The hardest part of assembling this weekly collection of the best and worst things about television isn't trying to remember what stood out from the rest. It isn't recalling the bad bits. It isn't even assembling the artfully handcrafted .GIFs that we have to make frame-by-frame. It's writing this introduction! What current events can we tie in? How long does an intro have to be? Can't we just get it done so we can get on with our lives? Why does it take so long to write? Oh hey, we just wrote an introduction! Sweet. And now here's what we liked and didn't like about TV this week...
Mrs. Krabappel's last laugh
At the end of "The Man Who Grew Too Much," The Simpsons' officially said goobye to the late Marcia Wallace's Edna Krabappel as Flanders reminisced over a dance class they'd taken together and Mrs. K. let out one final whoop. Awwwwww, Flanders!! We miss her, too.
Trophy Wife's blast from the past
Most of the flashbacks in ABC's Tuesday comedy block belong to The Goldbergs, but this week's episode of Trophy Wife cleaned
out the garage—literally—and unearthed a few gems of its own: Namely,
wedding videos from Pete's first two knot-tyings. The episode was a
great start to the show's two-part Kate-and-Pete-have-an-actual-wedding arc, and we can't wait to see the whole extended family participate in next week's nuptials.
Outer space, television's MVP of the week
While it may be the final frontier, outer space hasn't exactly been thriving in fictional programming these days (except for maybe on The Neighbors,
does that count?). That's kinda sad, since between rovers on Mars, asteroids
and meteorites zooming past and into Earth, and astronauts on the
International Space Station doing everything they can to draw attention away from Earth, it seems like we're primed for more space programming. So
praise be to two non-fictional programs centered on space. First there was the
terrific and inspiring premiere of Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey on Fox (not to mention every cable channel owned by 21st Century Fox that doesn't center on sports). And then there was National Geographic's Live from Space special, which featured two hours of broadcasting—LIVE!—from NASA in Houston and
the International Space Station, the latter of which is about 250 miles
above the planet. In a time when vampires and witches and zombies are all the rage, it's nice to know that TV can still make room for this
sort of thing.
Black Sails' pirate battle!
We'd seen a few ship-boardings throughout the first season, but the finale of Starz's swashbuckling drama gifted us with a full-on naval battle. Okay, it wasn't the big showdown between The Walrus and The Urca that we expected, but it was still awesome. And now we're even more confused about what's going on in Captain Flint's head, after seeing his actions on board. R.I.P. The Ranger, which took a full load of cannonballs to the explosive area!
Helix put a rat in a microwave
Was it really necessary to put a rat in a microwave? No. Are we glad Helix did it? Yes. This is why you have to poke some holes in a rat before you put it on HIGH for two minutes, guys.
Craig Pelton, peanut-clad freestyle rapper
Community's Dean spit hot fire on Thursday night, and his performance instantly became a season highlight.
Banshee closes out Season 2 with flashbacks and a whole lotta bullets
In its second season, the Cinemax thriller evolved into a more assured and ultimately better show, and everything really came together in Friday's bloody finale. The concluding episode made great use of a flashback structure that filled in some important information about Hood and Carrie's pasts, said goodbye to a few important supporting characters, and set the stage for what should be a tumultuous Season 3.
The Mosby Boys (sort of) solved the case on How I Met Your Mother
For weeks we'd been wondering where Lily disappeared to after her fight with Marshall, especially since when she returned she'd suddenly changed her mind about moving to Rome. This week, Ted used his powers of deduction to discover that she'd gone to see the Captain... and then proceeded to jump to all the wrong conclusions, including that she was smoking again. But it's okay, because in the end it led to the revelation that Lily's pregnant! Yay, babies! Also, now we're just really glad to know why Lily was drinking so much all weekend and not getting drunk. We're no longer jealous of her tolerance! Double yay!
The Veronica Mars movie is everything we could've asked for
This week, all eyes (okay, maybe not ALL eyes, but surely a lot of them) were on the Veronica Mars movie, waiting to see whether the famously Kickstarted film would soar to new heights or crash and burn. Thankfully, it was exactly what it needed to be: a fun, witty return to Neptune that featured all of the characters we came to know and love over the course of the series. It really felt like an extension of the show, a longer episode that continued where the finale left off, and it was as easy to fall back into Veronica's world as it was for Veronica to return to the life of a private eye. Bravo, Veronica Mars, it's nice to see you haven't actually gone soft like a marshmallow.
True Detective ends beautifully, enigmatically
Half the internet was in awe of True Detective's happy ending, pleased with the character arcs of Hart and Cohle and the moody atmosphere of the monster at the end of the nightmare's twiggy haunted house. The other half demanded answers and felt ripped-off because they'd worked themselves into an unreasonable frenzy by over-examining what turned out to be a more straightforward series than they thought. Thankfully, most TV.com readers thought True Detective wrapped things up spectacularly. You guys are smart.
Scandal shot someone, but who was it? DAMMIT, WHO WAS IT?!
Look, we all know TV loves its cliffhangers, and while leaving us hanging on
finding out who Jake shot—David (POOR DAVID!) or James (POOR JAMES!)—was both cruel and exciting, it was mostly cruel. Scandal, all we can say is: "YUM YUM, CRISPY PIGGY! YUM YUM!"
The KGB might have assigned a teenager to spy on Paige
Think of the children! Now this is JUST speculation, but Philip
mentioned at the outset of "The Walk In" that the KGB would assign an
agent to monitor the Jennings children while he and Elizabeth chased
space plans. Next thing you know, Paige is taking a bus out of town to
investigate Helen Leavis and ends up chatting up a girl her age about
the difficulties of parental separation. Coincidence, or is "Kelly"
working for the Mother Land? Was the spy Helen Leavis? What is going on
Reign F'd someone out a window
Reign managed to defenestrate an Archduchess mid-coitus, by which we mean to say a lady got humped out a window (by accident). Holy hell, this show.
Everyone hates Juan Pablo
This Bachelor season's "After the Final Rose" special saw what looked like genuine
emotion cross the face of Chris Harrison when Juan Pablo invoked his
"right to privacy" after ABC shuttled him and his 30 favorite gal pals on a
sweet six-week tour of Asia and the Caribbean. Not since the Kennedy-Nixon
debates has the entire country been so unanimous on pronouncing a TV
moment "awkward as heeeell." God, what a piece of garbage he turned out to be. You dodged a bullet, Clare!!
Every Once Upon a Time 'ship can now share a huge laugh
Emma's first canon romance with a character in the (continuous) timeline of the show was with an Evil Flying Monkey! Embarrassing, girl.
Amazon raises the price of Prime
The online retailer has spent the last year developing better pilots and purchasing current programs (Hannibal, The Americans, Under the Dome) in an attempt to position its Instant Video service as a true competitor for Hulu and Netflix. But this week, the company announced that it's jacking up the price of Amazon Prime, the subscription service that gives customers full access to Instant Video. While the move might help compensate for ever-increasing shipping costs, it's a step backward for Amazon, the online television distributor.
Revenge's latest soapy bombshell lands with a thud
Sorry, but now you're telling us that Stevie Grayson, Conrad's first wife, is Jack's mother? OH HELL NO.
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?