FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (November 2)

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Wow, 2013 is just flying by! Can you believe it's already November? Wait, it's November? OH NO we forgot to pick the kids up from soccer practice... in July! BRB gotta run. In the meantime, you know how it goes: Here are the good and bad things from the last seven days of television!




Sesame Street's perfect Homeland parody


Wherefore art thou, Sergeant Baaaaaa-rody?



Tim & Eric's "Haunted House"

The pair of good ol' yukster weirdos and their guest Zach Galifianakis spent the first 15 minutes of their half-hour special staging/being victimized by an absurd haunted-house prank, and being their good ol' yukster weirdo selves. Then they spent the second 15 minutes doing an "aftershow" to break down what we'd just seen. Thanks for being you, Tim & Eric!



The Orphan Black writers' room got spooky and goofy

We're feeling empty without BBC America's sci-fi clone drama in our lives (it's currently between seasons), but we're at least calmed by the fact that the stories for Season 2 are being broken. Proof? This whiteboard with... Halloween pranks scrawled all over it? Among the things we can expect early next year: Paul becomes a vampire, Kira is revealed to be a demon, and more. Bonus points for the Ginger Snaps reference (Tatiana Maslany appeared in the cult horror film directed by Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett). 



The Good Wife delivers one of the year's best episodes of television

Alicia and Cary's plot to leave Lockhart/Gardner came to a head as Will learned of their plans to form Florrick, Agos & Associates—and to leave with L/G's top clients. Personal and professional betrayals, ethical quagmires, and ruthless legal maneuvers all unspooled over the course of a wholly magnificent hour, and were complemented by a pitch-perfect score and masterful directing. If you're not watching The Good Wife, now is a perfect time to start, and start you should.



Sherlock learned the importance of partnership on Elementary

After Sherlock solved a case that Joan had been asked to look over, she fittingly gave him an earful about how the solve isn't the only thing that matters when you're working with someone—especially when that someone is still learning the art of deduction. Realizing his error, Sherlock apologized in an incredibly humble manner: He gave Joan a trunk full of cases that had him stumped. Hopefully they'll help Joan sharpen her skills while also providing Elementary with a new avenue for potential stories.



The witches on The Originals are actually interesting!

After years of boring witch plots on The Vampire Diaries, its spin-off found a way to make witches worthwhile, by writing them as child murderers! Okay, they were like 16. But still! Way more compelling than dead ghosts following their friends around and whining about their plight. Plus there's the whole civil war among the witches themselves, and the fact that Davina may have just switched allegiances because Elijah is just. that. awesome. Keep up the good work, show!



The Returned on Sundance Channel scares our hearts

In its Halloween-night debut, The Returned proved how elastic the "horror" genre can be with a premiere that was equal parts creepy and sentimental. The inventive pilot episode was a slam dunk of pathos, gorgeous visuals, and drama to the tune of 11-year old twins telepathically sharing the loss of virginity moments before a deadly bus crash. Seriously, watch this one!  



Reign is just getting better and weirder and more complex

A heroine with beauty and brains and a million fantastic prom dresses makes this series totally rule, in that utterly ridiculous way The CW does so well. If you haven't yet sampled the network's most epic teen drama about 16th century European politics, then what've you been doing with your life?!



Tyreeeeeeeeeeeeese!

One of the comic series' best characters finally got to show off his carpentry skills on a zombie swarm, and it was RADICAL. Please hammer, DO hurt them.



Dracula's Lady Jane is a dream woman

NBC's new take on of the legendary fanged one includes a big-breasted vampire slayer who doesn't know she's porking the monster she's hunting (she thinks she's making whoopie with an American businessman). She loves sex, opera, magic tricks, cutting the heads off vampires, sword-training in tights, keeping vampires locked in cages, and tight leather bodices. HUBBA HUBBA! To the tune of Rick James' "Mary Jane": We're in love with Lady Jane, she's my main thannnng!



Big Chang-es at SportsCenter

Community's Ken Jeong stopped by ESPN's flagship show this week to profess his love for Shane Battier—and to live out all of our dreams.



