Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of April 19 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV, one day late. Sorry about that but this cold is still kicking my butt. As such, some shows are left unreviewed again. This week we say goodbye to Scorpion (definitely coming back) and Fresh Off the Boat (on the bubble for renewal). I don't know about you guys but this cancellation season is going to be rough for me. Most of the new shows I liked will not be renewed and since my returning shows were often less than spectacular, that is terrible news. Here's hoping you are doing better. As always if there's a great show I'm missing, nominate in the short form below. Next week I'm reviewing Merlin, episode 3.12, which is a funny coincidence because I was just talking about that show on another post. Until new week, happy TV viewing and remember that comments make the discussion go 'round.

Show of the Week:

The Flash - 1.19 - Who is Harrison Wells?

The Flash isn’t messing around in its plot development. Once Barry became suspicious of Wells, it has gone in fast forward to bring this story to a head. To be honest, I didn't expect this until season 3 at a minimum so I am riding the high here. I love that they found Well's hidden man cave in this episode so there's no way Caitlin can deny his involvement now. Plus it means that the finale has to put Barry vs. Wells and that should be one fantastic fight. As for the episode itself, I liked the idea of a shapeshifter but not necessarily the fact that Barry was outwitted twice. That's two times too many for a guy as smart as Barry. Other than that, this was a solid episode with great pacing and great reveals. I like that Eddie comes clean to Iris about working with The Flash, but I'm guessing that's as far as it goes. No big secret identity reveals there. Perhaps that's Iris' one true function on the show - to be the person everyone protects and the only one who doesn't know Barry's secret identity. As such, she needs to go. She's dead weight in a show that moves to quickly to be carrying her around. Perhaps she can go to the spin-off and actually become a character instead of a plot device there.

Grade: A-

Best Reason to Watch - forward advancement on the Harrison Wells storyline
Best Scene - Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin find Wells' hidden room and the Reverse Flash suit
Best Advice - Joe councils Quentin to reconcile with Laurel
Best Relief - Caitlin realizing that Fake Barry is the one who kissed her
Great Nickname - Everyman, so Caitlin should come up with others / Cisco's Canary Cry works too
Worst Day - having a killer impersonate you pretty much sucks
Dumbest Smart Guy - Barry, who didn't even suspect that it was FakeEddie at the door and then hesitates with FakeCaitlin
Most Helpful - Cisco, who helps Laurel perfect her sound chip
Biggest Crush - Cisco on Laurel as the Black Canary
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Captain Lance, one of the few things I miss since dropping Arrow
Best Quotes -
1. Eddie: "I figured we could ask her a few questions." Barry: "Like why anyone in their family thought that naming a kid Hannibal wouldn't mean he'd grow up to be a criminal?"
2. Laurel: "As promised. Hey, you show this to anyone I'll kill you." Cisco: "That's just an expression, right?" Laurel: "Nope."
3. Cisco: "Please tell me that's not what I think it is." Lance: "Okay, that is definitely a hand." Cisco: "Okay, see I thought it was a foot but a hand is just as bad."
4. Joe: "Scared is a good thing. Scared keeps us alive."
5. Caitlin: "I can't believe you're pulling the dad card. It's a dirty pull, Barry."

Nominated Show:

The I.T. Crowd - 1.01-1.04 - The Red Door

Note - The nominated episode was 1.04 but since I hate to start things in the middle I ended up watching the first four episodes. The review and episode awards are based on all four.

I'm not sure British comedy is for me. Don't get me wrong. There were some laugh out loud moments throughout the first 4 episodes of The I. T. Crowd. In fact, I chuckled so hard in some places that I could barely breathe. Still much like Mr. Bean, which I hate, the humor was far too silly and it lacked the trademark heart I need to make a comedy successful to me. Between the potty humor, which does nothing for me, and the tendency to repeat things over and over again, which comes off more annoying than funny, I ended up disliking large portions of the first four episodes. The characters are interesting if a bit flat and the idea that one can be hired as manager of the IT department without even knowing to plug in the computer makes for some great situations. In fact many of the problems reminded me of my own days running tech support for my school. You really do need a tape recorder reminding people to turn the computer off and then back on since that fixes the problem 90% of the time. That's the best long-running gag of the show.

Grade: C (with 1.02 being the best episode and 1.03 the worst)
Ranking - 1
Audience - anyone who loves British humor

Best Reason to Watch - the characters
Best Character Interaction - Roy and Maurice
Biggest Laugh - Jen gets Roy out from under the desk by claiming she sees a guy taking off his shirt only when the women come over to look, he's a schlub
Most Fun - Roy and Maurice make the stress management leader stress out
Most Intriguing Character - Richmond Avenal, who has a Dark Shadows vibe going on
Most Intriguing Place - the green door
Least Helpful - dialing 16 numbers in an emergency
Worst Plan - KISS makeup at a boardroom meeting
Worst Party Story - that time you hired prostitutes
Best Reference - the A-Team / Tim Burton
Worst Reference - dial-up internet
Best Quotes -
1. Maurice: "Did you and her hit it off?" Roy: "Define hit it off." Maurice: "Did she continue talking to you once you'd fixed her computer?" Roy: "No."
2. Roy: "We don't need no education." Maurice: "Yes, you do. You just used a double negative."
3. Roy: "Yeah you know I shouldn't have used the word plan. I've clearly gotten you overexcited."
4. Maurice: "I'll level with you Roy. I don't think I'd flourish in a prison environment."
5. Maurice: "I'm a 32 year old IT man who works in the basement. Yes, I do the whole Lonely Hearts thing."

New Show:

Safe House - 1.01 - Pilot

Safe House has taken a suspenseful and intriguing premise and tampered it down into all mood and lingering setting shots. Who knew a show about people with assassins after them could be so boring? It doesn't help that the dad is a complete prick and the son has no common sense. I don't care about any of these people in the pilot. The worst thing a TV show can do is bore me so it was a bad sign when I wanted to grab my tablet to play games about 20 minutes into the pilot. Even the cliffhanger of Moron, Junior getting taken doesn't inspire me to care enough to watch the next episode. Maybe it will pick up, but quite frankly this is one show that would benefit from being procedural…and having a new editor. Marsha Thomason deserves better than this.

Grade: D
Ranking - 1
Audience - those who like atmosphere over pacing

Best Reason to Watch - Doctor Who is in it and at 4-episodes, it's shorter than Gracepoint
Best Scene - Robert burns the news clippings about his old case
Best Action - the attempted kidnapping of the younger son
Biggest Brat - Sam, who won't even call his dad back after he was attacked
Most Shoddy Police Work - no one thought to go by the house and check it out / Robert doesn't call the police when they are being followed so that they can arrest the guy
The "Welcome Back" Award - Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who fame / Marsha Thomason of White Collar

Weekly Shows:

AD - 1.03 - The Spirit Arrives

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the church begins
Best Character Interaction - Peter and his daughter
Biggest Hmm - Where was Peter's speech to the crowd outside the room they were staying in that converted thousands in one day? That's a huge event in the life of the early church and yet it is missing here.
The "Way to Bring Down the Room" Award - Maya asks if they will be killed if they are caught
Most Powerful - prayer more than any of these soldiers and revolutionaries
Most Insightful - Claudia
Most Lethal - Boaz's nifty spring-set weapons
Least Politic - Pilate, who will come to rue his rash decisions
Best Quotes -
1. Maya: "Are you afraid?" Peter: "I am. Not of the Romans or the priests. I'm afraid I may not be the person that Jesus thinks I am." Maya: "I always felt safe when you were home like you knew exactly what you wanted and how you were going to get it." Peter: "Back then all I wanted was fish. Fish meant money and money meant food and clothes. Life was simple." Maya: "And now it isn't? What would he do if he were here?" Peter: "He'd pray."
2. Simon: "He said he'd build his church. How? With what?" Peter: "I don't know." Mary: "He'll build it with 2 things that are lacking in this room - belief and patience."
3. Peter: "It's through Jesus that this man walks again. God sent us His servant, Jesus, and God raised Him again from death. We are His witnesses and the Holy Spirit is with us and makes us strong. Jesus is alive. Let all Israel know. God made Jesus, Lord and Messiah."
4. Claudia: "I've been with you long enough to know when something's troubling you." Pilate: "I'm not troubled." Claudia: "Don't confuse me with other people's wives." Pilate: "How could I?" Claudia: "If you deal honestly with me, I'll stand beside you."
5. Peter: "So many questions." Maya: "You taught me to ask questions, remember?" John: "She's definitely your daughter."

The Royals - 1.06 - The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Prudence tells off Cyrus
Best Back Story - Liam learned to play darts because he wanted to beat Robert at it
Best Character Interaction - Eleanor and Beck, who makes her tolerable
Most Interesting Twist - Jasper becomes Queen Helena's bodyguard
Most Charming - Prince Liam and his perfect line
The "Nope, Didn't Need That" Award - I don't need to see or hear Queen Helena and Jasper get it on
Most Handy - Marcus, who is way too smart and honorable for any of these fools…well except King Simon
Biggest Brat / Worst Player - Gemma, who gambles away Ashok's new car
Worst Flaunting of International Law - Eleanor and her diplomatic pouch
Best Love Affair - Ashok and his new car (McLaren Coupe)
Worst Timing - King Simon comes home right when Jasper is leaving the queen
Best Plan - Gemma decides she needs some alone time
Most in Need of Being Shot - Cyrus, please
Most Invasive - Eleanor when dressing Ophelia
The "Wow, She Might Actually be Human" Award - Eleanor loves bacon. She can't be completely evil.
Biggest Oops - Ophelia accidentally shoots Ashok with an arrow
Best Quotes -
1. Liam: "Good because you're fired for the weekend. The team can handle it. I'll re-hire you when we get back to London." Marcus: "Sir?" Liam: "I know I don't always make it easy for you, Marcus, but you deal with it and me with skill and grace, and I appreciate it. So enjoy the weekend, hang out, relax, and don't call me sir."
2. Omar: "What is this, huh? An episode of Glee?"
3. Beck: "Let's see if we can change your luck. It's easier if you have a system." Eleanor: "What's your system?" Beck: "Well I bet black because it's your favorite color. Odd, because, well you are. 17 because it's the age you were when I first saw you, 23 cause it's your favorite color, and 35." Eleanor: "Well what's 35?" Beck: "35 is the number of times you've taken my breath away in that outfit."
4. Prudence: "You're a good man and a great king and that matters immensely to all of us."
5. Liam: "You know it's a funny thing, pressure. Once you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, the rest of it is easy."

