FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (December 9)

GUYS! GUYS! There's only like *counts* 16 days left for Christmas shopping and like zero days left for Hannukah shopping and like 17 days left for Kwanzaa shopping and like 14 days left for Festivus shopping! But here's a holiday gift idea that will never fail! Print out this article, fold it over on itself twice, put a bow on it, and give it to a loved one. Then you can hold it over their heads and remind them, "Remember in 2012 when I gave you that printed out version of TV.com's FTWTF from December 9, 2012, and you didn't give me anything? Go get me a burrito now." Command-P, try it.

So to you, future gift recipient who pulls this out in the future to show your friends the worst holiday gift you ever received EVER, here are the best and worst things on television from the week of December 2-8, 2012!


FTW



"You Missed a Spot," a new single by Dalia Royce


The jewel of Suburgatory's Christmas episode was Dalia's "Friday"-esque musical plea for Carmen to return to the Royce residence (yes, there was a nod to "Gangnam Style," too). Carly Chaikin, you're simply amazing. Bonus FTW status goes to Ryan's Planet of the Apes reaction to finding out he's adopted.



Vanity Fair's Freaks and Geeks oral history, with old and new pics


This fascinating recounting of Freaks and Geeks is like looking at an old yearbook of one of TV's greatest high-school shows. It also reminds us of how big a crush we had on Lindsay Weir!



These Breaking Bad cupcakes


What's cute and fluffy and reminds you of meth and murder? These yummy little treats gifted to the cast and crew of Breaking Bad by AMC. (From Aaron Paul's Instagram)



The Governor-Michonne throwdown in the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead


The show might rely on blood and gore like it's going out of style, but we can't recall a more brutal physical encounter between two people on television this year. Maybe this one should be in the WTF category, because that's certainly what we were screaming at the top of our lungs as the visceral affair unfolded in terrifyingly methodical fashion, with severed zombie heads chomping like snapping turtles. And it was bookended by fantastic character moments when The Governor saw his precious Penny at katana-point and Andrea and Michonne had their staredown.



Piano Man tells us how he REALLY feels on Glee


Losing sectionals prematurely ended the competition season and sent the usual denizens of the choir room scattering, including the seen-but-never-heard Piano Man: “I hate those kids! Do you know how demeaning it is when they say ‘Hit it!’ and you’re just supposed to know what song they’re going to sing?!”



The Vampire Diaries salvages that unappealing sire-bond plotline


We were dubious when last week's episode revealed that Elena was sire-bonded to Damon, but our fears about this dead-end narrative were laid to rest this week when it became clear that the writers themselves saw it as a non-issue. Add to that a minimalistic, truly moving final scene, and it's clear we had no reason to worry. Damon and Elena are happening and the world continues spinning ever onward.



Hobbit Week on The Colbert Report

There was a new opening sequence featuring Mordhattan and the Brook Lands, plus a hobbit hole on the set! Stephen Colbert wore prosthetic hobbit feet! Lots of people from the movie came on the show as guests! Fun stuff.



Bravo is Developing a TV version of Death Becomes Her

If it's at least half as good as Teen Wolf (and contains no Real Housewives cameos), sign us up!



WTF



The Mindy Project dumps Stephen Tobolowsky


The prolific actor was the victim of a show overhaul that also saw a few other characters fired or demoted. But the first law of television states, "The less Tobolowsky, the worse." All these changes already? Who does The Mindy Project think it is, Up All Night?



Everything that is happening on Gossip Girl right now


If you thought Gossip Girl couldn't get any worse after the last time you watched it (whenever that was), you were wrong. A show that used to be one of the "buzziest" and "trendiest" series on the air is now zombie-limping to a conclusion with high-stakes stories involving microfilm, cooked books, and typewriters. Well, everyone is still awful, so we guess one thing hasn't changed since 2008.



Amanda Brown got sent home on The Voice


She was robbed! ROBBED!



