Monday, February 17, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of Feb. 9 - Episode Awards and Reviews

Wow, this was a quiet week for TV. Even summer isn't this dead. Have to love the Olympics, and yes, I mean that seriously. Some of the best drama I have seen all week has been sports-related. But this is a column for scripted TV, so without further ago, welcome to Last Week in TV. What were your episode awards?

Overall Awards:

Best Episode I Saw This Week - The Musketeers - Sleight of Hand

Yeah, I am cheating here because this episode aired a couple of weeks ago, but as NBC said a decade ago, "It's New to Me." Part of the reason it just narrowly edged out the next award winner was because Vadim is such a cool villain. I've always had issues with shows that make either its villain or its hero weak. There's a reason Harry Potter was such a cool story; Voldemort was his equal in both brains and power. Without a great villain, heroes come off as somewhat weak and less impressive. Throughout this episode, Vadim showed himself the superior strategist, handing out one false clue after another. It created a twisty plot that sang at full throttle and had me guessing throughout. Plus, sword fights! If you haven't been watching this fun joyride, hop on because only one show can match its perilous pace, which just happens to be....

Best New Episode of the Week / Best Scene - Teen Wolf - Riddled

Teen Wolf has gotten dramatically darker this season, none of which was more heartbreaking and affirming and well-acted as this episode. While there were pacing problems, the real joy came in the Scott and Stiles brotherhood. From Scott's frantic search to Stiles' fear to the awesome scene at the MRI machine, Teen Wolf put the episode's gravitas squarely on Tyler Posey and Dylan O'Brien's shoulders and it was magnificent. If anyone thinks the kids of Teen Wolf cannot act, I would strongly suggest they watch the scene where Melissa holds a screaming Stiles who gradually realizes that the nightmare was all in his head. Yes, his playing dual RealStiles and DarkStiles roles was powerful, but nothing was more poignant and powerful then watching him realize that he is going insane. Sheriff scenes were equally affecting. I cannot imagine losing a spouse to a debilitating disease, but to realize your son suffers the same fate, that's a kick straight to the heart. Again I will say it, do not let the silly name or channel keep you from sampling season 3 of Teen Wolf. My bet is it will quickly capture your heart and adrenaline too.

Most Underused Character / Best Quote - Intelligence - Patient Zero -   Nelson: "She's a Disney villain."

Nelson is one of my favorite characters on Intelligence in large part because of his snark.  He really needs to have more screentime if only for the laughs.  In this scenario, Nelson boldly asks Lillian to apologize for thinking he was the traitor in the pilot.  She quickly shoots him down, reminding him of his part in the making of a secondary chip.  It's a great scene in which she really does come off as a Disney villain.  I wish there was a gif cap of him saying this that I could use as a shortcut in recapping.  The delivery was so deadpan and fantastic.

Best Addition to a Show - tie - Helix - Anana and Constance

Generally when new characters come on to a show, it takes me a while to warm to them.  Not so with either Constance or Anana, although for two totally different reasons.  Constance brings with her the potential for answers which always excites me.  She also brings a level of malevolence that for all the horror going on, Hatake never achieved.  Here's a character we can all despise, and yet her scenes are absolutely riveting.  She doesn't so much bring a breath of fresh air to the show as she creates a skin crawling toxicity that will force the others to finally work together.  Anana is the compelte opposite.  She's one of the few characters we can truly root for, well so far anyway.  She brings the outside perspective and is the catalyst to changing the Daniel and Hatake relationship.  Since this is the most interesting one for me, I cannot wait to see the resolution.  Plus Anana is the queen of snark and no dummy.  I can see her organizing a rescue of the whole base and quite frankly it would be a whole lot more interesting if the final showdown came between Anana and Constance instead of Alan and anyone.

Best Technology - Almost Human - Perception - hologram sticky notes

I have never wanted something more on a futuristic show.  Those hologram sticky notes are awesome.  I would never have to worry about losing them and they would make a presentation much more interesting.  Not to mention the color coding would work so well in the library.  That's it.  Someone get going on making these a reality.  I'll join the Kickstarter campaign.

