TV.com's Swell-o-vision vs. Hell-o-vision (January 14)

We hope all your new exercise regimens haven't prevented you from watching as much TV as we have! Cause that would just make us feel lazy... or superior. Either way, here's what we loved and hated on TV this week.


Swell:



Newscasters getting tongue-tied by weird names

Jimmy Kimmel compiled local newscasts to recount this ridiculous story. Someone make a techno remix of this, please.



Once Upon a Time's flashback to Rumpelstiltskin's alternate fairytale life

The original "dark one" was revealed yielding a wand/dagger that radiated blue light and a sound effect we haven't heard since listening to the 1938 radio adaptation of War of the Worlds.



Anything that comes out of Violet's mouth on Downton Abbey

The funniest character on TV is arguably not on a sitcom at all: It's Maggie Smith's Violet Crawley.



Revenge's stunning reveal

Emily and Charlotte are half sisters! We'll drink to that! The pace of this show is phenomenal; it rewards its audience every week with new developments but never feels like its running out storylines.



Alex's racist, homophobic parrot on Happy Endings

"Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" That'll teach her to adopt a pet on Craigslist from someone whose email address is ARyan420@yahoo.com



Charles Barkley's Joanne sketch on SNL

While casting Charles Barkley as a woman seems like a too-easy premise for a sketch, this one, in which "Joanne" came out to her friends (and boyfriend) as a lesbian was so low-key and devoid of easy punchlines that it was truly surprising. Refreshing even. Take that, Work It.



Lifetime's 24 Hour Catwalk

Just when the Project Runway format seemed like it couldn't get staler, Lifetime unveiled this newer, spunkier sister show. Sure, it's a frillier concoction, but it's high energy and has a terrific host in Alexa Chung. So far, so good.


Hell:



The most ludicrous CNN segment ever: Morning prank calls

THIS is what CNN has become. Holy Christ in a handbasket.



The ladies' meanness on Top Chef Texas

During this week's Restaurant Wars challenge (inevitably an unpleasant slog for each season's competitors), the teams were divided by gender and the aggressive animosity of Heather and Sarah toward Beverly made the challenge almost too unpleasant to stomach. Fortunately Bev won top honors, so she'll probably be okay.



The return of Dance Moms' Abby Lee Miller

Who is the worse monster, Abby or the moms who let her speak to their children? However, whether she's berating the kiddies or accusing their mothers of negligence, one thing is for certain: We can't keep our eyes off of the rotund tyrant.



Work It's whale tail fail

This.


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

Comments (45)
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Nothing about Sherlock? Shame on you
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TV.com is an American site. Sherlock hasn't aired in America yet this year.
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Swell : Fringe's return, Once Upon a Time, Nikita; Person of Interest (and its machine), Hustle for its last season (sad), Californication's premiere (epic lines as usual),



Hell : Unforgettable (still boring) and The Firm.

About that last one, I realized with the third ep (the pilot being the first two) that we'll get a bad damages-like show with boring cases-of-the-week. What s the point of using "The Firm" signature ? The upside is that by skipping all the useless stuff, I watched the ep in fifteen minutes (if not ten) : yay, time optimization !
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Adam and Eve, not Adam and ? Challenge yourself. Google First Scandal.
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Swell: The Parrot, Fringe, Family Guy, Nikita, The Vampire Diaries.



Hell: The cold calls on CNN were quite possibly the most morally and intellectually reprehensible stunts I've ever seen - especially considering it was a "news" program. That host should be fired.
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Not to get political or anything, but CNN is just plain horrendous.
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Swell: Return of Fringe, and all its awesomeness.

The departure of Work It--so long, seyanara, adios, goodbye!!



Hell: The fact that 'Work It' ever made it into production. This should have stopped at a really bad idea of few stoned/drunk studio execs at an after party.



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Violet is absolutely the best when it comes to being funny. Five minutes of her at her funniest in the Christmas special that comes after the second season had me laughing so hard I woke up my mother (was watching it at night, obviously).
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Same thing happened to me :)

Violet is simply the best. That comment about the vase in the Chrismas special was more than hilarious.
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Yeah, that "Work It" picture is most definitely Hell, but what would qualify as Swell is that it has been cancelled.
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Yep.
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Sarah and LINDSAY were mean to Beverly. Heather has already "packed her knives"... :)
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Hey, I was scrolling through the comments just to see if anyone else caught that! Thanks!!!
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Why did you post that Work It photo, I didn't watch the show so I didn't have to see stuff like that. Now I'm scarred for life, thanks TV.com...
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Swell: Realizing that Chris Matthews is a kept in a cage separate from the other MSNBC hosts during the network's primary coverage. It's almost like he's at the kids table during a function. The return of Person of Interest.

