TV.com's Swell-o-vision vs. Hell-o-vision (December 3)

We missed you last week, but don't think we forgot about you as we crammed our faces with mashed potatoes and had awkward conversations with our long-lost cousins. We still watched lots of TV, and now we bring you an overstuffed edition of Swell-o-vision vs. Hell-o-vision. We even threw in some Thanksgiving leftovers for you to chew on!


Swell:



Community's foosball antics

Shirley was the Pele of foosball, making the rock dance like Baryshnikov and bounce like Shakira, and the flashback to young Jeff and young Shirley was hilarious, but it was guest-star Nick Kroll as a human foosball player (.gif above) who really scored in this great episode of Community. Also, that .gif will never get old. Ever.



Raising Hope's Wizard of Oz ending

The wacky yet poignant reveal outed Patton Oswalt's character as the man behind the curtain, playing a "fake" Andrew Dice Clay. And each member of the Chance family walked away with a renewed sense of courage, heart, etc.



Survivor's Cochran teasing Jeff Probst at Tribal Council

When explaining to Jeff why he can't talk strategy with Brandon he said, “Talking strategy with Brandon is like talking to you about shirts that aren’t blue. He just doesn’t comprehend it. It’s not in his vocabulary.”



Suburgatory's Thanksgiving episode

The whole neighborhood dressed as pilgrims and greeted each other with the phrase "Gobble gobble!" And Dallas named her new dog Yakult, after her "favorite probiotic drink."



American Horror Story's apocalyptic intentions

For a show that trafficks in the ludicrous, this week's episode really upped the ante of crazy with the new revelation that one of Vivien's unborn babies is indeed the anti-christ, and that its birth will hasten the end of the world. And p.s. this is a secret known only by two people: a local Craiglist medium named Billie Dean and THE POPE.



The Walking Dead does its midseason finale right

Tempers flared, secrets were revealed, and the final minutes of the episode showed us what this series is capable of when it stops talking about the same things over and over. An outstanding way to head into break.



Portlandia's Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein let someone Put a Bird on It

After IFC's legal team took down one crafty woman's satirical homage to anti-corporate sketch show Portlandia—a bag featuring one of the show's slogans—stars Armisen and Brownstein personally made an effort to see that silly copyright infringement didn't a thing of the past. It's nice to know that some people get it.


Parks and Recreation's romance

The last two episodes have excellently balanced the show's own brand humor with good old-fashioned <3 <3 <3 love <3 <3 <3. The relationship between Leslie and Ben is all kinds of feel-good sweet—like when Pam and Jim were awesome, but BETTER. (Also, it doesn't hurt that Adam Scott plays one half of this couple; remember how good he was opposite Lizzy Caplan on Party Down?)


Hell:



Piers Morgan's research skills

The CNN host, in talking about the recently deceased comic Patrice O'Neal, repeatedly referred to to him as "she." Oops. Way to be a news reporter, Piers. R.I.P. Patrice, we know you were the MAN.



The extended flashback on Homeland

We get that it was important to explain how Brody became who he is, but the lengthy peek into his bonding with a little boy came off as overly sentimental and ended up draining much of Homeland's tension and mystery. Hate to say it, but the more backstory we learn, the less interesting things become.



Dexter's "surprise" "twist"

[Spoiler!] As many viewers had surmised for, oh, about six weeks, an important villain was revealed to be the figment of someone else's imagination. Considering the revelation wasn't that shocking, what did it leave us with? Frustrating, tension-free episodes as we waited for the truth to come out. Come on, Dexter, you're better than that!



The new "This Is Your Brain on Drugs" commercial

It's no wonder she got sick! She ate her volleyball trophy!



Depressing reality-show eliminations

Two out of ANTM's three finalists are very difficult to root for because their personalities just seem awful. And it seems like Top Chef Texas has broken our hearts several weeks in a row now. Why do all the nice contestants have to get sent home?



This trailer for TLC's Virgin Diaries, which airs this Sunday

The show follows adult virgins, and one story centers on the couple above, who saved their first kiss for their wedding. Now, about the video: Wait for it, waaaaait for it, waaaaaaaaaaait for it. Ewwwwww.


What made your list of TV love and hates this week?

Comments (46)
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TV.com Staff failure! The flashbacks in Homeland are constantly well timed, and add to the intrigue of the show. Good to see them showing the perspective of the other side for once.
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if you love to watch kids get bitten, turned to Zombies and then brutally slaughtered...that's TV "done right"...ahhhh, cut paste repeat...can't wait til second half of season...maybe they could butcher Zombie puppies and kittens (oops sorry SPOILER)
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*reads AHS description* It's Ryan Murphy's show all right. I'm just ignoring that bald nutball from this point. I hope society will allow me this much and not plaster his shows in my face anymore. Also.....anyone who believes that TLC video is a moron; everybody knows reality TV is staged and fake.
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I just threw up a little.
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Swell; Annie almost falling in love with Abed, epic!

