FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (January 13)

It's almost like TV never took any time off for the holidays—all of a sudden our DVRs are packed again. So let's talk about some of it, shall we? Here's what we thought was awesome and less so on the boob tube this week...


FTW



Jimmy Kimmel goes all-out for his move to 11:35pm but forgets to book his own studio


We'll buy knives from Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling any day.



"Edith with Googly Eyes"


In honor of Downton Abbey's return to the States, a simple yet effective way of bringing the lulz to the Crawley estate.



A good week for soap opera fans


Soaps on American daytime TV are a dying breed, but a few rays of sunlight peeked through the dark clouds this week: NBC renewed Days Of Our Lives through 2014, and the series aired its 12,000th (!) episode on Jan. 11. Elsewhere, the studio Prospect Park managed to reach an agreement with various unions to revive canceled sudsers All My Children and One Live to Live. They'll air on the forthcoming web-only Online Network, and production on both shows will begin in February.



Fusco's side trip with a model


In this week's excellent episode of Person of Interest, Detective Fusco made the most out of a few minutes of screen time scattered throughout the busy hour as he became a hero to real-life supermodel Karolina Kurkova. We only checked in on Fusco when Finch called him because he needed something, but every time that phone rang, Fusco was either getting maced, shot at, or kissed on the lips by the damsel he'd just saved. Person of Interest may be known as an action procedural, but it can be damn funny too.



This year's Puppy Bowl is going to have hedgehog cheerleaders


ZOMG.



B.J.'s fake news broadcast on Ben and Kate


The running gag of B.J. lying to her mother (Jane Seymour) about all her career accomplishments was funny enough, but then we got to SEE a fake news broadcast she'd made in her garage to pull off a particularly egregious lie... and it was pretty amazing. From B.J's bad anchorwoman hair to Ben's terrible weatherman routine, we would DEFINITELY watch an entire episode of just that.



Game of Thrones' stylish new Season 3 teaser


For a promo includes nary a second of new footage, this "their world comes to ours" clip is admirable for at least doing something original—you know, instead of just recycling old scenes and adding "just wait 'til you see what happens next!" in the voiceover. Plus we're always happy to hear The National's rendition "The Rains of Castamere." Now go eat some pigeons, three-eyed raven!



Speaking of Game of Thrones, check out the Stark kids' latest take on the show's intro


Last year they sang the theme song to the HBO hit on the Season 1 DVD set; this year they're freestyling and beat-boxing over it. Frickin' adorable. Someone please invent a pill that keeps these kids the same age forever.



The camera work of American Horror Story: Asylum's "Spilt Milk"


The series has always been stylish and polished, but in particular this week's stellar episode was streets ahead artistically. Swooping camera movements, outrageous angles, gorgeous compositions—it was almost enough to distract us from how satisfyingly (and surprisingly) the storylines have started to wrap up.



The Vampire Diaries' first official spin-off, The Originals


This announcement just seemed like a no-brainer to us: TVD has too many characters, and many of them are too excellent to kill off. And now boom! Klaus, his siblings, and Phoebe Tonkin get their own show! We couldn't be more excited about this, but we'll admit to a bit of anxiety... will TVD be hurt by a lack of Joseph Morgan? Either way, this is good news for fans of insanely entertaining television.



WTF



The Office's return from hiatus makes us itch


There's nothing like a weak return after a hiatus to make you realize how good a show used to be. "Lice" certainly had its moments, but a whole cold open about Jim biting his lip? Darryl wanting to break up with Val after fighting so hard for her? Seeing the bug bomb joke TWICE—and after NBC gave it away in episode promos, no less? It's the last season; we just want the show to go out on a high decent note, you know? Oh well, at least Meredith looks kinda good as a bald lady...



The Big Bang Theory just doesn't get it


The Penny-and-the-girls-discover-comic-books storyline wasn't as bad as it initially sounded, but really? Really? They're women, not space aliens. Just one extra with ladyparts hanging around the back stacks of Stu's shop would have been nice. Just one.



Nashville's Ranya and Juliet are just now going on that tour


In the wonderful pilot of ABC's country music drama, the primary tension was the probability of a tour that would bring together the show's two main characters, the fading star Rayna James (Connie Britton) and the up-and-comer Juliet Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). The women certainly didn't want to spend time together in the same small dressing room, let alone the same big arenas. And yet, even though the pilot suggested this big conflict, and ABC marketed the hell out of said conflict, it was only this week, at the end of Episode 9, that the show got around to putting the ladies on those tour buses. While the writers have managed to get solid material out of delaying the inevitable, they've still been delaying the inevitable; here's hoping the back-half of Season 1 can consistently reach the quality the pilot promised.



