Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Last Week in TV - Week of Oct. 25 - Reviews and Episode Awards

Hello and welcome back to Last Week in TV - once again, a day late.  Things in life should slow down so I should be on time next time.  I don't know about you but my week went well. I'm ever more behind on my shows but of the ones I did watch, they tended to be better than average. No more so than the Show of the Week, Supernatural, with its old school case that felt more like seasons 1-3. New shows were more of a mixed bag, although they all show potential. In keeping with last week's Halloween theme, next week's nominated show is The Vampire Dairies which I don't think I have seen since season 1. I'm sure it has changed a lot in its post-Elena form and since I hate love triangles I can only think that's good. If you would like to nominate a show, please fill out the short, 2-question form below. I will only review a nominated show once per season so there is no need to nominate Nashville, The Americans, or NCIS. I've also decided not to include any show a guest reviewer covers. Other than that, provided I can find it streaming somewhere, any show is fair game - current or already ended. So dust off those old favorites and nominate away. Until next time, happy TV viewing!

Nominated Episode

NCIS - 13.01 - Stop the Bleeding

NCIS is one of those shows with a formula and that formula has been incredibly successful. After all, it's now in its 13th season and still going strong. Much of that lies in the fact that NCIS is comfort food viewing but it is also a credit to the strong character interactions. That's where my only concern for this episode comes from. Is it just me or does Gibbs seem really off here? Maybe it's because I haven't seen the last 2 seasons but it feels like the best character interaction in here is Gibbs and the new doctor. Not that it's a bad thing because Jon Cryer's comedy kept this episode singing along. I'm just curious as to why there seems to be so much tension between Tony and Gibbs. (Again, watching episodes out of order makes reviewing less easy.) Here's hoping that it's only my imagination or it's resolved soon because those 2 have one of the better faux father-son relationships on TV. As for the comfort food part, this episode hit on all cylinders. There was plenty of action to keep the plot zipping along and Gibbs seeing his daughter was touching. I loved how even she urges him not to live in the past. The humor of Dr. Taft took the place of Tony's normal one-liners although Tony still got a couple himself. Also, there was the Abby-Gibbs hug that always gets me. This team cares about each other and it shows. Therein lies their success because in turn they make the viewers care about the characters.

Grade: B
Ranking - 3, but only because CBS is soooo annoyingly stingy with their material
Audience - everyone who is the audience is already watching NCIS, given it's the mothership of all crime procedurals these days

Best Reason to Watch - there's a lot going on, what with kid assassins and possibly starting WW3
Best Scene - ending scene between Gibbs and Taft
Best Character - Taft, who is a fun new character
Best Awwww Moment - Gibbs sees Kelly
Best Bedside Manner - Dr. Taft, who will keep you in stitches while he stitches you up
Worst Bedside Manner - Vance, who doesn't give Tony anytime to process before sending him back into the field
Most Old School - Dr. Taft's cassette player
Least Surprising - Gibbs puts a pen through the terrorist's hand
Least Smart - delaying for a kid who already took down Gibbs instead of having all of these kids down on their knees and starting to handcuff the would-be assassin / warning the Big Bad that you are there so that he can flee
The "I Don't Get It" Award - Why does Tony seem to think this is all his fault and why does there appear to be tension between Gibbs and Tony? I'm not a fan of tension in the ranks.
The "It's a Conspiracy" Award - everyone is giving Gibbs fruit for his recovery
The Welcome Back" Award (character) - Mike Franks in ghost form
The "Welcome Back" Award (actor) - Jon Cryer, last sent being daft in 2.5 Men / Mimi Rogers from the Tom Cruise heydays / Giles Matthey from 24: LAD / David Andrews from everywhere in another "Hey It's That Guy" performance
Best Music - My Girl by The Temptations
Best Quotes -
1. Tony: "You're not a Bond villain, Daniel. You're a fraud and frauds don't get to speechify like Bond villains. They do get to die like them."
2. Taft: "And could somebody please let Dr. Winthrop know I've requested his company. I've got us a lovely table overlooking Agent Gibbs' aorta."
3. Gibbs: "Things are changing. Can't do it alone." Taft: "I've met your team. Who says you're alone?"
4. Gibbs: "Just following up." Vance: "With your pen stuck in his hand?" Gibbs: "Is that where I left it?"
5. Taft: "I don't know what's got your ticker pumping, Agent Gibbs, but keep it up. You know I'd like to shake the hand of whomever invented the exploding bullet…and then shoot him."

Episode of the Week

Supernatural - 11.04 - Baby

Metallicar, aka Baby, is the only Winchester who has never let me down and she didn't this time either. Even beat all to smithereens, she still starts when Dean needs her too. Now time to get her some of the TLC she desperately needs. She's a rock star! To be honest though, this episode was deadly dull in the middle in large part because it was told from her point of view. Still it gets the best episode award, and is the best Supernatural episode in a very long time, because it got every other thing right. This episode finally remembered that the whole reason for Supernatural is the Winchester brothers. It was nice to just hang out with them while they were hanging out with each other. We saw glimpses of their everyday life as hunters that we hadn't before and watched them laugh together as well as bringing back the infamous Impala chats. While I prefer laughter over philosophizing, it was a great balance of both and the brothers were as one in a way that hasn't been seen since Carver took over. If it weren’t for Cas annoyingly phoning in, this would have been just like season 1 - which, shockingly, I think the writers have now seen. (Congrats on completing your Supernatural marathon, writers. It's nice that you're caught up with the rest of us now.) At least they had a huge number of callbacks to the earlier, better seasons. In fact, there were so many things that reminded me of SPN's glory days that I eventually lost track. Below you will find all the Easter eggs for me, whether they were on purpose or not. (Yes, I know some of it is fanwanking but it made me happy to think of the better days.) In the end, this episode is made of win for me purely because it brought me back to when I was obsessed with all things Winchester, to the days when a mere TV show changed my life and opened up all the opportunities I now enjoy at SpoilerTV and Southgate Media Group. This is the Supernatural that I fell in love with and devoted all of my time to. This is the Supernatural that is unafraid to take chances, builds on the brother bond, and still occasionally knocks one out of the park. Thanks for the trip down Nostalgia Lane. It's what I sorely needed and it now has me aching for more.