Nominated Show:   

Revenge - 1.08 - Treachery

Since the nominated show, Revenge, didn't come with an episode number and the show is currently on hiatus, I decided to go back to where I left off. I originally started watching Revenge, despite it being a show I had zero interest in, because my aunt loved it and basically badgered me into it. I ended up thinking it was fun if too soapy for my tastes. I didn't consciously drop Revenge. It was more that other shows crowded it out even though I always meant to pick it back up. This episode is Revenge at its soapy best, a complicated set of twists and turns in a fast moving plot. I always suspected that Revenge would crumble under the weight of its own story, but it does not happen here. Murdering Frank and bringing in Amanda add issues Emily did not expect, which makes it fascinating to watch her try to grasp the loose ends and bring them under her control. Mostly though this episode succeeds in the combination of Victoria and Jack. Victoria brings the intensity, the cool stare, and the feeling that even if you cannot like her, you must at least respect her. Jack brings the warmth. Without him, I could not watch Revenge because he is the only character I can root for. Without him to remind me that humans can be good and kind and helpful, Revenge would quickly go off the rails for me. I hope Jack never gets involved in the mess of cover-ups, lies, and secrets that chain the rest of the characters. Revenge is a show I think I would like in small doses. It's not a show I would be able to marathon complete seasons on, but it could be fun mini-binge watching, 2-3 episodes at a time. Anymore and the characters would become frustrating instead of fascinating.

Grade: B
Ranking: 3

Best Scene - Nolan confronts Amanda

Best Quote - Victoria: "Oh well you're still here." Conrad: "And I have some bad news." Victoria: "Is there any other kind?"

MVP - Jack, who is the only goodhearted, non-evil person in the show

Best Reason to Watch - Victoria, who is riveting every time she's on screen

Best Character Interaction - tie - Jack and Declan / Victoria and Conrad

Biggest Psycho - Amanda Clarke

Biggest Non-Shock - Amanda did not go to Paris

Biggest Idiots - Victoria and Conrad have a discussion about Frank trying to kill Lydia mere feet from where she was at

Biggest Manipulation - Emily and Amanda switch names after some premiere manipulation

Weekly Shows:

Almost Human - 1.10 - Perception

This episode really suffers from being played out of order. It was supposed to be the fourth episode, so playing it now is jarring. The relationship between Kennex and Dorian is off. Kennex is still popping pills to see his ex, even though that storyline got dropped a long time ago. Of course there is no continuity to last week's Dr. Vaughn or the wall The whole thing just does not gel at all. The story line is interesting (if not one big extended PSA), but Kennex the druggie douche does nothing for me. The flashbacks even less.

Grade: D+

Best Scene - Maldonado and Kennex talk about his past memories

Best Quote - Kennex: "Look who it is, Benedict Android."

Best Interaction - Maldonado and Kennex

Biggest Geek - Drugged #1 acid trips in mathematical formulas

Biggest Tattletale - Dorian, always snitching to Maldonado

Best Back Story - Stahl is genetically engineered

Funniest Moment - Dorian has a huge band-aid on his ear

Biggest PSA - Kennex crashes the car while under the influence

Scene Stealer - Julian

Best Addition - McGinnis

Suckiest Girlfriend - Lila
- Did she really videotape her suicide and send it to her boyfriend? Man she sucks! It's hard enough to get through the grief and anger and pain of suicide.

Teen Wolf - 3.18 - Riddled

Grade: A- (average after a multitude of rewatches)

Best Scene - the hug

MVP / "Oh Baby" Award - Dylan O'Brien / Stiles

Most Melodramatic - Scott long pauses over the most dramatic "I don't know" in history

The "Do You Never Learn?" Award - Lydia practices art at night at Beacon Hills High, which still has no security

The "Oh, Boo Hoo" Award - Beacon Hills is going to be in the 20's. That would be a spring thaw where I'm at these days. When you get to the negative numbers, then talk to me about it.

The "Thank God for Lydia" Award - calling Sheriff was the absolute right thing to do

Most Truthful Reaction - Sheriff yells at Lydia for Stiles not being there, but apologizes immediately for it

Biggest Hypocrite - DoucheDad snarked about Sheriff having an alcohol problem to Stiles but he had one too when he was still living with Melissa and Scott

Melissa and Stiles Watch - Melissa holds a screaming Stiles until he wakes up from his nightmare

Biggest Shock - They found Stiles a mere 22 minutes into the episode

Intelligence - 1.06 - Patient Zero

Grade: B

Best Scene - Gabriel and Riley snarking in the middle of the gunfight

Best Accessory - Nelson's mind hat to mentally fly toy helicopters

Best Interaction - Nelson and Django

Best Tagline - Find the drain

Biggest Awww Moment - The unaffected mama goes in to the infected area without protection to comfort her son after his dad dies

Creepiest Moment - Gabriel puts himself in the death chair

Best Back Story - 2 people died and one was paralyzed before they found success with Gabriel / Gabe volunteered to try to find Amelia

The "Thank Goodness for Common Sense" Award - Riley insists Gabriel and she wears gloves

Most Nerve-racking - Gabriel and Riley looking for Vick at the farmhouse

Biggest Stereotype - the military is the bad guy

Melissa and Joey - 3.21 - Plus One

I have been toying on whether to continue this show as a weekly watch or send it to summer to marathon. Since there is little original TV on during the Olympics, I've decided to keep it until then and afterwards send it to summer. I find I like this show better in marathon because Mel and Joe's childish antics are easier to get through when episodes are stockpiled. This time around Ryder, his friend Stella, and Zander were the only non-annoying characters. That's not enough to sell me on a comedy, especially when it is no longer making me laugh.