Dual-screen TV watching may lead to depression


A new study from Michigan State University reveals that the more you use devices like phones and tablets while watching TV, the more likely you are to be depressed. While it's never a good idea to assume causation with these sorts of studies, we'd like to encourage you to stop tweeting and Facebooking during your favorite shows just in case. But you should totally keep using TV.com while you watch because we guarantee happy feel-goods if you do.



American Horror Story: Asylum somehow made a Santa-on-nun assault UNfun to watch


We like our over-the-top grand guignol set pieces as much as the next horror fan, but something about this week's Christmas-themed episode of AHS just didn't sit well. It was possibly the unrelenting psychological hostage-murder of the cold open, or perhaps the brutal, S&M-laced; beating of Jessica Lange's character by a psycho Santa, but in its season-long attempts to skirt the line of tastelessness, the show may have spent too much time on the wrong side of the line this week.



That unfortunate Skype product placement on Homeland


It's saying something when one of Homeland's most insane episodes yet is nearly derailed by a product placement: Abu Nazir uses Skype! Was that really the context in which you wanted your product featured, Mr. Skype? And does Skype even work on BlackBerrys?


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

Comments (74)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Only WTF: The 'Best of 2012' polls!
Reply
Flag
FTW: "You missed a spot in my heart, heart heart heart heart heart.."
Reply
Flag
Freaks and Geeks!
Breaking Bad Cupcakes looked amazing!
The Governor and Michonne showdown was interesting!
I thought Briarcliff's santa was entertaining!
Reply
Flag
"You Missed a Spot" for the win for life! I cannot say how genius that story line was.
Reply
Flag
Another FTW: David Letterman receiving the Kennedy Center Honors.
Reply
Flag
WTF on my list: why the hell didn't Kitty get axed from Glee club for manipulating Marley into becoming bulemic? and why were the others being so hard on Marley for fainting? I mean, come on!
1
Reply
Flag
amen sister friend! i couldn;t decide which pissed me off more, that kitty got no repercussions for what she did to marley OR that marley;s eating disorder wasn;t dealt with AT ALL and tina actually had the audacity to make her feel worse about herself! this isn;t like the other "big issues" they cover, marley;s problem isn;t going to just go away
1
Reply
Flag
Wtf Moment: Why Kurt didn't get in NYADA last year.
Reply
Flag
The product placement on Elementary was way worse though...
3
Reply
Flag
Are those BB cupcakes safe for consumption???
I HATE product placement, come on Homeland, you better then that!
1
Reply
Flag
Mmmhmmm, cupcakes...

Someone in Legal is going to experience apoplexia tomorrow morning over the "Dual-screen TV watching may lead to depression" post that includes pseudo-advice. Quick, tag on your medical recommendations disclaimer before some litigious jerk gets any ideas!
1
Reply
Flag
FTW: You can clearly tell the difference when it's Emily Kapnek herself writing a Suburgatory episode. No one else seems to go as far into Looney Tunes zone as she does and the series is better that way.

WTF: ABC putting Suburgatory on hiatus to make 20/20 longer for the next few weeks while everybody else on the same night gets to stay.
1
Reply
Flag
I liked this weeks episode of american horror story...
4
Reply
Flag
FTW: Delena on TVD and the 1940s flashbacks in this week's ep.

FTW: Benny turning out to be a good guy and not being killed off... yet

FTW: Basically everything on The Walking Dead.

FTWTF: Dean's number swap. It was a cold move but I gotta give it to him that it was a clever one. I'm loving this new Dean.

WTF: Sam/Amelia's flashbacks/storyline. And I'd like to quote MaryAnn's response to this: "REALLY?! THAT'S IT?!" That was my exact response to the reveal (if you could call it that).

WTF: Sam's hypocrisy regarding Benny.

WTF: Nearly all my fave shows going on break.
1
Reply
Flag
100% with ya on homeland's product placement. Completely ruined my immersion in the episode when Brody starts shouting (including a few 'Nazir!'s here and there) at his voice call while trying to be sneaky felt like completely BS.

And for what? Skype? who uses Skype these days?


