Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/21/13-4/27/13

The real disappointment last week, for me, is that the best things all week seemed to occur on Sunday night; which was wonderful for me the next day when I got around to watching them, but is kind of terrible for the rest of the week when things either sucked or didn’t live up to expectations (both if you are The Office).  Shows that I normally like ended up being kind of terrible runs at ironing out plot or forgettable—even Doctor Who wasn’t great.

Good
Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 4

Everyone in this shows has a "shit is about to get real" face

Where:  HBO
When: Sundays at 9:00 PM
Why:
Game of Thrones can just kind of go around being Game of Thrones and end up on the list in a good category.  Sure, there might be some forgettable episodes that are just talk heavily, light on the nudity, and devoid of anything good for the violence.  This was not that episode.  There might have been more talk of nudity then there was actual, but the fact that Tyrion Lannister’s (Peter Dinklage) young squire is amazing enough in bed that whores refuse to take money from him seemingly makes up for that.  I have to admit, the fact that the rumor about his skill continues to spread throughout King’s Landing is one of the more enjoyable side events that could have happened during the series.  If this was Friends it would have been an entire season story arch that would have been referenced more than “on a break”.

Game of Thrones does an interesting job with politics, but to this day I still do not know who is supposed to be trusted in King’s Landing—my theory is no one.  None of that seems to stop Tyrion at all, as it seems that he instinctively knows exactly how to address everyone to get the information that he wants, but if I had any kind of job there I am sure that I would just sit around crying and hugging my knees while worried that my child is not mine and that my customers want to watch a rat eat its way inside of me.  Between how awesome Dinklage performs his role and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) kind of being all of insane, stupid hot, and plotting this show could just run on those two, interestingly it seems that it wants to just follow every person who is ever introduced as a character gets a story arch that follows them until death.  So either this series ends with the world exploding or everyone else just losing interest.

Bad
Bones: Season 8, Episode 23

I know, call in bone people for the virus

Where:  Fox
When: Monday at 8:00 PM
Why:
Bones is a TV series about a FBI agent that teams up with some kind of super anthropologist that can tell anything about any human being from simply looking at the damage done to their bones.  While this concept manages to be completely defeated by any murder or death that caused only internal damage, and nothing to the skeletal structure, it seems like at the very least 24 times a year they find a murder case that can only be solved this way.  At one point, years ago, the show had no issue with murdering major characters in the name of advancing the plot or just making you hate someone, but now seems to have taken a more Simpsons style approach to storytelling and not ever changing anything.

I brought up the “murder characters” thing in the last paragraph because that is exactly what I was looking forward to while watching this episode.  A deadly virus is unleashed on a reporter looking to expose big pharmaceutical for their mega shady practices, like every reporter in every fictional world who write only about scandal and not boring town meetings, and that of course that means that one of the people on the team of investigators just happens to get exposed.  So when the CDC can’t figure out what is causing all this organ explosion they go to a bone expert, because I guess when you can’t figure something out you just seek help from people in very close to the exact opposite field.  The only way that this could have played out in any more of a ridiculous fashion would have been to have one of the tech guys from the FBI figure out the cure through “clever accounting”.

Good
Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 4

That guy doesn't even know how lucky he is

Where:  AMC
When: Sundays at 10:00 PM
Why:
I cannot be the only person that cannot stop staring at Megan’s (Jessica Paré) teeth, right?  I looked her up on IMDB, because if I am honest I know almost none of these people’s real names, and it seems to be a hotly contested issue.  While I might be on the entire, “Please never smile, your large blue whale teeth creep me out,” side it seems sad that the only valid—non-disturbingly rape sounding—argument for her to keep her prostatic donkey grin is so she doesn’t become another “Hollywood Phony”.  If I was going off those comments alone I would probably just stop acting and go into the lucrative business of hiding from all of the world.