A sad farewell to a California legend


This one's actually a WTFRIP: Huell Howser, host of the PBS show California's Gold who in the past has been "honored" by standup comics and The Simpsons, passed away this week. Howser was a totally unaffected television personality whose enthusiasm for learning everything about the California landmarks he visited, no matter how trivial, made for enriching television. His programs were full of accidental comedy and information, and whether viewers made fun of him or took him seriously, everyone respected his sincerity. We'll miss you, Huell.



ABC's out-of-order airing of its two best comedies


On one hand, we're all for getting to see two episodes of Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 each week. On the other, we're super annoyed that ABC is not only probably burning them off, but airing them out of order. Don't Trust the B----'s sequence was especially bad this week, what with June's job switch and Mark seemingly time-traveling to the past.



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

Comments (41)
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CBS you are spoiling us! Amazing new episodes from the 2 best shows on TV:
Person of Interest (16 million viewers last week!) and NCIS (new record for viewers at 21+ million). They both earned these figures turning in stunning new episodes beautifully written & acted week after week.
These 2 shows pull the top 5 largest audiences every week for network TV. You'd think awards shows (People's Choice, Golden Globes, Emmy's, etc) would give them ANY acknowledgement - but they continue to be 100% snubbed So. Our family & friends are snubbing these awards programs 100%.
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Could B.J.'s news anchor lady be a sort of nod to Holly Ellenbogen (probably spelling that wrong) of CBS's (criminally) short-lived sitcom The Class? That was definitely the first time I became aware of Lucy and that bit definitely made me think of that show.
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I genuinely laughed out loud every time Fusco appeared on screen with that supermodel. Brilliant episode of Person Of Interest and a brilliant comic turn by the actor, Kevin Chapman.
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I'm a Carolina and Klaus "SHIPPER"... But I'm totally in for this spin off!
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I am really annoyed with the the ABC comedy thing, it can't even be justified by saying well you watch reruns. But that is just it, we are still getting to know all these characters (Apt. 23 especially since that show is really about how Chloe is not really a bitch but a self obsessed party girl who will stand up for her friends, how June likes to play the wide eyed mid western but she actually has a fun dark edge to her, etc.)

I am also worried about this spin off idea, both for the missing element on TVD (though streamlined that show would be good) and that, well, I like Klaus and Rebekkah, but unless you can promise be Elijiah, I am not too excited. I had really liked the idea, back when he was still alive, of Alaric taking Jeremy away and they resume vampire hunting and protecting Mystic Falls from outsiders, they would both have connections to the characters on TVD but they wouldn't be so important to them that you have to remember that you have a storyline going to impact the other show. I always thought it was one of the weaknesses of Angel, that they had to address or deal with things on Buffy (like sort of nothing when she died, but when she returned Angel disappears for awhile and we don't see it).

I liked the BBT and, well, you can see my opinion on that recap.
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FTW: Elementary - The show has risen above it's snarky procedural roots over the past few weeks and has done an excellent job of tying the, up until this point, fairly disjoint pieces together. The introduction of Irene Adler and Moriarty were well done and provided a context for Holmes addiction and move to New York.
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FTW - an excellent episode of NCIS with a gripping ending.
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I'm still not sure how to treat this Klaus spin-off news but it seems not very good to me. TVD w/o Klaus will def. turn into Gone with the Wind - all love triangle drama and no funny originals distractions.
And - with all due respect to the Originals - I'm not sure I want to delve into their storylines so much? Flashbacks are quite enough for me. I just don't see how they're going to wrap it up.
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the way networks like to air comedies out of order has always annoyed me, but Apt 23 was even worse.. they had 13 episodes for season 1 but only aired a handful and held the rest off and are mixing them in season 2 and totally screwing up any story telling that is going on.. atleast Happy Endings' episode tonight was pretty standalone so it didn't seem too out of place, considering it was actually supposed to be episode 21 of season 2...

I can live without Apt 23, but ABC cancelling Happy Endings will be the biggest WTF when that happens.
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FTW: The whole episode of POI and Klaus spin-off
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FTW:
- Fringe is back and back with a bang!
- Everything on PoI. That was a spectacular episode.
WTF:
- Only 1 week of Fringe left. Depression imminent.

Also, I love that the term "streets ahead" was used even out of Community's context :)
Apparently, Pierce was successful.
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"Streets ahead" wasn't invented by the writers of Community. Its actually a pretty standard term, perhaps only over here in Britain.

