For the Winsday: Valentine's Day Edition

Valentine's Day is staring us in the face like the double barrels of a furious country bumpkin's shot gun, compelling us to do right by our sweetheart or be blasted to a million pieces. But before our significant other judges our romantic gestures and finds them wanting, or the world judges me for going to a Carl's Jr. all alone and eating a three-course burger dinner, let's take a moment to judge ABC's Wednesday comedy block! If you didn't catch last week's scrimmage edition of For the Winsday, we're basically going to assign each episode of ABC's Wednesday comedies with a 1-10 rating (one being unwatchable, 10 being so impossibly funny we have to be hospitalized for split sides), rank the episodes in order, average their ratings for an overall score, and declare the high score this week's winner! So get out the deeply discounted Christmas candy you found on the other side of the red and pink aisle at your local drug store, it's...

FOR THE WINSDAY!

The Middle: "Valentine's Day III"

Imaginative title! Perhaps the lack of effort was meant to mirror the zero amount of interest Mike and Frankie were willing to invest in their begrudging romantic night out (with friends!). While often delightful Sue Heck discovered french kissing with her new boyfriend (and discovered she hates it), Axl got his Paul Reubens-esque brother to pretend to be fatally ill for a school project. Considering that it's a mathematical certainty at least one regular viewer of The Middle actually has a child who is very ill, this was badly handled. If you're going to make jokes about a dying kid, they had better be damn funny, funny enough that they break people up into cathartic laughter, and this episode just didn't make any real jokes with this conceit. Also: Why they no let Julie Brown talk ? The woman gets paid to do punch-up for funnier shows than this, throw her some lines, P-Heats! Final question: How many cast members are wearing wigs, exactly? Is Axl wearing one? Do they put him in a wig so Patricia Heaton's hair doesn't stand out horribly when they all sit in tableau on the couch? Getting wig-paranoid with this show.

Final Score: 4.8



Suburgatory: "Sex and the Suburbs"

If the catalyst for moving out of New York was finding a box of condom's in Tessa's room, then how can George deal with finding another box of condoms in the idyllic suburbs of Chatswin? Not well, apparently, as we saw last night. George spent most of the episode grilling Tessa's friends over board games and ultimately confronting Tessa about her hot-as-jalapenos boyfriend, Scott. Heat be damned! Like the rest of this world, Scott is not good enough for Tessa, because he can not stop talking about his recent trip to volunteer in Zambia. Seriously, Tessa, maybe just shut up and listen to a couple travel stories. Jane Levy is a good actress, but Tessa is such a hateful and arrogant character; sometimes her personality is the bitter little fly in the ointment of this show. But on to the big news: Cheryl is leaving her husband! After a half-season of Dallas and George's innocent flirting, is Suburgatory setting the stage for a future relationship, marriage, and Dahlia and Tessa under one roof?! Or was the infidelity just an excuse for national treasure Cheryl Hines to yell about the incriminating panties she found being too big? I don't know what was funnier, her reaction to the "M/L panties" or the shots of her working it in the gym with a Kangol cap angled like a ho-hat. Either way, Cheryl Hines is a winner every day of the week.

Final Score: 7



Modern Family: "Me? Jealous?"

Between Gloria and Cameron's silent struggle and eventual harmony in the kitchen and the solid-gold reaction expressions by Claire, this episode was a ballet of physical comedy. Guest-star Greg Kinnear earned points for the episode with a series of kisses that spanned what looked like three generations of extras, smooching not just Claire full on the lips but a grandmotherly housekeeper, teen daughter, and elementary-school-aged son. I really hope he becomes a recurring character for the next few episodes, and that they keep these kisses flowing. Manny provided one of the highlights this week, when he gently counseled both Gloria and Cameron, and there was a Big Sister plot that got a little lost and muddled but ultimately ended up with Luke transformed into Betty Luke. Still, "Me? Jealous?" is in a competition not so much with the rest of the block but with the high expectations its created for itself, and I kind of missed the Valentine's Day theme from last year.

