We're back from Thanksgiving break and still stuffed full of Aunt Carol's marshmallow and gravy casserole, and now we're ready for our own Black Friday/shopping weekend full of awesome television deals. With some shows approaching their season and mid-season finales and others full of the holiday spirit, there was plenty to like this week (and a half) in TV Land.
Oh, and about that open thread idea: Admittedly, we're feeling a little overwhelmed by your amazing outpouring of responses. Props to @JT_Kirk for eloquently sumarizing what we appear to have gotten ourselves into: "Well, this experiment looks like a lot of hard work for you editors. Haha!" Uh, maybe we should just make the story itself an open thread every week?
This illustrated poster of 52 characters from The Wire
Just in time for Christmas, grab this print of most of Baltimore's finest and worst for less than it costs Bubbles to get messed up on some WMDs. Cut them out and make playing cards, or just keep it on your wall as a reminder that the game is the game and society is built to keep the poor and underprivileged down. But one question, where's Frank Sobatka? And Dookie?
Dan Harmon's keynote speech at the techy XOXO conference
It's a bit long, but it's fascinating to hear Harmon's perspective on the industry, particularly in the wake being fired from Community. And also, here's Allison Brie being sexy and cute if you like that kind of stuff.
Liz and Criss's marriage on 30 Rock
We're thrilled Liz got married and ranted about the "wedding industry’s phallocentric fairy-tale grotesquerie," and also that the marriage was to Criss, who gets her more than any of the other suitors she's had over the years (yes, even more than Floyd). We're even willing to accept that Liz eventually caved to that grotesquerie and chalk it up as a win, because dressing up as Princess Leia was a great send-up of "women want to be princesses" culture. Mazel tov indeed, dummies!
Peter Quinn, limo driver
Homeland topped off an incredible episode with Quinn (or whatever his name is) telling Brody that right now, he's Brody's best friend. OH REALLY!?!? We still don't know what Quinn's deal is (is he good, bad?), but this week's revelation that he is not what he seems was just smashing. Nobody who sleeps on a bare mattress is good though, right?
Pamela Adlon on Parenthood
Someone with moxie stepped up to a Braverman? She'll become a crying mess in 3 ... 2 ... (at least she'll be in good company, right, Ray Romano?)
The trailers for HBO's new Sunday sorta-comedy block
Enlightened Season 2!
Girls Season 2!
Aaron Paul's enthusiasm for the upcoming season of Breaking Bad
I just finished reading the first episode of the final season of Breaking Bad and words can not express what I just experienced. Holy shit.— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) November 27, 2012
Frances Conroy's Angel of Death on American Horror Story: Asylum
One of the joys of AHS Season 2 has been seeing many of the same actors from Season 1 appearing in very different roles, but few things can compare to the awesomeness that was Frances Conroy's Angel of Death. Those feathered wings! That goth-geisha makeup! Not to mention her eerie, emotional performance. More please.
Schmidt's description of his pleasuring "technique" on New Girl
For a lot of seemingly unrelated, over-the top euphemisms about the female bathing suit region, Schmidt's "va-genius" explanation of how he pleasures women made A LOT of sense to us. Hilarious, too.
Speaking of New Girl, congrats on finishing Z Is for Zombie, Nick!
While the story itself might be WTF to the max, we're with Schmidt and many of you: We never want Winston to stop reading it. Fox, please release Z Is for Zombie as a real book, complete with a wordless word search.
Klaus and Caroline's burgeoning romance on The Vampire Diaries
We know, we know: Klaus is a villain and has done some bad things. But Joseph Morgan is also insanely charismatic and has successfully imbued Klaus with, at the very least, the potential for basic empathy. So his matchup with the quintessential small town angel is awkward on paper, but in reality Klaus's scenes with Caroline this week were nothing less than thrilling. We can't wait to see where this is going.
Supernatural's visit to Acme Acres
Anvils falling from the sky, hearts bursting out of the chests of lovestruck saps (and then flying ten feet through the air), and little birdies flying around the heads of the concussed—just another day at the office for the Winchesters (and their bonus third wheel, Castiel!).
Nature's My Life As a Turkey
Thanksgiving week was the perfect time for PBS to re-air this outstanding and gorgeously filmed documentary about Joe Hutto, a naturalist who "became a mother" to wild turkey chicks through imprinting and went on an emotional and life-changing journey. It's one of the most amazing hours of television we've seen all year, and making the short film was as much a labor of love as Hutto's care for his new feathered children. A must-watch for animal lovers, and don't worry, none of the chicks end up as a Thanksgiving meal. You'll never look at turkeys—or possibly the world—the same way again.
If nothing else, Boardwalk Empire sure knows how to end a season
We have a love/hate relationship with the HBO period drama, but as @FringeFanatic aptly noted, last Sunday's episode was the perfect way to get fans real excited for the finale: "Gangsters be dyin'! And Nucky finally coming face-to-face with Al Capone was amazing! Capone: 'We've been on the road for 18 hours. We need a bed, some chow... and then you and me sit down, and we talk about who dies.'"
Glenn fought a zombie and the zombie... totally got is head stabbed in
As you may've guessed, this scene was a popular suggestion in the open thread—and justifiably so, because it was totally badass. Glenn is a mighty zombie-killer, hear him roar!
CNN hires Jeff Zucker to run the news network
Zucker is the man who drove NBC off a cliff with terrible business decisions (Leno at 10pm remains one of the stupidest things ever), so he's rewarded with another shot to run another struggling network? Ummm... what?
Revolution's evil Strausser gets full-on creepy
Sebastian Monroe's evil henchman started off as a torturer but was transformed into a perverse would-be rapist by this week's mid-season finale, when he talked about being "aroused" while seeing Rachel and Charlie together and later referred to eating Charlie's peach while forcefully throwing himself on Rachel.
This animated Taiwanese news take on the please-make-it-stop Elmo sex scandal
Seriously, please make it stop.
Pretty much everything about Liz & Dick
We're disappointed in you, Lifetime.
Farewell to MTV's The Inbetweeners
Though The Inbetweeners was never able to overcome a passionate stigma against its very existence (so powerful are the original UK series' fans), and a few spotty episodes through the season didn't exactly help things, we will miss MTV's well-intentioned and surprisingly heartfelt version of the show.
And we couldn't decide where to include this last one because you guys seemed relatively split on the issue, so...
What's on *your* list of TV loves and hates this week?