"Streets behind" was the real pay-off of the joke as that isn't a term at all
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Interesting, thanks :)
At least Pierce made that term popular (somewhat) in the US as well
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Omy, yes, I was watching Don't Trust the B and I was wondering why James VDB didn't remind Mark about last week's episode where he was obsessed with June, and her in her apron. I thought I was remembering something wrong. Horrible.
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FIW: Elementary and Fusco on POI
WTF: Still pissed Last Resort was cancelled... the last episode was amazing
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Love the idea of a spin off for the originals but that kind of sucks for the people shipping Caroline and Klaus.
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FTW: Person of Interest new absolutely, totally awesome epi - yay!!
Justified is back
Fringe epi (finally!!!)
WTF: TVD spinoff? Seriously, as if the real thing wasn't enough
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FTW: Tessa/Dalia's, George/Dallas' dance off in Suburgatory.
Jon Stewart's gun control talk.
Revenge, with an episode which was reminescent of Season 1's procedural format.
Justified's season premiere.
WTF: Two and a Half Men's "You're a Douche" song, broadway style.
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"Pierce, stop trying to coin the phrase 'Streets Ahead!'" (Honestly, the camera work on American Horror Story this week was outstanding)
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You pointed out one of the main reasons I can't watch The Big Bang Theory. Its sense of "cool" vs "nerd" is so ridiculously outdated it's painful. The stereotypes are way too severe on that show.
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I totally disagree with the WTF of Big Bang. It is a parody show. I don't hear you shouting and bemoaning when Malibu Country parodies country stereotypes or for that fact OC up tight people. All shows have those stereotypical moments that either make it funny or not. I personally think you take too much offense to BBT because as a geek you feel it doesn't portray what you feel should be geeky. Stop complaining, seems the general public loves the show. Also as a geek, myself I get the humor. I laugh at it because it is a theatrical show about geeks.
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Where is your rage that Fusco (from POI) is the typical bad cop on the NYPD? Or Reese is the typical CIA Assassin that has wrecked every relation he has been in, is lonely, and is haunted by his past. Should NYPD cops be upset about Fusco or CIA agents be offended by Reese?
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I think you're reading too much into it. Would it have killed the show to have ONE female extra in the background looking through comics? No. It would not have detracted from the scene in the cool vs geeky scheme of things. It would have made that girl look like she was part of the geeky side of the line. So, for them to not even include ONE extra that was of the female variety was lame. Simple.

Reese and Fusco are not speaking for all CIA Assassins and Bad Cops everywhere. But when you have someone in a show go to a public place with a certain "type" of people... there would be no death or harm to make sure that the "type" of people you're portraying isn't totally inaccurate.

As you can see, this is not a beef with the characters in Big Bang (as you apparently have a beef with Reese and Fusco?); it is more of an annoyance at the showrunner for thinking that the term "comic book geek" is males only.
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I am sorry but I collect comics and the shops in my City very rarely have any women in them.
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That's cool. I know a lot of women that collect comics but they rarely go to the shops. My ex would have me pick them up or order them online. She never liked the the shops, always a little odd.
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Whenever I go to my comic book shops, there's always at least one woman in there. But, I am a woman, so that's kind of a given. Besides me, though, there's sometimes a female employee, but to be honest, my comic book shop is usually empty when I go in there.

However, when we had the illustrator here for the Amazing Spiderman, there were a lot of females. We all started to talk about Buff the Vampire Slayer (he was also an artist for the comic book series as well), and the crowd just continued to grow... The majority was women.

My guess is that it depends on your store and your location, so I stick by my guns by saying that it was totally lame not to have at least one female in the background. Because, as we know, sitcoms are meant to be extremely exaggerated characters dropped into real world (generalized) situations.
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FTW: A dejected Sheldon agreeing with Howard and Leonard that they should return home. That scene was played surprisingly dramatic and not over the top at all. This week's Elementary in general and the humor the episode managed to wring out of M's obsession with soccer, as well as Sherlock's repetition of Watson's line about missing this, in particular.
WTF: The totally superfluous summary at the beginning of The Mentalist, which told viewers almost nothing that wasn't covered in the opening scene between Lisbon and the judge. Lisbon on The Mentalist and Agent Donnelly on Person of Interest both referring to someone as having been hung rather than hanged (I assume TV writers took high school English classes). The guys on TBBT referring to themselves as a landing party rather than an away team.
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FTW: The entire episode of POI was beyond amazing
FTW: Fusco on POI was Hilarious, amazing and all out wonderful
FTW: Bear on POI when he heard Reese's voice
FTW: The shocking awesome episode of Elementary and the introduction of Moriarty
WTF: The Mid Season Episode of Once Upon a Time very disappointing.
WTF: Castle acting like the jerk that we all know and love by not making up his mind and telling his ex-wife that she couldn't stay at his place.
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I agree the episode of Person of Interest was off the hook!
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FTW: Jack getting his much deserved victory over Hit-Girl and GOB on 30 Rock.
WTF: The diving thing - I don't know why I watched it, I never watch things like that, I've never seen a second of Jersey Shore or Real Housewives which contributed to 95% of the 'celebrities', but something about it sounded alluring. Not only was it incredibly dull, it promised the High Dive but they never even went off the 10 metre (=11 and a bit yards for you imperialists) board. Pathetic!
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I would have swapped the TVD spin-off (big WTF having Hayley on there and not Caroline) with The Big Bang Theory (FTW..episode was awesome).
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The two in this list I most agree with:
FTW -- Fusco on Person of Interest. Hilarious.
WTF -- The out-of-order airings of Don't Trust the Happy Endings from the B-- in Apt 23.