... or blackberrys for that matter
Reply
Flag
My biggest FTW this week is Patricia Arquette's incredible performance on SVU. Win within a win is the episode's fantastic cold open. Thanks for the link to Vanity Fair's Freaks & Geeks' articles. Interesting stuff.
1
Reply
Flag
Dalia Royce's song was so funny. Love Suburgatory. I do find myself surfing the net while watching television these days.
1
Reply
Flag
The biggest WTF this week is the "Best of 2012" polls at this site. The site administrators decided in their infinite wisdom to not only allow multiple votes, but to encourage it. Some people have submitted hundreds of votes for their favorite just by going vote, refresh, vote, refresh, vote,... And others are using scripts to do this automatically. After a while, tvDOTcom had to set a limit of 20 votes per IP address per second to prevent script kids from overloading the system. (This is according to a web page that I found thanks to another member here, DalePeters). The results will clearly have nothing to do with who's the best of 2012.

Another site-related WTF is that comments that contain a dot (.) followed by "com" get deleted instantly and automatically. I don't know when this started. Probably a month or two ago, when a bunch of other things were changed, because that's when I started noticing posts that complained about other posts disappearing. Hey tvDOTcom, don't you think there's a better way to handle this? If you don't want to allow links, then replace them with asterisks or something, but don't make it look like the post was successful when in fact it's already been deleted.
More+
6
Reply
Flag
One more thing about the site... I keep getting notifications that say that some comment I've made has been voted up, and when I get there, it doesn't have a single thumb up
2
Reply
Flag
This comment has been removed.
Reply
Flag
I support kicking Tobolowsky. Not only am I certain he wasn't in any episode after the pilot, but he added nothing to The Mindy Project. Long may he recur on Californication, however.

I didn't notice the product placement on Homeland, thank goodness. Of course I wasn't aware "skype" was proprietary and not just the tern given to video chat in general. Seriously, wasn't that a $20 trac-fone though? I found that more unsettling.
Reply
Flag
In line with the Skype in Homeland, how about that Windows 8/Surface placement in Elementary?
3
Reply
Flag
Or Subugatory the week before? That was painful.
Reply
Flag
Surburgatory's was the only one that I didn't mind because I know a few sixteen year old girls and, well, thirty year old guys who seem to love their tablets more than actually talking to family members.
Reply
Flag
I think The CW's got it worse with all the Bing/Windows 8/Surface product placement everywhere.
Reply
Flag
Who cares about placements like that? I didn't notice the one in Homeland and I didn't see the one in Elementary, but isn't it more annoying when all computers in a tv show is using an operating system that's unique to that show? A Windows product placement might make us think "hey that computer is using Windows", but the alternative is to let us think "ah, they weren't able to get Microsoft to pay for a Windows product placement". This option is no less disturbing.

Someone complained that some Hyundai cars were used in The Walking Dead a couple of weeks ago. I remember noticing the "H" symbol on one car, but that's it. When a product placement isn't more obvious than that, I have absolutely no problem with it.
3
Reply
Flag
I care because it means the show is selling itself out to advertisers. That compromises the quality because those advertisers then get a say in how the episode is put together.
Reply
Flag
There's no need for you to cry and moan like a child. Feel free to take your viewership elsewhere. You're free to do that, and the rest of us are free to ridicule your childish attitudes when you express them in a public forum.
Reply
Flag
You sound like a three-year-old. You don't think advertisers might be able to influence programming just through buying commercials? As long as an episode doesn't completely stop to run a full-fledged ad in the middle of the story (i.e., Hawaii Five-0 and Subway last season), I don't have any more of a problem with product placement than TV characters not going to bathroom or not growing beards after being missing for days. If a company is going to donate its wares for use in a show, do you really expect the show to obscure the company's logos?
1
Reply
Flag
There's really no reason to sling insults. I know how the industry works; that doesn't mean I have to like it or tolerate it in the shows I watch. It's tacky. I've come to expect a certain amount of tact, which was absent in this episode. If shows choose to sell out so blatantly, I'll take my viewership elsewhere.
Flag
Based on AriSky's comment, I'd say AriSky cares about product plcements like that...And the winner for reading & comprehension goes to...someone other than you.
Reply
Flag
How exactly did I fail at reading & comprehension?
Reply
Flag
I agree with everything on this list.
Reply
Flag
I didn't mind the Skype product-placement on Homeland. For a second there, it was a bit jarring to see the actual word/logo on my screen, but frankly, I expect people to Skype. Maybe I shouldn't expect terrorists to do so, but well, I've never met one and wont act like I know what it is they think or do, hehe.
2
Reply
Flag
FTW: Girls night in VD, Emma and Snow return to Storybrook in OUaT, Skinwalker surfaces in Haven to torment Audrey, Peter removes his tech in Fringe.