Scorpion - 1.22 - Postcards from the Edge (season finale)

I hate when shows end the season on a cliffhanger that is obviously going to be resolved in the first 15 minutes of next season's premiere so this episode was a refreshing change. In many ways this feels like the season 2 opener with last week's episode as the season finale. The big cliffhanger is resolved before the episode is over and we're assured that Walter will be right as rain, so no worries about him either. It means we don't have to waste precious moments of the season 2 premiere getting the team back together or waiting for updates on Walter. Sadly, it also means Walter will be smack in the middle of the return and not lying in a hospital bed. Oh well. I love how Happy's ingenuity and Cabe's heroism saves the day again, even though I don't agree with Paige's rash decision to keep Ralph near the team. She has to institute some real changes with him or else she's going to get Ralph taken away from her.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the team's back together
Best Scene - Walter apologizes for being a douche to Cabe
Best Entrance - Happy comes through the ceiling to hop on Elia's conference table
Biggest Miss - the cops arrive just after Paige and Ralph leave for the airport
Sweetest Gesture - Sylvester brings balloons
Best Aim - Happy's syringe dart that drains the oil to put out the fire
The "Oh Yeah Right" Award - How did Toby, Happy, and Sylvester not see the damaged guardrail in the first place? Why did it take pinging his phone for it to click?
The "Where Did the Budget Go?" Award - the CGI for Cabe going to rescue Walter was simply terrible
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - How is Paige to blame for Walter being his typical douche self? Shut up, Happy.
The "Sucks to be You" Award - even nature is against Walter in this episode
Biggest Douche - for once it's NOT Walter but Merrick, Scorpion's second biggest prick
Least Fair - I want to see the hover board Sylvester is talking about
Best Quotes -
1. Walter: "Cabe…uh, Cabe, when I was 16 years old…" Cabe: "What I did with Baghdad was wrong. You have every right to be mad at me." Walter: "No, I was hurt and…uh, I overreacted. I was…uh, emotional and…uh, ineffective and if I'd been logical then I'd…uh, I'd have realized that man who knew me when I was younger would never hurt me on purpose." Cabe: "Thank you, Walter." Walter: "Cabe, you told me that when your daughter passed away, you'd visit her grave every Sunday." Cabe: "Yes, without fail." Walter: "The grass at her plot was always…uh, green, healthy and the others were brown. I hacked the sprinkler system. I…uh, watered it twice a day. The others were once a week." Cabe: "I always thought that was the groundskeeper taking pity on me because I was there alone." Walter: "No, it was me." Cabe: "Fifteen years ago you were so mad at me about Baghdad. Why would you do that for me?" Walter: "That's not the point. The point is that I don't want there to be any more secrets between us."
2. Walter: "Sly, do you remember that time when we filled that balloon with tapioca and then we took that catapult.." Sylvester: "Walter you don't need to take me down memory lane, but thanks. I love you too."
3. Elia: "I'm in the middle of a meeting." Happy: "And I'm in the middle of your conference table. You stuck your nose where it didn't belong, looking to break apart the only family some of us have ever known." Elia: "I was being friendly." Happy: "You were poaching our boss. Now he's missing and I'm not leaving here without that VIN number."
4. Sylvester: "Did you just flash your SCUBA certification?" Cabe: "Yeah, I don't work for Homeland anymore."
5. Cop: "The resources belong to trained rescue personnel…" Happy: "That don't have the brain power of me with a hangover and this guy when he's sleeping."
6. Happy: "I am going to hook Cabe up to the end of a crane like a wrecking ball and swing him out over the canyon to your car. He'll connect you via a safety line and we'll pull you both back in." Walter: "That's amazingly not the craziest idea that we've ever done." Happy: "It's been a busy year."

Fresh Off the Boat - 1.13 - So Chineez (season finale)

Fresh Off the Boat was a surprise in a season of poorly written and poorly paced comedies. It's one of the few new comedies that I actually watched on a weekly basis and never regretted it. Jessica was especially fun to watch and her character growth in 13 episodes was greater than some comedy characters in 3 seasons. (Looking at you, Sheldon.) Constance Wu's definitely the breakout comedy star of the year. I like how the show stepped away from being about Eddie and focused more on the parents. To be honest, I'm not sure I would still be watching if they hadn't since he's the least watchable character. Instead by focusing on Jessica and Louis, it retained the heart I need in a comedy while ramping up the crazy. What I like best about Jessica is that she has the same tendencies of Beverly Goldberg but she is rarely overly obnoxious about it. She demands a lot but she loves a lot too. I also admire how Louis and Jessica clearly love and support each other instead of tearing each other down. They have a great relationship that thrives in hard times and celebrates the good times together. All in all, Fresh Off the Boat is a winner. Here's hoping it gets a season 2.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Jessica
Best Subplot - Emery and Evan's refrigerator war
Best Reference - Stephen King / Boy Meets World
Worst Reference - Melrose Place
Most Surprising - Jessica puts Eddie's "F" on the refrigerator
Least Smart - Brian, who believes Eddie when he says he has Topanga's phone number especially since she's a fictional character
The "I Don't Blame Them" Award - I'd claim extra homework if my mom tried to feed me chicken feet too
Worst Teaching - Why when everyone else has a country does the one kid have Africa? Africa is a continent. Do they really think that all of Africa is the same?
Best Music - Opportunities by Pet Shop Boys / Kokomo by The Beach Boys
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Marvin
Best Quotes -
1. Jessica: "They have me, Louis. I'm just a Chipwich-eating American couch lady."
2. Eddie: "Dave, I may need to borrow your Bjork CD." Dave: "How do you know I have that?" Eddie: "Your taste in music sucks."
3. Jessica: "I like all of it. Melrose Place, rollerblading, mac and cheese. It's so easy to make. You just add water. It's cheese from water."

iZombie - 1.06 - Virtual Reality Bites

If ever there was a victim that needed to die on this show, it's this prick who ruins people's life because it's fun. I feel sorry for the murderer here. I also feel bad for Major, who just wants to do the right thing and is likely to die because of it. It will be a shame because I like him. I also liked the idea of a rich businesswoman clamoring for brains, but that seems to be over now. Jackie really should not have answered the door, but at least Liv and Ravi know what Blaine is up to. It will be interesting seeing how they break the news to Clive and if Clive will be able to do anything what with his boss being one of Blaine's clients. Things are about to get tricky and I can't wait. Liv versus Blaine ought to be fun. Go Liv!

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Liv finally knows what Blaine is doing
Most Needing to Die - the dead guy who exemplifies the worst of humanity
Most Likely to Throw Up - me, just imagining Liv eating putrefied brain
Biggest Huh? - Do zombies get indigestion? If so, Liv is in real trouble after eating all that junk food.
Worst Dominoes Fail - delivery guy didn't get Jackie's order right in 30 minutes or less and ends up dinner
Least Surprising - the main guy in the video game world is really 14
Best Play - having Major on the autopsy table in the cold open
The "Honesty's the Best Policy" Award - I like that Liv tells Lowell the truth about Major so they don't drag everything out
Quotes -
1. Liv: "Must have doughnuts. Great. I ate Homer Simpson's brain."
2. Lowell: "So did you run out of napkins, or were you just fondled by an Oompa Loompa?"
3. Clive: "Way to stick the landing." Liv: "Sorry. Heavily medicated. Took a few pills for what ails me." Clive: "I hope you also took the bus."
4. Major: "I'm a social worker. My insurance covers like one Band-aid a year."
5. Tom: "Your optimism is tragic."

Forever - 1.21 - The Night in Question

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the truth about Abigail's death comes out
Best Scene - Henry gets the truth from Adam
Biggest Aww Moment - Henry tells Abe that it wasn't Abigail in the grave and they hug
Least Surprising - Adam is the one who kidnapped Abigail
Best Plan - Reece gives Henry the all clear to talk to the cop who might have killed Abigail
Worst Plan - Henry doing the autopsy on what he thinks is his wife
Best Music - We Might be Dead by Tomorrow by Soko
The "Welcome Back" Award - Boris McGiver from TURN, White Collar, and The Wire
Best Quotes -
1. Lucas: "Whoa, you have your own lair." Henry: "As you can see, we have much of the same equipment we have in the lab." Lucas: "You're a beautiful man. Just when I think you've peaked, you just go and take it to a whole new level."
2. Jo: "Did we just accuse a federal judge of murder?" Henry: "Damn did it feel good."

Supernatural - 10.19 - The Werther Project

It's good to have Purgatory and Benny back. They were the only good things about season 8 and Benny was killed off way too soon anyway. If Taxi Driver hadn't blown all canon about Purgatory and hell to smithereens, I wouldn't have minded staying there a bit longer here. As it is, Skin still stands as the best episode to take place in Missouri but this one wasn't too bad. Sam's determination to save Dean at all costs is still a plus, but only because Dean realized that they could work the problem together to get better results. After all, we can't have Supernatural without Sammy any more than we could have it without Dean. It's also nice to get confirmation that although they will soon forget (and by "they" I mean the writers), it is always better having Winchesters work together. Better for the plans and much, much better for the audience. It was nice to have Hallucination Rowena as well. She's as devious as the real one so good luck keeping her chained up, Sam. I don't think it'll work.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - Sam is one step closer to curing Dean
Biggest Confirmation - Dean is thinking about killing himself
Best Continuity - Benny and Purgatory
The "Say What?" Award - Since when does Sam just plead at the door instead of breaking it down to rescue the woman? I call shenanicanon.
The "Back Up the Truck" Award - Mr. Sinclair, there is nothing wrong with being a librarian. You obviously haven't seen The Librarians.
The "Oh Poor Baby" Award - Sammy is giving up most of his blood to get into the box
The "Busted!" Award - Dean climbs into the car with Sam while he's trying to save him
Biggest Brat - teenage Suzie, who demolishes her house and lets out the bad stuff
The "No Duh" Award - it always works better when the Winchesters work together
Least Surprising - Rowena wants Sam to kill Crowley
Worst Celebration - Dean takes beer from a blood-soaked fridge
The "Welcome Back" Award (place) - Purgatory / Supernatural goes back to my home town of St. Louis. The first time was in Skin with ShifterDean.
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Benny, who left the show far too soon
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Kavan Smith of Stargate, Eureka, and The 4400 fame
Best Quotes -
1. Dean: "The universe is trying to tell us something we both should already know. We're stronger together than apart."
2. Rowena: "I'm over 300 years old. Beauty sleep isn't optional."
3. Dean: "Hey, I'm bummed out too but you are just a figment. Okay? You're…you're subconscious junk my brain's throwing up to distract me from getting back to reality." Benny: "Figment? Junk? Well I'll try not to be offended."
4. Sam: "Get away from me. No don't, don't. Dean, it's the only way. It needs Legacy blood, enough to take a life." Dean: "Well it doesn't have to come from just one Legacy does it? If it needs more blood, it can have mine."
5. Benny: "In this place, you don't have to go looking for a fight. All you have to do is be still for one moment and that fight will come to you. That's why you're here, Dean. That's the purity you crave. Killing with no consequence."

CSI: Cyber - 1.07 - URL, Interrupted / 1.08 - Selfie 2.0

It really sucks to be right sometimes. I called the ex-girlfriend from the first mention, but I would rather it have been a child. At least then you can confront them about the evil of their choices but an adult has zero excuse. Actually a teen has no excuse either. They know that words hurt too. To see the lack of regret in these teens for cyber torturing Zoe is scary. Most actual teens are very empathetic when you show them how their actions make others feel, thankfully. Most are not sociopaths like Hollywood likes to make them seem. Speaking of sociopaths, the second episode was very disturbing, like Criminal Minds-level disturbing. We did get back story on Avery and the Krumitz and Nelson bromance is developing nicely, but I could have done without this case of the week. The idea of girls being shackled in a sociopath's basement for years is unnerving to say the least.

