Monday, January 27, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of Jan. 19 - Episode Awards

Last week in TV, the comedies were the big winners as well as Sleepy Hollow's finale. What I loved about these comedies is that their best moments were actually the drama. Between saying goodbye to Troy on Community and Randy's speech about soldiers on Enlisted, last week's comedies out drama'ed the dramas and showed us why laughs with a heart is the best combination. Don't forget to comment on your favorites and awards below and if you have a show you'd like to nominate, please fill out the box at the bottom of the article. Thanks and may you have a happy TV watching week.

Overall Awards:

Check This Show Out - Helix

Before recommending this show, I have to warn everyone to go into it knowing that every single character will make the exact wrong choice for their job title. To be frank, Helix makes the CDC look as incompetent as The Following made the Feds. However, if you go into it for the horror/sci fi thrills and jumps, Helix works well. There hasn't been one episode when I wasn't grossed out, although admittedly my gross reflex is set lower than most, and jumped in my chair. All characters have the required emotional baggage with the main leads having been together before she slept with his brother and Junior CDC suffering from a medical condition. Those can be fast forwarded. Helix works best in the mystery and producing one bizarre visual you just can't forget per episode - frozen monkey graveyard, anyone? The show won't be winning any awards soon, but it is a fun way to spend an hour. Definitely worthy of a summer to-watch list at the minimum. Plus, I have it from a writer that the main story questions will be answered in the first 13 episodes while new questions are raised. That's my favorite kind of TV storytelling.

Best Episode / Best Twist - Sleepy Hollow - 1.13 - Bad Blood (season finale)

The only other episode that was even in contention this week was Community, but Bad Blood gets the win for having the very best twist in TV in years. SPOILER ALERT - go watch this episode NOW if you haven't already. Now. Everything about the season finale worked from the opening humor of Ichabod learning about re-enactors and finally finding an outlet for buying his preferred clothes to the jaw-dropping, eye-bugging pronouncement that Henry is War AND Jeremy. I haven't heard of one person who saw both coming in the entire fandom, and yet it still makes sense throughout the context of the other episodes. Well played Sleepy Hollow writers, well played! Kudos also to the casting department for getting John Noble to play Henry. The nuances and shift from him pretending to be a concerned friend to psycho kid with a 2 century old grudge was magnificent. Then to leave everyone incapacitated? Let's just say that hellatus is already too long and I can't wait for season 2 to start. This finale is this year's Sacrifice (Arrow) and one of the best I've ever seen.

Best Comedy Episode - Community - 5.05 - Geothermal Escapism

In any other week, this would have been the best episode. Community works best when it focuses on its characters instead of gimmicks and high concept episodes (see Basic Intergluteal Numistics for an example of a concept episode that failed miserably) so I expected Troy's big farewell to be a winner. It succeeded on all levels with a bizarre twist that could only work in this show. It's no secret that Troy and Abed are my favorite pairing in the group and to see Abed trying so hard to keep Troy around through the guise of a game was spot-on to his character. Who hasn't played Hot Lava as a kid? Of course with Abed the whole thing is taken to another level and I love how Troy willingly follows Abed into their typical madness. The fact that the entire campus plays along was a nice nod to the paintball episodes as well. However it is the heart of the ending that raises this episode into the top 5 rank for me. As Abed realizes that he has to let Troy go and jumps into the lava, Terminator-style, it is Britta to the rescue. An unlikely savior after being so relentlessly annoying all episode, she helps both Troy and Abed say goodbye by inventing their clones. It's a touching moment that few comedies allow and the show is that much better for it. Have there been funnier Community episodes? Of course, but there are few that have as much heart and that is just as crucial as laughs in a comedy for me. I will miss you Troy, but you left on an A+ episode. Besides, if Troy 2.0 can talk to LeVar Burton, I'm sure he can sail around the world in one year and be back for season six. And the movie.

Best Quote - Enlisted - 1.03 - Pete's Airstream

Randy: "I thought the most important thing was hanging out with my brother. Pete's the strongest soldier I know, but every once in awhile even the strongest soldiers will go through some stuff. Right now he may not want us there with him, but we're going to be there for him.

In one instant Randy not only goes from overbearing and obnoxious to fully supportive, but delivers a stirring speech about standing by soldiers when they come home. It's a nice reminder that not all scars and physical and even the toughest people need support. Well done, Enlisted. Perhaps Randy can head to Portland and give Juliette some pointers.

Best Ending Card - Grimm - 3.12 - The Wild Hunt

Usually The Goldbergs wins this one hands down but Grimm takes the win this week. After leaving at a particularly tense cliffhanger, Grimm left its fans waiting for a conclusion after the Olympics with 2 end cards. The first had the requisite "to be continued" but it was followed with this. Brilliant!

Best Use of Song - The Goldbergs - The Search is Over by Survivor

This was especially tough because Aimee Mann's version of Come Sail Away by Styx also made its scene on Community. In the end it goes to Goldbergs because I danced, er swayed, to it at my 8th grade formal. Ah the memories. Plus I really can't stand that Styx song. Now Renegade on the other hand….

TV Trend of the Week - Recapitations - Sleepy Hollow / Blacklist / Intelligence / Grimm

Sleepy Hollow overdoes this every week, but lately I have been seeing it crop up in almost every other drama I watch. Shows have a previously in the beginning and then feel the need to add in clips from previous episodes, or even worse, clips that happened minutes before as if they think the audience is stupid or hasn't been paying attention. Despite the popular saying, people aren't that stupid.  If they have paid attention, it gets annoying. If they haven't, then there is a bigger underlying problem that needs to be fixed.