In general community and Parks & rec are freakin' brilliant!
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I can never un-see that kiss...
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They use racquets in volleyball?!
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Community jumped the shark for me this season... Which is probably the biggest disappointment of my life!!!
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what the hell?? I feel like the apparently small minority of us "didn't know the guy from Dexter wasn't real" people are being ridiculed a lot. The reveal was a bit lame but I was still surprised. btw, props to Tom Hanks' son Colin, he's awesome. I hope he gets more acting jobs after Dexter; I'd hate for this to be his only big role.
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Yeah I didn't see that coming either. I just sort of assumed Dexter wasn't capable of twists anymore.

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Colin Hanks has done quite a few things, he was in Roswell and Orange County, good actor.
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TOTALLY agree on the reality show contestant eliminations. I cannot stand Angelea or Lisa - ESPECIALLY LIsa (though it seems like she's pretty much got a lock on it) so I'm rooting for Alison, but she seems to be fading, sad to say. And Top Chef sure does seem to be getting rid of the more likeable ones pretty fast :(
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TOTALLY agree on the reality show contestant eliminations. I cannot stand Angelea or Lisa - ESPECIALLY LIsa (though it seems like she's pretty much got a lock on it) so I'm rooting for Alison, but she seems to be fading, sad to say. And Top Chef sure does seem to be getting rid of the more likeable ones pretty fast :(
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Piers Morgan was probably thinking of PATRICIA O'NEAL who is a lot more famous (and old enough that one would expect her to die). Most people have never even heard of Patrice O'Neal.
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I think Patricia Neal (of Hud fame?) has been dead for at least a year.



Hell: Michael Schmerconish claiming that Donald Trump "plays the media" every election cycle, considering to make a presidential run, and an analyst on The Ed Show named Goldie whose voice resembles Eartha Kitt's claiming that Herman Cain is distracting the media from talking about relevant issues, as if guests on Hardball haven't said to Chris Matthew's face that Trump isn't seriously running or that the media doesn't choose what it wants to cover. I wonder much attention MSNBC gives to Donald Trump has to do with The Apprentice being an NBC show.

Swell: The opportunity to watch the Person of Interest online with an audio commentary (Primary impression: Why doesn't Jonathan Nolan sound British?)
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whats that community crap? looks g***y.
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Says the guy with a Chuck Norris avatar.
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U don't mess with someone with a Chuck Norris Avatar dude...
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suburgatory was fantastic.. the virgin diaries on the other hand, is creepy.. I -hardly- get the idea that one may have never kissed anyone before the age 30 but, have they not seen anyone kissing either? what kind of kiss was that?
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People actually create an account on this site just to post ads. Get off the fracking site!!
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American Horror Story sucks, just like everything Ryan Murphy does...
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I disagree with Dexter being on Hell-o-vision, the episode was great, and though the reveal may have already been expected it was still fun watching it all happen. Virgin Diaries looks like it will provide some laughs, are these people for real? haha
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Totally disagree with Homeland and Dexter!!
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HELL: 2nd computer meltdown in a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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In reference to Virgin Daisies, never go for tongue on your first kiss. Pace yourself, start with the lips and then progress from their. Besides, massive french kissing at weddings to me comes off as tacky. I don't mind saving sex until marriage, it is everyone's personal choice, but have neither of them ever kissed anyone on the lips or have they just not kissed each other?
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There's a show called The Virgin Diaries??

My IQ just dropped 5 points after watching that video. And I'm skipping lunch.
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"Subpurgatory"'s fantastic Thanksgiving episode had the new kid on the block sweeping its boring monumentally overrated Wednesday night companion "Modern Family" completely under the rug. Props to Chris Parnell and what's really been missing from "Weeds" the past few seasons, Allie Grant.



Maggie Siff, Charlie Hunnam, and Katey Segal also should have made the SWELL list for their performances in "Sons" wonderful opener to its season finale. Watching Tara morph into Gemma Teller, part II has been extremely satisfying. These were the types of performances that used to be honored at the Emmys.