Grade: B / C

Best Reason to Watch - all the ways technology is scary
Best Scene - Krumitz and Nelson celebrating their new clues together
Most Fun - Nelson and Krumitz's growing bromance
Biggest Lesson - never turn on your location services EVER
Biggest Sign that Civilization is Dying - none of these kids who cyber bullied Zoe show any remorse at all
Best Aww Moment - Avery tells Krumitz how much she appreciates him
Best Back Story - Raven's hacking career / Avery's dead client
The "Oh Please No" Award - Tell me this poor kid wasn't getting bullied by her dad's ex. It would be even worse than if it were horrendous kids.
Best PSA - anti-cyber bullying
Creepiest Business Idea Ever - wearing a mask in public to keep security cameras from noticing you
The "A Little Warning Please" Award - no close-ups on dead girls with bugs all over their faces
The "Welcome Back" Award - Rosanna Arquette from Royal Pains and a whole lot of movies
Best Quotes -
1. Mundo: "What are picture frames for?" Raven: "Parent, grandparents, you know…old people." Mundo: "I would get mad at you but I walked myself right into that one."
2. Zoe: "To everyone who cyber bullied me, know that your words mean something. That cruel comment that you type without second thought could destroy someone's life. Your words are weapons. Be careful how you use them."
3. Raven: "Worst guidance counselor ever."
4. Jennifer: "I feel so awful for Zoe. We've been friends since preschool." Avery: "I don't think I've ever called one of my friends a heinous b** or told them I wish that they would die a slow and painful death." Jennifer: "Well some friends deserve it."
5. Nelson: "That's what I'm talking about. Babyface and Big Boy, heating up."

The Goldbergs - 2.21 - As You Wish

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies and I've been waiting for them to do it ever since they had the Goonies episode. While not as epic as that one, this one had a lot of heart and I love that Beverly was competent and not as obnoxious as usual. These days she could make money through matchmaking. She's that good. It's always nice when there's a Beverly at school moment that doesn't make me want to throw something so bonus points for that too. Plus Erica doing her first bit of matchmaking created a great mother-daughter moment. Still it all comes down to Murray as usual. I love how Pops' story made him wish for some quality bonding time with Adam, who was brattier than normal in this episode. Therefore I also liked how Pops refused to bail him out when he learned how Adam manipulated Murray. Adam did need to keep trying at fencing and it led to the funniest dialogue of the night. Mostly though I love that Murray went ahead and watched the movie and then participated in Adam's version. That's just awesome and the hug Adam gives him is icing on the cake.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Murray, Pops, and Adam's interactions
Most Fun - Murray dresses up like Andre the Giant's character
The "I Totally Get It" Award - The Princess Bride is one of the most entertaining movies ever made. I've probably watched it hundreds of times too. Plus it is the most quotable movie I know. "I'm not a witch. I'm your wife. But after what you just said, I'm not even sure I want to be that anymore."
The "Say What?" Award - No school I know of has ever said teachers can't hook up. They are more concerned about teachers and students hooking up, which is beyond disgusting and loathsome.
Best Psych Out - Adam giving the Inigo Montoya speech
Best Matchmaker - Beverly, who in her gossiping knows everyone
Worst Nostalgia - print encyclopedias / sharing one phone
The "Welcome Back" Award (characters) - Coach Meller and Miss Cinoman
Best Quotes -
1. Adam: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Fencer: "Your father is right there. He sold us our sectional."
2. Pops: "Point is watching her dance is one of the happiest memories of my life. Don't you want to have that with your son?" Murray: "Ulgh, why do you always have to tell such wonderful and touching cr**?"
3. Adam: "Please, fencing is my dream." Murray: "I thought your dream was to be cast as an Ewok." Adam: "I'm too big now. Things change."
4. Adam: "Do you like romance, pirates, wizards, Mandy Patinkin?" Murray: "That's a hard 'no' to all those things, but what I do like is my money well-spent and that's why I'm gonna force you to fence." Adam: "But I'll get poked again and it stings a little. Pops, you're the voice of reason. Help me out here." Pops: "Not after the way you manipulated your father, kiddo. That was a real putz move."
5. Murray: "I have to admit that your story about Bevvy dancing gave me hope. For a second I thought that me and Adam actually found something that we both enjoyed." Pops: "You know, this reminds me of a story." Murray: "Oh dear God, I'll work through it on my own."
6. Pops: "Don't just stand there. We're in F. Find first aid."

Young & Hungry - 2.03/2.04/2.05 - Young & Munchies / Young & Old / Young & First Time

Grade: B overall

Best Reason to Watch - funny situations
Best Scene - Sofia tries to tell Gabi about Josh but she's passed out
Best Episode - 2.04, which is surprising because usually Elliot is my least favorite character
Most Magical - whatever Gabi is doing to look refreshed and gorgeous after passing out on the couch during a bender
Most Surprising - Eliot's pot dream
Worst Plan - getting stoned before a meeting with your boss
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Rizwan Manji from Backstrom
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Logan / Cooper
Best Quotes -
1. Logan: "SoB, are you sure there's marijuana in this?" Gabi: "Tons. It's like a Seth Rogan movie in there."
2. Gabi: "Oh wow, your doctor's office is really nice. At the clinic that I go to if you didn't have something walking in, you're gonna have something walking out."
3. Josh: "Andre broke up with Elliot because he's turning 40." Yolanda: "Out of all the reasons, that's what he picked."
4. Gabi: "Oh yeah, speaking of pushers, does Dime Bag Dave still live downstairs." Sofia: "No, he moved to jail."
5. Yolanda: "That was the worst kung fu movie I've ever seen."

Backstrom - 1.10/1.11/1.12 - Love is a Rose and You Better Not Pick It / I Like to Watch / Corkscrewed

Grade: B- overall

Best Reason to Watch - Backstrom and Valentine
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Backstrom and Amy
Best Scene - Valentine tells Backstrom that his mother committed suicide and Backstrom starts to break down as he leaves
Best Back Story - Backstrom shows Valentine the bowl his mother made for him
Best Reaction - Valentine to Backstrom calling someone a prostatherapist / Gravely and Nadia to Backstrom's conversation in the box
The "Total Little Brother Move" Award - Valentine is frustrated with Backstrom so he steps on his sandwich
The "Well You Pegged That Right" Award - the therapist psychoanalyzes Backstrom into silence
Best Awww Moment - Valentine rescues the pot Backstrom's mother made
Least Professional - they all taste the wine in the actual office while on the job
Most Annoying - Valentine continues to lie to Backstrom even though it makes the case harder
Least Surprising - the fiancé did it
Most Surprising - the artistic side of Backstrom
Biggest Laugh - Moss Brady tells them Fitch is not dead so Backstrom has him taken to the morgue where he promptly faints
The "Welcome Back" Award - Frank Collison from Dr. Quinn and My Name is Earl / Haley Webb, who died too early on Teen Wolf / Ever Carradine from Major Crimes / Ian Tracey from The 100
Best Quotes -
1. Backstrom: "Don't be afraid to use your scary preacher voice. We're gonna bust this scumbag with God cop, bad cop."
2. Backstrom: "Paquet, why don't you make this in a way that people can read?" Nadia: "I make this in a way that everything is here. Okay, like reality, it's a little bit confusing but you cannot have it both ways."
3. Backstrom: "Plus the guy practically confessed." Gravely: "Okay by practically I assume you mean he completely denied it."
4. Valentine: "You know maybe you shouldn't have hookers come to your home when you're a cop." Backstrom: "It's not exactly a hooker. It's like a….um, prostatherapist."
5. Backstrom: "She came on to me because….I don't know. I saw deeper into her artistic soul than any other man ever had." Gravely: "That does not possibly seem like it could be true."

The Messengers - 1.02 - Strange Magic

I can see why the CW banished this show to Friday night purgatory. A twisted version of the apocalypse complete with an angry God and somewhat cheesy special effects has to be a hard sell. I'm a little more skeptical myself. Still, I like the characters so far, except for Vera. She is too shrill in her arguments so her voice goes through my head, which is weird because I didn't have a problem with the actress in Gang Related. Maybe as her doubt vanishes, she will grow on me too. The rest of the characters have been interesting, what little we know of them. Still the best reason to watch is the accelerated pacing, which already set up the quest of the show. To be honest, I don't expect this show to last for long so the big thing will be to see if it can end in a satisfying way. Taking down the Horseman of War would be a good start.

Grade - B

Best Reason to Watch - the overall quest is revealed
Best Scene - they all see themselves as angels
Best Power - healing
Most Annoying - Vera
Most Valid - Ben's wife makes a good point about soldiers' plights after they come home
Funniest Name - The Last Supper Bar and Grill
Biggest Hmm - Humans becoming angels? I don't think so. This isn't your Biblical apocalypse story.
Best Quotes -
1. Vera: "Are you trying to sound a**hat crazy right now?"
2. Rose: "It's no accident you're here." Joshua: "Do you know why?" Rose: "Yes, and I don't think any of us has a choice. We need to find and stop the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Vera: "Seriously, horsemen?" Joshua: "She's talking about war, pestilence, famine, and death." Peter: "That doesn't sound good." Rose: "It isn't, but they're regular people just like we are except the devil is tempting each of them to commit some kind of terrible sin and once they do, they're no longer human. They've broken a fateful seal." Joshua: "The 7 seals of the Apocalypse." Peter: "That sounds even worse." Vera: "It is. Each of the seals is like a stepping stone on the way to the Rapture."

TBBT - 8.22 - The Graduation Transmission

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Sheldon and Howard's interactions have become more civil over the years with Sheldon not mocking Howard's Masters degree even once this episode
Most Fun - rogue robot
Biggest Manipulator - Raj, who plays both of his parents
Best Speech - Leonard's high school graduation speech
The "Who Knew?" Award - tech support symbolizes nerd middle age
Best Quotes -
1. Leonard: "My point is while you're spending all this time of your own, building computers or practicing your cello, what you're really doing is becoming interesting and when people finally do notice you, they're going to find someone a lot cooler than they thought."
2. Raj's Dad: "I'm cutting you off." Raj: "Just to be clear - financially or mid-sentence?"
3. Howard: "One toy at a time." Sheldon: "Hmm, sorry. Yeah maybe it's for the best. I hear locomotive smoke is the second leading cause of death among train aficionados." Raj: "What's the first one?" Howard: "Suicide."
4. Leonard: "Short and sexy, that's my wheelhouse."
5. Sheldon: "I wonder if they make I Told You So cards in Braille."

Grimm - 4.19 - Iron Hans

I hate this plot, everything about this plot, but the scene between Juliette, Nick, and Adalind at the precinct was well done. I can embrace this HexenJuliette plot if it stays as campy as this was AND most importantly, if she and Adalind die at the end. I don't want yet another potion to return Juliette back to normal because I have no sympathy left for her. She needs to go too since the writers still cannot find a story for her that doesn't make me want to ice pick my brain. It's been 4 years. That's long enough time to throw things up to see if something sticks.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Juliette goes off the deep end
Best Scene - Juliette confronts Nick and Adalind
Best Reaction - everyone to hearing that Adalind is pregnant with Nick's child
Most Interesting Camp - getting in touch with your inner Wesen
Least Trustworthy - Adalind, who says she can suppress the hexenbiest in Juliette
Most Reused Plot - Monroe as bait
Worst Recurring Theme - Women pity parties on this show. Just stop, writers.
The "Welcome Back" award - Jeff Fahey from Under the Dome
The "Say What?" Award - Juliette tells Rosalee she's not complaining. Since when?
Most Worthy of Thrown Socks - Adalind, the pregnancy, Juliette - pick 1
Least Surprising - the daughter is the killer
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Sergeant Franco, who needs to be used more often
Best Quotes -
1. Adalind: "Juliette, listen to me. I came here because I have a way of helping you." Juliette: "I've had enough of your help." Nick: "Nothing's gonna happen here. I'm sorry, Juliette, but you have to leave." Juliette: "Really Nick? That's what I have to do. Let me tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to rip this little b**'s throat out." Nick: "You are in a police station." Juliette: "I am in hell, Nick, and it is time she went there with me."
2. Renard: "Well as long as we're digging up the past, we may as well dig up your mother."
3. Adalind: "Okay she may have beat up a couple people in a bar, and God knows we've all done that, but there is no way that she is going to betray Nick if that's where you're going."
4. Kenneth: "You know I admire loyalty when it's deserved but this borders on tragic."
5. Todd: "So you're a blutbad and you hang with a Grimm." Monroe: "I do." Todd: "You don't have a problem with that?" Monroe: "I don't and I'm not interested in your opinion if you do."
6. Adalind: "Of course it's not yours. Don't you think I know who I've slept with?" Renard: "Yeah well who haven't you slept with? Let's start there."