Nominated Show: 

Vikings - 1.01 - 1.03 - Rites of Passage / Wrath of Northmen / Dispossessed

Note - Technically the nominated show was episode 1.03, but my OCD likes to go chronological whenever possible so this review/grade is for the first 3 episodes with all episode awards coming from the third.

I didn't know anything about Vikings going in except for my limited knowledge through social studies classes. Given it airs on the History Channel, I looked for more historical accuracy than most shows and I am proud to say that these folks are actually "pre-washing machine and indoor plumbing" dirty. The show racks up violence points right from the beginning, giving viewers an idea of how much gore to expect. If you're good with the opening scene, you should be fine for the rest of these episodes. While murder and rape are treated causally here, it doesn't feel as much gratuitous as showing the realities of the age. It was a violent time and the show certainly doesn't shy away from that. Nor does it shy away from sex, although it doesn't have the nudity you'd find on pay channels. They do invite a priest for a threesome though. So there's that.

The cast of characters are the real draw. They are impressively full-fledged even in such short a time. Lagertha, Ragnar's wife, was a Shield Maiden before they married, which pretty much makes her Buffy. She can definitely take care of herself. Rollo, Ragnar's brother, is the hothead mischief maker who not-so-secretly lusts after Lagertha. Yep, even in the 6th century, there's a freaking love triangle. His temper and rashness tend to cause chaos wherever he goes. Floki, the boat builder, is just insane, period. I think he's channeling his inner Barty Crouch, Jr. with all that tongue flickering. Still, the real pull of Vikings so far is the political turmoil between the main character, Ragnar, and Earl Haraldson, the chieftain to whom Ragnar owes his allegiance. Complete with his own Lady Macbeth, the earl seems to fear losing power the most and he takes Ragnar's insistence to go west to plunder instead of east as a personal attack on that power. Instead of pulling together to find riches, they walk a tightrope dance of political volleys with neither winning. When Ragnar returns from the west with riches plundered from a monastery, the earl cannot condemn him for treason in front of the cheering people, although he'd like to. Instead, he tries to bankrupt Ragnar by claiming all the treasure for himself. Smart money says he tries to take the family farm next.

With an intriguing storyline and characters that feel fleshed out, Vikings is a good pick for anyone who likes their historical dramas with a little more accuracy and a whole lot more blood. Ragnar is strangely sympathetic for someone who murders unarmed people for a living. His dreams for a better life and inquisitive mind are universal, making it easy to engage with the character. I may not see all the episodes before the new season starts in February, but Vikings definitely makes the summer to-watch list. With only 9 episodes already aired, that's a pretty quick marathon for those who do want to catch-up. Vikings season 2 premieres on the History Channel on February 27 at 10/9 C.

Grade: B
Ranking: 2+

Best Moment - Ragnar invites Lagertha to join the raid in England

Best Scene - Ragnar returns home with the treasure and is called to give account to the earl

Best Quote - Lagertha: "If any harm befalls my children, I will tear the lungs out of your body, priest."

Best Reason to Watch - many of the characters are smart and cunning, which is a rare TV commodity these days

Worst Non-Surprise - Earl Haraldson has the kid from Ragnar's village killed

The "Thank You, I Think" Award - When Ragnar comes home, his wife Lagertha says, "I missed your smell and your body."

The "I'm the King of the World" Award - Floki
-Admit it. You also thought DiCaprio when Floki joyously climbs the serpent boat head.

Weekly Shows:

Sleepy Hollow - 1.12 and 1.13 - Indispensable Man / Bad Blood

Grade: C+ / A++ (truly epic finale)

MVP - John Noble
-He had me believing right up until he healed his own hand and the demons popped out. Then he blew my mind again at the end. Love the subtleties and can't wait to rewatch in the knowledge of who he really is. For the first time I look at Henry and see someone other than Walter.

Best Reason to Watch - all the twists and electrified pace

Best Quote / Best Awww Moment - Jenny: "I have more than faith. I'm a mental patient with a gun. If you're not back by sunset, I will come hunt you down."
-At first the Mills sisters' issues annoyed me, but the writers have done a great job making this one of the highlights of the show. I love how they still bicker like siblings do, but the underlying concern and protection are always present on both sides.

Best Toss-Off Info - Ichabod dated Betsy Ross

Character who will have the Easiest Post-Finale Recovery - Jenny
-She's not dead, you hear me. No one who can snark that well, kick butt, and hold a weapon like Jenny goes out in a measly car crash. My theory is she is the one who gets Ichabod out in the season 2 premiere.

Character who will have the Hardest Post-Finale Recovery - Irving
-Yeah Katrina's kidnapped by her headless ex-boyfriend and Abbie's in Purgatory, but Irving is living in the real world. That's always trickier than the supernatural. How he recovers from confessing to double murder without either the entire world knowing about Moloch or a prison break is one of the biggest mysteries for season 2.

Most Bizarre - Zombie George Washington
-We all know Sleepy Hollow plays in its own Wall of Weird but this is the pinnacle so far. The Father of Our Country was resurrected so he could sneak back info on Purgatory to a guy who's been dead for 20 years for him to use 2 centuries later to stop the Apocalypse. They are smoking the good stuff in the Sleepy Hollow writers' room. I have no idea how they can take the most out-of-there ideas on paper and translate them into TV success. Man, I love this show!

Best Solution to a Fan Issue - Ichabod buys clothes from the re-enactor

Best Continuity - Siri vs. Yolanda
-Oh Ichabod, we all miss Yolanda.

Best Visuals - Purgatory
-Compared to other Purgatory's I've seen, Sleepy Hollow is tops. There is something there to wig out anyone. My personal creepfest was the worm humans crawling out of the ground. The neon dollhouse in the middle of such starkness was another eye-popping visual.