Final Score: 6.9



Happy Endings: "The St. Valentine's Day Maxssacre"

One thing I love about this show is that it doesn't assume laughter. There are no pauses between the quips, awesome throwaway lines, and banter, and while that means sometimes backing up my DVR to catch what I have laughed over, I relish the constant forward momentum; Happy Endings bounds from scene to scene like a giant, hilarious puppy. There was some impressive physical comedy this week, courtesy Brad, who provided one of the sharpest laughs of the episode when he had to lick his own chocolate-fondue-covered watch to read the time. Verbally, Alex's frantic recounting of St. Valentine Valentinius was a delightful running joke that neatly buttoned up the episode by explaining the grisly backstory for why the heart is the symbol of Valentine's day. Also delightful was a reference to JFK calling Jane's grandmother "a perfect Chicago whore," the passing reference to Five-Hour Energy as "Five-O," and the giant pizza Max presumably spend last Valentine's day with. The gang pooled their resources to help Max win back a handsome gentleman (beautiful guest-star James Wolk) that eating that giant pizza lost, and while the episode does lose points for using the old "300 small candles lit in under 45 minutes" television trope, it gains points for being the only show on the block that gave us a moment of unabashed romance.

Final Score: 7.1



RANKINGS:

1. Happy Endings with 7.1 FOR THE WIN!!!

2. Suburgatory with 7

3. Modern Family with 6.9

4. The Middle with 4.8


This Week's Block Average: 6.5
Despite a painful backslide by The Middle, Suburgatory came through with a huge plot development and Happy Endings with, well, a happy ending to push the block ever closer to that semi-precious stone that is a 7.


QUESTIONS:

– How many wigs on The Middle?

– George and Dallas: inevitable or never going to happen?

– Tessa: relentlessly negative or you love her sardonic teen flavah?

– If Modern Family had thrown in a little Valentine's Day acknowledgement, would it have been an unstoppable FTW force?

– What were your rankings for the week? (And keep in mind we are using the 1-10 scale with the same kind of preciousness as Olympic judges)

Comments (33)
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Tessa is great and Scott was simply very annoying.. I would have done exactly same thing if I were her:)
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anyone catch Dean Winters on Up All Night? aka ''Mayhem'' from Allstate. [Watched via Hulu which has different ads]. lol My new fave is the customer service 90 second bit. I like seeing ''Earl'' as Maya's new beau.
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I love ABC's Wednesday night shows. I watch all five of them. Happy Endings was so good last Wednesday and Suburgatory was amazing too. Modern Family was okay. I think it was rated too high personally. As far as The Middle goes.- I think the edition of Sue's boyfriend has made the show so much better and I am loving her storylines. The weak part of the show is it doesn't seem like they know where to take Axel? The only part of the episode I wasn't interested in was his storyline. I've always liked the character but he needs some growth very soon. All in all- it wasn't perfect but it was laugh out loud funny.

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LOVED Suburgatory. Brilliant. I don't find Tessa as distasteful. Sure, at first she admired his volunteering and talks of Africa, but I also understand where she is coming from. Sure, she should think of the world as a whole, but what teen does that? Then also, how long was he there? Shouldn't Scott run out of stories? I mean, too much talk on any subject renders it annoying. So good for her for realizing thins weren't working. And Dallas scuffing up the floor was awesome.
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i Laugh at suburbatory & the middle. Can i be bold and say i do not find modern family funny?
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Prefer Middle and Sub, but could be due to schedule conflicts with SYFY Wednesday regulars then dvr ABC for Survivor and Royal Pains [9pm]USA. lol I do like MF better than Community but Love Parks, Office, Up All Night, Whitney. Also like Breaking In [FOX]and Tuesday comedies after Glee and Tim Allen's new one . Last Man Standing and Wipe Out. [Anderson].
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Modern Family is nowhere near as good as it used to be. At this point, I find Happy Endings more enjoyable every week. I'm just about ready to give up on Modern Family. It's time for some new comedies to get recognition come awards season
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An NBC Thursday block of 30 Rock, Community, Parks, and, oh, I don't know, maybe Free Agents would score a minimum of 9 each week.
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At first I understood the situation Tessa was in and the why she is so negative, but shouldn't she lighten up a little. I mean her reaction when she got confronted by George was ridiculous of course he is going to treat you like a child, he is your father. If she keeps going this way she might turn into one of those suburban bitches.
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well you shouldn't let your kid call you on first name basis and insist on trying too hard to be the "cool dad" if you want to be treated like a "father" than an "elder house mate":) so that reaction was not ridiculous at all; plus every kid reacts their parents as such.. she is such a realistic portrayal of a teen girl, I cannot love that character more:)
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Was Tessa on that Swiffer TV ad before this show started?
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I'd actually give it to "Suburgatory"; that's the one i laughed the most at.
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Yay! Happy Endings won again! I give it a 9!
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I LOVE Happy Endings!!!!!!!!!! Just amah-zing!!
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"I've hardly said it at all this season."