Community - 6.05 - 6.07 - Laws of Robotics & Party Rights / Basic Email Security / Advanced Safety Features

Grade: B- / B- / B+

Best Episode - 6.07 with its fun take on product placement and the fact that Britta was not annoying until the very end. That's unusual. Plus Frankie finally said what I've been saying for years. Dean is an idiot.
Worst Game of Charades - Britta with Elroy
Biggest Product Placement - Honda
Most Truncated - The story about leaked e-mails should have been a mass Greendale meltdown but they spent too much time on the set-up. I would have loved it to be more like the paintball episodes instead of basically skipping the aftermath. This is a case of too narrowly focusing on the main cast and poor pacing in what could have been the best episode so far.
Best Continuity - Jeff recounts his time as a fake lawyer / Troy and Shirley mentions / Natalie is Freezing
Most Bizarre - iPad fight / kid cop waxing poetic
Best Reference - daleks / West Side Story
Best Meta - Annie tells Britta not to say the name Subway without being paid for it
Most Missed - Troy and Shirley
The "Welcome Back" Award (characters) - Britta's parents who make every episode funnier
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Billy Zane of Titanic fame
Best Quotes -
1. Abed: "…but I don't get anything out of parties. They're like conventions for every subject too boring to have their own convention and instead of Joss Whedon, the police show up."
2. Elroy: "These guys are giving hackers a bad name and hacker's already such a dumb name."
3. Annie: "Guys, do you feel like Elroy doesn't like us as much as we like him and each other?" Chang: "He probably doesn't know his role yet. I mean is he black Pierce, old Troy, or Shirley without a giant purse?"
4. Jeff: "Alright, knock it off. No one at this school should pick on any class of people. It's like watching magicians bully jugglers."
5. Britta: "We have to stop the people. Their freedom of speech depends on it."
6. Jeff: "As someone that got paid to keep people out, let me tell you….not every bad guy ends up in prison and not every prisoner is a bad guy."

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 The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Younger - 1.06 - Shedonism - Preview

While last week's episode of Younger dealt with Girl Power and the ability to make things happen through synergizing, this week focuses on what it takes to be a good friend. Do true friends support everything? Do they allow the other to fail? Do they back off when their friend says to? Both Diana and Liza encounter people from their past who are sinking quickly and must decide the best course of action to take with them. For Diana the dilemma comes in the form of Annabelle Bancroft, a former friend and current Empirical Press author, played by TV legend Jane Krakowski. Krakowski soars as a boozy, drugged out, hard-to-please book diva who just wants to have a great time. She comes off as deliciously over-the-top much like in her Ally McBeal role. It isn't only Liza living the 26-year-old life, although Annabelle's version is definitely more likely to end with a stint or two in rehab.

Desperate to ditch her former best friend, Diana puts Liza in charge of Annabelle's book launch party with the understanding that Annabelle wants something young and fresh. It's a huge step forward in Liza's career and Diana makes sure she understands that. Diana: "Liza, I hope you realize the opportunity I'm giving you." Liza: "I do, Diana." Diana: "Good because my assistants don't stay assistants very long. They move up or they move out." It's do or die time for Liza and Annabelle makes nothing easier. Also weighing down Liza is her ex-husband, who is back in the picture asking for a favor. It soon becomes clear that his gambling problems continue even as his relationship with the woman he left Liza for is failing. Still Liza feels a connection when he orders her favorites for her and finds herself reminiscing about the past. Torn on whether to agree to the favor or not, it is ultimately something that Diana says that helps her decide. Trickier still is what to do about Kelsey when Liza finds her in a compromising position. The 26 year-old-life isn't any easier than the 40-something one when it comes to dealing with friends.

Highlights -

1. Diana's back story - Diana is one of my favorite characters but she's also the one we know the least about. It's great to get a glimpse of her former self. While we don't get enough details, it is fun to think of a Diana who is not as straight-laced and professional.

2. Jane Krakowski - Not everyone is going to like this character and she could get old fast, but for one episode I found her a lot of fun. Mostly I liked the dichotomy between Annabelle acting like she's in her 20's and Liza living it.

3. Liza gets more responsibility - For the most part, Liza's work life has been dull and can often be the slowest part of the episode. While she absolutely needs to keep working for Diana, it is fun seeing her rise to new challenges. Except for the cock joke. That was eye roll-worthy.

4. Josh is objectified - Let's face it. On most TV shows, it's the female who is objectified so it is a switch to see a male publicly groped. Let's just say that Josh and Liza's reactions made me laugh.

5. Liza is outed….maybe? - A character makes a comment that could be construed as knowing the truth about Liza's age, which freaks Liza out.

Other notes -

Caitlin is back in this episode.
Maggie asks her crush out on a date only to get a big surprise.
Lauren is helpful again.
The technology of the week is Vine.

Quotes -

"I believe it was Fitzgerald who said that the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold 2 opposed ideas in mind at the same time." "I think it's highly possible that F. Scott Fitzgerald was drunk when he said that."
"I mean she's clearly in her 40's but she acts like she's in her 20's. Why would people do that, you know?"
"I still have my underwear on? This was a terrible party."
"I'm sorry. I took a Cross Fit class this morning and I think I tore my…everything."
"There's only one commandment. Close your hearts and open your legs for everything life has to offer."
"Well sometimes people need a second chance." "I don't carry dead weight well…in my personal life or in my office."

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 The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Grimm - 4.19 - Iron Hans - 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 The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happyish - 1.01 - Pilot - Preview

Happyish premieres Sunday, April 26 on Showtime at 9:30 pm

Happyish is the brainchild of American essayist Shalom Auslander, whose latest absurdist novel is about a Jewish man finding an old, cranky Anne Frank hiding in his attic. It originally starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, but after his untimely death from drugs, Steve Coogan stepped in to play the lead, Thomas Payne. Opening with an F-bomb laden tirade against Thomas Jefferson and his inclusion of "the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence, Payne is a Prozac-taking marketing executive with a bleak attitude about everything and a serious generation gap issue looming. His firm just hired two 20-something social media gurus to revamp his department and as his friend Jonathan reminds him, he's "still on AOL." Things at home are a little better with a supportive wife and adoring kid. At a small party for Thom's 44th birthday, the two couples lament getting old, discuss whether it's better for kids to be bullies or wimps (in much stronger language), gossip about a friend's recent genital surgery, and diligently hide from their kids that they are smoking weed outside. The biggest problem at home is that Thom is afraid that Viagra will interfere with his Prozac so he can't get it up even while watching a porno with his wife. He's a middle aged man fighting for survival in a hipster world and even the presence of newly bought skinny jeans can't disguise how uncomfortable his world has gotten.

In all fairness, this is not my kind of comedy so other viewers may like it far more than I did. It does have a winning cast, especially Ellen Barkin, who portrays a headhunter whose potty mouth and bleak attitude match Thom's. Kathryn Hahn, who plays Thom's wife, also shines. The problem is that the writing's tendency towards monologuing overwhelm them. Happyish has a pretentious air to it, complete with references to Samuel Beckett and Camus, that is likely to get it labeled a thinking man's comedy but comes off more like being impressed with its own intelligence. Combined with dropping f-bombs and other obscenities for no reason, the show definitely strives for edgy but lands on cranky instead. Perhaps part of the problem is that everyone under the grand age of 40 (which I passed a few years ago) is portrayed as an idiotic Philistine who must be groveled to in order to keep paying the bills. Younger, another comedy about the generation gap on TV Land, at least attempts to flesh out both sides. Happyish is too busy listening to the sound of its own internal rant to treat them as anything but a cliché.

Episode Awards:

Best Reason to Watch - some topnotch actors
Best Reason to Fast Forward - sex with a cartoon character
Best Aww Scene - Thom reading to Julius and telling him goodnight
Best Character - Ellen Barkin as Dani, the headhunter that encourages Thom to keep his job
Biggest Sign We're All Screwed - skinny jeans are required to succeed
The "Say What?" Award - Did someone on this show just applaud Al-Qaeda and Isis for being good marketers? Okay then.
Best Visual - Western Civilization holding its hands up like its being taken hostage by the males, 18-24 demo
Most Depressing - a joy ceiling
Most Surprising Statistics - If this show is correct, the average employee age at Facebook is 26, at Google it's 31, and at Apple it's 33. That's scary.
Worst Plan - downing bottles of stuff you got at the health store right before meeting your new bosses and without reading the side effects first
Most Bizarre - homicidal / suicidal Keebler elves
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bradley Whitford of the superior Trophy Wife and West Wing / Ellen Barkin of a bazillion movies / Nils Lawton, most recently playing a dead douche on Eye Candy / Kathryn Hahn from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Crossing Jordan / Andre Royo of Fringe
Best Reference - Lord of the Flies


"Abs don't tell the world you're healthy. They tell the world you're one Twinkie away from killing yourself."
"Because you have heart and that's why you have no power."
"I can barely watch porn anymore." "That is the real tragedy of chemical warfare."
"I just think I'd be…I don't know, happier someplace else." "That's a myth, Thom. You're as happy right now as you can ever be. We each have our own joy ceiling."
"If you ask me Julius is just too happy." "Too happy?" "You make your kid happy in this world, you're setting them up. It's child abuse. Trust me Thom, the only shot at happiness in this world is a miserable childhood, the sh** the better."
"In a couple of months, I expect to be replaced by a f** app."
"Look, I love you Thom but if you want to survive this, you've got to play the game. So marketer, rebrand thyself."
My name is Thomas Payne and I…I work for Satan. I've worked for the Dark Lord for 20 years now and so I say this with a fair degree of authority. F** Mad Men. There's nothing cool about advertising. There's nothing interesting. We do the same thing that everyone else in the world does these days. We kiss the zit-covered a** of arrogant, know nothing teenagers. It's Lord of the Flies out there folks and everyone over the age of 18 is Piggy."
"Things have changed, Thom. Thinking is not as important as tweeting."
"Thom Payne, low joy ceiling. It's not the pursuit of happiness that's our problem. It's our inability to accept when we have maxed out. You think you're not happy? Trust me, Thom. You couldn't possibly be happier."

Happyish premieres Sunday, April 26 on Showtime at 9:30 pm

Screencaps by SpoilerTV and TV Line.

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 The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of April 13 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome back to Last Week in TV where I celebrate the best, the brightest, and the douchiest in TV. Walter O'Brien is hands-down winner for the last one by the way. Most of my TV week was spent trying to catch up with all the stuff I missed last week. Some of which I succeeded at while others are falling to marathon later status. As such, some shows do not have reviews, only grades and awards. Backstrom will be back in the column next Monday but I didn't quite manage to catch up in time for today's deadline. Overall it was a decent but busy week for me. I hope yours was good too. Next week's nominated episode is episode #4 of The I. T. Crowd, a British comedy. Should be interesting since I watch a fair amount of British dramas but nothing else. If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the short form below. Until next week, comments are the sprinkles of life. Happy TV viewing!

