Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: March 17th – March 23rd

I recently started a new job, which means that I have a lot less free time to spend on doing things like updating the site and watching terrible shows that I kind of don’t have any interest in anymore.  That said, besides not watching the newest episodes of Once or The Walking Dead my viewing habits haven’t really changed that much.  Oh well, onto talking about this week in TV:

Bad:

Dual Survival: Season 3, Episode 11
Where:
Discovery Channel
When: Friday at 10 PM
Why:
I feel like doing that every time I watch this show.

They get lost like four times and neither one of them really said anything about it.  Also I think that they have been working together long enough that they have built some form of trust, which entirely defeats why I started watching this show in the first place.  At one point they were entirely unable to light a fire and had to stay awake all night to not freeze to death, in the first season that would have resulted in a two hour fight and then the rest of the show each of them taking turns and telling the camera passive aggressive things about the other person like a middle aged unhappily married couple.  If they aren’t going to make an effort to slowly pick apart why they hate the other person and only learn to work together I don’t even know why I am watching this anymore. If I wanted to watch someone boringly make their way out of danger with no resources I go on YouTube and watch dialog only slightly more forced than anything here.

Although this episode was not without its share of amazing moments: when they finally did find “rescue” in the form of finding their way to a major road the first people that they met flipped them off and sped away.  Granted they were not run over, even though that is clearly the only reason that anyone should ever drive a truck with tires like that (that or destroying smaller, weaker cars), but it was amazing enough for this to not hit this week’s worst spot.

Good:

Shameless: Season 3, Episode 9
Where:
Showtime
When:
Sundays at 9 PM
Why:
Yeah, he gets a BJ from a Drag Queen.  That happens

Shameless seems to be based off the worst family in the worst section of the United States, which is kind of funny because it is also based off a British made award winning show to begin with.  At times it is hard to watch due to the insane brutality of just plain terrible situations, although it seems to make up for that with the copious amounts of nudity spread throughout most episodes.    It doesn’t really matter though, because in all honesty it makes me feel way better about my upbringing.  Oddly all my parents seemed to have to do is not be highly addicted to drugs and alcohol while attempting to use me to extort money from, well, everyone.

Frank (William H. Macy) decides that since he is leeching off of someone, instead of getting a job and earning his own way in life, he is entitled to domestic partnership because I think that he believes that is what constitutes a healthy, normal, relationship.  After being denied because, you know, he doesn’t have any proof for anything that he is claiming besides an increasing angry yell he stumbles through a political rally and manages to berate the future mayor enough to become a YouTube celebrity, which might be the first time that someone did something stupid and became famous without the help of auto-tuning.  His rambling is so ambiguous and, strangely, well-spoken that he becomes a hero in the Gay community.  Keep in mind this is the same person that tried to get an autographed football to sell for drugs by telling the make a wish people that his son was dying of cancer; also he convinced his kid of this too just to make sure it was believable.

Best:

Workaholics: Season 3, Episode 20
Where: Comedy Central
When:  Wednesday at 10 PM
Why:
A spike maced thing comes out of his but.  I thought I would spare you all from that.

Tom Green.  I am always impressed when I find out that he isn’t dead.  I don’t know why I thought that he wasn’t living anymore but I guess there is just this thing in my head that goes off when someone who was once stupidly famous (or famous for stupid reasons) drops out of the spotlight enough that you have to search to see what they are up to and just assumes that they are dead or a zombie. It is almost like this show took that into consideration with their use of him as you only hear his voice for the majority of the episode, and when he does appear it is as a soulless robot not in control of himself, also he has laser arm swords.

The episode is about robots becoming entirely too smart and finally taking over, something that anyone who reads the site will know that Stark and I worry about constantly.  This episode takes place in the future where robots are allowed to make all telemarketing calls and only require humans to close sales out when a customer is resistant.  The odd thing is that reading that sentence over kind of makes me feel like this is already happening because I have robots calling me constantly about my student loans.  Wait, did we fight the war, lose, and become forced to forget about our freedom?

Damn You Skynet!

Worst:

Family Guy: Season 11, Episode 15
Where:  Fox
When:  Sunday’s at 9 PM
Why: Take your worst, most racist thought at this moemnt.  This episode was 10 times worse.

I don’t know that Family Guy has ever been in your face entirely offensively racist before, but this episode takes away my right to ever say that again.  Remember a couple of years ago when 24 was being singled out for having every bad guy in the series be middle-eastern?  I guess that since they were forced to clean up their act Fox thought that at the very least one of the shows on needed to make everyone aware that they still blamed an entire people for all acts of terrorism everywhere, always.