Saturday Night Lives's fake Wes Anderson flick


We didn't catch Edward Norton's SNL in time to add this to last week's story, but if you haven't seen it yet, it's still worth a look. Two tickets to The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders, please!



All the old horror movies we got to watch on television in the last couple weeks


Did anyone else forget Kelly Rowland was in Freddy vs. Jason and then bam, there she was, lighting up our lives? All young pop stars should be legally required to make cameos in slasher films.





Katherine Pierce the human died on The Vampire Diaries. But then she didn't.

We won't get into the whole death-is-meaningless-when-everyone-keeps-coming-back-from-the-dead debate, but we're having a difficult time processing the fact that Damon handed a human Katherine over to Silas so he could drink up all her blood and then properly die or whatever (seriously, that stupid and confusing cure storyline is the worst), but before we could properly mourn our queen, she came back to life even more pissed off. On the one hand, YAY Katherine! On the other, WTF?





Sabrina the Teenage Witch didn't like Salem the Cat

Sabrina the Teenage Witch star Melissa Joan Hart has revealed that she didn't get along with her furry co-star, and "doesn't do cats anymore" because she has bad memories of a set covered in cat food. As a very pro-cat staff, we're appalled. THIS explains it all, Melissa. Have fun with Joey Lawrence, we're going to snuggle up with Claws von Whiskerpants.



Laurel on Arrow has a drinking problem, and it's boring

We're glad that Arrow is following through with Laurel feeling guilty as a result of Tommy's death, not to mention the trauma of almost being killed by a doll-making serial killer, but her burgeoning alcoholism made "Crucible" feel like a Very Special Episode at times. It certainly doesn't help that Laurel is a dull character to begin with, but there just wasn't much to find compelling in the performance or the writing.



USA Network's original series exist in some sad, holiday-free bottle universe

After a week full of Halloween specials and costume-laden comedies—or at the very least, shows making passing references to carving pumpkins or TP-ing the high school—Covert Affairs and White Collar's bsns-as-usual approach just felt weird. And say, now that we think about it, USA seems to avoid getting festive in most of its shows, for any holiday. Ponder it long enough, and the situation lends itself to some pretty intense conspiracy theories along the lines of how Disney's Cars is actually about a post-apocalyptic world where machinery is sentient. No, really, that's a thing.



The Tomorrow People horribly underused Jason Dohring

You don't hire an actor like Dohring, who has a nice loyal fanbase courtesy of Veronica Mars, for a role like Killian McCrane. He was on screen for all of five seconds before he was eventually killed off. Thanks, Greg Berlanti! Thanks for being a dream killer.



This week on Hostages...

In a plot straight out of a sitcom, Ellen's sister Lauren made an unexpected visit to the Sanders household, where A HOSTAGE SITUATION WAS TAKING PLACE. This forced the family (and the hostage-takers) to pretend there was no such problem, and Lauren was like, "Why do you have a hole in your gut, Ellen's Husband?" and "Where are all the steak knives?" and "Why does your son's face look like he ran into a wall?" and "Why is this guy pointing a gun at me?" Then when she finally figured it out (Duncan tying her to a chair and blindfolding her was a dead giveaway), Ellen and Duncan called Lauren's shrink and had her committed as a crazy person. That's one crisis averted!



Okay, now President Fitz on Scandal is really, REALLY the worst


Most guys who are trying to get away from their wives for some alone time to themselves will retire to the bathroom or say they need to go out and buy milk or something. But when you're in charge of a super secret spy outfit so nefarious it's like the Voldemort of Washington D.C. (don't say its name!), even your simplest decisions can be influenced by your line of work. Enter the idea to have your spouse board a plane that a future president will shoot out of the air over Iceland. Yikes. 

Also: If we have to watch more of these Fitz and Olivia scenes, can Mellie and Jake take a trip to Poundtown? She's a "cold shrew" and he can't seem to lock down the girl he likes because, deep down, Olivia must hate herself (it's the only explanation). There are no two Scandal characters more deserving of the action (well, other than Harrison). The writers can call the episode "Dance of the Second Fiddles." It can be like Last Tango in Paris, except with people who don't make us roll our eyes.



How I Met Your Father?!!???!


Really, CBS? REALLY? We can't. 


What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?


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