WTF: Santa's episode of AHS.
1
Reply
Flag
Dalia pulled it off! srsly!
1
Reply
Flag
FTW: That flashback in the end of the Fringe episode.
1
Reply
Flag
It's what I've always said: we want more of Dalia. It's ridiculous that she can be absent for whole episodes.

And that article on Freaks and Geeks was really great. Thanks for that.
3
Reply
Flag
Dalia IS amazing. I nearly died of laughter when they showed the clip.
2
Reply
Flag
FTW: Bear going into attack mode on POI
FTW: The Machine on POI showing us the HR tree it was making.
FTW: The Santa Clause Episode of Castle. Way too funny
WTF: The Amy/Sheldon thing on TBBT funny at first but after a while it got way creepy near the end of the episode.
WTF: The mid season finale of OUAT.
WTF: The Stupid mystery on Elementary along with the surprise ex boy friend making an appearance.
and last but by no means least
WTF: NBC announces that Grimm will not return until SPRING OF 2013!!!!!
So not happy with NBC right now.
1
Reply
Flag
I second your "Bear going into attack mode" nomination; it's about time the attack dog did something. Outside of Reese's dialogue in the first half being almost entirely exposition, I thought "C.O.D." was one of the better episodes of Season 2 so far (plus I'm not really a fan of Carter and Fosco actively backing up Reese in full-fledged gunfights).
Reply
Flag
No one is ever happy with NBC. All the good shows on that network are benched until Feb-March of 2013. I miss Community...
Reply
Flag
WTF: Kitty totally getting off the hook for being a bitch and hurting Marley
FTW: Sister Mary Eunice and the Briarcliff tree.
2
Reply
Flag
Regarding the TVD thing. The writers are only saying it is a non-issue because they lack the capacity for consistency. Tyler's recent words said there was no affect on his emotions fro siring. Tyler's past actions proved that is not the case, it caused him to sing Klaus's praises.

Also, the writers of TVD are not the arbiters of all that is good and right. It is has been made clear in numerous ways that they have a complete disregard for the loss of a persons free will. Also, it was still an episode dedicated almost entirely to the shitty love triangle. Not salvaged. Not at all.

And that final scene was far from moving, it was revolting. That was two characters enabling each others delusions in order to satisfy their preconceived beliefs. It was essentially a victim and an abuser saying "the outside world doesn't understand our relationship, but we know its right". I'm not saying they don't have real feelings for each other. So do the battered wife and the wife-beater every time they run that same scene when she comes back from the hospital.

