Monday, April 28, 2014

Last Week in TV - Week of April 20 - Episode Awards and Reviews

It was a heavy week with 3 new shows premiering: Salem, Black Box, and Bad Teacher. Salem was heavily promoted and premiered to big numbers for WGNA. Not huge numbers for cable but it was definitely a success in getting information out about the station and should be a good tentpole for them to begin more original programming. Black Box and Bad Teacher were more of what I expect from midseason shows. None of them are shows I will likely watch again. The nominated show, The Middle, is an opposite problem for me. I'd like to see more of it but it isn't available on streaming and I'm not buying a show based on 22 minutes of it. I have no idea why ALL shows aren't streaming these days. Plenty of long-in-the-tooth shows are getting new life through Netflix. It or cable rerun blocks seem to be a sound financial investment these days.

 If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the 2 question box below. I am starting to plan my summer viewing so if you have a favorite older show that's available on Netflix or Amazon Prime, they are fair game as well. I keep telling myself I am going to finally check out Alias so hopefully this is the summer. Until next week, happy TV viewing!

Overall Awards:

Best Episode - Grimm - 3.19 - Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen

The addition of Teen Grimm has the potential to be very appealing. She shakes things up and therefore should make her character interactions interesting. By staying with Nick and Juliette, she gives Juliette a reason to be on screen. More importantly, she gives Nick new purpose by making him her mentor. Right now Nick tends to sway between irksome and boring so giving new life to the character is a must. Besides, Teen Grimm can show him some of her fighting skills. Win-win. I'm also surprised by how much more I like Adalind now that she's a mom. I've said this before but again I felt sympathy for her. Once that sympathy was waning, she went back to scheming but now I understand her purpose in doing so, making it more appealing. Plus, she's starting her campaign with Renard, likely giving him more screen time. That's always a good thing. The only negative to this is that Prince Viktor is still hanging around like a piece of gristle stuck in the teeth. I hoped he would depart for a good long while, but no dice. I still miss Mama Grimm and I want Wu to smack all the Grimm Gang, but for me this is a renewed Grimm that makes me anticipate the next episode. Way to find the rails again!

Best Scene  - Blacklist - 1.19 - 
The Pavlovich Brothers - 
Tom and Elizabeth interrogation scene

Not only is this the best scene of the week, but it is also the most intense even before the fight breaks out.  Elizabeth Keen has proof that her husband Tom has been planted by some group into her life to spy on her.  Her whole life has been a lie.  After weeks of pretending like she doesn't know in order to get information, she snaps and alerts Tom to her knowledge.  He runs but Red finds him and sends an extrraction team.  As the scene starts, this is the first time Elizabeth can unleash all the pain and betrayal she's felt.  Tom tries to keep it professional, citing that everything he did was for his job, but for her it is very personal.  Elizabeth:  "Say something to your wife, who's dying in front of you.  Say something." In response he brings up a sweet story from their third date.  He knew he had her then and felt sorry for her.  He never wanted this, but it was his job.  Sympathy and sorrow over.  Now it's time for answers.  In a character twist, Elizabeth uses torture by breaking her husband's thumb with a wrench to get the answers she needs.  It's a completely new side of her and one that makes her more like Reddington than ever.  Sadly, it also means that Tom can get out of the cuffs.  They have one epic fight, but he's an assassin and she's a profiler.  He defeats her soundly and handcuffs her to the bannister.  It seems like all is over but he throws one more curveball at her.  He insists he's the good guy.  Tom:  "I am not here to hurt you, Liz.  My job was never to hurt you.  I'm one of the good guys.  Reddington, he's not who you think."  Liz:  "I will find you."  Tom:  "I can prove it."  He tells her to take the key from the lamp and get info from his social security box that will prove it.  As he says goodbye, I am psyched to find out if he really is a good guy.  I hope he is because he has a greater chance of returning that way and not dying.  He's turned into the most fascinating character on the show.

TV Trend of the Week - Great Music

This week TV had me heading to the iTunes and YouTube more often than usual and most of that was because of the music.  From folk ballads to electronica, music has increasingly been a focus of my TV viewing.  When it's bad, it can break a scene (talking to you sad plinky piano of Black Box), but when it's good it can make a scene more poignant and help me find a new artist to explore.  That's you The Blacklist.  Other times it stirs up nostalgia and reminds me of songs I haven't listened to in awhile.  My favorites from this week include:

TURN - sea shanty Spanish Ladies by Sarah Blasko
Bad Teacher - Ladies Night by Kool & the Gang
The Blacklist - Change of Time by Josh Ritter
Surviving Jack - Friday I'm in Love by The Cure / Suicide Blonde by INXS

Nominated/New Shows:

Nominated Show -

The Middle - 5.15 - Vacation Days

The Middle has largely flown under my TV radar. It's not a bubble show, but it's not a breakout hit either. I don't hear people talking about it, but it obviously has a loyal fan base. Therefore I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not a fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, and that's all I know Patricia Heaton from. I was a huge fan of the janitor on Scrubs though. Going in blind, I found the show enjoyable. Frankie is a kazillion times better than Debra for me, and I found the parents immensely relatable. The kids overdosed on quirky and I'm not sure what to make of them yet, but it is nice to see a normal family that obviously cares and doesn't feel the need to put each other down all the time. Still they don’t necessarily want to be around each other constantly either. I get that. I also appreciate their work ethic. I'm the Frankie in my family with a list of groans when I get home, but I'd like to be more like Mike with a dash (just a tiny one) of Sue. Overall I liked the characters, although Brick's voice annoys me, but I felt like I didn’t get a good feel for the show with this episode. Perhaps if I watch a few more episodes. Also while there was a lot of heart, it was a little short on out loud laughs for a comedy. Again I'm not sure if that is the typical style, if it's just the episode I picked, or if it's my general frustration anytime I have to Hulu a show. This would definitely be a summer show for me if past episodes were available on streaming. As it is, I'll have to wait until that happens or find a really good DVD sale.

Grade: B
Ranking: 2 because it's not available on streaming. It would be higher if it were.

Best Scene - Frankie and Axl compromise and negotiate on the car ride

Best Quote - Mike: "You got any coupons for picking up a couple idiots in Tennessee?"

Best Character Interaction - Mike and Brick

The "You're Even Creeping Me Out" Award - Sue won't take her eyes off her customers and can't read the social cues that she's freaking them out.

Goofiest Friend Bonding - the Sue and Brad stage slap

Best Twist - Frankie runs out of gas and didn't bring her wallet when she went to pick up Axl

Snarkiest - The garage mechanic, who made me laugh harder than the rest of the characters combned

Worst Present Ever - 2 minutes of tickle time. Say what?

The "Wow! That's Some Dedication to a Minimum Wage Job" Award - I have worked with a lot of teens, but I have never seen one so excited and eager to please at a fast food job as Sue. She may actually need some therapy.

Most Flexible - Axl. There's no way I could drive with one foot out the driver's side window. Not sure he should be doing so either.

New Shows -

Salem - 1.01 - The Vow

That was definitely one of the weirdest pilots I have ever seen. It was a little gross, a little too much nudity, and a whole lot of What the Heck! There is no end to the downright bizarre in Salem. Basically it tells the story of John Alden, who has returned to Salem after fighting for years in a war against the French and Indians, only to find his love married to his biggest enemy and a town he despises on the verge of tearing itself apart. The twist is that there really are witches causing chaos in Salem. They're just not the ones on trial. On the surface, this show somewhat resembles Sleepy Hollow in that witchy stuff happened in the past and crazy visuals pop up when you least expect it. They have a similar revenge theme as well. Still, in tone they are quite different. Sleepy Hollow has a snarky, self-mocking tone with a lot of action, huge twists, and dabbles of camp. Salem appears to take itself much more seriously, which actually makes it an easy target to laugh at sometimes. The action was overrun in a quest to find the most shocking visual and the big ending twist was not surprising in the least. However, this is only the pilot and they could go a million different ways on the story foundation they have created. I could see this becoming a water cooler show if probably not a huge ratings hit for cable overall. It is certainly a hit for WGNA and probably a wise tent pole to start building a channel on. Based on only the 3-4 episodes of AHS I have seen, I'd say that Salem is built more to the American Horror Story crowd. Not for me, but this is likely to become someone's new favorite show.

Grade: C+
Ranking: 2

Best Quote - Corey: "This is the Alden house and there ain't any Aldens left so you are either a ghost or you're about to be one."

Most Missed - Corey, already and I'm not sure I'll even see anymore of Salem

Biggest WTH / Most Brutal - This may end up the hardest award to give this week by sheer volume of WTH moments in this episode. In the end writhing mud people and swallowing a toad barely miss out to Mercy, the witch hunting dog. Who the heck came up with this stuff?

Most Encompassing - Mary plans to turn the Puritans against each other in revenge and claim Salem for witches

The "Say What?" Award - Abortion by witchcraft? Huh?

Most Bizarre - In a show postulating demons, the strangest thing I saw was coin money that can be snapped in two by hand. Not sure I'd trust that.