Hell: Whatever amount of time The Ed Show wasted speculating on whether President Obama should replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the Democratic presidential ticket. What, there aren't enough things actually happening that pundits have to make up things to comment on now?
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Swell: Big Bang, Amy's Tiara freak out was hilarious. And Parks and Rec was amazing. Top Chef was good, but Sarah and Lindsey are just mean. The episode made me realize how much I like Grayson. Hell: No new Community. NBC please come to your senses and at least try to get Community to have more followers. This show is great and I don't want it to end.
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I'll second Amy's reaction to Sheldon's peace offering. Possibly the first episode where I liked Amy more than Bernadette.
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Hell: No Community. Also, I hate seeing that photo from Work It. You guys suck.
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John Reese (in crutches) beating the crap out of stalker dude on Person Of Interest made my swell list!
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Swell: FRINGE - loved every minute of it!!

Hell: you left it off.
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They write these before it airs...so they couldn't put it on. Maybe next week?
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So good!!
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Omg, I just watched Dance Moms for the first time ever. Wtf was that? I'm pretty sure that could be classified as child abuse somewhere. Jesus, that Abby woman is nuts! I think she probably ate the children who didn't make the cut for her weird try-outs.
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There's some pretty scary shit on tv these days in the reality dept. It seems you can stick the label "reality" on something, and make a show like "Murderers Who Like Cheese."
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Haha! I hate myself for thinking so, but if that was ever the title of an actual show, I'd probably watch it.
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im pretty sure people in child protective services have to bar themselves from watching dance moms and toddlers and tiaras or they would just have a field day arresting people
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Well, who ever said stardom came easy?

This is what it takes to become a star and Abby MAKES stars Gddmt!
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Haha pretty much all of the Hell stuff was made fun of by Joel on The Soup! More Hell Thursdays without Community! Loved Revenge, OUAT, the old team back together on Nikita and Chris on Parks!
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Hell: Rob Schneider's new comedy getting something like seven times the ratings numbers Parks and Rec, its competitor, pulled in. Why is there not more outrage at America?
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People probably tuned in to confirm how bad it really is. I doubt the show is going to maintain its numbers. Expect a plop in the ratings next week.

Unless..this really is the end of the world.
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Bird, you trippin'. Straight trippin', bird.



Also from that episode: the Egg Bagel-y Jr.
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Swell: The racist/homophobic parrot on Happy Endings, ALL of Revenge, and the Parks & Rec the ice scene. (Hilarious!) Hell: My local cable news channel covering the extras on the show Homeland. I really don't care if it was boring for them and that they had to get up really early for filming. Why is this news, and why is this in heavy rotation?!
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Parks and Rec: I had 'Get on your feet' in my head all weekend!!
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I would include the best part of the PCAs, the skit with the cast of Parks and Rec showing off their hidden talents. I literally did a spit take when Aubrey Plaza tickled Chris Pratt while doing their sword swallowing trick.
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Oh, and I just remembered,

Swell: Battlestar Galactica reunion on Portlandia. I laughed so hard when Baltar suggested they should watch Doctor Who.
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What the H**l are they smoking on CNN???
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Swell: Parks & Recreation's ice scene. Every time that song came up I laughed so hard I cried.
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LOL, that was sooo funny!
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GET ON YOUR FEET!
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Fringe and Jason Dohring as Kronos on Supernatural are both on my Swell list.
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Uh, Fringe? The last thirty seconds were, "Like, WHOA."
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If that CNN segment continues...somebody needs to be fired
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Swell: Parks and Rec - Ben's Letters to Cleo t-shirt!
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No Fringe?!!! When was this list compiled? If it was sometime before 9pm last night than you are forgiven. If not - *slowly shakes head in somber disapproval*
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Parks and Recreation - Get on your Feet, and also Champion

and also the return of 30 Rock.

Let's just hope Amy Poehler wins the Golden Globe, so it can be on next week's Swell-list.
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