FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (December 1)

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?


FTW



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




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!



WTF



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?

Comments (64)
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I shall mention "Criminal Minds"

FTW: They have a new baddie this season. This week he was lurking around just before the closing credits, stealing Derek's glass to take back to his lair. Creepy and riveting!

WTF: Another episode comes and goes and I still don't know who the mysterious woman is on the other end of the phone whom Reed has been talking to.
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Ha Ha Ha ... Z is for Zombie ... for the rest of my life hearing those words will make me laugh.
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Game of Thrones first look (production video) for season 3!

Revolution's fall finale!

Nuf' said!
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Of course, both are FTW's!
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Woo to the shout out, and thanks for the FTWable video from Dan Harmon, that was great, very well thought-out and yet presented in an approachable manner. Good luck helming this insane project. ;-)
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I'm glad I wasn't the only one who liked The Inbetweeners. I'm sad that it got canceled.

Oh, you Klaroline shippers, you...
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that elmo thing was just weird....
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FTW: Nikita finally has good ratings for its latest ep now that it's in the 8PM slot. I still prefer if The CW moved SPN behind TVD and Nikita behind Arrow and just cancel BATB or dump it on Fridays.

FTW: SPN's latest ep. "Dumbass", LOLs all around.

FTW: Badass Glenn!!! We finally have an Asian that we can look up to and call as our hero.

FTW: Revolution's awesome midseason finale.

FTW: Klaus and Caroline's hot chemistry.

WTF: The sire thing theorized just when Delena finally got together. I feel so sorry for the Delena fans. I'm neither a Delena or a Stelena fan but it's just that they've been waiting this for 3 seasons and it's sad that their long awaited union is tainted.
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NIKITA!

I've been dying to talk about the craziest throwaway entrance I've ever seen. So, Nikita needs to infiltrate the hotel where Markov is staying, right? How does she accomplish this? A clever disguise? An underground parking structure? Impersonate a guest and casually walk through the front door?

Nope!

She uses a glider! She literally "glided" her way onto the rooftop of the hotel. And this isn't your everyday George Jetson hovercraft. Birkhoff's new toy puts the Green Goblin's glider to shame.

But what I love most about the whole thing is that it wasn't even a big deal. It was like, "Yeah, we have a glider that cost our R&D department a few hundred million dollars, what of it?"
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I never knew that you watched Nikita. But yeah, you can always count on Nikita to make the most awesomely outlandish entrances. It's unbelievable how crazy and amazing the stunts on that show is. It's how they do it, Nikita-style. :)
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I think Jeremy's dream of killing his sister deserves to be FTW. Why are the villains the best characters in TVD? I wish they could find some way to bring back evil-Alaric...
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Definitely. He's turning out to be one of the awesome characters on TVD and his hotness has increased as a result of his newfound status as a hunter.
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I'd suggest sticking to the routine. Sifting through all those comments has to be overwhelming. You'll never please everyone anyway.
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It's probably best not to ask for contributions to this column, since people might be upset when you ignore their suggestions and pick what you want. Which you have every right to do.
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Wow,,, that Elmo thing... in-fucking-sane.
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Allison Brie video,,, thanks, you guys rule. :D
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For The Wire poster you asked: "But one question, where's Frank Sobatka? And Dookie?"
They are both in the poster!! Look again!
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Weird! I swear I didn't see 'em, I saw the young Sabotka's and Michael, but not Frank or Dookie...
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I can't believe Victoria Grayson's past revelations wasn't placed in here. That thing was so twisted, but SO GOOD!
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You should have put Arrow and POI in the FTW with Supernatural and TWD and you shouldnt have put Revolution in the WTF because it was so bad that t doesnt deserve to be put there even. Also Last Resort had a pretty great episode why not mention that. And what about the 2.5 men thing that happened this week why are people trying to kill the show??
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Last Resort's episode was dumb and 2.5 men is even more so. And Revolution had an awesome finale.
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Last Resort was awesome, Revolution was boring, and 2.5 men is hilarious this season, if it was last season i would agree with you.
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Why all the hate for 2.5 men? Because according to a certain someone, it's "filth" but seriously, it's one of the worse shows out there.
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2.5 men was boring and pointless since season 2. No wonder...
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why all that hate for 2.5 men?? and season 2 was one of the best seasons if not the best.
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Because 2.5 men is one of the most awful shows out there.
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WTF So many flashbacks about Sam's boring girlfriend on Supernatural
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Don't mess with Glen. That's all I've got to say.
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Why wasn't Angus T. Jones's total meltdown on this list? It was definitely a WTF moment. How can a 19 year old making 350,000 US dollars a show call his own show "filth'? He definitely deserves to go, even though, without him, what are they going to call the show. He is the half in the Two and Half Men. Are they going to call Two Men? Does anybody have some thoughts?
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They'll probably keep the title and just say his character was deployed oveseas somewhere.
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I mean, short of killing him off and replacing him with another character, I don't know, and it's not like they'd do that in a sitco- never mind.
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I'd agree that this is WTFworthy, and thumbed up on that. Now, as to the actual argument you make...