Least Surprising - Hale is a witch

The Real Power - Tituba, who has power over Mary and thus power over all

Most Unique Punishment - Making the guy who sent your lover off live with a live toad in him.

The "Well That's One Way to Keep Your Secret" Award - Mary tells Cotton to stone press Corey

Black Box - 1.01 - Kiss the Sky

I laughed throughout this episode and that's the problem. It's supposed to be a drama. I'm supposed to feel empathetic toward the main character and her squeaky little kid voice. However with all this ham-fisted dialogue from cardboard flat characters, it's hard not to laugh even if you feel bad afterwards. Well the parts that did not feel like a PSA on mental illness at least. I did learn a lot in those 42 minutes that felt like 180. In all fairness, I usually do not like medical dramas because the medical often gets drowned out in the melodrama. Any show where the doctors spend more time getting it on than saving patients or their personal Issues with a capital "I" take over the hospital work leaves me bored and slightly disgusted. Looking at you, Grey's Anatomy. Black Box definitely feels like it shares the same address. This is a particularly bad pilot but it is still only a pilot. There's a chance that in the interim they addressed the more serious problems and subsequent episodes will probably plump up the characters. If you like soapy medical dramas, check it out. Me, I'd rather watch real surgery with a queasy stomach than more of this.

Grade: D-
Ranking: 1

Best Scene - Joshua stays with Cate at the hospital after she's admitted

Best Quote - Mahmoud: "I have bad news. Anthony has a brain tumor." Black: "Yes!" Mahmoud: "Okay and I thought I was weird. Since when is a mass in the head good?"

Best Reason to Watch - If the info is realistic, you will learn a lot about mental illness and the effects of bipolar disorder on everyone

Best Reason to Fast Forward Skip - sometimes the speeches feel like a PSA on mental illness / the writing

Most Soapy Plot Twist - Cate's daughter, Esme, thinks she's her aunt because her brother and his wife are raising her

Most Fun Character - Mahmoud. She's also criminally underused as the quirky sidekick.

Most Irksome - Cate consistently reverts to a pitched, slower, "talking to little kids" voice when she's talking to her patients. It comes off as condescending. Of course her "high as a kite," manic voice sounds like a little kid and that gets frustrating as well.

Best Character Interaction - Cate and her psychiatrist

Funniest Moment - Cate's reaction to the patient seeing elves

Biggest TV No-No: Why are there recapitations in the pilot? Why? If we haven't paid enough attention to something that happened no more than 15 minutes ago, a recapitation is not going to help. Better writing will. Argh!

Most Ham-Fisted Dialogue - This is actual dialogue in the pilot. I couldn't make this up.

1. Black: "What are you doing? You're supposed to be scrubbing in. If you're high , you're not operating on my patient." Bickman: "It seems to me that you're the one who's flying." Black: "You're turned on. God, you're a pathological creep." Bickman: "Dominating b**." Black: "Wait, wait, I'm engaged." Bickman: "What does that have to do with anything?"

2. Bickman: "Do you always get so worked up in defense of your patients? I mean it's cute but take my advice and detach. Emotions get in the way of everything. I told you I'd fix it and I will."

3. Black: "I can hear music. I can hear music. None of you can hear it because I'm incredibly special to God and you are nothing." Kid: "It's your cell, douchebag."

4. Black: "Talk to me. One reason." Hartramph: "Your work. If you're gone, the void cannot be filled. Dr. Catherine Black is needed and loved." Black: "Not for who I really am." Hartramph: "The best part of you is who you really are. The rest is a disease."

5. Black: "The brain is the ultimate mystery. That's why doctors call it the black box." - See what they did there? Get it? Clever, huh.

Bad Teacher - 1.01 - Pilot

I'm really not sure how I feel about this show yet. On one hand, I did not laugh even once which is a bad sign for a comedy and the characters are all one-dimensional so far. On the other hand, there are a whole lot of good actors in this and I didn't find it completely offensive as a teacher so that's a plus. To be honest, it may also be that I'm being more generous than usual with this episode because it didn't drag on like the show I watched prior to it and it's late. Overall Lily is the best character but Irene has the most potential. Meredith is kind of stuck until she eventually learns to love teaching and to give up being shallow, or at least that's where this seems to be heading. In the end this will probably be a channel flip show. If I happen to come across it, I'll watch to see if it gets funny. If not, I'll forget about it.

Grade: C
Ranking: 2

Best Scene - The cafeteria walk

Best Quote - Bronwen: "Thanks. Adults are never honest." Irene: "Yeah, especially on E-Harmony."

Best Character - Lily. Yes she exudes that childhood wisdom only found in Hollywood, but she's also quirky yet relatable.

Most Needy / Most in Need of an Overhaul - Irene, who is way too low on self-esteem to actually work in a middle school. The kids would eat her alive.

Least Surprising - Meredith and Coach sleep together

Funniest Moment - When her doctor date pulls up, Meredith calls the car a hottie but the date is an afterthought

The "Say What?" Award - Since when can teachers ride the school bus to work? Actually when would anyone want to do that? I'd rather walk.

Biggest Reason They Need an Educational Consultant - Um, everything. No one gets hired without a police background check and usually an FBI check. Also, kids would never be able to leave the cafeteria en masse like that. Most of all, not that many parents would ever show up for a middle school Career Day. Maybe elementary.

Best Music - Meredith leads the Safety Patrol into the cafeteria to Ladies Night by Kool & The Gang

Weekly Shows:

Turn - 1.03 - Of Cabbages and Kings

This episode had some shocking twists in as much in what they didn't do as in what they did. First, Simcoe still is not free although that looked exactly like where the story was heading. I truly enjoy this twist, mostly because this cardstock villain is more tolerable in chains than in power. The second big twist was that when Mary went to confront Anna about her relationship with Abraham, instead of it becoming a chick fight, she gave her blessing provided they were discreet. Hate this twist. The last thing I want to see is an Anna and Abraham romantic relationship bloom. I'm tired of glorified adultery. On the plus side, Ben showed a lot of growth in this episode and I actually liked Caleb beyond just his snark. It was relieving to see a historical piece actually conform to the beliefs of its time. Looking at you, Dracula! Still the best part was again Abraham and his father. They approach things so differently it's surprising Abraham hasn't been cut off by now and daddy dearest really needs to learn to shut up before Abraham turns the tide of the war singlehandedly just to spite him. Speaking of, Abraham also showed more cunning in this episode than usual. In the pilot I wondered how he would ever be a convincing spy, but his negotiations over the hogs and the way he got the Hessians to talk was well-done.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Ben tries to talk Newt out of standing with his kin

Best Quote - Anna: "You have a plan?" Caleb: "Well, more an interesting way of getting myself killed. But you know, I'm trying to think of how I better the odds."

Best Character Interaction - Abraham and his father

The "It's Salem All Over Again" Award - Abraham's father is eager to accuse Anna of murder in order to get her cauliflower crop. A regular thief in the law, you are sir.

Most Effective Speech - Ben's in the house, which makes Newt hesitate and gives them the upper hand

Least Effective Speech - Abraham's father, who sends Abraham running to the other side

Most Historical - Caleb's view about a woman's place. This is one of the few historical dramas that gets it right.

Smartest Plan - Abraham bonds with Hessians over sauerkraut to find out they are headed to Trenton

The "Say What?" award - I understand marriages of convenience in this time period, but still. She didn't know her husband was engaged to another woman? Do they even talk?

Most Sadistic Bad Guy - Simcoe slow claps and basically gives "bravo" accolades to Ben for shooting his former men

The "This is Totally Going to Bite You in a Couple of Episodes" Award - Anna straight up lies to Abraham about Simcoe, even though Caleb was going to come clean

Best Music - The more modern take on the sea shanty, Spanish Ladies, which was also sung in Jaws and mentioned in Moby Dick and probably actually post-dates the American Revolution.

Warehouse 13 - 5.02 - Secret Services

An utter disappointment of an episode, the writers fell badly in trying to cram far too many storylines in when they would have been much better off in simplifying the season once they realized they only had 6 episodes. With the exception of Artie and Steve and to a slightly lesser degree Claudia, nothing about this felt like a Warehouse 13 episode. There was very little humor, the dialogue was muddled when not completely anvilicious, and oh what a mess they made of the characters. I don't think Mrs. Frederic could be more out of character if they dressed her in a pink bunny suit and had her tell people's fortunes on the street. Even the long-lost agent friends we've never seen before were clumsy and awkward in their role as foils to this out-of-the-blue Pete and Myka relationship. When first time characters exposit that a relationship can be platonic forever and then suddenly one day just poof, become romantic, you know you've hit the very, very bottom of the writing well. It was a mini how-to lesson in exactly how NOT to write an episode. What a disaster! The only thing that saved it was Steve mediating, Claudia's family back story, and just how much Artie cares about Claudia.

Grade: C- (the grade gets worse in every rewatch it seems)

Best Scene - Artie and Claudia go back in his memory

Best Quote - Claudia: "Keeping me safe is not your job." Artie: "Yes, it is. It is precisely my job."

