family's new manny (as in "male nanny," though a Lily-style actor swap with Rico Rodriguez really would've been somethin' else), and this week, Key & Peele's Jordan Peele dropped by "A Fair to Remember" to trade some insults with Jay. A perfect episode it was not, but it's nice to see the show switching things up a little and getting more "alternative" with its guest spots.
Oh, Parks and Rec, how we've missed thee
The series was off the air for three weeks, which is why we were saddled with a Halloween episode halfway through November, but Thursday's back-to-back episodes had us laughing and crying and crying from laughing, and even though Leslie was recalled from office, we're just happy to have had the pleasure of seeing Ron and Donna go hunting together. And ZOMG, how cute were Tom and Tatiana Maslany's Nadia? Last we checked, Pawnee was pretty landlocked, but that's one 'ship we'd be willing to sail.
How Barney met the Mother
We were already pleasantly surprised to see HIMYM's titular mama back-to-back episodes, but then the show got us again by revealing that it was Barney who met the Mother first, not Lily. And even though it might have been a stretch that the Mother was able to see through Barney's facade and convince him to go after Robin, a.ka. the One Who Got Away, we'll take it. Because hearts and love and rainbows.
Thanks, Batkid! Love, the cast of Arrow
With help from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, TV.com's home city of San Francisco was transformed into Gotham and "saved" by the Batkid on Friday, much to delight of the internet, President Obama, and basically anyone with a heart. But one of the more entertaining responses to this amazing story came from the cast of The CW's superhero series, who took the opportunity to relax and grab a bite to eat.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series sets to casting
Robert Rodriguez's new Latino-centric El Rey network has started rounding up actors for a serialized TV show set in the world and mythology of the Dusk Till Dawn film franchise. (If you haven't seen the two straight-to-DVD sequels, we recommend "Hangman's Daughter.") Robert Patrick, Eliza Gonzales, Madison Davenport, and Brandon Soo Hoo have all joined the project, and when the time comes, they'll ostensibly combine forces to battle Texas vampires, or something. Hey, sounds pretty cool, and no one knows fun action like Rodriguez, so let's keep our fingers crossed for this "sucker."
The Muscles from Brussels, Mr. Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, is the literal center of this artsy Volvo ad that had us applying ice packs to our genital areas after watching. Impressive!
All nine million hours of The Simpsons are coming to FXX and the internet
It was a happy week in Springfield and at Fox, as FXX shelled out a pile of cash for the rights to air The Simpsons on both the new channel and FX Networks' upcoming on-demand app. The long-running animated series is closing in on 600 episodes, which means we're already preparing ourselves for an inevitable 300-hour marathon.
Space Jam gets a 30 for 30 special
Michael Jordan's intergalactic basketball battle has finally earned some recognition from ESPN's award-winning sports documentary series. Tune Squad would've totally kicked the shit out of the Dream Team.
Stephen Colbert's November Sweeps Prostacular
The late-night host had a seriously strong week. We were all prepared to highlight Sam Waterston's Wednesday-night appearance as "Poncho Denews"/The Newsroom's Charlie Skinner, but then the "Prostacular" happened, complete with on-air medical procedures with appearances from Katie Couric, The Black Keys, and John Lithgow.
Actually, what the hell, this was great, too:
The upstairs and downstairs of TBS's new comedy Ground Floor
Another one of those multi-camera sitcoms that could be worse but could also be better debuted on TBS this week, and it's the epitome of "okay," with both high points and low points. Highs? Flying cigars, John C. McGinley, and Rory Scovel. Lows? Dead-end punchlines and stale sitcom romance. We guess we'll continue to watch, or maybe not.
Revenge is so boring right now
Seriously, show, get your act together. We love Nolan and we love it when he gets plenty of screen time, like he did this week during his own revenge plot, but you're stalling. We're this close to taking you out on our yacht and shooting you while you're wearing your wedding dress.
What a bummer week for comedians with shows on basic cable
R.I.P. comedy, or at least a little bit of it. Anthony Jeselink and W. Kamau Bell lost The Jeselink Offensive and Totally Biased this week, and while both shows struggled in the ratings—especially Totally Biased in the move to FXX—if niche-y comedy can't make it on basic cable, where can it work on TV?
Hawaii Five-0 didn't kill Nick Jonas
The one-time superstar (the Jonas bros aren't superstars anymore, right? Especially since they're breaking up?) guest-starred on CBS's island procedural as a cute hacker—and he didn't even die. CSI had the guts to kill Justin Bieber, but Jonas lives? Boo! The rest of the episode wasn't bad though, getting a boost from the always charismatic super guest Chi McBride.
NBC withheld Jonathan Rhys Meyers' Dracula salary over addiction concerns
The troubled Irish actor has a history of substance abuse, so NBC up and decided not to pay him most of his Dracula salary until after production ended, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jeez, everything is sad about this story. Want it to get even sadder? Read it in Meyers' awful American accent.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?
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