Easter Eggs (not everything and some fanwanking applies):
Previouslies include the Swan Song ode to Baby and Dean convincing John to buy her in "In the Beginning"
Close-up on the interior of Baby shows the same things that brought Sam back into control in Swan Song
Return of classic rock in abundance
Impala chat(s)
Dean's "good times speech" reminds me of "That's fun" from Dead in the Water
Dean smiles at Sam getting some like he does in Provenance
Car singing like Wanted Dead or Alive
Dean calls Sam "Samuel" and Sam corrects him, "It's Sam" like in all those season 1 episodes where Dean calls him "Sammy" to Sam's chagrin
Dean teases Sam about his love life and Sam calls Dean an idiot
Sam talks about wanting a real relationship and Dean says it isn't possible, like a kazillion other episodes in seasons 1 through Amelia
Young John Winchester
Inference to all the times the Winchesters have died
John says he never wanted this life for his sons, which is the same speech he gave Sam in Dead Man's Blood
Dean and Sam have a discussion, disagreeing about religion like in Houses of the Holy
Secrets come out…like every freaking season because they can never be secret-free
"B**." "Jerk." - A brother exchange that we haven't heard since season 2, well at least not to each other.
Dean makes up the creature's name like Jefferson Starships in season 6
Agent Walsh - classic rock names
Dean says he shot the deputy reminding me of when Henriksen shot the sheriff in Jus in Bello
Lilly saying, "Your family, you'd do anything for them, don't you?" is like Michael in Something Wicked saying, "You'd take care of your little brother? You'd do anything for him?"
Sam shoots Baby's window trying to save Dean like Dean shot her window trying to save Sam in the pilot
Impala crash to save a Winchester like the Pilot and Mannequin

Grade: A -

Top 5 Small Brother Moments -
1. Sam calls Baby their home
2. singing Seeger together
3. Dean dreams about a non-hunting John teaching him to drive/Sam dreams of normal life with their mom
4. Sam refuses to say "werepire"
5. Sam tries to take the wheel while Dean's eating and driving

Best Reason to Watch #1 - Forget the 200th episode. This is the true love letter to the fans, full of early SPN Easter eggs, back when Supernatural was at its best. It's like the writers finally watched the whole series and fell in love with the first few seasons like we did.
Best Reason to Watch #2 - all the brother moments, especially the general lack of any other recurring character except Cas' phone calls, which I could have done without
Best Scene / Best Nostalgia / Best Line - After Dean and Sam chat in the Impala, they have the first real "Jerk. B**." moment since season 2. It's a wish list item I never thought would be checked off again. Now for the return of the amulet.
Best Character Interaction - it goes without saying that this one goes to the Winchester brothers
Best Twist - it's Sam that gets some in the Impala / monsters are making an army to fight The Darkness
Best Reaction - Dean to the head still moving so he flips it off Baby with the windshield wipers
Best Visual - the brothers sleeping in the Impala
Biggest WHAT THE HECK!!!! - NO WAY Dean lets some random valet drive his Baby. No way! I call foul in so many ways on this. It's the biggest sore spot in a great episode.
Biggest Huh? - all of a sudden Young John Winchester is in the car talking to Sam and he's NOT a complete douche like later John Winchester, going as far as complimenting the brothers and not being freaked by the idea that Sam is seeing visions
Biggest Product Placement - Netflix
Biggest Huh? - What happened to Dean's "Oh sweetheart, I don't do shorts" line? That's episode #2, baby.
Biggest Creeper - Dean, leering back through the Impala window at Sam's one-night stand
Biggest Thank You - finally someone points out that "God helps those who help themselves" is NOT anywhere in the Bible
Biggest Reveal - Dean dreams of a regular life with John teaching him how to drive at 16, while Sam dreams of a regular life but starring Mary
Most Unique Way to Kill - by car door
Most Reliable Winchester - Baby, who always comes through even when she's all beat up
Least Helpful - John Winchester, yeah I know that's a shocker
Least Likely - a town that small would have valet parking for the restaurant
Worst Plan - Driving around with the Impala's window all bloody. Like the clerk at the motel isn't going to take one look at that and call the police. Do you no longer carry water in the Impala or a rag to make it less obvious?
The "Poor Baby" Award - Baby, who gets beat up worse in this episode
The "About Time" Award - we finally see Sam sleeping in the backseat instead of crammed up in the window, which has to be slightly more comfortable…but not much given Sam's height
The "Back Away Slowly" Award - Supernatural sucks at anything having to do with God, so leave Him out of it and go on your merry way please
The "It Does My Heart Good" Award - I have a soft spot in my heart for Dean taking care of Baby so watching the brothers washing her was a great way to start
The "At Least Spring for a Motel" Award - C'mon Sam. You're the classier brother. No need to have sex in a parking lot when you've got fake credit cards to pay for a questionably clean and interestingly designed motel room.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Matt Cohen as young John Winchester again / Sarah-Jane Redmond, who was also in Changing Channels and Smallville

Best Quotes -
1. Sam: "Goodnight, jerk." Dean: "Night, b**."
2. Dean: "Okay, mom. Let's go home." Sam: "You know what? We are home."
3. Sam: "I tried to give her my number. You know what she said?" Dean: "We've got tonight. Who needs tomorrow." Sam: "Is everything a Bob Seeger song to you?"
4. Young John Winchester: "The Darkness is coming. Only you boys can stop it." Sam: "Okay fine, how? We need help, not visions of dead people."
5. Dean: "Step away from the Netflix."