Teen Wolf - 3.15 - Galvanize

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Argent walks in on Isaac and Allison stripping and questions her penchant for werewolves
-Sex on Teen Wolf always squicks me out to be honest. I am way too old to be watching teens get it on so not only did Argent spare me this scene, but he did so in a way that made me laugh. More Argent please!

Best Reason to Watch / Best Awww Moment - sleuthing duo / Stiles encourages Lydia to believe in herself
-Stiles and Lydia are awesome together. I love how they use their combined brains to solve most Team Pack problems. Basically I love how they are both being allowed to be smart these days.

Best Quote - Aiden: "When everyone we screwed over finds out we don't have a pack anymore, what do you think's going to happen? We're dead on our own." Ethan: "That's still better than being back in high school."

Best Moment Off Screen - Isaac electrocuted by Allison's windows / Argent yelling about werewolves / Isaac attacked by demons

Best Twist - Kira turns the electricity back on Wacky Bomber in a supernatural light show
-We all knew Kira was something. After bringing up her mom's longstanding Beacon Hills family history in the painful dinner scene, it was a given. Still this was a dramatic and intriguing way to show Scott that the supernatural surrounds him, even his love life. Can't wait until Kira tries to explain the light show to Team Pack.

Funniest - Coach, always Coach
-I'm so glad he's back and getting pranked. I don't feel for Coach, but his irritation leads to uncontrollable laughing. How can you not roar with gems like this: Coach: "A man's house is supposed to be his castle. Mine's a freaking omelet." He drags Stiles by his ear and snarks at Kira's volume control. Plus, Greenberg got him a present. Awww. Coach is awesome.

The FacePalm Award - Stiles pulls the fire alarm and STAYS there
-Oh Stiles, the idea is to pull and then walk quickly to the nearest mass of teens to blend in. You don't stick around beaming at your accomplishment. You deserve to be caught. Oh and Beacon Hills may be the only place where pulling the fire alarm is considered a school detention crime instead of a police misdemeanor.

Best Small Moment - Mama McCall tells Scott she didn't change her name back after the divorce because it is Scott's name too. I adore this conversation even if it was a small filler scene.

The "You REALLY Need an Educational Consultant" Award - Has no one in Beacon Hills ever heard of lockdown. If you ever would put lockdown into practice, it would be when a kid-killing bomber was hanging around. Plus, no one would let kids leave the building even if the alarm was pulled unless they actually smelled smoke and they wouldn't be leaving at 3 anyway. Lockdown stays until the danger passes, even if it goes beyond the school hour. Please Teen Wolf, let me be your educational consultant.

The "It WILL Come Back to Haunt You" Award - Derek gives Peter Talia's claws.
-I don't know how but it will.

Blacklist - 1.12 - The Alchemist

Grade: C

While the villain of the week is smart and interesting, the episode itself was pretty blah. I have no idea why we are spending so much time on Tom. If he really is a threat, stop dragging it out and get some traction. If he's not, stop wasting my time. This is the kind of storytelling that made me put Blacklist on hiatus the first time.

Recapitations - black headed lady remember being blonde 20 seconds earlier

Best Scene - Trettel kills her psycho husband

Best Quote - Red: "Just out of curiosity, what number am I on your speed dial?" Liz: "7." Red: "Who's 6?" Liz: "Chinese takeout."

Biggest Mystery - Who is Lucy Brooks (28)? / Why is Tom so interesting to Red and whomever?

Strangest scene - baby shower

Most Melodramatic - Annie Trettel gets shot

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Liz says they can't kill a psycho holding people hostage if they get the shot because he can give them information they want

Sub-plot More Interesting than the Case - Malik is the mole but that can't be the whole story.

Intelligence - 1.03 - Mei Chen Returns

As an avid Teen Wolf and Independence Day fan, I actually already saw this episode. Something messes with our hero's mind and he starts taking aim at his friends. Hello Allison under the nematon's influence. The big scary problem is taken down by a computer virus uploaded into an unsuspecting enemy. Thanks David Levinson. I thought that having Mei Chen wake up in the pilot was rushing things and the kind of typical thinking likely to cause problems later. Add a requisite psychotic personality, since heaven forbid the other side be normal with opposite goals, toss her into the third episode, and suddenly I'm wondering if Intelligence has enough storyline to last even 13 episodes. It's got one more episode and then I drop it.

Grade: C-

Best Quote - Gabriel: "Get out of my head, you crazy b**."

Best Technology - Contact lens flash drive

Coolest Twist - Gabriel finds out Mei Chen is awake through his rendering

The "Welcome Back" Award - Amos

Best Interaction - Nelson and Jameson

The "Oh, Give Me a Break" Award - Mei Chen wants to use the chip to elevate cyber sex and spawn a generation of evil psycho babies.

Goldbergs - 1.14 - You Opened the Door 

Another great episode with just the right combination of heart and laughs.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Beverly teaches Adam how to dance

Best Quote - Beverly: "Have fun, baby." VO: "Normally we don't say, 'I love you' in our family. Luckily for me, my mom could read lips."

Best Moment - Murray teaches Barry how to take the top off a bottle without a bottle opener

Biggest Awww Moment - Erica gets misty over the scrapbook Beverly made for her / Pops reassures Murray he's not like his dad

Funniest Moment - Beverly won't leave the dance so they shut out the lights

Trophy Wife - 1.13 - The Tooth Fairy

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Hilary checks on Diane after telling her to leave

Best Quote - Pete: "Where’s Bert?' Jackie: "I lost him but don't worry. I replaced him with an old Asian man that I keep in a box."
Kate: "What's a bag hole? Are you okay? Is this a stroke?"

