Monday, February 3, 2014
Last Week in TV - Week of Jan. 26 - Episode Awards and Reviews
Welcome to Last Week in TV, where I mini-review and give out episode awards to everything I've watched this week. One highlight for me is the nominated show. This is where readers nominate a show I am not already watching and I check it out. This week I was really lucky because The Musketeers was a blast! If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the short form at the end of the article. Also don't forget to hand out your own episode awards in the comments. I know there were great things on TV that I missed this week.
Brothers & Sisters
Comedies need to do two things in order for me to enjoy them. They have to make me laugh and they have to make me care about the characters, in other words have heart. This year two comedies have been doing that on a consistent basis, The Goldbergs and Enlisted. Enlisted gets the ultimate award this week, even over the White Collar finale, because not only did I laugh throughout even in the rewatch, but it explored a serious topic with a lot of heart and warmth. In this episode, Randy is touched by the "coming home" videos of soldiers and misses the fact that his dad died before he could experience one himself. So he arranges one for Derrick's girlfriend's son. I love how Enlisted can be a comedy that takes place on a military base, but never comes off as making fun of servicemen and women. It treats them and the issues they face with the respect they are due, and yet still makes it hilarious. The comedy of this episode relied on a particularly bad 80's clothing flashback, worse flag football playing, and possibly the scariest cat on TV. Plus it had cameos from Pam Oliver, truly spectacular with the snark, and Superman himself, Brandon Routh. If you haven't tried Enlisted, I would highly suggest this episode. It's the best yet, and a good example of what you can expect on a weekly basis.
The Musketeers take on Gaudet's troops
Sword action, gun fire, and overwhelming odds against the heroes - what's not to love? Add in a son's vengeance for his father's murder and you've got a classic, movie style action sequence. Plus the woman saves the day. Everything about this scene had me cheering and wanting it to continue. If you are an action fan, check this show out.
I had over 2 typed pages of quotes from White Collar this week, making it by far the most quotable. Always excelling in snarky quips, White Collar also nailed the heartfelt drama this week with some big monologues and interactions. Putting Mozzie in danger always brings out the best in Neal, while actively rooting for Neal brings out the best in Peter. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order:
1. Neal: "Ah, nothing says, 'I love you' like a brick."
2. Peter: "Truth serum?" Moz: "I could be under its influence right now." Peter: "Break any laws recently?" Moz: "Absolutely none." Peter: "Definitely not truth serum."
3. Peter: "Peter Burke, FBI. This is my associate, Neal Caffrey. This is my…Mozzie."
4. Neal: "We may have to drag him to a hospital, kicking and screaming if need be." Peter: "He says he's feeling fine." Neal: "Moz insisted on coming. That's his choice, but understand, I look at him as more than a resource."
5. Moz: "Stay calm? I'm hours away from palming Saint Peter a twenty to get past the gate. Calm is not an option."
6. Peter: "I called Elizabeth. She's going to be at the hospital with you. You're not going to be alone, understand?"
7. Neal: "It's the Mona Lisa of gems. Every museum and collector in the world will want it." Peter: "How much is it worth?" Neal: "$60 million or the life of a paranoid bald man."
8. Rebecca: "I love how good you are." Neal: "I hate how good you are."
9. Moz: "A diamond is not meant to be under bulletproof glass with a bunch of tourists in Bermuda shorts gawking at it."
10. Neal: "So the game was rigged?" Peter: "No, this isn't a game." Neal: "Everything is."
-I love a good song-to-scene and this episode had two. The montage with Simon, the creative advertiser, and Colin, the data crunching analyzer, going through their process to create the best print ad was enhanced by the old 80's tune, especially with Colin's high-tech headgear and virtual bulletin board swiping. Then to top it off with Sydney's date with the cat to One is the Loneliest Number, bwaahhh! Whoever was scoring this one should get a bonus.
Moira for Mayor
Moira is the public scapegoat for trying to kill an entire group of people. She was complicit in a plot that murdered over 500 people for simply living in the poor part of town. It is class warfare at its most nefarious. She should not be able to step outside her door without armed guard, much less be traipsing around the Glades and campaigning. For a show that swore it would be grounded in realism, this is the most fantastical thing that has ever occurred. Forget catching arrows midair. This plotline shows that there are absolutely zero consequences in the Arrow universe, and therefore lessens any dramatic tension there might be for future storylines. It is beyond absurd.