Peter becomes Islamic because someone tells his wife to do something and she doesn’t argue.  Ignoring the fact that Louis is not also converting, that this is probably one of the more offensive stories they have ever done, and also the fact that they clearly did 0 research while writing this episode it seems that this story was going to happen anyway. The best part is that this joke, and plot device, is instantly forgotten about the moment that it is made.  Claiming that this was 23 minutes of stereotypes would be giving it credit because that would almost seem like they attempted to tie things together instead of just lump a bunch of hate speech hidden behind diarrhea jokes.  One minute Peter is establishing himself in the community, the next he is planning on blowing up a bridge.  Also there is never any reason given for the terrorist plot besides, “because”.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV February 3-9

Since last week had the Super Bowl and drove all the sane shows into this week it seems only natural as a starting point of one of the lazier articles on both this site and on TV in general. This is where I point out the highlights, and low lights of things that happened last week on TV.  Why only those?  Because I watch several dozen shows a week and talking about them all would be entirely too long and painful for everyone involved.

Bad
The Office: Season 9 Episode 15

Oh, Andy went native?!? Of course that zany guy did

Where: NBC

When: Thursdays at 9

Why: Earlier in the season Andy, the person who is poorly replacing Steve Carell, decided that he should leave his job and sail to the Bahamas with his alcoholic brother.  That was supposedly three months ago, also known as the entirety of the season.  Besides very minor reminders every other episode that that had been a plot point the entire show has moved on and is kind of about something else at this point. Sure, it is a weird point in the season where several mini-story arches are all kind of either concluding at once or attempting to start, it still felt like an attempt to make drama out of situations that could basically resolve themselves if ignored.

I know that everyone involved with this show knows that it has gone on too long, I really do, but this is the last season and I was kind of hoping that something interesting would happen.  Besides Dunder Mifflin’s ownership being bounced around like a drunken college girl’s lady parts at a frat party the show has pretty much been floundering for a thread to follow for years.  It was weird that the show almost became watchable again when it was reduced to the original cast, save Steve Carell, and everyone just kind of went along with their odd little lives.  I guess I can still just count how many episodes are left before it is over forever.

Good
Archer: Season 4 Episode 4

Air quotes are always code for "caring"

Where: FX

When: Thursday at 10

Why: Archer is always good for a laugh, or eight.  Oddly it is one of the few American shows that can be both entirely random and have nothing to do with the last episode, and still have some kind of cohesive plot that carries it through from week to week.  Also I am pretty sure that this is clear to anyone who comes to this site but the character of Archer, and his real life voiced and personal counterpart John Benjamin, are my person hero in all things.  Take that James Bond/Sean Connery.

So Archer’s mother got married during the season break, and as any man baby Sterling pretty much hates the guy.  If I told you that there was a bonding moment between the two the only acceptable response would be something like, “Four episodes in? That took a while.”  Somehow they not only made the entire thing work but made it seem like it was the only logical way for things to end up.  Oh Archer, why can’t you be on every night instead of Leno?

Best:
Community:  Season 4 Episode 1

All for a "History of Ice Cream" college class

Where: NBC

When: Thursdays at 8

Why: I love Community.  At one point it was easy enough to describe as, “That smart funny and witty show on NBC that isn’t 30 Rock,” but I guess that Highlander was right and there really could only be one.  Thankfully it seems like they made the right choice and the world can go back to Greendale, for at the very least a half season, and hopefully either be renewed or peacefully concluded.

If you need a reason to watch the show it is simple enough to point out, it is like if all of the fantasies on Scrubs were the normal things that happened on the show, and the fantasies ended up being weird and Frank Zappa levels of bizarre.  References are normally anything from the Cosby show to obscure particle physics relationship jokes.  I would recommend if you haven’t seen any of the show starting at the beginning and forcing your way through most of the first season.  It is the only show that has holiday specials almost every season, and they do something amazing for each of them.  From zombies that exist in their world to a Claymation special, it is really worth watching.

Worst:
Dual Survival: Season 3 Episode 6

Bugs: Better than stitches

Where: Discovery Channel

When: Friday 10

Why: The hippy guy who doesn’t wear shoes didn’t die.  This show was only really good toward the beginning when neither one of the “experts” trusted each other and were convinced that their actions were either going to getting them killed or waste valuable supplies.  Also I am aware that most of these shows are beyond staged as it would be hard to ever be in real danger with a massive film crew following you everywhere, but most of the show has started feeling like the two of them are more annoyed at the Kraft Services table not being set up than they are about whatever hell hole they are in.

If given the choice between fending for myself in the wild with these two guys, or taking the severely overweight, out of shape, and agoraphobic Stark and a random hobo we found I would probably take Stark and the hobo.  Worst case scenario with that group is that we die after eating the hobo due to some kind of transient person disease, if I went with the other two I would probably get lectured constantly about the importance of eating protein and using my shoelaces for stuff.  Thanks, but I would rather die weirdly than suffer through a lecture on the importance of mother Earth.