Between the border-town murders in The Bridge, the women's-prison shower scenes in Orange Is the New Black, and that guy from 90210 chainsawing his way out of a shark's tummy in Sharknado, this was an unusually great week of television! But between a teenage electrical party in Under the Dome, no one dying in Siberia, and the typical summer drought, it was a typical terrible week of television! Which week of television will win—the good or the bad? Find out in another episode of FTW vs. WTF!
The network's take on Danish/Swedish series Broen/Bron steadily established character, tone, and a juicy plot at the careful pace of someone recently recovering from a vasectomy. Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger show promise in this classic story of two mismatched police detectives from opposite sides of the Juarez border who just might have a shot at nabbing a serial murderer... if they don't kill each other first. There's a lot to this world, though we wouldn't mind if Kruger toned down her take on Asperger's syndrome un poquito.
Click the embedded Vine video to play it and see one of TV's most-hated characters getting kisses from a cuddly baby dog.
True Blood notwithstanding, supernatural serials have mostly been gayer in tone than in practice (ahem, The Vampire Diaries). But from the beginning, Teen Wolf's been very cavalier in both regards, even seeing fit to include a popular gay jock character in Danny and a Season 2 action sequence set at a gay dance club. This week the show's gay no-big-dealness reached a new level when Danny had a shirtless-huggin' scene with Ethan, half of the twin-Voltron werewolf introduced as one of this season's villains. But rather than playing the moment as a joke or anything resembling sensationalism, Teen Wolf gave us a sweet and meaningful moment between two lesser characters, and its very casualness was downright important if we're looking at how gay couples have been portrayed in the past. This wasn't aggressively awkward like Kurt and Blaine's love scene on Glee, nor was it vapidly titillating like something on Queer as Folk. Nope, Teen Wolf's first all-male make-out scene was just as no big deal as the other shirtless hugs we've seen on this show, and in that way it was kind of a big deal.
Just ignore the obvious green screen, plz.
Turns out that Netflix didn't need to spend $100 million dollars, hire high-profile Oscar nominee directors, or make another White Guy Anti-Hero show to make an impact. Orange Is the New Black shows more promise in its early episodes than any of the company's other originals to date.
As with many of Syfy's feature "films," Sharknado was generally terrible and didn't make much sense. But that doesn't mean it wasn't fun! Because flying sharks! And also some wonderfully entertaining bad CGI and a shark getting cut in half lengthwise with a chainsaw (between that and Under the Dome's cow slice, 2013 is apparently the year of the bloodily bisected animal). And it's not every day that something starring Tara Reid trends on Twitter (even though way fewer people watched than the online chatter would have you believe). Don't worry if you missed it, though: Price was kind enough to photo-recap the carnage for you.
Grab your prozac, kids. Mike still hasn't made any progress investigating his mentor, and his handlers are getting grumpy. Charlie's favorite CI OD'd on heroin and inspired her to ride that pony herself. It's like all that pent-up darkness that USA has been hoarding can no longer be contained by a four-bedroom McMansion housing a pile of dead cats and eight storage units full of mildewed betamax tapes and needs to be set free. FREE. (And that's awesome.)
We all miss Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, but Beware the Batman seems primed to be a fine successor in the DC Nation block. Sure, the show's interpretation of Alfred may take some getting used to, but the series premiere made good (and kid-friendly) use of Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad, featured solid action, and while we may not like the CGI all that much, it at least looks far better than the paper doll-esque renderings on Disney XD's Avengers Assemble. We hereby eat the WTF crow about the sizzle reel from a few weeks ago.
While the week-to-week quality of the show will hinge entirely on the celebrity guests, Hollywood Game Night turned out to be a delightful way to spend an hour watching famous folks play ridiculous games (with the dullest possible non-celebrity contestants, if the first episode is any indication). Sample challenges: Identify the salty snack (mmm...product placement), or guess the celebrity subject of a portrait painted by an 8-year-old, while Jane Lynch mugs to the teleprompter (she's a bit better when she's improvising). Between the loose atmosphere and the booze (there needs to be more booze), the program recalls TV's old panel shows, when celebrities were harder-up for cash and had a grand time goofing off while getting paid for it.
Rad or bad? Brian Grazer spilled the (not-so-secret) beans during an interview with Bloomberg Television about how psyched Netflix is to possibly tell more Bluth tales, even though the heralded return of comedy's best dysfunctional fam was met with mixed reactions. Is this a savvy showbiz trick, good news, or more wringing of a franchise that should have stayed buried in [insert Arrested Development pun here]?
Drew Roy's performance was pants-wettingly unnerving and disconcerting in a great way. However, the storyline itself has been alternating between "snoozefest" and "creepy date rape-awareness ad" all season.
Whodunnit remains mind-numbingly stupid, and audiences still lack the time to put together clues, let alone figure out which of the contestants in the house is "the killer," but damned if the show's back-and-forth of "alliances," contestants attempting to sound like TV police lab technicians, and ridiculous deaths with their "real crime" reenactment aesthetics are just too funny in their awfulness.
"Girl Crush"? Michonne would cut your damn head off if she saw you wearing that. More info here.
To celebrate its move to Saturdays (when most of us Western fans are coincidentally at home,
eschewing the modern trappings of a "social life"), AMC released this
promotional poster of rabble-rouser Cullen Bohannon galloping toward his
two-hour August 10 premiere. The words "Outlaw in Charge" adorn the artwork, with the
protagonist's head looking VERY Photoshopped. Hmm, guess this season's about Bohannon... uh, on a horse. A fast one! Plus guns, and aiming. No
Sorry Westen! As the series comes to a close, Miami Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff is leading a plan to destroy the waterfront production headquarters of the USA show in favor of a lovely park. No word on whether he plans to demolish the site via traditional means, or simply use a cotton candy machine full of Pop Rocks and electrified trash juice. Either way, we hope Bruce Campbell's there in a Hawaiian shirt, saying "I'm not so sure about this, Marc!"
The iconic trophy that once meant something has been given a makeover courtesy of some "internationally famous and provocateur" named KAWS. Now the Moonman, who planted a flag on the MOON and represented a shift in how television and music intersect, has a skull and crossbones for a head because... ummm...
Okay, let us get this straight: There's a fake reality show about monsters in the Siberian forest, and it made it through an entire episode without killing anyone? Instead, a contestant leaves the FAKE reality show on his own accord because he's scared? George the Accountant, don't be such a pussy and run home to your fake family. Run into the woods and get yourself killed for our entertainment. Sheesh.
What's on *YOUR* list of TV loves and hates this week?