Best Meta - Canadian penny and Shania Twain CD, a nod to the actress' Canadian roots

Best Aww Moment - Kate gets misty over Warren's first kiss

Creepiest Memento - Pete's box of his kids' baby teeth

Most Embarrassing Parent - Kate tries to talk up Warren but ends up sounding like a pedophile

Arrow - 2.11 - Blind Spot 

Arrow is on a southbound train right now, heading to Funky Town. Ever since they came back from hiatus (minus the Flash episodes, since State vs. Queen), the writing has been off and the plot lines ludicrous. Last week the glimmer of hope was that Laurel was remarkably improved in her investigative role. This week she's more a mess than ever. Team Arrow, which used to be the best part, has gotten toxic. Roy's storyline is interesting but not parceled out in odds and bits so it doesn't have much flow. Thea has zero to do, while Quentin and Diggle seem to come in to say a few pithy words and leave. And Felicity, oh my funny, intelligent Felicity, what have they done to you? You've been technologically incompetent for the last two episodes and relegated to the female love interest the entire season. You're basically Laurel in season 1. The beginning of the season, minus the Felicity fiasco, was amazing. Please get back whoever was making it work then and let's reverse this trend.

Grade: D

Best Scene - Oliver tells Roy he will train him

MVP - Sin
-Every scene she was in was a vast improvement over the others

Best Quote - Arrow (in deep, serious voice): "What color are your shoes?"

Most Ludicrous - Laurel's 50 second withdrawal symptoms
-This beats out all the other competition, and there was lots of competition.

Best Way to Watch the Episode - view it as a comedy

Best Reason to Fast Forward - anything that happened on the island

Melissa and Joey - 3.18 - A Decent Proposal

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Mel fixes Joe eggs to be a supportive girlfriend and he eats them, shells and all.

Best Quote - Lennox: "Mel and Joe are in love. Their souls are entwined forever." Ryder: "Yeah, you've been watching way too much Twilight."

Funniest - Melissa kisses Joe and then shuts the door in his face

Best Reaction - Ryder doesn't know that Joe and Mel are Skyping and thinks Mel is hallucinating/pretending Joe

Verbal Recapitation - Joe recaps the last episode

Community - 5.05 - Geothermal Escapism

Grade: A++

Best Scene - Abed lets go to let Troy go / Troy says goodbye and sails off with LeVar Burton

Best Quote - tie -
Abed: "By the way, when I cloned you, I had to patch some missing parts of your DNA with genes from a homing pigeon. You may notice side effects like a compulsion to come back."

Abed: "I don't think the lava's here because you're leaving. I think it's here because I won't let go. Sorry. Bye."

Best Alliance - Hickey and Britta / Jeff and Annie

Best Hangout - Shirley Island

Best Strategy - Popcorn oil

Best Showdown - Troy and Abed's bubble vs. Hickey's contraption

Best Pacing - After Abed's surprisingly emotional sacrifice to fake lava, Troy's translator won't shut off. Nice comedy break in the drama.

Best Moment - Troy falls back into the hot lava to be cloned too

Best Twist - LeVar Burton is assigned to travel with Troy, because Pierce is evil that way

White Collar - 5.12 - Taking Stock

Grade: B

Best Scene - Mozzie takes over babysitting for Teddy after running off the babysitter

Best Quote - Neal: "Motherhood's made you kind of bada**." Diana: "I was always a bada**."

Best Return - Diana, how I have missed you!

Best Response - Neal is utterly unimpressed by the algorithm

The "Say What?" Award - Neal and Peter box up the evidence for Rebecca's trial without using gloves. What happens if the defense want to refute or retest something? Urgh.

Best Bromance Moment - Neal slides wigs across the conference room table while Peter catches them in evidence bags.

Biggest Fan Pandering - crotch shot as Neal is unzipping his pants

Most Ludicrous - Diana allows Neal to steal a crucial piece of evidence that a DA will have to explain in trial

Funniest - Mozzie reads to Theo from a book called Lunarcy. Conspiracist literature for newborns. Who knew?

Least Surprising Twist - Rebecca escapes

Grimm - 3.12 - The Wild Hunt

Grade: B (A for Monroe and Rosalee story line, C for Wesen of the week)

Best Scene - Monroe proposes to Rosalee via a cuckoo clock

Most Smarmy - Viktor
-This guys just oozes up to no good.

Most Disgusting - bloody scalp remnants in the motel tub / scalp coat

Most Apt User Name - Mama Grimm = bheadr

The "Snicker" Award - The Ampersand
-The fancy restaurant where Monroe takes Rosalee before proposing is named after punctuation.

Funniest - Monroe's phone call to his parents

Recapitation - Note Renard left for Adalind, Nick takes away Adalind's powers

Enlisted - 1.03 - Pete's Airstream

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Randy gets why Pete wants to be alone and respects that

Best Awww Moment - The quiet house warming party

Funniest - seminars about things that scare the soldiers' families

Best Non-Verbal Communication - Derrick stirs the pot and it tastes good

Best Reference - Fortress of Solitude / Backdraft

Biggest Perk for Reviewing an Army Show - everyone wears a name tag on their clothing

Helix - 1.04 - Single Strand 

This wasn't the most exciting episode of Helix, but we did start getting answers. Of course those answers came with 10 times more questions. While the disease is still the focus, I think the biggest mystery right now is Julia. My theory - she was the only successful test subject of whatever they were doing. Somehow her memory was scrubbed about being there before and Hatake manufactured this outbreak to make sure that Julia came back. Hence, Peter's being invited to join the team. Perhaps ArmyPlumber is also a previous test subject. Either way, he knows far more than he's saying. I will never forgive him for killing off my favorite character, but his sorrowful reaction beforehand has me suspicious.