Overall Awards - 

Normally this is where the Show of the Week would be but none of them really stood out to me.  Instead I'm going back to the old way of doing it this time and giving out overall awards.

Best Bromance - The Flash - Cisco and Ray
Best Use of an Underused Character - Grimm - Hank
Best Guest Star - Battle Creek - Candice Bergen
Best Reveal - iZombie - both Lowell and the police captain are zombies
Biggest Douche - Scorpion - Walter O'Brien
Worst Parenting - Fresh Off the Boat - Louis and Jessica
Most Ominous Yet Potentially Fun Alliance - Supernatural - Sam and Rowena
Best Diatribe - CSI: Cyber - Nelson talking about Apple changing connectors

Nominated Episode -

Scandal - 4.10 - Run

This was probably the absolute worst episode for me to watch of Scandal. First I had very little background knowledge going in. Add to it, this episode would have been confusing to people who watched weekly. The storytelling format used in which events are rewound to show things from different perspectives with some scenes only happening in Olivia's head did nothing except confuse me more. I was never a huge fan of the tri-screen thing that 24 did, but it would have been an improvement here. I expect the twist was the big draw but that too limped. I give awards as I watch shows and as soon as we met Ian I wrote the "Sorry But I Don't Trust You" award. Once Ian was taken away and "shot," I knew for sure he was the bad guy. I watch a lot of TV and I was crazy about Burn Notice and White Collar. Burn Notice taught me that the person in the cell with you is often a plant, while White Collar showed me just how easy it is to make someone believe they were taken to another country. It is possible that Liv is halfway around the world, but I doubt it. Like she said, that wouldn't make sense. Liv herself didn't make sense to me either. Why rush the only plan you've got? She had wasted a lot of her 5 minutes when she came up with the bathroom window plan. She should have waited until the next time to try. Still the biggest problem I had was of course the constant reference to the love triangle. I simply do not get the appeal. How low does your self-esteem have to be to wait around until some woman makes up her mind on if she likes you better than some other guy? If she's torn, that's a clear sign to move on. She's not worth it. The same goes if the genders are switched. Love triangle is just another way of saying passive-aggressive mind game. Who would ever want to be in a relationship with someone that manipulative? In the end, the only things that made this episode tolerable to me were Kerry Washington's acting and Hallucination Abby. I would have much rather spent my time watching HalluAbby lay down the hard truths. As it is, these two things raised the grade an entire letter grade for me.

Grade: C-
Ranking - 1
Audience - I really don't know because this episode is different from everything I've seen from Scandal. I don't know if the show has changed so much since season 1 or if this episode is an anomaly.

Best Reason to Watch - Kerry Washington's acting
Best Scene - Hallucination Abby sticks it to Olivia
Worst Subplot - She's kidnapped and all she can think about is a freaking love triangle. Gah!
Most Mixed Metaphor - I love the Wallis Simpson reference but I think you've got it backwards. The President would be playing the King Edward VII part and Olivia would be the Wallis Simpson.
Biggest Huh? - Why is this episode rewinding and jumping back and forth? It's the weirdest storytelling structure I've seen on TV. It's also very annoying. I'd rather they split screen like in 24.
The "Say What?" Award - Why is the President suddenly here? What's up with all the jam? I don't get it.
The "Sorry but I Don't Trust You" Award - Dear hostage, I don't trust you. I've seen too many TV shows. You could very well be the mastermind in this whole show. The idea that they supposedly killed you only makes me more suspicious. Furthermore, there is no proof yet that this is a foreign country. I saw White Collar.
Most Overused Words - 5 minutes
Most Common Sense - Hallucination Abby
Worst Nightmare - being stuffed in a body bag with a dead body
Worst Sign - kidnappers let you see their faces
Least Surprising - Ian is the mastermind, which I called from his appearance
Worst Plan - Trying to do everything in one bathroom trip instead of spreading it out like a spy. I thought Olivia was smart. / dropping the gun instead of keeping it
Best Plan - hide your kidnapee in the room across the hall so you can see when the people chasing you head out and can move her then
The "Welcome Back" Award - Scott Foley of Felicity fame / Jason Butler Harner from The Blacklist
Best Quotes -
1. Ian: "Your father is…what? Ike Turner?"
2. Abby: "Where's the press, who I bet would be swarming you on a daily basis if the President of the United States went all Wallis Simpson on America?"
3. Abby: "It doesn't matter who you love. Look at me. Jake and Fitz can't help you. There is no man to rescue you. Do you hear me? No one. No one is going to help you. You are the only gladiator in the place. You are all you've got. You have to rescue yourself."
4. Olivia: "I'm not choosing Jake. I'm not choosing Fitz. I choose me. I'm choosing Olivia and right now Olivia is dancing. I'm dancing, Jake. I'm free. Now you can dance with me or you can get off my dance floor. I'm fine dancing alone."
5. Olivia: "I only negotiate with people who have the power to say yes or no. You don't have that. You're not in charge. No one in this ambulance is in charge."

New Shows -

Tatau - 1.01 - Pilot

I had no idea what this show was about but I didn't expect it to get so weird so fast. I think part of it is because I have no idea what is motivating Kyle here. I know he had a girl and I know there was a death somewhere in there but I couldn't make out if she died or their child did no matter how many times I listened to the dialogue. I'm going to need a whole lot more back story before I can buy that this guy would go to so much trouble to chase a girl that everyone said was alive. Then to have her actually show up alive and somehow believe that he can suddenly see her future murder based on one backwards glance. That seems highly farfetched to me. Has he always been able to see the future? Is his family related to the Winchesters? There has to be more than his suddenly believing in his hallucinations to base this on. Plus if he keeps going on in this way, if the woman does end up dead he will be the prime suspect. In a foreign country no less. Not a smart plan. Generally I would have the patience to find out but I've already got a thoroughly taxed TV schedule and I like Poldark far more. That's the British import I'm going to stick with for now even if this is intriguing. Maybe in marathon later.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the cliffhanger ending
The "Say What?" Award - Kyle is planning on going to another country to see if a girl is missing after her father and brother tell him she's not. Exactly what kind of insanity is this?
Best PSA - Don't drink strange stuff that gets you high while on vacation. It's just commonsense.
Best Supernatural Element - the island's version of the White Lady
Least Surprising - Budgie's gambling debts
Most intense - preacher
Most Shady - Dries, who obviously called someone about the dead body
Best Quotes -
1. Budgie: "You ever seen The Wicker Man?" Tyler: "No, why?" Budgie: I think this is the sequel."
2. Dries: "What? He was chasing a girl that just wanted to get away, man. How much clearer could it be?"
3. Budgie: "Okay let's just pretend that's not the most insane thing you've ever said."
4. Kyle: "Remember we met yesterday at the other beach café." Lara: "And that makes lying in my boat naked acceptable, does it?"
5. Tyler: "It can be really magical and empowering or deeply disturbing." Dries: "Most times, both."

The Messengers - 1.01 - Pilot

The CW has no faith in The Messengers as evidenced by its exile to Friday nights midseason. That's not where you put a show unless it's just biding time before other programming can push it off. It's a shame really because the bones of this show are solid. 5 people die when a meteor strikes earth and they awaken with super powers to allow them to fight the devil on earth. It's a familiar story but the characters are intriguing. The pacing is also good in that they answered a lot of questions in the pilot instead of dragging them out. The execution of the story got a little slow at times though. We don't need to see all 5 have their eyes changed or see all 5's angel wings to know that it's happening to them all. It slowed down the pace and made the overall pilot feel unnecessarily cluttered, a hodgepodge of character vignettes instead of a coherent story. While a pilot's first job is to introduce the story and characters, it also has to make people want to tune in for the next episode and it's here they could have upped the ante. Still I'm intrigued enough to put this on weekly review until the CW pulls the plug on it. And they will.

Grade: B-
Ranking - 4 (because it's not going to last long)
Audience - genre fans and those who like apocalypse stories

Best Reason to Watch - the overall pacing
Biggest Switch - Diogo Morgado, who plays the devil here recently played Jesus on the Bible miniseries
The "Not Them Again" Award - angels, they're taking over TV and not in a positive way
Most Random - 2 women are talking engagement when suddenly some guy walks up and shots one
Biggest Moral - Into every hero's life, a little douche must come. Seriously, were they picked because they all have a bully and a fraud in their lives? I'd escape too.
Biggest Terminator Rip-off - the naked guy in the crater
Most Surprising - No one has telekinesis or teleportation yet. Maybe one will be Vera's specialty since they've already got telepathy, super strength, healing, and foretelling the future.
Least Surprising - Joshua's evil father and wife are having a baby
The "Welcome Back" Award - JD Pardo from Revolution / Shantel VanSanten from Gang Related
Best Quotes -
1. Vera: "Look. This is something that somebody didn't want us to know about." (helicopters and military vehicles pour in) Alan: "What makes you say that?"
2. Joshua: "It's not your church. It's God's church."

Weekly Shows -

Battle Creek - 1.07 - Mama's Boy

This episode is just what I needed from Battle Creek. I needed some reason to feel sympathetic towards Russ and boy did Candice Bergen fit the bill. Growing up under a con woman had to be hard, especially since he never felt like she loved him. Then to get confirmation from a lie detector. Yikes! Glad they left whether the results were true or not ambiguous. I'd hate to believe that and Russ needs something to hold on to. I am now very curious about Milt's mom. Why doesn't she want to talk to him? I have a running theory that Milt's family is part of a crime syndicate and he helped put away his dad or brother or someone. It's probably dead wrong but until we get actual back story on Milt that's what I'm going with. In the end, I liked this episode better than the last ones because it had heart and gave me a better understanding of why it is so hard for Russ to trust people.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - back story
Best Character Interaction - Russ and his mom
Worst Mother-in-Law - Constance set up Holly to blackmail the fake reporter as a test to see if she is good enough for Russ
Biggest Ouch - A lie detector tells Russ that his mom doesn't love him. That's doubly harsh.
The "Well That Explains It" Award - Russ' terrible attitude makes sense after meeting his charming but criminal mom
Most Mysterious - Why won't Milt's mom talk to him? Did he turn in his father or brother or something?
The "There's Not enough Brain Bleach in the World" Award - I feel for Russ. Walking in on your mother's booty call is a one-way street to brain bleach.
Best Hard Ball - Holly threatening the fake news reporter
Saddest Back Story - Russ has knock off shoe knowledge because that's what he got every birthday
Best Reaction - Milt and Meredith to Russ and his mom theorizing the case together
Biggest Huh? - Why is Russ expositing the crime that got her busted to Constance? I assume she remembers it. This would make more sense if he was explaining to Milt.
Best Twist -
The "Welcome Back" Award - Candice Bergen of Murphy Brown fame among others / Chris Mulkey from Grimm and Friday Night Lights
Best Quotes -
1. Russ: "You conned the mob!" Constance: "I conned a schmuck with a few cell phone stores. Forgive me if I didn't check his family tree."
2. Guz: "My son is complicated. Your son is ill-tempered, distrustful, impatient, and stubborn…but he deserves to be happy. So whatever game you are playing this time, just stop."
3. Russ: "Hey, that's my mother. I'm gonna get real angry if you shoot her."
4. Constance: "His dad was his mentor." Russ: "Yeah, the Barrymores of bunko."
5. Milt: "I think our best option is to take her into the field with us." Russ: "No, your best option is to not believe a word she says. It's served me well for many years."