MVP - Steve, who if this whole Warehouse thing doesn't work out, could have a great career as mediator

Best Reason to Fast Forward - any talk about changing priorities, vibes, or romance

The "Oh Yeah, Right" Award - Claudia: "I'll leave it alone after this, I promise, but I need to know what happened." Anyone believing that probably fell for Nigerian prince e-mails as well.

Most Heartbreaking - Claudia watches her sister kill her parents

The "Miss Nosy" Award - Mrs. Frederic asks Myka if she wants to have kids

Most Used Word - fracking and no, not Battlestar Gallactica frakking.

The "Swing and a Miss" Award - Myka and Pete accuse the other agents of killing people but instead they were just getting married

Biggest Aww Moment - Young Claudia hugs Artie for comfort

Best Foreshadowing - 7 year old Claudia fixes a computer with just a few keyboard clicks

Star-Crossed - 1.10 - What Storm is This that Blows

What a hot mess! This very special episode was brought to you by Love Geometry, now blazing on the CW Tour, and sponsored by an anti-drug PSA, spontaneous plot resolution, and more teen hormones than South Padre Island during high school spring break. Run because something in Louisiana is catching and its biggest side effect is emoangsting. Secondary effects include bad judgment, weepy speeches, and an overall sense of ennui. Where are the scientists from Helix when you need them? Because judging by previews for the next episode, things are only getting worse from here.

Grade: D / C- (but those 10 minutes had the most plot)

Best Scene - Grayson blackmails Drake

Best Quote - Drake: "You want a name. Me. I was a Trag. I'm not anymore, but I can get you the information you want. You've just gotta give me more time." Grayson: "You're saying you used to be a Trag. So how do I know you're not anymore?" Drake: "Because if I was, you wouldn't be alive."

MVP - Gloria. Who knew she could be so powerful? Glad she's on their side.

Best Reason to Watch - Um, well, that evil scientist plot was wrapped up quickly so if you skip this episode, you might wonder what happened. Plus some random people took some random things that will become all important in the next episode probably. Since I have no idea who took what or why, I can't fill you in. However Roman and Drake think it's a bomb and plan on stopping it. Some of the non-drugged characters have done a 180 and that could be confusing also. Mostly though, you could skip this episode and just watch the previouslies. Nothing really happened here.

Funniest Moment - High as a kite Roman saying, "I cannot be in 2 places at once."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - To be honest, I actually skipped the fast forward and just stopped watching the episode at the 38 minute mark. I knew Roman and Emery were going to take us out and I needed to fortify myself before it. I finished the episode the next day.

Worst Idea Ever - a choreographed dance to out yourself as a couple. Is Marshall High vying to be the next LaGuardia High? "Fame, I'm gonna live forever…"

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Roman fell for the bumped tray routine? They obviously don't have spy thrillers in the Sector.

The "You May be High, but You're NOT Wrong" Award - Tripping Roman says the most honest words in the series so far. "Anytime I have to pick between you and what's best for the Atrians, I always choose you and it's always the wrong choice." Um writers, that goes for you too.

Most Evil - Shady Science Teacher wins all the awards in this category. She even has her own henchman.

The "Are Those Crow's Feet? Why Yes, They Are." Award - I'm not sure what it is about this episode's lighting but half the cast looked like they turned 30 in that high school.

Blacklist - 1.19 - The Pavlovich Brothers

Just once. Just once I would like the law to NOT arrive a mere 3 seconds after the bad guys get what they want. Just once I would like said bad guys to be caught in the first 10 minutes of an episode and let the story unfold from there. It could be that there's a higher bad guy. It could be that their dastardly plan is bigger than we thought. It could be about turning the bad guy and making them an asset. I don’t care. Let's just once foil the bad guy's plan first and then go to a bigger story. No? It's against TV law to change things up in a procedural? Darn! Then can we at least have the good guys miss them by a good 15 minutes or so. These near misses are just annoying and not only on this show. Surely ineffective Feds/Cops/Agents get stuck in traffic and end up late to work like the rest of us.

Other than that and The Blacklist's continual mission to afford us absolutely zero answers, this episode was one of the better ones. It all comes down to the tension between Tom and Elizabeth and the subsequent interrogation and fight scene. Everything about Tom has become thrilling and interesting, a complete 180. At first I wondered why they were bringing back the pilot bad guys, but it actually worked not only because they could extract Tom but mostly because it meant we didn’t need to spend time getting to know them. A minimal criminal of the week in the background provided ample time to concentrate on the real story, the confrontation. Kudos, Blacklist writers! Even better they left the ending open so Tom really could end up the good guy. I would love that. It makes him even more remarkable and hopefully ensures that he will be back some time, hopefully to confront Red next time.

Grade: B+

Best Quote - Tom: "It was the sweetest thing, and ever since that moment I just felt sorry for you because I knew…I knew that I had you. Part of me didn't want it to work, but it did."

Best Character Interaction - Tom and Elizabeth, by far.

Best Action - Extracting Tom

Biggest Moron - Elizabeth Keen. Use your best Hermoine voice and say it with me, "What. An. Idiot!" Red already has people following Tom and you know he's paranoid. Why not tail him yourself? Why heed a professional's warning to back off? It's not like your husband will recognize you if he sees you, right Lizzie?

Quirkiest Character Trait - Red always fills in personal details about his life to the people he's manipulating, threatening, or torturing. It actually makes him creepier instead of less.

Biggest Understatement - Ressler: "I think she's having troubles at home, sir."

The "What the Freaking Heck?" Award - Elizabeth uses a wrench to break Tom's thumb. Did not see that coming anymore than Tom did.

Best Twist - Red uses the Pavlovich Brothers to extract Tom before they are captured by Lizzie.

Biggest Tease - You promise me answers with that ending, but you've played that card over and over again. I no longer believe you, The Blacklist. You won't get my hopes up again.

Growing Up Fisher - 1.09 - Desk/Job

My opinion of Growing Up Fisher seems to rise and fall on how I like Joyce in a particular episode. In this one, I thought she was great. There's nothing wrong with learning to stand up for yourself…although it is always good to have the facts first. What I really enjoyed in this one was that Katie and Joyce had some great mother-daughter bonding moments. It also helped that Mel finally lost. He can get a bit overbearing so it's nice to see him knocked down a peg or two.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Joyce: "You know I'm coming around on the cargo pants. I mean it's really like having 16 purses."

Best Moment - The judge threatens to hold Mel in contempt of court

Best Character Interaction - Katie and Joyce. It is good to see them encouraging each other and getting along. I like the girl power here.

Best Reason to Watch - Mel finally loses. He's been needing to for weeks now and it's nice it happened while Henry was around.

MVP - Joyce, who had by far the best lines of the night

Best Salesman - Henry, who turns buying a raffle ticket into standing up for all the non-popular kids and giving all kids a placed to feel loved and accepted

Most Nauseous - Pet nicknames Gummy Bear and Grizzly Bear. That's way too sugar sweet, especially said in teen love voice.

The "Okay Spill" Award - What exact combination of cereals leads to blue milk? That's too cool.

Best Return - Janice is back as the best office manager

The 100 - 1.06 - His Sister's Keeper

All good things must come to an end. I thought this episode might hit an excellence trifecta for The 100, but sadly no. It got swamped down in the typical CW love triangle junk, the bane of my TV watching. Watching Raven's trajectory from overly excited and non-social cue reading reunited romance to jilted lover did zero for me except give me a headache from rolling my eyes so hard. She's a potential great character so hopefully they will leave off her mooning and get things back to normal. No killing off Finn either, by the way. That's just a cop out. On a more positive side, I did like learning about Octavia and Bellamy's relationship. They did a great job filling in the characters' motivations and it made their break at the end more poignant. Considering that Bellamy has to feel responsible for his sister's discovery and mother's death, it makes more sense as to why he would shoot the Chancellor and risk what he feels is certain death in order to make amends. It was also interesting to see the master manipulator being manipulated himself. It should be fascinating when Blake learns Bellamy is still alive. He won't be too excited that the one person who can link him to the Chancellor's almost murder is still very much kicking.

Grade: B-

Best Scene - Bellamy leads Octavia out into the Ark for the first time and she sees the moon rise

Most Intense - Bellamy and Octavia fight at the end

Best Quote - Finn: "I don't speak grounder, but I'm pretty sure this means keep out."

Cheesiest Line - Bellamy: "Storm's coming" complete with dramatic shutting of the gate.

Most Missed - Present day Ark. I wanted some follow-up to the people's deaths and seeing the rockets

Best Reason to Fast Forward - inevitable CW love triangle nonsense. Don't worry though. I'm sure there'll be even more fun love geometry in the future. Why stick with a triangle when you can have an octagon?

Biggest Awww - Bellamy names the new baby, Octavia

Biggest Surprise - Octavia could be missing for so long without Bellamy realizing it

The "Top-Notch Ninja" Award- the grounder takes John without anyone in the search party noticing

Best Guest Star - Red Shirt #2, aka Jason Dohring look-alike, played the pizza delivery guy in one of my favorite Supernatural scenes. He's the one who delivered the pizza to DraculaShifter in Monster Movie. DracShifter: "Is there garlic on this pizza?" PDG: "Did you ask for garlic?" Bwah!