Also swell was "Boss". In what was the best episode of the series since its premiere Kelsey Grammar's Tom Kane dealt crippling blows to all of the factions trying to remove him from office and was a brilliant set up for next week's finale. What he did to his daughter to turn the conversation about him was ruthless. The scene with Zajac on his knees in Kane's office begging forgiveness as Kane strolled by and turned out the lights was one of the best of the series. Also great were Kathleen Robertson (Kitty really had a bad day) whose been one of the best things about this series and Nicole Forester formerly of "Guiding Light" as Zajac's wife Maggie finally making her presence known.



Nick Kroll rules. They really need to get "Community" off of the dumpster that is NBC's prime time schedule and move it to F/X with Kroll's other show. If F/X had a Thursday night block of "Archer", "Community", "Its Always Sunny" and "The League" it would have the best comedy block on television.



Another episode shockingly missing from SWELL was "Psych"'s stellar outing this week with the introduction of Jules long absent con man father played by the Shat. The scenes with James Roday, Dule Hill, and William Shatner were just about perfect with Shatner just fitting in and and not attempting to steal every scene he was in and Maggie Lawson may have had her best episode to date. The long wait for "Psych" this year was painful, but the quality of the episodes have never been better. Roday and Hill have been ignored too long from Award show rosters.
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yes. Boss was really swell this week.
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Parks and Rec was great this week, as was Surivor even if Cochran is leaving now.....I have no doubt though that he'll play in more survivors in the future. And Parenthood was great as always.
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Okay, I loved Survivor even though Cochran went. Tribal was awesome and he is so funny. I will miss him and him and Ozzy on Redemption will be entertaining. Also I commend Top Chef for sending Chuy(?) home. I liked him too and he was doing really well, but it just proves that anybody at anytime can go home. I will miss him though.
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The Virgin Diaries creeps me out. The guy in this video seems like the kind of guy that eventually ends up on Dexter's table after he kills too many prostitutes and gets away with it. See how I tied the two hell topics I agree with together? Too mean?
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Not at all. But this seasons Dexter would probably be duped by the VPK (virgin prostitue killer) into thinking he has an accomplice. VPK, would plead he's not really a bad guy, and that the truly evil . . . let's call him Professor Imaginary, is the one who diabolically persuaded him to kill all those prostitutes. Even though this guy tortured and killed several innocent women, Dexter would think if he got rid of the guys accomplice and gave him a second chance, this would for some reason make him a better person. Predictable hijinks would ensue until Dexter was led to the basement of an abandoned atheist church, where he would discover Professor Imaginary's rotting corpse amongst several copies of writing for dummies.
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See! We both just wrote this season of Dexter! I want my cut please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Yep. That about sums up this season.
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All things Community and P&R
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Swell:

1. Annie's Christian Bale impression.

2. Annie's adorably extended "uhhhhhhhhhh".

3. Annie's loveable eye-fluttering when she broke the DVD.

4. Annie melting at the touch of Abed's hand on her cheek.

5. Annie in general.
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Hmm, I'm sensing a pattern here. Wait, I'm just about to figure it out. Point number five is a definite giveaway. It seems that...you like people who do a variety of things, right? Yes? No? Damn, I can't crack the code, there must be something I keep missing.
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The point is that Alison Brie is one of the most charismatic actresses alive.
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i;m with ya on the latest above the influence commericals, it made even less sense then most of theirs. im like, why is there a framed picture and trophy in the toilet?
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The woman you mentioned in the piece about the "Put a Bird on It" thing is not just some nameless person. She is The Bloggess! As in Jenny Lawson. Go check her out at thebloggess dot com because she is hilarious.
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1: SWELL!!! "Annie's Christian Bale impression on Community!

2: I cannot watch that tlc clip without cringing at the kiss?! (can you call that a kiss? i'm not sure but it makes me very uncomfortable)
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At least I agree with all the "swell" ones, except I don't know anything Survivor, since I don't watch it. I didn't know anyone else watches that stuff any more either!



Also, that Community acrobatics number required some real skill. I had to watch it three times to actually convince myself of that Nick Kroll just did what I thought he did and to figure out how. Now I have a new party trick to showcase.
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I wonder how Supernatural's mid-season finale "Death's Door" was not in your swell list. With the episode ending in ambiguity, if it was supposed to be the swan song for our dear Bobby, it was really excellent!



Walking Dead was cruel, but amazing and American Horror Story was all kinds of awesome!
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I can't take a swell list without Sons of Anarchy seriously
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i agree with the swell stuff (but i have no say in Survivor since i don't watch it) but you know, the Suburgator episode was LAST week lol



hell: Drew going home on X Factor instead of Marcus (or Chris Rene for that matter)



can't think of anything else good or bad
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Cute story (kind of), but that (kind of) creepy looking dude wasn't really kissing her for the first time, he was trying to eat her face. Ah, face eating... there's no better way to show your love.

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