I have been anything but devoutly faithful about doing this article. If anything it is probably one of the bigger regrets that I have about the site—not keeping up with this. Well let’s see how quickly we can change that by going out and doing some writing on a weekly basis and posting things on this site again! Woo internet things!
Bob’s Burgers: Season 5, Episode 15
When: 7:30 EST on Sundays
This episode had a chinchilla in it. Not only did it have one, it basically revolved around the little guy. Longtime fans of the site will not only know that I am a huge fan of the creatures, but I also own one and think he is just the best. This episode also has a chinchilla, and while not nearly as central to the plot as it should have been, that was brought up almost entirely through the episode as the pivotal character it is almost worth letting slide– we all know it should have been 30 minute of a chin cam. Who knows, maybe I am a little too fond of the concept of chinchillas and upset at their lack of presence in our society to fairly judge this episode. On the other hand, no. I am not.
I love Bob’s Burgers, even when the show is bad it still manages to be just a little something for me to look forward to at the start of a week, like a smiling face beaming at me and reminding me that life isn’t always as terrible as I keep telling myself it is. That said, this episode would have been wonderful if the show didn’t always seem so concerned about what was going on with the entire family during every single showing. Take, say, this time; everything would have been perfectly fine if it had been mainly focused on the children/chinchilla escape escapades. Instead we had a weird date that we got to watch Bob awkwardly screw up, and then save. Thankfully there was a chinchilla.
The Flash: Season 1, Episode 15
Where: The CW
When: 8:00 PM EST on Tuesdays
I enjoy watching TV while I play video games. There is a logic behind this that many people don’t really back me up on, understand, or think is “a good use of my time.” My theory is that there are a ton of games that I like that there is nothing really but dead periods and repetitive actions over and over and over and over and over again, and while I enjoy those— in the same way that I am pretty sure that Pavlov’s dog loved getting that treat when he rang the stupid, delicious, bell—there is always the feeling that I kind of want the other half of my brain to be doing something that only ever requires less than the remaining portion.
Thankfully every show from the CW pretty much fully fits this bill, and The Flash just happens to be the most super hero, DC based, clearly marketed to the late teen early 20s demographic, one that I can stomach. It is weird that the show will go from trying to explain away super villains and ultra science to the thin line of romance that must be walked when you are both a super hero AND painfully handsome. It is odd that the moment that people are placed into a series of well-lit environments how they seem to lose so many of their interpersonal skills that most people developed around the same time that they were fumbling around in the dark at a party trying to make out with their middle school girlfriend. Maybe that is why all sitcoms have people that just can’t seem to get together, they never had a dark enough area to let their pre-teen selves get all the angst out.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 2, Episode 13
When: 9:00 EST on Tuesdays
I think I know why people gamble. The feeling and the rush that you get when you allow something really stupid to go on for entirely too long and it pays off in amazing and really undeservingly spectacular ways is rewarding. Agents has been just that, borderline painfully terrible for a good chunk of the first season as you could watch it flounder around trying to find its weird fish/lizard legs while it learned to walk, now it is almost like a real show that you can proudly admit to your friends that you watch and pay attention to plotlines and everything—and not even do it sarcastically or because, you know, Marvel.
This season has even managed to be a double shocker as it started off twice as strong as the last season finished and continued to find ways to improve the show by following the less learned from last time of “people don’t like to watch boring things.” They were even kind enough to, during the annoying mid-season break thing that all the cool shows are doing now, replace themselves with half a season of Agent Carter — which ended up being so much better than the show that it was emulating. The worst part is that now that Carter is on break and we are back to watching S.H.I.E.L.D. I get to be reminded that, while still one of the better regular shows on TV, the show based in the 50s that is supposed to be the kid brother to it not only managed to get the actual stars (plural) to back to be main characters, they also managed to be way more watchable.
Workaholics: Season 5, Episode 10
Where: Comedy Central
When: 10:00 PM EST on Wednesdays
Workaholics is a show that grew on me in a way that I really wasn’t expecting. At no point in my past can I look back and say when I started to enjoy it, mainly because I can’t ever seem to find an episode that I liked. It is the sum of the episodes together that I found enjoyable, for some stupid “I enjoy watching bad movies,” kind of way. It is the show that you watch and think was way funnier three days later when you are imagining it and your memory manages to insert better, funnier, handsomer actors into it. It is basically every Jack Black movie that has ever been, which is odd because Nacho Libre himself had a part this season.