Best Character Development - Bellamy, although Octavia was fleshed out nicely too

The "Aww, You Tried" Award - Bellamy tries to sneak Octavia into the Union Day Masquerade Dance. Darn solar flares messing with a good time.

SHIELD - 1.19 - The Only Light in the Darkness

SHIELD continues to up the ante on the battle between SHIELD and Hydra. I continue to like this show more. Right now, I am very intrigued by Ward and what he is going to do next. Is what he's telling Skye partly true or is it the consummate manipulation? I hope it's the latter to be honest, but I suspect he will die saving her from Garrett and then I'll be ticked off. However, I loved getting a glimpse of May's mom. She had me laughing from the beginning and I'm very curious as to what agency she worked for. I hope she comes back because I'd love to hear about May's back story. Sadly though, we said goodbye to Agent Koenig who I also liked from the start. I was less than thrilled by Coulson's continued tantrum that went so far as to possibly put his team in danger this time. At least he realized what a hypocrite he has been and hopefully will pull his head out of his butt in the future. He's the last person who should be upset about someone withholding information from him when he routinely withholds info from his team.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Skye realizes that Ward is Hydra, although I figured she would blame May for Eric's death first

Best Quote - Koenig: "The NSA's already got SHIELD on its watch list. Why poke the bear, the big, scary water boarding bear?" / Coulson: "Who did you say created this technology again?" Fitz: "Bruce Banner." Coulson: "Then I'm sure it will go off without a hitch."

Best Montage Scene - the lie detector test scene is pure filler but it was a great way to help us know the characters better. Kudos to a little character insight in a unique way.

Biggest Hypocrite - Coulson, but at least he realized it tonight

Biggest Mistake - Ward says that he killed Garrett, which would have automatically blown his cover later if Skye didn't accidentally blow his cover in this episode

The "I Don't Blame You" Award - I completely understand why May left. Coulson doesn't deserve her and I'm sure she could find others who do. I'm rooting for a May spin-off because that show would kick butt. Sadly, she'll return to be part of Coulson's crew instead.

Walking Deluminator Award - Daniels

The "It's a Recap Palooza" Award - As Ward tells his fake story, we see recapitations of what really happened last time. You know, just in case we missed the fact that Ward is working for Hydra. It's easy to forget those pesky minor details.

Best Answer to a Stupid Question (practical) - When asked what's in a box on a deserted island, Trip answers: "A sat phone, so I can call someone to get me off that island."

Best Answer to a Stupid Question (creative) - When asked the same question, Simmons answers the Tardis. Ha! Perfect geek answer.

Best Addition - Agent May's mom. I'd love to get more info on this family.

Dumbest Call - Coulson decides not to take May and he can't take Ward to a fight with a dangerous psychopath. Talk about throwing a fit to spite yourself. Way to put your team in danger because your feelings are hurt.

Surviving Jack - 1.05 - Something to Talk About

Another comedy hit for Surviving Jack. I really don’t know why the best comedies on right now are getting soft ratings while things like Two and a Half Men still get a 2.5 share. The Goldbergs, Enlisted, Surviving Jack, and Trophy Wife are more consistently funny than most comedies getting twice the ratings. For Surviving Jack, it is walking that fine line between cantankerous and abusive that allows me to chuckle at Jack's over-the-top declarations. Plus the fact that he adores his wife more than anything else. It's an unusual sentiment for Hollywood and more in line with comedies back when the show takes place. I miss those. It also helps that Christopher Meloni does a great job with his facial expressions to let the audience know there is more going on there. Overall, I would take this comedy over most available. Darn those pesky mid-season premieres. On a side note, I finally figured out where I know Rachael Harris (Joanne) from. She was one of my favorites on Best Week Ever and I Love the 80's.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Jack unwittingly says the right thing when he says they will never stop being parents

Funniest Scene - George and Mikey put themselves in the pool after saluting with cadence playing in the background

Best Quote - Jack: "I am begging for them to need us less. We're never going to stop being parents. It's like a life sentence with no hope of parole." Joanne: "That's the sweetest thing you could have ever said to me. Thank you."

Best Character Interaction - Jack and the fireman. The fireman thinking the worst of Jack and Jack not caring was priceless.

Worst "Meet the Parents Dinner" Ever - nothing like your dad using chicken stuffing to explain your mother's reproductive system and your mom high on pain pills to kill the moment. Add in a porno movie and a fire and chances are your relationship's over. If your girlfriend has to take your mom's painkillers from her, it may not be the best impression.

Biggest Awww - Jack soft voices and tries to make sure everything is perfect for Joanne's recovery

Best Casablanca Synopsis Ever - "It's just a bunch of sad European guys making hard choices." / "Me, I prefer my war movies to actually have war in it."

The "No, Empty Threats Here" Award - Jack really does toss both his kids in the pool, along with Doug, and threatens to dunk Heather. Bwah!

Frankie's Favorite Childhood Moment - Dad tosses sister in the freezing pool. Ha! That is a classic.

Best Nostalgia - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air / hairspray napalm

TBBT - 7.21 - The Anything Can Happen Recurrence

I laughed more in this episode than I usually do with The Big Bang Theory and yet, it also had a lot of heart. That's the comedy sweet spot. Generally on a show this old, the characters are in a worn groove, similar to how the characters were feeling. By mixing up their interactions, it gives us a fresh glance at them. I really loved Leonard and Amy getting a scene with just them in it. It was touching and probably the most heartfelt since Howard had them all sing his love song to Bernadette. Kudos! Still it was beat out by the sheer reaction of Sheldon to the psychic, not to mention the crackling dialogue. I also like Sheldon and Penny together because she does get him to experience new things, which is always hilarious. Not sure I'd have any different reaction to Chinese served in a taco to be honest. This was TBBT at the best it's been in a long while.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Sheldon and Penny visit the psychic

Best Quote - Sheldon: "This is Asian fusion. For all you know there's a tiny Chihuahua in here." / Sheldon: "Oh that's a lot of incense or someone set a hippie on fire."

Best Character Interaction - Penny and Sheldon

Best Reason to Watch - mix matching the character interactions. More Leonard and Amy please.

Best Aww Scene - Amy tells Leonard about sometimes being jealous of Penny's relationship with Sheldon

Worst Product Placement Ever- I am never, ever watching that movie just from Howard and Raj's description. Blech!

The "That's So True" Award - Sheldon: "That's an easy guess. I'm clearly an annoying person. I have problems with both genders."

The "What the Heck?" Award - Amy in a Catholic school girl skirt and tie. Sometimes I'm not sure if she knows Sheldon at all.

Best Speech - Sheldon's "non-offensive" debunking of psychics

Elementary - 2.21 - The Man with the Twisted Lip

I'm officially tired of Mycroft. If having him back means Watson turns into an idiot, then no thanks. If it causes a rift between Sherlock and Watson all in the name of plot device, then forget it. Time for the next plot line. Here’s hoping that Mycroft's shady business all comes out in the next episode and Watson is recovered from the mob so we can get back to the business of keeping the world safer. Discord for the sake of discord does nothing for me. That said, it was cool to get Mrs. Hudson back and this episode's ending did a great job of raising the stakes on multiple levels. As for the crime of the week, to be honest, I forgot about it 2 days later and had to refresh my memory.

Grade: C-

Best Scene - Watson kidnapped

Best Quote - Gregson: "So you went looking for a missing person, and you came back with a cell full of heroin dealers."

Best Reaction - Sherlock's utter lack of enthusiasm at Mycroft being back

Most Bizarre - Blackmail by cue card. I love it.

The "It's About Time" Award - I am surprised Watson hasn't moved out well before this. I could only take so much time with Sherlock and then I'd need a break.

Worst Plan - Watson dating Mycroft. There is ZERO upside to this at all. In fact, it screams of future annoyance. Even if his brother wasn't Sherlock, this is just wrong to date your co-worker/friend/roommate's brother.

The "What the Heck!" Award - Sherlock hides heroin in his house. Are you kidding me? NO! I like that Sherlock is an addict but I don't want to watch him succumb. Time for an intervention. Where exactly is his sponsor again? He's been MIA.

Best New Job Potential - Watson. If she ever stops consulting with the police, she can make it as a professional thief. She pickpockets someone's id badge, picks locks, breaks into safes, and cons people into giving her access. She might as well partner with Mozzie and take the New York crime scene by storm.

Most Shady - Mycroft. Who was he talking to on the phone earlier? Why does he want Sherlock back in London? How far is he willing to go to get him out of New York? Who is he working with and what are their nefarious plans?

Dumbest Crime - illegal black market candy contraband. That's really a thing? Why?

The "See What Happens When They Put the Main Female Character in a Love Plot" Award - It always turns them stupid. What the heck! Watson knows better than to tail a known French mobster on her own. She just confronted Sherlock about being equally reckless and stupid on the anthrax case.

Best Reference - Sherlock subtly refers to Moriarty. I can't wait until she comes back.