The Musketeers had me at the snarky sword fight. It's that simple. I love a great sword fight and action sequences of all kinds, and The Musketeers has that in spades. It also has an abundance of humor, equally important. The story thus far seems to be following the typical overall plot, which makes for a comfortable entry into the series, and the pace moves at a good clip. Still I am unsure how long they can keep the Cardinal vs. King storyline going, especially since the Cardinal is played by Peter Capaldi, the next Doctor Who. I am actually more interested in seeing where the story goes now that it will have to sharply deviate from the source material as it will have far more surprises. This one goes on my weekly watch list. Can't wait to catch up with the second episode. If you like fast-paced plotting and great action, I highly recommend this pilot.
Best Scene - Aramis and Porthos "question" Dujon / Constance plays distraction
Best Quote - D'Artagnan: "Prepare to fight. One of us dies here." Aramis: "Now that's the way to make an entrance."
Best Reason to Watch - Sword Fighting
MVP - Constance - she is practical, witty, and can wield a gun
Funniest - Porthos brings a fork to a sword fight. En garde indeed.
The "Missed Opportunity" Award - D'Artagnan doesn't say, "You killed my father. Prepare to die."
The "Oh France, You are in Trouble" Award - The idiot king believes that a murderer would give his real name and then let someone loose to tell others before killing people. I fear for you, France.
Least Surprising Twist - Cardinal Richelieu kills Adele for sleeping with Aramis and Dujon for his knowledge
After the intensity of the previous episodes, this one went much slower, mostly to highlight the music. Probably not the best choice. Still the creepy factor has been enhanced this time around and each of the characters appears to have an active role in the mytharc. I'm looking forward to crossing that one off the wish list.
Best Scene - werewolf vs. demon shadow fight in which a demon pulls a sword out of its shadow body
Best Quote -
1. DoucheDad: "That's one hell of a deduction there Stiles." Sheriff: "Yeah. What can I say? I take after my Pops. He's in law enforcement."
2. Stiles: "Now I'll text you if anyone comes out, but Scott, if you get caught I can't help you. Okay, my dad's under investigation for impeachment 'cause of your dad, so if anything happens, I will run and leave you both for dead."
Funniest Moment - Derek scares off some trick-or-treaters and feels pretty proud of himself
Best Reaction - Isaac thinks twice about confronting the Shadow Demon / Sheriff tries not to laugh when the teens purposely confuse Douche Dad
The "I Don't Get It" Award - Why would someone automatically think Kira was supernatural instead of that she used a super cool filter?
The "Campaign for Beacon Hills Police Fund" Award - Apparently police in Beacon Hills still use floppy discs. Time for a bond issue to revamp their technology. Or someone needs to clean out their desk every decade.
Biggest Mystery - What does Sheriff know about DoucheDad and was Stiles just bluffing? / Why does Argent have the demon maks?
Continuity Question - Shouldn't all that black light also be picking up the massive blood stains covering Derek's loft from battles past?"
As someone whose family has gone through the adoption process, I found the case of the week to be fascinating if a bit on the nose for Elizabeth's personal saga. However the pacing was slow, Lizzie and Tom are painful to watch, and the search for the mole is far less interesting than it should be to me. As always the acting was superb and is the best thing about The Blacklist.
Best Scene - Red confronts Diane
Second Best Scene - Elizabeth interviews Michael Shaw, who talks about perfect children
Best Quote - Red: "You talk too much." Diane: "You can't shoot me." Red: "Why not? You're not one of the good days and as of today, you're utterly worthless to the bad guys."
Biggest Shock - Red kills Diane
Character that Needs to Come Back - Russell
Best Use of Song - Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
Most Intriguing - What happened to Red's family and got him to change alliance?
Another typical Intelligence episode. The spy stuff was resolved too easily but the character interactions are top notch.
Best Scene - Lillian finds out that the President has put the CIA in the loop to keep Gabriel under control
Best Action - Plane fight
Best Quote - Gabriel: "Half these guys are Syrian secret police. Pretty hostile room, sir." Finnegan: "You want hostile? Go to a DNC fundraiser."