While their episodes weren't the best of their series or anything, Justified's season premiere and Go On's Mr. K being a rocket scientist were other FTWs for me.
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- I see where you come from for TBBT. All comics shop near my place (and there are a lot) have at least a third of female customer and part of their staff are girls too. A female extra, please.
Though the fact that girls (and guys) who aren't familiar with the world can react like that is fair.

FTW:
- I have to say, this week's NCIS was incredibly good like it hasn't been for a very very long time. (and I like the show)
- Scandal.
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I didn't see "The Big Bang Theory" as a WTF.

I've seen similar reactions from dudes when a hot chick walks into a comicbook shop. And when said chick appears to know what's going in the comic world... their imaginations run wild.

And as the for arguments between the 3 of them... I could see that. Especially when 2 of them are scientists and logic-minded and they're thrown into the world of illogical storytelling.
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FTW: Person of Interest in it's entiety! I love it when it actually makes it on the FTW list. Carter and Finch were badass. John was vulnerable. Fusco was freakin hysterical. And Bear was actually in the episode this time. Throw in an appearance of Elias and that damn ending with Kara. I was entertained from the moment Michael Emerson started talking about irrelevants to the time JLM and Lucy Liu graced my screen afterwards.
-Scandal!! They tortured my Huck. Fitz woke up. Mellie embraced her inner teenager and forged a signature. LOVED this episode.
- NCIS was INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! 9 years and the show only gets better with age. Cote De Pablo deserves an Emmy.
- TVD spinoff. The fans have been saying it since the Original siblings all shared the screen together. Fact is, they're too good not to be around but they have too many characters.
WTF:
-Sara Braverman on Parenthood. While she isn't my favorite, and I've always felt like she's growing up with her kids rather than actually raising them, but there was something super frustrating about her ex picking up that something (like getting his gf pregnant and having said gf get an abortion and dump him) was wrong with her son, and her being oblivious because she's too caught up in her love triangle. Not cool.
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Wow, not a good week for FTW here. No mention of the girls arguing over the meaning of picking up Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, in Big Bang Theory? No love for Raylan Givens stopping an armed criminal by shooting his car's airbag? Nothing for the return of Cougar Town? No shouting out for Max's hunt for his gay identity, or Alex's racist parrot dying of alcoholism on Happy Endings? I mean, seriously, are you guys even watching TV lately?

At least you got a WTF point for Darryl breaking up with Val for no good reason.
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FTW: Person of Interest! So much awesome in one episode.
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disagree with The Big Bang Theory just doesn't get it it was a great episode and very funny
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That's it. Time for the Stark kids to stop acting and getting themselves a record contract. They could be the next Beastie Boys. Maybe they could be called the Beastie Starks or Beastly Wolves.

I don't agree with Nashville being on the WTF list. In the beginning of the show I was a little confused with the lack of interaction between Rayna and Juliet, because I expected that to be the main thing in the show. But then I realized there was character building to be done first. I think that if the women had left on tour right away, the writers would have run out of material pretty quickly. We would also not have understood the motivations behind the women's behaviour on tour together without a proper introduction to their lives
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Agreed on Nashville... I'm actually a little worried that the tour will cause some of the great background characters to be marginalized. The cutaways to Deacon's tour are already feeling a bit forced, so I hope they can manage to bring him back into the primary plot soon.
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If "Game of Thrones" was a horrible show, that commentary right there (plus the one from last year) would completely make up for it. Since GoT is already awesome, that just gives us that many more reasons that we'll love the show for years to come.
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