The ONLY hope for them to salvage that story line now is for the other characters to point out how extremely wrong Tyler was and how extremely sick their decision to not get rid of the bond was. Mind you, that would require more on-screen time wasted on shipping matters, so personally, I'd rather they just cut their losses and drop it. They can retcon it like the crow and the snowfall and Tyler's feelings about Klaus and 1500 other things.
More+
4
Reply
Flag
It'll be okay. As long as Stefan gets out of the triangle and focuses on the more entertaining storyline this season.
Reply
Flag
Damn it all. Now I'm tempted to hatewatch.
Reply
Flag
I agree with you. but don't say that to any fan girls they will rip your head off lol
1
Reply
Flag
FTW:
-Bonnie and Elena on TVD. Basically anytime their characters don't suck it's a win.
-Revenge. It's Revenge.
-Beth Riesgraf guest starring on Criminal Minds.
-High Kristina on Parenthood. Sure, it speaks volumes about you when you're only likeable when you're high, but stoned Kristina is the best Kristina.
-Lana Parilla. She's brilliant with her beautiful crying, and evil awesomeness, and reluctant heroism on OUAT.
FTW/WTF:
-On one hand TGW FINALLY got rid of Kalinda's ex hubby. Yay! On the other hand they alluded to her maybe, sorta, kinda killing them but didn't show her actually doing it. I'm not a violent or sadistic person however I wanted to see her off the guy, for symbolic reasons. If you could show us the hate sex and turn me off of soft serve cones for a month then you can show her being badass and capping her ex hubby. I'm just sayin.
-Scandal... Or shall I say what the huck? I ain't buying it. Nope refuse to believe it. My sociopathic/socially inept trained killer spy would never...

WTF:
-Glee. It isn't working anymore with the former kids hanging around the new kids and the recycled plots. Mini Quinn torturing mini Rachel who is being shared with the frenemies mini Finn and Puck jr. Also please don't tell me Sam is falling for Brittany and it's for realsies this time, while he dismisses how it was legit with Mercedes,and Santana, and Quinn. Why couldn't they just be the cutesy dimwitted blond bobbsey twin friends?
-The return of Season 1 Caroline. It's not a delena v stelena thing. It's straight up regression of a character totally not being handled appropriately thing.. I don't like it. She's half of a ship called Forwood. Forward movement Caroline. Stop the regression and/or stunting of a character.
-Criminal Minds. They've been upping the ante on the violence and gore but I draw the line at spending two minutes watching a woman's shoulders be twisted out of her sockets. I was traumatized.
More+
2
Reply
Flag
Just caught up with Scandal. I prefer to think that Huck was watching the hitman and not being the hitman, but Shondra's been known to sacrifice good characters before for little payoff.

Maaaybe he shot the president first to throw off the real hitman, and the real hitman shot the Japanese woman. Huck's good enough to pull that off. I can't see him walking away from this any other way.
Reply
Flag
I was thinkin something like that too. Like he was really there to try and take out the actual sniper or something. I just can't believe that he would actually do that, he avoids intentionally hurting Olivia for starters, it seemed amateurish at best with the red hoodie and taking five shots w/o actually killing the "target" (I still think the Asian chick was the real target)...plus if he was going to fall off the wagon he'd do something that wold require getting his hands a bit more dirty because my boy likes torturing folks a bit too much. Limited satisfaction in long distance shooting...for someone like him. I'd think. Something has to give because I love Huck and I need him to not be wanted for attempted murder of the leader of the free world.
Reply
Flag
FTW/WTF: -Scandal... Or shall I say what the huck?

