Howdy! It’s been weeks since we dove into the TV.com mailbag and pulled out the best comments of the week, and boy oh boy have we missed you! This week, we reminisce over timeless children's series, we discuss Skyler White's impending implosion on Breaking Bad, and we try to recover from Suits' recent spate of "sucker punches."
Let's begin, shall we?
In response to Emily V. Gordon's list of the 10 kids' shows she considers to be the most timeless, many of you listed your own picks. While I wish I could highlight all of your great picks, here's a sampling of kids' shows that you think could be just as successful now as they were then.
Ambaryerno grew up watching syndicated Disney cartoons of the late '80s mid '90s and thinks they'll hold up just fine:
Any of the Disney Afternoon shows of the late '80s and early to mid '90s. Especially DuckTales, Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and Tale Spin. Even though there's a good bit of pop culture reference, the references are SO VARIED (I mean seriously, you have references to movies and pop-culture of the '30s and '40s mixed in with late '80s and '90s) and you don't really need to "get" them to enjoy the rest of the show. It's a shame these have been entirely off the air for the last decade.
FringeFanatic enjoyed educational programs—and claims they didn't adversely affect his social life one bit:
Maybe it's the nerd in me (okay, it's almost certainly the nerd in me), but my favourite kids shows while growing up were educational programs.
The Magic School Bus! ("Please let this be a normal filed trip." ... "With the Friz, NO WAY!")
Bill Nye the Science Guy (Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!)
Sesame Street (I still probably wouldn't know my letters and numbers if not for those crazy, adorable Muppets.)
And no, as surprising as it may be, I wasn't picked on as a child.
Hungry_Homer111 remembered loving Batman: The Animated Series so much that he recently started to watch the series again, and can confirm that the show deserved a spot on our list:
I used to watch Batman: The Animated Series when I was younger, but had almost completely forgotten it, with the exception of a few moments which I had vague memories of (most notably the transformation of Clayface). I've actually started watching it again recently because I've gotten in the Batman mood (and no, it actually wasn't started by the release of The Dark Knight Rises, which I probably won't see until it's on DVD). And now that I have been watching it, I agree 100 percent. There are some cheesy elements which are to be expected from most cartoons based on comic books, but overall it did almost everything right. Introducing the more prominent villains (sometimes with a surprising amount of depth, like with Mr. Freeze and Two-Face), mixing in random villains from time to time so that it seemed like there were more criminals than the most well-known ones, and it does a pretty good job of mixing lighter moments or episodes with some darker stories. In other words, it does a great job of presenting Batman and Gotham City the way they should be.
Draconax said that while Avatar: The Last Airbender hasn't been around for too long (the series aired in 2005), he or she thinks the show will be considered timeless in the future:
Although it's not terribly old at this point, I feel like Avatar: The Last Airbender, will be one of those shows you could show to kids years from now, and it will still be awesome, and I think that's largely due to the fact that its loved by people of all ages, not just kids, which gives it a great deal of staying power.
Lamb Chop's Play-Along. I've been catching reruns on a random cable channel, and I didn't realize how clever the show was back when I was a little girl. Plus, there are fun crafts and games for kids that haven't become dated over time, and then you add in the masterful ventriloquism of Shari Lewis, and you've got timeless children's television.
Great picks, everyone! But I was surprised nobody mentioned Jem and the Holograms or The Smurfs. What's up with that?
Tim called Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad, "Fifty One," "the best episode of Season 5 so far." He also thought Anna Gunn's performance as Skyler White was "fantastic," but some of you didn't share the same sentiment, suggesting that she should be killed off. And while I'm in disbelief with this feeling, here's a sample of the discussion so far.
msalmank isn’t too pleased with the negative comments on Skyler's character, but would like to point out this isn't the first time we've seen a character go through changes:
Just because a character goes off track and falls short of your expectations doesn't mean it's time for them to get knocked out.
Skylar has been, surprisingly, one of the many strong characters of this series and she still remains to be. This season's episodes have been painting her in a completely different direction than before, and if you think about it, her behavior is perfectly aligned with her character.
Jesse Pinkman went through massive changes in his character after his GF overdosed and then after he killed Gale... how awesome was the Go-Kart scene?!?
Skyler, on the other hand—she didn't kill anyone, but she's the sort of person who is not wired to do so and wouldn't expect such from the ones she loves. She was still getting down with the idea of Walter being a cook and her laundering his money—she was definitely taken back when she realized how much it was!
And then the whole Ted Beneke situation, someone gunning for her family—Walter and Hank!, and topped off by the realization that her husband is a killer, and not just a killer, but someone who is willing to blow up a bomb in a retirement home killing not just the intended target but more and not breaking a sweat about it... now that, that totally justifies what's going on with her at present!
Last night's episode was simply epic and Anna Gun did a terrific job. Kudos to her and the writers!