Actually, I'd say his age when he started is a perfect reason for why he could make money on a show like that and still be justified in lambasting it 10 years later. He joined the show when he was a little kid, kids don't know squat; now he's an adult and has learned things in life and formed personal opinions. He was committed to a job, a CAREER really, before he was old enough to understand what that entailed, so absolutely he deserves the right to only now voice an opinion about the career that pays him so much. Should he have continued making less than $350k per episode when his character is in the title and the other two titular characters are making 3 times that money? Would Angus making $30k per episode been low enough to form and voice an opinion? Look at his recent plotlines: he smokes tons of weed and screws a girl he barely knows, some people could easily find that filth and it's really the tip of the iceberg. You and I might find it funny and even a parody of modern teenage life, but some folks have different sensibilities.

Just to put a point on it, Alec Guinness was sold on playing Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars based on a prior script to the one that was shot, one where his character is wiser and more important and the story around the character is vastly different. Alec Guinness called it rubbish and banal, and felt its impact on the public's opinion of his career essentially crushed his soul. Yet he went on to play the role in both sequels, and was more than pleased about the financial benefits it gave him. He was able to have a negative opinion about the material and yet still be a professional turning in a quality performance, unlike Val Kilmer's intentional phoning in of Batman Forever when Tim Burton was replaced as helmer.
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I completely agree with you.... It seems like people forget he started this show when he was a kid. Plenty of things I believe now are totally different then what I believed when I was a child.

Plus, let's not forget that he is leaving the show after this season (which is LEGALLY and CONTRACTUALLY obligated to complete unless he want to be sued). So it's not like he called it filth and then signed on for more seasons to make more money. He's finishing up and moving on.
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Agree
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Re: Klaus being a villain and that complicating romance: Damon is an unrepentant rapist (I'm sorry, but there's no other way to describe forcing women to have sex with him by compelling them with his vampire powers, whether they want to be with him or not - that they don't remember it doesn't make it any better - it's no different than if a guy roofied a girl, really) and he's one of the show's "heroes." Yeah, Klaus does a lot of horrible things, but that doesn't really seem to be a disqualifier for this show.
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Making this an open thread would be ok, AS LONG as you keep giving us your WTFTWs!
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FTW: Clay is no longer a Son
WTF: Bobby, come on!
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FTW: You watched Liz & Dick so I didn't have to!
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WTF: that Elmo vide is disturbing
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FTW Glenn was totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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FTW: AHS
WTF: continues to be Kitty on glee.
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AHS, Glenn (also Maggie) and Supernatural were totally FTW.

I thought the Sire bond on TVD and Last Resort's rape episode would make it to the WTF.

Revolution's amazing finale and Monroe's gut wrenching performance should be FTW as well. As for Strausser, as perverse as he is, he wasn't a "would-be rapist". He had already raped Rachel several times before and his character didn't dramatically change overnight. He was consistent.
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I never knew that he had raped Rachel before. Has the show made it clear that that's happened or is there something wrong with my memory?
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It was implied by the way he touched and spoke with her. Also Rachel said, 'That's for what you did to me, you son of a b..."
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Oh, I thought she meant Strausser torturing her not raping her. But then, rape does count as torture...
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Yeah, I thought so, too. I wrote this in my Revolution comment:

"I was also intrigued with the scene between Rachel and Miles. A few have wrote that there is some URST there, but I think it's more than that. I think Miles may have already tapped the MILFgineer. That should complicate things. Oh, and am I the only one who thought Strausser repeatedly raped Rachel judging by her final words to him? He still wasn't a very convincing evil psychopath, but that at least makes him more maniacal than Rachel. And it makes her killing him a bigger win. Go Rachel!"

