Last week was a weird time when nothing was really on. That led me to being entirely harsher on shows that I am normally pretty favorable with, probably out of the thought that I need to make this article at the very least seem symmetrical. This kind of had the effect of the bad not being as bad as they normally are and the worst being more of a disappointment than anything. Don’t worry, the good shows where still amazing.
Community: Season 4: Episode 9
When: Thursdays at 8:30PM
It is a puppet episode, where everyone is puppets. I have mentioned before my love about how Community is just willing to commit to a bit so well that it makes it magical. This is one of those episodes. Not to be outdone in anyone’s mind as the best one of these types of episodes, this show continually amping up how increasingly good it is getting, Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld) makes an appearance as a former Greendale Student/Mountain Man. Did I mention that everyone is puppets?
So the plot of the episode is that everyone took a handful of hallucinogenic berries and started telling all of their deepest, most terrible secrets. As puppets. It is kind of hard to take anything as dark and terrible when you have a puppet version of that person talking about how they abandoned their children in a fit of unfounded Cosby grade jealousy. Also, I don’t know if it is just me knowing that Chevy Chase annoyed the show runners a ton in the down time and actively noticing that he isn’t in the show as much or if I am just digging in my mind to justify some of the useless knowledge that I keep locked in there. Did I mention Puppets? PUPPETS!!!
Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 2
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Exposition. This show loves the stuff. Normally it is done over the course of well nuditied women or people talking while they cut each other apart with swords. This was more one of those “sit down and talk” episodes and not the other, more breasted one. I don’t know if it is the conversation itself or the mixture of fear that it seems that everyone has during the simplest of questions that can make this stuff boring. When you spend three minutes dancing around the fact that you think someone is a torture making, monster breathing, masochist who also is fond of eels (natures evilest creatures), regardless of how well the line is delivered you have stopped caring at the fifth “he is my king”. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best kind of “bad” episode because it probably means the next episode has twice the topless murder.
Also, Margaery (Natalie Dormer) looks creepily like Michelle Trachtenberg in this show. To the point that while I was writing this article I started looking up here name by going to “Buffy” on IMDB because I was pretty sure it was Trachtenberg, who played Dawn on that show, who was in Game of Thrones. Turns out that I was entirely wrong. Who knows, I guess we can hope for some of the good old fashioned ultra-violence with a touch of Penthouse and pretend it counts for both actresses.
Archer: Season 4, Episode 13
When: Thursdays at 10:00 PM
Because it is Archer.
This is the second part of a two part episode, Sea Tunt. Basically involving Cheryl’s (Judy Greer) brother (Eugene Mirman) and his entirely botched attempt to save the world from an eco-friendly underwater lab, which is also filled with deadly nerve-gas missiles capable of hitting every major city. Part 1 was a reunion of Bob’s Burgers voice actors taking place on Archer. That and the entire thing ended by basically not only leading into SeaLab but also making the captain from that show voiced by Jon Hamm. I don’t know if I could make fan fiction that would be better than that.
This episode focuses mainly on the adventures of, what the show is quickly painting as, the worst any-amount-of-cover spies that have ever been as they go underwater to a better animated, newer, Sealab. Granted that it seems that anyone who can stand upright for any period of time is capable of passing the field agent exam for this company. The fact that I would watch this show if it was just two people screaming at each other for half an hour kind of adds to the fact that that is exactly what this normally ends up being. Also that I guess that ISIS only hires highly emotional damaged people to help the mischief. Did I mention Jon Hamm in this episode?
The Office: Season 9, Episode 19
When: Thursdays at 8:30 PM
This is like what watching Casey at the Bat must have been like, but instead of a classic poem we watch all of these perfect set ups go completely ignored. The worst part is that Dwight (Rainn Wilson) seems to be having this crazy and amazing hijinks filled caper involving a paper sale while the rest of the cast moans and whines about stuff that I am not interested about when people I know and love discuss with me, and the real life people are funnier at this point than any actor on The Office. If it wasn’t for Dwight and Clark (Clark Duke) being some kind of amazing and psychic comedy due I am sure that this show would be half an hour of weird, dry humor, followed by Jim (John Kraninski) looking disapprovingly at the camera.
The sales call that Dwight makes involves him heavily drugging Stanley (Leslie David Baker) and literally dragging him to the meeting. There is some really strong banter back and forth between the aforementioned Dwight and Clark, but besides that it is all terrible. It is like the writer’s idea of comedy has quickly turned into 15 minutes of writing about how dumb Andy (Ed Helms) is with a camera crew filling the rest of the time following some of the cast around as they adlib. I kind of long to drive to the set of the show and just scream out my window how terrible they should all feel about what they did. I guess if they couldn’t come up with that extra 7 minutes they would just fill it with flashbacks and call it “documentary footage” again.
Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 1&2
When: Sundays at 10:00PM
I am not a smoker, but the constant amount of tobacco consumed during half an episode of this show makes me feel like I should pick it up. Bender was entirely right when he said that it made him look cool. If the government ever really wanted to understand why young people pick up that terrible and nasty habit they just need to look at Mad Men. They aren’t Americas greatest generation, as I think some news reported called those that fought in WW2 that, but they are the most hardcore and awesome. If we could live but a fraction of their glory through the course of our lives it would be a success. We cannot.
For a show that is about an Ad agency in the 60’s Mad Men oddly gets away with not making any ads. If this show was used as a documentary on how a standard beans promotion is put together we would all walk away thinking it was done by drinking and cheating on our wives with slightly less attractive women. This episode is basically about catching up with everyone since the time skip that took place between seasons. For those of us who aren’t really familiar with the period there are vague clues given through news broadcasts as to the amount of time passed, like that really means anything to anyone born after 1975 though. It basically comes down to an episode that nothing much happens, but it is written so well it doesn’t matter, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is my personal hero. I would, and have, watched him in anything.
Shameless: Season 3: Episode 12
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
I am going to be really petty right now and fully admit that Shameless ended up here because I expect better from it. Much like a teacher flunking you on a test because you didn’t live up to their impossibly high standards of life, I am doing the same thing to this show. Why? Because it seems that the show runners have been slowly pushing us to not only care about Frank (William H. Macy) but want to add a bunch of heartwarming things in an attempt to make us feel emotions, besides “HOLY SHIT!”, about any of the characters in the show.
It seems like there is an active attempt to make anything that happens in the show have a lasting sense of purpose or meaning. Granted, it has been three seasons of one crazy thing leading directly into another; that doesn’t mean that a single one of them ever really impact any of the characters after it is directly over. At one point during this season Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) comments that he finds out his father is gay and it doesn’t matter because everyone else is too busy digging up a body from their backyard. For me this has double meaning as both those things have pretty much been forgotten about as well as one of them not really mattering at the time, even though it kind of should have been huge. Oh well, I guess you can just kill off some characters and make an impression that way.