The Royals - 1.04 / 1.05 - Sweet, Not Lasting / Unmask Her Beauty to the Moon

The difference between these two episodes was startling for me. The first was one of the better ones. It got all characters out of their comfort zones and showed how the royals related to common people. I especially liked the scene with the bartender and Liam. It was a good dichotomy between the distiller and Queen scene. It produced much different results as well to my delight. I love the idea that the queen got revenge on the just plain rude distiller by having his place burnt down. That'll teach him to say that Queen Helena has no power. She's one of the few royals that actually does. I also liked Eleanor better in this episode than most, which means she was barely tolerable. Here's hoping she takes her own advice because I can't stand much more of her "woe is me" attitude. Time to lock her away at rehab and get her off my screen. The same can be said for the second episode, which committed the greatest TV sin. It bored me. 15 minutes in I was wondering when it would be over. It got so dull that I started playing games on my tablet just to pass the time. Besides the back story on Queen Helena, nothing important happened. It was a giant waste of time.

Grade: B / D

Best Reason to Watch - 1.04 - seeing the royals interact with the people / 1.05 - nothing because nothing happens
Best Scene - the bartender tells Liam to step up as future king
Best Insinuation - Queen Helena had the guy's distillery burned down
Most Needing to Take Her Own Advice - Eleanor
Biggest Oops - Crown Prince Liam mistakenly thinks someone is pregnant and asks the name of her baby
Best Drink Name - the Flaming Lamborghini
Most Fun - out of everyone, I'd say Ophelia had the best day
The "Worst Person, Best at Her Job" Award - Queen Helena is not going to win any prizes as a mother or wife, but she sure knows how to work the cameras to ensure the monarchy's favor with the people
Most in Need of a Gibbs' Slap, Or 30 - Princess Eleanor who is about to become the deal breaker for me
Biggest Brat - Ophelia at the ball
Most Depressing - Gemma thinks she has to whore herself out to be important
Most Despicable - Cyrus, as always
Strangest Idea - silent dance party
Most Boring Subplot - the love square between Liam, Ophelia, Gemma, and Nick
Most Adorable - Nick speechless at Ophelia's dress
Shortest Resolve - Eleanor goes substance-free for about 45 seconds before realizing she can't get through her day without alcohol
Best Reference - Back to the Future
Best Quotes -
1. Bartender: "You seem charming, like you're good fun." Liam: "Thank you." Bartender: "Those aren't the qualities I want from my king. Seems like that's just me though." Liam: "What is it you want from your king?" Bartender: "Someone who recognizes when they have the power to make the world a better place. Someone who changes lives and inspires all of us to do the same. Do that and then I'll say you've done something. Then I'd call you my king."
2. Eleanor: "How your mother treated you, that's not your fault. Maybe once you make the choice to let that go, it will get easier." Imogene: "Yeah, you too."
3. Gemma: "I do hate to interrupt but I love this song and I could really use a warm body. Nick, would you mind terribly?" Nick: "This is the part where you ask me to dance and then the jocks lock me in the trunk of a car." Gemma: "Dance floor, McFly. Now!"
4. Imogene: "Wow, you sure put a whole new spin on Your Highness. You holding? Come on, share the wealth. Don't my taxes pay for it?" Eleanor: "Taxes from…from what job, sorry?" Imogene: "Ouch. Feisty princess."
5. Queen: "I can't stop the press from reading between the lines." Liam: "There are no lines to read between." Queen: "Listen. Don't over think things, my love. Let me simplify things for you. Our #1 role on tours like this is to seem interested." Liam: "Why not be interested?" Queen: "Don't be naïve."

Poldark - 1.05 / 1.06

Grade: B+ / B-

Best Reason to Watch - the character interactions
Best Speech - Demelza to Poldark feeling sorry for himself
Biggest Eye Roll - The middle of an angry mob is no time to discuss your feelings. Bah! Get to safety, you idiots.
Biggest Nightmare - Cornish jails in Poldark's time
Quickest Birth in the Kingdom - Demelza gives birth in less time than it takes to finish a play. Lucky her.
Worst Wife - Keren, who is never satisfied
Worst Husband - Francis, who blames his own faults on everyone else
Most Bold - Demelza for going to Captain Blamey's house to plead for him to renew his advances to Verity
Least Gracious Guest - Demelza's father
Most in Need of a Gibbs Slap, Or 30 - both the Poldark degenerate gamblers
Worst Plan - secrets are never a good thing between husbands and wives / gambling, especially while drunk
The "What an Idiot" Award - Verity runs off in the middle of an angry mob because her emotions overwhelm her / Francis gambles away everything
Least Surprising - the miners make Poldark the leader of their new coalition
Most Depressing - Jim's death
Best Quotes -
1. Francis: "What's the matter with the women of this family?" Aunt Agatha: "The men."
2. Demelza: "Ross, you cannot fight the world. You can only make your own small corner a fairer place."
3. Poldark: "I promise you I will make the world a better place for her. I will be a better man for her sake." Demelza: "And for me?" Poldark: "I'm already a better man because of you."
4. Dr. Enys: "I envy you." Poldark: "My charmed life?" Enys: "Is it not charmed? Has it not comfort and purpose and certainty?" Poldark: "This is Cornwall, Dwight. Nothing's certain."
5. Demelza: "He's young and handsome." Poldark: "And green." Demelza: "And free. Do you envy him?" Poldark: "Sometimes. You were right. The world is a harder place now thanks to Julia. The stakes are higher. Loss is more painful. Yet I would not change places with him. My life is more precious for being less certain and richer for being poorer."

AD - 1.02 - The Body is Gone

This episode felt more scattered than the first, possibly because it doesn't cover key scenes in the Bible and lingers a bit long on some that aren't in it. I do like their explanation for why the disciples went to Galilee. It made sense and gave them some alone time with Jesus without guards breathing down their necks. In fact, all scenes with Jesus and His disciples were excellent. The joy they felt at Jesus' appearance was palpable and the scene with Thomas was well acted. I thought Jesus' ascension was fairly decent CGI as well but some of the dialogue felt more stilted than the pilot. On the plus side, the continually corroding relationship between Pilate and Caiaphas is fascinating and Pilate is becoming more bloodthirsty. Both of these things should create more intensity in the coming episodes.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the turmoil of Biblical Jerusalem and the hotbed of political machinations there
Best Scene - Jesus and disciples at Galilee
Most Bloodthirsty - Pilate kills all the guards who were watching Jesus' tomb
Most Poisonous - Leah, who keeps pushing Caiaphas to go further against the other leaders
Most Faithful - still Mary, Jesus' mother
Best Reaction - the disciples to seeing Jesus
Best Gesture - Jesus breaks his bread and offers some to Peter
Best Quotes -
1. Peter: "I think I feel pain at His absence, great guilt because I wasn't with Him at the end, and shame. I so want to tell Him I'm sorry." Jesus: "Peace be with you."
2. Pilate: "You should consider this a lesson in civic administration. If you cannot control the story, kill it."
3. Caiaphas: "Good morning, governor." Pilate: "It was."
4. Caiaphas: "Why won't this business end? Why couldn't this Jesus just stay dead?"
5. Peter: "Do you dare to believe?"

Scorpion - 1.21 - Cliffhanger

For many on my timeline, this is hands down the show of the week. For me it is not because it focuses on my least favorite character, Walter, being his most obnoxious. The amount of sock throwing and mental Gibbs' slapping I did in this episode surpassed all others. By a lot. I get why he was angry but I am thoroughly tired of him thinking that he is the only person who matters and everyone else revolves around his wishes. I applaud Paige's decision to get Ralph as far away from Walter as possible. He's hardly a good role model with his narcissist ways and Ralph is one call away from being taken by the Division of Family Services given how much danger he's been in lately. Drew has a clear case to sue for custody these days. Ralph himself needs to be spanked since he's part to blame as well. Still he obviously needs a more stable environment and a much better role model. Cabe shares part of the culpability in the overall story too. He never should have told Walter the truth in the middle of the mission. How exactly was that going to help anyone? Cabe should have told him earlier or later, not then. He knows how "all about me" Walter gets and doing it in a stressful situation was just going to make his reaction worse. From a story point of view, it also stalled the countdown intensity so we could deal with drama and man pain. At this point, I'm hoping Walter's newest escapade, literally hanging over a cliff, means that he needs to get therapy for several weeks in a place that doesn't allow any communication. I could stand some Walter-free episodes in the new season. Since that can't happen realistically, at least some Walter-light ones.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Paige takes a stand and puts her kid first
Best Reaction - the rest of the team to Walter summarily dismissing Cabe from the team
Biggest Douche - always Walter
Most Clueless / Biggest Brat ? Most in Need of a Spanking - Ralph
Most Handy - Happy and her nifty gadgets
The "Say What?" Award - The magnets can hold someone Walter's size but not Ralph's size? Hmm.
Biggest Eye Roll - Ralph comes in to save the day AGAIN
Worst Security - The gas company's password is 1234? That ought to make everyone feel safe.
The "Way to Make It All About You AGAIN" Award - Paige is rightfully concerned about the safety of her son and you are spouting about her taking Ralph away from you? Shut up, Walter. Shut up now!
Best Plan - Paige decides to limit Ralph's time with Walter
Least Welcome Return - Merrick, who should just let Cabe control everything
Best Continuity - Ferret Bueller
Best Quotes -
1. Paige: "My son nearly died because he wants to be you." Walter: "Is it so awful being me? Being around me?" Paige: "I just don't want him to become you."
2. Cabe: "Walter, how many times do we have to save each other's lives before you realize I'm not the same guy who made that mistake 16 years ago?" Walter: "I said only the bare essentials." Cabe: "Grow the hell up. People might die here today and you're only thinking about yourself."
3. Walter: "Guys, what did Elia give me this morning?" Toby: "Everything short of an open-mouthed kiss."
4. Toby: "Congratulations, you're raising Walter." Paige: "Oh God."
5. Paige: "He's not the only member of this team. He cannot make unilateral decisions."

Fresh Off the Boat - 1.12 - Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon

As a teacher and former high school basketball player, I have a real problem with this. What kind of parent encourages middle school kids to blatantly foul other players? That's the kind of douchey parenting that you hear on Little League fields throughout America. Combined with the inaccuracies of school climate even in the 90's, I had a hard time with this episode. Jessica was a bright spot for awhile but she got douchey too. Call this episode a fail in a show that usually makes me laugh and awwww.