Joan (Christiana Hendricks) takes a friend out on the town whoring.  The only thing that separates the actions of those two that night and my ability to use the word “literally” in the previous sentence is that they don’t accept money at the end.  Granted, I think that if I was the one that was lucky enough to end up with Joan I probably would have attempted to tip either way. There is some really interesting inner-personal relationships that have developed over the years that are starting to bite people in the ass, mainly because the show has been going on long enough that characters are starting take jobs that aren’t all at the same business, and companies are losing rather large accounts over people talking.  Also, when reading the recap on IMDB for this episode I love how people will be completely no biased about 2000 other words, but when they mention that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) cheats on his wife they spare no time in calling him a scumbag.  Good reporting internet, that was the only underhanded thing that he or anyone else did recently.

Bad
The Office: Season 9, Episode 20

Andy's screams of terror are the best part of this episode

Where:  NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:30 PM
Why:
Because it could have been so much better.  The entire Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) having marriage issues it just stupid and not being dealt with well.  There was roughly one line that made the entire experience seem like it was even based on a real relationship and that was three episodes ago.  Everything about this, from the delivery of the lines to the gags that are implied, feels tired and like something they copied from an old episode of Seinfeld and swapped the word masturbation for marriage.  This entire season has felt like the first couple of seconds when you see a car driving the wrong way down a one way street, you know something is terribly wrong and out of place but it is hard to say what.

There is a paper plane contest, because this is a paper company that this is the first time that has happened in the 9 seasons that this show has been on the air.  This kind of thing seemed like it would be an annually event, or something you do on lunch when you only carry paper and paper products, but here we are experiencing it for the first time.  Andy (Ed Helms) has gotten an acting gig, because he is so terrible at everything else he does I guess it is just time for him to fail at something else.  I have brought this up before, that there are moments that the show almost hits the same feel that it had so long ago—it just never seems to get there.  Aside from a couple of exceptions most of the cast simply seems to have been demoted to background characters at this point, either that or they came to their senses and just collect their checks while waiting for this train wreck to end.

Best:
Bob’s Burger: Season 3, Episode 20

Children, sailors, KFC guy... Seems legit

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8:30 PM
Why:
The title of the episode is “When kids run the restaurant,” and the solution to that puzzle is, “they open a basement casino. There just seems to be a point in every show that Bob’s Burgers make a choice to either be normal or go off the rails; the more times that the “go off the rails” ability check passes the better that an episode seems to turn out.  Keep in mind that this isn’t the same kind of randomness associated with an American Dad or Family Guy, this is weird juxtapositions that simply make my heart happy when I hear H. Jon Benjamin (Bob) make them.

So it turns out that Bob can’t stand the site of even the most trace amount of blood, because that doesn’t seem like it should ever be an issue with someone who actively plays with sharp objects for a living.  This leads to a hospital visit with the world’s worst Doctor that uses stitches the way that serial killers use roadside ditches, keep throwing stuff in there until it is either full or someone says something.  The aforementioned casino is interesting in its own right simply because it seems that all of the adults in this world just accept that, yeah, this is something that happens from time to time.

Worst:
Big Bang Theory: Season 6, Episode 21

Funny that Penny isn't even "the hot one" any more

Where:  CBS
When: Thursdays at 8:00 PM
Why:
I sort of feel like I have been one of the only Big Bang Theory supporters for a rather long time now.  When it first came out I was the person running around and telling everyone how clever it was and handing out USB sticks with episodes on them.  For a while now I have ignored the mounting roar against this show, but this weeks’ was almost too much for me to sit through.  The show that I once enjoyed that was about awkward, smart, people doing fun and interesting things that I could totally see myself doing is now seemingly more about someone’s impression of what a geek probably acts like.  This has gone from a show that seemed to be written by geeks to one that is written by people who are only vaguely aware that they are part of a social structure.

This week Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is depressed because all of her, now only, friends are super smart and have passions, while she –the dumb one of the group and possibly of a group of disabled people—doesn’t seem to have one.  The argument is made that the reason everyone else is smart is because of their passions, possibly being smart allows you to be very passionate about things, but this feels like the argument that dumb people make about “everyone is smart in their own way”.  That is not true.  Having a working knowledge of the social structure of Gossip Girls isn’t a way to be smart, it is a terrible party trick and flag that denotes that people should stop talking to you and start stabbing your genitals.  Also, choosing the people around you as your passion doesn’t count as most three year olds can accomplish that as it is called “making friends”.

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.

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