"You mean winter?"



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Happy Endings was hilarious. Way better than Modern Family at this point
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The Middle: NA... Suburgatory: 7.0... Modern Family: 6.5... Happy Endings: 8.0



Suburgatory was pretty fun... nothing stands out in particular, but it was an enjoyable episode all around.



As for MF, I'm getting bored of the characters; they're the exact same every episode. I can see every joke and every situation coming 5 minutes before they happen. Also, I'm starting to hate Cameron. Luke saying: "I hear you... and I don't like where this is going!" was the only time I laughed.



Happy Endings was fantastic. Loved James Wolk and I'm glad he's seemingly going to be a recurring character. Damon Wayans Jr was hilarious. Among the many great quotes was Jane: "How did you get a table at Tableau? That place is harder to get into than Obvious Joke Here... that new alt-comedy club downtown." Brad's comparison of each character as a Friends character was spot on. Also, LOL @ Pee'Angelo.
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great episodes for all three that I watch (not The Middle) I loved suburgatory's Dallas and her dancing, also I couldn't disagree more over Tessa, I love her personality and seriously I wouldn't stay around with someone who keeps talking about the same thing.

Modern Family was also funny but I agree the lesser of the three that night.

Happy Endings was amazing, loved the shout out to Friends and was cracking up about it. Also loved Penny's its more of a summer thing and just everything Alex kept saying and her being the whore lol. but my fav. was definately Max and Grant, how cute
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modern family is never good anymore
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I would have scored the Happy Endings episode higher.

It was such a funny episode, and an appearance by James Wolk was a nice (extra handsome) bonus.

I love this show.
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Happy Endings is so good. I am glad that they have kept it going. The Amahzing being a summer thing for Penny was great. And Damon Wayans Jr is fantastic. i can't help but think how much better New Girl would have been if he had stayed. But I am so glad that he is with a quality show.



Modern Family was pretty good. I like the kids being incorporated more. Luke is without a doubt one of the funniest characters.



George and Dallas are inevitable. Hopefully they won't make the mistake of getting them together this season. And maybe even next season, it will depend entirely on the divorce. Also I wish they would incorporate Ardyn Myrin more in the show because she is always does such a great job in any role she play and deserves in the very least a bigger role.
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Valentine's Day???

Never try to impress a woman, because if you do she'll expect you to keep up the standard for the rest of your life.

W. C. Fields

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Loved the rose part in restaurant when Mike did not buy one. The breadstick bit was great! LOL
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A solid 8 for Happy Endings (I reviewed it earlier and gave it a 10, but simply because the trolls in that shows page keep rating episodes 1/10 even before they aired) and 7 for Modern Family (but I don't think it'd have been much better with Valentine's Days themes)
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Happy Endings deserved the win just because of its "Friends" reference. The scene where doped-up Brad confused his friends with the characters on "Friends" was hilarious.
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While the kissing plot line with Greg Kinnear on Modern Family was pretty funny, it was taken straight out of a recurring SNL skit usually starring some combination of James Franco, Paul Rudd, and Jason Segel.
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And it is hilarious there.
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Agreed
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Let's try to be a little discerning with our rankings. 10/10's should be reserved for episodes like the season 1 finale of LOST. Or from a comedy perspective, the blackout episode on Friends. Or about 95% of the Arrested Developement episodes.
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Also, Community.
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Also, Community. Yes.
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I just can't get down with the dying child humor unless they really make it worth my while. I generally enjoy the show, it fills the hole in my heart malcom in the middle used to occupy. But if you're going to kid around about dying children, you really have to come with the funny, and they didn't.
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I completely disagree about that scene. It was so over-the-top and obviously fake that I had no problem with it. "Do you want me to die now? I have to get ready for school." Also, did you notice the "medicine" he videoed on the nightstand, Pepto and Pez? The whole episode was hilarious!
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