Friday, January 3, 2014

Last Week in TV - New Column Introduction - Teen Wolf version

Hi and welcome to Last Week in TV, a weekly column in which I will grade all the TV I watched in the previous week, give mini-reviews, and hand out episode awards. The column will be posted every Monday. Some awards will be for the week overall, while others are more episode-specific. Since no one can watch all TV, I will watch one episode from a show I don't normally watch and review it too. Every week I will randomly choose an episode from the weekly nomination form. It can be the most current episode, a goody from earlier seasons, or an episode of a show already cancelled. Here are the guidelines:

1. I can only do shows I have access to, which means no premium cable like Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, or Starz. I have basic cable, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. If it can't be found that way, I am out.

2. I am a prude so anything with more than PG-13 light nudity and cursing will be turned off partway through and I will randomly choose something else. Quick guideline: Orphan Black works; Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Deadwood do not.  I also do not do reality TV.

3. If part of your goal for nominating a show is to increase viewers, please choose the episode carefully. I am an honest reviewer and I rarely pull punches. Sometimes an episode can be the best for those who know the plot and characters, but it is too complicated for someone who knows neither. Good standalone episodes are generally easier for newbies than mytharc ones.

4. Once a nominated show is reviewed, I will not revisit it until next season unless it gets a 5. Each nominated show will be graded on a 1-5 rating: 1 - never again / 2 - not likely to watch again / 3 - possible show to watch in hiatus / 4 - on the "to watch" list / 5 - making it a weekly show

5. New episodes of the following shows will always be part of the weekly review: Sleepy Hollow, Teen Wolf, Almost Human, SHIELD, The Goldbergs, Trophy Wife, Arrow, OUaT Wonderland, The Big Bang Theory, The Crazy Ones, Elementary, White Collar, Grimm, and Dracula (which I hate watch). Shows that may or may not make the weekly list include: The Tomorrow People, Community, Blacklist, Person of Interest, and The Michael J. Fox Show.

I am really looking forward to hearing what episode awards you give your shows as well and hope for great discussion in the comments. This column will start the week of Jan. 6, with the first article posted on Jan. 13. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. Until then, happy TV week and don't forget to nominate an episode for the week of Jan 5 - 11.

The rest of this article is an example of the probable layout of the article (minus the mini-reviews and with far more episode awards), based on the first 6 episodes of Teen Wolf 3A. So if you came here for a different show, now is the time to bail. Hope to talk TV with you in 2 weeks. Cheers!


Last Week in TV - Teen Wolf version, part 1

Note: This article covers the first 6 episodes of 3A.

Overall Awards:

Best Episode - Motel California
*This episode had everything - great drama, excellent character interaction, general spookiness, a fantastic guest actress, and character development.

Best Scene - Motel California again - Stiles tries to talk Scott out of self-immolation
*This is the best scene in Teen Wolf by far. I love how it highlighted the Stiles and Scott friendship from even before the show started. Mostly though it was a heartfelt tribute to the relationship on which the entire show is built, closer than brothers and more powerful than anything the supernatural can throw at it. This was beautifully acted and letting Lydia then save them both was the perfect ending.

Best Quote - Chaos Rising - Derek: "We don't like you. Now shut up and help us." Peter: "Fair enough."
*The way Derek says it so matter-of-factly after Peter accuses him of talking behind his back was priceless.

Funniest Scene - Frayed - Coach keeps blowing his whistle every time Stiles tries to talk

*This category was harder because there were several good funny moments, but this one made me laugh the most. Stiles visible frustration matched with Coach's glee made for a winning combination.

Best Action - Fireflies
*While there is less action in this one than at first glance, this is one of the few where we see the set up action as well. Then the boiler room slash fest was well done. Still, if they hadn't chopped it up into little pieces so that they cut away every time the tension amped up, the alphas vs. Derek's pack scene in Frayed would have won hands down.