Grade: B-

The "Liar, Liar Pants on Fire" Award - Everyone

The "Can't You Die Faster" Award: Peter dies but not until he tells Alan he screwed his wife repeatedly

Most Anvilicious: Dr. Eigem: "That's easy for you to say. You're not the one with a deadly disease."

Most Disturbing - close up of the guys bone breaking

Best Reason to Fast Forward - back story

Biggest Mystery - What's up with Julia's initials being on the wall?

Best Non-Shock - Hatake shoots the guys holding the base hostage at the oxygen scrubbers

Best Shock - Hatake controls the virus zombies

The "Noooooo!!!!" Award - ArmyPlumber kills VetLady, my favorite character

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" Podcast for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV weekly segment for her blog and others. ~ "I speak TV."

Grimm - 3.12 - The Wild Hunt - Best Scene Poll

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Teen Wolf - 3.15 - Galvanize - Best Scene Poll

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" Podcast for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV weekly segment for her blog and others. ~ "I speak TV."

Sleepy Hollow - 1.12 & 1.13 - Best Scene Poll

Well there's good news and bad news. The good news is this finale rocked! Talk about a mind twist. The bad news is we are now officially in hiatus and man is it going to be loooooong. To help keep the hellatus blues away, this time a double episode means double the votes. Yep, you can choose 2 options this time. Enjoy and don't forget to comment away. Comments chase hiatus frustration away. Until the fall season...happy voting!

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" Podcast for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV weekly segment for her blog and others. ~ "I speak TV."

Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of Jan 12 - Episode Awards

Welcome back. This week's television didn't have any real standouts like last week, but several shows were much better this time around. I grade this week a B, up from a C last week. The nominated show was Revolution, 2.10, picked by a random number generator. If you would like to nominate another show, please fill in the box at the bottom of the article. I'd love to sample some of your favorites and please add your comments below. What awards would you give the shows you watched last week?

Overall Awards:

Best Show You're Not Watching - Enlisted

I was going to save this for next week's column but with its ratings I'm not sure how long it will last to be honest. This is the story of 3 brothers with distinct personalities who live on the same Army base. Basically a version of the Bad News Bears, soldier style, Enlisted combines real laughs with good brother bonding. I am a sucker for a comedy that combines heart with snark and this one fulfills. It's such a shame its placement guaranteed failure in the ratings because I could see this show just getting better with age. Enlisted airs on Fridays at 8:30 C on FOX.

Best Episode - White Collar - Shot Through the Heart

Neal has pulled off some great cons before, but turning the tables on Rebecca after being gutpunched by her deception was a nice way to even the score.  I particularly adored the interactions between Mozzie and Neal this episode, one thing that this season has emphasized.  I did think that Rebecca should have been a little smarter and Peter more sympathetic but overall the episode had good pacing and nice twists.  I can't wait for Rebecca to break out of jail and hopefully come back next season.

Best Action - Grimm - The Good Soldier - manticore fight

No question the best action of the week was the two manticores going after each other in the VFW bar. It was so awesome, I wish Nick and Hank had been delayed for a few minutes to give us more of the fight. Kudos to everyone involved. It rivaled Bamford's work on Arrow

Best Scene - Trophy Wife - The Punisher - Diane and Kate mock fight for the kids but really Diane supports Kate

You can't truly appreciate this scene without knowing the history between Diane and Kate. Diane was Pete's first wife; Kate is his third. For most of the season, Diane has found Kate lacking in every area. So when Kate curses at her bratty kids, you'd expect her to come in full barrels blazing. In fact, that's exactly what her kids think she was doing. Gesticulating like a psycho, Diane tells Kate she's proud of her for sticking to her guns and laughs about the cursing. She then makes Kate gesticulate like she's angry too as Kate thanks Diane for supporting her. The kids buy it and instantly they have more respect for Kate. It's a great scene and one that makes me sad that there might not be a season 2 for this great show.

Best Twist - Teen Wolf - More Bad Than Good - Mystery Motorcycle Chick returns

One of the few things I really did not like in 3A was the demise of Mystery Motorcycle Chick in the season 3 premiere. I thought it was an incredible waste of a potentially great character. I kept thinking she was going to return but as 3A ended, I gave up hope. Imagine my surprise when she returned to rescue Derek and Peter. Woo hoo! I am ecstatic that not only is she back, but it seems like she is going to play a role in the mytharc as well. Welcome back MMC! I look forward to getting to know you.

Funniest Scene - Goldbergs - The Other Smother - Murray vs. the video store clerk

Taking place in three parts, Murray's showdown with the video store clerk over late fees was hilarious. Anyone who ever lived in the Blockbuster years can totally relate. Hopefully the clerk will appear in future episodes as well. I love how this also incorporated the show's signature heart, when Murray allows the video clerk to win so that Adam can get his movies.

Nominated Show:

Revolution - 2.10 - Three Amigos

I let a random number generator choose the nominated show for me this week and it chose an interesting one. I watched all of Revolution season 1 until a live grenade in Rachel's hand didn't kill her. I knew then all the Mathesons (Rachel, Charlie, and Miles) were destined to stick around and continue to be "throw something at the TV" irksome so I dropped the show. I have heard how the show has vastly improved since season 1 but I hadn't tried it because I didn't have time and I never jump into a serialized story mid-season. This is a first for me and I have very little clue of what is going on. Aaron is apparently far more important than last season, which can only be a good thing. Some nanokid has super powers to fry people with his brain, Monroe is suddenly not the craziest evil who ever lived, the guy from 7th Heaven is apparently patriarch of the Douche Family, and everyone looks dour. That last one refreshingly hasn't changed. Neither has Charlie being the martyr. DouchePat: "I don't get it. After all I've done, why aren't you angry? You haven't even raised your voice."

