's Swell-o-vision vs. Hell-o-vision (September 10)

By Staff

Sep 10, 2011

Here's what was hot and what was not about television this week.


... The series finale of Rescue Me
Like most episodes from the past few seasons, "Ashes" offered moments of greatness sandwiched between soap opera storylines and hilariously inappropriate comedy. It was a fitting sign-off for Tommy, Lou, and the guys of 62 Truck.

... The Season 2 finale of Louie
Not so much hilarious as it was heartbreaking, but excellent nonetheless. Pamela doesn't know what she's missing.

... Just one more finale, we promise: The Season 3 finale of Childrens Hospital
We're a week late on this one, having finally caught up with our DVR backlog last this week, but it was so good we had to mention it anyway. And hey, now the whole thing's online (you might have to click the video and watch it at

... Turner Classic Movies
Every few months, we'll remember that TCM exists, and set the DVR to record everything on it. In the past two weeks, we've seen uninterrupted, HD versions of Sunset Boulevard, 8 1/2, The Heiress, and It Happened One Night. Love it!

... Project Runway's Battle Royale
This season just keeps getting better. Joshua M. (We think the M stands for Ming the Merciless) vs. Bert is like the ultimate intergalactic gay battle. It just needs a Queen soundtrack.

... Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito gets his due
With his mostly frightening and occasionally heartbreaking turn on Breaking Bad this season, perpetually underrated character actor Giancarlo Esposito is poised to become one of the most celebrated actors alive. Better clear some space on your mantel, guy!

... Rocket launchers in Bon Temps
How did it take FOUR seasons for Pam to attempt to blow up a Wiccan supply store using a military grade weapon? Oh well, better late than never!


... Big Brothers meddlesome producers
After a generally boring season, there was brief shining moment when it appeared the underdog newcomers would overthrow the returning veterans, but alas, a super obvious producer stunt (the Pandora's Box duo twist) ensured that the dastardly Rachel or frontrunner Jordan would win this thing anyway. Great job, you guys! J/K Zzzzzzzzzz.

... Michael and Holly's agonizingly average relationship on Bachelor Pad
It's a great opportunity for 12-year-olds to learn about relationships, and for everyone else to re-live the kind of teenage memories that make you want to carve out a house in the side of a cliff and live there with your sorrow.

... Enough with the Two and a Half Men reruns, FX!
Ever since the network got rights to the show, it's been airing it in four-hour blocks. Our brains hurt—both from Charlie Sheen overload and the disappointment of knowing one of our favorite networks is responsible.

... Fox's failure to re-shoot the New Girl pilot
For as much effort as Fox is putting into getting you to watch the show (there's still plenty of time left to download it on iTunes, guys!), you'd think the network would quit pretending that it's not going to switch out the show's black guy in Episode 2. It's awkward for Damon Wayans, Jr., it's offensive to the actor who's replacing him (Lamorne Morris), and it's confusing to the viewers. Plus it's 2011—how hard could it be re-do a few new scenes with the right cast?

What made your list of TV loves and hates this week?

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  • slh53041 Sep 16, 2011

    Rescue Me

    What a let down. Very poor ending. stayed at the dance too long.

  • dragon22a Sep 12, 2011

    It is too bad Wayans could not do both this show and the other one he is on. He seemed funny in the commercials.

  • freak-e719 Sep 11, 2011

    i hate josh so much on project runway

  • vicbjones Sep 11, 2011

    Swell: The Burn Notice season finale (nice piece of ledgerdemain); Joel McHale's take on a Good Morning America anchor's lack of timeliness in warning viewers about the graphic nature of a picture; Stephen Colbert's bit on Las Vegas casinos as an alternative to Social Security, culminating in "Rick Perry's Vulture."

    Hell: The unnecessary laugh track on the CBS Fall Preview. It's a half-hour commercial for the network's new comedy shows, with ads between segments acting as previews for the drama series. The laugh track on the scenes with the Big Bang Theory cast made the jokes seem lamer than they probably were.

  • sakuramankai Sep 11, 2011

    What happened to the TV Channel Smack-down thing that was happening a few weeks ago? The thing where put up two channels and people voted for there favorite. I haven't seen it in a long time. You guys still doing that?

  • Arch_Angel88 Sep 11, 2011

    They probably realized AMC was going to easily win and just gave up on it.

  • jtrolio Sep 12, 2011

    We haven't forgotten about America's Got Cable! We're actually about to move into Round 2 on the bracket and have been trying to figure out a way to reformat the story to not repeat ourselves a bunch (since we've already talked about most of the channels you'll see in future match-ups). Stay tuned!

  • sakuramankai Sep 12, 2011

    Awesome! Thanks for the info.

  • j7k8 Sep 11, 2011

    Breaking Bad keeps getting better and the suspense of every second during every episode nearly kills me every week. It is so good!

    This season of Project Runway is awesome. I don't want Josh M or Bert to win but they make for hilarious television. Everyone else is fine and some are entertaining without being mean, but we all need someone to root against.

    And I stopped watching Big Brother weeks ago. It sucks to have two summers in a row where I just don't care.

  • LeahLefler Sep 11, 2011

    What a great flashback sequence on Breaking Bad! Giancarlo Esposito was especially fantastic playing the "before and after" Gustavo Fring. Poor Max. :(

  • DavidJackson8 Sep 11, 2011

    I don't mind the New Girl situation that much. There have been plenty of pilots over the years where an actor has to leave the show and they decide not to re-shoot, but rather replace the actor. It happens. The fact that this MAY be the first time it happens to a black actor doesn't mean it should be a big deal. But with that said, I also don't see how hard or expensive it would be to do a few re-shoots.

  • ainav Sep 11, 2011

    They are playing different characters so I dont find it offensive..

  • Cliff1963 Sep 11, 2011

    I think you underestimate the viewers watching New Girl, there's so much written about Damon Wayans being replaced, surely most won't be confused, come on! But I think you make a point about it being awkward for Wayans and offensive to Morris.

  • vicbjones Sep 11, 2011

    Reshooting scenes costs money and time. It's especially wasteful if the show's canceled after only a few episodes. What's awkward or offensive about a different actor playing a character on a series than in the pilot? James MacArthur wasn't the original Danny Williams on Hawaii Five-O and Noah Beery, Jr. wasn't the original Joseph Rockford on The Rockford Files. Are TV viewers really that much dumber than they used to be? That's an even more trite complaint than "lack of overarching storylines."

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