Since we're only one month away from the halfway point of 2013, now's a great time to see how we're all doing on our New Year's Resolutions. Let's see, "Learn how to say 'I'm the one who knocks' in Dothraki." Check. "Find a graphic of all of Frank from 30 Rock's hats." Check. "Lose 15 pounds." No check. Oh well. Instead of coping with that disappointment by chewing on a tube of Pringles, let's all take one positive step toward our goals by chewing on these best and worst things from the week in television.
NBC orders a (surprise) second helping of Hannibal
Despite its less-than-stellar ratings, Hannibal snagged a Season 2 renewal from NBC, which is great news as Hannibal's interrogation of the psychological trauma of violence has provided a beautifully grisly and compelling counterpoint to dumb serial killers and even dumber investigators. (Yes, we're talking about you, The Following.) We also hope that a renewal means the Emmys will create the category of Best Food Design, just so the show can win at least one award, though it deserves to be nominated for quite a few.
Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Emmys again!
Sure, he's hosted before, and yeah, the telecast is on CBS this year, so of course
the network is going to highlight one of its stars, but NPH is always a
delight, no matter which awards show he's the face of. As Tim asked, there's an EGOT for hosting, right?
Taco from The League's get-rich-quick Kickstarter pitch
Inspired by the recent successes of Zach Braff/the Veronica Mars camp, Jon Lajoie has taken to idea of using the crowdfunding site for the sole purpose of getting "super rich—like Jay-Z rich." So far he's raised more than $12 billion in fake pledges, which we can only hope will continue to fuel his illustrious songwriting career.
Orphan Black's Season 1 finale
Three big deaths, one new clone (we think), and a monster cliffhanger cemented BBC America's new drama as the best new sci-fi show of the year and very possibly, the best new show of the year... period.
Rob Lowe, plastic surgeon to the stars in Behind the Candelabra
The Parks and Recreation actor stole the show in HBO's excellent film Behind the Candelabra—no small feat, considering the movie also featured Michael Douglas's magic Liberace fingers, some really amazing capes, and Steven Soderbergh's flawless direction. Lowe played Liberace's plastic surgeon—who, from the looks of his own taut mug, definitely practiced what he preached.
Seven is Psych's lucky number
Season 7 was arguably the USA cult comedy's best, so here are seven reasons why it was more delicious than beef jerky, jerk chicken nachos, and yes, even SOPAPILLAS! (1) From guns and crossbows to karate, Juliet proved why she's one of the most badass babes on TV. (2) Burton Guster. As noted by astute TV.com commenter @Grumpyclown, this was the Season of Gus, and even when he couldn't move his forehead, he stole every scene. (3) Shules. After their breakup ripped out our hearts, the end of Shawn's lying game elevated their relationship. Hopefully next season they'll take it to the next level: smushie-faced puppies! (4) Lassie came home… with a wife! The tough detective's sweet romance with the OG Buffy simply slayed us. (5) Clue: The long-awaited homage to the campy classic didn't disappoint, thanks to an stacked roster of guest-stars and an ambitious social media strategy in which fans picked the ending. (6) Jeffrey Tambor, Garcelle Beauvais, Parminder Nagra, and Dave Koechner are just a few of the A-list visitors who amped up the awesome all season. (7) Actually, we'll leave this last one to you: What else did you love about the TV equivalent of Fries Quatro Siete Queso Dos Fritos?!
Mad Men's "The Better Half"
Don and Betty put aside their differences... to have sex. Bob Benson wore short shorts, and Megan wore a T-shirt that went on to jumpstart the internet's conspiracy theory machine. Peggy stabbed Abe and got dumped. The episode served up a great cocktail of character development, plot progression, and entertainment that signified Mad Men at its best.
Dan Harmon is returning to Community
All of a sudden, we're REALLY looking forward to Season 5.
PBS gets real about reality TV
New York-based PBS station Thirteen created a series of shame-on-you subway ads for fake reality shows (see them all right here) with the sole purpose of calling out the garbage programming that's seemingly everywhere these days. A hilarious—and smart—way to address a sad truth.
Thanks to TV.com user @jamesbond for the F-T-W-T-F .GIF!
Arrested Development Season 4: The facelift
Here's the story of a series whose future was abruptly canceled
and the Nielsen-uncounted masses who had to hold themselves together.
After seven years of speculation, a lot of false starts (we had to wait
for Mitch Hurwitz to try out animation for a little bit), and proof of
the undying hope that defines us as a people, Arrested
Development returned on Netflix and the internet went mad.
And sometimes got mad. A lot of disappointed jeers joined the
"I-don't-care-as-long-as-it's-back" cheers, so much that they were blamed for Netlfix stock tumbling percent. But despite
Hurwitz's last-minute pleas to sink the hype machine by begging people
to prepare for a learning curve and not to marathon the show (for fear of
comedy fatigue), what else were you going to do over Memorial Day
weekend? Not enjoy this victory and spend time with your family? COME
Please, Avengers Assemble, disassemble as soon as possible
DisneyXD "previewed" the first two episodes of its newest Marvel animated series, Avengers Assemble, last weekend, and it was a pretty awful. The animation was so bad that even a veteran animation director like Eric Radomski, he of Batman: The Animated Series fame, couldn't make the seemingly never-ending chain of action set pieces interesting, to say nothing of the characters. We can't remember the last time we've seen such painfully obvious limitations in such a high-profile project, and that's in addition to the lousy character designs (MODOK looked horrible, and not in the way that MODOK is supposed to look horrible). It was a disheartening, generic-feeling cash-in on the Avengers film that made us really miss Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Rappin' Bachelorette Desiree and her posse of beefy idiots
Is it us, or does the new crop of suitors seem creepier than usual? Though if this tease for Episode 2 is any indication, this season is at least going to be an interesting one. All the single ladies in the house say, "NOOOOOOOOO!!!!"
Animal Planet's loss of cred through Mermaid "documentaries"
Sunday's broadcast of the incredibly stupid Mermaids: The New Evidence, a fake documentary about mythical fishy people, was the network's highest-rated program ever, drawing 3.6 million viewers. Too bad it means the official end of what should be one of television's most educational channels; seriously, it actually made us want to spend more time with that weirdo from My Cat From Hell. We're already stupid enough as a species, we don't need any more ratings grabbers hastening our decline. Put this on TLC, please.
Suburgatory is losing some familiar faces
The ABC comedy has a strong core, but when the show returns for Season 3, it will be without several of its best supporting cast members. Parker Young (Ryan Shay) is leaving to star in Fox's new comedy Enlisted, and Alan Tudyk (Noah) and Rex Lee (Mr. Wolfe) are being cut due to budget restrictions. On the plus side, that can only mean more Dalia. On the bummer side, what will we do without Ryan's meatheadedness, Noah's fake tans, or Mr. Wolfe's fabulousness? Maybe Tudyk can at least drop by his buddy Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D.?
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?