Grade: D

MVP - Ryder

Best Scene - Mel goes to the baseball game to see Joe

Best Reason to Watch - Mel and Joe are slowly becoming more adult in their relationship

Best Quote - Ryder: "So are you extra girl weird or just average girl weird?"

Most Obnoxious - Joe

Funniest Face - Joe's First Lady gaze

Helix - 1.07 - Survivor Zero

This was my favorite episode of Helix so far. It combined answers, new characters, and action sublimely. The big star is of course Constance Sutton, played by Jeri Ryan. She goes from compromising politician to all-out evil in a blink and has those cool silver eyes to boot. Her mercurial responses meant that she was always a surprise, often fascinating. I have to say that bringing both Anana and Constance on was a great move. They brought much needed new blood. The only weak part was again the over-reliance on Alan and the now present love triangle between Julia, Alan, and Sarah. Trust me, Helix writers. You really, really do not need it. I can't wait until next week when we find out how Hatake explains his childhood to Daniel and what the fallout of that conversation will be.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Daniel meets Anana

Best Quote - Julia: "Alive, healthy, possibly going crazy, all of the above?" Hatake: "This is wonderful." Julia: "Yeah, except for the crazy part. I could do without that."

Funniest - Anana hog ties Sergio

The "Say What?" Award- Alan tells Constance that if he doesn't go on the search for Julia, then no one can go. Since when does he have any say in that? They are the ones with the guns.

Biggest Scare - vector woman pops up out of nowhere

***Music - beatnik vibe / Fever

Biggest Surprise - Constance has silver eyes as well

Biggest Mistake - Hatake tells Julia that Alan is coming with Constance, so of course Julia wants to stay

Most Annoying - still Alan

The Musketeers - 1.02 - Sleight of Hand 

Grades:  A

Best Scene - D'Artagnan does his best Dance, Dance Revolution to try to tamp out the fuses heading to the bomb cache.

Best Reason to Watch - Vadim
-I love a smart criminal and Vadim is one of the very best.  Of course in the end he is outwitted by D'Artagnan, but he's my favorite villain in a long time.  I am so sorry he won't be coming back.  They should have allowed for his escape.

Best Quote - Aramis:  "What's the vital thing to remember in a duel?"  D'Artagnan:  "Honor."  Porthos:  "Not getting killed." / D'Artagnan:  "I was raised to fight like a gentleman."  Aramis:  "Were you raised to die young?"

Best Surprise - D'Artagnan's arrest was planned so he could get to Vadim

Worst Surprise - Mutton stew, featuring rats as the mutton

Best Moment - Constance punches Aramis

Best Planner - Vadim's prison break and subsequent plan to start a revolution a few years too early and totally psyching D'Artagnan out

The Musketeers - 1.03 - Commodities

This episode was far slower than any of the others, especially from the middle until the fire.  This was heavy on character building and exposition, but very little on action.  Not what I signed up for.  I loved the flip at the end though.

Grade:  C

Best Scene - Athos vs. Milady / Constance vs. Milady

Best Quote - Emile:  "Oh um, grant me one last favor before we go, a few moments alone with my wife."  D'Artagnan:  "You must think we're stupid….Terribly sorry, apparently we are."

Best Reason to Watch - Sword fight

MVP - Milday de Winter

Funniest Moment - Athos knocks Porthos unconscious to prepare him for getting stitched up

Best Reason to Fast Forward - all the exposition

The Musketeers - 1.04 -  The Good Soldier

Grade:  B

Best Scene - The Musketeers confront Treville / Constance asks D'Artagnan to teach her to shoot and fight

Best Quote - King Louis:  "Is this a good idea, Cardinal?"  Cardinal:  "It rather depends on the outcome."

Best Action - duel

Best Reaction - Constance kicks out D'Artagnan for lying but allows the assassin to stay

Least Likely to Win in the Hurdles - D'Artagnan

Biggest Idiot - Marsac - You don't kill a guy who has potentially more info for you, idiot.

The "Only in the 18th Century" Award - the fate of two nations is decided by dueling

Biggest Aww Moment - Marsac is buried with the Musketeers

Screencaps by Entertainment Outlook, Three if by Space, TV Fantasy, The Watchtower,, Entertainment Weekly, Sci Fi Empire, Buddy TV, Intelligence Wikia, DivX Central, The Televixen, Metro, Digital Fix,

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."

No comments:

Post a Comment