Episode Awards:

3.01 - Tattoo - Grade: B-

Best scene - Mystery Motorcycle Chick saves Isaac
Best reason to watch - sets up the alpha pack mytharc
Best reason to fast forward - tie - monologues / Scott and Allison awkwardness / anything tattoo
Smartest Parent - Jackson's dad for getting his kid out of Beacon Hills
Funniest Scene - Sheriff pulls Stiles away from his keyboard
Biggest Aww - Argent and Allison hug
Most Well Read - Scott by about 325 books
Best Continuity - Principal with sword
Biggest Oxymoron - Alpha Pack
Thing I Didn't Notice Until the 6th Rewatch - Shoeless walks like a dancer

Best Quotes:

1. Tattoo Guy: "Boy, it's a good thing you drew me a picture."
2. Stiles: "Is that from the accident?" Lydia: "No, Prada bit me." Stiles: "Your dog?" Lydia: "No, my designer handbag."
3. Elevator Alpha: "Don't you realize what you're dealing with? I'm an Alpha." Derek: "So am I."
4. Scott: "It healed." Stiles: "Thank God, I hated it. Sorry."
5. Lydia: "Allison, I love you so if you need to do that thing where we talk about me and pretend like we're not actually talking about you, it's totally fine."

3.02 - Chaos Rising - Grade: B

Best Scene - Tie: Derek and Isaac talking behind Peter's back & Peter and Stiles talking wolf dens
Best Reason to Watch - Stiles and Peter interaction
Best Action - Vault fight
Funniest - Stiles searches for a condom / Stiles and Peter banter in Derek's new loft
Most Welcome Return - Peter and his snark / Coach
Best Moment - Coach thinks Scott wants to go to the bathroom but he really wants to answer
Biggest Aww Moment - Derek tells Isaac he doesn't have to do the ice bath
Thing I Didn't Notice Until the 6th Rewatch - Isaac grabs Scott's arm when freaking out in ice bath
Most Ludicrous - Bruise clues
Least Helpful - Peter's glaucoma vision from Isaac's memories

Best Quotes: (Besides the one mentioned above)
1. Stiles: "They're an alpha pack so shouldn't they have a lair?" Peter: "They're werewolves not Bond villains."
2. Stiles: "I can't take waiting like this you know. It's nerve-racking. My nerves are racked. They're severely racked. Racked." Peter: "I could beat you unconscious and wake you when it's over."
3. Peter: "I'm sure Erica and Boyd are sweet kids. They're going to be missed." Stiles: "Could someone kill him again please?"
4. Peter: "Wolf dens?" Stiles: "Yeah, wolf dens. Where do you live?" Peter: "In an underground network of caves hidden deep in the woods." Stiles: "Whoa, really?" Peter: "No you idiot, I'm in an apartment downtown."
5. Coach: "Stilinski I think you…uh, dropped this, and congratulations."

3.03 - Fireflies - Grade: B-

Best scene: Stiles sees Heather's body
Funniest: Isaac wants to ask Derek about dating his sister
MVP Award: Argent and his ultrasonic emitter stake toys
Best Reason to Watch - Derek heroics
Best twist: tie - Argent helps the werewolves and serial killer
Best action: Isaac vs. Cora in front of Girlfriend
Most Ludicrous - fireflies as defense against werewolves
Smartest Move: Scott has Argent drive him to the pool crime scene
Worst Move: Tie - taking your nature phobe girlfriend camping
Best Reason to Avoid Overtime - Getting trapped in the basement with werewolves

Best Quotes:

1. Stiles: "It's like the freaking Shining out here. If two little girls come out of the woods, start asking me to play with them forever and ever, I'm not going to be surprised."
2. Isaac: "So your sister? Uh sorry, that's bad timing. I'm sorry. I'll ask later, it's fine. Or never. Yeah, yeah I'm good with never."
3. Peter: "Let's throw the reunion party when she's not an unstoppable killing machine."
4. Stiles: "What kind of werewolf strangles someone? That's not very werewolfy."
5. Scott: "Just curious, is there a reason the gun is still pointed at me?" Argent: "There's probably still some part of me that wants to shoot you." Scott: "I get that."

3.04 - Unleashed - Grade: C+

Most Intense Scene - Isaac trapped in the janitor's closet
Best Reason to Watch - the mystery of Darach
Funniest Scene - Danny offers to have sex with Stiles
Most Annoying Plot Point - blaming Derek for everything
Best Reason to Fast Forward - everything that happens in Derek's loft
The "You've Got to be Kidding Me!" Award - no one has told Lydia about the Alpha Twins yet
Cheesiest Moment - Duke makes it lightning and calls himself Demon Wolf
Douchiest Moment - tie - Derek throws a glass at Isaac to make him leave / Deaton says keeping secrets is a habit even though people are dying
Hidden Talent Award- Allison can hotwire a car and drive a motorcycle
Dumbest Plan - Investigating instead of running when you hear voices under the dumpster / Isaac chasing AlphaTwins
Best Plan - One Alpha Twin beats up the other to frame Isaac

Best Quotes:

1. Allison: "Could I ask you a question?" Isaac: "Do you have to?"
2. Stiles: "Hey Boyd, I didn't know you were back at school." Boyd: "Yeah, I would have told you but we're not actually friends."
3. Kali: "Who knows if it's 5 minutes or 5 hours before it's too late to take this thing out, but just to be on the safe side Duke, you might want to get to the point."
4. Stiles: "Scott, your eyes turn into yellow glow sticks okay. Hair literally grows from your cheeks and then immediately disappears and if I were to stab you right now, it would just magically heal. But you're telling me you're having trouble grasping human sacrifices?" Scott: "That's a good point too."
5. Danny: "I like to cuddle." Stiles: "That's so sweet. Are you kidding?" Danny: "Yes, I'm kidding." Stiles: "You know you don't toy with a guy's emotions like that, Danny. It's not attractive, alright?"

3.05 - Frayed - Grade: C-

Best potential scene ruined by cutting it up - the alphas vs. Derek's pack
Best moment - GhostMom helps Allison thread the needle
MVP - Coach for bringing the funny / Allison for bringing heroism
Best interaction - Cora and Peter (the only person she's tolerable with)
Biggest Plot Inconsistency - No one uses their werewolf senses to track Derek - AGAIN / Deaton werewolf proofs the place but Scott can go anywhere
Best non-dialogue scene - Stiles vs. Danny via cell phone
Most evil - Stiles' smile right before he makes Jared vomit
Biggest Scare - Derek appears bloody at Blake's car
Worst scene - Scott and Allison in her bedroom - uncomfortable, stupid, and pointless - the trifecta
Most Disappointing - Argent for not helping

Best Quotes:

1. Allison: "Am I getting too close. I'm…I'm getting way too close aren't I?" Lydia: "That depends. Are you just following the bus or are you planning on mounting it at some point?"
2. Duke: "Come on Scott, put those away. I'd have to be blind, deaf, and quadriplegic for you to be an actual threat."
3. GhostMom: "You want my sympathy because you're just a 17 year old little girl and this is all too much for you to handle. Well get over it."
4. Stiles: "What's wrong with him? I don't…do I have a PhD in lycanthropy? How am I supposed to know that?"
5. Coach: "Jared I'm warning you, I'm an empathetic vomiter. You throw up, I'm going to throw up right back on you and it will be profoundly disgusting."

3.06 - Motel California - Grade: A

MVP - Lydia
Best acting - tie - Isaac channeling his dad and Stiles stopping Scott's suicide
Best twist - tie - wolfsbane in the whistle and Alex Argent bitten by Deucalion
Worst twist - sex as werewolf cure all
Best Action - Stiles and Ethan fight over the handsaw
Worst shock - Argent opens the door to reveal Gerard
Biggest Momentum Killer - EDT and Derek
Best casting - Creepy Clerk
Best Use of Back Story - Boyd's through the radio
Most hypocritical - Argent says they don't have to keep secrets

Best Quotes:

1. Stiles: "Scott just listen to me okay. You're not no one. Okay, you're someone…you're…Scott you're my best friend okay and I need you. Scott, you're my brother. Alright so if we're going to do this then, I think you're just going to have to take me with you."
2. Allison (to Lydia): "I believe you. After everything we've been through, I believe you."
3. Lydia: "Either we need to get out of here right now or someone needs to learn how to do an exorcism ASAP before the werewolves go crazy and kill us."
4. Stiles: "That's a beautiful thing. Most places leave a mint under the pillow. This one leaves a record of all the horrible deaths that occurred."
5. Lydia: "I don't like this place." Allison: "I don't think the people who own this place like this place."

Screencaps by

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

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