The Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/14/13 – 4/20/20

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Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Community, Warehouse 13 and Doctor Who currently on so there isn’t really a ton of things to complain about.  That isn’t true as this is probably one of the more negative lists that I have complied.  Why?  Because this week it just felt like more of the good shows were just slow or forgettable episodes, and more of the normally bad episodes where aggressively annoying and punishing to my delicate sensibilities.  Also there wasn’t that much on last week, something that I hope will change by the writing of this article next week. Let’s hope.

Bad
Family Guy: Season 11, Episode 19

Look kids! Humor!

Where:  Fox
When: Sunday at 9:00PM
Why:
Stark: You always slam on Family Guy.  You hate that show.

When my friend, and fellow blogger, said these words to me I kind of tried to stray away from making fun of the show as much as I could.  I mean, who wants to be predictable about their vitriol?  I want people to look at this and think, “He really just dislikes a wide swath of things.  When he likes someone I guess we should watch.”  This is the kind of conversation that I have with myself when I think about what I want this article to be.  Then I decided, screw it, Family Guy is really bad and I might as well complain about it.

The idea that started, and quickly was abandoned by, this episode is that the guys were going to go to a Montreal strip club for some crazy stripper time.  Unfortunately they live when the plane crashes and we are forced to sit through another fifteen minutes while the two archetype friends are rescued and Peter is forced to wander into the wilderness with thoughts of finding help.  He, of course, goes wild and is unable to return to his normal life.  I remember when this show doing cut-aways to non-related events was different and endearing, kind of like who you smile when your “specially abled” cousin thanks you for something.  Now it is basically a Simpson’s clone for a slightly more stoned audience, sort of like all of the friends you don’t talk to from high school any more.

Good
Nurse Jackie: Season 5, Episode 1

Seen here: Edie Falco's O Face

Where:  Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
Nurse Jackie is a show about addiction, how it affects your life, the people around you, and the lengths that you are willing to go through to continue on that destructively tasty path.  About a nurse, named Jackie (Edie Falco), who basically runs an emergency room.  Everyone trusts her, doesn’t question her on anything, and is willing to give her all kinds of crazy pain killers because that is just the way that hospitals are run, by throwing as much medical grade heroin at people as they can.  Love triangles form, children are traumatized, and marriages end.  Most shows feel like they mature as they go because of writes understanding the character better, but this almost has felt like it needed that floundering arch so the main characters could grow a functioning person.

If I am to believe the premise of this show, women do not want you acknowledging their birthday after they have reached a certain age.  Also, if they have spent a large chunk of their life addicted to various substances it only reminds them of home much of that time they either weren’t responsible for, don’t remember, or feel terrible about; possibly all three seeing as how it seems this show paints addiction occasionally like a never ending spring break.  For Jackie it seems that telling people to ignore the day, on the day, once isn’t enough and is constantly bombarded with well wishes; which is different from the real world because most people would just say something impossibly rude and then not speak to you ever again, and also try to poison you and/or get you fired.

Bad
American Dad: Season 8, Episode 15

Silly, that isn't how you use a donkey

Where:  Fox
When:  Sundays at 9:30PM
Why:
I really like American Dad.  For a while there a couple of these articles that didn’t go up, almost all of them listed my undying love of American Dad.  The show has decided it no longer cares what anyone thinks and it just going for it in a way that you could only expect out of a hero in a teen movie goes after the prettiest girl in school before realizing that his neighbor really loved him and was hot all along. Recently they have been on some kind of hot streak of amazing hits and talent; something that only seems fair to compare to early Chilli Peppers’ albums, or all of Henry Rollins career.  With that intro I think that you should be just as disappointed as I when this wasn’t nearly as good as it has been for the last couple of years.  It almost felt like it was an episode being held over from the first three seasons.

Normally you would be expecting something insane, possibly involving some kind of magic or science flavored substitute, to be a main plot point; this week we got to listen about how Stan (Seth McFarlane) doesn’t enjoy the fact that Francine (Wendy Schaal) has the world’s mildest and possibly most well-known, and Britishly endorsed, sexual kink—spanking. Recently it has felt like the show has been trying to distance itself from painting its character as white and bland as they can manage in stupid events passed over by Family Guy, but I think I just described this week’s episode pretty thoroughly.  There are even points in the plot that it feels like a return to recent levels, but then it slaps that laugh out of your mouth with stupid.