Grimm - 3.19 - Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen

Grade: B+

Best Scene - Teen Grimm finds out the truth about Wesen

Best Character Interaction - Nick and Teen Grimm

Best Action - Teen Grimm vs. Skalengeck

The "Yeah, You Thought It Too" Award - When Hank picks up the French fry and starts talking about it, I thought he was going to eat it, not use it as evidence and send Wu on a fry hunt

Best Self-Preservation - Monroe refuses to get in the back seat with Teen Grimm / Teen Grimm won't go into Aunt Marie's trailer

The "Hmmm" Award - the two Wesen who attack Teen Grimm don't react at all when they look into her eyes, which should be when they figure out she's a Grimm

The "You Couldn't Have Waited a Little Longer?" Award - Hank pulls Teen Grimm off of Nick way too early. She was pounding him pretty well and I still haven't forgiven the Grimm Gang for the Wu debacle.

Dumbest Recapitation Yet - going way back to the pilot, they show Nick rubbing wolfsbane on Hank's jacket for absolutely NO reason. Pure filler and bad filler at that.

Thank Goodness Award - Adalind says she's done crying. Good. I can't handle feeling sympathetic towards her for more than 2 minutes at a time. Go back to being the woman I root against please.

Most Gratuitous - 2 Teen Grimm shower scenes, neither of which seemed to have any purpose

Biggest Bwah! - Nick face palms Teen Grimm. It must be the Grimm version of a Gibbs slap.

The "Ha! I See What You Did There" Award - Teen Grimm's mug shot says T. Rubel, giving her the nickname Trouble.

Screencaps by Zap2It, SciFi Mafia, Screenrant, NBC, TV Line, Subscene, TV Ninja, Horror News, FB, AMC TV, Vimeo, Forever Young Adult, SciFi Empire, FOX, Comic Book,,

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, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", 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."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Grimm - 3.19 - Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen - Best Scene Poll

Quote of the Week - Week of April 20

A weekly feature highlighting the best quotes on TV as picked by the Spoiler TV team this past week. Leave your comments on the best TV quotes last week in the comments below.

Agents of SHIELD -

1. FitzSimmons' answers to what was in the hypothetical box on an imaginary desert island during the lie detector test: Fitz: "Simmons." Simmons: "The TARDIS." (Virginia Fontana)

2. Koenig: "The NSA's already got SHIELD on its watch list. Why poke the bear, the big, scary water boarding bear?" (Dahne)

3. Coulson: "Who did you say created this technology again?" Fitz: "Bruce Banner." Coulson: "Then I'm sure it will go off without a hitch." (Dahne)

The Americans -

Fred: "Let me assure you, Mr. Beeman. I would never betray my country." Stan: "No one ever imagines they will." (Andy Page)

Arrow -

1. Slade: "You possess true courage. I'm truly sorry you did not pass that on to your son." (Macie Potts and Bradley Adams) 

2. Felicity: "Let's see, the bottle says the proper dose is..." Oliver: "Is all of it." Felicity: "I don't think that's a good--ooh." (Bradley Adams)

Bates Motel -

1. Norman Bates: "It was all just a game. The game was that we were devoted to each other, and no one could ever come between us, that we loved each other more than anyone could ever love another person." Norma Bates: "But we do love each other." Norman Bates: "Do we? Do we really, mother?" (Macie Potts)

2. Norma: "I'm just not really sure they go." Norman: "Oh, sure they go! That's the great thing about taxidermy -- it goes with everything!" (Sharon Seymour)

The Blacklist -

1. Reddington: "I can't even think about derivatives without thinking of that tutor in Manor Hall... Cindy something-or-other. Never wore a brassiere; Always a bounce in her step." (Bradley Adams)

2. Reddington: "[Chuckling] Oh, my God. What? Pagosa Springs public library? I had a water pump go out in Pagosa Springs. Bitch of a mountain... Wolf Creek Pass. Thought I was gonna end up living out there with the hill people until this Teddy bear of a man fixed me up at the local garage. I'll never forget him. Tracy Woods. You don't know Tracy, do you? Leather vest, mustache... Tracy Woods?" (Bradley Adams)

3. Liz to Tom: "Here's an example of honesty, Tom. You've been making me pancakes for two years. I hate pancakes." (Sharon Seymour)

Castle -

Richard Castle: "We get to solve the greatest mystery of the Disco era... besides the popularity of disco itself." (Tonya Papanikolas)

Fargo -

Lorne Malvo: “Highly irregular is the time I found a human foot in a toaster. This is just odd.” (Andy Page)

Hannibal -

Will Graham: "I'd say this makes us even. I sent someone to kill you and you sent someone to kill me. Now we're 'Even Steven'." (Andy Page and Macie Potts)

Hart of Dixie -

Vivian: "Oh, there she is - the Edward Snowden of family secrets." (Tonya Papanikolas)

Salem -

John: ""Judge not lest ye be judged." Sibley: "Who said that?!" John: "Jesus. You mighta heard of him." (Sharon Seymour)

Corey: "This is the Alden house and there ain't any Aldens left so you are either a ghost or you're about to be one." (Dahne)

Isaac: "Coming home to Salem to get out of the war is like jumping in the ocean to get out of the rain." (Dahne)

Surviving Jack -

Jack: "I am begging for them to need us less. We're never going to stop being parents. It's like a life sentence with no hope of parole." Joanne: "That's the sweetest thing you could have ever said to me. Thank you." (Dahne)

Joanne: "You can steal a baby for me, Jack. You work in a hospital." Jack: "If I'm going to prison, it's not going to be for grabbing a new kid. It'll be for getting rid of the old ones." (Dahne)

Screencaps by Tuesday Night Movies, Epoch Times, Movie Trailer Reviews, Emertainment Monthly, Screenrant, Den of Geek, Big Shiny Robot, Hannibal Cafe, Pinterest, Jerome Wetzel TV, and FOX.

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, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", 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."

Monday, April 21, 2014

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

Welcome back to Last Week in TV, where two more shows have ended for the season - Community and The Crazy Ones. Good thing there is a steady stream of new shows premiering and nominated shows to watch. Speaking of, if you would like to nominate a show for me to watch, please fill out the simple, 2 question form below. Now shows, old ones, things still on the air and things that aren't are fair game as long as I can find a place to watch them and they aren't too risque for my prudish tastes. I'm looking to finalize my summer viewing for this column soon so if there is a show I should marathon, put those in too. As always, tastes vary so feel free to sound off in the comments below about your feelings on last week's TV. Until next week, happy TV viewing!

Overall Awards:

Best Episode - The 100 - 1.05 - Twilight's Last Gleaming

This was an excellent episode and for once, it was because of the Ark. A powerful story of sacrifice and hard choices, this episode shows that The 100 is not made solely of teenage fluff although the love triangle nonsense has got to go. To be honest, every time I watch this episode I choke up and I rarely cry at TV. Still to see a father volunteer to die in order to give his daughter more time to live, well that's powerful. Then to see a husband and others do the same thing. It's humanity at its finest, even if it is only a TV show. The best thing about The 100 is that it doesn't shirk the hard issues and it allows all the characters to make tough choices. Even better, those choices are not defined as good or bad, only by the perspective of the person making them. They are tough and the characters struggle with them. Even Kane, who had previously been the stock villain, was shown to have multiple levels in this episode. It was a masterful stroke that showed us that he really does have the Ark's best interests in mind even if he disagrees about what those are with Abby. By showing that he can be flexible when the situation changes, his character has become well-rounded and we see how tough these decisions are for him too. The 100 is a surprisingly deep and sometimes dark show, so don't let the fact that it's on the CW keep you from watching it. It is turning out to be one of the better new shows of the season.

Best Meta - Community - 5.13 - 
Basic Sandwich

This episode was meta-rific, a nod to Community's perennial bubble status and its fans constant struggle to keep it on the air. It was also a screw you to NBC, the network on which it airs, which has been known to change Community's air dates without much thought. Possibly the best show meta ever came at the very end when they ran an ad for future NBC shows called Thought Jacker, Intensive Karen, Mr. Egypt, Celebrity Beat-Off, and Captain Cook. In today's sad TV world, many fans didn't realize this was fake until partway through. However the best part came at the end when it said, "This summer or fall or, possibly next winter…" And then the people in the ad say, "It depends on what fails." BWAH!!! That is so how Community is scheduled on NBC. The ad featured Amber Tamblyn, Questlove, BJ Novak, Paul Schneider, and the school board guys in a Community spin-off. Amber Tamblyn is famous for her show Joan of Arcadia, which got cancelled by CBS and caused an uproar amongst its fans, one of the first major fan reactions I remember. Questlove was part of Chapelle's Show, which got canceled when its star walked off the project. BJ Novak was in the now cancelled The Office, which Community referenced in this episode, and the recently renewed bubble show, The Mindy Project. Probably the one getting the most attention though is Intensive Karen, which is considered a parody of the quickly cancelled Ironside. If anyone knows who the actress was, please let me know.