XY has something to say to all the "Skyler haters":
I would even go further and say that SHE is the only thing in this series showing the audience how Walter not only destroys his own life but also that of his family's. Without Skyler Walt wouldn't have as much to lose, destroy, and regret. She serves an important purpose and is about to fulfill what she's been destined/written to do—the ultimate breakdown and downfall resulting in Walt to lose his family for good.
So try to see the bigger picture. And have some empathy with that woman!
DavidJackson8 made an interesting observation about the episode, saying "Fifty-One" felt like a "clip show" featuring the most memorable moments from the series, including Walt's infamous line, "I am the danger!":
I kind of felt like this was a Breaking Bad version of a clip show. Obviously, a typical clip show wouldn't work, not only because this isn't a sitcom, but even if it was, Breaking Bad is too awesome for one (I just giggled at the idea of a Breaking Bad sitcom). But this felt like their attempt at referring to all the best moments of the previous seasons intertwined with some amazing character work and some serious-as-shit drama. They even used a clip show staple by setting it up with a birthday.
Just a few of the references in this episode to some of the most memorable moments of this series: "Crawl Space" (the last scene, in particular); Walt's second cell phone; Walt doing donuts with the Challenger (then blowing it up); Hank getting shot; Walt using the Aztek to run over the gang-bangers; and of course, Walt's infamous "I AM THE DANGER" line. Oh, and the cancer too.
Believing this to be a version of a clip show didn't negatively effect my love for this episode. I love that Skyler is starting to try and fight back, and her attempt to manipulate the situation (as Walt is known to do) as best as she could by having a faux-episode in the pool was great. Really, I loved every moment of this episode.
Bamb0o-Stick pointed out an instance of possible foreshadowing:
I wonder if there is any foreshadowing intended with the mentioning of going to France. Walt mentions this while arguing with Skyler about where she intends to flee from him. There's also a mention of the White kids watching Ratatouille while at Hank and Marie's house, which also takes place in France. Just a coincidence I guess?
Also, I love the symbolism of the watch given to Walt as a gift. In Chinese culture its bad to gift someone any device that keeps track of time (like a clock). It's a way of saying "your time is up/running out."
Finally, let's discuss Suits. Last week, not only did we see the return of Travis Tanner and his fraud suit against Harvey, but we also realized Louis is steadily becoming the most interesting character on the show. Here's what you had to say:
JustinJohnson9 isn't a fan of Louis, but admits his feelings toward the character changed after watching "Sucker Punch":
Impressive and dramatic episode from beginning to end. My god, I'm actually starting to like Louis. I still like Harvey more, but in this episode, Louis definitely came across as the sympathetic victim due to Harvey's "weakness is bullcrap" nature. Donna overreacted to Harvey but at the same time, her not answering the love question definitely raised some red flags that will haunt her if she does return.
GCCHumanBeing says Louis is starting to grow on him:
I have to say this is probably my favorite episode of this show so far. I know a lot of people "love to hate" Louis but I think he is my favorite character. He's not the cocky, good-looking golden boy that is Harvey and he pays for it when it comes to recognition and career advancement. Everyone expects the worst from him so he might feel like there is no point in proving them wrong. The scene this week between him and Harvey in the bathroom was SO good! Honestly, in that moment I disliked Harvey more than I disliked Louis. (I'm also not liking Jessica very much but that is for another time, though I'm sure (?) I'll pick her over Daniel.) Great stuff, great acting. <3 this show so much!
Last question: When did Rachel get totally hipster glasses?
DavidJackson8 loves the show, but is slowly becoming irritated by its forced epiphanies:
As much as I loved the episode, I remembered something that bothered me about it. It's very small, but for whatever reason, I feel like nitpicking.
It seems to me that the Suits writers are starting to over-use the epiphany. I'd have to re-watch all the episodes to really know how many times they've done this, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was higher than ten times that Harvey or Mike say or hear something in conversation (with each other or someone else) and immediately draw a parallel to a problem that needs solving, like an epiphany.
It happens from time to time in real life and lots of shows do it... but to me, Suits is starting to do it way too much and it often seems too forced.
Muderboy nicely summed up the show's recent progress:
It's nice to see all the love this deserving show is getting this season. I loved it from the start but the general consensus that it's gotten so much better is true. I really don't like to debate plot points because when I love a show I trust the writers to please me—which sometimes they fail like the dreadful ending of LOST. But for the most part they get it right and keep me happy. My only complaint is not enough Suits as it is with many of the shorter-season cable shows. It's so nice when the network season is over now to have all this wonderfulness to count on through the summer months—Suits, Leverage, Royal Pains, Damages, Longmire, The Newsroom—and my new favorite The West Wing, which I missed first time around.
Well, that about wraps things up for now. Congrats to all our Shout-Outees, and we’ll see you here again soon!