Bad
How I Met Your Mother: Season 8, Episode 21

I am sure that is how all the actors feel about the show now.

Where:  CBS
When: Mondays at 8:00PM
Why:
I think that most of us who have attempted to watch this show have been on a journey of ups and downs that closely resemble an epileptic piloting a hot-air balloon.  Back when it started it was about a man looking for love, then—after a couple of years—it was about how that guy suddenly turned really creepy and accused every woman stupid enough to sleep with him into “the one”, now it is about Eore as a real person and how terrible he is at dating.  The show has stopped being “funny” and started being more about people thinking that it is ok to laugh at other people’s depression and failed/terrible attempts to find meaning in life through others (yet never pointing out that it really just seems unhealthy).  It has basically been 8 years of watching your friend go through a really bad breakup and just never getting over it.

So Lily (Alyson Hannigan) gets a job offer to go to Rome and help her boss pick out art.  She refuses because she thinks that it will make everyone in her life miserable.  Turns out that she is pretty much the only person that thinks that way, as her husband Marshall (Jason Segel-aka the best person in the show) thinks that it sounds totally amazing in every way possible.  So, instead of being dragged through the ever increasingly deep depths of Dante’s journey that is Ted’s quickly unraveling mental state, we get to watch two people think they know what is best for each other without speaking to the other person.  Look, we were all in fifth grade. We all were forced to read Gift of the Magi during Christmas. We get it.  You know what that story taught me?  Surprises suck.  Let people know what you want in life.

I personally want a new video card for my computer, or a Wii U, on the off chance anyone was wondering.

Best:
Doctor Who: Season 7, Episode 9

Spooky!  And a little sexy

Where: BBC
When: Saturdays at 6:15PM (GMT)
Why:
There are classic Who episodes.  There are the ones that you watch and talk about with your friends because it was the first time that the weeping angels, or River Song, appeared.  The only real argument most Who-vians ever get into is how well they have aged along with other such episodes; people don’t really talk about the stories that fall between those watershed moments.  In all honesty I think that a handful of those are the best thing about the show.  I will take a random, and probably not over all plot important, forgettable tale that is well written over any battle with Cybermen or companion goodbyes.

When you boil down this episode is a ghost story with dreamy British accents and a loveable cast with pretty good comic timing.  Given that description it is either Monty Python or Doctor Who, and luckily for us it turned out to be the latter.  This episode does away with all of the recent, “this isn’t were we are going! Zany!” plots and puts everyone exactly where they want to be, in a haunted house.  I am not spoiling anything when I point out that, of course, this is an alien and not a ghost and, of course, they fix and make better.  The way that there was even an attempt to drop subtle lines in about this season’s overall plot was nicely done as well, and not the normal Steven Moffat hitting you over the head to make sure you see how everything fits.

Worst:
The Simpsons

Oddly enough, guest starring Wanda Sykes

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8PM
Why:
I am impressed that the handful of people that read this article haven’t made comment about my failure to include this in the listings in one way or another.  I might even go so far as to say that, for all intents and purposes, The Simpsons is so bland and forgettable that everyone pretty much has just forgotten about it and moved on with their lives.  I would like to think that the entire point of this article is basically me proving to the world that I refuse to accept things and move on, and choose the least noble path of openly judging them for what they did to man.

From start to finish this basically feels like a reject Valentine’s Day episode, but only entirely less interesting because it can’t be passed off as either novel or good.  Marge (Julie Kavner) has finally had enough of Homer’s (Dan Castellaneta) repeated attempts to kill and or maim everyone on the planet and, hopefully, starting to think about a devoice; because if Family Guy has taught us anything it is that a bad relationship based on fear and obligation is the handicap ramp to comedy.  Also Milhouse (Pamela Hayden) decides that he can finally win over Lisa (Yeardley Smith) by acting like an abusive husband at all times.  But it is The Simpsons, which means that nothing will change by the time that the credits roll so the act of watching it has the same lasting effect as if you decided to drink paint thinner instead; you might live through it, but you will feel sick after and wish for that time back.

About the author

gillman

Melting faces off with a kind of awesome high rocking power that can only be described through Monster Trucks since 2003. Going through the continuing effort to create new, better, more interesting and joke-funnying content the entire time. I own the site. I know, hard to believe