Best Twist - the CIA "journalists" were not a twist nor the kill order; no one bothered to tell Lillian is
Most Ludicrous: The top secret Syrian jail system can't see a limo pulling up to its facilities. Huh?
Best Moment - Nelson's indignation at Gabriel thinking he cannot disable the alarm
This episode was much better than last week. We got Walter and Present Day Sara back, which is always a positive. Tommy's picture got a cameo. Plus, Oliver and Roy working together is now off my wish list. Add in the reveal and this episode was on its way to a B+ grade until two things happened. First they brought back the earthquake machine and made it lame. If they could just throw an exploding arrow at it, then they should have armed Quentin the first time. It now colors how I see the machine in Sacrifice as well, so I'm calling foul. However the utter ridiculousness of Moira running for Mayor knocked this episode down an entire letter grade.
Best Scene - Sara returns (woo hoo!!!)
Best Quote - Felicity: "Iron Heights is better at keeping secrets than they are at keeping prisoners."
Best Reason to Watch - Oliver and Roy working together
Best Moment - Picture of Tommy in Merlyn Mansion
Best Aww Moment - Thea and Walter hug - I love these two together. Always have.
Biggest Shock - Oliver reveals himself to Roy
Most Disgusting - Bronze Tiger's new bunkmate pulls claws from his arms
Biggest Disappointment - The Lances are a drag again
Best pep talk - Oliver to Roy about keeping control to save Thea and to Slade to keep him from blowing up the freighter
The "Nooo, Don't Go Down the Rabbit Hole" Award - Moira is pulling Walter into some shady business with the whole doctor promise. Walter must stay respectable. He's one of the last ones.
This episode was less funny than usual to me, possibly because of the urine-themed humor. Also Joe moving out of the house and Mel's conflicting standards wore a little thin. Since both seem to be resolved, I look forward to things improving.
Best Scene - Mel and Joe have to keep from getting caught by his employer
Funniest - Lennox's reaction to hearing Ryder on TV
Best Quote - Joe: "Mel, across the street in the Buchwald house, we like to refer to the children as high spirited or…um, undermedicated."
One of my favorite things about TBBT is its ability to work in big name stars as themselves. In this episode, it was all James Earl Jones. The montage of his and Sheldon's night on the town made me chortle.
Best Scene - James Earl Jones geeks out about Star Wars
Funniest Scene - The guys trying to get tickets to Comic Con
Best Cameo - Carrie Fisher
Best Moment - James Earl Jones and Sheldon karaoke
Best Quote - Penny: "That's a whole lot of weird before coffee."
This is one of my favorite episodes of The Crazy Ones. I love how we got a better glimpse at Simon and Sydney's characters, plus the episode was filled with heart. Also, the cat can-can was one of the funniest things I've seen this year.
Best/Funniest Scene - the cat can-can
Best Moment - Simon gets arrested for graffiti
Best Awww Moment - Zach and Andrew try to cheer up Simon by tagging his billboard
Best Interaction - Sydney and the cat
Best Reason to Watch - Lauren cooing about how the cat will eat her if she dies
Best Quote - Simon: "Some things in life aren't quantifiable. The future is one of them."
Dinosaurs rarely do anything for me and I just saw this episode on White Collar. However it was the overemphasis on Sherlock's immersion into Randy's love life that really stalled the episode for me. I get what they were going for and I love the idea of opening Sherlock up for character growth. Still I don't know enough about Randy to care and while the first couple of text interruptions were funny, it did get old fast.
Best Quote - Sherlock: "How on earth did you make a career dealing with addicts?"
Best Reason to Watch - Joan's deductive reasoning
Best Alias - Bucky Wonderstick
Best Moment - Watson pulls a sliver of the case file out of Sherlock's mouth
Biggest Creeper - Sherlock, who's still leaving things in Watson's bed like a cat bringing dead mice
The "Only Sherlock" Headshake Award - Sherlock carries a sign that says, "This is a fraudulent dimetrodon." Ha!
