FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (July 6–12)

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Even though TV.com lost out on the race to hire LeBron James (Cleveland offered him a a competitive salary to play professional basketball; we were going to let him take control of News Briefs), there's still plenty of FTW-ery to discuss this week. With the announcement of the Emmy nominations, the Television Critics Association press tour, and the summer season hitting its prime, things have been quite busy around here! Let's take a look at the good and the bad from the last seven days in TV, and then we'll get started on our plan to woo LeBron in 2019. 


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



FTW:

Pretty Little Liars writes a lovely thank you card to the fans with its 100th episode

After several plodding, A-less episodes, the Liars celebrated their 100th with a bang. Well, it was more like a "boom" than a "bang," really. A house exploded. Yeah, like, blew up. It was just one event in a long list of the sudsy situations that filled "Miss Me x 100," which featured old friends (Caleb) and frenemies (Jenna) returning and the introduction of the 'shipping couple so many have waited for with bated breath (OMG #EMISON). Soap-slapping. Dirty pool. Pirate-y facial hair. It was the PLL-est episode of the season thus far. Welcome back, ladies. Welcome home, A!


FTW:

Extant!


CBS's new sci-fi drama made its debut this week, and while it might not be taking home the Emmy for Best TV Show Ever Made (that honor obviously goes to Under the Dome), it promises to be a pretty fun ride for what it is, which is the TV version of the summer blockbuster. Once you get past the fact that's a kitchen sink of nearly every sci-fi trope imaginable—from artificial intelligence to alien babies to super-cool trash compactors—and accept it at face value, it has the potential to be an enjoyable series, and we're eager to see where it goes.


FTW:

Nathan For You takes the top prize in new film festival The Web

What do you do when you're faced with charges of fraud after pretending to film a Hollywood movie starring Johnny Depp in order to coax eager Hollywood tourists into buying items from a souvenir shop as part of a nutty plan to save said souvenir shop? If you're Nathan Fielder, you take the pretend footage, add a few extra scenes, make a "real" movie out of it, host your own film festival, put your movie up against a YouTube video of a man farting, and win first prize, legitimizing your work and wiping all the fraud off the table. It was one of Nathan For Your's most amazing stunts to date, and yielded this amazing, award-winning masterpiece:



FTW:

Someone recreated the The Sopranos' opening sequence in Grand Theft Auto V


Tony Soprano never ran over a hooker with his car and stole her money (well, we're pretty sure he never did that), but this reenactment of the HBO drama's credits in the popular vidja game is great nonetheless.


FTW:

Even David Letterman knows Under the Dome is silly


You'll never guess what word the CBS late-night host chose for this excellent supercut!


FTW:

Brian Williams, Bachelorette superfan


During a visit to Late Night with Seth Meyers, the newsman who's always up for some comedy shared his thoughts on the current season, and we can't help but want to hear more. Hey BriWi, are you available as a TV reviewer?


FTW:

Falling Skies was kind of depressing and kind of uplifting at the same time


Everybody essentially lost something in "Exodus," but those losses were followed by hints at impending victory and a determination to remain optimistic in the face of defeat. Lexie and Annie were reunited. Cochise tracked down Matt just as his stint at Espheni Youth Camp was starting to get messy. Hal led a group of refugees through a botched jailbreak to freedom. More please!


FTW:

How long must we wait until the Seinfeld Emoji app is real?


Coming soon to your smartphone: Icons of Junior Mints, and pretzels, a puffy shirt, and the whole Seinfeld gang—Jary, Gerge, Elane, and Kragnor, as they're lovingly called on the @Seinfeld2000 Twitter that's behind the project. Talk about giving the little pile of poo a run for its money!


FTW:

You don't see a World Cup semifinal like THAT every day


Regardless of your feelings toward fútbol, Tuesday's match between Germany and Brazil was one for the ages. Seven goals against the host country! Four goals in six minutes! Dreams were smashed, hearts were broken, Pornhub's "publication humiliation" category was overrun with soccer highlights, and it was amazing stuff. (On a more serious note, get well soon, Neymar!)


FTW:

Teen Wolf gets back to basics


"Muted" was one of those episodes that perfectly encapsulated everything that makes Teen Wolf great. Lacrosse finally returned to Beacon Hills, and with it came the humor and heart that were often put on hold in Season 3. But even as the show was returning to its roots, it also introduced several new characters that will likely go on to play much larger roles in the future. It was as if all the different pieces came together at once and congealed into one of series' most exciting hours yet.




FTWTF:

MTV's Finding Carter stumbles out of the gate

After the success of Teen Wolf and Faking It, we had high hopes for MTV's newest drama about a teenager who discovers that the woman she's always thought of as her mother is actually her kidnapper. But the series premiere was mired in clumsy dialogue, stiff adult characters, and more bad decisions and teen angst than we typically see on all of The CW's shows combined. Finding Carter has a decent story to tell, but it's already failing in its execution; here's hoping it finds a fix fast.


FTWTF:

The Leftovers confused us even more in Episode 2

The follow-up to a pilot that was equal parts confusing and intriguing lurched even further into baffling territory instead of providing us with a clearer picture of what this show is trying to be. Liv Tyler chopped down a tree; Chris Zylka ran away with an Asian teen at the behest of a hugging guru; the two teen girls followed a woman for an entire day after noticing she had a gun, and then they stole her jelly beans; and Justin Theroux had his bagel stolen by a toaster. Was it an hour full of slow-burn art that signified loss, or was it pretentious gibberish? At this point, it can still be either. 


