FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (December 15)

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'Twas one of the last weeks of 2012, and the season finales and mid-season finales and Christmas episodes and pre-hiatus episodes were hung by the chimney with varying degrees of care. The TV.com editors was nestled all snug at their desks, as visions of the Top 100 Everything danced in their heads. Price and Tim aren't particularly prone to wearing 'kerchiefs OR caps, but everyone was ready to settle their brains for a long winter’s nap. When in the writing staff's email inboxes there arose such a clatter, it was Jen looking for ideas and insisting we do at least one more of these FTW vs. WTF stories before the year is over. So here it is, happy holidaze, everyone!

Note: Depending on how this next week goes, both on TV and with our schedules as we try to finish compiling our various year-end stories and lists, this may be the last installment of FTW vs. WTF until 2013. Plus we were already a little light on fodder this week. Just saying.


FTW



The Mindy Project and New Girl's gingerbread excellence


Danny's handmade gingerbread mansion was lovely until guest-star Ellie Kemper smashed it to smithereens after the reveal that Mindy was actually Josh's mistress (and how about all the sweet, holiday-season warm fuzzies between Danny and Mindy?). And nothing says "Let's have sex" like an X-rated gingerbread man, so way to get your message across, Angie. Nick, we will be stealing zombie your zombie idea for sure.



The Downton Abbey cast's version of Breaking Bad on The Colbert Report


To support the estate, Lord Grantham starts brewing "Earl Blue" for all the tea-tweakers in the village. Thomas and Carson help. Naughty language abounds.



Parenthood's Christmas miracle


The series closed out the first half of an emotionally rough season on a happy note, letting Kristina survive a nasty encounter with septic shock. The episode didn't make it easy on us, though, revealing that the ailing mom had filmed a goodbye video for the Braverman kids in case she didn't make it.



Klaus's Christmas anti-miracle


Much of Seasons 3 and 4 of The Vampire Diaries gradually neutered erstwhile Big Bad Klaus and left him sort of puttering around Mystic Falls without much real purpose. With his whirlwind massacre of the hybrids and quieter, even-more-devastating murder of Carol Lockwood, he's been reasserted as a genuine villain capable of doing real damage to our heroes, rather than just snarking and scheming and sketching them ponies.



Old Navy's Vacation super reunion


Chevy Chase (he's got free time now) and Beverly D'Angelo have reprised their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold in the latest series of Old Navy ads, but it's the multiple Rustys and Audreys (Anthony Michael Hall! Juliette Lewis! Dana Baron! Jason Lively!) who make the comercials more than a cheap attempt at nostalgia. Apparently Johnny Galecki was too busy making millions from The Big Bang Theory to join in the fun. Also, you must comment below if you just realized Johnny Galecki was Rusty in Christmas Vacation.



Portlandia is back!


Well, almost. Friday's "Winter in Portlandia" special was a pretty tasty yuletide treat that whetted our appetite for the new season in January. May your holidays be filled with delicious pasta dinners, stays in hotel rooms with plentiful outlets, and vagina pillows under your Christmas tree.



WTF



HIMYM's Callback Theater


Once again, latter-day How I Met Your Mother larded up a thin story with a bunch of callbacks to earlier, better episodes: Ted's cowboy boots, the intervention banner, etc. The show has been mostly drafting off the good will it earned in its first few seasons for quite some time, but these periodic stabs at reasserting the past, are just underscoring what a shell of its former self the show has become.



Another round of Golden Globes ridiculousness


The Newsroom over both Game of Thrones and Mad Men for Best Drama? Smash alongside The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Episodes, and Girls for Best Comedy or Musical? (Not to mention, a category that combines comedies and musicals?) Well, at least the broadcast should be an entertaining one...



A woman steals from Santa Claus and celebrates it on Take it All


NBC's new game show, hosted by Howie Mandel, is a high-stakes game of White Elephant in which players swap and steal gifts from each other. When the final two contestants reach the podium, they can choose to be civil and split the winnings, or if only one of them decides to take it all, they get everything. In the premiere episode, one selfish woman stole everything from a guy who looked just like Santa Claus and put his faith in humanity by opting to share, then celebrated like she just earned it.



What happened in Connecticut


It doesn't matter that we're not that kind of site. :( :( :( times infinity.



What's on *your* list of TV loves and hates this week?

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