Grade: D-

Best Reason to Watch - the parents forced to interact with their kids
Worst Reason to Watch - teaching your kids all the wrong things
Best Awww Moment - Louis tracks down the knockoff My Little Pony for Jessica
Best Speech - Eddie about teamwork
Worst Speech - Jessica's in the restaurant
Most Fun - the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-style basketball game in Eddie's mind
The "Say What?" Award - I started my teaching career in the mid-90's and even then we couldn't force parents to volunteer or donate. Nowadays, you couldn't have parents supervising programs even if they volunteered. Thanks government.
Best Plan in a Pinch - iron quesadilla snacks
Worst Plan - putting Jessica in charge of the play / encouraging the basketball team to get fouls
The "Thank Goodness it's Gone" Award - 90's style PC drove me nuts
Least Surprising - Eddies' team loses without Dmitri
Best Meta - Jessica scoffs at the idea of TV hiring Chinese actors
Best Reference - Mighty Ducks / Margaret Cho
Best Quotes -
1. Principal: "Mrs. Wong, our school budget has experienced major cutbacks. We rely on parents to supervise our afterschool programs." Jessica: "Well I'm sorry. We're busy with our own afterschool programs. They're called jobs."
2. Emery: "Me and Evan are in the play." Jessica: "You are? Why? You're not going to become actors. You think they're going to put 2 Chinese boys on TV? Maybe if there's a nerdy friend or a magical thing where someone wanders into Chinatown, but no."
3. Jessica: "Look, we can't volunteer. Is there anything else we can do?" Principal: "Well, you can donate money." Jessica and Louis: "How do we volunteer?"
4. Jessica: "Once there was a little girl and all she wanted was a Sparkletime Beauty horse, the knockoff version of My Little Pony. When you hugged them, it burned but you played through that pain and 1 in every 5 had a human face." Emery: "Did the girl ever get one?" Jessica: "No, she got something even better. A strong work ethic. She focused on her studies and became the first one in her family to go to college. Think about that." Evan: "What girl was she talking about?" Eddie: "Connie Chung. Has to be Connie Chung. Who else is there?"

iZombie - 1.05 - Flight of the Living Dead

It's a Veronica Mars reunion. Woo hoo! I'm not surprised that creator Rob Thomas chose to bring back Ryan Hansen first. They seem to have a real life bromance going. Still it was fun seeing Hansen playing a thoroughly conceited character here. He owned it and I wouldn't mind having him back again even in little Easter egg things like magazine ads or billboards. That could be a great piece of recurring meta. Another plus was this brain incarnation of Liv and I hope it continues longer than the others. It was nice to see her take chances even if those chances didn't get much farther than a bike ride and possible new romance. Zombie love in the air? Speaking of potential dates, there are now far too many zombies in Washington. It is officially a zombie horde and that causes lots of potential problems for the story line. If they keep it a secret, it's going to get unbelievable. If they don't, it consumes the story. I'm really not a fan of the captain being part of the horde as well, even though it was incredibly smart on Blaine's part. How else could he hide the dozens of people going missing from one park? By the way, here's hoping Major isn't dead or becomes a zombie too. Then we're in love triangle territory and that's never a creative storytelling setting.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - forward movement on Blaine's hidden zombie army
Most Shady - the Captain is obviously under Blaine's control as the city's latest zombie
Sweetest Creepy Gesture - Liv holds Holly' dead hand while Ravi cuts into her skull
Biggest Face Palm - Liv is talking about eating brains in the middle of a crime scene where anyone can overhear her. For the love of my sanity, there is no cone of silence in TV Land!
Most Brain Dead - Me because I never put it together that her name is Liv Moore. Bwah!
Most Pointless - Why do they tell us the plot 3 times every episode? We get an overview in the opener, then we get the previouslies, and then the cartoon title card explanation. That's overkill, pun intended.
Best Pick-Up Line - Lowell
Best Reaction - Liv to Lowell telling her that he's a zombie too
Best Good Guy - Clive, who not only investigates a non-case for Liv but also checks out Major's missing teen
Biggest Mind Twist - Liv eats Holly's brains because she cares enough to find out what happened to her
Worst Game - the Who Would You Eat First game
Best Pun - Boughs of Holly
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bradley James from Merlin / Ryan Hansen from Veronica Mars and Bad Judge
Best Quotes -
1. Liv: "And that's not all. Daddy McComb is out of a job. There's no way he's keeping his medical license after you went all Oprah with his prescription pad."
2. Captain: "I'm on this new diet so I look at pictures of food I can't have. Some people hate on food pictures. Not me. Balls of spaghetti are my porn."
3. Peyton: "What? You think we'll find a keg in the bathtub?" Major: "No but I heard rumors that there'll be streaking in Holly's honor." Peyton: "Seriously? Smart phones have cameras. Is no one here planning a career in politics?"
4. Carson: "Eliza said she would take care of it. I did not know she meant take care of it Tony Soprano style."
5. Liv: "You're leaving awfully early." Major: "Yeah, I'm really bringing down this wake."

Younger - 1.04 - The Exes

This episode of Younger is all about 2 things: second chances and sex. Lots of sex. Bed-breaking, nirvana-ascending, "seeing yourself outside your body" type sex if the characters are to be believed. That's not typically my thing, but Younger does it well especially since it's all in the first 5 minutes. I especially love how real Liza keeps breaking through 20-something Liza as Kelsey's celebration gets progressively boozier and more out-of-control. By the time Liza sees Josh with another woman, she's in full MOM mode. Good thing because Kelsey is about 2 tequila shots away from making a permanently bad tattoo mistake and losing her first big career break. Not that she hasn't made plenty of mistakes before then, both personally and professionally. Thad needs to go. Now. I would have been happier if Lauren had stuck around instead of him. Surely Kelsey and she would have gotten into a spirited conversation about whether 'Nsync or Backstreet Boys was better, while Liza looked on like they were insane. I would have died laughing. Instead we get a great Liza speech about taking responsibility for your own actions and everyone gets a second chance. All in all, this episode was a good representation of Younger's charms.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - an increasingly frustrated Liza has enough
Best Speech - Liza
Best Aim - Kelsey
Biggest Brat - Kelsey, who whines like a tween and blames her own idiocy on Liza
Biggest Douche - Thad
Most in Need of a Guest Star credit - Josh's abs
Least Affected by the Walk of Shame - Josh's roommate
Worst College Flashbacks - babysitting drunk people
Worst Back Tracking - Nirvana reunion concert? I know it's morning after a great night, but you need to create better quality lies, Liza.
Worst Plan - drunk texting clients
The "I Feel Old" Award - I had to look up Andrew Keegan to figure out who he was. Thankfully I already knew who JT-Squared was although I never referred to him that way. To me he was that kid from Home Improvement. I'm guessing these two were Chad Michael Murray fans too.
Best Reference - Lohan / Gilmore Girls
Best Quotes -
1. Liza: "You know you can rant and deflect blame all you want or you can own this, take responsibility for it, and go fix it."
2. Liza: "Alright, see. I told you. It's closed." Kelsey: "How is this even possible?" Liza: "Because it's after midnight on a weekday and he's not a coke dealer."
3. Thad: "Babe, you know I don't do Brooklyn. No offense." Liza: "Lots taken."
4. Josh: "Monks?" Liza: "Well monks who have dedicated their lives to lots of sex." Josh: "Just stay in the present and have lots of sex…hmm, I could probably be persuaded."
5. Liza: "You and all the tequila you drank need to get in that cab this Instafare."
6. Anton: "We all get one mistake."

The Flash - 1.18 - All Star Team Up

Could we please just move Felicity to The Flash? Please. She always rocks here which is something I could not say by the time I gave up on Arrow. Ray can stay too. He's awesome fun, especially with Cisco and I would love to see their bromance continue as they find more stuff to geek out over. I've heard rumors of Ray going to some other spin-off with the dead Sarah but if that doesn't happen, Central City has plenty of room for an awkward billionaire scientist. Maybe he can take Wells' place when we finally get rid of him. Let's make that soon by the way. I loved everything about this episode, except Cisco's remembering something that never even happened for him. This whole alternate timeline is already screwing things up and it's time to let it go. Such a shame because The Flash may have been the Show of the Week if time travel didn't screw it all to hell.

Grade: B (knocked down for Cisco remembering something that never happened for him)

Best Reason to Watch - guest stars
Biggest Hero - Cisco who lets himself get stung so the bee won't attack Ray or Caitlin
Best Character Interaction - Cisco and Ray geeking out and finishing each others' sentences in a great start to a bromance
The "That Makes No Sense" Award - If they are in a new timeline where the other one did not happen, then Cisco remembering anything makes zero sense. Nada. Nothing. This is the problem with time travel. Writers think they can do anything with it and they break their own rules. Sucky writing here!
Best Point - Ray points out that Cisco's plan to fry the bees will also fry his suit
Worst Plan - not telling Iris / talking to Joe about having sex with Iris
The "Just Stop" Award - Please stop fake killing Cisco. Leave the poor kid alone. Don't real kill him either.
Most Surprising - robotic bees
Most Obsolete - What exactly is Iris' role in this story? Why is she even here? Storming out of a restaurant is not worthy of the screen time it's taking up.
Most Enthusiastic - Felicity at getting able to use a keyboard to get data
Biggest Overreaction - Cisco, I understand a fear of insects and other creepy crawlies. I hate spiders. But using explosions to take them out might be a bit overkill.
Best Time to Buy Stock in Raid - when the bee killer comes to town
Biggest Oops - It's one thing to have bad schematics. It's a whole other level of carelessness to not check the suit for stray bees.
Most Fun - Barry, Joe, and Eddie stopping crime 5 burglary sprees at a time
Least Fun - death by insects
Best Wrap-Up - Felicity explains the highlights of Arrow season 3 so I don't have to watch it. Thanks, Felicity!
Best Continuity - Felicity talks about when she first met Oliver
The "Welcome Back" Award - Amanda Pays from the original Flash TV show
Best Quotes -
1. Felicity: "What is wrong with you? Is everyone in Central City in a bad mood? I thought Central City was supposed to be the fun one."
2. Felicity: "Oh she's good. She's like my nemesis. I've never had a nemesis before. I kind of like it."
3. Cisco: "Bees, why did it have to be bees? Y'all I don't do bees. Ain't nobody got time for bees."
4. Felicity: "Discovery Channel. Turns out there's a lot to discover."
5. Cisco: "That is it for the defibrillator. It is completely fried." Wells: "You're lucky to be alive Mr. Allen." Felicity: "I was very specific that you not die." Ray: "Yeah, it's a pretty big thing for her."