Agree or disagree, I just have to say, 2 weeks in a row this show leaves me breathless and speechless with the final 15 seconds. Oh. My. Stars. Killin' it. I can see Huck doing it, though his reasons are not immediately obvious. I recall in an epi earlier this season a scene in which Olivia tells Huck there is nothing he could do that would change her feelings for him, and after the shock began to thaw, that is the first thing that popped into my mind.
Reply
Flag
I'm biased because I absolutely adore Huck and I can't let myself believe that he would binge on whiskey like that. I just can't have anything interfere with the weird but amazing relationship between him and Olivia that I absolutely adore, and it's Huck. I just can't. Not my Huck. But YES it is great drama. I love this soapy show. I love it to pieces. It's pretty much one of the ultimate guilty pleasures. They do kill it.Every week.
Reply
Flag
I love your reason for Revenge. "It's Revenge" and that's all that needs to be said. FTW
2
Reply
Flag
That's not much of a reason these days, the show is all over the place and needs some retooling.
1
Reply
Flag
I gotta disagree. I think Season 2 has been just as good and as fun as Season 1.
Reply
Flag
Skype's got a specific version for Blackberry, but only if Verizon is your provider.
Reply
Flag
Why is Microsoft pushing Skype though? It already has become a verb "Hey, Let's skype later". Are they thinking of some new way of monetizing it? I hope not..
Reply
Flag
Gossip girl needs Nazir to convince them to suicide bomb themselves. or at least send some AHS-monsters their way. don't agree with AHS in the wtf-section tho, really liked sister nun kicking some santa ass. For the rest: agree with all of the above.
WTF: once upon a time's prison scene? really, writings on a paper and ur looking for INK? Emma's acting was also awful.
FTW: New Girl: jess & winston being meth-heads. Also, happy endings, Alex <3.
Reply
Flag
That Dalia thing is awful.
Reply
Flag
Not really
4
Reply
Flag
FTW: The Last Word's use of the "28 Days Theme" over a montage of the debate over the fiscal cliff 28 days out. An inspired choice, and I wonder how many MSNBC viewers picked up on the reference. Finch's confrontation with Demon 8 on Person of Interest. The first half of this week's Elementary, in which Detective Bell was actually interesting. WTF: The last act of this week's Elementary, in which Holmes is trying to save a battered wife from deportation. Sorry, I watch procedurals to see crimes solved and villains punished, not to see the heroes help people--not compelling at all (although I didn't mind the B-story with Watson's old flame).
Reply
Flag
"Sorry, I watch procedurals to see crimes solved and villains punished, not to see the heroes help people--not compelling at all (although I didn't mind the B-story with Watson's old flame)." What a marvelously convoluted statement. I think I actually had to reset my head a couple of times trying to wrap my mind around it. Maybe my dyslexia is now encompassing ideas as well as words and numbers, which is why that blew my mind. Perhaps the holidays are scrambling my circuits.

I don't mind a little serving of heroes helping people with my crime solving and villain punishing, so long as it isn't too corny (which is why POI is just awesomeness). I kinda thought Holmes seemed less robotic upon learning he had a compulsive aversion to seeing a mother and child separated. Makes me wonder why we've never heard mention of his mother (have we? I forget.).
Reply
Flag
FTW: FRINGE IS BACK!
5
Reply
Flag
Yeah, now if Tim gets around to reviewing it...
5
Reply
Flag
I'm sure he's busy buying me presents and creating the TOP100 list. It will be here shortly I think. They must be afraid of what FringeFanatic would do, so it will be here.
1
Reply
Flag
Stephen Tobolowsky irritates me, The Mindy Project is better without him and with the New Male Nurse! The Skype placement doesn't bother me, Brody screaming at Nazir in the VP's office was bothering me.
2
Reply
Flag
Lindsay Weir? Psshhh I was all about Daniel Desario. As was literally EVERYONE else, male or female, gay or straight.
2
Reply
Flag
Eww. No.
1
Reply
Flag
Mmm. Yes.

Ok, can we agree on Nick Whatever-his-last-name-was? C'mon, Jason Segel is adorable AND funny.
Reply
Flag
Yeah, okay.
1
Reply
Flag
You guys need to just stop putting the product placement things in the WTF list. These shows don't have a choice, it has to be done and most shows are actually making the best of it like New Girl and the ford car. Would you rather see your favorite show cancelled without the funding from these spots?
4
Reply
Flag
And yet when the placement is as jarring as Homeland's was this week, surely it is WTF worthy.
2
Reply
Flag
FTW:
Richie Sambora as the house band on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Watching Stephen Colbert geek out to the extreme about The Hobbit.
Charlie excelling at social gaming in It's Always Sunny.
Go On's end of the world party, trip to wine country, John Cho's imitation of Matthew McConaughey.


WTF:
Showing Sheldon spanking Amy on Big Bang Theory instead of just alluding to it.
The Clone Wars episode about nothing.
4
Reply
Flag
Haha, I would actually put the spanking on the FTW list. :)
2
Reply
Flag
This right here folks... I like the way you think !
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook