Monday, February 10, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of Feb. 2 - Episode Awards and Review

Welcome back to Last Week in TV where I search out the best (and sometimes worst) in the TV I watched and award it. This week the comedies were particularly strong. With the Olympics in full gear, the TV load is going to be light for a few weeks so don't forget to nominate those TV gems not already in my schedule. I may be able to do more than one. Thanks for reading and don't forget to hand out your own awards in the comments.

Overall Awards:

Episode of the Week - The Crazy Ones

This is my favorite The Crazy Ones yet, mostly because it allowed Robin Williams to spotlight his drama side as well as comedy.  I like how we got to see Simon's vulnerable side, and even more that Sydney is the one who is there for him.  The premise of having to write a eulogy for a universally hated man is inspired and funny funerals are a mainstay of comedy, but it was the father and daughter scene that made this episode.  Simon giving that eulogy about Melora's love for her father, and the parallels to his relationship with Sydney, allowed showman Simon to also be relatable Simon.  Well done by both Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Plus, a naked Kurt Fuller is always ridiculous fun and who wouldn’t want a funeral as jazzy as this one.  Pomp and circumstance indeed.

Best Scene - Teen Wolf - Silverfinger 
Melissa takes care of Stiles, helping him sleep, and he calls her, "Mom" in his delirium

The Teen Wolf parents are the best on TV right now, and Melissa has embraced the whole pack, werewolf and human.  What makes this scene so poignant is that Stiles feels like he is literally going crazy.  He's so out of his element and Melissa does everything a mom would in the situation.  From tucking him in and palming his forehead to going to check on him later.  When Stiles, in his delirium, mistakes her for his own dead mother, it hits hard.  Was there anyone out there who didn't want Melissa to just adopt him on the spot?  Great acting by Dylan O'Brien and Melissa Ponzio.  Nothing else on TV came even close to the emotional punch of this scene.

Best Quote - Enlisted - 1.05 - Rear D Day - Pete:  "You've got to embrace the suck."

Let's face it.  Into everyone's life some suck must happen.  In this episode, Pete comes to grip with his rapid descent on the military ladder but it works in every situation.  "Embrace the suck" is my new mantra for early mornings getting ready for work.  It might actually be my quote of the year.

Best Entrance - SHIELD - T.R.A.C.K.S.  -  May stabs the man about to shoot Coulson and Ward

There were a lot of great entrances this week.  Derek slid into the action at Scott's home (TeenWolf), Nyssa descended on an overgrown scarf (Arrow), and Anana looked like a yeti before punching Sergio out (Helix), but May gets my vote.  First off there was far too little May in the episode before she took out the Italian diplomat.  Secondly, she took care of the shady politician before we had to deal with him for long.  Thanks May.  However, the real reason she gets the best entrance is because she is beaten and bloody, but so matter of fact about her return.  It's like they should have expected her to just appear and so life continues.

Best Action - Arrow - Heir to the Demon - Nyssa vs. Oliver

Arrow does kick butt females very well, and Nyssa was no exception.  She was well trained by her father, as seen when her bow and arrow fight with Olvier changes to hand-to-hand combat.  I adore Arrow's action scenes and this one was even better than most.  Her ability to change mid-fight shows her to be a very worthy opponent.  I cannot wait until she comes back.

Most Ludicrous - Elementary - Corpse de Ballet - The lawyer did it

The lawyer framed his client so that he could get media attention.  Are you kidding me, show?  That's lame.  Not to mention, what celebrity would NOT hire a criminal lawyer to defend her instead of her everyday lawyer?  Makes NO sense!  Evenin today's celebrity-driven world, murdering for fame is excessive.

Nominated Show:  Black Sails - 1.01 - Pilot

Even if this episode were an A for plot, I would still not continue to watch Black Sails because it is not my type of show.  There is too much nudity, cursing, and even the violence was a bit too much for me.  However, there is merit for those who are less bothered by those things.  The story is rich with avenues to go down.  The almighty British navy makes it a personal crusade to exterminate pirates, while the search for the greatest treasure to ever sail consumes the pirate captain.  The speeches are rallying and the dialogue witty in places.  The biggest problem with this episode is that it dragged in the middle.  Pilots often have to set up a lot of plot so exposition is expected.  Still this episode felt like it was two hours long.  The beginning and ending were full of action and intrigue.  The politics and character introductions, not so much.  The greatest TV sin for me is to bore me and I found myself watching the clock one third of the way through.  If this had been the typical 42 minutes, I would have liked it better.  That being said, I could see this show picking up dramatically in the subsequent episodes.  The characters are fun and diverse, especially Gates who steals the show.  The idea of a pirate captain showdown adds interesting tension to the island scenes as well, especially since Drake and Flint seem to have history with almost everyone there.  All in all, Black Sails is not for me but for those who like more R rated TV and want a good bloody fight, check it out.

Grade:  C+
Ranking:  5

Best Scene - Gates asks Guthrie for money

Best Quote - Flint:  "Civilization is coming and it means to exterminate us.  If we are to survive, we must unite behind our own king."  Billy:  "We have no kings here."  Flint:  "I am your king."

Best Reason to Watch - Gates

Best Speech - Flint's rallying cry to the masses

Best Action - sword fight

Best Twist - Flint gets rid of Singleton by making Billy complicit in his accusation

Most Annoying Theme Song - the graphics are great but the theme song sounds like rhythmic static

Funniest Moment - the guy in the hideous fake teeth jumps out at Gates, who is unimpressed

The "Something's Never Change" Award - pranking the new guy

Weekly Shows:

Almost Human - 1.09 - Unbound

Almost Human took a huge leap forward in having a mytharc this episode.  With the introduction of John Larroquette as the cybernetics scientist nursing a huge grudge, they have a potential Big Bad.  It helps that Dorian somewhat looked at him like a father and Rudy, as a hero.  Having personal stakes in the villain usually makes the story more compelling.  Plus, Dr. Vaughn is smart.  Here's hoping it isn't too little, too late for the series, which keeps getting better.

Grade:  B

Best Scene - John reassures Dorian that he isn't like Vaughn or Danica

Best Quote - Maldonado:  "How's he handling this?"  John:  "Must be a hell of a thing to meet your maker, to be betrayed by him."

Best Speech - Rudy gushes over Dr. Vaughn / Vaughn talks about creating the DRN's

***Best Action - taking out the XRN in the bar

Most Creepy - faceless android

***Most Disgusting - The XRN cuts out the guy's eye / eye ball popsicle

The Worst Decorating Trend - Paul:  "She painted the walls with a lab assistant"

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Nice new body the XRN took.  Nothing like a geek boy, video game warrior fantasy to showcase your eye candy.

The "Don't Talk Just Run" Award - Everyone who talks to the XRN dies.  She  seems to be triggered by sound, so just quickly skedaddle and all will be well.

Funniest Moment - Rudy bows in the presence of Dr. Vaughn

Teen Wolf - 3.17 - Silverfinger

Teen Wolf was largely a vehicle to exposit the new mytharc this week but it did have some hard hitting emoitonal moments and wow, that ending!  More on my feelings about this show can be found in the recap and podcast.  Basically everything Melisa and Stiles was a huge win.

Grade:  B+

Best Awww Moment - Stiles clutches Melissa's hand as she pulls the covers over him

Best Improvement - Derek is competent and has useful knowledge.  If only that was the case when he was an alpha.

MVP - Melissa

Biggest Question - What the heck is going on with Stiles the Lightning Bug Killer and what does it have to do with his dead mom?

The "Say What?" Award - Scott shows Kira his werewolf form in full daylight near a crowded road
I guess secret identity is no longer a concern.  Why not post a Vimeo, Scott?

The "Why Bother" Award - Plan B never works on any genre show.  Just skip to Plan E (Wing It) and save yourself some time.

The "No Idea, but it Made Me Laugh" Award - Argent asking Isaac's size and then the slow pan to the trunk rising.  It was like a bear was going to pop out of it or something.  Way to create everyday drama, Teen Wolf.

The "Time to Bring Back the Vocabulary Lessons" Award - Isaac needs a refresher on what the word ridiculous means.

The "Who Doesn't These Days" Award - Isaac:  "Guys, they have a werewolf too."

The "Déjà vu" Award - Melissa walks in on a tough conversation between Scott and his dad.  "Be your own anchor," guys.

Intelligence - 1.05 - Cain & Gabriel

This is my favorite episode of Intelligence so far.  I like the high stakes, but even more we got to see Lillian at her best.  She came off rather dry in previous episodes.  By bringing her dad in, we got to see another side of her and the ending scene showed she's not afraid to get dirty.  I like her combination of practicality, idealism, and ruthlessness.  Altogether a thoroughly satisfying hour of TV.

Grade:  B+

Best Scene - Lillian puts a hit out on Hector

Best Quote - Gabriel:  "Just get the girl, put her in the car, and get out of there."  Riley:  "Unless of course he asks me to dance.  In which case I'm going to break out my cha-cha."  Lillian:  "Stay focused."  Gabriel:  "I vote for the cha-cha."

Most Terrifying - Kidnapper puts chain saw by kidnapped girl's head

Best Pitching Arm - Gabriel.  I guess those college sports days really paid off.

Smartest Cookie - Lillian figures out that Hector is allied with the US government

Biggest Twist - Riley goes with the kidnappers to be with the girl

***Best Character Interaction - Lillian and Leland

SHIELD - 1.13 - T.R.A.C.K.S.

SHIELD experimented with a non-linear form of storytelling in this episode that started out very confusing to me but in the end worked.  We had a return of several characters and we got a Stan Lee cameo.  However, the big punch focused on Skye being shot.  The only problem is that I don't care one iota if Skye dies so it fell a little flat for me.

Grade:  C+

Best Character Interaction - Fitz and Skye
They don't usually get a whole lot of time together but I liked how their skills complemented each other and each was able to shine through parts of the episode.

Funniest Scene - Ward and Coulson try to work the holotable

Best Quote - Fitz:  "Just allow me these rare moments of self-pity, okay?  You're the least supportive pretend girlfriend I've ever had."

The Thanks Award - Fitz chooses American to keep us from more of Skye's Scottish accent

Most Ludicrous - Coulson and Simmons talk about being undercover in a crowded train car with someone sitting right behind Simmons.  Are you kidding me?  (Sigh and eye roll)

Best Twist - making it look like the train disappeared instead of them losing time

Best Reason to Fast Forward - the awkward Ward and Coulson talk about Ward's relationship with May

Most Confused:  Ward Coulson Simmons  me

The "I Don't Get It" Award - How does putting someone in a hyperbaric chamber keep them from dying of blood loss?  Even if you put her in a coma, how does that help her pulse come back and restart her breathing?  Also, how does the hyperbaric chamber keep her from sustaining more blood loss even if it is slower?

The "I Know It's Important but I Don't Know Why" Award - Deathlok.  Yeah, I know nothing about comics.

The Goldbergs - 1.15 - Muscles Mirsky

Don't we all have a Muscles Mirsky in our childhood?  Aren't we all glad for that?  I do love how they brought up the ability of men and women to just be friends.  Now if more shows would remember that and not cave into fan pressure, TV would be a much better world.

Grade:  B

Funniest - Adam and Emmy have a Chiclet before almost kissing

Best Quote - Mirsky:  "I came all the way over here to chat?  Why do we even have walkie talkies?"

Best Moment - All the males watching TV around Erica and Beverly fighting

Evil Childhood Flashback Moment - Beverly:  "I'm not mad.  I'm just disappointed."
I hated when my parents used this one on me.

The "Embrace Your Inner Nancy Reagan" Award - Beverly gives the "this is your brain on drugs" demonstration

Worst Contest - worms on the forehead

Biggest Hollywood Lie - Women and men cannot be friends without it getting romantic or sexual.  See any show involving male and female partners, except Elementary, for example.  Urgh!!!

Worst Mood Music  - whale sounds

Best Reaction - Adam and Mirsky to Harry and Sally kissing

***Best Music - Kyrie Eleison by Mr. Mister

Trophy Wife - 1.14 - Foxed Lunch

Grade:  B

Best Scene - Pete, Warren, and Bert do the slo-mo victory walk out of the dojo

Best Moment - Pete and Diane commisserate after showing off for their kids

Best Quote - Kate:  "I'm going into business with Jackie."  Diane:  "Oh, you poor, sweet, dear fool."

Best Interaction - Kate and Jackie

The "Say What?" Award - Hilary is excited about dressing like her mom

Smartest Move - Hilary lets Diane win the race

The "I Never Knew That" Award - Who knew they had assigned seats at the movies?  And exactly why do they have assigned seats at the movies?

Best Reaction - Hilary to the energy shake that makes Diane's "kidneys hum"

Best Throw Down - Pete vs. Sensei

Arrow - 2.13 - Heir to the Demon

Ever since the midseason break, Arrow has been the show most consistently disappointing me.  They have some great elements but then they cave to the ludicrous, make me hate a character I previously loved, or throw a character under the bus in order to elevate another.  For a show that was doing so well at the beginning of the season, it feels like whoever went off to the Flash spin-off needs to return to keep things from trainwrecking.  In this episode, the good (the action, everything Nyssa, happy Lance flashbacks, most of Sara) was balanced by the bad (Felicity, Oliver, the complete trashing of Laurel in order to gain more sympathy for Sara, who never needed it in the first place), turning it into a mess.  

Grade:  C (half of the episode was great, the other half sucked out loud)

Best Scene - Blood and Moira talk about her candidacy

***Best Action - Arrow vs. Nyssa

Best Quote - Sara:  "He released Malcolm Merlyn."  Nyssa:  "An action he and the citizens of this city dearly regret."  Truer words were never spoken.

Best Switch - no island flashbacks

Best Moment - Quentin takes out the LoA guy with a right cross, after he takes down Arrow and Sara

Best Reason to Watch - all the action

Biggest Hypocrite - Oliver:  "And now you've made a liar out of me..."  Really Oliver?  Your mom made you a liar?  Are you really sticking with this story?

The "You Suck as a Person" Award - Felicity and her meddling into things that weren't her business

Biggest Surprise - the Lances were happy, smiling, and having fun together.  Best flashbacks yet.

The "Hey, At Least it wasn't Laurel" Award - Dinah Lance is kidnapped, officially making it a family hobby

Best Non-Use of a Flashback - When Oliver says, "not again" over Sara's dying body and the music swelled, I felt sure we were heading back to the island.  Good choice not to.

Melissa and Joey - 3.20 - Feel the Burn

Melissa and Joey always makes me laugh but sometimes it gets uncomfortable when the two of them act less mature than the kids on the show.  What I like about this episode is that both characters admit they were wrong in the end.  It was a great moment that reminds me of why I like these characters in the first place.

Grade:  B-

Best Scene - Lennox and Melissa make flaming cheese

Best Reason to Watch - Mel and Joe act like adults at the end

Most Sympathetic Character - Zander

Best Quote - Mel:  "You know I think Chef Sunderland and Sergeant Longo deserve more respect than either of us showed them today."  Joe:  "I think you're right."

MIA - Ryder

Best Emotional Blackmailer - Joe

Best Screencap - flaming cheese hug

TBBT - 7.15 - The Locomotion Manipulation

After 7 years, it feels like Sheldon might be growing as a character.  Woo hoo!   

Grade:  B

Best Scene - Amy finally tells off Sheldon / Sheldon is blasé about kissing Amy when summing up the weekend to Leonard

Best Moment - Sheldon and Amy finally kiss

Best Quote - Sheldon:  "Amy, what are the odds we run into this guy?"  Waiter:  "Better than you think."

Best Prepared - Amy for circumventing all of Sheldon's objections before he made them

Best Reaction - Penny is far more excited about Lakers tickets than she would be about jewelry

Funniest - Sheldon makes a new friend           

Crazy Ones - 1.15 - Dead and Improved

Grade:  A-

Best Scene - the kick butt funeral

Best Awww Moment - Sydney tells Simon he doesn't need to worry about his legacy

Best Quote - Simon:  "You want a true picture of a man.  See him through his daughter's eyes, that's his legacy.  To be deeply loved if not widely, truly loved by the one person who knows you best, wow.  That's as good as it gets."

Best Comeback - When Simon tells the jingle singers that they made the jingle sound like a Gold record, they politely inform him that they have a gold record, 2 platinums, and a Grammy between them. 

Most Manipulative - Melora's lip quiver

Worst Tagline Ever - Why Not Charmin

The "Only in Advertising" Award - the focus group whether people like a dead guy or not for his eulogy

Funniest Moment - Fred starts using his voice-over voice to describe the situation with naked Mitchell / passing the Charmin at the funeral

Best Funeral Ever - not only is the music great, but you get a gift bag for attending

Best Use of Music - the choir sings The Glory of Love, the Jimmy Durante classic

Elementary - 2.15 - Corpse de Ballet

What I liked best about this episode is that it continues Sherlock's progression as a human.  I adored that he ended up asking Joan if she wanted to go hand out blankets to the homeless.  This more altruistic Sherlock, not for the blankets but to help his partner find her father, is a real bonus.  While the back story of Joan was abrupt and basically thrown in for no reason, it also gave reason for Joan to be separate from Sherlock, pursuing her own cases.  I like that better than them having an argument or other some such contrived nonsense.  If you are going to give actors a bit of a reprieve in a show, this is the way to do it. 

Grade:  B -   (A- for character development, D for the cases)

Best Scene - Sherlock suggests giving out blankets to the homeless with Joan

Most Blunt - Sherlock's note:  "Coitus in progress or recently concluded."

Best Surprise - Marcus is back on the scene

Best Quote - Sherlock:  "Go, I shall endeavor to keep my fandom in check without you."
May we all follow your example, Sherlock.

Best Reveal - Watson's father is schizophrenic and homeless

Most Clueless - Lanzer thinks she can fly to another country when she's a murder suspect

The "Say What?" Award - Sherlock sleeps with a murder suspect and calls it research for the case

Idea That Surprisingly Worked - Watson and Sherlock working separate cases.  Too bad the cases were not very interesting in their own right.

Enlisted - 1.05 - Rear D Day

This episode is another example of Enlisted tackling tough subjects with a lot of humor and heart.  If you are not watching this show, you really need to.  In this one we see the role of gender in the military and the difficulties of family life when a parent is deployed.  Both are handled with great laughs.  Plus we all need to remember to embrace the suck sometimes.

Grade:  B

Best Scene - Randy tells Pete to embrace his own suck and then they all cry about loving their mom

Biggest Awww Moment - Perez tells Cody he is being a good dad just by caring

Funniest Scene - Pete goes ballistic on Rodney's yard and starts shooting baseballs at them

Funniest Moment - Cody celebrates Pete's newfound attitude with a confetti popper

Weirdest Quote - Perez:  "Yes, I'm good at my job and I smell like America."

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Cody asks Perez about pads.  I agree with Perez.  Let's not.  Ever.

The "Ouch" Award - Randy tells Pete off for going after Rodney in front of his son AND Perez tells Cody he is treating her poorly

The "You Kind of Scare Me" Award - Perez, who knows how to best kill someone with oranges

Best Use of a Broomstick - to make a wizard rescue movie

Helix - 1.06 - Aniqatiga

We are starting to get a lot of answers on Helix, and the missing children plot is impressive.  I really like the new character, Anana.  I can't wait to see what happens when she sees Daniel, or when Daniel is confronted with the lies Hatake told him.  Julia was also impressive in this episode, although she is a little slow on what we all already know.  She was experimented on as a chils.  Time to fight through the memories and get to the bottom line.  Why is Hatake so creepy about Julia?  It's disturbing.  The other problem, Alan is still as insufferable as always.  He actually brings my grade down all by himself.

Grade:  C+

MVP - Julia, who drove the plot of the episode in almost every scene, even ones she wasn't in

Biggest Awww - Alan says goodbye to Doreen (VetLady)

Best New Addition - Anana, Arctic Warrior
-Ice Doctor, you would have won hands down on any other episode with your Three Stooges and vodka.  Sadly, warrior women stole your spotlight.

Best Twist - Daniel is a missing twin and Anana's brother

Biggest Shock - CDC Junio admits to administering a lethal dose of morphine instead of hiding it
-All CDC people cause massive problems when they hide things.  For the first time, one of them did not.

Creepy Child Alert - It's never a good sign when a child is laughing in genre shows.  Never.

The "How Many Horcruxes did You Create?" Award - Pete, who just won't die

The "Not Them Again" Award - rats!  Why is it always rats or monkeys on this show?

Most Creepy - Hatake humming over an unconcious Julia, while stroking her hair

Worst Thanksgiving/ Funniest Scene - Julia's dream dinner complete with sibling rivalry, starving guests, and goo-filled turkey.

Screencaps by Gotta Watch It,, Enlisted on FOX, EDNA, Geek Nation, Entertainment Outlook, SpoilerTV, Comics Bulletin, Happy Nice Time People, Paste Magazine, Serietivu, Zap to It, Awesome DL, One of the Exact Sciences, Really Late Reviews, and Twitter.

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" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group, and guests on ArrowCast for DVMPE. Right now she is creating a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."

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