The second best meta of the episode was of course Abed, whose lines were spot-on. Consider this riff: "Annie, look I don't know people, but I know TV. When characters feel like the show they're on is ending, their instinct is to spin off into something safer. In Jeff and Britta's case, something that would last 6 episodes and have a lot of bickering about tweezers and glutens, starring an equally WASP-y brunette couple with a title like Better with My Worst Half, or Awfully Wedded, or Tying the Not but Knot is spelled without a K, or #CouplePeopleProblems and every episode you get to decide who wins the fight by going on…" If that isn't the state of the most popular comedies right now, while other, better comedies wither away with their bad demo ratings. Borchert is right. "Idiots won." Other fantastic meta lines include:

Abed: "The point is this show, Annie, it isn't just their show. This is our show and it's not over."
Carl: "Your school is still bankrupt, it is still unmarketable, and it is still on the permanent chopping block of anyone who has any say in its future." Dean: "Yeah, well around here we call that Wednesday."

Abed: "Speaking of days, I never got a chance to wish you a happy birthday, or Halloween, or Christmas, or any specific calendar event." Annie: "Well maybe next year." Abed: "We'll definitely be back next year. If not it'll be because an asteroid has destroyed all human civilization and that's canon."
-The first part is another dis on NBC for its wacky scheduling, which brings to mind the classic Community season 4 premiere video, "Troy and Abed airing….someday." The second makes a sixth season canon, if possibly not true. Come on NBC, you know you're going to make it happen. Just confirm 6 seasons and a movie already.

Nominated/New Shows:

Nominated Show:

American Dad - 9.09 - Vision: Impossible

To be honest, this nomination is the least in my comfort zone than any of the others so far. I don't do animation in the same way I don't do so-called reality TV. Therefore this was an unique experience for me. I wasn't sure what to expect from a Seth MacFarlane creation, but it certainly was not an animated, slightly risqué after school special. I didn't realize that animation was all about the moral or about stating it so blatantly, which would have annoyed me in a drama. Roger: "Even if we could stay alive in here, what kind of life would that be? Life is risky, but you have to get out there and take chances anyway." It's not that I disagree with the statement; it's just that I am used to TV being a bit more subtle in executing the theme. It reminds me of an 80's sitcom in that way and perhaps it is meant to. I haven't seen enough of the show to tell what is meta and what isn't at this point. I did like that it was far less crass than I expected a Seth MacFarlane creation to be and more sophisticated than anything I've seen from Family Guy or Dads. It also had a great circular storyline and the irony of the safety museum was fantastic. It was the best scene hands down for me. However, for a comedy I found myself laughing very little, especially in the middle. Part of it is that I consider myself a moderate and independent so making conservatives the butt of ALL the jokes and not slamming the left equally got on my last nerve. There needs to be a balance for me to enjoy a show. Part of it is that the dialogue was less snarky than most of the dramas I watch today. This show had surprisingly more heart than I ever suspected, but it had half the amount of laughs I expect from a comedy. Then again, animation is not my thing so take my grade and opinion with a Steve-sized amount of salt.

Grade: C-
Ranking: 1

Best Scene/Action - The Safety Museum

Best Quote - Roger: "So can I get an orange juice or is there a long a** story about that too?"

Best Character - Roger

Best Moment - the people are shepherded back into the fire and they go

The "Huh?" Award - Why is the fish snorting coke?

Best Irony - The safety museum is shot up by a disgruntled worker who got fired the day before / the safety museum has no safety precautions in it

Best Running Gag - An ultraconservative has an alien living in his house. My guess is that this is more meta.

Worst Plan - Hayley wants to keep the raccoon as a pet. There's no scenario where this ends up a good idea.

New Show:  I attempted to check out Metal Hurlant Chronicles but could not find it in time.  I have no idea what it is about or if it even qualifies as a show for Last Week in TV purposes.  I also intend to start reviewing Orphan Black but did not have time this week.  Since it is in season 2, it will go in the weekly shows category, hopefully next week.

Fargo - 1.01 - Pilot

I usually review all new shows if they come on a channel I get. Therefore I prepared to watch Fargo as well. However about 40 minutes into it I started falling asleep and 62 minutes into it I found out I still had another half an hour to go. Nope! I was out. I will say that it has great acting, but the pacing is snail slow - basically Hannibal slow - and I hated all the characters except the sheriff and his sidekick. Given that Fargo comes highly recommended by people who love all the shows I loathe, it is not surprising. So no grade or episodes awards for this one, since I didn’t finish the pilot. Nor will I.

Weekly Shows:

Crisis - 1.05 - Designated Allies

I am seriously frustrated with Crisis by this point. I need everyone to shut up. I need answers. I need the end to come near. It doesn't surprise me that ratings for this show are dropping. As for me, I'm dropping it now that the teacher-student relationship is confirmed. Tell me how it ends.

Grade: D

Best Scene - Meg tells Dunn to stuff it because everything's she's ever done is for Amber

Best Quote - Luke: "Messed up DC rich kid. Better parenting through chemistry, yo."

Only Characters I Like Left - Hurst, Finley, Anton, and Kyle

Biggest Shock - The FBI kidnaps the soldiers

The "Say What?" Award - Why would anyone go near anyone who has a kidnapped kid? They have to know that there's a chance they are being used for nefarious purposes.

The "Wow, What a Surprise" Award - The soldier passes out before the FBI can get ANY answers. I am thoroughly sick of this storytelling format already. You are now in The Following bad territory. How many episodes are left of this show?

Most in Need of Dying - The creepy guard who is stalking Amber and if I never hear again about the teacher-student relationship, it will be too soon.

The "Oh Shut Up, You Whiny Brat" - Francis, I have zero sympathy for you and all your whining just makes me want them to shoot you dead.

The "Shut Up" Award - The list is long and wide tonight. Beth Ann, Francis, Dunn, most of the other characters.

Resurrection - 1.06 - Home

Resurrection is still maple syrup slow, but it is still very interesting too. You do have to abandon your skepticism while watching because there is NO way that information about the returned hasn't leaked yet, but the characters remain honest portrayals of people faced with an uncertain situation. Leaving it on that cliffhanger makes me anxious to find out what happens next.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Bellamy: "What about what happened with Caleb?" Henry: "The thing is when do we ever have a guarantee in this life. If I lose him tomorrow, at least I'll have had these days with him."

Best Moment - Elaine and Ray bond over the douche that is Caleb

Biggest Aww Moment - Henry tucks Jacob in

Most Intriguing - New doctor Eric who is likely to bring the federal government in on this just to get his hands on Jacob

Worst Plan - Cop kidnapping Rachel. There is no way this ends well for anyone. I kind of hope Rachel has supernatural power and zaps Gary. Then she needs to go away like Caleb.

The "Rednecks Have Arrived" Award - Paul and his gun collection = big future problems

The "You are So Screwed" Award - Tom, who lied to his wife and got another woman pregnant 20 some odd years ago

The "Big Mistake, Huge" Award - Janine confides in Helen, the worst possible person she could have

Best Scene with No Dialogue - Sheriff looks at his wedding ring

Biggest Douche - Helen / Gary

Star-Crossed - 1.09 - Some Consequence Yet Hanging in the Stars

Note - From here on I am skipping all the star-crossed lovers drek unless it directly effects the real plot. Consider it always the Best Reason to Fast Forward. All episodes will have 2 grades in the future. One for overall and one without the shipping.

Coming to a crescendo, this episode combined 4 main players in a battle for the hearts of the Atrians and therefore the power. Castor showed himself willing to do anything in order to keep that power, even threatening to send his own nephew to the Crate. Saroya, instead, found herself over her head in a world that had changed since Nox's death. Roman just showed himself to be incompetent as a leader. Not because he trusted the wrong person. That happens. It's because he approached everything wrong, made rash decisions without thinking through the consequences, failed to understand his opponents so much so that he underestimated them, and then put himself before the needs of his people. Not a good start, Roman. The Atrians do need a leader, but you are not it yet. In the end, Vega won this round. By allowing the conflict between Roman and Castor distract them and by working on Saroya's very real fears, Vega got exactly what she wanted. She proved to be cunning and patient, two things that generally work well in a coup. No doubt she will become overconfident and villain monologue at just the wrong moment, but for now she's definitely positioned the best. It was fascinating seeing these 4 try to get the upper hand on each other and it made for great drama. Still the most intense scene of all was Drake with his mother. To know just how long he's wanted to be reunited with her and all that he has done in the pursuit of her freedom, his hurt reaction to her disappointment was unmistakable. He has become the most interesting character, torn in so many directions from such varied loyalties. Thus far, the only person who comes close to having as amazing a character arc is Grayson. I can't wait to see what happens between them.

Grade: B- / A

Best Scene - Vega trades the flight recorder for the Castor's hostages

Best Quote - Saroya: "This is a trap. You can't trust this human and you can't trust Roman." Drake: "Roman's family, the only family I've had for the past 8 years. Now we've got our problems, but I'm not going to turn my back on him."

Best Character Interaction - Saroya and Drake / Castor and Roman

Best Reveal - Saroya and Vega used to be best friends

Best Table Turn - Castor is the only one there when Roman goes to talk to the leaders and then holds Roman prisoner.

The "Get a Room" Award - Seriously, Drake and Taylor? First a bathroom and now a locker room? Not sanitary. Not to mention anyone could walk in on you. I see a visit by Shady Science Teacher in your future.