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Oh and also Last Resort's totally pointless random beach sex in the previous episode! WTF!
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the tablet storyline is a real thing that happens to high schoolers so it felt real
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My problem with Lifetime is that they promoted the heck out of Liz & Dick, but they had a great modern adaptation of Little Women in a christmas movie, March Sisters at Christmas. Get your priorities straight Lifetime, it was way better than the Liz & Dick mess.
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Quinn isn't good or bad. He's either just someone to can side with or someone you can't. Just like Brody.
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this new comment system is lamest of the three incarnations. thumbs up!
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Other than some comments disappearing, this is the best & most functional I've ever seen it.
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Quinn isn't good or bad. He's either just someone *you* can side with or someone you can't. Just like Brody.
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I loved that Liz Lemon finally admitted that her wedding day is a special day, and I loved her Princess Leia dress. But the gangsta ring and grill might have been a little over the top.
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That's been a problem with 30 Rock lately; they don't know when too much is too much. Like Tracy being run over twice or Brian Williams suddenly doing backflips for no reason. If it had kept going on it would no doubt have turned into Modern Simpsons; good thing we're leaving on a higher note.
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Frankly, no show has been as genius about the necessary evil that is product placement as Revenge. The Gift of Revenge was AWESOME!!!
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I should have suggested Bear on POI as FTW when I got the chance. That dude/-tte is amazing. It completely steals the show every week.
I hope it will go on a mission soon. Or Reese could take Bear on a stakeout on which they would be sitting in the front seat both eating a doughnut, while Reese opens up about things in his past that he has told no one before
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FTW: The Romance of Harold Finch and Grace on POI
FTW: The Mystery Plot on Elementary was actually pretty darn good.
FTW: The fight between Bernadette and Amy on BBT where Bernadette proved that she could be a woman that you would not want to meet in a dark alley.
WTF: The Is Watson leaving but not really leaving on ELEMENTARY. We all know that she is not leaving everyone so stop with the story line already.
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Watson leaving would make a natural break for a "winter finale" or even a series finale if Elementary were canceled midseason.
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I can't believe you didn't include the Delena hook-up (FINALLY!) in the FTW list! It's been 3 years in the making and I think it at least deserves a mention! At least you included the Klaus/Caroline burgeoning romance and for that I'll let it slide just this once. And by the way, you should inlcude a spoiler warning at the beginning for those who haven't seen this week's episodes. Great job and keep up the Good work!
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*SPOILER WARNING!* I was surprised that you didn't include the Elena being sired to Damon reveal at the end of this week's TVD.
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I would've posted earlier but I just spend the last 30 minutes watching that Harmon clip. Pretty cool. I would agree with him about the suckiness of money, but as someone who has almost none, I can't buy into it completely, hehe.

I love Alison Brie, but she needs to stop using so much eye-liner, eye-shadow, mascara, or whatever people like to call making you look like a cross between old-school-Newmar-Catwoman and a raccoon. I'd say in maybe 80% of her sexy photoshoots and videos she rocks that look. While it's not a big deal, I just think she'd look even better without all of that.

And as I said in the Open Thread area, YES to Glenn on The Walking Dead and Quinn on Homeland. New Girl was pretty funny too. I didn't like a few things about this past week's Dexter, but I guess it wasn't bad enough to be a WTF.
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Yup the cancellation of The Inbetweeners was a real wtf.. I enjoyed the show, it was fun and random. I liked the fact that the main characters for once weren't super models, sure the girls looked a bit like models, but at least the guys looked like normal human beings and that was part of their charm. Might give the original series from UK a try though, since I liked the US version.
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Suburgatory was pretty lame this week.
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