In the end, I am glad that I watched this episode. I have no idea if the rest of the episodes are this much fun, but only a few people managed to annoy me this time. Charlie is much improved from the brief glimpse I saw of her and I love this Connor kid. May he shoot all of the Mexican trio. They've brought back characters I liked (Grace, Lady Macbeth Neville) and made those I didn't better (Charlie, Neville, even Jason maybe). I love that Monroe is still as bat guano crazy as ever. He's just hiding it better. I'm still rooting for all Mathesons to die, especially Rachel, but this episode was much improved compared to last season. I don't have time to go back and watch the other episodes right now, but this one makes my "to watch" list for the summer. Here's hoping I can have faith in Kripke again. Until then, I'm starting the Lady Macbeth for President campaign. She would kill all the other republics, create martial law, and fulfill her destiny. Go forth you evil woman and conquer.

Grade: B+
Ranking: 4-

Me at the Episode's Start - Aaron: "What the hell is going on? Why here? What does any of this mean?"
The "Say What?" Award - Rachel is with her brother-in-law / Charlie is working with the guy who killed her brother
The "Wow, You're Not Dead" Award - Jason lives. Hmm, I figured he would be cliffhanger fodder.
MVP - Lady Macbeth Neville/Doyle, but maybe just because she was my favorite character in season 1
The "Shut Up" Award - Rachel. Like you haven't killed people and doomed the world as well, you hypocrite.
Biggest Shock - Charlie's all grown-up and killing people willing
Least Surprising Twist - Conner's all grown up and running the neighborhood mob
Best Moment - a guy sings "Sweet Home Alabama" in Spanish
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Rachel, Miles, and Monroe sniping
Best Quotes: Monroe
Monroe: "Well congratulations. You've made it to Mexico. Go enjoy the Mexican dream."
Monroe: "Well by that logic, Charlie's going to grow up and end the world."

Weekly Shows:

Almost Human - 1.08 - You are Here

When you realize that this episode was supposed to be the second one, it makes a whole lot more sense. I'm still not sure why they decided to push this one back but my guess, it has something to do with sexbots, which this one doesn't have. Frankly both of these episode were not up to Almost Human's usual standards.

Grade: B-

Coolest Technology - Invisible Paper
Worst Slogan - Things Can Always be Worse (anger management)
Best Twist - Kennex kills Paul's MX
Best Nickname - Bullet catcher (what Kennex calls the MX)
Best Reason to Watch - cool new technology
Most in Need of Subtitles - Dorian
Funniest Moment - Kennex threatens to shoot Dorian unless Rudy turns his singing off, Dorian looks shocked, and Kennex mouths, "Just kidding."
Saddest Part of the Future - pens are old-fashioned
Best Exchange - Stahl gives Kennex an energy chew and Kennex writes on paper for her with a pen
Best Quote - Dorian: "Hey Mr. Friendly, how was Anger class 101." Kennex: "You call me that again and I swear I'll stick my boot right in your face." Dorian: "Ah, clearly it went well."

Sleepy Hollow - 2.11 - The Vessel

This episode was a great way to set up the two-part finale. I love that Jenny and Abbie each got to shine and Ichabod in skinny jeans was both hilarious and a nod to many fans' biggest complaint. By far the best part though was Jenny facing off against the patriots and Macey possessed. This episode started with high octane and just kept getting more and more intense. Plus we got Corbin back! Nothing tops that.

Grade - B+

Best Scene - Jenny gets Ichabod and Abbie away from the Patriots, double guns at the ready
Best aww moment - Corbin holds Jenny after the exorcism / Irving and family hug / Jenny and Abbie hug
Best Cameo - Corbin
Freakiest - Demon Macey
Least Stealthy Duo - Abbie and Ichabod trying to steal the lamp
Best reason to fast forward - the scene with the patriots until Jenny shows up to kick butt
Best Interaction - Abbie and Jenny / Irving and Macey
Best Turn of a Phrase - Ichabod: "By the fetid stench still emanating from the pages.."
Biggest Question - How was Washington's Bible buried with Ichabod more than 20 years after he died?
Best Quote - Ichabod: "One sign of the impending apocalypse is surely skinny jeans."

Teen Wolf - 3.14 - More Bad Than Good (or I Get by with a Little Help from My Friends)

This episode was not the intense ride that the midseason premiere was but it still contained some great character interactions and gave important roles to both Lydia and Isaac. It also introduced a new character and set up the likely Big Bad in the ending. However it was the surprise return of Mystery Motorcycle Chick that really rocked my world. That and her involvement in whatever Derek and Peter are up to.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Lydia pep talks Stiles into saving her from the trap
Weirdest Twist - glowing firefly demon people
MVP - tie - Scott, Lydia, and Isaac for best pep talks
Most Intense - Allison dreams she's on an autopsy table surrounded by PsychoAunt and weredoctors
Best Acting - Stiles panic attacks when he cannot read in history class
Best Interaction - Stiles and Scott
The "I Need a Hero" Award - Kira is hunted by werecoyote until Scott pushes over some lockers to save her
Best Action - Mystery Motorcycle Chick takes on the FauxFratellis with a thousand bullets
Best Hashtag - #WhatsUpWithTheScarf
The Katy Perry Award - Alpha Twins. Scott: "I thought you guys were going to teach me to roar?"
Most in Need of Revoking the Conceal and Carry Laws - Allison, who almost shoots Isaac this time
Biggest Worry - That all the complications Scott, Allison, and Stiles have from being sacrifices are now over
Best Quotes - Sheriff: "Well that makes sense…in a Chinese folktale."
Peter: "I don't want to make it sound like we don't appreciate your hospitality, but do you think it would be possible to put that on ice? Maybe something for my hand - extra large Band-Aid, perhaps some antibiotic ointment?"