Best Plan - Castor plans to discredit and falsely accuse Roman so he is sent to the Crate, just like he did to Saroya. Brilliant in its simplicity and no need to bury the body.

The "Wow, that was Actually Smart" Award - Emery makes her first smart move by not trying to break Roman out herself but going to Drake so they can come up with a plan.

Most Intense - Drake tells Saroya that everything he's ever done was to get her back

The "It's Your Own Fault" Award - Why is Roman waiting until the morning to go to the elders? Castor has proven that he can manipulate anyone. Why give him time while you're canoodling with your girlfriend? Priorities, man! Roman showed a complete lack of leadership by going off to snog Emery instead of taking the next step to defeat Castor. He deserves whatever happens next for being such a complete idiot. Did he really think Castor was going to wait until the morning or go quietly? Bah! A pox on both star-crossed lovers.

Best Background Info - Castor says that he wanted to colonize earth because he didn't think they would find another suitable planet, but the pilot refused so he shot him. Saroya fought him and he crashed the ship.

The "Say What?" Award - Grayson can't see the tire tracks in the day but by night he sees them perfectly.

The "Not a Bad Idea" Award - Castor may be an evil murderer and he takes the exact wrong approach to everything, but separation is an interesting idea. History shows it would never work but it does give Atrians and the story line a viable third option to entertain.

Warehouse 13 - 5.01 - Endless Terror

Warehouse 13 came back in full throttle this episode and while I very much enjoyed it, there were some issues. First is the contrived conflict between Artie and Claudia. I would be fine with it if we weren't now down to 5 episodes. As we are, there is no time for Claudia to be acting like a brat and for Artie to be mopey. They need to fix this rift quickly because I am not spending my last 5 episodes telling characters to shut up and throwing socks at my screen. I was also disappointed that Paracelsus was dispatched so easily. I was hoping he would be around for a few more episodes at least. Not that I am complaining about Mark Sheppard being back as Valda. I love that guy. Still, Paracelsus had so much story left that it felt a little rushed when it didn't have to be. Imagine Anthony Stewart Head and Mark Sheppard on the screen together for 5 episodes! Now that would have been epic. Alas it will not be. On the positive side, this erpisode is chock full of references to previous seasons as a basketful of Easter eggs to the fans. Plus it introduced Lisa da Vinci and Isabella to the canon, quite the delight. I know it would be hard to work them back into the last 5 episodes, but I'm still holding out for some kind of TV movie. I hope this is not the last we see of them. I also enjoyed the fast-pace of the episode and the constant humor that makes Warehouse 13 one of the funniest shows I watch, even more so than some comedies. In other words, Warehouse 13 is back and even though the ride is short, I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Artie: "I'm still the same man that's loved you like a father since the day you put me in electrified handcuffs and kidnapped me. I'm just trying to protect me." Claudia: "You can't, Artie. You can't protect me anymore. You have to let me make my own mistakes and you have to let me get hurt if that's what's supposed to happen."

Funniest Character Interaction - Steve and Artie

Best Character Interaction - Myka and Pete

Best Clothing Choice - Paracelsus' duster jacket

MVP - the regents' manual addendums

The "Say What?" Award - Artie is awfully nonchalant about a missing artifact. He should be organizing a full on search by now. Hmm.

Worst Plan - Artie and the shield

Best Prank - Ralph Brunsky, Egyptian terrorist

Best Diversion - Yelling, "We're here," and knocking over some artifacts

The "Poor Baby" Award - Steve, who keeps getting beat up

Growing Up Fisher - 1.08 - The Man with the Spider Tattoo

While the moral was said directly at least twice in a 22 minute episode, I did like this one. Yes, it was in-your-spider-webbed-face, blunt and transparent but the character interactions wee spot on. I really like Katie as a character and it is nice to see her letting loose instead of always taking care of everyone else for a change. I also appreciate Joyce in this episode, which rarely happens. Yes she was still kooky but it was tamer in some ways. I'd like to see more of her interacting with Mrs. Han to be honest. I think they could be good for each other.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Pete and Mel rebond at the park

Best Quote - Gym Teacher: "Really? You're calling this a fight."

Best Character Interaction - Mel and Katie

Character Interaction I'd Like to See More - Joyce and Mrs. Han

Best Reaction - Joyce, Henry, and Katie freak out when Mel's new friend has a giant spider web tattoo on his face

The "Does That Really Work?" Award - Katie is fascinated by a kid who can do magic tricks. Is that really a plus in high school these days? It would have been a negative when I was a teen.

Best Unintended Guilt Train - Mel, who makes Katie feel bad about not giving him all the facts , by complimenting her on her fine moral character

Lamest, Yet Funniest Fight Ever - Rhythmic ribbon fighting. It's like sword fighting but with more flapping and less stabbing.

Most Savvy - Mel, who knows that Katie is having a party, even though she keeps hand signaling everyone to be silent

SHIELD - 1.18 - Providence

It's back-to-back hit episodes for SHIELD. Who knew that having the Marvel Universe fall apart would be exactly what this show needed to shake things up and make it more interesting? Of course it was the Hydra side of events tonight that captured my attention while I could have done without most of the SHIELD perspective. People bratting in a crisis does little for me, so Coulson was just irksome. The love geometry of Fitz's jealousy as well. However we did get the great comedic relief of Patton Oswalt's Koenig, which turned things around for the SHIELD side. Mostly though, they left this episode on a real high note. Having Ward go back to SHIELD now that we know he's doing so on Garrett's orders changes everything and should create some delightful tension next week. I wish he was going to be under for a longer time though. If Ward really is a double agent, his character's lifespan on SHIELD is very short and I would hate to see him go when he's suddenly become far more interesting.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Ward explains how he infiltrated Coulson's team to Raina

Best Quote - Skye: "We have internet." Coulson: "Yea, and boy have I lowered my expectations." / Kaminsky: "Hail Hydra." Garrett: "Alright, alright, put your arms down Kaminsky. You look like a West Texas cheerleader at a pep rally."

Best Reason to Watch / Most Intriguing - Ward. Now that he's back with the SHIELD team, everything is more interesting. Who is playing whom? Will he make it out or is there a May interrogation in his future? How long can he keep his secret from them? These questions have me frothing for the next episode.

Best Character Growth - Simmons, who has the audacity to question Coulson's dictatorship, as she should

Best Humor - Agent Koenig speaks so seriously about the lanyards. They're a privilege, not a right.

Most Improved - Raina. I think it was her absence that made her far more tolerable to me in this episode or perhaps it is the fact that she truly believed. It's her first vulnerability.

Biggest Question - Garrett has a metal plate on his side. What's up with that and does it explain why he went to Hydra instead of sticking with SHIELD?

Biggest Douche - I don't care if this show always makes Coulson right. He had no right keeping vital information like the fact that they would have no fuel to go anywhere else from his people. This didn't just happen to him. It happened to them all.

Marvelverse Guest of the Week - Adrian Pasdar, here as Colonel Talbot, has apparently been playing the voice of Iron Man in a lot of things.

Best Acting - Coulson's mental breakdown and apology afterwards

Least Surprising - the slingshot program doesn't really exist

The "Oh Really" Award - Coulson: "I'm not comfortable keeping secrets from my team." Are you sure about that? You didn't tell them about running out of gas. You kept the secret of Skye's birth a secret from her for a long time. I call "liar, liar".

Best Non-Dialogue Scene - The faces of everyone following Coulson's crazy arctic walk

Turn - 1.02 - Who by Fire

TURN continues to be fascinating and well-paced with a second episode equal to the first. I like how both sides have their heroes and villains, which was fascinatingly played out between Rogers and Hewlett in this episode. Both are important in the King's army and yet they have very different approaches to how war should be waged. Every scene between them is intense and well-done. Kudos to both actors. I also found Simcoe interesting in this episode. Don't get me wrong. I still wish they had killed him outright. He's a plague that will escape to be an annoyance in the future, but for right now he's the only one bringing the snark. The only downfall right now is the Abraham and Anna relationship that proves even basic cable, even historical fiction, is not safe from the tentacles of that irksome plot device called the love triangle. Help us all! The sooner someone takes the knife to that cliché the sooner TV will be more palatable.

Grade: B

Best Quote - Simcoe: "A word? Do you suppose pain will rob me of reason?" Ben: "I should hope not." Simcoe: "You should not hope. It wastes your time and my rum, of which there is little left."

Best Character Interaction - Hewlett and Rogers

The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - Even in a historical spy show, we have to get a love triangle. Bah! A pox on this never-ending clichéd boredom.

Ewww Award - jail surgery to get the musket ball out of Simcoe consists of sticking a knife in the wound repeatedly / unpickling the dead captain

Best Commonsense - Caleb tells Ben that Simcoe has about as much chance of knowing who the spy is as they do. Not killing Simcoe is going to come back and bite me. I can't stand that guy.

Most Puzzling - It never made sense to me that captive military officers were afforded luxuries that an armies own could not get. Different times I guess. While I know this is historically accurate, it still makes me suspicious that General Scott is the spy.