This episode was based around the concept of bar trivia, and mainly its focus on the 80s. It also has to do with the repeated attempts for one member of the group to grow up and maintain a job where they do not have to constantly run scams to consume food between paychecks, but that is quickly forgotten because no one wants to deal with issues and adult thoughts. Not only is it impressive how every single time the trio manage to hang onto their– what I am assuming are– below minimum wage job, but how Anders (Anders Holm) continually manages to brown noise just enough to land interview after interview for better jobs. I am sure the formulaic nature of the show will never allow him to achieve that victory, but I guess one can always dream.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2, Episode 19
When: 8:30 EST on Sundays
You know that show that you watch and snippets just keep popping in your head throughout the week making you smile? For me that is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I picked up the show because one of my wife’s friends made a stupid remark about it being the funniest and smartest show that has ever been on TV (and we all know that is Community), and for some unknown reason I felt like I needed to prove her wrong by watching the entire first season in one sitting. I think there was both logic and more to that plan, but it kind of fell apart pretty quickly as it managed to rocket up to Community levels of amazing in the first handful of episodes. That super worries me because everyone knows we can’t have good things for long on Network TV.
The core concept is that you take an episodic cop show and make it star the guy from the “Dick in a Box” SNL skit. I would love to say that there is more addition involved, but it is really just as simple as basically taking talented, funny people and allow them to be morons in front of a camera with lines written by funnier, more talented people who are probably less good in front of the camera. That said, this is a terrible episode for anyone who is not already devoted to the show to jump in on; between the random in jokes and the plot this time revolving around a story arch that has been happening for the entire season (19 episodes), this is not the one to tell people that they should start with. That said, it is a great pay off for those of us who may have picked this up around the start of the year and have been riding high as this season continued on. Also, I have learned that the first four hours of living in an ice cream truck are nothing but glamorous, even when kidnapped.
Community: Season 6, Episode 1 (and 2)
Where: Yahoo! Screen
When: 8:00 PM on Tuesdays
Not only do I love Community, and feel that it is awesome that it has come back in any form at all, but am kind of super excited that these aren’t even bad episodes that are airing. The problem with this episode(s) is that you can basically tell that the people that are left are the ones that are never going to leave the show, regardless of how little funding it is given or how few episodes they are allowed to make per season. Core members of the cast have been picked off one by one due to being a complete and total ass (Chevy Chase) or because they managed to make a surprising second non-serious career suddenly worth mentioning on The Today Show (Donald Glover dancing around with a Grammy Nomination placard, I assume).
I understand that the show is quickly approaching the point where it has been on forever (even though many people have attempt to make that otherwise) and that normal people do tend to leave a job after half a decade for green pastures or simply because they are getting bored of people loving them for no reason. That doesn’t mean that any of the episodes where a new character is introduced directly after can ever feel like they are anything less than forced, and even though Community managed it slightly better than most shows could have—it still feels they just want you to stop noticing that Smithers was once black.
Double Special Secret Worst:
Top Gear: Season None, Episode Not Airing
Where: Inside our hearts
When: Maybe always now
I have spoken of Top Gear before, at length. It is a British show about cars and adult men who do some of the stupidest things that they can possibly manage to do with a car at any given time. It is estimated, via the Top Gear wiki, that the show gets around 750 million viewers. That basically means that one in ten people on the planet are watching the show. There are tons of other stats that you could throw out, but it is pretty much easier to say that the show is unobtainablly huge and as such one of the hosts has gotten in enough trouble (for the second time this season[but after a long series of times in his life]) to get the show cancelled; even though there are episodes that have been filmed and are ready to go.
Jeremy Clarkson does stupid things, very often. Things come out of his mouth on such a regular basis that it is mildly amazingly that he hasn’t managed to insult enough countries to cause a war. At the start of this season he and the entire cast almost got lynched over a license plate on a car he was driving, directly after/before (I am unclear on the exact timing of it) that he was put on –what Americans would call—a final warning for using a racist slur. Now he has managed to get the show pulled from the air while the BBC investigates an “incident” he was involved in, and by “incident” I mean that he punched a producer in the face for their not being any hot food at the ready when they showed up at a hotel.
Keep in mind that most of the information that is known, in anyway, about what happened is so third hand at this point that it is almost worthless; but this is what appears to have happened: After doing some kind of event that required driving across England the three stars showed up at the hotel they would be staying at rather late at night, there was no food for them at all. Clarkson lost his collective shit and went off on the producer that was responsible, it escalated, it is rumored he punched the guy. All that aside I am happy to report that we do know for a fact that James May was black out drunk while the entire thing was happening.
Since I started writing this the BBC has decide to not renew Clarkson’s contract, meaning he is gone. The problem then comes in that (James) May and (Richard) Hammond have repeatedly and publicly stated that they won’t do the show without him. The thing is, that isn’t even really a bargaining chip for them; the man literally invented the show. Top Gear was a thing before (Jeremy) Clarkson, kind of, but he changed the format, style, and everything about it in such a way that until last year he owned all those things–at which point he sold them off to the BBC for about 75 million dollars. Make of that what you will.