Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/7/13 – 4/13/13

No, a week will not go by that I don't bring her up

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.

Good
Community: Season 4: Episode 9

I wish all drug memories were like this

Where:  NBC
When:  Thursdays at 8:30PM
Why:
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!!!

Bad
Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 2

Nice rack...  Of breasts?

Where:  HBO
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
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.

Good
Archer: Season 4, Episode 13

"Unless I am misreading you..."

Where:  FX
When: Thursdays at  10:00 PM
Why:
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?

Bad
The Office: Season 9, Episode 19

I 100% want to do this now

Where:  NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:30 PM
Why:
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.

Best:
Mad Men: Season 6, Episode 1&2

The best reason to watch

Where: AMC
When:  Sundays at 10:00PM
Why:
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.

Worst:
Shameless: Season 3: Episode 12

Who hasn't had that day.

Where:  Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:00PM
Why:
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.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 3/31/13 – 4/6/13

Sorry, I just needed a picture of her, again, this week

Doctor Who continues to be airing, although this week it won’t really hit the list because it kind of ended up being forgettable and kind of bad; almost like they forgot how plot works.  It started off really strong and even featured the best/hottest new assistant that he has had since the last one.

It is also a weird time for TV because most shows are either ending their season, or ended it (good bye fan favorite punching bag Dual Survival),  and all of the new shows are things that are sure to be cancelled the moment that anything good really comes back on the air this summer.  This basically means that this week is probably going to be a lot more pedantic than I want.

Good
Parks and Rec: Season 5, Episode 17

"I am feeding your eagle.  He is STARVING"

Where: NBC
When: Thursdays at 8:30PM
Why:
Parks and Rec is an acquired taste.  It has The Offices brand of awkward, not sure if I should laugh, humor mixed in with the thinking person’s taste of 30 Rock.  Like most shows halfway through a decade, Parks and Rec has pretty much lost the thread of what the show was about when it first started.  It isn’t that there aren’t explanations or transitions along the way, but going back and watching the first season with friends feels weird as most of that stuff has been resolved and forgotten about.

Ben (Adam Scott) returns to his home town to receive the key to the city, even though he single handedly did everything but burn everyone’s jobs to the ground it during his mayor-ship.  He is unable to receive it in person, though, because it is discovered that he has kidney stones and is taken to the hospital and medicated.  Honestly the rest of the episode is fine, but all that I really learned is that I would watch a half an hour, weekly, show just about him being on morphine.  ADD + non-sequitur = comedy cold.  Honestly my only real problem with this episode is that there wasn’t more.  Remember staying home from school and watching the Price is Right? You’re pretty.

Bad
Californication: Season 6, Episode 12

Don't worry, the finale didn't make me want to get out of bed either

Where: Showtime
When: Sundays at 9:30
Why:
I love Californication.  It is about as masturbatory a show as a writer can want.  Considering the fact that most people that decide that they are going to use written words as their canvas are by definition introverts it is a little nice to have a show where one is an extrovert that everyone unreasonably loves.  It isn’t a show about a guy getting a girl; he did that before the first season started.  This is a show about a guy getting pretty much every girl that has ever lived and making them want more.

With the rare exception of season 5 it doesn’t seem like Californication knows how to either start or end a series, but rather aims to have a really strong middle section.   This time it began with Hank (David Duchovny) in rehab, which for a show about a guy who drinks, does drugs, and has sex with pretty much everything, seemed like a bad thing.  This entire last episode is about him longing for his ex, Karen (Natascha McElhone), which as far as I can tell is exactly the most annoying direction that they could have taken the plot.  The worst part is that he already has, to steal one of Stark’s terms, “best girl” Faith (Maggie Grace) ready to spend a lifetime supporting him through his rock and roll/writing/banging out women lifestyle. Just kind of annoying that this show likes to put Hank’s life on track to something interesting just to have him decide that he wants to chase after the woman that disapproves of everything he does.  I think I will just have to come to terms with the fact that Hank Moody wants to be miserable always.

Best:
Game of Thrones: Season 3, Episode 1

Ok, there are boobies AND dragons

Where: HBO
When: Sundays at 9 PM
Why:
More like Game of Boners, right?  Right?  Hello?

You have a show that is about violence and nudity and people wonder why it is the most pirated thing on television.  I guess that would make more sense if you consider that the political structure of each military campaign is more complex than J.R.R. Tolkien’s notes for all of The Lord of the Rings, and half the time people hold secretive grudges from years ago that may not have ever been explained fully during the shows run.  Oh, and at times it kind of feels like you need to start learning a second language to fully grasp what is going on.  But I guess there are still the boobs and murder, so I guess the barrier to entry is lower than I thought.

A bunch of stuff happened, most of it made me feel like I should have re-watched the last two seasons to figure out why any of it was important.  At one point someone said something about Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) killing his instructor and my only response was, “wait, when did that happen?” Still, the show is written brilliantly well and shot in such a way that it makes everything else in the universe seem filmed on poop garbage, the garbage of poop.  I am pretty sure that the only reason most of the people who watch this is that when you figure out one thing that is going on you feel amazingly smart; like what God must feel like when He makes puns.

Worst:
The Office: Season 9, Episode 18

Seen here: What NBC has done to the most loyal fans

Where: NBC
When: Thursdays at 9:30PM
Why:
Have I ever talked about The Office in a positive light on this site?  If I have it hasn’t been for stupid amounts of years. The fact that this show has been allowed to run its course without even the hint of cancelation just sort of leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  This is the same channel that has repeated tried to get rid of Community and at several point Scrubs.  I am pretty sure that the only reason this is still on is because one of the cast members has some photos of someone high up in NBC.

After about a decade of the film crew taping everyone in the office they are finally releasing the documentary. This causes everyone to realize that they have both broken laws while being taped as well as had massive and life changing secrets (sometimes sexy secrets) exposed at their workplace.  This is the first time that I have felt like the show might have had “something planned” in the way of concluding the series, although that seemed rather short lived with any of the subplots that were introduced during the course.  It is strange that we are 18 episodes in and it is just not starting a story line that could easily have inspired an entire season.  I guess that after 9 years of people filming you and doing nothing with it would sort of just give you the feeling that nothing will ever come of it, but really, half of them waved to the film crew after they were done cheating on their wives.

This is Not The Spoony Bard Podcast: Episode 1: Title Removed for Content

For the first time ever Stark asked for a week off from podcasting.  Well I wanted to do something special for our listeners, and since we can’t have a Spoony Bard without Stark  we decided to do something else.  Less talk about games, less talk about things that matter, and in all honesty more talk about things that probably should never be brought up.  Once again we have a late arrival, John, who joins us about 11 minutes into the events.  If you aren’t a fan of our side conversations into insanity this one might not be for you; but if you are please join Elise, John and I for the most classiest podcast on the net, This is Not The Spoony Bard Podcast.

[powerpress]

Spoony Bard Podcast: Episode 27: Anyone Want to Do the Title?

Episode 27 of the Spoony Bard Podcast, the classiest podcast on the net.  Roughly five minutes into the pod we lose stark for a couple of minutes and try to cover long enough for him to come back, which doesn’t really work.  We ended up losing about five minutes of the pod because of random computer issues, which is par for a pod at this point, but at the end we come back with Stark– so we all win.  All aside it sounds way better than the last one.  Besides the talk of R-Type, which is limited to only me remembering it fondly and everyone else complaining about it, we go in all kinds of random directions.  Mortal Kombat takes up most of the converstaion, but we bring up Pizza, beer, and Dr. Who, so there is that I guess.  Also PSN is still down so we kind of needed to complain about that too.

[powerpress]

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