Supernatural - 10.18 - Book of the Damned

Yes, it is the exact same plot twist over and over again. One Winchester is in trouble. The other Winchester allies with the devil or does something catastrophic to save him. There's nothing new about this alliance between Sam and Rowena, but at this point I don't care. We're 10 seasons in. I've given up hope that either will change and let's face it, SPN is no longer seasons 1-3 quality. All I care about now is the entertainment value and this one delivered. I love the idea that Rowena will have an actual purpose this season, finally, and if we are going to get a Big Bad for next season, she works really well for me. I love the idea of Crowley uniting with the Winchesters against his own mother. It will be interesting to see the internal struggle knowing the Winchesters won't care one jot about his feelings. I am a whole lot less pleased that Metatron is on the loose again. He's an irritating storyline that's been over for awhile but the writers' haven't gotten the message. That whole subplot knocked this episode down from an A- because of its sheer fast forward mediocrity. He did have some good lines though. I will give him that. Mostly though this is the Sam I love best. The one who won't give up on his brother, who has realized that he is a hunter to the core just like his dad and brother, and who is unafraid to say how much Dean means to him. I love the speech he gave to Charlie, who was delightful in this episode as well. This reminded me of her very first episode and all the pop culture references. Anyone who thinks in Princess Bride is good with me. In the end, I am very excited to see where this twist will take us and I am looking forward to traveling it in Baby with some classic rock blaring as TV's best brothers take down the bad, one monster at a time.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch / Most Intriguing - Sam allies with Rowena
Best Scene - Sam tells Charlie that he can't be a hunter without Dean
Best Reason to Fast Forward - Metatron always
Best Character - Sam
Best Continuity - references to the pilot
Most Disgusting - skin pages and blood ink
The "Poor Babies" Award - Dean and Sam have never been to a beach? Even to hunt down some ocean monster? That doesn't seem right. (Of course by next season they'll have lived there for a year given how the whole Grand Canyon canon-busting thing turned out.)
Best Reaction - Sam at Dean recapping his time with Rowena and Crowley
Most Fun - Dean rocking out to The Boys are Back in Town and Sam's humor about it
Worst Plan - not killing Metatron right from the start / lying to Dean about Metatron being out with the demon tablet
Biggest Misconception - libraries actually are still flourishing with circulation and visits up in my area
The "Ninety-Second Verse Same as the First" Award - jumping in to save a brother, to hell with the consequences is a Winchester specialty
Best Point - What exactly is Cas' role on this show now? He's been obsolete for years.
Best Reference - Princess Bride / Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Best Quotes -
1. Charlie: "Did you know dental floss works great on stitches? I only passed out twice and I'm pretty sure my wound is minty fresh."
2. Sam: "I guess I really understand now that this is my life. I love it, but I can't do it without my brother. I don't want to do it without my brother, and if he's gone then I'll…" Charlie: "I've got it. I do."
3. Charlie: "I'm exhausted and I'm bleeding and I'm in a phone booth. A phone booth. I didn't know these things existed outside of Bill and Ted's."
4. Charlie: "You were the Dread Pirate Roberts of hunting."
5. Metatron: "Poor Castiel, swam so far just to drown in shallow waters. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?"

CSI: Cyber - 1.06 - The Evil Twin

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Mundo and Avery interaction
Best Reason to Fast Forward / Most Annoying - Krumitz and Nelson's incessant bickering
Most Joyful Scene - the hacker team finding how to prove the murder
Best Catch / Best Upper Body Strength - Mundo, who pulls himself and the murderer over the ledge
Best Reason to be Scared - motion tracking chips on a Smartphone / open wi-fi and free hotspots
The "Say What?" Award - How can this team believe computer devices when they just found out someone hacked the hotel? Surely it would be easier to hack someone's personal stuff than a hotel. Why aren't they at least considering this angle?
Best Point - Apple screws with us all, forcing us to buy extra junk because they change the connectors
The "Little Warning Please" Award - you don't just put spiders on my screen without ample preparation to look away
Most Awkward - Krumitz and Nelson's weird high five/fist bump thing
Most Evil - Avery for rescuing the spider and then torturing Nelson with it
Best Reference - Trojan horse
The "Welcome Back" Award - Justin Bruening from Ringer
Best Quotes -
1. Krumitz: "Raven, could you grab me that pen over there and stab me with it? That would be awesome."
2. Mundo: "Nelson thinks Evan framed himself." Avery: "That would be a smart move." Mundo: "You don't really believe that, do you?" Avery: "Nelson thinks the way hackers do but Evan has no motive and no definitive connection to Adel Foster other than a kiss and kisses rarely get you convicted of murder."
3. Krumitz: "Yeah well clearing your history may hide porn sites from your girlfriend, but it won't hide anything from me."
4. Simon: "Guys, let's just reign in our intellect here."
5. Avery: "You know what I miss about this place? The Mets." Mundo: "The Mets? I would comment but you'd probably fire me."

The Goldbergs - 2.18/2.19/2.20 - I Drank the Mold / La Biblioteca es Libros / Just Say No

Grade: B / C / B-

Best Awww Moment - Adam tells Barry how much he means to him
Best Guilt Trip - Barry tells Adam he's the greatest gift he ever got
Best Payback - Adam gets to beat up Barry
The "Back the Truck Up" Award - Murray was right to call Erica and Barry on their so-called gift. Having him apologize for it is dead wrong. Parents aren't supposed to give into their children just because they throw a fit. That's bad parenting. / Similarly, Beverly shouldn't have to apologize for her politics just because Erica throws a baby fit about wanting everyone to think like her.
Most Disgusting - drinking mold
Most Fun - Adam's jerry-rigged zip line
Biggest Brat - Erica calling Beverly clueless and then lashing out at her
Best Nostalgia - there were a lot of songs about hardworking broke people from Jersey/the heartland in the 80's / Discman woes
Biggest Huh? - Erica and Barry had enough stuff to pawn that they made almost $1,000 in the 80's? The 80's. Yeah, I don't think so.
Worst Parent - Beverly Goldberg blaming teachers for her kids' not doing well
The "You Tell Them" Award - Erica is absolutely right to call out Murray on his double standard
The "Is This Really a Thing?" Award - suburban gang fighting in the 80's?
Best Continuity - Erica's job at Gimbels
Biggest Overreaction - The parents to the kids drinking at a party. My parents started the phone network too so they all knew what we were doing but they didn't split us up. Instead we all got the longest lecture of our lives and grounded…like normal parents.
The "Say What?" Award - no way Beverly Goldberg leaves a half consumed bottle of mold around, even in the trash
Best Reference - Buster Browns / American Gladiators
Worst Reference - the Noid / TJ Hooker hair / America's Funniest Home Videos
Best Quotes -
1. Erica: "You know the song?" Murray: "Of course I know the song." Erica: "But you don't listen to music." Murray: "But I live on earth." Pops: "You do realize when Elton John says, 'You can tell everybody that this is your song,' it's not actually your song, right?"
2. Erica: "That's all you care about? Taxes?" Murray: "Yes. Why do you think we had Adam? He was a write-off."
3. Barry: "Dad's giving me a beer cause I'm a working man." Erica: "What? I work and I like beer. I've said too much. I should go."
4. Murray: "Well now I fight the Power." Erica: "You can't fight the Power. You are the Power."
5. Murray: "I just wanted to have the big rite of passage with my son when I should have been having it with my daughter. Here's to you. You're a man now."

TBBT - 8.19/8.20/8.21 - Skywalker Incursion / Fortification Implementation/Communication Deterioration

The middle episode in this run was by far the best for me, mostly because I liked almost everything that happened. Sheldon and Amy discussing being left out and then deciding to build a blanket fort was a lot of fun and had a surprising amount of heart. I'm always a big fan of Wil Wheaton guesting and to have him mediate an argument between Penny and Leonard was fun. I really like how they have made Penny successful this season. Giving her the sales rep job was a brilliant stroke of character development that was long overdue. I like how the tables have turned now and Penny is the more successful of the two. The subplot I liked least was the introduction of Howard's brother but that is mostly because they went with a cheap masturbation joke when the whole thing could have been more heartfelt. I wish they had added more to the scene with Howard and Raj instead of making things crass. Other than that, 8.20 was one of the more enjoyable episodes of The Big Bang Theory this year.

Grade: C+ / B+ / B-

Best Reason to Watch - the second episode had great subplots for everyone
Most Talented - Penny's eye roll communication
Most Fun - Sheldon playing Doctor Who at Amy's / blanket fort
Best Point - Sheldon reminds Leonard that no matter how sucky their day was, he saw Sheldon tasered
The "Still Gets People Every Time" Award - What is it about ET that makes grown men weep? I don't get it but maybe that's because I was forced to watch ET on repeat during a blizzard.
Best Parody - Sheldon's Eye of the Tiger science version
Best Continuity - the guys keep bringing up past adventures
Best Guest Star - Wil Wheaton
Best Reference - Doctor Who
Best Quotes -
1. Caller: "I don't have a question. I just want to say I'm a big fan of the movie. I've seen it like 10 times." Penny: "Okay well, I'll apologize for the first time, but the other 9 are on you."
2. Leonard: "We're trying to get past a security guard, not rescue Zelda." Sheldon: "I think what really needs to be rescued is your sense of whimsy but one quest at a time."
3. Leonard: "Sheldon, I'm sure it's not because they don't think you're an elite scientist." Howard: "Yeah I bet you anything it's just cause you're a pain in the a**." Sheldon: "You're just saying that to make me feel better."
4. Penny: "I mean the whole experience reminded me about how much I hated that world. You know the anxiety, the depression, the negativity. I don't want to feel those things. I want to sell drugs to people who feel those things."
5. Bernadette: "Don't take this the wrong way but how many of these little booze balls have you had?"
6. Howard: "Come on, one day this may double in value and be worth half what I paid for it."
7. Sheldon: "I want to go in." Leonard: "Well so do I but they'll never let us." Sheldon: "Is that the attitude that helped you get Penny?" Leonard: "No, but I don't have 3 years to make that gate feel sorry for me."

Grimm - 4.18 - Mishipeshu

Much of this episode is a stopgap measure before the big reveal of the stupidest plot Grimm has ever had - Adalind and Nick's baby. Kill me now. I did like the Native American take on things and really loved how Hank was such an integral part. They don't use Russell Hornsby enough so it was good to see him get a meatier part here. I am also good with Janelle becoming more of the story. With her Native American history and the fact that she saw the mishipeshu too, she would make a good addition to Team Grimm if they finally get rid of Juliette. Now that Adalind got visibly pregnant seemingly overnight a couple of episodes ago, they really can't have Juliette kill her so there goes any need for Juliette. Plus Nick's life sucks enough already. You have to feel for the guy with his sort of hexenbiest girlfriend and his hexenbiest nemesis who happens to be pregnant with what may turn out to be his hexenbiest kid. Could this get more Maury Povitch? Where's Mama Grimm to take away yet another special baby so we don't have to deal with this plot line anymore?

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - Hank gets a meatier role
Best Friends - no one's giving up on Juliette…except me
Most Intense Scene - Juliette tells Nick that she likes the power of being a hexenbiest
Best Acting - Russell Hornsby as Hank
Worst Estimate - Wu, you should know by now that Wesen make up 98% of the crime in Portland. That's because they make up 98% of the population.
Least Surprising - the people getting murdered killed Simon's dad a long time ago
Most Surprising - Janelle gets spirit jumped and takes out the last bad guy
Least Likely to Pass a Drug Test - Hank and Janelle
Best Quotes -
1. Wu: "What percentage of crime in Portland do you think is Wesen related? Like 20, 30%." Renard: "Well one way or another most crime in most places is Wesen related." Wu: "Oh, okay."
2. Nick: "You don't scare me and I'm not letting go." Juliette: "Aren't you scared of what you might do to me?" Nick: "I could never hurt you, Juliette." Juliette: "I wish I could say the same but I just don't know anymore because deep down I do blame you for what’s happened to me and part of me loves you for it because I've never felt like this before. It's ironic isn't it? You've been the special one for so long. You're connected to a world that most people will never know or understand, and now I know and I understand and I don't want to give it up. Just like you didn't want to give it up but now I know why. Once you're in it and you've seen it and tasted it and lived it, you can't go back. Everyone just seems blind. I like this power Nick and I know you do too." Nick: "Stop it." Juliette: "I can't."
3. Juliette: "You know I didn't need to let them arrest me. I just wanted to see if you'd come rescue me." Nick: "I'm not letting you out if that's what you mean by rescue you. It's safer for you in here." Juliette: "And safer for you."
4. Hank: "What happened?' Nick: "The mishipeshu sort of borrowed you."
5. Nick: "She's definitely pushing me to the limit. She doesn't give a damn what I think." Hank: "What are you going to do?" Nick: "I'm going to keep her locked up as long as I can. That way at least I know where she is and I can keep talking to her." Hank: "Well that's...sort of a plan."

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 The 100, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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