FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (July 27–August 2)

If you're reading this, you're one of the few who survived the Great Sharknado of 2014, which was just as deadly on the internet as it was in New York City. Or maybe you didn't survive and you're reading this from heaven. Whatever, we don't know your life. But we do know that a lot of cool (and dumbbbbb) stuff happened on TV this week. So instead of sitting there trying to figure out whether that tree in your front yard is more lifelike than Tara Reid's face, why not check out what we liked and didn't like about the last seven days on the boob tube?

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't finished watching this week's new episodes (of The Strain, Extant, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, etc.), we suggest that you hold off on reading this story until you do. 


The Strain's Rocker Guy goes smooth down there

FX's campy vamp drama hit a high note when rock musician Gabriel took a whiz... and then dropped his favorite instrument into the toilet. It would've been enough just to hear the KERPLUNK of a wiener splashing into the bowl, but The Strain went the extra inch and gave us a full-frontal shot of Gabriel looking like a Goth Ken doll. 


The creation of Dumb Starbucks unfolds on Nathan For You

Remember earlier this year, when a coffee shop called "Dumb Starbucks" was all over the news? It was revealed as a Nathan For You stunt ages ago, so our expectations for the resulting episode weren't that high. But it turned out there was more to the story than we ever could've imagined, as Nathan Fielder befriended a coffee-shop owner (and lost his friendship), suckered his lawyer into sharing the liability for Dumb Starbucks if he was sued by actual Starbucks, and forced his employees to name which of their coworkers (from a pool of three) they were most attracted to. So many (dumb) layers, man!


Manhattan is the bomb, yo!

WGN America's new period drama already has us hooked. The show promises to dive into the very real threat of espionage, the stresses of secrets and lies on the nuclear family, and the groundbreaking science at the heart of the Manhattan Project, making it as ambitious in scope as the scientists whose brilliant minds created the real thing in the 1940s. Plus, with a talented cast led by John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, and Olivia Williams, it's a history class we look forward to attending each week.


True Blood finds a cure and for once it's NOT Sookie

We've been so brainwashed into thinking of Sookie’s blood as a panacea that the discovery she’d infected Bill was shocking. Or course, that doesn't hold a candle to the reveal that it's actually Sarah Newlin whose blood is the antidote for Hep-V. Can you imagine a more perfect fate for little miss Numi than to be some sort of Promethean vamp food for all eternity?


Halt and Catch Fire's penultimate episode was crazy and brutal

Donna's old boss played her to get the scoop on the Giant! Joe betrayed everything he stood for (though admittedly it seemed like a good idea at the time)! And in the end it didn't matter because Apple pwned them all anyway! We have no idea where the show's various storylines are headed (or whether it'll live to see Season 2), but we're definitely curious to see how everything plays out. 


Garfunkel and Oates is like a tamer Broad City meets Flight of the Conchords

IFC posted the show's first episode online ahead of next week's series premiere, and already we can't wait to see more. Go sports!


The Leftovers gets stoned

HBO's ever-baffling drama is known more for its existential questions than its devastating violence, but this week's episode opened with a brutal (and possibly staged?) hate crime as Gladys, a member of the Guilty Remnant, was stoned by unknown assailants while duct-taped to a tree. Each rocky impact was shown up close for maximum effect, but by the time the woman's head snapped back and spurted blood for the tenth time, we'd gotten the idea. Did it go on too long? Probably. Was it effective? Definitely. 


Sharknado 2 is Sharknado 2, deal with it

It was loud, stupid, and bloody. Which is exactly what it should've been. What else did you expect?


Murder in the First reveals Cindy's killer... and it's exactly who you thought it was

There's something surprising and a little bold about Erich Blunt confessing to killing Cindy after being acquitted by a jury, especially considering the potential red herrings the show had set up (we were thoroughly convinced it was Ivana). But the reason the development ended up splitting the FTW/WTF difference is that, instead of just letting Detectives English and Mulligan fail, and capping the season with Blunt's confession, the writers now have the opportunity to pin the murder of Erich's biological father on him. Yep, the murder that the show only halfheartedly cared about until it decided it was ready for this reveal.


The Bridge is getting weird again

While we're still not fully invested in Season 2, we can't deny that Wednesday's episode piqued our interest. Ray, your visions of an Alaskan future with Charlotte are adorable, but how are you two ever going to get yourselves into the main plot? Sonya, we're no doctor, but wethinks your reaction to Dobbs' death was, um, unhealthy. Eleanor, after you watching you coldly dispose of that kid you killed, we were honestly shocked to see you lovingly bury a dead armadillo you found in the desert. And WHAT THE HELL KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU FEEDING ACORNS TO IN THAT DUNGEON? Lotta stuff going on that doesn't quite make sense, but we're intrigued nonetheless. 


Another grown man turns out to be into high school girls on Pretty Little Liars

Prior to this season, Zack was basically a throwaway character: owner of The Brew, lover of Ella, thinly veiled reason for Holly Marie Combs to disappear for several episodes at a time. There wasn't much more to him than that. But apparently he caught some sort of international strain of the Pedo Virus that's so rampant in Rosewood, because he spent this week's episode trying to dry-hump Hanna. Making matters worse, after Hanna told her friends about the engaged man looking for adolescent strange, they assumed it was her fault. Aria, Spencer, and Emily dispensed a heavy dose of victim-blaming with just a soupçon of slut-shaming. Fans of PLL may be desensitized to adult men taking advantage of still-growing young ladies, but there's still a line in the sand, and the show certainly crossed it this week.


The Dome dumbs

Which of this week's stories from beneath the bubble was more outrageous: that the impending famine in Chester's Mill was solved by a food hoarder, or that Joe decided to conduct a blood test without having any idea how to conduct a blood test? "Reconciliation" was a low point even for Under the Dome.


The Quest makes a mockery of fantasy fans

We'd been looking forward to the debut of ABC's newest reality show for months, and its immersive setting is definitely cool. But as fans of sci-fi and fantasy, there's something about the show that rubs us the wrong way. Not only does it kind of seem like Survivor with the addition of cosplay, but it almost feels like the producers are treating the set-up as one big joke. At one point during Thursday's premiere, as the contestants were debating whether or not they should attempt to escape a holding cell, one woman said, "They're going to make us look like lunatics." She wasn't talking about ABC, but we're worried she might as well have been. Did anyone else get the feeling that The Quest is laughing AT fantasy fans instead of with them?


For an astronaut, Extant's Molly is extraordinarily stupid

After hanging out with the lady for four episodes, we'd never accuse her of being smart—after all, she pretty readily accepted the idea that she is/was somehow carrying John's child because Sparks told her she was part of an experiment where women were secretly inseminated. But if you were on the run from some bad guys, wouldn't you go somewhere other than your dad's house? Also: She tried to pet a dog who very clearly didn't trust the alien-ghost baby in her womb and was shocked when it bit her. More screen time for Ethan the Robokid, please!!


Suits' Mike and Rachel are the actual worst

Seriously, we can't take much more of this. He'd better not take her back. 

What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? The latest episodes of Defiance and Dominion? Meredith's death on Teen Wolf? The debut of SundanceTV's The Honorable Woman? The finale of The Bachelorette? Share your own FTWs and WTFs in the comments!

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