Guest Reviews

Criminal Minds – 11.05 – The Night Watch
BY Emma

This week’s episode was all about the case for me. Incorporating the murders into street art in order to discredit a non-violent Unsub was a new one for the series. All of the scenes were beautiful in a dark and twisted way – kudos to the designers for such creativity, the crew for the imagery, and Gibson’s excellent direction for giving it the right feel. Hannibal would be proud. The episode also had some great character moments but with the child abduction and the Unsub’s loss of a child, JJ’s absence was very much felt. There were several moments I found myself thinking JJ would’ve been better suited to handle this situation. It’s been nice seeing the team cope being short a person but I am very much looking forward to her return in a couple weeks. Overall, it was a solid episode but I wish we could get some movement on the “Dirty Dozen” storyline.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch – case of the week
Best Scene – Rossi telling Reid a joke and him totally not getting it
Best Character Interaction – Rossi and Reid
Best Change of Pace – Wheels up in 20, not the normal 30
Best Macabre Use of Imagery – murders incorporated into art, including the murder/suicide
Best Worst Surprise – Tara’s fiancée leaves her, but he’s not killed by an Unsub (yet)
The “Creepy Creeper” Award – The serial killer Tara’s been interviewing getting excited when Tara admits that her boyfriend left and he was part of the reason

Best Quotes:
1. Tara: “Went on a diet last night. Lost 185 pounds.”
2. Tara: “I chose me.”
3. Tara (voice over): “A Spanish proverb says more grows in the garden than the gardener knows he has planted.” ~ this is particularly creepy as it was the voice over leading out of the scene with Tara interviewing the Creepy Creeper

Heroes: Reborn - 1.07 - June 13th Part One
BY Laura Markus

If I'm being fully honest, I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous week's episode. But, that being said, it was still a fantastic adventure. I loved all of the time travel aspects; I loved seeing Mohinder and Angela again; I loved finding out about Nathan (Tommy) and Malina being Claire's twins. I hope Erica and Harris get their comeuppance soon. And how about that cliffhanger? Noah Bennet jumping on Noah Bennet? That's gonna ruin the world as we know it! Hiro was awesome as usual, and Luke and Joanne trying to find Dennis broke me. I have many more thoughts on the episode, but stay tuned for my review later in the week, where I review both Part One and Part Two!

Grade: A+

Best Reason to Watch - Mohinder and Angela return and share an interesting scene.
Best Scene - Hiro reunites with Mohinder and fights the Harris clones, and also says the classic line, "Yatta!".
The "Oh, Cr**!" Award - Hiro stabbing a Harris clone only to be surrounded by more afterwards.
Funniest Moment - Hiro's "Oh, like Harry Potter!", after Noah opens the door.
Weirdest Use Of Time Travel - Hiro practically raised Nathan (Tommy) for 15 years via time travel? That was a bit odd to me.
The "I'm Not Buying It" Award - Claire's death. Nope; it's just not happening, Kring.
Saddest Scene - Molly shouting for Mohinder paralleling Luke shouting for Dennis.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder, and Cristine Rose as Angela!

Nashville- 4.06 - Please Help Me, I’m Fallin’
BY Jessica VanWinkle

What an ending! Jeff falling off that roof took me completely by surprise. Jeff Fordham was a complete jerk, but I find myself kind of sad about his death. The one time he actually does something good and tries to save Juliette’s life he ends up falling to his death. I’m worried that this will cause Layla to downward spiral. I think her character has come such a long way, and I don’t want her regress. On the other hand, this could make her become even more likeable since Jeff won’t be around to bring her down. Besides the ending I thought this episode was boring. We had more of the same with Maddie being a brat and arguing with Rayna about everything, Will still dealing with being a gay country music singer, and Juliette sinking further into depression. I really hope that this is the final straw in Juliette’s post-partum depression storyline. She’s completely lost touch with reality: attacking a fan, drinking all day long, and almost committing suicide. And now her illness caused Jeff’s death. I know Hayden is on a break from the show so this storyline has to be almost over. Finally! There were a few positive things about this episode; one of them being Scarlett and Deacon bonding over Beverly (I could have used more of that), and Markus Keen became more tolerable. I still don’t love Markus, but at least he listened to Rayna this week. Overall, I didn’t really like this episode, and I would have given it a lower grade if it wasn’t for the insane ending. It gave me hope for the future, and I can’t wait to watch to see what happens.

Grade: B-

Best Reason to Watch- Juliette sinks deeper into depression.
Best Scene- Jeff tries to save Juliette and ends up falling off the roof.
Biggest Shocker- Jeff dies
Best Actress- Hayden Panettiere. I’m tired of her depression storyline, but I thought her acting was really good this week.
Biggest Brat- Maddie Conrad
Character I Feel Sad For- All of them. This episode was so depressing.
Best Quotes -
1. Gunnar: “It’s what women do. They leave something behind so you’re forced to track them down. Come on. It’s a game.” Will: “No. It was a one night stand.”
2. Glenn: “I know you’re still in love with Juliette, but it doesn’t matter how much you care about her if she doesn’t care about herself.”
3. Luke: “Told you this would be fun. Colt: “Yeah. Hanging out with a bunch of stuffy old people instead of my girlfriend? Time of my life.”
4. Deacon: “How do you feel about ‘The Beverly’?”

Once Upon a Time – 5.05 – Dreamcatcher
BY Missions

After two disappointing episodes, Once Upon a Time finally had a very good one called “Dreamcatcher”. There was only one thing I did not like about it and that was Henry. I do not care about Henry and I do not care about Henry’s love life, even though in the end it played a very important role in the episode. So, the episode starts with a flashback to Camelot many years ago, where we got to see how Merlin is unable to defeat the Dark One and is therefore turned into a tree. I thought the scene was a bit haunting yet beautifully done. In addition to that, in Camelot before the curse, Emma realizes with help of a dreamcatcher that Arthur had cursed Mary and David and thankfully is able to stop Regina from giving them the actual dagger. Of course dreamcatchers overall played a very important role in the episode, hence the title. We also had Henry invite Violet for dinner, however she rejected him. But does she really reject him? No. In Camelot Regina and Emma think of a spell that would free Merlin from the tree. That spell would have to include a tear of someone who is heartbroken. At first it fails when Regina looks into the dreamcatcher and relives the moment that Daniel was killed. Her tear is not enough since she has already moved on with Robin. Shortly after however, Henry, completely heartbroken by Violet, arrives and provides Emma and Regina with a tear. Before Arthur can hinder them, they free Merlin from the tree. At the end of the episode we find out that it was not a coincidence that Violet broke Henry’s heart. It turns out that Emma took her heart and commanded her to break Henry’s. This was something so unlike Once Upon a Time, but I thought it was great. It should be darker more often! We discover this when in Storybrooke, Henry distracts the Dark Swan so that the team could go in her basement where they end up finding Excalibur. The Dark Swan in the meantime was helping Henry find Nicodemus for Violet. Fortunately, they find it and Henry returns the horse to her, which makes her extremely happy. Now Henry was happier than ever, but that changes very quickly when he sees Regina looking into a dreamcatcher that she had stolen from the Dark Swan’s house, where we see how Emma took Violet’s heart. Well, that was it for Henry. In all this madness, we also got to see how Merida, controlled by the Dark Swan of course, is forcing Gold to fight since otherwise the Dark Swan would harm Merida. That was a lot now and usually I would not go into such detail, however in this episode so much happened. I throughly enjoyed this episode and think that it moved the storyline in a very interesting direction. I actually sympathized with the Dark Swan once Regina made her aware of her faults. I know I should not, but behind her evilness, she is still our beloved Emma Swan.

Grade: A-

Best Scene – Emma and Regina use Henry’s tear to free Merlin from the tree. / Regina relives the moment when Daniel dies when she looks into the dreamcatcher. / Regina discovers that Emma took Violet’s heart, which is why she broke Henry’s heart.
The Sympathy Award – The Dark Swan! I know I should not feel sorry for her, but as I said above, behind all that evilness (which is of course not her) we still have our beloved hero, Emma Swan.
The "Welcome Back" Award – Welcome back, Merlin. I already really like him. First, the actor is extremely handsome and second, he will play a very important role in turning Emma back to normal.
Best Character Development – The Dark Swan/ Emma. This episode showed us a whole new side of Emma, a very dark and manipulative side and on the other hand we saw an emotional side of the Dark Swan. Nice observation!
Least Interesting Storyline – While I know it played an important role, Henry’s love life. I really do not care about Henry (in my opinion he is the most annoying character on the show) let alone about his love life. I do not ship Violet and Henry at all!
Character We Did Not See Enough of – Hook! I am missing the old Hook. We hardly see anything good from him anymore. Hopefully, when his father appears on the show that will change quickly. Also, Zelena! I hate the fact that she is having Robin’s child and not having her appear, let alone giving her a proper storyline, does not make it any better.
Most Cringeworthy Scene – OUAT does this very often and it bothers me: When Emma and Regina were trying to free Merlin from the tree, Arthur and his knights hardly did anything to stop them. Why was he just standing there? It makes no sense.
Biggest Question – What happened to Lancelot? Is there a possibility that he is in Storybrooke?
Bittersweet Moment – Cruella’s car was for sale in this episode. How I miss Cruella de Vil!

Best Quotes –
1. Regina: “If I’m the one on the moral high ground, you’ve fallen quite a ways, Ms Swan.”
2. Merlin: “Put it away, Arthur. We both know that broken sword can’t hurt me.”
3. Henry: “Show me that the mom I know is there somewhere.”
4. Emma: “I had no choice!” Regina: “There’s always a choice Emma. You said that to me a thousand times!”
5. Regina: “I thought you could be different. I thought you could escape the darkness, but then you had to go and rip a 13 year girl’s heart out.”

SHIELD - 3.05 - 4,722 hours
BY Swanpride

It is tempting to give Agent of SHIELD a high rating for sheer boldness alone. It is rare that TV shows decide to shake up their proven formula, and this was as far removed (no pun intended) as it can get. AoS is an ensemble piece, so spending a whole hour with just one character goes more or less opposite to everything the show is. The thing is, though, that the whole story about Jemma meeting another stranded man on an alien planet is more or less the most boring option they could go for. In addition, it is at odds with the episodes beforehand. Now that I know what happened, I neither understand why Jemma was sleeping with a shift when she came back, nor why it took her two episodes to say "hey, there is still someone on the planet we need to rescue." It's this kind of contrived drama which the show is usually pretty good at avoiding or at least subverting. Thus said, though, the first part of the episode during which Jemma was alone was outstanding. Once she meets Will, though, the story turned more into the okay territory. Partly because it was predictable, and the show is usually the opposite of predictable. Partly because there really isn't that much to Will's character. One would have thought that after 14 years on this planet, he would have acquired some oddities and strange habits (and a giant vitamin B deficit). But all in all, he seemed to be pretty normal once he realized that Jemma was real. All that said, it was pretty impressive how the show runners worked around the budget of the show and presented the audience with a believable out of space scenario. I just wish that they had offered something a little bit more creative overall, especially after the show runners teased the audience for four episodes straight.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - a bottle episode done right
Best Scene - Jemma "organizing food"
Best Character - Jemma wins pretty much by by default.
Best "Wilson" - Jemma's cell phone (I want that battery!)
Best Effect - the sandstorm looked really impressive.
Most Predictable - Jemma and Will somewhat falling in love with each other. It is kind of the logical outcome if you put two humans in a situation in which they think that they will never see anyone else again. I just hope that the show will address down the line that this is more or less the opposite of a healthy relationship, instead of repeating the fairy tale the media has told for years that surviving extreme situations together is somehow romantic.
Biggest Head Scratcher - Why exactly does Will have a cage in his cave, and where is all the wood in the episode even coming from when there is no sun?

Best Quote:
Jemma: "You're dinner, Biatch!"

New Shows

Ash vs. the Evil Dead - 1.01 - El Jefe

I have never seen The Evil Dead. I always meant to because I loved Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe in Burn Notice. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of Starz and its dependence on gratuitous…well, everything. In hindsight, it might not have been the best episode to watch while eating either. Still I loved it. I take back everything I said about all other shows. THIS is what Scream Queens wanted to be. It's so over-the-top bad that it is hilarious…and it means to be. This isn’t misplaced laughter. The writers and gore experts want you to be busting a gut while they are busting a 10-ton gallon of fake blood in the most obviously 70's blood spurt way. Nothing about this show is designed to be taken seriously and that's a role Bryce Campbell obviously embraces. He's so hammy he might just oink. I will admit that in the first third of the pilot I was worried that this was going to be downright stupid and Ash hitting on Kelly didn't help matters at all. Then Pablo and Kelly ended up at Ash's house and I fully embraced the camp. If it weren't for Supernatural's ode to the fan, this would be my choice for best show. It won't be for everyone…not even close, but if you love to laugh at ridiculous gore, basement budget special effects, and even more absurd characters, this is for you. It is ultra gory and violent, there's a bizarre love scene for zero reason except it's on Starz, and a bit of language, but the pilot's cheese made up for it for me. Plus, I haven't seen a fight scene more stuck in an acid trip than Ash versus the Barbie knockoff since Dean literally fought the fairies in Supernatural. Too bad there wasn't a microwave.

Grade: B+
Ranking - 5
Audience - anyone who adores camp because this may be the most camp-tastic show ever made

Best Reason to Watch - sheer absurdity of it all
Best House Accessory - the button that springs a shotgun into Ash's hand
Best Flashback / Best Recapitation - using clips from the original movies to fill in newbies like me
Best Lighting - the flashlight spin, which causes a slow strobe light effect
Best Character - Kelly, who kicks butt when not about to be eye skewered
Biggest Huh? - Why are all these people fawning over Ash and covering for him? I don't get it.
Most Interesting Filming Choice - slow mo severed head spin complete with Carrie style blood gush
Most Fun - watching Bruce Campbell getting ready for his night out
Most Moronic - getting high and unleashing evil spirits
Most Cheestastic Moment - Ash unveils the chainsaw and the music makes it seem like a vision from angels
Most Likely to Break the Budget - the 6 billion gallons of fake blood used in this 38-minute pilot
Weirdest Segment - Ash gets beat up by a doll
The "Someone's Been Watching Too Much Exorcist" Award - nice 180-degree head turn, sister
The "Nope, Not on Your Life" Award - I would not have approached that woman under that sheet. In times like these, it's best to make them take off the sheet and slowly turn around. Plus stock up on holy water.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Bruce Campbell from Burn Notice / Lucy Lawless from Xena and Spartacus

Best Quotes -
1. Ash: "First thing I've got to do is see a guy about a book. There must be some spell I can say to undo all of this. The other first thing I've got to do is some cardio because my heart is jack hammering like a quarterback on Prom night."
2. Pablo: "It's good to see you, jefe." Ash: "It's good to be back." Pablo: "How does it feel?" Ash: "Groovy."
3. Kelly: "Touch me again and you're gonna need another wooden hand."
4. Ash: "Yo granny, I hope you took your Geritol because it's time to dance."
5. Ash: "Do me a favor, will you? Thank your mother for me. She passed her genes down to you in all the right places." Kelly: "My mother died in a car accident 6 months ago." Ash: "Wow, um, you know in the future you might want to just say, 'Sure, I'll tell her' because dropping a bomb like that on somebody you just met is downright rude."

Supergirl - 1.01 - Pilot

Oh, where to start on this one. How about the cheesy dialogue, the interesting special effects, the snoozeworthy middle pacing, or the too good to be true super powers? I think the biggest problem with Supergirl is actually that it doesn't know what it wants to be. It's a girl empowerment show with a clothing montage that includes hot pants and a main character who may be the shyest, most awkward female in a comic book-inspired TV show since Felicity. When the main character dares to question the sexist name her alter ego is given, the audience is basically told that it is their problem if they find it offensive. Thanks show but I will continue to find it silly. Not that the main character doesn't come off as a girl instead of a woman because she does. The woman role is fulfilled by Alex, thankfully, who is the best character on the show. Kat, Kara's boss, is a Devil Wears Prada clone. Supergirl also doesn't know its tone. We get super emoangsty moments like Alex's confession and the dead mom pep talk meshed with the cheesiest villains this side of Star City. It all comes complete with the type of cringeworthy, cheestastic, moustache-twirling dialogue I'd expect from a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 selection. To be honest, I think Supergirl would be better off embracing the internal cheese and going full-out Adam West Batman. Instead it tries too hard to play the middle ground in everything and as a result, everything feels rather meh. It doesn't help that the show is saddled with the same over the top comic book problems as its sire, Superman. How concerned can you get about a character whose physiology makes bullets no more than gnats and who can gently cradle a plane back to earth? The entire character is one big plot device. That's enough for me to give it a pass normally but I am a sucker for kick butt women and there's far too little sister type relationships on TV. On that criteria alone, Supergirl gets 1 more episode to impress me or else it's off to the Phantom Zone it goes. The bottom line is if you only have time for 1 female comic-based heroine, stick with Agent Carter. She rocks and she doesn't even need the alien powers or the laughable suit.

Grade: C (for potential)
Ranking - 3
Audience – people who don’t have enough comic-book based shows in their TV schedule

Best Reason to Watch - it takes no time for Kara to become a superhero, tell others, and get a costume so the pace at the beginning is awesome
Best Scene – Alex reveals that she works for the task force
Best Action - Supergirl vs. Vartox
Best Character - Alex, who is the brains of the group
Best Character Interaction - Kara and Alex
Best Snark - Henshaw
Best Meta - hiring former Superman and former Supergirl to play Kara's adoptive parents
Best Save - James Olson tells Kat that Kara has a connection to Supergirl and keeps her from being fired
Best Reason to Break Your Anonymity and Go Full On Superhero - your adoptive sister is about to die
Best Twist - Alex's issue with Kara being a superhero is not based on jealousy but because she wants to protect Kara from vindictive aliens
Biggest Oops - Kara's ship accidentally pulled Krypton's Supermax to earth with her
Biggest Fatal Flaw - Supergirl has the same big issue that Superman has. She can do too much with too few weaknesses.
Most "Felicity" - Kara runs off at the mouth constantly and is socially awkward. She also kind of looks like Felicity.
Most Practical Use of Alien Talents - Kara uses her super hearing to know when her difficult boss arrives
Most Emoangsty - Alex's confession
Least Likely to Keep a Secret Identity - standing under a spotlight while people take pictures of you without any kind of mask at all
Least Surprising - James knew about Kara's identity
The "I'm with Kara" Award - Supergirl is a terrible name
The "It Must be about Copyright" Award - this show does everything it can to NOT mention the name Superman. It's all "my cousin" and "the man in blue" and "he" on this show.
The "Well That's Confusing" Award - the Big Bad is Kara's aunt, who is twin sister to her dead mom
The "Welcome Back" Award - Laura Benanti from Go On and Royal Pains / Calista Flockhart from Ally McBeal and Brothers & Sisters / Helen Slater, the original Supergirl / Dean Cain, aka Superman on Lois & Clark / Faran Tahir from Warehouse 13 and Supernatural / Mehcad Brooks from Necessary Roughness / Chyler Leigh from Taxi Brooklyn

Best Quotes -
1. Kara: "I can help you stop them." Henshaw: "How? You couldn't even keep us from capturing you." Kara: "I'm still learning." Henshaw: "Our job is keeping people in the dark about alien life on earth and nothing says covert operation like a flying woman in a red skirt."
2. Kat: "I have a meeting with the board today so cancel sushi with my mother. Oh and cancel my therapist. I won't be needing it if I'm not having lunch with my mother."
3. Kat: "It's not that I don't see your frown. It's just that I don't care enough to ask why it's there."
4. Vartox: "Just because you wear that symbol on your chest doesn't mean you're him. Fighting him would be an honor. Fighting you is just exercise."
5. Kara: "Ms. Grant sent me for layouts and she doesn't like to wait." Jimmy: "Well she can wait a minute." Kara: "Have you met Ms. Grant?"

Wicked City - 1.01 - Pilot

I wasn't sure if this was going to be my show. When it started with murder during oral sex and progressed to necrophilia in the first 7 minutes, I had my answer. But oh, the music is a glorious trip back to my childhood. In fact, the hardest thing about this review was picking the best song. Aside from the overt salaciousness, this story has some good bones to it and the characters are likely to get more multi-dimensional and more gray as the series progresses. The pacing is pretty decent and there is already some twists. It's likely that I will end up hating all the characters but I'm intrigued enough to give them one more episode and see if they tone down the gratuitousness and ramp up the character development. I'm especially interested in why Betty is a sadist. What happened to her?

Grade: C+
Ranking - 3
Audience - anyone into true crime shows and the 80's

Best Reason to Watch - it's a time capsule of all things early 80's
Best Song - This one was tough with over a dozen songs to choose from. In the end, I chose one others probably wouldn't - Crimson and Clover. I am very picky about remakes. If I like the original, I am less likely to like the remake but Joan Jett did a fantastic job with Crimson and Clover, making me a fan of both versions.
Best Scene - Roth searches frantically for Karen in the club and the music and lighting add to the frenetic pace before they go full on slo-mo as Kent and Betty walk out
Best Twist - the drug dealing strip club worker is actually an undercover cop
Best Nostalgia - ALL the great 80's music / all the cool classic cars
Most Intriguing Character - Betty, who is an inner psycho and outside fabulous mother
Least Nostalgic - all the goofy clothes
Least Interesting - all the sniping between Roth and Contreras
Worst Reference - National Enquirer's motto
Biggest Red Flag - when your hook up quotes the Marquis de Sade
Biggest Sign of the Times - I don't know anyone that would leave their little girl with a single man these days. Ah the innocence of NOT having bad news following us 24/7.
The "Once Again, There's No Cone of Silence" Award - nothing like the detective announcing that the undercover detective is a cop on the actual street outside where she works
The "Sorry, I Had To" Award - What's in the booooooxxxxx?
The "Some Warning Please" Award - I don't want to see spiders. Ever. Alive or crushed to death by a psycho nurse.
The "Welcome Back" Award - Jeremy Sisto from Law & Order and The Returned / Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl / Erika Christensen from Parenthood / Jaime Ray Newman from Eureka and one of my favorite episodes of Leverage

Best Quotes -
1. Roth: "Okay, so like the kind of guy who tells a girl what she wants to hear." Karen: "Isn't that every guy on the Strip?"
2. Vicki: "Whoa, you look way to Saturday Night Fever, daddy." Allison: "What?" Roth: "What does that mean?" Vicki: "You need to look more American Gigolo if you're going to the Whiskey so you fit in. Like lose the pocket square." Roth: "Okay, how do you know what people dress like at the Whiskey?" Allison: "Yeah, enquiring minds want to know."
3. Roth: "Uh Contreras, you know what your problem is?" Contreras: "No, but I'm sure you're gonna tell me." Roth: "To me, this girl is a victim. To you, she's a step up." Contreras: "Unless you're wrong, Jack. She's both."
4. Roth: "Well, what do we know? We know he was probably older than Emily because she was looking for someone to give her a way up in the world. Possible military background because of the knots. A real attitude toward authority with the big middle finger he gave us by dropping her body at the cemetery. Some real anger issues toward women, which probably means his mommy didn't give him enough attention so now he cuts their heads off." Contreras: "Aside from the head cutting that could be anyone."
5. Roth: "What a surprise? A murder took place here."
6. Contreras: "Hey Jack, you know as much as I enjoy watching you make eyes with your stripper girlfriend, we should probably get moving. I've got a killer to catch." Gibbons: "So why don't you get back into your car and go do your job because I have a drug dealer to bust and I can't waste any more time on the Dynamic Duo." Contreras: "You're a cop." Roth: "Gonna be lieutenant." Gibbons: "Not if I don't get my supplier's boss so if you do anything to blow my cover and I'll cut your b** off. Understood?"

Weekly Shows

Fresh Off the Boat - 2.05 - Miracle on Dead Street

Another winning episode from one of my favorite comedies. What raised this episode above The Goldbergs for #1 comedy this week was shockingly Eddie and his friends. Usually they are the albatross bringing the show down but I loved how they all show up to help out Jessica. It's even Eddie and Nicole who save the day, mostly by out-sassing the hoodlums. Talk about a trick and a treat. I also enjoyed the Honey appearance, although it was brief. Watching her try to talk Jessica down had me rolling. Still in the end, it's all about Louis and Jessica. I love how the complement each other so well and the fact that they always have each other's back in the end. It's refreshing to see more comedies take this approach to showing marriage, even if most of them take place in the past.

Grade: B+

Best Reason to Watch - the kids were helpful and not obnoxious in this one
Best Scene - the Huang van pulls up to help Jessica defend their land
Best Aim - Jessica
Best Twist - Nicole and friends save the day
Worst Costume Name - A bow-hawk? Yikes! That's terrible.
Worst Plan - buying all the eggs in county
Biggest Ooops - the dozens upon dozens of eggs now broken on the driveway
Least Likely to Take Anything from Anyone - Jessica who isn't about to let some punk kids mess with her house
The "Way to Bend" Award - Louis comes to the rescue and Jessica dons a Mrs. T shirt
The "I'm with You" Award - I hate Halloween too, Jessica. It's my least favorite holiday of the year.
The "Say What?" Award - That house / neighborhood doesn't look like the lower middle class where I lived. Who knew?
Best Music - theme from A-Team

Best Quotes -
1. Jessica: "I hate this holiday."
2. Evan: "Did you get that last part from Field of Dreams?" Louis: "Greatest Halloween movie ever." Evan: "That movie is about baseball players." Louis: "Ghost baseball players." Evan: "Hmmm, I'll allow it."
3. Honey: "I'm Miss Piggy, Kermit's girlfriend." Jessica: "Pigs don't date. Pigs feed a crowd at a reasonable price."
4. Louis: "Don't you want to experience the one thing white people do better than us?" Jessica: "Begging for candy in a disguise to hide your shame? No thank you."
5. Eddie: "The scariest thing to a teenage boy is a teenage girl."

The Goldbergs - 3.06 - Couples Costume

I may hate Halloween but I love the Goldbergs and this is another example of why. First off, Murray does a great job of tempering Beverly's crazy while Beverly gets Murray out of his shell. It makes them one of the best husband and wife duos on TV. (Still miss the Burkes from White Collar.) I love how they know each other so well and love each other so much that they do things they normally wouldn't to make each other's lives better. It's a beautiful thing to watch. Second, I love how the three siblings had screen time this time as well. Facing their fears together was sweet even If it didn't last long. I like it best when the 3 have a plan that they work together. All in all, a decent episode with good laughs, great costumes, and even better heart.

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the underlying sweetness to the crazy
Best Scene - the end scene where Murray encourages Beverly to spy on Adam
Best Character Interaction - Beverly and Murray
Best Awww Moment - Murray gets dressed up in a stupid costume to make Beverly feel less alone
Weirdest Moment - Barry fixes Erica's hair by twirling it around his finger
Best Perspective - Murray, who talks Beverly off the ledge
The "Welcome Back" Award - Dana is back…for Halloween? Hmm, but it was good to see her.
Best Music - Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar

Best Quotes -
1. Adam: "What? You want me to pay money to get tortured when candy is free."
2. Voiceover: "My mom stormed into the dark night to defend our home against Kermit the Frog and Strawberry Shortcake." Beverly: "This is a waste of groceries."
3. Beverly: "What are they doing?" Murray: "Egging our house…which we deserve." Beverly: "This is going to stain our aluminum siding." Murray: "Again, well-deserved."
4. Voiceover: "Growing up, there's a lot to be afraid of but when you know in your heart your family has your back, nothing in life is scary."
5. Kermit: "Your wife's nuts, dude."

Grimm - 5.01 - The Grimm Identity

For a season premiere, not much happens here except a billion recapitations and a lot of characters standing around and wondering what the heck is happening. Just like the audience. Oh and Adalind gives birth for those not counting down the days until she gets killed off. Chavez becomes the cryptic plot device of the night, warning of vague threats that are really, really bad but not giving Nick anything concrete to work with before conveniently dying. So same old, same old there. It would be nice if just once someone would spell things out for our heroes with their last breath instead of using it to tell them how screwed they are. Just saying. She does helpfully give him a chess piece before expiring instead of…say, telling him where Trubel is or explaining who "they" are. Maybe he needs it to complete his set. Basically this episode was all set up for the new Big Bad plot but it was missing the urgency I should feel knowing that all of Portland is about to be invaded…again. More importantly, it was missing Trubel. She makes every episode better. Let's hope it doesn't take long to get her back on my screen. I have a feeling we're going to need her to save Nick and the show again.

Grade: C+

Wish List:
1. Keep Juliette dead! If there has to be a fake death, make it Mama Grimm. She is far too awesome to be killed off in such an off-screen way and she's still the best recurring female on this show.
2. Kill off Adalind
3. Give Trubel a whole lot more screen time
4. Pick up dropped plot points like the keys or go straight up procedural. Either one.
5. Allow Nick to actually be a Grimm, which includes letting him win some fights and not have to be constantly rescued (Check)

Best Reason to Watch - Nick actually wins not one but two fights
Best Scene / Best Bromance / Best Friend - Monroe tries to help Nick with Chavez
Best Action - Nick vs. Chavez
Best Use of Black and White - Nick's dream world
Worst Surprise - no Trubel
Worst Timing / Worst Subplot - Adalind's baby
Worst Plan (episode) - Nick confronts Chavez at home
Worst Possible Plan (writing staff) - There seems to be a lot of hints here that Juliette is not actually dead and that would be the worst thing this show could do. NO MORE JULIETTE!!!
Least Surprising - the one person who knows anything about anything dies before saying anything pertinent
Least Stellar Thing to Do to Your Friends - involve them unwittingly in your kidnapping plan
Most Repetitive - everyone expositing Nick's crazy story and talking about how they don't get it
Most Needing to Take a Breath - Nick and his hyper paced revenge non-plans
Most Impressively Intimidating - Monroe and Rosalee going full woge to get Chavez to talk
Most Likely to Get to the Point - Monroe, who cuts through all the philosophy about truth to ask the pertinent questions like, "Where's Trubel?"
Most Cryptic - Chavez, of course
Most Likely to be Shown in iZombie - What was that claw at the end? It reminded me of iZombie comics.
Biggest Argh - Forcing a redemption plot for Adalind causes my blood pressure to boil. Does no one even remember that Adalind basically mind raped Nick and this after trying to kill him multiple times? Seriously people! This whole thing sucks and if this becomes a canon ship, I give up on humanity.
Newest Slogan - Don't Recapitate and Drive. Thanks for teaching us that one, Nick.
The "Say What?" Award - If Meisner is working with the same group Chavez is, shouldn't he already know Nick is a Grimm? Why would this be surprising news to anyone in that group? In fact, I think everyone in Portland knows Nick is a Grimm. It's their worst kept secret.
The "Oh Come On Now" Award - Is everyone getting stupid on this episode? Hank, you don't need to uncuff Chavez to get her thumbprint.
The "Welcome Back" Award (character) - Meisner returns - woo hoo! He's working with Chavez - um, okay…

Best Quotes -
1. Monroe: "Well Nick dying would have been horrible too." Rosalee: "What?" Monroe: "Not to speak ill of the dead, I'm just saying better Juliette than Nick. I mean…you know, if it had to be one of them…" Rosalee: "None of this was Juliette's fault. She didn't become a hexenbiest because she wanted to." Wu: "Well she did sort of embrace it once she did."
2. Chavez: "You all know he's a Grimm." Wu: "Oh, we do and we don't like secrets very much."
3. Meachum: "Apparently he's some kind of royalty." Pogue: "If you care about that kind of thing." Renard: "Not really."
4. Monroe: "I've known you as a Grimm longer than anyone so if anybody's gonna believe you , it's gonna be me. Okay, we've been through a lot together and I don't want to see you do something…you know, without me if you really need me."
5. Hank: "I was thinking my partner had gone over the edge. I'm not thinking that anymore."

How to Get Away with Murder - 2.06 - Two Birds, One Millstone

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - so much is going on that the twists just keep coming
Best Scene - the whole end is great but I'm going with Frank's genius plan to take Laurel to meet his family
Best Actor - Frank when Annalise is dying in the hospital
Best Played - Catherine records the students talking about how they think their clients are guilty
Best Liar - Frank, who has an answer for everything
Best Awww Moment - Frank takes Laurel home to meet all of his family
Biggest Manipulator - and Annalise takes back the crown
Biggest Twist - everything at the end
Biggest Creepster - in a house of murderers, it's Wes that is the creepiest of all with his dead eye stare
Biggest Lie - Annalise gives Bonnie the credit for changing Asher's mind and I don't know why but it was nice to see Annalise give Bonnie some kudos for a change
Biggest Say What? - the Hapstall sister is unconscious in Frank's car and he seems to be framing her
Biggest Foul on That Play - Annalise learns about Trotter Lake but we still don't except that it's about rape
Most Awkward - Annalise tries to bring a cobbler after Nate's wife dies
Most Moronic - a murder suspect threatens to kill a police officer while they are working the crime scene
The "It's About Time" Award - at least someone calls out people at a crime scene without wearing gloves
The "Oldest Trick in the Book" Award - having sex with someone to discover their secrets

Best Quotes -
1. Laurel: "I'm over all the secrets. We should know better at this point."
2. Laurel: "You know you become less and less sexy with every new compliment you give yourself."
3. Annalise: "I'll handle him the way I always do. Right now I have to go handle a b**."
4. Bonnie: "Why aren't you on your way to the Hapstalls?" Asher: "Oh you didn't hear? Caleb shot Catherine but not before she shot him and now they're both dead."
5. Michaela: "Okay no, we are not vilifying the people who were brave enough to put their biological kids' needs before their own, thus ensuring them a safe and loving home."
6. Wes: "How is this about me?" Michaela: "Because everything wrong about our lives is about you. You continue to be paranoid and make us all paranoid."
7. Connor: "Less nerd. More information."

Scorpion - 2.06 - Tech, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll

Grade: B

Best Reason to Watch - the countdown to sure disaster always picks up the pacing
Best Scene / Best Speech - Elia explains that failure is a part of being successful to Walter
Best Kid - Russell
Best Vicarious Shot - Happy punches Toby for being an idiot. She should have punched Walter then too.
Best Reaction - Cade during Paige's shirt scent rant
Best Upgrade - Yeah, yeah, safety features. The real win is that the elevator plays music from your playlists.
Best Save - Paige runs into Smaisley with her car to stop him
Best Retreat - Paige asks Cabe if he smells perfume in Walter's room and Cabe wisely walks away
Best Gift - Happy makes Sylvester a humidor for his comics
Most Ludicrous - Take your pick from anything that happens once the building takes over. Anything. As for me, I choose the idea that the wind whipping around the building would blow Sylvester right off.
Most Reckless - Walter, even before he gets into the building
Biggest Shock - Walter takes Elia's speech to heart and agrees to go to happy hour with Ray
Biggest WTH - Why is Sylvester standing around in the rain instead of getting the door open and fleeing? That seems highly out of character.
Biggest Eye Roll - Paige's jealousy over Walter's "one night stand"
Biggest Douche - Walter walks over Toby's dead body to focus on the server instead after he got Toby killed
Dumbest Show of Independence - basically anything Toby does to try to prove it in this episode
Worst Compliment - wonderful posture / perfectly rounded ear lobes
Worst job Requirement - the employees at the tech company have a chip inserted in their arm to open doors
Worst Plan Ever - I don't care what kind of safety features you have. You always keep real fire extinguishers on hand. Always.
The "Foul on That Play" Award - no fair that Paige and Cabe get to watch Drunk Walter and we only get a tame glimpse
The "Have All Cops Gone Daft" Award - First Tony from NCIS and now Cabe. They both try to apprehend someone in a crowded place by pulling their guns on them from half a mile away, ensuring that they run
The "Finally" Award - Elia gives full credit to the Scorpion team for their work…right before the building goes haywire
The "I Don't Think So" Award - No way the fire department just leaves Sylvester there. They'd have at least let him hang on to the ladder. Annoying plot device is uber annoying.

Best Quotes -
1. Toby: "Alright fake Siri, you made your point. You know I'm not gonna stand here and defend it to you. (pause) It's catchy for one. It's classic coming of age angst, and it reminds me of the summer I made out with Suzie Brennan."
2. Walter: "Oh, you made it." Sylvester: "A bit of a rough landing but I owe you my life, my riches, my firstborn." Toby: "Your comics?" Sylvester: "Not that."
3. Walter: "The next one? You're gonna do this again? This failed." Elia: "Walter, people think I'm some kind of brilliant visionary. The reason I'm successful is because on the heels of defeat, I start all over again. Failure's part of the process. You don't know where you're vulnerable until you fail."
4. Walter: "What if we use the building's smart technology to our advantage?" Happy: "That would be a first today."
5. Walter: "It's a little bit odd that there are billions of modern electronics in this building and we're solving these problems with technology that David used to beat Goliath."
6. Cabe: "It's just a cocktail flu. He's disease free." Paige: "We think."
7. Sylvester: "Now you tell me this isn't just like camp." Russell: "Except for the choking to death."
8. Paige: "It's like he's possessed by some evil spirit…that's in a fraternity."

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/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted", 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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