Best Played - Major Andre sends Rogers to ferret out what happened in Connecticut by playing on his need for revenge / Abraham comes "clean" to Rogers before he can grill him and shows him the letter

Worst Played - Why did they keep a dead officer's things in the house of a known patriot sympathizer after he was murdered? Shouldn't someone have collected his things and searched the room?

Best Guest - Amy Gumenick, who played young Mary Winchester on Supernatural, guests as Philomena, an actress who fancies Major Andre here. Glad to see her on another show.

Best Deal - If Hewlett has the drummer play retreat, Rogers will go away. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

Biggest Twist - Rogers lets Robeson live to be a spy for him and puts Abraham in charge of him

The 100 - 1.05 - Twilight's Last Gleaming

Grade: A-

Best Scene - The people of the Ark volunteer to die to save the rest of the people

Biggest Aww Moment - Reese's dad says goodbye to her even though she doesn't realize it

Most Heartbreaking Moment - The barrette falls from the dad's hand, the ultimate sacrifice

Best Quote - Chancellor: "Volunteer? For what?" Dad: "Section 17, sir. Anyway you do the math, some of us are going to have to jump ship if everyone's going to make it, so I'm going to jump." Abby: "You'd leave Reese without a father?" Dad: "This morning you told me my daughter was going blind. There was nothing I could do to help her. Turns out there is. Count me in."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - Everything about romance on earth. First off, it killed the momentum of a great Ark story and second, it's likely to continue to be a drag on future episodes. NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES! NO MORE LOVE GEOMETRY! Don't screw with this show, CW!

Best Outing - Abby releases her husband's tape and tells the Ark's people about the culling / Raven tells Finn and Clarke that Bellamy shot the Chancellor and then tells Bellamy he didn't succeed in killing him.

The "Oops I Fell and Landed in a Horror Movie" Award - Octavia knocks herself out when she trips in the woods.

Biggest Character Improvement - Kane. For the first time he comes off as a real person and not just a stock villain. I like how we see his humanity and that Abby sees it too. They will never agree but now their interactions don't seem so one-sided, so good vs. evil.

Best Plan - Raven decides to shoot off rockets into the atmosphere to let the Ark know that they are alive down on earth

Most Manipulative - Bellamy says they need to wait until sunrise to go after the pod, but he really wants to take out the radio on his own

Best Confrontation - Chancellor tells Abby that she risked Raven's life / Kane tells the Chancellor that he cannot join those who volunteered to die because the people of the Ark need him for inspiration

Worst Plot Device - Raven wakes up approximately 60 seconds after Bellamy takes off with the radio. It's cheap and annoying.

Most Practical - The girl who hopes the Ark sent down some shampoo. Ha!

Best Cliffhanger - Octavia is found by a grounder / Abby and Chancellor see the rockets from earth

"The Answer is Always No" Award - Anytime anyone asks if they should split up, it means they definitely should not. If it isn't dangerous to split up, then they wouldn't be asking.

The Biggest Sacrifice and Why You Should Watch This Episode - the 320+ who gave up their lives so others may live

Surviving Jack - 1.04 - Rhythm is a Dancer

Another funny episode for Surviving Jack. Perhaps a bit too much bump and grind for my taste, but otherwise a solid episode with great heart moments and enough laughs to fit comedy. I really find Jack's devotion to Joanne, and vice versa, very touching. After years of comedies when I wondered why anyone stayed together at all, it's nice to revisit adults who actually seem to want to be together. I was surprised by Frankie tonight too, in that he just went for it without psyching himself out. While it didn't turn out well, it showed significant character growth. Mostly though, it was something in a comedy that surprised me, which happens less than in dramas. If you're not watching Surviving Jack, I suggest you give it a try, especially since Enlisted is still off the air.

Grade: B

Best Scene - Jack and Joanne try to find a night they can be alone together, the trials of a busy life.

Best Quote - Jack: "Wow, that went from zero to crazy really fast."

Best Character Interaction - Jack and Joanne

Biggest Surprise - Frankie up and kisses Heather at the dance

Least Surprising - Heather's date punches him out because of it

The "Say What?" Award - What kind of mother tells her daughter to protest so she can grind at a school dance?

Biggest Aww Moment - Jack forgoes a romantic night with his wife to console his son

Best Physical Comedy - Jack threatens Doug by leaning way into him until Doug is lying on the couch

Most Impressive Dance Decorations - That Homecoming looks pretty spiffy. In 1990, ours was basically balloons and streamers.

The Crazy Ones - 1.21 - The Monster

I'm all about saving libraries, given that I am a librarian, so this episode hit close to home. I like how creative the campaign was. I like that they raised awareness for libraries more. I wasn't such a fan that the majority of the cast felt that libraries were obsolete and would close them down with no real reason given to keep them open. Other than that, this episode made me laugh and I loved all the little references within it. Mostly though, I enjoyed all the Simon and Gordon scenes. These two have a great contentious relationship that makes me laugh every time. I really hope they can be on another show together at some point.

Grade: B+

Best Scene - The ending scene which starts off sweet and then turns into a launch into the finale

Best Quote - Simon: "You're such a villain. All you're missing is a poison apple and a magic mirror." Gordon: "Oh you haven't even begun to see the evil queen that I can be."

Best Character Interaction - Gordon and Simon

The "Oh What is the World Coming To?" - No one understands the "big words" the librarian is using

The "Selling Ice to Eskimos" Award - Simon really can twist any bad situation into sounding like a good one

Worst Book - Caveman Boy starring Stupidest Dodo and Littlest Mammoth

Best Plan - the book burning party as a way to get people to save the library, which ended up making money for the firm

Best Moment - Andrew slides across the table to hear Simon speechify

The "Say What?" Award - Who in the suburbs actually has a pitchfork these days?

Best Addition - the boozy librarian

Biggest Fit - Zack is hurt because Andrew isn't paying attention to him anymore

Most Overplayed - Lauren tries to pretend she didn't know Dillon is gay but way overdoes it

Best Reference - Gordon is in the middle of a Frankenstein/Quasimodo scenario and the ad crew, except Andrew, keep guessing Twilight and The Hunger Games.

The Crazy Ones - The Lighthouse (season finale)

The writing is on the wall for The Crazy Ones. No renewal notice and pushing two episodes together right before Easter weekend pretty much says this is the series finale, not just the season one. It's a shame because I have overall enjoyed the hijinks and especially the character interaction. I'm really going to miss these characters. Well maybe not the rampant guest stars that pop up just to be on and then go away as little more than a distraction from the plot. David Copperfield, I'm looking at you. So I wasn't really looking forward to Marilu Henner joining for the finale. I wanted it to be more in-house. Imagine my surprise when her character was the catalyst for the majority of great scenes. I could have done without Gordon and Simon wooing her for her vote, but I did love how Sydney interacted with her. It explained a lot. It led to some great Simon and Paige moments too. The Andrew and Zach exchanges were awesome as well.

Grade: A-

Best Scene - Simon tells Sydney that her mom cares while they wait to hear the board's vote

Best Advice - Simon: "Honey, don't have a file called Diary if your password is 12345678."

Best Character Interaction - Andrew and Zach / Simon and Paige

Biggest Regret - Without a second season, we will not get anymore Simon and Paige bickering

Biggest Twist - Megan asks Zach to attend the wedding and ends up being the bride

Best Rebuttal to an Impassioned Plea for Artistic Freedom - Gordon: "47 million dollars."

Creepiest Thing in the Whole Show - Zach dreams of Andrew in a nightcap right after he had sex

Best Improvement - Zach OS7

Best Use of Anger - Pounding out your anger at your ex on your chicken parmesan and blending out your frustration

Funniest Montage - Simon and Paige's emotional leverage sex

Community - 5.13 - Basic Sandwich (season finale)

Grade: B+

Best Scene - The NBC ad at the end

Best Quote - Abed: "That's an emoticon. That person wants to indicate happiness but can't convey it with language so they misuse punctuation to form a smile." Borchert: "That is so…stupid. Only an idiot would think of this. Idiots won."

Best Reason to Fast Forward - the freaking love triangle and Borchert

Best Continuity - Hot Lava reference

Best Rambling - Abed spouts about spin-offs and all of them sound like terrible sitcoms on right now, some of which have huge ratings. Well played, Community. Rail against the stupidity.

Best Reference - Dean: "What does this look like, an hour long episode of The Office?"

Best Decoy - Shirley, Hickey, and Duncan have a tea party to throw the school board guys off

Best Voice Over - the 70's guy saying, "The door is closing. (Faster than it opened.) For dramatic effect." Also the opening when it says, "Specially timed to the duration of the opening process."

Worst Debate topic Ever - Who's Hotter - Elliot Gould or Donald Sutherland? Um, can I get a neither?

Best Way to Go Off - Dancing to Dave Matthews Band

Least Observant - No one notices that the Dean is choking, even though they are all in the same tiny room together, so he has to save himself

Screencaps by Zap2It, Gotta Watch ItAlphaCoders, Brewvies, FB, Hollywood Life, Film Book, BTV Guide, Sidereel,, She Knows, Idiot Box, Watchaholics, KY3, SpoilerTV, Nerdist, and FOX.

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, and co-hosts the Warehouse 13 "Endless Wonder", 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."