Best Reaction - Watson after Sherlock volunteers to do some trepanning on her skull
Hickey continues to be a real asset for Community. In fact the other subplots this week had me wishing he'd have more screentime. I did like the parallelism of Chang emotionally the group into the "Bear Down" theme and them all doing the same to Annie with "Fat Dog." Britta got zero sympathy from me, but that may be clouded by my affiliation with SpoilerTV.
Best Scene - Hickey puts up the board regardless of the red tape and Annie jumps a custodian while the rest of the study group backs her up.
Funniest - Annie yelling, "EVERYTHING!!!" at the IT lady
MVP - Hickey
Best Cameo - Robert Patrick
-In an episode with several stellar cameos, I am giving this one to the T-1000. His smarmy, power hungry parking executive made me laugh.
The "If It's Already Aired, It's No Longer a Spoiler" Award - Britta is upset with Abed because he tells her a main character dies in a Game of Thrones-ish TV show, but she's 2 seasons behind. Not a spoiler then.
Best Reason to Watch - the continued pattern of mixing up the character interaction
Best Reference - the movie Labyrinth, which means different things to Hickey and the dean
As my favorite character on White Collar, any episode that focuses on Mozzie is a winner for me. In fact, this was one of my favorite episodes right until the midway point. I loved the idea of Peter, Neal, and Moz trying to figure out the treasure hunt, using clues and their own unique skills. The way that all the characters, including Diana and Jones, were fighting for Mozzie as reminded me of what a great team they all are together. Getting some June time was the icing on the cake. Then came the capture of Rebecca. I know I wasn't the only one who expected her to jump. For her to be so tamely captured after leading them all on a merry chase was a big letdown. Rebecca has been portrayed as far too clever for what they gave her. Here's hoping she escapes soon to wreak havoc again. From that point on, it seemed like they were wrapping up storylines for a series finale instead of a season one. The Burkes packed, Mozzie drank wine, and Neal celebrated his impending freedom. Then boom, cliffhanger with very little build up. Frankly it felt like the writers thought this was the end and then USA Network called them with a season 6. I wish they had let the Rebecca interplay last the entire episode with more clue solving and repairing of the Peter and Neal relationship.
Grade: A- for a regular episode; B- for a season finale
Best Scene - Elizabeth yells at the doctor to force her to give Mozzie the antidote / Peter tells Neal he will soon be free
Best Reason to Watch - Neal is protective of Mozzie
Second Best Reason to Watch - everyone works together in their own way to save Mozzie
Best Awww Moment - Peter and Neal hug after Peter says he put in for Neal's freedom
Best Screencap - Neal holds the diamond up in the light
The "Say What?" Award - They captured Rebecca far too easily. She should never go down without a fight.
Best Scene - Pete and Derrick show Randy the video of when his dad came home
Funniest Scene - football quarterback montage
Best Awww Moment - the team all cries when Sam is reunited with his Superman dad
Best Moment - all the cast crying about soldier coming home videos /Chubowski takes out the medic on his way to score a touchdown
Best Reason to Watch - the brothers
-It is all about the heart combined with the laughs.
Best Physical Comedy: Randy the parachute
Best Throwback to the 80's: Pete's half shirt nonsense
Best Reaction - Pete to Cheesecake / the team's reaction to Pete's football talk
Helix continues its quest to always creep you out and leave you going, "Huh?"
Best Scene - Frozen doctor heads complete with Arctic fighting
Best Quote - Jaye: "Is it possible you were here when you were younger?" Julia: "Yeah I must have forgotten all of those family vacations to the Arctic Circle."
Biggest Mistake - torching the frozen monkey graveyard
-Now we cannot revisit the horror that is them every week. Plus they started screaming, which completely wigged me out. What kind of virus keeps you alive in those temperatures? Will we have half burned monkey graveyard next week? Blech. Please no.
MVP - Good Son Guard (aka Daniel Aerov)
Worst Medical Treatment Ever - imagining baked goods to decrease pain
Best Rivalry - Balleseros vs. Aerov
Most Disgusting (as in I almost threw up disgusting) - the rat coming out of dead Doreen's mouth
Plan Most Likely to Backfire - Keeping an infected doctor in your room / Following a killer into the Arctic with no weapons against a superior opponent
The Resurrection Award - Peter just will not die