Ho ho ha! Good tidings to all and to all a great evening! Not a creature was stirring, not even a goose! If these empty bottles of brandy are any indication, the holidays are officially upon us, and from here on out it's yuletide cheer for all and hanging out beneath the mistletoe with our pants around our ankles! If you didn't get us a present, don't worry. Your presence is enough. As for you, well you've been a good little boy/girl/confused person, so we've put together one last edition of FTW vs. WTF before we embark on a little holiday hiatus of our own. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and this year, they're all labeled FTW—maybe we're just full of comfort and joy, or maybe we were visited by the ghost of FTW vs. WTF Yet to Come and we know better than to be too Scrooge-y, but you won't find any WTFs in this week's round-up. So God bless the final FTWs of 2013, every one. We'll see you in January!
Person of Interest keeps moving
After finishing a momentous three-episode arc, taking a three-week break, and then returning for one more random episode before hiatus-ing for the holidays, we expected that Person of Interest would take it easy with some holiday filler. Instead, the show moved onto the next compelling chapter of its story, identifying the mysterious new villain Control and raising the possibility that there's a second supercomputer out there somewhere.
Once Upon a Time's mid-season finale was Nucking Futs
When the purple cloud dissipated from Storybrooke, it left fans with a series reboot and almost three months to meditate on the possible fate of Rumplestiltskin and the return of 99 percent of the cast to the Enchanted Forest. Will this mean another season convincing Emma that fairy-tales are real? How many curses can be cast, how many fake memories can be installed in a person before their brain turns into a Frito pie? Is it more or less appropriate to suck your dad's neck if he abandoned you as a child? Such are the questions we have three months to consider.
Nikita says goodbye to an important character in surprisingly brutal fashion
It was very unlikely that everyone important would make it out of Nikita's final season alive and unfortunately, Ryan drew the short straw. Thankfully, though, the analytical conspiracy nut went out like a true champion, discovering Amanda's survival, breaking free of her shackles, taking out a bunch of henchmen, and then jumping out a window to avoid succumbing to her nefarious plans. That's really the best way for any supporting character to go, don't you think?
Masters of Sex puts a button on one of the year's best seasons of TV
With Dexter gone, Homeland floundering, and Ray Donovan making us shake our heads in embarrassment, Showtime should probably thank all of existence's deities for Masters of Sex.
The freshman period drama turned in a damn fine first season, and the finale was no different. Masters and Johnson's research findings
hit the hospital public—to typically OH MY GOD LADY PARTS EWWW reactions—and the poor response pushed Masters to admit his
feelings for Johnson, resulting in quite the cliffhanger. Who would've
thought that the series about a grumpy sex researcher would finish its
first run of episodes with the guy standing in the rain professing his love to a
younger woman? Bill Masters is just a boy, standing in front of a girl,
and all that.
The Anchorman 2 cast visits The Daily Show
Did you know that there's a movie out there called Anchorman 2? You'd think there would've been some sort of promotional campaign. Well, four of the show's cast members—Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and Steve Carell—stopped by Comedy Central to shill for their new flick, but all they did was cause chaos in one of the most entertaining pointless "interviews" ever.
John Oliver departs The Daily Show in tears
It's a Daily Show double! Before starting preparations for his new series on HBO, John Oliver was all ready to file one last report as a Daily Show correspondent—but Jon Stewart had other ideas. Stewart scuttled a rehearsed bit in favor of playing a tribute reel of Oliver's finer moments from his seven-year run, and the sequence culminated in John and Jon dancing to Mystika's "Danger"—a sample of which came to define Oliver's coverage of Anthony Weiner's online sex scandal this past summer. Cheers to you, John Oliver!
Holy crap, Revenge is attempting a comeback
Even though the "Who shot Emily Thorne?" mystery wasn't overly exciting, we applaud the show's writers for having Daniel be the one to the pull the trigger. Oh sure, his reasoning was beyond ridiculous and the setup was a rushed, sloppy mess, but this new development in Emily and Daniel's relationship will hopefully shake things up and put the series on a new path. It was also nice to see Victoria get some of her biting groove back after having discovering proof that Emily isn't all that she appears to be. We hope this means the Hamptons' evil queen will be back on top when the show returns in the spring.
By now, it should go without saying that any episode featuring the Mother is bound to be a good one, but that's not the only reason this week's episode stood out. Marshall finally arrived at the wedding after the world's longest road trip from Minnesota to New York, Andrew Rannells was a great guest-star, AND the episode ended with Marshall winding up to slap Barney! The Slap Bet Countdown Clock is back up and running, and its readout indicates that the next slap will occur on Monday, January 13. We can't wait.
It was a long, hard road to victory, but Tessanne Chin made it and
brought Team Adam out of its recent dry spell. So fierce. So awesome. So
jealous of that awesome hair.
Even though we're generally pretty harsh on singing shows, we have to admit that NBC's The Sing-Off is pretty fun. Good judges, entertaining performers, and perhaps most importantly, a nice, short seven-episode run (Season 4 premiered on December 9, and the finale will air Monday, December 23). As far as musical, family-friendly holiday fare is concerned, this is the way to do it. #TeamHomeFree
This Comedy Bang! Bang! bit explains why Santa not only ate all the milk and cookies, but raided our stash of pot, drank our scotch, and polished off a whole Costco-sized tub of Goldfish crackers.
Homeland closed out its rocky season with a moving, table-clearing finale
Okay technically this one's not a full-on FTW, as there's a lot to complain about with regard to Homeland's third season, and even the season finale itself. But "The Star" was a nice way to clean up the mess and move forward into the unknown future. It was time for Brody to go, and the "four months later" coda seemed to bring Carrie back to some semblance of normalcy (the return of writer Meredith Stiehm certainly didn't hurt). We can't deny that we're interested to see where the show goes next.
SNL with Fallon and Timberlake
We've come to expect the sketch show's annual Christmas episode to have a little extra oomph, and thankfully—or maybe we should say "predictably"?—the Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake pairing delivered. There were plenty of highlights, from the "Wrappinville" opening and Timberlake doing his best Fallon impression in "Family Feud: Celebrity Edition" to the "Let's Do It in My Twin Bed" music video and the excellent take on "Baby It's Cold Outside." All in all, a good way to end the year.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?