Blacklist - 1.11 - The Good Samaritan

This episode was somewhat tame for a midseason premiere. Red took revenge on half a dozen people and Lizzie got back into an old case, but nothing that packed a huge punch. I did love the twist of the serial killer targeting abusers. They did a great job of making no one sympathetic in this episode.

Grade - B

Best Scene - Red threatens to shoot Agent Mojtabai unless he transfers $5 million by the time Red finishes re-assembling his Colt
Most Interesting Psycho - Karl Hoffman
Least Sympathetic Victim - Abusive mother
Most Disgusting - Torture
Best Quote - Malik: "Do the words 'advanced interrogation' not mean anything to you?"

Intelligence - 1.02 - Red X

This one wasn’t as good as the pilot but it did manage to kill a main plot thread…maybe. Yeah, probably not. I smell a future plot twist. I'm still liking Riley but it's Nelson who is really growing on me.

Grade - C

Best Scene - Dr. Cassidy and Nelson take the bombs out of the corpse
Most Terrifying Technology - Edible C4
Most Effective - Riley emotionally blackmails Gabriel into helping stop the terrorists
Best Action - elevator fight
Best Twist - Amelia is involved in the terrorist case they are working and she's the bomb
Best Snark - Nelson
Most Melodramatic - Gabriel and Amelia
Best Quote - Riley: "We call this proximity overlook." Gabriel: "Yeah well the rest of the world calls it stalking."

SHIELD - 1.12 - Seeds

This was a fairly standard episode of SHIELD. I was glad to see Fitz and Simmons in their element and it ended with one heck of a twist about Skye. Mostly though, I learned that May and Coulson need more scenes together.

Grade - B-

Best Interaction - Coulson and May
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - A student turns into a block of ice in the middle of FitzSimmons' lecture
Best Action - May and Quinn
Best Twist - flying car / Skye is the O84 (object of unknown origin)
Least Surprising Twist - Donny and Seth created the device themselves
Most Ludicrous - InstaDawn - either the machine creates daylight or hours passed while Coulson talked with Skye / storm flips one car but the truck the two kids are in is fine
Most Dramatic - trying to revive the kid in the storm
Best Threat - Coulson says he'll shoot Quinn out of the sky but he counters that he works for the clairvoyant
Best Snark - Fitz vs. Ward
Best Quote - Coulson: "They changed my memories. Who's to say they didn't change more?" May: "I say. I know you Phil and I knew you before. You know I'd be the first to go down that road if I thought it led somewhere. Do you believe me at least? Do you?" Coulson: "Yes." May: "Good."

Goldbergs - 1.13 - The Other Smother

This was a tale of two episodes. The part with Murray and Adam was great. Beverly on the other hand was more obnoxious than usual, which as the title attests was the point. However, it went a little too far for me so that I no longer felt sympathetic to her character. The Goldbergs walks that fine line between obnoxious and funny pretty well usually. This one went over the top.

Grade: C+

Best Scene - Barry's anti-mom speech
Funniest Moment - Beverly "beat boxes" the word "win"
Least Fond 80's Memory - video late fees
Best Interaction - Erica and Pops / Murray and the video store clerk
Best Flashback - Erica the world dominator
Best Speech - Barry's anti-mom speech
Best awww moment - Adam hugs Murray after Murray gets him his own video store card
Best Dedication - In Loving Memory of the Video Store (1980-2013)
Best Quote - Barry: "What's that weird smell?" Beverly: "That's the smell of clean. You're free to start reversing the process now."

Trophy Wife - 1.12 - The Punisher

Grade - B+ (A for Kate and Diane scenes)

Best Scene - Diane and Kate mock fight for the kids but really Diane completely supports Kate
MVP - Diane
Funniest Moment - Meg does hand signals / Pete and Jackie say, "Shut up" at the same time
Best Interactions - Diane and Kate
Worst Interactions - Pete and Jackie
Biggest Shock - Pete writes legal erotica
Best Reaction - Kate curses out Hillary and Warren
Best Quote - Hillary: "Oh but…but then I can't tweet. What if something happens? How are people supposed to know how I feel about it?"

Arrow - 2.10 - Blast Radius

The midseason premiere of Arrow came back fairly limp, but a big improvement over last season's midseason premiere. The villain was lame and there was far more filler than most episodes, but Laurel soared for the first time in…well, ever. The island also had some intense scenes and we made progress on Roy's origin story. For the majority of the time Team Arrow was completely noxious, but in the end even they came around.

Grade: C

Best Scene - Laurel finds out Blood locked up his mom in a psych ward to keep her from telling everyone that he killed his dad
Worst Shot - anyone who is aiming at Oliver
Best Awww Moment - tie - Slade gives Oliver Shado's hood / Oliver says that Felicity and Diggle are his partners not his employees
Best Reaction - Oliver looks hurt when Moira calls Verdant his hobby
MVP - Laurel for following her instincts even in face of others'
Best Snark - Quentin
Best Moment - Oliver's skate shoes as he uses the motorcycle for cover from the bomber's charge
Best Action - Slade chokes Oliver
Most Intriguing - Blood
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Anything Team Arrow until the very end
Best Quote - Quentin: "What's with the mask?" Oliver: "A gift from a friend." Quentin: "You've got friends?"

Chicago PD - 1.02 - Wrong Side of the Bars

The kid is safe and so am I, from watching any further. Goodbye Detective Douche. Good luck to you all.

