Monday, January 19, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Jan. 11 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Welcome to Last Week in TV. I had family obligations and went out of town for part of it so this week was overly packed and a little strange. For one, I realized that I had already reviewed the nominated episode last year so I took the lazy route and just re-printed it here. I will review a different episode later but I did not have the time this week. Also I was unable to access The Goldbergs so no review for that one, although usually it's a highlight. In other news, I've decided to keep the Show of the Week award until the same show starts getting it over and over again. This week the winner is Agent Carter. What was your favorite? Anything great I missed? What wasn't great was most of the new shows, including the first F grade of the year. Last season the honor went to Mixology, which may still be the single worst pilot I have ever seen. Other than that, it was a fairly typical TV week for me. Don't forget to nominate your favorite shows that I don't already review. You can do so with the simple form below. next week's nominee is Burn Notice, which is one of my favorite shows. Until next week, happy TV viewing and I can't wait to hear about your week in the comments below.

Show of the Week:

Agent Carter - 1.03 - Time and Tide

The hour once again flew by as Agent Carter continues to enthrall me with its past setting but very much modern type kick butt female lead. In the end it is Carter's spunk that makes this show. I love how she is smart, brave, capable, ferocious, and still self-sacrificing. When she tips off Jarvis even though she knows it could be the end of her career, you can clearly see how it rankles to have her colleagues look at her like a rank amateur when she was actually the smartest one in the room. It's things like this that make me cheer for Carter and want to see her succeed. She's like a less naïve Barry Allen and it really works. Pretty soon she is going to be my favorite TV character based on a comic. Right now it goes Melinda May, Barry Allen, and Agent Carter although Agent Carter is the show I most look forward to watching overall.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - Agent Carter herself, who delights me as a character
Best Character (after Carter) - Jarvis and his delicious snark
Best Scene - boat fight
Best Snark - Jarvis
The "Time to be a Boy Scout" Award - if Jarvis is going to keep accompanying Carter on these escapades, he might want to include an emergency spy kit in the trunk of the car, especially a flashlight
Most Surprising - Jarvis was charged with treason? Didn't see that coming. Nor climbing the Himalayas.
Least Surprising - Carter uses the Stark weapon to take out the bad guy
Worst at Playing Hide and Seek - whoever decided to store the stolen weapons across the lake from the Stark vault with a fishing net on it
The "So Long, Won't Miss You" Award - bye Krzeminski, the only way I would be happier is if Thompson died with you
Most Dexterous - Jimmy, Molly's beau, who climbs the building to be with her
Smartest Play - Carter distracts Dooley so she can get the file he's hiding from Jarvis and let him know they have it. Having everyone discount you because of your gender can sometimes come in handy.
The "I Did It All For Love" Award - Jarvis got kicked out of the military to save his love
Least Fun - combing the sewers, looking for missing weapons
Biggest Ummm - not sure concluding with "Have a lovely night" works there, Jarvis
Best Back Story - Jarvis
Best Music - Someone to Watch over Me
Best Quotes -
1. Thompson: "It's funny. A lot of stuff gets stolen from Howard Stark - cars, bombs, death rays." Jarvis: "Actually the death ray's accounted for. It's in Nevada, I believe."
2. Sousa: "Unbelievable. A known fugitive isn't answering his door." Thompson: "Knock harder." Sousa: "Sure. Can I borrow your forehead?"
3. Carter: "Well, that works." Jarvis: "Not if you want a massage."
4. Carter: "If we're going to be working together, risking our lives together, then I must be able to trust you." Jarvis: "On my honor, you can." Carter: "Your honor is not enough." Jarvis: "Mr. Stark deemed me worthy of his trust. I would hope that would suffice." Carter: "Mr. Stark would trust a shark not to bite him if it were wearing a short enough skirt."
5. Jarvis: "In polite society, one telephones ahead before trespassing." Carter: "I imagine a stranger who went traipsing through the property isn't a completely unusual occurrence." Jarvis: "That's a fair point. What brings you here?" Carter: "My landlady gave me an idea." Jarvis: "Oh splendid. What now if we can get an opinion from your butcher…"
6. Thompson: "You misplace anything recently?" Jarvis: "Yes, I did lose a fountain pen on 5th Avenue."

Nominated Show: 

Blue Bloods - 1.01 - Pilot

I have watched a lot of police procedurals and oft times they run together. Over the years I have dropped most because there doesn't seem like a lot of urgency in them. In many ways Blue Bloods is the same. You've got your hothead detective that doesn't play by the rules but gets results. There's the wise old patriarch, although this time there's two of them. Also included is a hotshot young DA who is often at counter purposes to the police and a young recruit determined to live up to the family name. The only big difference is that these guys are all related, which makes family dinner tense. It also has a core mystery surrounding a dead loved one that drives one of the cops. As clichéd as that sounds, it is tempered by the fact that his family might be part of the organization that killed him. That increases the urgency enough to be intriguing. I'm not sure I have time to add another police procedural to my plate, but I was left wanting more from the pilot and that's always a good thing.

Grade: B-
Ranking: 3

Best Scene - extraditing the criminal to Florida because they screwed up the bust in NYC
Best Quote - Frank: "No strangling on Sunday, okay sunshine?"
Best Reason to Watch - While it seems like a typical police procedural, asking a new recruit to spy on his powerful cop family to find out about a secret society working within the force is an intriguing twist
Best Juxtaposition - Commissioner welcoming new NYPD recruits to the force while a little girl is kidnapped
Best Reason to Not Go into Blogging or Journalism as a Career - the doll reviewer's posh living quarters with the rats
Least Surprising - The kidnapped girl also has a medical condition that makes it even more imperative to find her right away / the Mayor is a political douche / the head detective is a bigger douche who gets the job done breaking one law at a time
Most Surprising - the newest cop in the family is a Harvard grad lawyer. That's quite the job transition.
The "Are You Sure It's Not Thanksgiving" Award - Sunday dinners at the Reagans are brutal. I have no idea why they all show up.
Best Instant Suspect Pool Reduction - What kidnapper uses a prototype doll that is only in limited sale while committing the crime? New York's Dumbest?
Best Twist - the fallen cop brother was undercover in a sting to take down a corrupt cop secret society. Say what? It's all da Vinci code meets police procedural.

New Shows:  

Eye Candy - 1.01 - Pilot

Eye Candy came as a surprise to me. I already knew that MTV was capable of great drama in the midst of the stupidest reality TV shows this side of Bravo. Teen Wolf taught me not to dismiss MTV shows out of hand if they were scripted and an hour long. (Everything else I've seen sucks.) What did surprise me was how similar to the Teen Wolf pilot it really is. They both debut under the premise of hooking the audience's attention and then filling them in on the back story later. I love that approach because most pilots get lost under the weight of their own exposition. Here it is served in minute chunks so it never overwhelms the pacing and keeps everything moving along. It also serves up great plot twists. That's 3 confirmed deaths in one pilot, plus at least one kidnapping. Not shabby for 42 minutes. If you like mysteries and are good with the occasional rough spot in acting, I highly recommend Eye Candy. Like me, you might be surprised by how quickly the story grabs your attention and even more by how well it keeps it.

Grade: B
Ranking - 4
Audience - anyone who likes fast-paced, plot-driven shows
TV Formula: Stalker - (the douchey main character and slow start) + Criminal Minds' atmosphere + Teen Wolf's pacing and terrible name + Sleepy Hollow's season 1 weekly cliffhangers = Eye Candy

Best Reason to Watch - fast pace that doesn't drag down with much exposition for a pilot
Best Scene / Most Intense - Lindy watches her sister be taken
Best Twist - Ben's death
The "Fly Off the Cuff, Gut Feeling" Guess - My opinion is going to flip flop a lot but right now I'm going with Tommy as the killer
Biggest Regret - I ruined the big twist by going on IMDb
Biggest Hmmm - Why didn't the first person in the drive through try to do anything? They could have at least pulled their car up to block the van's way.
Best Life Tip - Ben: "Don't drink and date stalkers."
Worst Person to Create a Nickname - Sophia chose Eye Candy as Lindy's username. Nothing more needs to be said.
The "It Always Rains In…." Award - …MTV shows. Seriously, it's like a fetish for them.
Worst Police - Exactly how long does it take for backup to arrive? Were these guys trained by the Feds from The Following?
Coolest Entrance - the way into the club is a flower shop case
Best Subliminal Message - the store wall says, "Ask Great Questions. Share Great Stories."
The "When in Doubt…" Award - …call 911. Seriously, it could have saved lives here.
Best Quotes -
1. Lindy: "I'm living my life and a man doesn't define it." Sophia: "Oooh, valid point."
2. Sophia: "You bail and I increase your rent as penalty for living with a depressingly melancholy roommate."
3. Voiceover: "The internet, God's gift to psychopaths."
4. Lindy: "What I'm about to show you is not exactly legal?" Tommy: "Are you telling us so we won't be mad or so you won't go to jail?" Ben: "Show us." Lindy: "I hacked into Flirtual." Tommy: "Yep, that's not legal."
5. Lindy: "Just because Sophia's our best friend doesn't mean we have to pretend to like one another." Connor: "Good cuz it's exhausting."
6. Ben: "It'll take just one to show you the way."

Man Seeking Woman - 1.01 - Pilot

This may be the most bizarre show I have ever seen…in my entire life. Personal hailstorms, literal troll blind dates, Adolf Hitler? I have a feeling this may be the nichest of all the niche shows. That saying, it takes a special sense of humor to find Man Seeking Woman funny. For me it was just bizarre. I never laughed but I did find myself saying, "Huh?" a lot. I'll be interested to see how this one does in the ratings.

Grade: D
Ranking - 1
Audience - people who enjoy the bizarre and lots of surprise in their comedies
TV Formula - I have no idea. It's not like anything I've ever seen. Maybe Wilfred? I've never seen that show.

Best Reason to Watch - it takes absurdist to another level
Strangest Moment - Josh' ex tongue kissing an ancient Adolph Hitler
Strangest Tagline - "I'm not the one you should apologize to."
Best Reference - Carnivale
Best Quotes -
1. Josh: "He's 150 years old." Maggie: "He's 126."
2. Laura: "It's a small world." Josh: "Yeah, hugely small."

12 Monkeys - 1.01 - Pilot

Time travel shows are always confusing. Paradoxes and decisions intertwining different timelines tend to collapse under their own weight. Trying to apply logic to time travel is a losing battle. In many ways, the pilot of 12 Monkeys is no different. More confusing than exciting, 12 Monkeys could go either way. If the overall mystery makes the wait for answers worth it, then it could be a good series. It's just too soon to tell. Mark me down as currently skeptical. The pilot starts off well with a worldwide plague and a kidnapping. Plus I was intrigued by the actors. Then came the middle. What kind of idiot tells people she was kidnapped by a time traveler? Much better to make something up and then start researching yourself. It made me less than impressed with the main female character right away. I also question the wisdom of future scientist and Cole in their shoot first - ask questions later approach. Wouldn't it have made more sense to kidnap Leland and ask questions? They are shooting around blindly in the dark and for all they know, they are causing the whole thing to happen in the first place. Darn pesky paradoxes. If the future is riding on this brain trust, I have no hope for it. I guess in the end, that's my main problem with the pilot. Beyond the inherent issues of the overall story arc, I haven't found one person yet who I believe is actually smart enough to save the planet and it's never a good thing when you can't believe in the heroes.

Grade: C+
Ranking - 3 (after 3 episodes)
Audience - sci fi lovers and anyone who is good with having lots of questions with few if any answers
TV Formula - Fringe science + time travel paradox + LOST level questions +Terminator 2 planning = 12 Monkeys

Best Reason to Watch - intriguing, complex puzzle
Most in Need of Overhauling - the main characters need to get smarter quickly
The "Welcome Back" Award - Kirk Acevado from Fringe / Aaron Stanford from Nikita / Robert Wisdom from Supernatural / Noah Bean from Gang Related and Nikita / Zeljko Ivanek from Madam Secretary and a whole lot of other shows
Best Plan - Cole scratches the present watch to show he really is from the future
Worst Plan - Railly tells people about Cole disappearing instead of saying the guy ran off. Did she think people were going to accept that?
Biggest Moron - So much for stealth. What did Cole think was going to happen when he pulls a gun at a black tie event?
Best Surprise - Former Birkhoff can kick butt
Best Quotes -
1. Cole: "Mother Nature doesn't like it when you rearrange her furniture."
2. Railly: "No, you can't just walk in there and murder someone." Cole: "One for 7 billion. That math works for me."
3. Bartender: "Honey, I'm going to give you some unsolicitated advice, okay? It's been a week. Now I don't care how cute he is, this is just going to make you crazy but good luck."
4. Railly: "I know this is a controversial thing to say in front of a room full of doctors, but we're not God. We can't predict the future, but we can plan for it."
5. Cole: "You look like the women we used to see in old magazines." Cassandra: "Which magazines?" Cole: "I mean…uh, you look…clean."

Togetherness - 1.01 - Pilot

This is not for me. Actually HBO + comedy is not for me. Add in emoangsting and hysterical characters and I don't care one jot. I turned this off after suffering through 15 minutes of it. Basically it's cursing and masturbating and yelling and depression. Dreck.

Grade: F (for the first 15 minutes)
Ranking - 1
Audience - not me

Weekly Shows:

The Librarians - 1.07 / 1.08 - And the Rule of Three / And the Heart of Darkness

I highly suspect that my opinion of The Librarians this week is going to be vastly different from most people's. I liked the first episode far better than the second one. A good reason why I thought the first one was great rests on Bex Taylor-Klaus. I knew her as Sin from Arrow, where she played one of my favorite yet underused characters. Seeing her as a high school student was a bit jolting as first, but I really liked her character here. In fact, I think she would make an excellent candidate for the Library in the future. Just think about it. She already knows magic exists so she wouldn't have that barrier. She is a wiz at science and pretty good at thinking on her feet. In some ways, she out-librarianed the librarians. I would love to see her back. I also thought the technopagan angle was clever. I had seen it before, as far back as Buffy, but I liked the approach here by making magic an app. Add in Morgan le Fay as a new adversary, Jenkins back story hints, and Jake actually getting some quality scenes, and I was one happy viewer. Then came the second episode. I freely admit that I am jaded about how people approach haunted houses after being a loyal Supernatural fan for 7 years. I rarely go through an episode without thinking that the Winchesters would have taken care of the thing quicker and with a lot less fuss. As such most haunted house episodes are more eye roll worthy than scary. This was no exception with its lame smoke monster and nothing really happening. I did like the twist that the "monster" was good but I called evil Katie in the first 3 minutes that she was on screen. Mostly though there were two glaring problems for me. 1. There was far too much emoangsting, especially since we got some of that in the first episode too. I don't want to hear one more sob story from Cassandra. I'm tired of hearing about her tumor and taking everything Baird said personally wasn't winning her any points either. 2. The show seems to waver between focusing on Cassandra and Ezekiel, the two least appealing and interesting characters to me, while ignoring the other three. In fact, my least favorite character tends to be whichever of the two is getting the most focus. Two Cassandra-centric episodes in a row is 2 too many. This is my least favorite episode so far.

Grade: A- / C

Best Reason to Watch - Jake and Cassandra helping the students
Best Scene - Ezekiel gives Cassandra the trophy for mathmagicks
Best Moment - Baird uses Morgan's magic against her to punch her in the face
Creepiest Opener - an overachieving student gets turned into a statue
The "FYI" Award - STEM now seems to be transitioning to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)
Best Awww Moment - Jake quotes Byron to dumped kid, one of a series of poems my mom used to read to me, while discussing how we all wear costumes
Most Oblivious - anyone in 3 counties could see that the science kid is crushing on Baird, except Baird
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bex Taylor-Klaus, the awesome Sin on Arrow and Alicia Witt, formerly of Friday Night Lights and current Queen of Christmas movies
The "Welcome to the Future" Award - magic spells as apps, oh joy
Least Realistic - Baird is giving that kid false hope and is WAY too excited about an exploding paper volcano
Most Disgusting - the guy coughing up a whole swarm of flies
The "Not Cool" Award - Seriously guys? You don't lock the backdoor to the Annex when you go out? All kinds of crazy can be wandering in.
The "And You've Now Put Science Back 2 Decades" Award - like anyone is going to believe papier mache volcano is worthy of any award
Biggest Bwah - For someone who's supposed to be all evil, Shadow Guy looks more hilarious than creepy
The "For Goodness Sake Grab the Salt" Award - Have these people never seen a supernatural show? You don't go against ghosts without iron and a whole freaking basket full of salt.
Least Surprising - Katie is evil. Anyone who watches Supernatural had to guess that right from the bat.
The "Let's Not" Award - Ezekiel has been dead right so far. Not sure why he isn't protesting them splitting up though. That NEVER works. Clear the rooms together.
Creepiest Moment - Ezekiel enters a room with a whole bunch of shoes in it
Wackiest Background Music - why does it sound like fairies should be entering the scene at any moment or the Technicolor of Oz has just been revealed when Katie and Cassandra talk in the truck?
Best Reference - Doctor Who and Star Trek
Most Emoangsty - Cassandra
Most Interesting Twist - the haunted house is actually a place of refuge
Best Supernatural Nostalgia - the Benders
Best Quotes -
1. Jenkins: "Do not fear the villain. Fear the hero."
2. Ezekiel: "High school's like prison. You find a crew to run with and keep all the other crews down."
3. Baird: "I don't need the whole real estate ad from hell. Just tell me how to get Katie's friends out of here."
4. Jenkins: "You know, Colonel, you have an incredible talent for turning a bad situation into a worst case scenario."
5. Ezekiel: "Why does nobody listen to the guy in the movies? Movie guy's always right."
6. Jenkins: "Structurally it's witchcraft without all of the eye of newt nonsense."

Galavant - 1.03 / 1.04 - Two Balls / Comedy Gold

Of all the episodes I have seen of Galavant, Two Balls is by far my least favorite. It is ribald but not actually funny. Worse though is the fact that none of the songs can compare to the first 2 episodes, not even the highlighted Jacka** in a Can. Comedy Gold is far better, but only the stuff on the road. The castle bits are abysmal, which is a huge shame because King Richard stole the show in the first two. Still the songs are much better in this one than in 1.03. I particularly like the snark of the Togetherness song, which reminds me of Maybe You're Not the Worst Thing Ever. Good news though. The next 2 episodes are a whole lot better and remind me more of the pilot.

Grade: C+ / B

Best Reason to Watch - the Pirate King scenes / they are almost to Valencia
Best Scene - Galavant tells Sid to just be himself / Togetherness song
Best Moment - meeting up with the Pirate King
Least Fun - eunuch kicking
Best Song - Togetherness / Lords of the Sea
Best Quotes - 1.03 -
1. Galavant: "Look I'll play any part you want me to play here but you should be proud of the man you are."
2. Isabella: "Did you know that my hometown of Valencia is famous for 2 things - our cabbage festival and our theatre program?" Galavant: "So worst place ever. You should have just said worst place ever."
3. Squire: "Well another party for the fancy folk who get to bathe once a month."
4. Richard: "Oh my wife, now I know we've had our ups and downs. Why just a few days ago you made me cry so hard I could barely breathe. Tell her Gareth." Gareth: "8 hours of my life I can't get back."
5. Isabella: "What was that?" Galavant: "That, my lady, was a knight getting off his high horse."
Best Quotes - 1.04 -
1. Pirate King: "It seems like a pretty simple fix to me. Put food in mouth. Close mouth. Chew. What kind of moron can't do that?"
2. All: "But togetherness will see us through / Isabella: "Unless I kill the other two / Gal and Sid: "Or we kill her together."
3. Richard: "Do you kiss my ring with that mouth?" Gareth: "My mom taught me that one."
4. Richard: "You are a wonderful teacher. Perhaps now I shall finally be able to satisfy my wife the same way you have. My God, we've got a strange relationship."
5. Sid: "Pirates, that's pomade. It's for relaxing my curls, not eating."

State of Affairs - 1.08 - Ghosts

Honestly, I have no idea where this show is heading, which is worrying me because there are only 2 episodes left. There are too many balls up in the air right now, which made this episode feel less tight than I expected. Nick is off playing tag with terrorists, Jack popped up again unexpectedly, a private company may be auditioning to privatize Guantanamo or take down the US government (who knows which), college Greeks are part of a terrorist cell, Maureen is having confidence problems, Lucas is a drunk, and PotUS' husband is working with her biggest enemy. That's a lot for one episode. I hope they narrow focus because they now have 88 minutes to give us a great ending or I am going to be ticked for spending so much time on this. I like this show. It's a lot more intriguing than the pilot suggested it would be, but like 24 and other spy shows, it's only going to be as good as its finale.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - the Jack story is neatly wrapped up so we can get on to the main show
Best Scene - PotUS reinstates Charlie as briefer
Most Surprising - Nick is a gem expert. Who knew?
Most Missed - Syd
Smartest - Jack, who gets his captors to split up looking for pigs and then takes 2 out so he can escape
Worst First Impression - having blank pages is not the best plan when debriefing the president for one of the first times
The "Welcome Back" Award - Angelique Cabral, recently from my biggest TV cancellation disappointment last year aka Enlisted. Man, I miss that show.
Strangest Timing - Why are they revisiting Jack's story now? Don't they have enough on their plate already?
Most Intriguing Character - Victor Gantry. As a new mystery player at this juncture in the story, he cannot be a good thing. How bad he is for Charlie and PotUS remains to be seen.
Best References - Motorhead and Cool Hand Luke
Most Likely to be a Tiresome Subplot - PotUS' husband allying with Senator Green
Best Quotes -
1. Marshall: "That man is just about everything I hate about politics wrapped up in a really good suit."
2. PotUS: "I'm not here to give you a medal, Jack. I'm here to give you an apology, soldier to soldier."
3. David: "Madame President, I think we both know that I'm not the person you're seeking counsel from right now. I could give you my 2 cents, but what's that worth against Charlie's line of credit?"
4. Mo: "I resigned today as briefer." Charlie: "Maureen." Mo: "It just didn't feel right to me. It was like wearing your sister's bra. Now we can put the book together the right way."
5. Marshall: "I'm still your husband, Madam President. I don't mind us having a disagreement, CC, but I do mind being dismissed."

Forever - 1.13 - Diamonds are Forever

While I liked this episode a lot, there was one aspect that knocked it down in grade. They are pushing Henry and Jo way too much and it's never more evident than in this episode. I really wish that they had chosen for Jo to go off to dinner with her partner instead of having that moment with Henry at the end. Other than that, I really liked getting to know Jo better. By watching her reactions to suddenly being thrown into one of her husband's old cases, I could empathize and relate with her more. I also liked the absolute faith the woman had in her dead ex-con husband and that for once that faith proved justified. The whole episode felt like coming to terms and it made it one of the more touching episodes of Forever. Oddly, it is also the first time that Henry and Abe's interactions weren't the best for me. That was Hanson and Jo this go around. I love how he is protective of her feelings but doesn't question her competency on the case. It's the first time that they really feel like partners to me and I would love for that aspect to develop more too. We've spent enough time developing Jo and Henry. Let's spread the wealth here.

Grade - B

Best Reason to Watch - Jo back story
Best Character Interaction - Jo and Hanson
Best Awww Moment - Hanson offers to take Jo home to dinner with his family / Jo rewatches the video clip of her husband over and over again
Best Reaction - Dunn to Henry telling him the suspect could not have done it
Most Fun Character Who is Never Even Named - the priest
Best Autopsy Surprise - a gut full of diamonds
The "Poor Baby" Award - Jo sees a deposition of her late husband and he's on video talking on the phone to her
Least Surprising - Dunn is the bad guy
Biggest PSA - Henry preaches to Abe about not profiling criminals
Most Trusting - Jo, who crashes her car because Henry says she will be alright
The "Come On Back" Award - the kid whose mother was an art dealer seems like he would be a fun character for Abe to play off of and so I'd love to see him be recurring
Best Quotes -
1. Abe: "When it comes to police matters, I go with my gut. It's never steered me wrong before." Henry: "When has it steered you right?"
2. Henry: "Shouldn't you be home, detective?" Hanson: "Have you met my kids? I'm safer here, believe me."
3. Lucas: "We are here for a very legitimate, non-creepy reason that Henry will now explain."
4. Fleishman: "Just another thieving parasite." Dunn: "Om, without the thieving parasites, I'd be out of a job, Mr. Fleischman." Fleishman: "Glad to keep you gainfully employed, Detective."
5. Father: "Have you read your Bible? The more blessed you are, the worse it is."

Empire - 1.02 - The Outspoken King

Empire was far less entertaining this episode. It was slower in pace and everybody acted like their brain was disconnected. Cookie was the worst fall because she was at least smart last time. In this episode she was all attitude and no substance. She kept provoking people and talking trash when there was no need to and when it ran counter to her objectives. I kept waiting for Lucious to have her banned from his building. I still hope he will. Sassy and outspoken are one thing. Overbearing and obnoxious is another. Frankly, I liked Anika and Rhonda better than her and that just cannot happen if I am going to stay with this show. On the plus side though, the brothers singing together was awesome and I am interested to see if Cookie is supposed to be testifying against Lucious or some random drug dealer. I am guessing it is Lucious but I would actually prefer it to be a cartel thing. There's enough drama in this family already.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - the acting / the music
Best Scene / Best Plan - the brothers decide to play together
Worst Plan - I was rooting for Tiana. Then she lost every brain cell too. Hakeem is a punk.
Worst Job - Being Lucious' assistant seems bad enough. Cookie's assistant has it even worse because Cookie is twice as crazy. I feel for you, Porsha.
Best Actor - Lucious for his tears over Bunky's death when he's the one who killed him
Best Reaction - Cookie to Lucious' mansion
Most Obnoxious - last week I liked Cookie's audacity but now she's just too over-the-top and acting the way she is makes her seem like an idiot, not the smart person she was in the pilot
Most in Need of Spanking - Hakeem. I really wanted Cookie to take a broom to him again for his obnoxious, bratty ways.
The "Um, Okay" Award - Lucious' wife thinks appearing before Cookie in her underwear is a strategic move. All I'm getting is, "Say huh?"
Best Surprise - Cookie is a criminal informant, although they don't tell us for whom
Biggest Surprise - Andre is bipolar. I really just wanted him to be evil.
The "A Little Warning Please" Award - before you pan in on a dead body, at least transition to an overall morgue shot so I can prepare my stomach
Best Choice that's Never Going to Happen - Lucious ought to leave his empire in the hands of a board because none of his kids are capable of running it. Give it to Hakeem and you might as well dismantle it now.
Best Quotes -
1. Cookie: "In this business, son, you're going to have to do all sorts of things you don't want to do. There's a price you have to pay to hit big and soon, that bill is going to come."
2. Rhonda: "I swear to God I will have you committed if you do not take those damn pills."
3. Jamal: "I'm sorry, dad. The world does not revolve around you."

Stalker - 1.12 - Secrets and Lies

This was a good, fairly typical episode of Stalker until the very end, which raised the stakes tremendously. I have no idea why random people can visit a crazy mass murderer in a criminal asylum but Percy going there makes everything super intense. I had hoped that this would be the end of Perry but now that they are power punching the stalkers together, I am good with keeping him in short 5 minutes or less bursts. I am actually more interested in Original Stalker because he leads to good back story on Beth. I'm not so crazy about Beth letting Jack in on the big secret though. I prefer Jack in the background while Janice and Beth work together. I still haven't forgotten what a creepy schmuck Jack was at the beginning with his own stalker tendencies, so I don't trust him at all.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch / Best Scene - the ending where Beth's two stalkers meet
Best Twist - the mayor isn't talking to his mistress but his daughter from a former affair
Least Surprising - it's a combo pack of stalkers tonight
The "Totally Freaky" Award - I have no clown fear but that jester thing freaked me out
Biggest Lesson - running in high heels hurts…a lot
Dumbest Move - If you come in and find your apartment destroyed, you don't call 911 from inside the apartment. You go somewhere safe while you are calling 911. Then some creep in a jester costume won't attack you. Just saying.
Creepiest Toy - unless it's that freaky toy monkey in Supernatural's Home, nothing is less appropriate for a child's toy than a Jack-in-the-Box
Best Quotes -
1. Beth: "Does this always circle back to your epic tale of personal redemption?" Jack: "Glad you can joke at my expense." Beth: "Me too. It's been a long week."
2. Janice: "You trusted me. I think we can trust Amanda." Beth: "The minute I go before a judge as the victim, I'll have to do it as Michelle Weber." Janice: "Maybe that's not a bad thing."

Elementary - 3.10 - Seed Money

Elementary is starting to bore me with its long talks between Sherlock and Watson. Even if they are not outright arguing anymore, there is something way off in their relationship and all the speechifying is just making it worse. At this point, I'd rather stick just to the crimes, which in this episode was as twisty as normal. I also think there should be more Kitty because she is the most fascinating character these days. They had better not kill her off or do anything that makes her leave in the next episode. Speaking of, the last 5 minutes is the best reason to watch this. Next week looks intense.

Grade: C+

Best Reason to Watch - the ending
Best Scene - Kitty tells Tess to consider her mother's feelings before exposing her rapist
The "Are You Kidding Me?" Award - A flower worth $250,000? Yikes! That's weird enough, but then why do they have it sitting on a random police desk instead of having someone from the botanical gardens or a college taking care of it? One false move and that thing is trampled on the floor.
Best Twist - the victim was not only a cartel pot grower but a flower forger who is in a hiring war between big agribusiness and the cartel
The "Oh Please Stop" Award - I am thoroughly sick of discussing Sherlock and Watson's relationship. It is never ending and now beyond boring. How about show not tell and just let them solve crimes together?
Biggest Shock - Kitty's rapist is back in New York
Worst Shock - Watson is becoming an insurance investigator
Most Awkward - Kitty when Tess hugs her
Most Fun - Sherlock's indignation at bee colony collapse
Biggest Stalker - Sherlock, who breaks into Watson's apartment to make smoothies and wake her up
Biggest Break - plant food
The "Welcome Back" Award - Sherlock's abs made a surprise appearance several times this episode
Best Quotes -
1. Kitty: "I applied your many and varied rules of observation and yielded a single deduction. She's a brat."
2. Sherlock: "Doesn't look like your average doctor, does he?" Watson: "No, it looks like Point Break and Magic Mike had a baby."
3. Bell: "You've been standing there for awhile now." Sherlock: "I'm thinking." Bell: "Could you think a little faster? The ME's van just pulled up and the Kelly's are pretty ripe."
4. Kitty: "Did…um, Watson talk to you today?" Sherlock: "No, we communicated telepathically. Of course we spoke. She's helping me with an investigation."
5. Watson: "What? Were you worried I was going to kill them before you could?"

Grimm - 1.09 - Wesenrein

This very much feels like a penultimate episode for the season. Everything about it is a gateway to next week. We have the exposition dump on Wu to get him (and new viewers) up to speed. Monroe can't die but it definitely sets up for the climax of this storyline next week. Then we have Juliette the hexenbiest or what I like to call the 63rd attempt at making Juliette interesting. This one might just work. It certainly supplied the biggest twist of the night since that sure wasn't Acker. However because it is a gateway episode, it was all set up with very little action and mountainous exposition slag. So much pointed to the following week instead of the present that the rewatch got almost painful in places. There's only so many times you can watch someone talk to someone who might know someone who might know something. Thank goodness Wu provided some comedy to push things along.

Grade: B-

Best Character / Best Reason to Watch - Wu finally knows the truth
Best Scene - Renard and Wu talk Wesen…awkwardly
Best Scream - Juliette as in it was ear shattering
Biggest PSA - hate groups are horrific
Most Missed - Trubel
Most Interesting Newbie - Damerov, who appears to be Renard's personal enforcer
Biggest Eye Roll - No adult wearing a mask can be taken seriously. These hate group members look like idiots.
Most Truthful Reaction - Wu is unsure about following Nick and Hank into the woods and I don't blame them. They haven't exactly been acting in a trustworthy manner lately towards him.
Worst Way to Go - whatever they did to Terry was beyond gruesome
Most Pointless - the 45 second clip with Adalind and Viktor
Most Ferocious - Rosalee, who will kill the people who took her husband. It's a good look on her.
The "I Feel for You" Award - Oh Juliette, I completely understand. I have issues with childproof caps too.
The "Bureaucracy is Everywhere" Award - you'd think a hate group wouldn't kidnap a guy until they were ready to kill him, but apparently they have rules and procedures that take days too
Biggest Douche in a Hate Gang - Monroe's guard, and let's all agree that you have to be pretty douchey to be at the top of this gang
Biggest Douches that aren't Hate Monsters - Nick and Hank, who still act like jerks to Wu when it is their fault he doesn't trust them in the first place
Biggest Idiot - Shaw, by a lot
Best Visual - Juliette looking at her reflection in a broken mirror
Best Freak Out - Juliette dreams of killing Rosalee and the fandom gasps in horror
Worst Plan - Why exactly is sending Rosalee to Juliette's a good idea? Now you've got 2 people in danger. Shouldn't she go to the police station or somewhere like that?
Worst Plan #2 - Shaw, you're several hundred pounds. Did you really think you could outrun Nick and Hank?
Worst Plan #3 - They only put Wu on watching the bad guy? Really? The one person who can lead you to Monroe and you can't even summon up resources to watch out the back? Are there only 4 people working in Portland PD? See, this is why we need Trubel.
Best Quotes -
1. Wu: "So you know all about…" Renard: "I do." Wu: "Didn't see that one coming."
2. Renard: "So here's the thing, there's a more primal law at work here. Now you're a klaustreich. Nick's a Grimm. I wouldn't push it."
3. Nick: "So, do you think you can handle this or do you just want to walk away?" Wu: "I'm not going anywhere."
4. Wu: "Are you?" Renard: "You don't want to go there." Wu: "No, I don't."
5. Wu: "Okay this is weird. Although based on the last 24 hours, what isn't?"

The Musketeers - 2.03 - The Good Traitor

I am a big fan of The Musketeers focusing on Porthos. In fact, I think he should be the season-long focus given how much he was shafted last season. Still much of this episode felt like a PSA against racism instead of the fun, adventure show I expect. It was lighter on swordplay and heavier on big dramatic scenes than usual. It did have 2 explosions but they came with a criminal underuse of Colin Salmon being awesome instead of preachy and mopey. I say we go back to that stuff about Treville knowing Porthos' father. That sounded like the most interesting subplot of the season. Oh let's completely end any scene with King Louis or the consequences of any sexual encounter too. Then I'll be one happy fan again.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch - more of a focus on Porthos
Best Scene - Porthos tells Samara to treasure the memory of her father
Best Twist - Tariq blows up everything
Worst Non-Twist - Constance is not hung
The "Welcome Back" Award - Colin Salmon, who played the only character who didn't frustrate me on Arrow
Best Addition - Samara, who is snarky fun
Grumpiest - King Louis
Creepiest - Rochefort and his playacting
Best Hiding Place - poetry book
Biggest PSA - racism in 17th century Spain
Most in Need of Dying - Baltasar
Subplots I am Tired Of - Aramis' son, everything King Louis, everything about Constance and D'Artagnan's affair
Best Quotes -
1. Samara: "I'm going to read now. If you decide to die, please do it quietly."
2. King: "My savior, I almost didn't recognize you in your fine dress." Milady: "It is so much the height of fashion, sire, I had to commit murder to obtain it."
3. Navas: "Madame Bonacieux should receive the credit." King: "Ah well then, I suppose we had better not hang her."
4. King: "This is the future King of France. His destiny is not to die in his cradle, forgotten by history. It is to lead this country to greatness. Save him or lose your head, and believe me, there is no cure for that."
5. Samara: "Would you like to hear some poetry?" Porthos: "I'd prefer a brandy." Samara: "Poetry is all I have." Porthos: "Poetry it is then."

Helix - 2.01 - San Jose

I came into Helix's second season very warily. They have a habit of killing off all the great characters and leaving behind the drippy ones who are far too arrogant and come with tons of relationship baggage. I was rooting for Alan to die from the pilot, but no…they had to kill off Vet Doc, Daniel, and Constance instead. Sarah may be the most incompetent, but now apparently she's immortal so we're never getting rid of her. The good news is that absolutely nothing that happened last year has anything to do with this premiere. Seriously with the exception of Julia's eyes/immortality and Sarah's ability to heal quickly, you could skip the entire first season and have missed zilch. In fact, I have no idea whether the first virus was eradicated or not because they are still hunting for it but no one appears that worried. Plus Hatake, Balleseros, Anana, Tulok, and others are completely MIA. (They are also the characters I care about.) I have no idea how much time has passed but I do know that Julia's story takes place 30 years in the future so there's that. Mostly this premiere is like the beginning to a whole new show. It is abundantly clear now that the writers had no idea where this show was going in season 1 and that gives me little hope that they have an actual plan that makes sense for this season.

Grade: C-

Best Reason to Watch - if you didn't see season 1, you can jump right in and maybe even be slightly less confused than those of us who have
Most Missed - Hatake
Coolest Visual - the bone dumping ground
Most Disgusting - seems we've traded dead monkeys for dead rabbits this time around / ending scene
Most Interesting Twist - instead of stuck in the arctic, they are now stranded on an island
Still Most Irritating - Sarah, but in all fairness Alan was only in one scene so he may reclaim the crown later
The "Welcome Back" Award - Matt Long from Jack & Bobby in earlier years and Lucky 7 recently / Steven Weber from Wings and Chasing Life
Best Flash Back to Season 1 - Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
Best Addition - Kyle, although I'm going to be ticked if he replaces Balleseros
The "Refund Please" Award - if I were an immortal I'd be asking for my money back if the new disease can kill me too
Most Confusing - 30 year time jump
Best Quotes -
1. Kyle: "It's either that or go out like Butch and Sundance." Sarah: "What the hell does that mean?" Kyle: "Wha…you've never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? What kind of American are you?"
2. Peter: "Immunity from infection and an extraordinary recovery system hasn't made you special, Sarah. Just reckless."
3. Sarah: "You brought a gun?" Kyle: "I'm from Texas. We don't go to the bathroom without a gun."

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, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the 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."
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