We thought Thanksgiving would mean a bit of a slowdown in TV Land, and had planned to skip FTW vs. WTF this week. Oops, we were wrong! There was almost as much noteworthy TV as there was food in our Turkey Day spread—the main difference being that while our holiday buffet was wholly delicious, the week's TV offerings were both good and bad (and some extra bad, in the case of one specific animated series on Fox). So while we all recover from our mashed-potatoes hangover, let's revisit the television that made us thankful and the television that made us thankful for the WTF section this week.
SPOILER ALERT: The "week in review" nature of this story means that there are spoilers throughout. We've called out some of the biggies at the start of the entries in questions, but many of the pictures tell all. If you're not up to date on the week in TV, you may want to bookmark this story for another day.
HBO's expensive, violent period drama ascended to real greatness in Season 4, on the back of a glut of great performances and the writers' smart use of their ever-weird lead character Nucky Thompson. The season finale took most of the audience by surprise; even though the festivities were less explosive than they've been in years past, the show managed to hit us with a gut-punch anyway with the death of a fan-favorite character.
The series concluded a three-hour arc with a masterpiece of an episode, examining its characters through the lens of a tragedy and doing so in its darkest and most beautiful installment yet. But the piece de resistance was the stirring opening, a montage set to Johnny Cash's "Hurt"—it was oh-so-Jonah Nolan-y, and the best part of one of the best episodes of the year.
An artist named Anthony Geoffroy put several characters from the greatest show of all time through his creative filter to produce an excellent series of extremely exaggerated portraits. Just look at the size of Mike's melon!
Steven discovered that the Crystal Gems can be transformed into various things, and he obviously wanted to exploit this exciting new power—but he only managed to turn his fingers into meowing cat heads. It was weird... and adorable. Unfortunately, that's when things went awry, and kitten heads started sprouting up all over him, in a sort of kid-friendly Cronenberg-esque body horror. While oddly disturbing, it also demonstrated that Steven Universe is committed to depicting the potential pitfalls of superpowers, even in their most darkly cute incarnations.
Michael Chiklis tweeted this photo of himself and former The Shield castmates Kenny Johnson and Walton Goggins, and we immediately felt the urge to dust off our complete series DVD set. But we can't help but notice someone's missing; where's Ronnie (David Rees Snell)? Still in prison?
When HBO released the first trailer for Looking, its forthcoming new series starring Jonathan Groff, we were excited. And after watching this second, longer trailer—which offers a better sense of the show's characters and tone—we're extra excited. January 19 can't come soon enough!
This U.K. import from the creators of Merlin is the perfect Saturday-evening treat, with nothing too brainy or serious going on and plenty of humor and Commodore 64-grade special effects. The three central characters—Jason, Hercules, and Pythagoran—have already fought dragon-lizards, a minotaur, and angry Atlantians, and it's the kind of show where paying close attention is mostly optional, though when you do, you're guaranteed to be entertained. Plus it stars Robert Baratheon!
And even though they were pretty depressing and Blaine totally ignored everything he said, it was pretty awesome to actually hear him speak. #thelittlethings
Holy moly, Sleepy Hollow. You're not holding anything back, are you? Last week you revealed the true identity of the Headless Horseman, and this week you let slip that Katrina was pregnant with a son at the time of Ichabod's death. Now we just want to know why Katrina never felt like this was something she needed to share with her dear husbanc, unless the kiddo died, turned out to be evil, was sacrificed, etc. In which case, uh, it was probably better that Ichabod didn't know. Except that now he does and it's all we can think about. And speaking of fatherhood...
TV.com's youngest future intern entered the world this week, when Tim and his wife became the proud new parents of a beautiful baby girl. Congratulations, Tim!
We definitely applaud Carter Bays and Craig Thomas's ambitious decision to script an entire episode in rhyme, but we wish the tales that Marshall told baby Marvin to keep him quiet during the bus ride to Farhampton had been funnier. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping about how nothing rhymes with Canada was pretty great.
Character deaths happen all the time on TV shows (see last week's FTW if you need proof), but we never expected such a big one to happen on Seth MacFarlane's flagship animated series. That's why we're still reeling over the hit-and-run accident that took Brian's life; even though the demise of the Griffin family pooch was handled fairly admirably—especially for Family Guy—we just refuse to believe it's true. Brian was Stewie's best friend, and usually the smartest brain in the room, and now he's gone? Get outta here!
(For the record, we're guessing Brian will somehow be back before the season's through... at which point his temporary departure from the mortal coil will be even more WTF, on account of the show being a dick and messing with us like that.)
We've been wondering all season how the show would write Lemon out of the story when Jaime King went on maternity leave (kudos to the series for concealing her pregnancy so well up 'til now). But as far as excuses go, having to take care of a bitchy grandmother who fell—off-screen—after an argument with Brick was probably the weakest of the weak. Seriously, it would've been easier to send her off on an extended visit to her annoying kid sister, Magnolia, who's now at boarding school. Or to a really long vacation at a spa? Anything but the stupid "grandmother who broke her hip" excuse!
For the second week in a row, we saw one of the worst citizens of The Walking Dead's post-apocalyptic world play daddy to a girl he just met, husband to a woman he barely knows, and savior to a family that isn't his. And his idea of "protection" is to murder anyone who stands in gets in way of him holding all the power. Instead of creating a complex character, the show just made him complicated. Can we get back to the coughing and sneezing of the prison now, please?
The Mentalist finally wrapped up its extended Red John arc with a somewhat shoulder-shrugging reveal. Sheriff Thomas McAllister, the inept sheriff from the series' second episode, was Red John? He was the one who murdered Patrick Jane’s family? He was the villain who'd eluded Jane for a decade? To be fair, 95 percent of TV shows wouldn't've been able to pull off such a reveal and have it not be a disappointment. But it's still kind of a bummer that it went down this way. At least the storyline is finally over, right?
What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?
AIRED ON 3/9/2014
Season 1 : Episode 8