Grade: D
Ranking: 2-

Melissa and Joey - 3.17 - A Decent Proposal

This is not a show I expected to like but I ended up marathoning the whole thing in a week. The midseason premiere was primarily to set up this part of the season and was slightly less funny than usual, but Lennox was the best she's ever been.

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Lennox plays angel on the shoulder with Mel
Most Awkward - Melissa, Joe, and Austin meeting
MVP - Lennox
Best Innuendo - Game of Thrones
Funniest Gift - top quality, nonstick sauté pan
The Foundation of Civilization - olive oil, onions, and garlic
Most Clueless - Austin
Funniest Speech - Lennox's tombstone speech
Best Meta - Austin: "Somebody say something. It feels like we have been standing here for 6 months."
Best Quote - Joe: "So you know when I move out things are going to be a little different around here." Ryder: "It'll be hell. We'll starve. It will end in cannibalism." Joe: "You're all skin and bones, man. You'll be the last one to go."

Community - 5.4 - Cooperative Polygraphy

-And Community is officially back. No other show could make a half hour of characters sitting around a table so interesting. I love how they build characterization by having the characters admit all their less than noble deeds. However what really makes this episode is the great way they have decided to send Troy off.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Both times when they all start talking over each other
Best Manipulator - Pierce
Best Character Moment - when they are all confessing their sins before being asked more questions
Best Aww Moment - Pierce says something nice about them all after death
Grossest - Pierce leaves his sperm to everyone
Best Twist - Troy leaves to fulfill Pierce's wishes and to get millions of dollars
Best Reason to Exit - Troy has to sail Pierce's boat around the world
Character that should return in the final season - Mr. Stone
The "I'm Sniffling Already" Award - Troy and Abed together: "Troy and Abed are in mourning." So am I, guys. So am I.
Best Quote - Jeff: "I'm speechless." Annie: "Somebody say something. Abed?" Abed: "Cool. Cool, cool, cool." Clinician: "That's a lie."

White Collar - 5.11 - Shot Through the Heart

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Mozzie has Neal eat on the floor to hide from Rebecca
Best Con - Neal (last week it was Rebecca; this week the table was turned)
The "Say What" Award - Rebecca, who was so smart this whole season, fell for a lame trick because she was in love - are you kidding me? Really writers?
Best Action - Rebecca beats up feds and a taxi driver while on the run
The "Shut Up, Peter" Award - Neal deserves a lot of what he gets but a homicidal girlfriend is not one of them
Funniest - Moz meditates to remember the Musconi code
Best Quotes - Moz: "Should I be brushing up on my Proust?"
Peter: "Look at it this way. The next lucky woman who comes along is going to seem like a million bucks." Neal: "Either that or every relationship after this is going to seem really boring." Peter: "Well there's a lot of room between really boring and someone taking a shot at you."

Grimm - 3.11 - The Good Soldier

This episode of Grimm was especially bleak and I spent the whole time hoping there would be a twist, but no. Gang rape it was. On the plus side though, we had the epic manticore fight and the introduction of Rosalee's mom and sister. Rosalee and Monroe make everything better.

Grade: C+

MVP - Monroe
Best Reason to Watch - Rosalee, Monroe, and manticore fight
Best Use of Music - big band for the dance class
Most Intriguing New Character - tie - Adalind's baby and Rosalee's sister
Best Moment - Monroe helps Rosalee push the doorbell
Best Threat - DeEtta to Monroe about treating Rosalee well
Best Reaction - Monroe swinging his glass when Rosalee talks about partying mid fight with DeEtta
Best Wesen - manticore (definitely best of this season and probably the best of them all)
Best Twist - Colonel gets himself killed so they can prosecute Head Psycho for murder and get justice for Frankie
Best Quote - Monroe: "You and your mom and your sister, you share a history of love and pain, and…and that's just family. There are no easy solutions."

Enlisted - 1.02 - Randy Get Your Gun

Grade: B

Best Scene - Randy cries over the plot of Toy Story and the Pixar lamp
MVP - Randy
Funniest - Randy cries over the plot of Toy Story and the Pixar lamp
Best New Addition - Private Ruiz, the guy no one remembers
Funniest Montage - all the troop getting ready to take the marksmanship test
Funniest Interaction - Randy and Derrick
Least Funny Interaction - Pete and Perez
Best Catchphrase - Cody: "Boom. You've been praised."
Best Quote - Randy: "Well stop granting my wishes, evil genie. Stop it." Derrick: "Evil Genie, I'd watch that show." Bwah! So would I, Derrick."

Helix - 1.03 - 274

Grade - B+

Best Scene - Hatake tells Alan about the super virus cure-all
Best Reason to Watch - it's still the creepiest, most intriguing sci fi show on TV
Most Warped - the cheesy 70's music in the title card sequence
The "Saying It Doesn't Make It True" Award - Julia: "Get it together, Jules. You don't get sick."
The "So he might be a bad guy, but that doesn't make him wrong" Award - Daniel shoots Dr. Sulemani
Biggest Question - How much is Hatake still hiding?
Most Suspicious - Belleseros convinces Boyle not to tell anyone about the virus growing
The "Don't You Ever Tire of Being Wrong" Award - Alan seriously, leave the psycho ones where they are.
Most Melodramatic - Julia spreads black goo on her lab coat then takes it off, part of the infected
Best Cameo - frozen monkey graveyard
Creepiest Moment - the virus replicates instantly
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - tie - Boyle doesn't tell Alan about the monkey virus / Belleseros kills the com
Worst Sales Pitch - The cure-all defeats any virus but there's a 75% chance it will kill you

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" Podcast for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV weekly segment for her blog and others. ~ "I speak TV."