FTWTF:

The Bridge returned stronger, but what's it doing now?


To say that The Bridge is better in Season 2 than it was in Season 1 wouldn't necessarily be incorrect. But that's largely because the first hour of its sophomore run wasn't as silly as the lowest points of Season 1, which hinged on the hammy search for revenge-murderer David Tate. Now that the serial killer arc is out of the way, The Bridge is still trying to find its footing, and we're still waiting for it to fulfill its potential. A homicidal Mennonite played by Franka Potente is a decent start, but wethinks the show still has a long way to go. 


FTWTF:

Everything's coming together on 24: Live Another Day, even if it's rushed


The miniseries' penultimate hour ramped up the drama as Jack pieced together the connection between the returning Cheng Zhi, the Russians, and the still-somewhat-sympathetic Mark, which primes the event season to conclude with quite a bang. Unfortunately, the episode was messier than other recent installments, mostly because it had so much ground to cover—and reminding us that even with half the episodes, it's still sometimes hard to explain any villain's plan on 24 in just one hour.




WTF:

True Blood is clearly prejudiced against werewolves


It's a shame about Alcide. Not only was he sidelined in terrible storylines that were largely disconnected from the rest of the action for most of his time on the supernatural drama, but then in this week's episode, he was murdered him in the laziest way possible, as if he was some sort of day player and not a main character with great abs. Alcide, you were too precious for Bon Temps and wayyyyy too good for Sookeh. Rest in peace, you sexy beast.


WTF:

Under the Dome fought a caterpillar invasion


Chester's Mill has battled deadly threats before, but this week, an infestation of butterfly babies made that meningitis outbreak from Season 1 look like a case of pinkeye. (Note to self: Pitch upcoming Under the Dome episode about outbreak of pinkeye.) With the caterpillars threatening the town's wheat crops—which have never been used to make anything since the diner is still operational—the certifiably insane Rebecca the Science Teacher decided that torching the fields was the best course of action. But it was up to Barbie to save the day, so he flew a cropduster and drowned those squrimy menaces in pesticide! Chester's Mill is saved again! And this show is not very good!


WTF:

Masters of Sex's ham-fisted opening credit sequence is nominated for an Emmy


*Teehee* a beaver *giggle* buttered muffins *snort* a cock *chuckle* the Washington Monument... are Emmy voters 12-year-old boys? 


WTF:

Kurt Sutter's annual bout of "Sons of Anarchy didn't get an Emmy nomination" chatter


The creator of the FX biker drama wrote a piece for NikkiFinke.com (red flag right there) explaining that an Emmy nomination would tarnish his "bombastic outlaw-asshole reputation" and cause the show lose viewers. He went on to say that he really wants an Emmy, while other shows that "ran out of story three seasons ago" take the trophies. Ummm, Sons has been running on fumes, dude. (.GIF of a typically subtle scene from the series courtesy of the Season 6 finale.)


WTF:

The Emmy nominations, oh God the Emmy nominations


Those first two entries were just a warm-up. We thought we were prepared for another round of predictable snubs, another roster full of repeat offenders—no, Tatiana Maslany never really had a chance (sigh), and yes, Modern Family was practically destined to compete in the Outstanding Comedy race. And yet, the 2014 Emmy nominees are the result of what can only be labeled as the laziest, most egregious voting in recent memory, while lots of deserving shows and actors were left out in the cold. Sure, there were a few pleasant surprises, too, but overall—sheesh.


WTF:

Hemlock Grove is already insane again

We haven't had enough time to take in all of Season 2, which hit Netflix on Friday, but the first two episodes contained plenty of the puking, skin-peeling, and blathering nonsense that polluted Season 1. Everyone who died or was dying in Season 1, is back through tongue reattachment surgery, genetic lab work, or whatever other magic this no-rules show comes up with. And the weirdest part? Nothing is actually happening, despite all the madness. 


WTF:

Big Brother's major early season alliance totally implodes


When will those playing Big Brother, a show exclusively defined by paranoia (and hatred of minority groups), learn that alliances formed within the first few days that try to control the game never, ever, ever work? This season's massive group of eight, the Bomb Squad, was radioactive almost from the word go and couldn't even last through two evictions, primarily due to the pure indecision and insanity of this week's HOH Devin. It makes for good TV, but reallllly poor gameplay. 


WTF:

Dominion gets bogged down in a lame hostage situation


Syfy's new holy war drama is still figuring itself out after a nutty pilot episode, but Thursday's fourth hour ran into some trouble with a hostage situation spearheaded by a brand-new character that put two unlikable characters in danger. Although the post-apocalyptic series features some good moments, plots like this week's suggest that it's always going to take itself far too seriously to be truly enjoyable.


WTF:

Rachel and Logan almost kissed on Suits


Ugh. Here we go with the love triangles again.


What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week? The debuts of Welcome to Sweden and Working the Engels on NBC? Neil Young's latest visit to The Tonight Show? Share your own FTWs and WTFs in the comments!


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